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The Matinee Idol (1928)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 14 March 1928 (USA)
A Broadway matinee idol famous for his black-face portrayals anonymously joins an amateur acting troupe and falls in love with the leading lady.

Director:

(as Frank R. Capra)

Writers:

(from the story "Come Back to Aaron"), (from the story "Come Back to Aaron") | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Don Wilson - aka Harry Mann
Ernest Hilliard ...
Arnold Wingate
...
Jasper Bolivar
David Mir ...
Eric Barrymaine
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Storyline

The famous matinee idol and blackface comedian, Don Wilson, heads out of town to escape adulation. There, calling himself Harry Mann, he accidentally joins a traveling acting troupe, and falls in love with Ginger Bolivar, who runs the troupe and stars in their Civil War melodrama. Don's producer sees the play, and thinks it's a comic masterpiece, and just what Don's Broadway show needs. But when Ginger finds out she's been played for a fool, will she forgive Don? Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 March 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bessie à Broadway  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (1997 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is no cast list in the film; Bessie Love and Johnnie Walker are on the title page and are listed first. All the credited cast are then introduced by intertitle frames which also provide their character names, just before they are shown onscreen. See more »

Quotes

Don Wilson, Harry Mann: [after meeting a feminine actor] Who is that? Helen of Troy?
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A long-lost treasure, lovingly restored!
20 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

A lightweight but simply charming and absolutely delightful fairy tale, most ingratiatingly acted by all concerned, beautifully photographed, very cleverly scripted and most astutely directed. It's surprising that personable Johnnie Walker didn't go on to a big career in talkies. Bessie, of course, is simply captivating.

Some carping critics have complained that the hick actors in the story were cruelly treated. On the contrary, they were handled like royalty. All the actors I know (and I've known lots of actors in my time) would quickly have appropriated the plaudits of the crowd as a fitting reflection of their deliberate art. I remember Cecil Kellaway after a preview bemoaning to the manager that his performance was not supposed to be funny and that the audience had laughed in all the wrong places. But as moviegoers started to come out of the theater and people spied him talking to the manager, suddenly he was surrounded by a cheering crowd with everyone congratulating him on his superbly comic performance. Did Cecil try to reason with his fans and tell them they were all wrong? No fear! On the contrary, he swelled with pride and heartily thanked them for their perspicacity and their keen appreciation of his comic endeavors.


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