When a group of disenfranchised first and second-generation Americans discovered that the American Dream didn’t apply to them, they headed west. Their destination – an arid stretch of coastal California – where they built a new empire where anything was possible. The motion picture industry was born, and the movies quickly went from low-brow entertainment to the greatest mass communication the world had ever seen. When the studio moguls and artists realized how much was at stake, the battle lines were drawn.
Louis B. Mayer, the Warner brothers, Charlie Chaplin, William Randolph Hearst, Mary Pickford and more. These were the men and women who clashed and conspired, fighting to hold their own on untested ground. The tensions between them literally ruined lives, while inspiring millions across the globe. Despite the bitter competition — or perhaps, because of it — Hollywood invented a new cultural identity for America. Through the Great Depression, the rise of Hitler, and WWII… the country was reborn. And it all happened at the movies.