Tonight at 8pm EST, TCM will be showing the terrific, eye-opening documentary Carl Laemmle (2019). This movie has special significance for me in that I had the honor of presenting it at the Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Fesival, in November 2019, making it my last out-of-town speaking engagement prior to Covid. But besides all that, it is an eye-opening film. We are accustomed to thinking of that founding generation of movie moguls as rapacious, cold-blooded monsters, but Laemmle seems to have had a heart as big as all outdoors. He was in fact, a hero, responsible for getting lots of people out of Europe when the Nazis came to power — spent a lot of time, money, and effort doing so, at a time when much of Hollywood was taking a “wait and see” approach about Hitler. A must-see movie. My own piece about Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Pictures is here.
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