There was a time when ITV, specifically Thames and, to a lesser extent Granada, produced award winning televison documentaries.

One of my favourites, and I know I am not alone, was Hollywood, Kevin Brownlow and David Gill’s homage to the early years of cinema, the ‘silent’ era.

As they point out in episode one, films were never silent. There was music, sound effects and audience reaction.

The series set out to show clips from some of the great films, nicely restored, shown at the right speed with orchestral music by Carl Davis, as it might have been at many of the larger cinemas when the films were released. They were put into context. Fortunately, many early film stars were still around then (late 1970s) to give interviews.

The series generated a huge amount of interest, and Thames (and later Channel 4) started a series of annual showings in London and elsewhere with Carl Davis conducting. These were always well attended.

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