American Movie Classics

  AMC pairs an exclusive documentary with a related classic film to provide a rare insider's look at Hollywood.


Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography

A glorious and eye-filling tribute to the greatest cinematographers, featuring scenes from lavish costume epics to gritty noirs. "Visions of Light" offers the reminiscences, creative philosophies, observations, and opinions of a slew of the finest in the business.

Hollywood Hotwheels

In the ever-changing world of steering wheels and movie reels, the love affair between Hollywood and the great American hot rod has endured. This original AMC documentary showcases the movies, television shows and car customizers who have made some wild cars in a wild place called Hollywood. From the Batmobile to James Bond's Aston Martin and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," this film chronicles the popular culture surrounding cinema's classic cars.

Stage Struck: AMC's Ovation to Radio City Music Hall

It's America's largest theatre and this original AMC production looks at the glamouous history of New York's Radio City Music Hall from its inception to its recent, multi-million dollar restoration. "Radio City: The Story Behind the Showplace" features interviews with Liza Minnelli (whose father, Vincent Minnelli, was the art director), Terri Garr (whose mother was an original Rockette) and Gavin MacLeod (a former usher).

The Moviemakers: Arthur Penn

Arthur Penn represents the first generation of directors to move from television to the movies. His "Bonnie and Clyde" is one of the touchstone works of its decade,k a brilliant summary of Sixties styles and attitudes. Taken together with his other films of that period, "Mickey One," "Alice's Restaurant," and "Little Big Man," it helped change the way movies looked and were looked at. "A movie is really an act of passion," Arthur Penn once said. This renowned director's passion is evident in every film project he has lent his vision to. Get to the man behind the camera and join "Hollywood Real to Reel" for an in-depth look at the career and life of this Hollywood original.


"Blame it on the movies." It's an American tradition that goes back to the very dawn of cinema. This original AMC production is an enlightening exploration of the link between early movie censorship and today's free speech battles, featuring scenes cut from such classic films as "The Birth of a Nation," and Charlie Chaplin's "Shoulder Arms." Join Hollywood Real to Reel as we explore the once-forbidden fruits of Hollywood in "Censored!"

20TH Century Fox: The First 50 Years

Learn all about the legendary studio that gave us such timeless classics as "All About Eve," and "The Sound of Music." 20th Century Fox has been a powerful Hollywood entity almost since the inception of the studio system. Find out how this particular studio has been able to produce quality films consistently over the years.

Hidden Hollywood I

Actress Joan Collins hosts this intriguing look at a delightful treasure trove of outtakes, screen tests, and other deleted material from various Fox films. Come along for a rare peek at some of those lost cinematic moments left on the cutting room floor and seen here for the first time. Enjoy long forgotten scenes from films such as Shirley Temple's "Little Miss Broadway" or Al Jolsen's rendition of "April Showers" in the film "Rose of Washington Square, along with countless other out-takes , dance rehearsals as well as makeup and wardrobe tests all uncovered in the 20th Century Fox studio vaults.

AFI Tribute to John Ford

Danny Kaye hosts this intriguing, bizarre tribute to one of the greatest Hollywood directors of all time. The speakers include John Wayne and Richard Nixon! Join "Hollywood Real to Reel" as we pay homage to this illustrious director in "AFI Tribute to John Ford."

The Moviemakers: Stanley Donen

He co-directed with Gene Kelly what may be the most beloved movie of all time, "Singin' In the Rain." Together with their "On the Town," they re-energized and re-invented the movie musical. Now its performers could, literally, dance in the streets, or on the ceiling ("Royal Wedding"), in a farmyard ("Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"), or with a cartoon mouse ("Anchors Aweigh"). There was something musical even about his non-musicals, the stylishly romantic "Two For the Road," the stylishly suspenseful "Charade." He was, possibly, the wittiest and most entertaining director of his era. Join "Hollywood Real to Reel" for an in-depth look at this revolutionary director in "The Moviemakers: Stanley Donen."

The Moviemakers: Burt Lancaster

From his early days as a circus acrobat to his Hollywood career that spanned over 40 years and encompassed over 70 films, Burt Lancaster was truly larger than life. Get an up-close and personal look at the renowned actor from friends and colleagues who knew him best, including interviews with Shirley Jones, Michael Douglas, Robert Wagner and director Sydney Pollack to name a few. Well into his thirties when he began his acting career, Burt Lancaster put his time to good use, earning himself four Academy Award nominations as well as forming the first independent, actor-dominated production company which produced the Oscar-winning films "Marty" (1955) and "The Bachelor Party" (1957). Join "Hollywood Real to Reel" for "The Moviemakers: Burt Lancaster."

The Attack of the 50 Foot Monstermania
This AMC original sequel to 1997's "Monstermania" pulls out the magnifying glass, er, telescope to take a closer look at the world of Really REALLY Big Monsters! King Kong, Godzilla, the 50-Foot Woman -- not a single massive monster is missed! Monster mavens will not want to let this special slip by.

Directed by William Wyler

He is responsible for epics like "Ben Hur," romantic sagas like "Wuthering Heights," classics like "Mrs. Miniver," musicals like "Funny Girl," and bubbly comedies like "How to Steal a Million." Though the genres he chose to work in were wildly disparate, director William Wyler left his unmistakable stamp on every film he made. Learn more about this astonishing auteur in "Hollywood Real to Reel: Directed by William Wyler."

James Dean: Portrait of a Rebel

James Deans' mythology is completely inseparable from the role he played in "Rebel Without a Cause." The film, and Dean, spoke directly to teens in 1955, because they presented a point of view that youths recognized as their own. The film rang true emotionally, setting up the world of teenagers as a separate universe. It treated their pain seriously, respecting it, instead of turning it into the subject for cute little comedies about "growing up." Discover the real James Dean behind the mountain of myth in "Hollywood Real to Reel: James Dean: Portrait of a Rebel."

