6.5/10
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16 user 7 critic

Make Me a Star (1932)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1 July 1932 (USA)
Merton Gill is longing to become a cowboy actor and leaves his hometown to try his luck in Hollywood, but there his acting ability is regarded as non-existent. Actress Flips gives him a ... See full summary »

Director:

William Beaudine

Writers:

Sam Mintz (screen play), Walter DeLeon (screen play) (as Walter De Leon) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Blondell ... 'Flips' Montague
Stuart Erwin ... Merton Gill
Zasu Pitts ... Mrs. Scudder (as ZaSu Pitts)
Ben Turpin ... Ben Turpin
Charles Sellon ... Mr. Gashwiler
Florence Roberts ... Mrs. Gashwiler
Helen Jerome Eddy ... Tessie Kearns
Arthur Hoyt ... Hardy Powell
George Templeton George Templeton ... Buck Benson (as Dink Templeton)
Ruth Donnelly ... The Countess
Sam Hardy ... Jeff Baird
Oscar Apfel ... Henshaw
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Storyline

Merton Gill is longing to become a cowboy actor and leaves his hometown to try his luck in Hollywood, but there his acting ability is regarded as non-existent. Actress Flips gives him a chance in a bit part, but he fails in that; however, the way he fails makes her think that he could be a good comedian. She persuades the studio to put him in a western parody, not telling him what they're really planning, because they know that he does not like comedies. Rather than ending tragic-comically, the movie becomes a brilliant coda to art and its servants, the artists, in this case the magniloquent Joan Blondell and Stuart Erwin. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Help Yourself To Box-Office Happiness! (original trade-paper ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 July 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gates of Hollywood See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many top Paramount stars are seen in connection with the fictional Majestic motion picture studio, including Maurice Chevalier (outside the studio gates), Gary Cooper and Tallulah Bankhead (walking around the studio lot), and Jack Oakie, Charles Ruggles, Clive Brook, Claudette Colbert, Fredric March, and Sylvia Sidney (attending the premiere of "Wide Open Spaces"). See more »

Goofs

When Flips takes Merton to breakfast, the waitress sets a glass of orange juice down on his left, but in the next shot it is on his right. See more »

Quotes

Merton Gill: You shouldn't eat moldy beans. That's bad, isn't it?
See more »

Connections

Version of Merton of the Movies (1924) See more »

Soundtracks

Anvil Chorus
(1853) (uncredited)
from "Il Trovatore"
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Played in the comedy fight scene of Merton's movie
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very touching drama - not really a comedy.
12 August 1999 | by David-240See all my reviews

Billed as a comedy about a gormless man who becomes a Hollywood star, this is actually a moving drama about the savageness of the film industry. Stuart Erwin is very fine as the young man, an innocent lost in the wilds of Hollywood. His performance is reminiscent of the performances of Charles Ray in silent films, a winning combination of warmth and naivety. The character wants to be a a serious actor, but his attempts at drama cause only laughter. After describing one such incident Blondell responds to "That must have been funny" with "Only if you find coal-mine explosions funny". Blondell, as a fellow actor, understands Erwin's pain - her performance is also excellent.

Finally Erwin is tricked into making a comedy film - which he believes is a drama. His devastation at the preview, as the crowd roar with laughter around him, will move you to tears.

Sadly the film ends too abruptly without resolving these complex issues. And the stars making "guest appearances" actually just walk through - a shame that something more imaginative wasn't done with them - and Zasu Pitts only has a tiny role (still funny though).

Great to see how early talkies were made - look at the size of the camera with all that casing to mask the noise. Make sure you see this moving "comedy" - most worthwhile. And afterwards see "Show People" (1928) to see how the talkies transformed Hollywood so quickly.


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