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Hollywood Hotel (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 15 January 1938 (USA)
Ronny Bowers, a saxophonist in Benny Goodman's band has won a talent contest an got a ten week contract with a film studio. On his first evening he is supposed to go with the studio's star ... See full summary »



(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Cooper ...
Jerry Cooper
Ken Niles ...
Ken Niles
Duane Thompson ...
Duane Thompson


Ronny Bowers, a saxophonist in Benny Goodman's band has won a talent contest an got a ten week contract with a film studio. On his first evening he is supposed to go with the studio's star Mona Marshall to a movie premiere. But this lady doesn't want to go, so the bosses decide to use for Mona a double, Virginia. When Mona finds out next morning that happened, she insisted to fire her double and Ronny. Ronny finds work as singing waiter in a drive in, and is spotted by a director of the same studio, who wants him to lend his voice for an leading actor in a musical. After the first screening the actor is invited by Louella Parsons to sing in her program "Hollywood Hotel". He accepts, but he doesn't know that Ronny Bowers does not want to lend him his voice again. So everybody starts to play his little game to solve his own problems. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

15 January 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Himaires tou Hollywood  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Due to controversy surrounding Ted Healy's death just prior to the release, his credit was deleted from the trailer, despite him having a main supporting role in the film. See more »


In the "Hooray for Hollywood" portion of the finale, Johnnie Davis is shown playing the trumpet on the back row of Benny Goodman's band while at the same time he's in the audience singing. See more »


Mona Marshall: [outraged that the studio has used a double to stand in for her at a premiere] Thousands of girls think they look like me, and where are they?
Fuzzy: They're having their faces changed.
Mona Marshall: [to her double] How dare you go around with a face like mine?
Fuzzy: Why don't you send your face to Washington and have it copyrighted?
Mona Marshall: It *is* copyrighted. For years, my face has been on the sidewalk, in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
Fuzzy: Yeah, well why don't you leave it there?
See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Gump Roast (2002) See more »


I'm Like a Fish out of Water
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting (as Dick Whiting)
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by Dick Powell, Rosemary Lane
See more »

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User Reviews

"Hooray for Hollywood"
1 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

Hollywood HOTEL (Warner Brothers, 1937), directed by Busby Berkeley, capitalizes on the current trend of Hollywood stories made popular by David O. Selznick's dramatization of A STAR IS BORN. Even though films about Hollywood and the behind the scenes in movie making were nothing new by the time Hollywood HOTEL went into release, Warner Brothers spoofs Hollywood the best way it knows how, spotlighted by Dick Powell's singing, and the musical festivities by Benny Goodman and his Swing Band.

The plot revolves around Ronnie Bowers (Dick Powell), a saxophone player in Benny Goodman's band, winning a talent contest and a ten-week trip to Hollywood, leaving behind band vocalist and teary-eyed girlfriend, Alice Crane (Frances Langford) at the St. Louis Airport. After arriving in Hollywood, Ronnie is escorted by Bertie Walton (Allyn Joslyn), a studio press agent for All-Star Pictures, and Joe (Eddie Acuff), a photographer, to the Hollywood Hotel. The story then shifts over to Mona Marshall (Lola Lane), a temperamental movie star sharing the room with her wacky kid sister (Mabel Todd), her even more bewildered father, Chester (Hugh Herbert), and personal secretary, Jonesy (Glenda Farrell). Because another glamor girl was offered a part she wanted, Mona leaves Hollywood. With Mona's new film, GLAMOUR GIRL, opening that evening, Walton hires waitress, Virginia Stanton (Rosemary Lane), to impersonate her, having Ronnie accompany her to the premiere. When Mona finds she's been misrepresented in public, she arranges for both Virginia and Ronnie to be fired. With Fuzzy (Ted Healy), as his new press agent, Ronnie obtains work at Callahan's (Edgar Kennedy) drive-in eatery before being discovered by director Walter Kelton (William B. Davidson) of All-Star Pictures. Much to Ronnie's surprise, rather than an acting job, he's to have his singing voice dubbed in for Alexander DuPre (Alan Mowbray), Mona's hammy co-star for an upcoming production, LOVE AND GLORY.