The Moviemakers: Robert Wise

Robert Wise began his career as Orson Welles' editor on "Citizen Kane." He won Oscar®s for two of the most beloved musicals of all time, "West Side Story" and "The Sound of Music." His range is amazing, in itself a little history of the movies and their preoccupations. He did sci-fi ("The Day the Earth Stood Still" and the first "Star Trek" movie). He did horror ("The Curse of the Cat People" and "The Haunting"). He did westerns ("Blood on the Moor"), spectacles ("The Sand Pebbles"), and gritty realism ("The Set-Up"). Is there anything Robert Wise can't do? Find out on "Hollywood Real to Reel: The Moviemakers: Robert Wise."

Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey

In the wake of World War II, American cinema turned dark and difficult as Hollywood tackled a variety of postponed domestic problems. Racism, labor racketeering, middle-class angst and juvenile delinquency competed for marquee space with splashy musicals and straight-shooting horse operas. The films were dead serious and unapologetically arty -- downright wordy and preachy, according to their critics. No filmmaker better exemplified the postwar sensibility than Elia Kazan. Cofounder of the world-famous Actors Studio, name-dropper before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and director of a slew of landmark films, Kazan thrived on (and stumbled over) most of the artistic and political trends of his day. In a tribute to the master director "Hollywood Real to Reel" is presenting "Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey." Join us for a look at this riveting documentary about this controversial man.

Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick

Director William Wellman got the nickname "Wild Bill" in WWI -- as a Croix de Guerre-winning fighter pilot in France's Lafayette Flying Corps -- but William Augustus "Wild Bill" Wellman re-earned the tagline over and again. He stole cars. He was kicked out of high school for dropping a stink bomb on the principal. He got into fistfights with Spencer Tracy, John Wayne, and Darryl F. Zanuck, among countless others. Luckily for the movie-going public, however, he managed to temper his temper long enough to create some of the greatest films ever to hit celluloid. Take a closer look at the wild, yes, but ever-talented and remarkable William Wellman.

Hollywood Behind the Badge

Why does the American public seem to adore cops in film and on television, and abhor cops in real life? What makes us applaud Dirty Harry and at the same time sneer at the motorcycle cop we see approaching in the rearview mirror? Or, worse, flash our lights at oncoming motorists to warn them there's a speed trap ahead. "Hollywood Behind the Badge" traces our fascination with the police over the past hundred years, linking film and television cops to the historic events that defined what kind of screen characters they were. Don't miss this insightful analysis of the boys in blue on the silver screen.

The Making of "A Night to Remember"

The 14th of April, 1912: A night to remember. A night when the largest, most luxurious liner of her day was speeding across the North Atlantic on her maiden voyage. No expense had been spared to make this ship a symbol of man's final victory over nature. The ship was called 'The Titanic.' Well, we all know how THAT story turned out. Join "Hollywood Real to Reel" for "The Making of 'A Night to Remember'," all about the fine and memorable creation of the 1958 film "A Night to Remember," based on the book of the same title by Walter Lord. Real-life survivors were consulted on the shoot.

Trial Run: Hollywood Goes to Court

The courtroom drama is, in a way, a western. The theme is confrontation. The courtroom is the centerpiece of the final showdown. It's High Noon in which the lone gunfighter battles unconscionable odds, taking on a black-hatted adversary in the Armageddon of good versus evil. Well, we swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the great film genre known as the courtroom drama, in AMC's feature article "Trial Run: Hollywood Goes to Court"

Sabu the Elephant Boy

Sabu was a stable boy for an Indian royal when he was discovered in 1937 by Roberty Flaherty and cast as "The Elephant Boy" (1937). Sabu was an instant hit and made several Indian- and Arabian-themed movies with Britain's Sir Alexander Korda before heading to Hollywood, where he made a string of B-pictures with John Hall and Maria Montez, the "queen of Technicolor." There was never a less likely American war hero, but when World War II came, Sabu joined the U.S. Army. Unfortunately, when he returned interest in the type of movies he was best known for had eroded and he was unable to reinvent himself. He also had to fend off multiple lawsuits for paternity. (As a sidebar to his legal troubles, his neighbors in the San Fernando Valley once stormed City Hall to demand changes to zoning laws that would prevent Sabu from walking his pet elephant down Winetka Avenue.) Sabu died of a heart attack at a young 39 years of age. Join "Hollywood Real to Reel" for an in-depth biography of one of Hollywood's most memorable forgotten stars.

Between Heaven and Hell: Hollywood Looks at The Bible

When a book sells billions of copies, you can bet Hollywood will want to do a film adaptation. Since the beginning, filmmakers have been turning to the Bible for material: sometimes directly, as in "The Ten Commandments" (1923, 1956) and "Samson and Delilah" (1949), and sometimes as inspiration, as in "Rosemary's Baby" (1968) and "The Ruling Class" (1972). There have been more adaptations of episodes from the Bible than from Bram Stoker and Raymond Chandler combined. "Hollywood Real to Reel" showcases some of the most interesting and important films to draw on the Book.


These days, movies are marketed with a sophistication and class usually reserved for selling baby formula to third world countries. It's easy - take the stars, put them on the evening chat shows, make people think they have something to say by not letting them say anything, and people will shell out eighty bucks to see "Titanic" ten times, searching with every viewing for the hidden meanings that aren't there. Well, movies used to be more sophisticated and the promotional techniques used to promote them were also less like cudgels to the forebrain. "Hollywood Real to Reel" uncovers the inventive, less costly, but still sensational ways that studios and producers used to promote their films and their stars.


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