Here’s another wonderful Christmas present from the good people over at the BBC Archive.

Following their captivating James Bond at the BBC online exhibition the BBC Archive have collected recorded interviews with the giants of Hollywood’s past which offer a wonderful and unique retrospective on Hollywood and movie making.

Giants of the silent era are captured in conversation and hearing Chaplin talk about his life in film is truly fascinating. Buster Keaton, Louise Brooks, Bette Davis are all present as are Alfred Hitchock, Orson Welles, Boris Karloff – it’s a goldmine. Some are amazing accounts of movie making from the 50s, others have the actors and directors reflecting on their careers and the changing face of Film.

A particular favourite is the brief interview with Louise Brooks who talks about her film Pandora’s Box, and the direction she received from Georg Wilhelm Pabst, which was simply – “In the afternoon, you will cry.” and there are numerous interviews, press conference recordings, audio newsreels and so much more.

Like the Bond archive this BBC collection is virtually unparalleled in its diversity and quality and if you’re a curious cinephile or a dedicated follower of silent cinema or Hollywood’s Golden Age there’s so much enjoy here.

Here’s the link to get you started, and below are a few stills from the BBC Archive to entice you further and there’s part of the press release from the BBC about Radio 4’s celebration of cinema so you know what to look forward to in 2011.

Highlights of Radio 4’s film season include: a personal history of film by historian and film critic David Thomson; broadcaster Francine Stock on pop-up cinema and Hollywood’s grip on the industry; artist filmmaker Isaac Julien on artists working in film; filmmaker Asif Kapadia on London’s underground filmmakers; broadcaster Barry Norman on the history of British cinema going; and writer, journalist and broadcaster Matthew Sweet on “pocket film”, featuring a specifically commissioned mobile phone film by British film director Gurinder Chadha. With contributions from: Oscar-winning film producer Sir David Puttnam; director Ken Loach; and director Sam Mendes. Radio 4’s The Film Programme and regular arts programme Front Row will also be supporting the season with special features on film.

To coincide with the season, the Radio 4 website has released over two hundred interviews with contemporary film stars, directors and producers broadcast on the network since 2002 via the Radio 4 Film Interview Collection. Interviewees include: Ben Affleck, Clint Eastwood, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron, the Coen Brothers, Helena Bonham Carter and Renee Zellweger.

And BBC Archive launches a large collection of radio interviews with the stars of the “Golden Age” of American cinema. Hollywood Voices features a mix of broadcasts and unedited interviews with film stars of the Thirties, Forties and Fifties – many available in full for the first time.

This historic collection has interviews with stars from Harold Lloyd to James Cagney, Debbie Reynolds to Rita Hayworth. Further highlights include: a “round table” with Charlie Chaplin; conversations with Buster Keaton and Louise Brooks on the early days of American cinema; a fiery exchange with Bette Davis; and an insight into the power of music courtesy of Alfred Hitchcock. Two galleries of photos from the BBC stills library also provide a rare glimpse of Hollywood glamour in and around the BBC from 1930-1970.