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Hollywood Newsreel (1934)

Approved | | Short | 24 March 1934 (USA)

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A variety of stories from "behind the scenes" in Hollywood. There's a report on a second gold rush in California. The 1934 Rose Bowl winners, from Columbia University, visit Warner Bros. ... See full summary »

Director:

(as George R. Bilson)

Writer:

(as George R. Bilson)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Al Barabas ...
Himself (uncredited)
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Himself (uncredited)
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Herself (uncredited)
Ed Brominski ...
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Sammy Fain ...
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Irving Kahal ...
Himself (uncredited)
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Himself (uncredited)
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Herself (uncredited)
Lou Little ...
Himself (uncredited)
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Storyline

A variety of stories from "behind the scenes" in Hollywood. There's a report on a second gold rush in California. The 1934 Rose Bowl winners, from Columbia University, visit Warner Bros. studios ands seem to have a particularly good time with the dancers from an upcoming musical. Joan Blondell makes an appearance after a recent illness and thanks her fans. There's a shot of Elmer the trained lamb and Sammy Fain sings a couple of his compositions from an upcoming film. Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Short

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

24 March 1934 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film short is available as a bonus on the Warner DVD of 42nd Street (1933). See more »

Connections

References Merry Wives of Reno (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

How Do I Know It's Sunday?
(uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal
Performed by Sammy Fain (piano and vocals) and Irving Kahal (vocals)
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User Reviews

 
What poise! What rhythm! What nonsense!
25 February 2006 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

This amusing little item was produced in the heyday of the Hollywood studio system, and was intended to promote Warner Brothers' studio, its stars and upcoming releases. It plays rather like a live-action version of a frothy movie magazine, the sort of thing ladies flip through while sitting under hair-driers, as it breathlessly offers us "Intimate Glimpses of Your Favorite Stars Behind the Scenes of Movieland." Well, it isn't exactly intimate, but if you're the sort of buff who might enjoy casual, home movie-like footage featuring the likes of Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Ginger Rogers, etc., then you've come to the right place.

The first sequence concerns a studio visit by Columbia University's football team, fresh from a victory over Stanford. The guys grin at the camera and clown around a little awkwardly with Joe E. Brown, Ricardo Cortez, and a few other contract players, but they seem a lot happier visiting the Busby Berkeley girls on the set of Wonder Bar. Next we have an odd little sequence involving Dick Powell, Margaret Livingston, and Guy Kibbee. The narrator informs us that since the price of gold has doubled since F.D.R. was elected president, old timers are once again trekking to the hills of California to dig for it. So these three performers, we're told, have "dropped in" to a gold mine to investigate. Actually, of course, the studio publicity department has dispatched them there to pose for a few carefully composed shots while the narrator alternately lectures us on gold panning techniques and delivers wisecracks about tunneling into Mae West's boudoir. This sequence captures the silliness of the Hollywood ballyhoo machine quite aptly.

After a couple of brief moments with Joan Blondell (ever charming) and comedian Hugh Herbert (ever charmless), the film concludes with a musical sequence featuring Hal LeRoy and Patricia Ellis, the young stars of Harold Teen, i.e. the talkie remake of the 1928 silent feature. The duo visit the office of songwriters Sammy Fain & Irving Kahan, songs from the movie are sung, and then Hal LeRoy dances. LeRoy, who was originally a stage star, had a rather goofy presence on camera and never really made it big in pictures, but the guy sure could dance. His soft-shoe number is a pleasure to watch, and is far and away the highlight of this little potpourri.

It's amusing to hear the (unidentified) narrator rattle off his text with the edgy intensity heard in the newsreels of the period, especially considering how fluffy this material is . . . although, to be fair, the approach seems deliberately tongue-in-cheek. Perhaps the narrator sums up the entire enterprise best in one line delivered during the gold digging sequence: "What poise! What rhythm! What nonsense!"


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