Host Henry Fonda follows the creation of the star system with Mary Pickford in the Silent Era through its demise in the early Sixties. Some of the silent stars created archetypes like William S. Hart's strong, silent Westerner, Douglas Fairbanks' swashbuckling adventurer, and Rudolph Valentino's Latin lover. Their mantles were picked in the 30s by Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn and Charles Boyer respectively. Some iconic stars from Hollywood's Golden Era like Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Bette Davis, and Clark Gable are given special scrutiny. Fonda concedes that although the studio system that produced these stars has disappeared, the public's need to identify with performers will create the new stars of the future, and speculates which of the current breed of actors and actresses (Shirley Maclaine, Warren Beatty, Audrey Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Natale Wood, etc.) will be the stars of tomorrow.
Did You Know?
The old system that produced the great stars has passed, but the need to identify with the heroes and heroines of the screen will always remain. Perhaps there may be fewer stars in the future, but it's certain that from time to time in a darkened theater something like a miracle will happen when a sudden excitement , a sense of recognition. and then a feeling akin to love will mean a great new star is born. This is Henry Fonda.
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Coming 'round the Mountain
Traditional African-American folk song
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