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Frederick De Cordova
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 <email@example.com>
The former silent film star in the boarding house, desperate for a small role in a film, is played by Mary MacLaren, a former leading lady of the silent film era who, by the time this film was made, was working as a (sporadically successful) extra. Coincidentally, MacLaren's character is named Naomi; in the 1930's, one of MacLaren's silent era contemporaries, Naomi Childers, was also frequently employed as a background actor in Hollywood. See more »
A little way in accountant Atterbury Dodds walks through the accounts dept. A clerk gives him a slip containing a list of figures which total 1296221. Dodds says "There's an error in the addition the total should be 1296321, have the machine fixed". The total however is correct. The figures are - 63155; 122925; 57005; 54685; 404200; 56705; 122925; 54685; 305250; 54686 which total 1296221 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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