Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Irving Thalberg: Prince of Hollywood

Known as the Boy Wonder by his peers for his intransigent reputation, and ability to pick out scripts and adeptly tweak films, Irving Thalberg began as an office clerk at Universal under Carl Laemmle and rose rapidly through the ranks. Soon partnering up with L.B. Mayer and cofounding MGM, Thalberg would be the brains behind many early Hollywood classics ("The Hunchback of Notre Dame", "The Crowd", "The Good Earth") and stars (Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow), the villain against Eric von Stroheim and his masterpiece "Greed", and the inspiration for F.Scott Fitzgerald's uncompleted final work The Last Tycoon, all before his death at the age of 37. Made for Turner Classic Movies by Robert Trachtenberg, "Irving Thalberg: Prince of Hollywood" is an informative, composite view of the life of the enormously influential mogul, told straightforwardly yet with an abundance of information.