Tonight, I saw the last episode of “Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood.” I liked the series, which really did focus on history. In 7 parts, we got everything from the first exhibited motion pictures in 1989 all the way to “Easy Rider” in 1969. Of course, each one of the moguls — Meyer, Zanuck, Cohn, Goldwyn, Zukor, etc. could have had an hour of their own, but the series remained chronological. It’s easy to follow with very few themes — 7 parts, 7 themes. It’s entertaining and it doesn’t take a lot of intellectual focus.
I recently saw “The Thief of Bagdad,” the fabulous 1940 fantasy with Sabu and Conrad Viedt. The commentary track has Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola talking about their experiences watching the film on TV in the late 1940s. I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, but I don’t remember ever seeing this on our old black and white Zenith that took 15 minutes to warm up. As a child, I’m sure I’d want to be that boy (Sabu) in the film. At the end, he flies off in his flying carpet to new adventures — like I want to do now.