6.0/10
151
4 user 2 critic

It's Tough to Be Famous (1932)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama | 2 April 1932 (USA)
Fame proves to be too overwhelming when Scott becomes a national hero.

Director:

Alfred E. Green

Writers:

Mary McCall (story "The Goldfish Bowl"), Robert Lord (adaptation)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Union Depot (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Travelers of different and varied backgrounds meet and interact on one night in a metropolitan train station and its environs.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Blondell, Guy Kibbee
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Jimmy writes the 'Up and Down Broadway' column for the New York Globe, and he is head over heels for Mary. But Mary is more interested in her career and is looking at starring on Broadway ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Ann Dvorak, Frances Dee
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When the co-owner of a secretarial school visits a magazine editor to find out why he runs through secretaries, she's mistaken for an applicant. Drawn to him, she accepts the position.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Jean Arthur, George Brent, Lionel Stander
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A chambermaid impersonates the fictional subject of a composite photo that won a beauty contest, with whom a famed aviator falls in love.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Marion Davies, Pat O'Brien, Dick Powell
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A down and out private eye falls for a woman he has been hired to frame.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: William Powell, Margaret Lindsay, Ruth Donnelly
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Perry interrupts his vacation plans when an ex-girlfriend, now newly married, asks him to help her with murder and bigamy charges.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Warren William, Margaret Lindsay, Donald Woods
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mary Donnell, a young legal secretary with a past, elopes with a client's son, but his father has the marriage annulled without knowing she's pregnant.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Anita Louise
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

To share expenses unemployed Alabama move in with also unemployed Bill and Toodles. Bill is hired by a gangster's mistress and ultimately becomes the gangster's bodyguard. Alabama ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bette Davis, Frank McHugh
A Double Life (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Anthony John is an actor whose life is strongly influenced by the characters he plays. When he's playing comedy, he's the most enjoyable person in the world, but when he's playing drama, ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Ronald Colman, Edmond O'Brien, Signe Hasso
Undercurrent (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Middle-aged bride Ann Hamilton soon begins to suspect that her charming husband is really a psychotic who plans to murder her.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Robert Taylor, Robert Mitchum
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An executive hires a mousy, plain woman as his secretary so she will not divert him from his work, but she still becomes determined to win his heart.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Marian Marsh, David Manners, Warren William
Lady Luck (1946)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman marries a gambler with the hopes of reforming him, but things don't quite work out the way she planned.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Robert Young, Barbara Hale, Frank Morgan
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Scott 'Scotty' McClenahan
Mary Brian ... Janet Porter McClenahan
Harold Minjir Harold Minjir ... Sutter, the Ghost Writer (as Harold Minjer)
Emma Dunn ... 'Moms' McClenahan
Walter Catlett ... Joseph Craig 'Joe' Chapin
David Landau ... Chief Petty Officer Steve Stevens
Oscar Apfel ... S.J. Boynton
Terrance Ray Terrance Ray ... Sanford, Naval Officer Helping Scotty
J. Carrol Naish ... Lt. Blake (scenes deleted) (as J. Carroll Naish)
Louise Beavers ... Ada, Janet's Maid
Edit

Storyline

When his submarine, S89, is sunk by an excursion boat, Scotty is the last one left aboard after helping the crew to be rescued. However, Navy divers are able to save Scotty and his heroics make him a hero. Retiring from the Navy as a Commander, he finds that, as a hero, he is in great demand. There are parades. speeches, endorsements, banquets and autographs galore. Even his marriage to his sweetheart Janet is headline news. Everyone wants a piece of Scotty. The only thing that Scotty does not have is his freedom and a life of his own. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He Was Too Busy Making History to Make Love! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Passed
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 April 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Goldfish Bowl See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's earliest documented USA telecasts took place in Phoenix Tuesday 18 April 1957 on KOOL (Channel 10) followed by Portland OR 19 July 1957 on KPTV (Channel 12), by Tucson 29 July 1957 on KGUN (Channel 9), by Wichita 29 November 1957 on KAKE (Channel 10), by Los Angeles 20 January 1958 on KTLA (Channel 5), by Columbus 12 February 1958 on WTVN (Channel 6), by San Antonio 26 March 1958 on WOAI (Channel 4), by San Francisco 2 June 1958 on KTVU (Channel 2) (Oakland CA), by Honolulu 8 July 1958 on KHVH (Channel 13), and by Cincinnati 19 August 1958 on WKRC (Channel 12). See more »

Quotes

Scott 'Scotty' McClenahan: I suppose I ought to know what you're talking about, but I don't.
Joseph Craig 'Joe' Chapin: Ole Olafson, the third mate of the Danish Trans-Steamer. Don't you read the papers?
Scott 'Scotty' McClenahan: Only the Sports section.
See more »

Soundtracks

Maryland, My Maryland
(uncredited)
Music based on "O Tannenbaum"
Traditional
Played at the parade for Scotty
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
You Consent To Your Exploitation
21 January 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

One of a flock of films that Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. made for Warner Brothers in the early Thirties, It's Tough To Be Famous takes a look at the cult of celebrity and those who profit off it. In his memoirs, Salad Days, Fairbanks was not especially crazy about this film, but he did some others that he felt were far worse.

Fairbanks himself acknowledged that the story came from the life of Charles Lindbergh and the cult of celebrity that came around him after his flight in 1927. Doug plays Scotty McLennan who is a naval commander and skipper of a submarine that went down in the Atlantic. As rescue vessels race to her, the only question is will the oxygen hold out long enough to reach the submerged vessel on the bottom.

As captain, Fairbanks orders his men to go up with oxygen masks out the torpedo tube and elects to stay behind and man the tubes. But fortunately before he suffocates, outside rescue arrives and he's saved and proclaimed a hero who, but for that timely intervention would have sacrificed his life for his crew.

The rest of the film is what happens afterward, the marriage he was going to have with Mary Brian becomes a public one, his life becomes run by people he's hired to exploit his name.

Oddly enough nine years later Warner Brothers would make a film about a real hero who turned his back on such lures of easy money to trade in on his good name. Gary Cooper as Sergeant York got an Oscar for playing the self effacing York as only the self effacing Cooper could have.

In real life you consent to your exploitation. This is true of celebrity heroes from Buffalo Bill to Michael Phelps. Some like Sergeant York and Neil Armstrong completely resisted the lure of fame and easy money.

Walter Catlett has a nice part in a very typical Walter Catlett role as a publicity agent, something he took a patent out on in the way he played those kind of roles.

It's Tough To Be Famous is not a bad film, but it's hardly the Sweet Smell Of Success which really takes a look at the cult of celebrity and how so many crave to be one.


12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed