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 ...
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Broadway dance director George Randall (Dick Powell) is stuck with staging a Broadway show starring Peggy Revere (Joan Blondell), a wealthy but untalented performer who is starring only ... See full summary »
Dick Purcell is an American taxi driver who wants to become a singer promoting cheese products. Oddly he thinks the way to do it is to become a gondolier from Venice. Along the way he sings and woos a sassy secretary Alice.
A police detective investigating a jewel robbery discovers evidence that points to his girlfriend as the culprit, although she claims she was framed. He arrests her anyway, and she is ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
The play, "Merton of the Movies" upon which this film is based, opened on Broadway at the Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St., on November 13, 1922 and ran for 392 performances until October 20, 1923. See more »
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 »
Once again TCM comes to the rescue of a forgotten gem. I agree with the posters here who comment on the interesting mix of pathos and comedy in this film. The film is truly touching in a way that could not come across today. Why is that? I think that nowadays it is an either-or : either you are a comedy or you are going for pathos. The trick of balancing both seems to be lost.
There is additional pleasure in seeing Paramount stars of the times in walk-ons in the scenes on the lot or at the disastrous/successful preview. Look quickly and you can see Gary Cooper, Claudette Colbert, Tallulah Bankhead among others.
Joan Blondell is excellent in her specialty, playing the tough cookie with a huge sentimental streak. I found the sweetness of the comedy in the scenes back home in Simsbury absolutely refreshing. Not a touch of cynicism even though these characters are so clearly the objects of humor.
Catch this when you can. I just checked the Turner schedule for the next three months and it doesn't seem to be on.
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