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Michael Linnett Connors takes Molly Adair from Broadway understudy to 1913 Hollywood star. Although she is in love with him, she marries her co-star reckoning wrongly Connors thinks of her only in terms of movies. He fires her in pique, apparently terminally damaging his career. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the earliest years of silent cinema, former prop boy Mike (Don Ameche) "discovers" a charming Broadway understudy, Molly (Alice Faye), and impulsively hires her to a personal contract to star in pictures. With Mike as director, Molly is set to appear in a film with Buster Keaton as her boyfriend -- but things get out of hand, the first day on the set.
By accident, Buster flings a custard pie into Molly's lovely face, thus throwing off the rhythm of their primly choreographed love scene. Soon Molly, Buster, and the "villain" of their scene (George Givot) are covered in custard, and the laughing and applauding onlookers convince Mike he's discovered a new screen genre. He milks it for all it's worth, launching a series of slapstick comedies -- with pies, bathing beauties, and Keystone-style Kops -- all featuring Molly, who becomes a big star.
If "Hollywood Cavalcade" had continued in this same vein, it would probably have become a classic. Instead, about halfway through, Mike makes the decision to turn Molly into a dramatic actress, starring in serious photoplays and leaving her slapstick days behind.
The film's second half turns maudlin when Molly, whose love for Mike seems unrequited, marries her new costar Nicky (Alan Curtis). Having lost his biggest star, Mike slides into despair, his films regularly losing money. Then Nicky is killed in a traffic accident and Molly teams up with Mike again. They make a hit picture, and discover that they've loved each other all along.
"Hollywood Cavalcade" marked two firsts for Alice Faye: her first Technicolor film, and also the first in which she sings not a single note. But her performance was generally lauded by the film critics.
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