6.9/10
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Once in a Lifetime (1932)

Approved | | Comedy | 2 October 1932 (USA)
Story of a Hollywood studio during the transition from silents to talkies.

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(play), (play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Mrs. Walker
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Eddie Kane ...
Meterstein
Johnnie Morris ...
Weiskopf (as Johnny Morris)
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The Bishop
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Dr. Lewis' Secretary
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Storyline

Story of a Hollywood studio during the transition from silents to talkies.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 October 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una vez en la vida  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Aline MacMahon created the role of May Daniels in the first tryout of the play. (Source: Moss Hart's autobiography 'Act One'.) See more »

Quotes

May Daniels: None of these bozos have ever talked on a stage. They've never spoken lines before.
Jerome 'Jerry' Hyland: Well they gotta learn, that's all.
May Daniels: Sure, and who's gonna teach 'em? We'll open a school of elocution and voice culture.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits are followed by a written message from producer Carl Laemmle saying critics had questioned whether he would use the material that "so mercilessly and so hilariously poked fun at Hollywood and its motion picture people." But, he says, laughter is needed "in times like these." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Flash: Trial of the Trickster (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Put on the Dog
(uncredited)
Music by Val Burton and Edward Kilenyi
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User Reviews

 
This is funniest film I have ever seen.
4 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am 59 years old; I have seen a lot of movies; "Once in a Lifetime" is the funniest film I have ever seen.

In the 1960s, when I was in high school in suburban Philadelphia, the local public television station broadcast this Kaufman and Hart play brought to the screen in 1932 with a brio that made it impossible to stop laughing.

The story concerns a Vaudeville troop unable to make a living because films had destroyed Vaudeville. Then, after seeing the "Jazz Singer," the troop members decide to head for Hollywood to open an elocution school for actors eager to speak acceptably for the newly-developed medium of talking pictures.

I have only seen this movie that one time, but every time I hear the word "elocution," I think of "Once in a Lifetime" and remember the train scene where a 9 year-old girl walks up and down the train reciting, "'Boots' by Rudyard Kipling…'Boots, boots, boots….'"


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