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Behind the Scenes in Hollywood

Bidwell McCormick worked in the publicity department at RKO and produced this show to share the magic of the movies. This old time radio show gives listeners an up close and personal look at the action behind the cameras in the golden age of Hollywood.

18 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 3 hours, 48 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
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4 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from March 07, 1945:

"Profile of Irene Dunn and Joan Blondell"



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Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2019 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

RKO Pictures
RKO Pictures produced a 15 minute radio show in 1945 that provided listeners and fans with a look behind the curtain at the inner workings of a studio. The show was hosted by RKO publicist Bidwell McCormick.

There were star profiles, information about the books they wrote, hobbies, movies they were starring in and upcoming movies. For instance, did you know Edward G. Robinson did not like guns and had to work hard to keep his eyes open whenever he fired a gun in a movie.

Edward G Robinson with ArtThe show also provided interesting technical information about what it takes to shoot a movie. For example, even though about 90% of the movies in 1945 were shot in black and white, all of the sets were in bright, living color. Cinematographers said that the colors provided a much better look on film than using shades of black, white, and gray.

The hosts also provided a lot of the same time of information you find today like which books were optioned for movies, movie release dates, and so much more. If you are an old movie fan, this series provides fascinating background so don't miss it!

Movies are all about make-believe. That is something that even the most unsophisticated viewer understands, accepts and promptly forgets. It is part of what makes movies so magical. Movie magic is a lot more fun than stage magic. If the audience knows how the trick is done, the stage magician's show is ruined but the "magicians" who worked in Hollywood's big studios were more than happy to share how their tricks are done.

Knowing how movies are made seems to make audiences even more excited to see the final result and to a studio boss, anything that gets more people to the box office is a good thing. This leads to the belief that any publicity is good publicity, and studio publicity departments know that if people are talking about a movie, eventually they are going to buy a ticket and see the movie.

Bidwell McCormick worked in the publicity department at RKO and kept an ear out for what was happening in and around the movie industry. It becomes apparent that the movie business was more than just a way for McCormick to put supper on the table, he became entranced with the entire filmmaking industry. To share this passion, he put together a weekly quarter-hour radio program called Behind the Scenes in Hollywood. Whether his employer, RKO Studios, had anything to do with the program is difficult to say. The fact that McCormick handled the program's syndication himself seems to indicate that the studio was not involved, but the most telling detail is the amateurish performances and production values of the programs. Actors, films, and techniques from all the major studios are discussed on the program.

Listening to McCormick hosting the show it seems obvious that he has little background in public speaking or acting, however, the content of the program displays an encyclopedic knowledge of movies, production techniques, Movie Stars, and Hollywood gossip. The other voices on the program, Nathan Hale and Manna Ray Eule, seem to have a more professional radio presence. Hale particularly may have been a pseudonym used by an actor working at Allied Recording, the studio where the syndicated program was recorded.

Although the on-air performances may not be first-rate, the material covered is truly unique and interesting. Personalities Hedy Lamarr, Ronald Colman, midget Billy Barty, Danny Kaye, Pat O'Brien, Larraine Day, Claire Trevor, Janice Paige, and Dick Powell are all profiled in different episodes. Technical discussions range from costuming choices to scenery painting for black and white films to Disney's techniques for combining live actors and animated characters in The Three Caballeros (1944).

The recording dates listed for Behind the Scenes in Hollywood are all January 1944, but it seems likely that the recording sessions were spread out over a series of weeks or months. The recordings were discovered amongst the estate of Bidwell McCormick and represent an inside look at the movie industry during Hollywood's Golden Age.

