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Some of the Best

Some of the Best(1944)

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Some of the Best (1944)

Established in 1924 from the merger of the Metro Pictures Corporation, Goldwyn Pictures, and Louis B. Mayer Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer soon distinguished itself as one of Hollywood's "Big Five" studios and the American film industry's premiere dream factory. Boasting the wherewithal to spend as much money on promoting their pictures as they did on the films themselves, Metro never shied away from self-promotion and often touted its movie-making prowess in an entirely appropriate fashion: by making movies about it. After a decade in operation, MGM began producing a series of 10-minute shorts under the umbrella title "The Romance of Celluloid," which heralded their big releases to date, their upcoming projects, and gave moviegoers then-rare glimpses of behind the scenes footage. In 1944, the studio celebrated its twentieth anniversary with the longer-form Some of the Best, a 49-minute cavalcade of film fragments from the Metro vault hosted by Lewis Stone, a former Metro A-lister who aged to the status of veteran character actor and was at the time most familiar for playing the stern but understanding Judge Hardy in the popular "Andy Hardy" films starring Mickey Rooney. True to form, Some of the Best splits its run time between a year-by-year summation of the studio's biggest hits and a lineup of its upcoming projects. Five years later, Metro offered Some of the Best: Twenty-Five Years of Motion Picture Leadership (1949), hosted by Lionel Barrymore, in celebration of its silver anniversary.

By Richard Harland Smith

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