On board a train en route to Los Angeles, runaway bride Remember Steddon, believing now that she married in haste, abandons her husband, Owen Scudder, not knowing at the time that Scudder had previously married and murdered solely for money. Unprepared to be on her own, Mem, as she is known to her friends, accidentally stumbles across the outdoor set of a Hollywood movie directed by Frank Claymore. Mem is welcomed onto the set by the cast and crew. But as the shooting moves on, Mem decides to pursue other avenues, as she had been taught by her conservative parents that movie acting was a disreputable occupation. But needing work, Mem decides to try her hand at being an actress. This task is easier said than done, until she runs across Claymore again, he who is determined to make her a star. As her movie stardom does indeed rise, so does the admiration of adoration of legions, including her director Claymore, and her leading man Tom Holby. A further consequence of her stardom is that ... Written by
"The Usual Sheik Led the Usual Captive Across the Usual Dessert"
So reads a title card in this not brilliant but enormously entertaining comedy-drama from 1923. Rupert Hughes did the screenplay and the direction from his own novel and he has a great main cast, including Eleanor Boardman, Richard Dix, Mae Busch, William Haines, Lew Cody.... well, the list goes on and on, because there are dozens of cameos here, including shots of Chaplin directing A WOMAN OF Paris and von Stroheim directing GREED, in this kindhearted look at Hollywood. It is a feast for lovers of old movies who love to play spot the stars, and everyone seems to be having a fine old time.
True, the print is a bit battered, but in compensation TCM has just had a new score commissioned for it, part of their Young Composers series. I must say it is the best score they have had done since they started this, and it does what a score should do: underline and intensify the mood of the movie and, in the sentiments of Charlie Chaplin, give the audience something nice to listen to if the movie is a stinker.
It's not a must see movie if you're looking for great film making, but if you're looking for a great popcorn movie, this is one from 1923. It's well worth the time of any film buff.
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