Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film

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The series consisted of thirteen one hour episodes, with each episode dealing with a specific aspect of Hollywood history. The actor James Mason, an enthusiast of the period, supplied the narration; a lilting score was contributed by Carl Davis.

Technical quality was an important aspect of the production. Silent films had often been screened on television from poor-quality copies running at the wrong speed, usually accompanied by honky tonk piano music. Hollywood used silent film clips that were sourced from the best available material, shown at their original running speed and with orchestral scores, giving viewers a chance to see what they originally looked and sounded like.
The producers recorded the recollections of many of the period's notable artists, and illustrated their interviews with scenes from their various films, as well as production still photographs, and historical photographs of the Los Angeles environs. Subjects such as Rudolph Valentino and Clara Bow were represented by film scenes, but where possible the series made use of contemporary interviews by survivors of the era. Some of these interviews are notable for being among the only filmed interviews given by their subjects.


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