THE MEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES: KING VIDOR. TCM. 2001.
This is a profile of the great director and his films; there isn't much about his personal life, which might have enriched an already fascinating program. However, this is still a solid look at the man behind the helm of such films as The Crowd, The Big Parade, The Champ (with its moving performance by Jackie Cooper); Our Daily Bread, which Vidor financed himself when MGM found the subject matter too unglamourous; Show People (with Marion Davies); The Citadel; all the sepia sequences in The Wizard of Oz; Solomon and Sheba with its great "mirror" battle scene; and The Fountainhead with Cooper and Neal. Vidor discusses the tragic life of James Murray who starred in The Crowd, and even talks a bit about the much-maligned Beyond the Forest, which doesn't deserve the scorn heaped upon it if for no other reason than Vidor directed it and his direction is as vivid as ever. He even talks about working with David Selznick on Duel in the Sun (Vidor was co-director) which started out as a small, unusual western and ballooned into an epic that Selznick hoped would rival Gone With the Wind.
Verdict: Quite entertaining and informative. ***.