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The Matinee Idol (1928)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 14 March 1928 (USA)
A Broadway matinee idol famous for his black-face portrayals anonymously joins an amateur acting troupe and falls in love with the leading lady.

Director:

Frank Capra (as Frank R. Capra)

Writers:

Robert Lord (from the story "Come Back to Aaron"), Ernest Pagano (from the story "Come Back to Aaron") | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bessie Love ... Ginger Bolivar
Johnnie Walker ... Don Wilson - aka Harry Mann
Ernest Hilliard Ernest Hilliard ... Arnold Wingate
Lionel Belmore ... Jasper Bolivar
David Mir David Mir ... Eric Barrymaine
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Storyline

The famous matinee idol and blackface comedian, Don Wilson, heads out of town to escape adulation. There, calling himself Harry Mann, he accidentally joins a traveling acting troupe, and falls in love with Ginger Bolivar, who runs the troupe and stars in their Civil War melodrama. Don's producer sees the play, and thinks it's a comic masterpiece, and just what Don's Broadway show needs. But when Ginger finds out she's been played for a fool, will she forgive Don? Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Here's a real comedy of the theater, which takes you behind the scenes of a thrilling melodrama and shows you how they acted in the old ten-twenty-thirties. You'll learn how to make love and say nice things to your sweetheart. (Print Ad- Times- Independent, ((Moab, Utah)) 21 March 1929)

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This restored version runs 57 minutes but is still missing about five minutes. The restoration was a joint venture of the Cinematheque Francais, the Motion Picture Academy and Sony Entertainment. See more »

Quotes

Don Wilson, Harry Mann: [after meeting a feminine actor] Who is that? Helen of Troy?
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1997, Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., copyrighted a 56-minute restored version of this film with a musical score arranged and conducted by Robert Israel, The addition of modern credits stretched the running time to 57 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Frank Capra's American Dream (1997) See more »

User Reviews

The Matinee Idol review
4 May 2020 | by JoeytheBritSee all my reviews

Blackface star Johnny Walker inadvertently gets a job in cute Bessie Love's struggling stage troupe. Ok comedy which really comes alive during the scenes in which the hopeless Bolivar Troupe hilariously perform their Civil War drama on stage.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 March 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bessie à Broadway See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (1997 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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