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 ...
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W.S. Van Dyke
An American missionary and his wife travel to the exotic island kingdom of Hawaii, intent on converting the natives. But the clash between the two cultures is too great and instead of understanding there comes tragedy.
George Roy Hill
Max von Sydow,
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
Hollywood myth wrapped up in schmaltz...but still charming...
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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