6.1/10
170
8 user

Act One (1963)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 26 December 1963 (USA)
Story of the life of writer/playwright Moss Hart.

Director:

Writers:

(book),
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Runyonesque Broadway gamblers turn patriotic when they stumble onto a cell of Nazi saboteurs.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Conrad Veidt, Kaaren Verne
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Libby has spent a whole month trying to get into show business with her singing, and has not made it. Therefore she decides to retire and get a job where she can meet the right man and get ... See full summary »

Director: Don Weis
Stars: Connie Francis, Jim Hutton, Susan Oliver
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A musical remake of Ninotchka: After three bumbling Soviet agents fail in their mission to retrieve a straying Soviet composer from Paris, the beautiful, ultra-serious Ninotchka is sent to ... See full summary »

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Janis Paige
Side Street (1949)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A struggling young father-to-be gives in to temptation and impulsively steals money from the office of a shady lawyer - with catastrophic consequences.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, James Craig
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After spending three years in an asylum, a washed-up actor views a minor assignment from his old director in Rome as a chance for personal and professional redemption.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson, Cyd Charisse
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The trials and tribulations of bitter veteran Captain Maddocks and argumentative rookie Lieutenant McQuade at a cavalry desert outpost.

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Richard Boone, George Hamilton, Luana Patten
Angel Baby (1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Directors: Paul Wendkos, Hubert Cornfield
Stars: George Hamilton, Mercedes McCambridge, Joan Blondell
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Upper class Americans Noel and Meg Johnson have a twenty-six year old daughter named Clara Johnson. Clara suffered a head injury as a child which resulted in her being mentally disabled. ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Green
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, George Hamilton, Yvette Mimieux
Act One (2005)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Act One is a comedy-drama that relays the story of Kevin Hansen, a confident, immature twenty-two year old screenwriter. Throughout his whole life, things have pretty much gone Kevin's way.... See full summary »

Director: Brad Ellis
Stars: Allen C. Gardner, Bettina Adger, Casey Cannon
Crime | Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Mrs. Hoyle, a retired school teacher, resides in a hotel bought by Morganti, a gangster, who evicts most of the tenants but allows Mrs. Hoyle and Angela Brown, a dance-hall girl to remain. ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Yarbrough
Stars: Spring Byington, Anthony Caruso, Tanis Chandler
Boomerang! (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The true story of a prosecutor's fight to prove the innocence of a man accused of a notorious murder.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Dana Andrews, Jane Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb
Mystery | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Murder unfolds around a young girl who sleepwalks and talks while she does so.

Director: Reginald Le Borg
Stars: Richard Conte, Francesca Annis, Joyce Carey
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Moss Hart
...
George S. Kaufman
...
Joe Hyman
...
Ruth Ford ...
Beatrice Kaufman
...
Warren Stone
Joseph Leon ...
Max Seigel
...
Lester Sweyd
...
Mr. Hart
Sam Groom ...
David Starr
Sammy Smith ...
Sam H. Harris
Louise Larabee ...
Clara Baum
...
Oliver Fisher
...
Teddy Manson (as Jonathan Lippe)
...
Archie Leach
Edit

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

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 December 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Primeiro acto  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although completed in 1963, not released until 1965 as second half of double bill with Dear Heart (1964). 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Charming but too sentimental
18 September 2011 | by See all my reviews

"Act One" was a 1963 Dore Schary production, released through Warner Bros. and written and directed, as well as produced, by Schary, based on Moss Hart's entertaining memoir of his start in the theatre. After having had five of his plays — all serious dramas modeled after the works of Eugene O'Neill — rejected, Hart (George Hamilton) decides to take the advice of his friend and patron Joe Hyman (Jack Klugman) and his sort-of agent Richard Maxwell (Sam Levene) and write a comedy instead. He has no idea what he's going to do for a comedy plot until he reads an issue of *Variety* and notes that the featured story in it is the turmoil being caused in Hollywood by the advent of talking pictures. He concocts a story called "Once In a Lifetime" and drafts a play on it, only to get the runaround from a producer named Warren Simon, who keeps him waiting in the lobby of Simon's hotel for two days (during which time he's nearly bitten several times by an obnoxious small dog one of the bellboys is walking for a guest — I kept waiting for the payoff of the gag to be that it's Warren Simon's dog, but somehow Messrs. Hart and Schary missed that one). A friend of his who has a contact with the legendary producer Sam Harris (the man who partnered with George M. Cohan for years, gave the Marx Brothers their first major hit, "The Cocoanuts," and was reportedly so wonderful and sweet to everyone that the nastiest thing anyone could ever remember him saying about anybody was in 1933, when the Nazis took power in Germany, about which his comment was, "Hitler is not a nice fellow") gets Hart's play a reading in Harris's office, whereupon Harris's verdict is he'll produce it if Hart can get the legendary George S. Kaufman (Jason Robards, Jr.) to rewrite and direct it.

Work starts on the script, accompanied by a lot of bouncy underscoring by Skitch Henderson that doesn't sound anything like the real pop music of the 1920's and 1930's (and the "source" music heard throughout the film is only marginally closer!), and Schary proves utterly unable to make the on-screen act of writing seem dramatic. He may also have been hamstrung by being unable to quote more than snippets of the actual play Hart and Kaufman wrote: "Once in a Lifetime" was bought by Universal and filmed by them in 1932, and in the early 1970's PBS showed the film and hailed it as a major rediscovery — then it got stuffed back in the vaults and hasn't been let out since then! (The actual film of "Once in a Lifetime" and "Act One" would make an interesting double bill, and it definitely goes alongside "The Power and the Glory" and "The Man Who Reclaimed His Head" among the early-1930's movies that remain frustratingly unavailable on DVD.) Hart called the book on which the film was based "Act One" to denote that he wasn't writing his entire life story — just the start of his career — and it's full of wonderful Jewish character actors (including an unrecognizable George Segal at the start of his career as Hart's nihilistic friend Lester Sweyd). "Act One" the book I remember as a charming but also thrilling memoir that made the act of writing seem as vertiginously exciting as watching a tightrope walker; "Act One" the movie is charming but also awfully sentimental (a flaw in Hart's writing generally; just compare the well-made but sometimes sugary script he wrote for the 1954 version of "A Star Is Born" to the marvelously acerbic one Dorothy Parker co-wrote for the 1937 original), and George Hamilton doesn't look particularly Jewish (especially by comparison with the real-life Jews playing his parents, Martin Wolfson and Sylvia Straus!) but he acts the part well enough within limits — Charles commented that Hamilton's acting skills actually seemed to deteriorate as he got older and lost his boyish good looks! — and the supporting cast is a delight, especially Robards (though one wonders how someone that curmudgeonly could come up with so many great funny lines in his plays!) and Klugman.


15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

What Is Katee Sackhoff Watching?

Katee Sackhoff shares her Watchlist and love for the CW drama "Reign" with "The IMDb Show." Plus, we take a look at the top 10 TV Shows of 2017.

Watch now