Some of the Best: 25 Years of Motion Picture Leadership
Cast & Crew
Rudolph G. Kopp
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio celebrates its twenty-fifth year in the motion picture industry. M-G-M contract actor Lionel Barrymore, seated in an office on the lot of the Culver City, California studio, reflects on the studio's reputation, earned by the presence of such numerous stars as Norma Shearer, Wallace Beery, Spencer Tracy, Greer Garson, Mickey Rooney, Charles Boyer, William Powell, Ronald Colman, Myrna Loy, Robert Donat, W. C. Fields, Leslie Howard and Greta Garbo. These stars are seen in clips from successful films, many with prestigious historical or literary roots, such as The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934), Viva Villa (1934), Edison, the Man (1940) Madame Curie (1943), Huckleberry Finn (1939), Conquest (1937), Marie Antoinette (1937), Tale of Two Cities (1935), Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1942), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), The Human Comedy (1943), David Copperfield (1935), Captains Courageous (1937) and Grand Hotel (1932). Using film clips, Mr. Barrymore chronicles the outstanding films of each year from the studio's beginnings in 1924 through 1948. The second half of the film is devoted to previewing eighteen productions slated for 1949 release, including black and white features Command Decision , Words and Music , The Great Sinner , The Secret Garden , Intruder in the Dust , Madame Bovary and Malaya . A Technicolor sequence follows with more preview clips of several 1949 releases, including Little Women , Challenge to Lassie , The Barkleys of Broadway , In the Good Old Summertime , Neptune's Daughter and The Forsythe Saga . Returning to black and white footage, Barrymore mentions other films in production slated for 1949 release, including On the Town , Quo Vadis and Battleground . The film closes with shots of M-G-M feature players at the annual studio party.
The above film credits and the plot summary are based on a cutting continuity contained within Copyright records. According to a June 1944 Hollywood Reporter news item, a version of the film was compiled in 1944 and was to be used in connection with M-G-M's twenty-year anniversary. Cliff Lewis was credited as the producer in 1944, and Jules Dassin as the director. No information has been found that the picture was released in 1944, however, and the contribution of Lewis and Dassin to the final film has not been determined. Contemporary sources indicate that M-G-M made three hundred prints of Some of the Best and distributed them free of charge to exhibitors, recommending the film, which studio advertising claimed showed over one hundred stars in action, as strong enough to fill the lower half of a double bill. A contemporary review in a trade journal remarked of the film, "It has more star value and entertainment than the average supporting feature." For more information on the titles from the 1940s, please and below. For more information on titles from the 1930s, please see the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40.