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Arena Season 2012

  • Season 2012
  • Documentary and factual
  • News and current affairs
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Episode 9: Screen Goddesses

Summary

Documentary focusing on the female stars of the Hollywood studio era, from its beginnings around 1910 through to its collapse in the early 1960s. Screen icons chronologically recalled include Theda Bara, Lillian Gish, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe

Review

“There just aren’t any faces like that any more,” lamented Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd — a movie made as long ago as 1950. Of course, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor were yet to enjoy their heyday, but the point still stands. From saintly Lillian Gish to sassy Mae West, exotic Marlene Dietrich to enigmatic Greta Garbo, via tough cookies Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and viperish Barbara Stanwyck, Hollywood produced a pantheon of divine women, whose “immortality” is only confirmed by the passage of time.

If you’re a film buff, none of the clips will be a surprise, and I could have done with detail on the luminous cinematography, but this glorious doc will have you reaching for DVDs. (Why no major film season, BBC4?) Music from Vertigo and narration by Downton’s Elizabeth McGovern will also keep you hypnotised.

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming provider below.

Streaming

Details

Released on
2012-12-22
Languages
Formats
Colour

Credits

Crew

rolename
NarratorElizabeth McGovern
Series editorAnthony Wall
ProducerDavid Thompson
DirectorDavid Thompson

All episodes

  • Summary

    Documentary focusing on the female stars of the Hollywood studio era, from its beginnings around 1910 through to its collapse in the early 1960s. Screen icons chronologically recalled include Theda Bara, Lillian Gish, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe

    Review

    “There just aren’t any faces like that any more,” lamented Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd — a movie made as long ago as 1950. Of course, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor were yet to enjoy their heyday, but the point still stands. From saintly Lillian Gish to sassy Mae West, exotic Marlene Dietrich to enigmatic Greta Garbo, via tough cookies Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and viperish Barbara Stanwyck, Hollywood produced a pantheon of divine women, whose “immortality” is only confirmed by the passage of time.

    If you’re a film buff, none of the clips will be a surprise, and I could have done with detail on the luminous cinematography, but this glorious doc will have you reaching for DVDs. (Why no major film season, BBC4?) Music from Vertigo and narration by Downton’s Elizabeth McGovern will also keep you hypnotised.

    How to watch

    Next showing

    There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming provider below.

    Streaming

    Details

    Released on
    2012-12-22
    Languages
    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Crew

    rolename
    NarratorElizabeth McGovern
    Series editorAnthony Wall
    ProducerDavid Thompson
    DirectorDavid Thompson
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