The Most Famous Movie Studio That You’ve Never Heard of Before: Next on TVC

Authors Kevin Hamilton, Neil O’Gorman, Herbie J Pilato, and Torchy Smith will join us this weekend for a brand new edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Friday at 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org.

It’s hard to imagine the U.S. military running a major film studio out of Hollywood—least of all, one that engaged the services of such Hollywood stars as James Stewart and Marilyn Monroe. Yet during the Cold War era, from 1947 until 1969, that is exactly what happened. The most important motion picture studio that few people have ever heard of, Lookout Mountain Laboratory—a U.S. Government operation that was officially known as 1352nd Photographic Group of the United States Air Force—will be the focus of the second hour of this weekend’s TV CONFIDENTIAL.

Located in the hills of Laurel Canyon in Hollywood, Lookout Mountain Laboratory made hundreds of movies, processed hundreds of thousands of feet of film, stored volumes of Cold War imagery, and served as a regular meeting spot for atomic scientists, military brass, and Hollywood professionals. If you have ever seen footage or images of a nuclear mushroom cloud, chances are that photo or footage originated from Lookout Mountain. In the course of its history, Lookout Mountain Laboratory worked closely with the most important innovators in scientific and technical film and photography at the time, while also collaborating with such Hollywood luminaries as John Ford, James Stewart, Susan Hayward, and Marilyn Monroe.

Joining this week will be Kevin Hamiliton and Ned O’Gorman, co-authors of Lookout America: The Secret Hollywood Studio at the Heart of the Cold War, the first thorough history of Lookout Mountain Laboratory and the role it played in shaping not only how Baby Boomers and their families viewed the Cold War, but much of our political culture today. A rollicking story that depicts an unlikely mix of Hollywood artists, nuclear scientists, and military movers, Lookout America includes hundreds of breathtaking photographs, plus easy-to-follow charts, graphs, timelines, side bars, screen grabs, and a ton of information. Kevin Hamilton and Ned O’Gorman will join us in our second hour.

Speaking of Baby Boomers… While popular films and TV shows have changed over the years, certain themes, such as family and fun, have never gone out of style. Baby Boomers know that better than anyone else, and few people can speak for the Baby Boomer generation—and, particularly the eternal appeal of certain TV stars of the Baby Boomer generation—better than Torchy Smith. Host of Baby Boomers Talk Radio, an interview show featuring celebrities from the Baby Boomer generation, Torchy has appeared on numerous radio programs as a commentator on where Baby Boomers fit in today’s world. Torchy Smith will join us in our first hour.

Torchy’s new book, Shooting the Breeze with Baby Boomer Stars: Surprising Celebrity Conversations for the Retro Generation, is a collection of fifty first-hand accounts of such Baby Boomer celebrities as Jerry Mathers, Bill Mumy, Cubby O’Brien, Stephen Furst, Judy Norton, Cindy Williams, Clint Howard, Celeste Yarnall, Angela Cartwright, George Wyner, and Kathryn Leigh Scott.

Also this week: We will play Part 2 of Greg Ehrbar’s interview with author and TV historian Herbie J Pilato. Herbie’s books include Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitching Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery and Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Story, the first objective cradle-to-grave biography of the star of The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

For our listeners in Southern California, Herbie J Pilato will appear at the Cerritos Millenium Library in Cerritos, CA on Wednesday, June 12, starting at 7:30pm.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
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