This fab montage appears in Intro of the 1980 Thames TV documentary by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill, “Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film.” Music by Carl Davis.

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24 thoughts on “Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film

  1. It is; however, it's not a CD of theme tunes (though it contains at least two), it's a CD of Carl Davis's music. Note that "Hollywood" has a middle section (which I'm not too keen on).

  2. Yes, by Carl Davis, who is quite a prolific composer (possibly best known for the theme to "The World at War"). IIRR, he has also done a lot with Kevin Brownlow in scoring (or in some cases I think re-scoring) old silent movies. See my answer to sajiman118 .

  3. I love this series!!!! I always love hearing the theme music too, it definitely makes me feel nostalgic.

  4. Back in the day when Blockbuster was clearing out their old inventory, you could have bought the whole series on VHS for $5.00 a tape. I decided to buy the last one I believe in the series: End of an Era, when they talk about sound coming in. I'm lucky I still have it, because I don't think they ever released these on DVD.

  5. I absolutely love this series and am revisiting it at the moment, which is what brought me to this video 🙂

  6. @crupprecht1
    It has the same effect on me. Carl Davis was the master at recapturing the beauty and grandeur of a bygone era.

  7. Had Carl Davis lived in the early 20th Century, the top pioneering film makers like De Mille, Griffith, Von Stroheim et al would have been constantly ringing his candlestick telephone asking him to compose music for their films.

  8. @Stratoszero : ALL of Carl Davis' music brings a tear to my eye. I don't know why either, but a lot of his themes carry heavy emotion…and this is why I like to use them 🙂

  9. What a fantastic series this was, the theme tune brings a tear to my eye for many a reason I can't quite pin down. I can still remember rushing downstairs after my Sunday evening before-school bath when I heard the music start! If I shut my eyes I can smell the Matey and feel the steam!

  10. @DanielCoeMusic Carl Davis also did the theme music for the documentary The World at War. He is a superb talent.

  11. Thanks so much for posting this video. The close up and pan of Clara Bow is one of my favorite scenes. I don't know what movie it's from, however. She was one of the greatest actresses ever!

  12. It's also an important historical document now. None of the talking heads on it will be alive today.

  13. I LOVED this miniseries as a kid; I watched each episode when it first aired in the US. Would love to get ahold of the vhs box set, but sellers usually want a mint (not that this great show isn't worth it!).

  14. They already have it on DVD, they have all the episodes over a 4 DVD set. The only problem is that there have been legal issues for a few years relating to it's release. SO when it will be released is in the lap of the God's I'm afraid. Shame as it's right at the very top of my wish list.

  15. Hi crupprecht1,

    Thank you for posting the beginning of Hollywood: The Pioneers. It's THE landmark documentary on silent film. If it had not been for this documentary and Sunset Boulevard, I would not have known a lot about silent film. Carl Davis' score is one of the most beautiful ever.

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