In 1915, Kansas theatre usher Merton Gill is a rabid silent-movie fan. When he brings Mammoth Studios free publicity by imitating star Lawrence Rupert's heroics, they bring him to Hollywood to generate another headline; he thinks he'll get a movie contract. Disillusioned, he haunts the casting offices, where he meets and is consoled by Phyllis Montague, bit player and stunt-woman. When Merton finally gets his "break," though, it's not quite what he envisioned... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Kansas theater usher (and dramatic acting school graduate!) thwarts a robbery and is brought out to Hollywood by train in the Silent Era strictly for quick publicity; he winds up living on a park bench waiting for an acting job, and finally gets one filling in for his idol, an irresponsible star who's been hitting the bottle. Third film-version of a play by Marc Connelly and George S. Kaufman, based on Harry Leon Wilson's book, now revamped as a comedic vehicle for Red Skelton. Earliest scenes are best, with our dimply, aw-shucks hero politely scheming his way onto movie sets, with amusing results. Slapstick sequence at a high-toned Men's Club seems to belong to a different picture, although the pay-off there is also funny. Runs out of steam towards the end, however Skelton and Virginia O'Brien are a good match. Direction by former-choreographer Robert Alton is quick on its feet, and there are some big laughs in the first hour. **1/2 from ****
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