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MGM 100 Years

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  • MGM 100 Years

    Just been reading this book-at last! It's very good with interesting photos on set etc. The icing on the cake for me would have been to a plan of the MGM Borehamwood studio, including the backlot, including which stages particular sections of films were shot on. For instance, which stage had the centrifuge in '2001'? It's these bits of information which I find fascinating, I'll go back to my stamp collecting now (apologies to any stamp collectors)!

  • #2
    The centrifuge was on Stage 2

    "MGM: Hollywoods Greatest Backlot" has a 1950s plan of the studio buildings.

    I've done 5 years solid research on the studio - so I've got most of the answers filed away somewhere.


    • #3
      Hi Anthony, Great information, with lots of pics! Dare I ask, when can everyone expect your book about MGM Borehamwood to be available? Looking back on the number of films, great films from this studio, it was criminal how this studio was allowed to be axed whilst, down the road, rubbish like "Holiday on the Buses" was being turned out.


      • #4
        I'm a 'fan of history' so I keep collecting facts - too many damn facts - I can trace the Soskin family back five generations - ask me where any structure was built on the backlot and I can point to within a meter where that spot is today.

        Ask me to write 300 words a day and I start to whimper.

        Today's jolly task - in Freddie Young's 'Seventy Light Years' Freddie states that he gave Skeets Kelly the opportunity to act as cinematographer for some extra scenes taking place in a bell tent to be shot for 'Soldiers Three' which had been filming in India. Skeets was so happy to be give the opportunity that thanked Ben Goetz, the chairman of MGM British Studios when he next saw him. Only problem is - 'Soldiers Three' was shot in California using footage shot for 'Kim' - I'm thinking 'Rogue's March' is possible - but that was also shot in California. So do I forget this remark or do I keep digging.


        • #5
          I'm not going to go too much into the politics or finances of the film industry here - but MGM British Studios were 'dark' or under-used for many periods during their existence - making a profit out of the movie industry has always been in issue in the UK and the reliance on US investment has been both a blessing and a liability. With 20-20 hind-site the inevitable end could have been delayed or softened if the executives had not been willing to gamble so heavily on prestige protects.

          Here is a quote I have from October 1966:

          "When going about the industry and talking to film industrialists and even to colleagues of mine, I have had a sense of a whisper of gloom as though a storm were about to break and the heavens about to fall on the industry—when, in fact, hardly a cloud is in sight."
          Last edited by Anthony McKay; 30th June 2017, 11:40 AM.


          • #6
            Hi Anthony, Thanks for your comments. I used to work for a Leeds based cinema chain, and I always remember my boss telling me that 'there were more deals done in a pub at lunchtime, than any official office meeting'. I do remember how dire things were in the early 1970's in the industry, I think it was the craze for kung-fu which kept a lot of cinemas going.