Starting in 1913 movie director Connors discovers singer Molly Adair. As she becomes a star she marries an actor, so Connors fires them. She asks for him as director of her next film. Many silent stars shown making the transition to sound.
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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>
Although a Twentieth Century-Fox picture, this is one of the few Hollywood-made films in which one studio (Fox) acknowledges and names the existence of another (Warner Bros.) and credits them with the introduction of talking pictures. Don Ameche is actually shown watching a scene from Warner's The Jazz Singer (1927) , probably the only instance in Holywood history where one studio shows another studio's work within a film. Another rarity is that the head of the studio (J. Edward Bromberg) is openly portrayed as being Jewish. In later years Bromberg was blacklisted and sadly died from a heart attack while performing in a stage play in London, where he sought to restart his career. Fans of W.C. Fields will recognize Russell Hicks, who plays the stone-hearted money-man Roberts in "Hollywood Calvacade," as fast-talking con man J. Frothingham Waterbury, who sold Fields shares in the Beefstake Mine in the classic comedy The Bank Dick (1940). See more »
The plot: Michael Linnett Connors has done everything in films but direct, and is looking for his 1st big chance. He discovers Molly in a play and at once knows she will be a big film star. He signs her to a contract with the stipulation that he must direct. The producer agrees and their big time careers are under way. What follows is a recreation of the silent film era and early sound movies with great emphasis on comedy. And, oh yes, there's romance, and a little sadness too. The performances by Don Ameche and Alice Fay are top notch. The music is a real plus too with some old familiar tunes heard. Lots of DVD extras as well in this restored version released in 2008. It must be emphasized that this movie is a story 1st, not just a tribute to silent films. Later years would bring similar films such as, Singin' in the Rain(1952) & Dick Van Dyke-Carl Reiner's, The Comic(1969). What is special about this film, though, is recreating silent movies in 1939. We see portions of them as the cinema audience would in that bygone era(although some sound effects are included)in glorious b&w, while the rest of the movie is in pristine color. One of the greatest in the silent era, Buster Keaton, who at this point was on an uphill climb, is used superbly in 2 silent film recreated scenes and he is on the top of his game! It is said that he had some input on his scenes as well. But the real reason to watch the movie, if your a motion picture history fan, is that beyond everything else, Hollywood Cavalcade is Mack Sennett's film legacy. It doesn't take a genius to realize this movie is a "positive" reworking of Mack Sennett's and Mabel Normand's life. The character Michael "Linnett" Connors is Mack Sennett, whose real name was Michael Sinnott. And Molly, of course is Mabel. Sennett had the pie throwings, the bathing beauties and Keystone Cops. He worked with Buster Keaton, Ben Turpin(cameo), Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle(body double) and fell in love with his leading lady. Not only all that, but Sennett was technical adviser for this film and appears in it as well. As most film viewers today prefer sound features, those who were associated with short subjects and silents are left out to pasture. As Mack Sennett fell into that category, it is fortunate that there is Hollywood Cavalcade! Sennett was of course very instrumental in the evolution of comedy in movies. His career started in 1908 as an actor, then writer, director & producer. He semi retired in 1935 with about 500 films to his credit. He had worked with the best, such as Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Keaton, Harry Langdon, Arbuckle, and even Roy Rogers(in Way Up Thar).As film comedy is an extremely difficult path to continue for an entire career, Mack played it wise & did only selective work for the next 25 years. In 1931 he had received an academy award in the short subject category, and another in 1937 for a lifetime of work. In the 1940's his presence was still felt, e.g. Here Come the Co-Eds(1945)where a recreation of the oyster soup scene used in Mack's Wandering Willies(1926)is done. In 1947, The Road to Hollywood, used some of Sennett's Crosby films. 2 years later brought some nostalgia with the film Down Memory Lane in which he participated. With his knack of always associating with the right people, a guest role with the eternally popular Lawrence Welk & his radio show came about later in the year. 1950 brought a re-release of his greatest triumph, Tillie's Punctured Romance(1914) with sound. In 1952 he was honored on TV's, This Is Your Life, then his autobiography, The King of Comedy(1954), which is a great companion piece to Hollywood Cavalcade, was published. 1955 brought a more concrete association with Abbott & Costello, as he had a cameo in A&C Meet the Keystone Kops. Finally in 1957, another tribute with the compilation film, The Golden Age of Comedy. So when you watch Hollywood Cavalcade it is the legacy of a motion picture pioneer. In the film at the banquet scene the camera pans over the guests at a long table. As we get to the silver haired Mack, he alone turns his head to the camera as if to say, "here I am!". When he rises to give a speech a short while later, he is at his most subdued, underplaying the words given him as if to mentally convey, "I know my influence on comedy will never end, but will people forget Mack Sennett the individual. Maybe this movie will help."
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