Dolly Havens, a small-town girl with big-town ambitions that are larger than her talents, hooks up with Johnny Storm, a vaudeville performer, whose talents make the act a success. Dolly, ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Dolly Haven
Johnny Storm
Sam Davis
Dixie Mason
Miss Weaver
Mr. Weston
Wallace King
Stage Manager


Dolly Havens, a small-town girl with big-town ambitions that are larger than her talents, hooks up with Johnny Storm, a vaudeville performer, whose talents make the act a success. Dolly, thinking she is the reason, meets a handsome leading man and joins up with him but, before long, he discovers 'she ain't a trouper' and she is soon performing with 4th-class acts in Tank Town America. Written by Les Adams <>

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The picture that goes 'back-stage' - and reveals the thrilling drama that stalks there! (original poster) See more »


Drama | Romance






Release Date:

7 November 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Artistenblut  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Puppet used in Christmas Eve Scene was the same puppet Lon Chaney used in The Unholy Three (1925) at his Ventriloquist Scenes. See more »

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User Reviews

Norma has Stars in Her Eyes!!!
14 June 2010 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

From extra roles in "The Flapper" (a delightful Olive Thomas movie about hijinks in a girl's school) and "Way Down East", by 1926 Norma Shearer was definitely being noticed. With an MGM contract and a burning ambition, her career was carefully managed by Irving Thalberg (whom she would later marry). Originally playing "sweet young things", around this time she was confidant enough to demand more three dimensional roles ie "The Tower of Lies", "The Devil's Circus" and "Lady of the Night". Monta Bell is not remembered today but back in the twenties his name spelled style and class and it was believed that he bought out the best in stars such as Norma Shearer and Jeanne Eagels.

Dolly Haven (Norma Shearer) fresh from a small town business school and just fresh!!! has come to make her mark in the big city. She applies for a job as a stenographer to a theatrical agent (...must be a gentleman - he prefers blondes!!! says the witty title) but is accidentally hired as a dancer when Johnny Storm (Oscar Shaw) comes in, looking for a replacement partner. It is clear from the start that she hasn't any talent but when Johnny sees her walk up the stairs he decides to make it a "class" act - he provides the talent, she provides the class. Applying her make-up like a clown, whistling in a dressing room - she still has a lot to learn about the theatre but she is a BIG success (Norma looks absolutely gorgeous with a short bob, a beautiful evening gown with a spider web pattern and a magnificent feather fan). Even though Johnny has the talent, Dolly is the one who is noticed. "And did Dolly learn fast...she was soon ready to graduate". She is soon the toast of Broadway and critics are saying she should have more to do - and Dolly agrees!! Meanwhile, enter oily vaudevillian, Wallace King, who steals her away for his own act. They are a flop, King is not as talented as Johnny, so he needs someone to support him and not just look "pretty". But Dolly now has a head the size of a room and decides to go as a single. It is only when she cannot find work that she realises that Johnny paid for all the publicity and photos. After taking a good, hard look at herself, she decides to take the chorus girl's job she was offered (but refused). It is a big come down but she is now eating a massive piece of humble pie!!! Johnny is playing the same bill but while Dolly sees him - he doesn't notice her. When a little girl falls from the balcony Dolly proves she is now a real trouper by taking the mother's place (she is in a knife throwing act) and risking her own life as the father (the knife thrower) loses his nerve in his anxiety about his child.

Norma Shearer does an excellent job (as usual) as Dolly. Oscar Shaw was a Broadway "juvenile" (at the time of this movie he was almost 40), who only made a few films, usually musicals, but in "Upstage" proved he could dance up a storm. Gwen Lee was a beautiful, stately actress - she played Dixie Mason.

Highly Recommended.

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