See also the simliarly titled radio program: Behind the Scenes.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2019 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:

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  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    18 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 3 hours, 48 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      18 shows - total playtime 3 hours 48 minutes
      1. Btsih 01 Creating Breastplates For Robe.mp3
      2. Btsih 02 Henry Hulls Difficulty Doing Death Scene Obj Burma.mp3
      3. Btsih 03 What Makes A Star Succeed In Hollywood.mp3
      4. Btsih 04 Profiles Of Pat Obrien And Lorraine Day.mp3
      5. Btsih 05 Profiles Of Hedy Lamar And Danny Kaye.mp3
      6. Btsih 06 Getting Difficult Shots In Movies.mp3
      7. Btsih 07 Little People Responsible Success Motion Pictures.mp3
      8. Btsih 08 Profiles Of Cary Grant And Virginia Mayo.mp3
      9. Btsih 09 Sound Technicians Role In Making Movies.mp3
      10. Btsih 10 Profile Of Paulette Goddard.mp3
      11. Btsih 11 Ban On Sightseers In Productions.mp3
      12. Btsih 12 Comparing Hollywood Studio To Industrial Plant.mp3
      13. Btsih 13 Profile Of Paul Lukas.mp3
      14. Btsih 14 Profiles Of Irene Dunn And Joan Blondell.mp3
      15. Btsih 15 Rita Hayworths Aversion Manmade Fog Got Trouble.mp3
      16. Btsih 16 Dubbing Actors How Sound Recorded For Films.mp3
      17. Btsih 17 Getting Photgenic Ice For A Sonja Henne Picture.mp3
      18. Btsih 18 Profile Of Van Johnson.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    18 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 3 hours, 48 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      18 shows - total playtime 3 hours 48 minutes
      1. Btsih 01 Creating Breastplates For Robe.mp3
      2. Btsih 02 Henry Hulls Difficulty Doing Death Scene Obj Burma.mp3
      3. Btsih 03 What Makes A Star Succeed In Hollywood.mp3
      4. Btsih 04 Profiles Of Pat Obrien And Lorraine Day.mp3
      5. Btsih 05 Profiles Of Hedy Lamar And Danny Kaye.mp3
      6. Btsih 06 Getting Difficult Shots In Movies.mp3
      7. Btsih 07 Little People Responsible Success Motion Pictures.mp3
      8. Btsih 08 Profiles Of Cary Grant And Virginia Mayo.mp3
      9. Btsih 09 Sound Technicians Role In Making Movies.mp3
      10. Btsih 10 Profile Of Paulette Goddard.mp3
      11. Btsih 11 Ban On Sightseers In Productions.mp3
      12. Btsih 12 Comparing Hollywood Studio To Industrial Plant.mp3
      13. Btsih 13 Profile Of Paul Lukas.mp3
      14. Btsih 14 Profiles Of Irene Dunn And Joan Blondell.mp3
      15. Btsih 15 Rita Hayworths Aversion Manmade Fog Got Trouble.mp3
      16. Btsih 16 Dubbing Actors How Sound Recorded For Films.mp3
      17. Btsih 17 Getting Photgenic Ice For A Sonja Henne Picture.mp3
      18. Btsih 18 Profile Of Van Johnson.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    18 recordings on 4 Audio CDs
    total playtime 3 hours, 48 min

    Behind the Scenes in Hollywood Disc A001

    1. Btsih 01 Creating Breastplates For Robe
    2. Btsih 02 Henry Hulls Difficulty Doing Death Scene Obj Burma
    3. Btsih 03 What Makes A Star Succeed In Hollywood
    4. Btsih 04 Profiles Of Pat Obrien And Lorraine Day
    5. Btsih 05 Profiles Of Hedy Lamar And Danny Kaye

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Behind the Scenes in Hollywood Disc A002

    1. Btsih 06 Getting Difficult Shots In Movies
    2. Btsih 07 Little People Responsible Success Motion Pictures
    3. Btsih 08 Profiles Of Cary Grant And Virginia Mayo
    4. Btsih 09 Sound Technicians Role In Making Movies

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Behind the Scenes in Hollywood Disc A003

    1. Btsih 10 Profile Of Paulette Goddard
    2. Btsih 11 Ban On Sightseers In Productions
    3. Btsih 12 Comparing Hollywood Studio To Industrial Plant
    4. Btsih 13 Profile Of Paul Lukas
    5. Btsih 14 Profiles Of Irene Dunn And Joan Blondell

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Behind the Scenes in Hollywood Disc A004

    1. Btsih 15 Rita Hayworths Aversion Manmade Fog Got Trouble
    2. Btsih 16 Dubbing Actors How Sound Recorded For Films
    3. Btsih 17 Getting Photgenic Ice For A Sonja Henne Picture
    4. Btsih 18 Profile Of Van Johnson

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
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