'Rainbow Girls' has just opened and closed on Broadway when Dixie, a actress in it, runs into smooth talking Hollywood Director Frank Buelow. He tells her she would be a natural, promises ... See full summary »
'Rainbow Girls' has just opened and closed on Broadway when Dixie, a actress in it, runs into smooth talking Hollywood Director Frank Buelow. He tells her she would be a natural, promises her a movie contract, and so she goes to Hollywood, but there is no contract for her. She meets Donny, a washed-up veteran actress (Blanche Sweet), on the lot who becomes her friend. Frank is fired from his studio and the new director finds that Frank's storyline is actually a copy of 'Rainbow Girls' stage play from Broadway. They call Jimmy, the author and Dixie's boyfriend, for the rights and he goes to Hollywood to produce it as a movie. Dixie gets the lead. But things start going wrong when Dizzy Dixie, spurred on by the fired Director Buelow, thinks that she is better than the picture or the studio and starts making demands. Interesting note: Good look at early Hollywood, with cameos by Loretta Young, Walter Pigeon, Noah Beery and a young Noah Beery, Jr. make the film fun to watch Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org
"Show Girl in Hollywood" (First National, 1930), directed by Mervyn LeRoy, stars that pert blonde, Alice White, as Dixie Dugan, show girl from Brooklyn, a role she originated in the part-talkie, "Show Girl" (First National, 1928). In that earlier edition, Charles Delaney co-starred as her love interest, Jimmy Doyle, a role enacted here by Jack Mulhall. Based on the comic strip character, this musical sequel, based "Hollywood Girl" by Joseph Patrick McEvoy, is an interesting look back at the studio system in the days of early talkies, with added treats of non-credited guest stars as legendary singer, Al Jolson and his then wife, Ruby Keeler (in non-speaking parts); Loretta Young, Noah Berry and his son, Noah Beery Jr., all briefly glimpsed in the movie premiere sequence; along with the youthful but almost unrecognizable, Walter Pidgeon, as master of ceremonies at the Hollywood gathering.
Opening inter-title: "Jimmy Doyle's musical show, 'RAINBOW GIRL' opened and closed." Regardless of its two week run for which Dixie Dugan (Alice White) worked as an understudy, playwright Jimmy Doyle (Jack Mulhall) intends on improving the story, this time giving his girl, Dixie, the nominal lead, which she should ha played in the first place. Escorted to a nightclub by Jimmy, Dixie does a number for its visiting guest, Frank Buelow (John Miljan), a movie director from Hollywood. Taking an interest in this free-spirited girl, Buelow persuades Dixie to come to Hollywood and appear in his forthcoming motion picture. Going against Jimmy's wishes, Dixie takes the next train west, sending her occasional telegrams to Jimmy at his Brooklyn residence: 41 Pineapple Street. While in Hollywood, Dixie's meeting with Sam Otis's (Ford Sterling), the production head, proves shattering when she is told she's one of many girls tricked into coming to the studio only to learn no such arrangements have been made. Along the way, Dixie learns more of the downside of Hollywood when she meets and befriends her favorite movie actress, Dottie Harris (Blanche Sweet), now a 32-year-old has-been. Not only does Dottie get the runaround from Buelow, her former husband, but must accept the fact she's only just a memory. As fate would have it, Sam Otis acquires the script of "Rainbow Girl" which he likes, and sends for its author, Jimmy Doyle. During their meeting, both Jimmy and Otis agree its leading lady should be Dixie Dugan. All goes well during production of the movie until Dixie meets with Buelow, now fired by the industry. Buelow, however, manages in changing the sweet innocent girl into a temperamental and conceited actress, causing friction and delays that could literally put an end to Dixie's film career before it's even started.
A distinguished early talkie with acceptable tunes by Buddy Green and Sammy Stept, include: "I've Got My Eye on You" (sung by Alice White); "There's a Tear for Every Smile in Hollywood" (sung by Blanche Sweet); "I've Got My Eye on You" (reprise) and "Hang on to the Rainbow" (Alice White). Of the three song interludes, only "Rainbow" gets the production number A portion of the "Rainbow" number was used for the final chapter to the 13-week documentary of Kevin Brownlow and David Gill's Hollywood: The End of an Era (1980).
Blanche Sweet (1895-1986), a long time veteran actress of the silent screen dating back to 1909, is quite effective as a drifting movie queen who becomes Dixie Dugan's guide through the studio system. Her vocalizing to a sentimental tune revealing the happiness and hardship of Hollywood comes very much as a surprise as does her character, limited somewhat in the photo-play yet crucial to the story. Film buffs would also delight in witnessing the behind the scenes activity of movie making, then called "Vitaphoning." Also taking part in the supporting cast are Herman Bing, Virginia Sale and Spec O'Donnell.
Although the "Dixie Dugan" character would never be enacted by Alice White again, further adventures of this comic strip character would be revamped and reintroduced to the screen again as a programmer titled DIXIE DUGAN (20th Century-Fox, 1943) starring Lois Andrews in the title role. An attempt for a movie series based on that character never got past the initial entry.
While "Show Girl in Hollywood" remains a rare find indeed, it did consist of several television broadcasts during its early stages of Turner Classic Movies cable channel . As it stands for now, this and other Dixie Dugan stories remain, "just a memory." (*** Vitaphone discs)
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