The birth of R.K.O. Radio Pictures is profiled through film clips and interviews with participants. Featured are interviews with Katharine Hepburn, Rudy Vallee, and Fay Wray. The making of the movies Cimarron, King Kong, and Flying down to Rio is also explored.
The effect of the war on RKO movies and its psychological legacy--film noir--are explored. Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer talk about their careers in film noir movies. The effects of the House Un-American Activities Committee on Hollywood and RKO are discussed by black-listed directors Edward Dmytryk and Paul Jarrico.
The story behind the making of the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals at RKO is told through film clips from their movies and interviews with Astaire, Rogers, and people involved in the productions.
The films featuring star actresses made by RKO in the 1930s are profiled. Actresses Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, and Lucille Ball discuss the film productions they were in and their roles in them.
The story of millionaire eccentric Howard Hughes' regime at RKO is told. Using the studio to showcase his protegees, Hughes led RKO into decline before it was finally sold as a television studio to Lucille Ball. Jane Greer, Janet Leigh, Joan Fontaine, Jane Russell, Robert Mitchum, Stewart Granger, and others tell bizarre tales of Hughes' behavior.
Orson Welles' career at RKO is examined, beginning with the critical success of Citizen Kane, followed by the film The magnificent Ambersons, and ending with an aborted production in Brazil, known as It's all true.