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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)

Act One (1963) on IMDb 6.1/10

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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)


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


Biography | Drama





Release Date:

26 December 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Primeiro acto  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Anthony Perkins and Dean Jones were early contenders for role of Moss Hart. See more »


As the train heads to Atlantic City, it is being pulled by a steam locomotive but the sound it makes is that of a diesel horn. See more »

Crazy Credits

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


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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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