With a full Hollywood background and settings but more an expose of scandal-and-gossip magazines of the era, has-been actor John Blakeford agrees to write his memoirs for magazine-publisher...
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Egyptologist, Dean Lambert (Lloyd), accused of car-theft, skips bail and begins a cross-country trek to join a group in New York headed for Egypt. With the police close on his trail he gets... See full summary »
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Fred C. Newmeyer,
With a full Hollywood background and settings but more an expose of scandal-and-gossip magazines of the era, has-been actor John Blakeford agrees to write his memoirs for magazine-publisher Jordan Winston. When Blakeford's daughter, Patricia, ask him to desist for the sake of his ex-wife, Carlotta Blakeford, he attempts to break his contract with Winston.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
... because that was the point of Hollywood Boulevard, before it lost its focus.
A little remembered Paramount drama directed by Robert Florey about a washed up but vain silent film star (John Halliday) who agrees to have his life story (much embellished) told in a series of scandal magazine articles, much to the chagrin of his daughter whom he hasn't seen in years.
The film starts promisingly, with many on location shots (some at interesting off kilter camera angles) of Hollywood, its studio sets, streets and famous nightclubs, providing a genuine feeling for old time Hollywood sure to bring some pleasure to a film buff's heart. Even more interestingly, the film is chock-full of many silent stars many of them largely out of commission but brought back for this project. Among them: Esther Ralston (still very attractive), Francis X. Bushman, Betty Compson, Roy D'Arcy, Jack Mulhall and Mae Marsh. In addition, Gary Cooper can be seen sitting on a bar stool at the Trocadero.
But a film that initially appears to be about the cruelties of Hollywood in the manner in which the town turns its back on former stars soon loses focus as its story goes off in different directions. Far too much screen time is devoted to the romance between the washed up star's daughter (a pretty Marsha Hunt) and an overly eager screenwriter (Robert Cummings) who never stops spouting his obviously self adoring comments and trying to project "charm." The young Cummings is a genuinely irksome presence in this film.
In the final analysis, Hollywood Boulevard is a curiosity with flashes of potential, its writing its letdown, but lovers of old time Hollywood will still get a kick out of the frequent flashes of the town as it appeared in 1936, as well as an interesting cast, including those frequent silent film star cameos.
A prophetic irony: just minutes into this film Eleanore Whitney, a real actress dancer newly arrived in the film capital and playing herself here, is seen signing her name in cement, with cameras flashing and crowds cheering. A spokesperson says to the actress, "And now, my dear, you have left your immortal mark in Hollywood." "I wonder," Whitney says to herself.
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