Sylvia is the French teacher at Briarcroft's School for Girls, but she wants to find romance. When she hears Bill on the radio, she decides to leave and thank him. But he is on his way to ... See full summary »



(screen play)
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Bill Williams
Fifi D'Orsay ...
Lili Yvonne
Ernest P. Baker
Ned Sparks ...
Bobby Watson ...
Three Radio Rogues
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Henry Armetta ...
(scenes deleted)


Sylvia is the French teacher at Briarcroft's School for Girls, but she wants to find romance. When she hears Bill on the radio, she decides to leave and thank him. But he is on his way to Hollywood with Lili to make a movie. When Sylvia gets to Hollywood, she finds that seeing Bill again is almost impossible, but she gets a job in the chorus. Then when Lili quits the picture, Sylvia is tapped to play her character. But the part she wants is with Bill, a part that Lili seems to have. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Musical | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »





Release Date:

22 December 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Paid to Laugh  »

Box Office


$914,000 (estimated)


$962,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Marion Davies requested Bing Crosby as her co-star, but William Randolph Hearst, the financial backer of Cosmopolitan Productions, refused because he did not like Crosby's singing style. Composer Arthur Freed, however, convinced Hearst that Crosby would be good for Davies' sagging career. Davies also requested Fifi D'Orsay be cast as "Lili", and Hearst agreed despite his wish to cast Lili Damita in that role. See more »


Bill 'Billy' Williams: [singing] Out where they say, "Let us be gay," I'm goin' Hollywood. I'll ballyhoo greetings to you, I'm goin' Hollywood. Hey, while you sleepyheads are in that hay, I'll be dancing - I'm gonna be dancing with a sun-kissed baby. And I'm on my way - here's my beret, I'm going Hollywood!
See more »


Featured in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »


Happy Days Are Here Again
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
Played at the start of the Three Radio Rogues sequence
See more »

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User Reviews

Folks, IMDb has been hijacked by some Marion Davies cult members, so don't trust the unusually high ratings for this film.
15 August 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

It's frustrating if you look at the IMDb ratings for three stars from the silent and early sound era. For some odd reason, a group of people have flooded the system with unusually high ratings for William Haines, Gloria Swanson and Marion Davies. In the last year or two, their film have shot up the charts and a completely disproportionate number of their films rank among the top 50 of the 1920s and 30s. Now some might argue that somehow these great actors have suddenly been recognized, but this is not the case. Even their bad films are getting flooded with scores of 10. Why anyone thinks this is their duty is beyond me. A great example is Haines. In a period of about 8 years, he basically made the exact plot again and again and again. The names and locations were changed, but the plot itself is identical--following the exact same pattern...yet the films are all flooded with 10s.

As for Marion Davies, who starred in GOING Hollywood, this weird pattern has emerged. You'd think by looking at the ratings that she was the greatest actress of her age, though by any objective analysis this is not true. Sure, she did some wonderful films that have been rediscovered (SHOW PEOPLE, for example, is an amazing film), but her stinkers also have astronomical ratings. A good example of this is CAIN AND MABEL, a film that pretty much killed her career. 69% of the ratings its received are 10s--compared to 39% for GONE WITH THE WIND, 29% fro BEN HUR, 39% for 2001, 31.5% for RAGING BULL, THE GODFATHER (the second highest rated film on IMDb) at only about 57% and 59% for THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (the highest rated film)!! So, according to the Marion Davies cult, this lousy film (and most of her films) are better than pretty much all the film on IMDb--at least that's what these inflated scores would imply. This is odd, as the book "Hollywood Hall of Shame: The Most Expensive Flops in Movie History" features the film in one of its chapters and had nothing particularly positive to say about the film--and the same could be said of the reviewers of the day. If you don't believe me about this cult-like devotion, check out the her films or the list of Top 100 from the 1920s and 1930s--her films (along with Haines' and Swanson's) dominate the lists.

So let's talk specifics about GOING Hollywood. While Miss Davies appears to try her best, there are many things to hate about this film. Seeing her in Black-face pretending to be a Black extra is pretty embarrassing (and sad in the way it marginalizes Black-Americans), the acting is very, very broad and the plot itself is pretty creepy.

The film begins with Marion as a teacher in a girls' school where all the other teachers and the principal are dried up old sex-less biddies. When Marion hears one of Bing Crosby's songs on the radio, she dances about and announces to all that she's quitting her sequestered job, as she wants to experience life and love. Then, she chases after Bing--spending most of the rest of the film stalking him--and announcing that she loves him--even though she never met the man!! Isn't this a bit creepy as well as totally ridiculous?! In fact, such a film could never be made today...unless it was intended as a horror/suspense film, such as THE FAN!!

Aside from a dumb plot, the film is jam-packed full of very, very broad acting from Fifi D'Orsay (who is more a caricature than a realistic portrayal), too much singing (I can't blame the movie entirely for this, as this was not unusual for 1933) and the ridiculous way everything works out perfectly just like in A STAR IS BORN. It's perfectly dreadful in places and is, at best, a silly time-passer. It also seems to encourage sickos to stalk Hollywood stars--after all, it all works out great in the end!!

Don't believe the hype and don't believe the Kool-Aid drinkers who would make this film appear to be one of the greatest of the era.

By the way, 32 of the top 50 films on IMDb for the 1920s star Davies, Haines and Swanson. In comparison, only one of Harold Lloyd films, two of Keaton's and two of Chaplin's made the list! If you think this is because they are all comedies, then how about none of Greta Garbo's (probably the biggest female star of the decade) and none of any of the three Barrymores (John, Lionel or Ethel) even made the list??!! Sheesh!

By the way, if you care, just 9 of the top 50 films of the 1930s starred these three actors, though this is mostly due to their not having made all that many films in this decade.

30 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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