When the MGM Lion Roared: The Hollywood Studios by Colin Shindler – Thursday 5th January 2023

There were eight studios in Hollywood during its Golden Age and this lecture provides a helpful history from their early, tentative beginnings, through their full glory in the 1930s and 1940s, to their decline and dissolution in the 1950s and 1960s with the deaths of the founding movie moguls. The lecture will move from the silent stars Pickford, Fairbanks, Chaplin and Valentino through the films of the durable stars – Gable, Cooper, Garbo, Dietricht, Flynn and Davis. The lecture concludes with the decline of the studios and their takeover by conglomerates like Sony, Mitsibishi and Murdoch’s News Corporation.

Colin Shindler

Colin Shindler

Colin Shindler  was awarded his PHD at Cambridge University and subsequently lectured on film for their History Faculty between 1998 and 2019 exploring its relationship to modern British and American social and cultural history. He also teaches a variety of adult education courses at Madingley and Higham Hall in Cumbria and has lectured on cruises.

Between 1975 and 1999 he pursued a wide – ranging career as a writer and producer in television, radio and film, winning a BAFTA for his production of A Little Princess and being nominated for a US Prime Time Emmy for his production of Young Charlie Chaplin. He wrote the screenplay for the film Buster and was the producer of various television dramas such as Lovejoy and Wish Me Luck. He has written three novels as well as numerous TV scripts and radio plays.

His most recent play Leni Goes to Hollywood , about the German film director Leni Riefenstahl, was broadcast on Radio 4 in August 2021. Other radio plays for R4 included How To Be An Internee (about PG Wodehouse) and one on Private Eye and The Profumo Affair (Rumours). 

He is author of  Barbed Wire and Cucumber Sandwiches: The Controversial South Africa Cricket Tour of 1970  and is best known for childhood memoir Manchester United Ruined My Life which was short-listed  for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

Other publications include Hollywood Goes to War: Films and American Society 1939-1952 and Hollywood in Crisis: Films and American Society 1929-1939 and his non-fiction novel Garbo and Gilbert in Love. 

He is currently working on the television adaptation of his novel Hollywood Nazis. His next book is titled Granada Land: Coronation Street and the Emergence of the North 1960 -1970