36 user 29 critic

What Price Hollywood? (1932)

Passed | | Drama | 24 June 1932 (USA)
The career of a waitress takes off when she meets an amiable drunken Hollywood director.


George Cukor


Gene Fowler (by), Rowland Brown (by) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Constance Bennett ... Mary Evans
Lowell Sherman ... Max Carey
Neil Hamilton ... Lonny Borden
Gregory Ratoff ... Julius Saxe
Brooks Benedict ... Muto
Louise Beavers ... The Maid
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Reed ... Undetermined Secondary Role (scenes deleted)


Brown Derby waitress Mary Evans befriends seldom-sober director Max Carey and is soon in the big-time. She hooks eastern millionaire Lonnie Borden but he soon tires of the Hollywood lifestyle and of playing second fiddle to a star. Carey looks on with interest when he can see straight. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


As vivid as a fireworks display...Chock-full of intimate inside dope about Hollywood, how stars make the grade-how they get the breaks, plus all the fun and frivolity. (Print Ad-Greenfield Recorder, ((Greenfield, Mass.)) 6 September 1932) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film was not a success at the box office, resulting in a loss of $50,000 ($890,000 in 2017) for RKO according to studio records. See more »


When Mary is filming her first bit part she drops her script on the stairs, which then disappears between shots. See more »


[first lines]
[Mary Evans is admiring a magazine photo of Clark Gable]
Mary Evans: Hmmmm. Oh, boy!
[Mary places the magazine photo against her face and pretends Gable is her lover. She speaks in an exaggerated voice]
Mary Evans: Daaahling, how I love you my daaahling, I love you I do.
[she puts the magazine down and returns to her normal voice]
Mary Evans: It's getting late and I must scram.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a "by" credit to Gene Fowler and Rowland Brown after the title shows, but there is also a "screen play by" credit to Jane Murfin and Ben Markson, without leaving any clear explanation or context as to what "by" actually means. But the reality was that Fowler and Brown wrote the real screenplay, with Murfin and Markson providing the continuity. See more »


Version of A Star Is Born (2018) See more »


Happy Days Are Here Again
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Part of a medley played during the opening credits
See more »

User Reviews

Melodramatic and predictable but good
2 September 2005 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Alcoholic director Max Carey (Lowell Sherman) discovers waitress Mary Evans (Constance Bennett). She becomes a big star and marries handsome Lonny Borden (Neil Hamilton)...but Carey's alcoholism starts to kill him and Lonny can't deal with his wife's stardom....

Very predictable but good. This movie moves VERY quickly; is well-directed by George Cukor; has some sharp pre-Code dialogue and has a good script that gives an interesting look at Hollywood in the 1930s. The church sequence especially is fascinating. It gets a little overly silly at the end but it still works.

Bennett is just great--beautiful and believable; Sherman was good also; Hamilton is just so-so but he's unbelievably handsome so that helps. Gregory Ratoff also gets some laughs as a VERY excitable studio head.

This was (pretty obviously) the inspiration for the later "A Star Is Born" movies but stands on its own merit. I give it an 8.

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English | French

Release Date:

24 June 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hollywood Madness See more »


Box Office


$411,676 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Path√© Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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