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<<did I hear right (I haven't checked my tape)?  Did one
individual identify CITIZEN KANE as being released in 1949 (!)?  He was
making the point that Orson Welles was the *first* director-as-star. This
also seems a dubious claim when you consider other directors who had their
names above the titles long before Welles--such as Cecil B. DeMille.>>
 
Yes, you heard right. Shocking, no? Griffith, DeMille, Fritz Lang, Alfred
Hitchcock, John Ford -- for God's sake, even Capra preceded him (His
autobiography was called "The Name Above the Title." The most shocked and
horrified perosn would unquestionably have been Orson Welles!
 
This comes from taking a shallow, trendy view of film history. Note that the
clips are generally from established and heavily covered films. No attempt at
correcting the public record or making new discoveries here.
 
As for your second point, this kind of error comes from virtually ignoring
the entire history of film prior to the mid-Thirties. This series is
sub-titled "One Hundred Years of American Cinema", right?
It actually covers about sixty years (and not particularly well or
extensively, considering it's ten hour length -- Saul Turell and Paul Killiam
did it better thirty years ago!)
 
I can't remember a more inept major series. I shudder to think that this
could become ammunition for the argument that we don't need PBS. I am
delighted now that they have been equally inept in publicizing the show. That
might be the smartest thing PBS has done in years.
 
Gene Stavis, School of Visual Arts, NYC