Fine tunes in the Hollywood Hotel musical program include: "Hooray for Hollywood" (performed by Benny Goodman's Band, sung by Johnnie Davis, Frances Langford, cast); "I'm Like a Fish Out of Water" (sung by Dick Powell and Rosemary Lane); "Silhouetted in the Moonlight" (sung by Rosemary Lane at the Hollywood Bowl); "Let That Be a Lesson to You" (introduced by Johnnie Davis and played by Benny Goodman's Band, sung by Dick Powell, Rosemary Lane, Ted Healy, Mabel Todd, and drive-in patrons at Callahan's Eats, with occasional interruptions by the nervous Edgar Kennedy); Benny Goodman Band instrumental medley: "Sing, Sing, Sing" and "I've Got a Heartful of Music," "I Hitched My Wagon to a Star" (sung by Alan Mowbray, voice dubbing by Powell); "Silhouetted in the Moonlight" (sung by Jerry Cooper and Frances Langford); "Dark Eyes" (O Tchonia) A Russian folk song performed instrumentally by Raymond Paige and his Orchestra, participated by chorus humming the score; "I Hitched My Wagon to a Star" (sung by Powell); "Sing You Son-of-a-Gun" (sung by Powell and Rosemary Lane) and "Hooray for Hollywood" (sung by Johnnie Davis and cast).

Of the handful of songs heard, especially during the Orchard Room sequence, its only low-point is Jerry Cooper's rendition to "Silhouetted in the Moonlight," opposite Frances Langford. A Langford solo or duet with Powell would have been sufficient. In the motion picture soundtrack to Hollywood HOTEL, compliments of Hollywood Soundstage (1981), the record not only includes the entire musical segments, but outtakes featuring the complete version to "Silhouetted in the Moonlight" which, after Rosemary Lane's solo, existing in the final print, is joined in by the singing Powell with a duet conclusion. Another cut is Benny Goodman's Band playing to "I Got a Heart Full of Music" and "House Hop," portions that were used in the musical short, FOR AULD LANG SYNE (1938), a tribute to Will Rogers.

Hollywood HOTEL, under Busby Berkeley's supervision as director, is a musical of lavish scale, with none of his trademarks of surrealistic choreography for which he is famous. There's plenty of singing but no dancing, coming off like a 1940s musical, especially during the Benny Goodman's Band interludes consisting of future legends as Lionel Hampton, Harry James (on the clarinet), and Gene Krupa (drummer) performing. Ronald Reagan, another soon-to-be lead actor and future U.S. President is seen briefly as a radio announcer during the premiere of LOVE AND GLORY.

Hollywood HOTEL is a far cry from being the best of the Warner Brothers musical cycle, but in many ways it's a nostalgic look to its bygone golden age, giving a glimpse of makeup artist, Perc Westmore, appearing as himself, glamorizing the ordinary waitress Rosemary Lane into movie star quality. With the exception near the conclusion of the story, Rosemary hardly shares any scenes with her older but look-alike sister, Lola.

Interestingly, the one thing missing in Hollywood HOTEL which was common place in films about Hollywood on Hollywood is the use of major stars doing surprise guest bits. Imagine Dick Powell's Ronnie Bowers entering the Hollywood Hotel and coming across briefly such big named actors as Bette Davis, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, or even the use of some inside humor in having him meeting up with Joan Blondell (Powell's off- screen wife). Instead, it uses radio announcers, Ken Niles and Duane Thompson, and newspaper columnist, Louella Parsons, appearing as themselves. Parsons, who was then a noted personality, is a far cry from being a natural performer.

As a spoof, Hollywood HOTEL purposely finds the temperamental Lola Lane overacting all over the place; Hugh Herbert "woo-wooing" in and out of scenes; and in a movie within a movie, the premiere of LOVE AND GLORY, a Civil War story, is noticeably a disguised version to Margaret Mitchell's then best selling novel "Gone With the Wind," with the central character called Captain Cutler (in place of Rhett Butler). Quite lengthy at 109 minutes, it's worthy screen entertainment. Look for it next time it plays on Turner Classic Movies. (***)

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