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Hollywood the Golden Years: The RKO Story 

The history of the major Golden Age of Hollywood film company, RKO Pictures.




3 nominations. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Edward Asner ...  Himself - Host / ... 6 episodes, 1987
Linwood G. Dunn ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1987
Ginger Rogers ...  Herself 5 episodes, 1987
Pandro S. Berman ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Joseph F. Biroc ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Lucille Ball ...  Herself 2 episodes, 1987
Katherine Brown Katherine Brown ...  Herself 2 episodes, 1987
William Dozier ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1987
William Fadiman William Fadiman ...  Himself / ... 2 episodes, 1987
Richard Fleischer ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1987
Bert Granet Bert Granet ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1987
Jane Greer ...  Herself 2 episodes, 1987
Katharine Hepburn ...  Herself 3 episodes, 1987
John Houseman ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1987
Robert Mitchum ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
John Springer John Springer ...  Himself - Publicity Department / ... 2 episodes, 1987
James G. Stewart James G. Stewart ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1987
Robert Wise ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1987
William Alland William Alland ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Betty Amster Betty Amster ...  Herself 1 episode, 1987
Reginald Armour Reginald Armour ...  Himself, executive assistant to George Schafer 1 episode, 1987
Fred Astaire ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1987
Hal Borne Hal Borne ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Edward Dmytryk ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Edward Eliscu Edward Eliscu ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Joan Fontaine ...  Herself 2 episodes, 1987
Miriam Geiger Miriam Geiger ...  Herself 1 episode, 1987
Stewart Granger ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Shifra Haran Shifra Haran ...  Herself 1 episode, 1987
Vernon Harbin Vernon Harbin ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Ray Harryhausen ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Ralph Hoge Ralph Hoge ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Paul Jarrico Paul Jarrico ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Dorothy Jordan ...  Herself - Widow of Merian C. Cooper 1 episode, 1987
Fay Kanin ...  Herself 1 episode, 1987
Garson Kanin ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Janet Leigh ...  Herself 1 episode, 1987
Perry Lieber Perry Lieber ...  Himself - Head of Publicity 1 episode, 1987
Eriveldo Martins Eriveldo Martins ...  Himself, composer 1 episode, 1987
Kemp Niver Kemp Niver ...  Himself - Investigator 1 episode, 1987
Tom O'Neil Tom O'Neil ...  Himself - President, General Teleradio 1 episode, 1987
Grande Otelo Grande Otelo ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Hermes Pan ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Jean Porter ...  Herself 1 episode, 1987
Zoe Porter Zoe Porter ...  Herself - Secretary to Merian C. Cooper 1 episode, 1987
Gene Raymond ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1987
Erik Rhodes ...  Himself 1 episode, 1987
Jane Russell ...  Herself 2 episodes, 1987


The history of the major Golden Age of Hollywood film company, RKO Pictures.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

3 July 1987 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The RKO Story: Tales from Hollywood See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(6 parts)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Features Stage Door (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

The best "Hollywood Studio System" documentary ever made!
16 February 2017 | by howyoodoonSee all my reviews

What a surprise treat this series was! All six of the one-hour episodes are available at present on YouTube, which is where I found it. Having never heard of it before, it came as a total revelation to me. Since they had the luxury of having six hours time to tell the fascinating saga of this once-great studio, it contains extensive film clips (some of which are shown here for the first time) and lengthy "talking head" interviews with the men and women who ran RKO, as well as the great stars who acted there (Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Mitchum). It's hosted by actor Ed Asner, who provides the perfect light touch and jocularity to host such an undertaking. He is, surprisingly, quite wonderful as a host! The producers of this excellent mini- series (from The UK) had the good fortune of making the series while several of RKO's "major players" were still living and willing to tell their stories (some of them, in the nick of time, too-- Fred Astaire died that very year; Lucille Ball two years later). There is a WEALTH of background information that I'd never heard before, anywhere. If you're a fan of "CITIZEN KANE," you'll be over-the-Moon with glee at the episode that is almost completely dedicated to Orson Welles and his epic RKO masterpiece--and beyond. The series also paints a fairly incisive picture of the enigmatic Howard Hughes, who bought the studio in 1948, later selling it to Desilu (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) for $6 million. Jane Greer is especially compelling, telling her tale of how Hughes kept her under contract at RKO for years--but refused to use her in films--since she refused to sleep with him. There are wonderful cameos throughout--a special surprise was a (sadly brief) appearance by the wonderful Erik Rhodes, who provided such wonderful comic relief in many of the Astaire/Rogers films (and passed away only three years after the making of this documentary).

This invaluable series makes "MGM: When The Lion Roared" seem like lightweight fluff by comparison. There are so many fascinating side- stories. Six hours sounds like quite a commitment--but, rest assured: When it's over, you'll wish it were even longer! Really top-notch stuff! And there won't be another like it, since by now, nearly all of the major players are gone. Can't recommend it highly enough!

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