top of page
Watching a Movie

Steven Bingen

Best-selling author, film historian, lecturer, archivist, filmmaker, and contributor to dozens of books, articles, and documentaries about cinema history.

- Recent and Coming Soon! -
TCM Classic Film Festival 2024
Saturday April 20, 2024, 4:30pm - 5:30pm  

Culver City Historical Society
-M-G-M: THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION (Cohost, streaming Below!)
Tuesday-April 23, 2024-7 p.m.-Veteran Center-4117 Overland Avenue-Culver City-CA FREE

Book! Hollywood Behind the Lens: Treasures from the Bison Archives (Author, Publication date, May, 2023) 


(Click on cover for details)

91man5YnfnL._SL1500_ (1).jpg
MGM 50 cover.jpg
MGM Effect cover.jpg
easy rider cover v51CvU20OOLL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

The Fifty MGM Films That Transformed Hollywood (2022)


The MGM Effect: How a Hollywood Studio Changed the World (2022)

Easy Rider: Fifty Years Looking for America (2019)

3 (5).jpg

Hollywood’s Lost Backlot: 40 Acres of Glamour and Mystery (2018)

Paramount: City of Dreams (2016)

Warner Bros. Hollywood’s Ultimate Backlot (2014)

MGM cover.jpg

MGM: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot (2011)

WB Gates 2 6611555.jpg

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of: A Historical Look Behind the Gates of Warner Bros. Studios (2005, introduction, assorted content)


Phantom of the Backlots Presents...Uninvited Visitor, The Adventure Continues, by Donnie Norden (2024) (endorsement)

The Cavalry Trilogy: John Ford, John Wayne, and the Making of Three Classic Westerns, by Michael F. Blake (2024) 

The Tunesmith: The Musical Journey of M.K. Jerome, by Gary May (2023)

The Complete Beau Geste, by Frank Thompson (2023)

Errol Flynn: The Illustrated Life Chronology, by Robert Florczak (2022)

Phantom of the Backlots Presents: Hole in the Fence, by Donnie Norden (2022) (introduction)

MGM Style: Cedric Gibbons and the Art of the Golden Age of Hollywood, by Howard Gutner (2019) (endorsement)

The Shawshank Redemption Revealed, by Mark Dawidziak (2018) (endorsement)

Reagan: An American Journey, by Bob Spitz (2018)

Twentieth Century Fox: A Century of Entertainment, by Michael Troyan, Jeffery Paul Thompson, and Stephen X. Sylvester (2017)

The Complete James Murray Mysteries 1931-1939, by Christopher Geoffrey McPherson (2016) (introduction)

Leading Couples: The Most Unforgettable Screen Romances of the Studio Era, by Turner Classic Movies (2008)

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story, by Richard Schickel and George Perry (2008)

Leading Men: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actors of the Studio Era, By Turner Classic Movies (2006)

Leading Ladies: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actresses of the Studio Era, By Turner Classic Movies (2006)

King Kong: History of a Movie Icon from Fay Wray to Peter Jackson, by Ray Morton (2005)

In The Picture: Production Stills from the TCM Archives, by Turner Classic Movies (2004)


“Farewell, My Lovely: Out of the Dark” Cinema Retro, Volume 11, Issue 31, 2015

 “The Phantom of Hollywood Revisited” Filmfax, Fall, 2010

“Research Libraries: Not Just the Facts” Perspective, Dec-Jan, 2010

“Kevin McCarthy Interviewed” Mondo Cult, January 2006

Media & Persdonal Apearanes


100 Years of Warner Bros (2023) – guest/commentator

Pollywood (2020) - guest/commentator

Les couples mythiques du cinéma  - guest/commentator

      Steve McQueen & Ali MacGraw (2019)

      Clark Gable & Carole Lombard (2017)

       Jean Harlow & William Powell (2017)

       Barbara Stanwyck & Robert Taylor (2017)

       Katherine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy (2017)

La saga des comédies musicales hollywoodiennes/Le tournant (2015)

     - guest/commentator

La saga des comédies musicales hollywoodiennes/l'âge d'or (2015)

     - guest/commentator

La fabuleuse histoire des studios hollywoodiens: MGM (2014)

     - guest/commentator

Beyond the Marquee (2012) - guest/commentator

The Ghastly Love of Johnny X (2012) – screenwriter

Bob and Carl, Ted and Tyler (2011) – director

1939: Hollywood’s Greatest Year (2009) - researcher

‘S Wonderful: The Making of An American in Paris (2008) - researcher

Thank Heaven! The Making of Gigi (2008) - researcher

Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin, and Censorship in Precede Hollywood (2008) - researcher

