Atterbury Dodd is an efficiency expert who believes everything can be reduced to mathematics. He is sent to Hollywood to see whether Colossal Pictures is a good investment. He soon learns that movie production doesn't fit his formulaic mindset. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The character of Lester Plum bares some resemblance Marie Osborne, a child actress in the silent era who returned to the film industry in the 1930's as an extra and stand-in. It's unclear if Osborne's life story was directly influential on this film or the role played by Joan Blondell. See more »
Atterbury Dodd is opposed to his New York banker bosses selling off Colossal Studios for only half of what he thinks its worth. Being the first person ever to stand up to the big boss he's sent off to see whats going on with the seemingly failing studio. Once there he finds that the buyer is manipulating the latest Colossal movie into being a turkey so he can buy the studio cheap and turn a profit when he closes it down. Dodd also runs into Miss Plum who will soon becomes Dodd's guide through the madness of film making.
Much of the film is concerned with Dodd dealing with the insanity of film studios while not realizing that he's falling in love with Miss Plum. The last third of the film concerns efforts to turn save the studio and the film.
This is really a Leslie Howard movie. Howard and Joan Blondell, as Miss Plum are a wonderful screen couple and one wishes there was even more time of them together. Although Humphrey Bogart is listed third he's in maybe 20 minutes of this often funny film. He is wonderful in a the role of the previous studio head and producer of the turkey in the making.
The film is filled with funny lines and fleeting appearances, Charles Middleton is a scream; as is a stuntman who refuses to do his stunt for money. This is a funny funny movie especially if you love old movies.
The problem is that the film is at times unfocused. Is it a comedy? A Romance? The sequences with the villain seem to be from another movie. I question why some of the characters are allowed to be so annoying, Potts, the publicity man in particular, is the screen version of fingernails on a blackboard. I'm sure there were people like that in Hollywood, but I never want to meet them.
I also have a problem with the ending which ends too soon for my tastes.
Still this is 90 minutes of great fun, especially if you love old films.
Worth seeking out, possibly even buying.
7 out of 10 with spikes of truly wonderful moments (Going under the table for one)
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