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Hollywood Bound (1928)

A hotel clerk from Iowa believes he's destined to collect first prize in a contest: a movie contract at a Hollywood studio.



(as Hugh Herbert),


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Cast overview:
Hollywood Leading Lady
Elmer Frisby
Tony - Hotel Barber
Anita Pam ...
Anita - Hotel Manicurist


A hotel clerk from Iowa believes he's destined to collect first prize in a contest: a movie contract at a Hollywood studio.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy





Release Date:

19 August 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gladys Brockwell in 'Hollywood Bound'  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reel #2235. See more »

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User Reviews

Leaving Pratt Falls behind
4 November 2011 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

This Vitaphone comedy sketch is built around a character actor named James Bradbury, Jr., a skinny and rather fey young gentleman with a gaunt, pale face. Bradbury plays a hotel clerk named Elmer Frisby, a rube with a very high opinion of himself, who lives in a town called Pratt Falls, Iowa. (Pratfalls, get it?) The central joke is that, despite his rather unappetizing appearance, Elmer believes he's an exceptionally good-looking and talented fellow. He has entered a contest and is certain he will take the prize: a trip to Hollywood and a studio contract. Although the winner hasn't been chosen yet, the silly boy is already making like a star and giving the high-hat treatment to everyone at the hotel.

While watching this amusing short I tried to recall where I'd seen Bradbury, whose face is distinctive to say the least. Afterward I checked his credits and found that although the bulk of his screen work consisted of bit roles in generally minor films, he did appear in the 1935 horror classic Mark of the Vampire alongside Bela Lugosi. There's a well-known still from that film featuring Lugosi, Caroll Borland, Bradbury and another actor, all gazing through a giant cobweb with suitably undead expressions. It's ironic to note that in this short comedy Hollywood Bound our flawed hero Elmer Frisby dreams of going to Hollywood to become big star, while in reality the actor who played him did indeed go to Hollywood, but wound up in oddball bit roles. Bradbury comes off rather well in this short, even though his role is quite unsympathetic and one-dimensional, and it's too bad his talents were not better utilized in other films.

Bradbury's co-star is Gladys Brockwell, who receives star billing above the title despite her comparatively brief contribution. Miss Brockwell made her screen-acting debut in 1913 when she was still a teenager, and appeared in several popular silent features, but her top billing in this short is misleading since Bradbury is very much the center of attention. Even so, she makes a nice impression as an actress who throws herself at Elmer Frisby in a melodramatic fashion. I enjoyed the moment when she corners Elmer in her opulent apartment, locks the door, then drops the key down her bodice and announces that there is no way out for him but to GET the key! Nice work if you can get it.

Considering that this short was a very early talkie, released in the summer of 1928, it's surprisingly well made. The pacing and editing are better than one usually finds in Vitaphone specials from this period, and although the story is simplistic the players put it across with gusto. I was saddened to learn that both Bradbury and Brockwell died young in tragic circumstances. There's no hint of off-screen tragedy here. In Hollywood Bound they each give spirited performances, and their collaboration in this short is still amusing when viewed today.

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