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Act One (1963)

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Story of the life of writer/playwright Moss Hart.

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Title: Act One (1963)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Moss Hart
...
...
Joe Hyman
Sam Levene ...
Richard Maxwell
Ruth Ford ...
...
Warren Stone
Joseph Leon ...
Max Seigel
...
Lester Sweyd
Martin Wolfson ...
Mr. Hart
Sam Groom ...
David Starr
Sammy Smith ...
Louise Larabee ...
Clara Baum
...
Oliver Fisher
...
Teddy Manson (as Jonathan Lippe)
...
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Storyline

Moss Hart's best-selling autobiography provided the basis for this colorful backstage story. The film depicts Hart as a struggling young playwright in 1929, searching for a sympathetic impresario. Although his manuscript is rejected by a Broadway tycoon, a less prominent manager finally agrees to produce it - on the condition that Hart will get George S. Kaufman, a leading comedy writer, to collaborate on the final script. Hart sets out to convince Kaufman of his play's value, and so begins one of the most famous partnerships in the American theatre. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 December 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Primeiro acto  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film role of any kind for Jonathan Goldsmith (as Jonathan Lippe), who portrayed Teddy Manson, and who is now much better known as "The Most Interesting Man in the World" from Dos Equis beer TV commercials. See more »

Goofs

In an early scene, set in 1929, Moss Hart (George Hamilton) listens to a news broadcast on the radio which reports that former President Theodore Roosevelt is currently in Africa on a safari. Theodore Roosevelt died in 1919, ten years earlier. See more »

Crazy Credits

"Curtain" (instead of "The End") See more »

Connections

Referenced in True Romance (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
interesting story not very well done
6 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Moss Hart wrote one of the great books on theater, Act One, and here it's turned into a film starring George Hamilton as Hart. The film also features Jason Robards as George S. Kaufman, Eli Wallach as a producer, George Segal as Hart's friend Lester, Sam Groom as a student, Ruth Ford as Mrs. Kaufman, Jack Klugman as a good friend to Moss, and Bert Convy as "Archie Leach," another friend, whom film fans know became Cary Grant.

The story goes from Hart's days as a young, serious playwright to the Broadway opening of Hart's first play, "Once in a Lifetime," co-written with George S. Kaufman. They became one of the finest Broadway writing teamsin theater history.

George Hamilton is a handsome man who has become a wonderful parody of himself and his tan in later years. He was never really much of an actor though he does an okay job here. Someone certainly thought a lot of his looks here - he is photographed in closeup with a special light in his eyes, the kind designed for Dirk Bogarde in the '50s.

I don't know if Dore Schary, the director, had a limited budget or what, but casting Bert Convy as Cary Grant was such an insult to probably the biggest male film star of all time. Convy was nice looking, but he made no attempt at an accent. The problem is, it was too small a part to cast someone like John Gavin. The rest of the performances were fine, but Jason Robards as Kaufman was a true standout. Wallach didn't have much to do.

The film has been criticized for being too sentimental. I didn't find it sentimental, I found it unexciting, when there's probably nothing more exciting than preparing a show for Broadway. It's possible that the book wasn't really adaptable as a movie. It's hard to make writing exciting on screen. Hart was a huge talent who wrote some fabulous plays. I just don't think that somehow, his story made for an impressive film.


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