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The Universal Story (1996)

An overview of the history of film studio Universal Pictures, featuring clips from many of its films.


David Heeley




Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Dreyfuss ... Himself
Lew Ayres ... Himself (archive footage)
Kirk Douglas ... Himself (archive footage)
Michael J. Fox ... Himself (archive footage)
Tom Hanks ... Himself (archive footage)
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself (archive footage)
Boris Karloff ... Himself (archive footage)
Susan Kohner ... Herself (archive footage)
Spike Lee ... Himself (archive footage)
Mary Tyler Moore ... Herself (archive footage)
Paul Newman ... Himself (archive footage)
Gregory Peck ... Himself (archive footage)
Mary Pickford ... Herself (archive footage)
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Himself (archive footage)
Sid Sheinberg ... Himself (archive footage)


Richard Dreyfuss hosts a celebration of the 80 year history of Universal Studios. Founded as IMP by Carl Leammle to oppose Edison's Motion Picture Tust, it soon grew under the leadership of 21 year old production head Irving Thalberg with classic silents from artists like John Ford, Erich Von Stroheim, and Lon Chaney and prospered further in the Sound Era under the leadership of Carl Leammle Jr. with such classics as "All Quiet on The Western Front," "Showboat," and the studio's signature monster franchises, "Frankenstein" and "Dracula." The Leammle's loss of the studio is covered up through it's merger with International pictures in the 40s The 1950s ushered in the studio's star development program with Rock Hudson and Tony Curtis and its star/studio profit-sharing policy that began with James Stewart. The evolution into the modern Universal of today began in the early 60s with its takeover by MCA and the creative leadership of Lew Wasserman and its partnerships with creative ... Written by duke1029@aol.com

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Release Date:

21 April 1996 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Universal-Story See more »

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Did You Know?


Features Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969) See more »

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A rip off
21 August 2002 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Purportedly this is the story of Universal Pictures (narrated by Richard Dreyfuss). They do tell you how it started and who who started it but then they whiz through the silent films all the way up to the 70s in the first hour. A lot of very important films they made are totally missing--1 hour is not enough!

The last hour falls apart. They concentrate only on the films of the 80s and early 90s (this came out in 1995). Also they only show the big hits and give us needlessly long clips from all of them. And they go out of the way in giving a tribute to Steven Spielberg. There's nothing wrong with Spielberg but they really overdo. We get looooonnnngggg clips from virtually every movie he made from Universal--the only one missing is his only bomb "1941".

Basically this turns into just a puff piece showing off Universal's big hits. That's too bad--a more balanced view of Universal would be better.

I'm giving it a 6 only for the clips.

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