Hollywood has long been revered as the mecca of the movie world, and many people have forgotten -- if they ever knew -- that a thriving cinema scene developed in Europe during the great silent film era. British film historians Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, who years ago made a comprehensive survey of those days in Hollywood, now remind film lovers of that fact, with this six-part look at the "other Hollywood" of Europe's silent film era. The cinematic efforts in France, Sweden, Germany, and Great Britain are showcased, using archival film footage and interviews with actors and directors, from Sir John Gielgud to Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock to Simon Feldman. The documentary shows how many of the artistic devices that are standard in the industry were first developed in Europe, including the use of color and special effects, soundtracks, and the now ubiquitous chase scene. The final volume in the series, narrated by Kenneth Branaugh, examines the causes for the passing of the golden era of filmmaking in Europe. The mantle of cinema art passed to America, when the European film industry faced insurmountable difficulties. The coming of the talkies brought language barriers; the World Wars brought death and destruction, and the persecution of the Jews. Many artists fled to film's new promised land in America. It was the end of an era.
by Rose of Sharon Winter synopsis