Program Details

One Hundred and Fifty-Six Pictures a Year . . . and Counting: Awesome Films that Got Lost in the Crowd

Kurt F. Stone
Movies / Arts & Letters

Course Description

During the height of Hollywood’s “studio era,” (c.1920-1955) each of the major studios, e.g. Paramount, MGM, Fox, Warner Brothers, turned out 52 “A” and 104 “B” pictures a week. All told, Hollywood studios turned out more than one thousand pictures a year. Then again, the average movie-goer went to the local cinema, on average, three times a week. Among these thousands of films, there were future classics, contemporary winners and dogs, which were quickly and deservedly forgotten. In this series, attendees will be viewing eight films from Hollywood's glory days of studio-era Hollywood, which though mostly long-forgotten, are, in Dr. Stone’s opinion, both first-class and deserving of being seen all over again.


  1. The Last Flight (Warner Bros., 1931): About the “lost generation” which owes much to Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Starring Richard Barthelmess, and Helen Chandler.
  2. Of Human Bondage (RKO, 1934): Unquestionably the best of three adaptations of the celebrated Somerset Maugham novel, starring Bette Davis and Leslie Howard.
  3. Ruggles of Red Gap (Paramount, 1935): A comedy about a proper British butler who is won in a poker game and taken out West. Starring Charles Laughton.
  4. The Gilded Lily (Paramount, 1935): The best of the seven movies starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert. A romantic comedy.
  5. Three Comrades (MGM, 1938): Adapted from a best-selling novel by Erich Maria Remarque. This was the first and only film for which F. Scott Fitzgerald received credit. Starring Robert Taylor and Margaret Sullivan.
  6. Showboat (Universal, 1936): The first movie musical that showed the power of sound. Based on the novel by Edna Ferber, starring Irene Dunne, and Paul Robson.
  7. In Old Chicago (Fox, 1938): Tyrone Power and Alice Faye; Mrs. O’Leary’s cow causes the great Chicago Fire.
  8. Ah, Wilderness! (MGM, 1935): Based on playwright Eugene O’Neil’s only comedy, starring Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Berry and Mickey Rooney.

About the Instructor

  • Kurt F. Stone, DD, is now in his 23rd year with Lifelong Learning. His passion for film is, he says, "genetic," having been born in Hollywood, CA, and raised both in and around the movie industry. Stone is a multi-disciplinary sort of man, who has also written two well-received books on Congress, published nearly 900 essays, is an ordained rabbi and earns his living as a medical ethicist.

    Recipient of the 2004 Excellence in Teaching Award

Upcoming programs presented by Kurt F. Stone.

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