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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
Lionel Belmore ...
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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This restored version runs 57 minutes but is still missing about 5 minutes. The restoration was a joint venture of the Cinematheque Francais, the Motion Picture Academy, and Sony Entertainment. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Frank Capra's American Dream (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

The Capra Touch
16 February 2012 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

"The Matinée Idol" is a silent drama/comedy/romance set with an intriguing backstage setting. The film stars the wonderful Bessie Love as the daughter and leading lady in a family of troupers. A very likable Johnnie Walker co-stars as a successful actor taken with Miss Love. Consequently he takes up with the small town thespians, throwing himself into their sincere, yet corny theatrics.

When the troupe bring their melodrama to the big town and face scorn from the critics and sophisticated audiences, romance is there to ease the sting of rejection. "The Matinée Idol" is a delight, filled with director Frank Capra's insights and affection for all types of people.


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