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Popular New York band leader Terry Rooney (Cagney) is offered a lucrative film contract out in Hollywood. Rooney and his wife pack up and head for California. Upon arriving, they meet Mr. Regan, the head of the studio, who believes that Rooney's true lack of desire for stardom is arrogance on the band leaders part. When his first film is huge success and hit for the studio, Regan tries to hide the truth from Rooney. Feeling a need to get away from Hollywood, Rooney takes his wife on a South Seas cruise, only to return to the real truth of his fame. Written by
Grand National Pictures head Edward L. Alperson had previously paid $25,000 for the rights to the perfect James Cagney vehicle, "Angels with Dirty Faces", and was literally begged by staff producer Edward Finney to film that property first. Inexplicably, Alperson went ahead with this film, a pet project of director Victor Schertzinger, which went way over schedule and budget, and flopped big time. Its failure broke the fledgling Grand National studio, which despite its profitable Tex Ritter series of low-budget westerns, went into bankruptcy in early 1940. See more »
Rita is in New York when she reads of Terry's supposed relationship with Steffie on the front page of the "Express" newspaper. Meanwhile in Hollywood, Terry learns of the false rumours in exactly the same way, from the exact front page of an identical "Express" newspaper. Props used the same newspaper for both coasts. Highly unlikely. See more »
JAMES CAGNEY was having contract problems at Warner Bros. when he went out on his own and did this little musical for Grand National, which--unfortunately--flopped at the box-office. It's the kind of musical with a Hollywood background that pokes fun at the film colony and its star-making machinery (a la SINGIN' IN THE RAIN), and gives Cagney a chance to shine as a hoofer.
Cagney is Ted Rooney, a bandleader who bids farewell to his band and his fiancé (EVELYN LAW) to take temporary leave for a film when Hollywood beckons. WILLIAM FRAWLEY is the publicity agent who meets him at the station with a bevy of Hollywood cuties to snap photographs of his arrival. GENE LOCKHART is the overbearing studio mogol who calls his make-up men to give their opinion of how to prepare him for photography. A vocal coach with a heavy accent is brought in to teach Cagney how to speak. And so it goes. It never misses a chance to spoof the Hollywood star-making machinery and phoniness.
When Rooney's picture is a smash hit, the studio can't find him. He's fled Hollywood to join his sweetheart and they embark on a cruise ship where Cagney is part of the oddly amusing entertainment. You know it won't be long before Hollywood catches up with him in time for a happy ending.
It's strictly fluff but Cagney gives a solid comedy/musical performance, coasting along nicely in his role despite some shaky support from Evelyn Law, a young lady who appears to be an inexperienced actress with a singing voice not suitable for the swing band music that Cagney indulges in. She's a big drawback in a film that needs a good partner for Cagney in the love interest department.
Summing up: Trivial, predictable musical comedy which should at least interest Cagney fans but it's easy to see why it failed to please at the box-office.
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