Warner at War (2008) – researcher

Private Screenings: Shirley MacLaine (2003) – researcher

Podcast Appearances  

Inglorious Treksperts

     "40 Acres and a Metron"

Movie Nights and Matinees

     "Teeth of the Lion"

Movie Reviews and Serious Nonsense

     2 appearances

The Commentary Track   

     2 appearances 

Web-based articles, interviews and miscellany  


Interview: “A Lot of Memories: Steven Bingen Talks about MGM: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot” (DVD Talk)

Article: "The Micro Movie House: An Improbable History” (World Cinema Paradise)

Article: "The Seven Sisters: Movie Studios and their Backlots” (World Cinema Paradise)


Steve's Amazon Author Page


Steve's IMDB Page




"Reading this was like being there.

I know.

I was there." 

Clint Eastwood, actor, director


“One of the foremost Hollywood historians.”

Cinema Retro Magazine


"(Bingen) presents MGM as a concrete environment without losing the wonder and magic that were its product."

Jeanine BasingerThe Wall Street Journal



"Reading this was like being there.

I know.

I was there." 

Clint Eastwood, actor,



“One of the foremost Hollywood historians.”


Cinema Retro 



"{Bingen} presents MGM as a concrete environment without losing the wonder and magic that were its product."

Jeanine BasingerThe Wall Street Journal


"A charismatic and extremely knowledgeable presenter."


Sian Winship, Society of Architectural Historians



"Perhaps the most unusual, and exciting addition to the library of movie books...Bingen doesn't miss a trick."


Leonard Maltin, critic,

film historian



"As a historian of Hollywood studios, he's in a class by himself."


Frank Thompson, author, film historian



Steven Bingen is an author, archivist, historian, filmmaker and contributor to dozens of books, articles, and documentaries regarding film history.


For nearly two decades, Steven worked as an archivist/staff historian at Warner Bros. Studio. While there, he was responsible for evaluating, maintaining, and preserving that legendary company’s physical assets and its intangible legacy. He also spent a lot of time crawling around storied studio backlots, underground catacombs, and cavernous soundstages. In 2011, Steven moved from those soundstages to the written word and published MGM: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot, which was notable for being the first significant volume ever published about a movie studio as a physical and architectural location. Featuring an introduction by actress Debbie Reynolds, the book’s surprise success (4 printings in the first 18 months) was also matched by enthusiastic reviews. Jeanine Basinger in The Wall Street Journal marveled about how the book managed to “present MGM as a concrete environment without losing the wonder and magic that were its product.” Praise from within the Hollywood community included accolades from celebrities and filmmakers ranging from Clint Eastwood to Angela Lansbury.

The MGM volume was followed by Warner Bros: Hollywood’s Ultimate Backlot (2014) -- about his longtime alma mater, Paramount: City of Dreams (2016), Hollywood’s Lost Backlot: 40 Acres of Glamor and Mystery (2018), Easy Rider; Fifty Years Looking for America (2019), The MGM Effect: How a Hollywood Studio Changed the World50 MGM Films that Transformed Hollywood (both 2022) and Hollywood Behind the Lens (2024).


Steven Bingen’s career as a film historian has benefited greatly from the insight which comes from decades of work toiling in the very business about which he writes and has given him the insight to combine an enduring fascination with movies with an insider’s fluent, sometimes cynical comprehension of the business itself and its culture. This probably also makes him one of the few movie authors who have actually gotten their hands dirty toiling on a movie set.


Steven is also that rarest of Hollywood commodities; a produced screenwriter – he penned the cult favorite; The Ghastly Love of Johnny X. Which you will all surely remember as the lowest-grossing commercially released film of 2012.

Not at all surprisingly, Steven Bingen lives in Los Angeles – the world’s largest backlot.  



For publishing-related inquiries, please contact Marilyn Allen at

Allen O'Shea Literary Agency

For personal appearance, media-related or other inquiries email:

Special limited time offer! Subscribe to our mailing list below and receive a free, downloadable PDF map of 20th Century Fox Studios (circa 1960) --

never published anywhere and never made available to the general public!

Stay up-to-date with Steven Bingen's latest news, events, and more!

Follow Steven Bingen on social media:

Thanks for subscribing!

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon

Steven Bingen author page

MGM backlot site

Paramount backlot site

bottom of page