Although set in the transitional Hollywood silents-to-talkies period of late Twenties/very early Thirties, many of the celebrity doubles show up in costumes inspired by roles they didn't play until middle Thirties. See more »
Richard Dix plays a silent screen cowboy who gets kicked out of Hollywood once sound pictures come into play. He loses all his money, which causes him to lose his ranch, which he was hoping to make a boy's home. He gets a chance at a comeback playing a gangster but can't stand letting down his fans by playing a bad guy. Since this was nearly twenty-years before Singin in the Rain it's rather interesting seeing a film take on the transition from silent to sound. This Columbia movie has been pretty much forgotten today but I think film buffs will find the story interesting and there's some more unique things here. There's a big subplot with Dix wanting to make good to a kid he made a promise to so he decides to throw him a Hollywood party. Greta Garbo, W.C. Fields, Charles Chaplin, Loretta Young, Mae West and Bing Crosby among others show up but it's their stand-ins doing the work. The whole point is to fool the kid into thinking he's surrounded by real stars but we see them as stand-ins, which is interesting as we're seeing the actual people who worked for the stars. I had heard about Eugene DeVerdi's take on Chaplin and must admit that it's pretty good. Fay Wray plays Dix's love interest and does a pretty good job even though her role is pretty much a throw away. Dix is his usual self and fans of his will enjoy his role here. This movie could have been a lot better but it's clear it was meant to be a "B" picture and on that level it works. I think silent buffs will get a kick out of its story while movie buffs will enjoy seeing the real star's stand-ins. Future director Samuel Fuller is credited as one of the three screenwriters.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?