Moguls & Movie Stars: A History Of Hollywood is an excellent documentary series that originally aired on Turner Classic Movies in late 2010. The series covers a wide array of material from the beginning of cinema in the 1880's through the decline of the mogul dominated Hollywood studio system in the 1960's, with everything in between. The set is divided into 7 episodes on 3 discs, running approximately 7 hours. Also included is a 40-page booklet with vintage photographs and each episode has bonus reflections by film historians and writer/producer Jon Wilkman. I will include a very brief description of each episode and the people discussed within them. Each one contains much more than I'm listing and gives you a great idea of how Hollywood went through its many transitions.
Episode 1: Peepshow Pioneers (1889-1907) - The series begins with a look at film in its infancy, taking a look at people such as Thomas Edison, Auguste and Louis Lumière and Georges Méliès. Also covered is the role of the newly arriving immigrants in America and their role in shaping the history of cinema, particularly in starting some of the earliest Nickelodeons for people to view movies.
Episode 2: The Birth of Hollywood (1907-1920) - Most early American movies were filmed in and around large cities, such as New York and Chicago. These locations proved problematic for a lack of variety in shooting locations and for legal reasons. To solve their problems, many key players in the industry began to migrate west to California, establishing Hollywood as a movie maker paradise in the 1910's. Included in this episode are legends such as Charlie Chaplin, Samuel Goldwyn, Cecil B. DeMille, D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish.
Episode 3: The Dream Merchants (1920-1928) - The 1920's proved to be the decade that brought us true Hollywood moguls. Many of the previously mentioned immigrants had accumulated vast amounts of wealth in their Nickelodeons, prompting them to produce their own films. Upon moving to Hollywood, many of them founded their own production studios which lead to the creation of many of the companies we still know today. Included are Louis B. Mayer (MGM), Adolph Zukor (Paramount), Carl Laemmle (Universal), and all four of the Warner brothers.
Episode 4: Brother Can You Spare a Dream (1929-1941) - During this period the film industry faced some major changes and hardships, such as the introduction of "talkies" and the Great Depression. This period also marked the arrival of many European filmmakers to Hollywood (Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock and William Wyler to name a few), bringing with them unique styles and perspectives which would change movies forever.
Episode 5: Warriors and Peacemakers (1941-1950) - When America entered World War II the future of Hollywood was uncertain. Many filmmakers actually joined the military and saw combat, such as Frank Capra, John Ford, William Wyler and George Stevens. The directors took these experiences and made patriotic films and documentaries which helped our countries morale and helped rally us through the end of the war.
Episode 6: The Attack of Small Screens (1950-1960) - As the title says, this episode covers how Hollywood changed in response to growing popularity of Television. Many of the studio moguls were forced out during this decade which lead to a change in how movies were made. Films were now more realistic and a new generation of actors thrived in the new environment. Included are Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Sidney Poitier, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.
Episode 7: Fade Out, Fade In (1960-1969) - The last episode of the series covers what was basically the death of the old Hollywood system. Most of the moguls had either died or been forced out of the companies they started. Power shifted to directors and a few other individuals, such as agent Lew Wasserman, who is covered extensively in episode seven. The 1960's also marked another huge landmark in American cinema, the abolishment of the Hays Code, which had restricted movie content for decades. These factors, along with a new appreciation for foreign films, lead to what is now commonly called "New Hollywood".