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It's Tough to Be Famous (1932)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama | 2 April 1932 (USA)
Fame proves to be too overwhelming when Scott becomes a national hero.



(story "The Goldfish Bowl"), (adaptation)

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Complete credited cast:
Harold Minjir ...
Sutter, the Ghost Writer (as Harold Minjer)
'Moms' McClenahan
Chief Petty Officer Steve Stevens
Terrance Ray ...
Lt. Blake (scenes deleted) (as J. Carroll Naish)


When his submarine, S89, is sunk by an excursion boat, Scotty is the last one left aboard after helping the crew to be rescued. However, Navy divers are able to save Scotty and his heroics make him a hero. Retiring from the Navy as a Commander, he finds that, as a hero, he is in great demand. There are parades. speeches, endorsements, banquets and autographs galore. Even his marriage to his sweetheart Janet is headline news. Everyone wants a piece of Scotty. The only thing that Scotty does not have is his freedom and a life of his own. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They spent their honeymoon on the FRONT PAGE! See more »


Comedy | Drama






Release Date:

2 April 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Goldfish Bowl  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented USA telecasts took place in Phoenix Tuesday 18 April 1957 on KOOL (Channel 10) followed by Portland OR 19 July 1957 on KPTV (Channel 12), by Tucson 29 July 1957 on KGUN (Channel 9), by Wichita 29 November 1957 on KAKE (Channel 10), by Los Angeles 20 January 1958 on KTLA (Channel 5), by Columbus 12 February 1958 on WTVN (Channel 6), by San Antonio 26 March 1958 on WOAI (Channel 4), by San Francisco 2 June 1958 on KTVU (Channel 2) (Oakland CA), by Honolulu 8 July 1958 on KHVH (Channel 13), and by Cincinnati 19 August 1958 on WKRC (Channel 12). See more »


Scott 'Scotty' McClenahan: Janet, Janet honey, open the door. Darling, please open the door, I'm sorry, I apologize. I didn't do anything, but, I apologize.
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aka "My Country 'tis of Thee"
Music based on "God Save the King"
Played at the parade for Scotty
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User Reviews

Excellent Doug Fairbanks Jr. Movie From Early 1930's......All His 1930's Movies Were Unusually Good
9 January 2014 | by See all my reviews

Excellent Doug Fairbanks Jr. Movie From Early 1930's......All His 1930's Movies Were Unusually Good


This is an excellent movie.

It's about the culture of celebrity creation by the mass media, politicians, and others, and shows the hard life and hard times the newly created and celebrated "hero" is put through (he actually was a hero USA Naval submarine officer).

This is an important subject, and few good examinations and treatments of it have ever been made.

The Anita Ekberg fragment of LA DOLCHE VITA (1960) also does a good job of showing "behind the scenes" truth about media professionals and treatment of celebrities, and the effects of the "celebrity life" on celebrities themselves. The Anita Ekberg fragment of LA DOLCHE VITA (1960) lasted only about 20 minutes during a movie lasting more than 2 hours, but the image of Anita became the signature image of the film, and justifiably.

IT'S TOUGH TO BE FAMOUS (1932) starring Doug Fairbanks Jr. and Mary Brian is a blunt, no-nonsense look and implied criticism of the entire phenomenon of "hero celebrities" which most celebrities become in time, at one level or another. Readers, viewers, concert and show ticket buyers are all urged to worship the celebrated performer, and the list of celebrity victims is long....Elvis, Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, John Barrymore, and on and on and on.

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. had a famous movie star father, came of age for young leading man roles just as the talkie movie technology became widespread (early 1930's), and had a lot of talent performing the role of the intelligent and often unwilling hero types he was so often cast in.

All his movies are worth collecting and seeing. I've never seen one he starred in during the 1930's which was bad....quite a compliment considering how many bad movies were made then, and were made at all times.

Really good movies are rare and precious.

IT'S TOUGH TO BE FAMOUS (1932) and THE NARROW CORNER (1933) both starred Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and are both worth getting and seeing often.


Written by Tex Allen


Columbia PA USA

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