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Bill Cotter

MGM: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot

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While it may seem that this book has nothing to do with world's fairs, it actually has some pages about the making of the Judy Garland movie "Meet Me in St. Louis". Even if it didn't, it's a wonderful look at the glory days of MGM. I just got it yesterday and stayed up until 1:30 this morning going through it - and that was a quick scan. It's chock full of pictures and text on MGM and the amazing worlds created on the back lot.

You can find it on Amazon and I would think most large book dealers:

MGM: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot

I'd love to hear what any other readers think of it.

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Oh, yeah! I pre-paid pre-publication, and got mine Monday. I looked at the map and closed it up. I'm saving it for a day in the future.

I've got this weird affinity for the old MGM, so I'm geeked.

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Bill, I was at a friends house for dinner last night and she had this book sitting on her coffee table. I told her that I had seen a thread about this book here on PTU just that day. I looked through the book and it is amazing. I'll get to borrow the book after she has finished reading it. Steve.

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Just found this page, must be new:

MGM History

They're now giving tours, something not available when I was last in L.A. in 2002(?).

At that time, I got chased off after trying to photograph the Thalberg bldg. from a public right-of-way!

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I haven't taken the formal tour but have been on the lot a lot. Warner Bros. owned it for a while and one of my best friends was at Sony, so I made a number of trips there. All of the facades are gone, so a tour would be mostly looking at soundstages that are completely bare of any history of what was there and someone telling you "They filmed Wizard of Oz in there". You could be looking at a warehouse for all it would matter. The Warner tour is a better deal as there is still a good sized back lot.

Way down at the bottom that page does have some good links to interesting photos of the lots as they were falling apart. I have about 2 dozen shots myself, but where on Earth are they?

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I'll be getting this one for sure!

For years, I've also hoped that someday I could find the 1970 "60 Minutes" feature, "Death Of A Backlot" which had Mike Wallace taking a tour of the backlot before the demolition took place. There were some clips of it in the "MGM When The Lion Roars" documentary.

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There is some good backlot footage in the 1972 documentary "The Dream Factory", along with snippets of the massive MGM props auction.

Also, "That's Entertainment" shot the live intros on many lot locales, shortly before the dozers came.

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I have all of the "That's Entertainments" but didn't know about "The Dream Factory". Thanks for th einfo, per IDM

This documentary can be found on the 2-disc special edition of _Meet Me in St Louis

I just put that at the top of my Netflix list!

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Yeah, Bill, I did do the WB tour, it was great, but I actually liked the sound stage area, especially the building where they painted the huge background murals.

I'd really like to see MGM's famed scoring stage, plus Stage 15......

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I finally got a copy. Just to show that not everything is on the WWW, try finding "Greutert's plastic, which was some sort of "indestructible" compound used to create props like statues and fake stone walls, according to p.139.

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