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Alice in Movieland (1940)

Approved | | Short, Drama, Music | 3 March 1940 (USA)

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In a U.S. town that could be anywhere, 18-year-old Alice Purdee wins a free trip to Hollywood. With the assistance of a cheerful porter, she takes the night train and dreams about her ... See full summary »

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(from an original story by), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Alice Purdee (as Joan Brodel)
...
Agatha Winters
...
Grandmother
...
Train Porter
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Storyline

In a U.S. town that could be anywhere, 18-year-old Alice Purdee wins a free trip to Hollywood. With the assistance of a cheerful porter, she takes the night train and dreams about her arrival. Instead of instant success, she meets disappointment after disappointment, and she needs the unexpected encouragement of her grandmother and an aging, former star whom she meets at a talent night. Finally she gets a call to be an extra, and she's so hopeful that the regulars decide to make a fool of her. Is this the end of Alice's dream? Not if the porter has anything to say about it. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broadway Brevities (1940-1941 season) (#2): Alice in Movieland  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Leslie does impersonations of Zasu Pitts and Katharine Hepburn. See more »

Soundtracks

Will My Dream Come True
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Sung by Joan Leslie twice, an offscreen chorus at the end
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User Reviews

 
Hollywood myth wrapped up in schmaltz...but still charming...
2 November 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

As short subjects go, ALICE IN MOVIELAND is easy to take. After all, who doesn't mind gazing at JOAN LESLIE at her prettiest, showing us all the wholesome charm that did indeed make her a movie star in the '40s under contract to Warner Bros.

But unfortunately, the script (by no less than Ed Sullivan) is a cluster of clichés--you know, the one about the kid who dreams of making it big in Hollywood and dreams about becoming the toast of the town. Leslie, enroute to Hollywood via train, falls asleep and dreams that she has this great impact on filmland after a few false starts. Her dream is all wrapped up in tinsel but is mostly a series of phony myths about Hollywood stardom for young girls.

You can glimpse a few Warner contract players throughout--including David BRUCE, CRAIG STEVENS, ALEXIS SMITH, JANE WYMAN, RONALD REAGAN, FRANK FAYLEN and ALAN HALE. But it's strictly a showcase for Joan Leslie, who plays the part of a naive girl seeking stardom. Her singing voice is obviously dubbed and her dancing is no great shakes.

In real life, Leslie had to work hard to gain stardom, appearing in numerous films in bit parts before any big breaks came her way. But the story is reminiscent of how ANN SHERIDAN got her start--by entering a beauty contest that brought her to the attention of Warner Bros.

This 21 minute short, directed by Jean Negulesco and photographed by Ted McCord, is a fun way to look at the way mythical film stardom was treated for the sake of naive movie fans back in the early '40s.


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