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Hollywood Hotel (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 15 January 1938 (USA)
Ronny Bowers, a saxophonist in Benny Goodman's band has won a talent contest an got a ten week contract with a film studio. On his first evening he is supposed to go with the studio's star ... See full summary »


Busby Berkeley


Jerry Wald (screen play), Maurice Leo (screen play) | 3 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Powell ... Ronnie Bowers
Rosemary Lane ... Virginia
Lola Lane ... Mona Marshall
Hugh Herbert ... Chester Marshall
Ted Healy ... Fuzzy
Glenda Farrell ... Jonesy
Johnnie Davis ... Georgia
Louella Parsons ... Louella Parsons
Alan Mowbray ... Alexander Dupre
Mabel Todd ... Dot Marshall
Frances Langford ... Alice
Jerry Cooper Jerry Cooper ... Jerry Cooper
Ken Niles Ken Niles ... Ken Niles
Duane Thompson Duane Thompson ... Announcer Duane Thompson
Allyn Joslyn ... Bernie Walton


Ronny Bowers, a saxophonist in Benny Goodman's band has won a talent contest an got a ten week contract with a film studio. On his first evening he is supposed to go with the studio's star Mona Marshall to a movie premiere. But this lady doesn't want to go, so the bosses decide to use for Mona a double, Virginia. When Mona finds out next morning that happened, she insisted to fire her double and Ronny. Ronny finds work as singing waiter in a drive in, and is spotted by a director of the same studio, who wants him to lend his voice for an leading actor in a musical. After the first screening the actor is invited by Louella Parsons to sing in her program "Hollywood Hotel". He accepts, but he doesn't know that Ronny Bowers does not want to lend him his voice again. So everybody starts to play his little game to solve his own problems. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

15 January 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Himaires tou Hollywood See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The actual "Hollywood Hotel" on which this movie is based, was a Hollywood institution. It was a sprawling building built at the turn of the century at 6811 Hollywood Blvd. and had formal gardens, grand lobby, 2 towers and a ballroom. It was the hangout for many stars over the years. It was finally torn down in 1956. The site is now occupied by the new Hollywood-Highland shopping complex and Dolby Theatre, where the Oscars are now presented every year. See more »


In the "Hooray for Hollywood" portion of the finale, Johnnie Davis is shown playing the trumpet on the back row of Benny Goodman's band while at the same time he's in the audience singing. See more »


Dress Designer: I want a pair of very, very high-heeled jeweled sandals!
Jonesy: What are you gonna wear 'em with?
See more »


Referenced in The Last Movie (1971) See more »


I'm a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas
(1928) (uncredited)
Written by Phil Baxter
See more »

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User Reviews

Fun screenplay, Abundant music so-so, despite Benny Goodman.
15 January 2017 | by weezeralfalfaSee all my reviews

A Warner musicomedy directed by Busby Berkeley. Unlike the usual Warner film choreographed by Busby, there's no stage dancing or military maneuvers. Instead, it's lots of singing, the majority concentrated at the end, as is typical of Busby's choreography when there is considerable stage dancing and military maneuvering. Unfortunately, only a little of the terminal music was of interest to me. Most of the best musical numbers occurred before this: "Hooray for Hollywood" at the beginning and again at the end, "Silhouette in the Moonlight", also sung twice and, my favorite: "I'm Like a Fish Out of Water". We have a variety of featured singers, such as Dick Powell, Rosemary Lane, Johnnie Davis, Francis Langford, and Terry Cooper. New songs were composed by the team of Richard Whiting and Johnny Mercer. Music by Benny Goodman or Raymond Paige Orchestras or the multiracial Benny Goodman quartet(Benny, Teddy Wilson, Gene Kruppa, and Lionel Hampton).

The screen play is decent, with a variety of character actors, as well as Dick Powell , contributing to the humor. The plot is mainly concerned with the impersonation of spoiled Hollywood diva Mona(Lola Lane) by a look-alike waitress in the hotel: Virginia(Rosemary Lane). Seems Mona had a temper tantrum about a casting decision, and refused to go to the premier showing of her latest picture. To avoid embarrassment, her producer ordered that a look-alike be found to take her place, squired by new recruit Ronnie(Dick Powell). This proved fortuitous, as Virginia and Ronnie, both singers, soon fell in love. There is no love-hate oscillations in this relationship, as in many musicals. However, Ronnie is confused for a while when he greets Virginia, a waitress, presumably as as Mona, then the real Mona, leading a retinue of dogs and dog walkers, shows up in the hotel. Ronnie gets slapped twice for acting fresh with the real Mona, before he finally learns the truth, and decides he likes Virginia, the waitress, much better. Ronnie is soon involved with another impersonation, when he is asked to dub the singing of Mona's costar for her new movie. This he does, but when the studio wants him to dub the costar's voice at a radio show, he balks. His friends arrange to take the costar elsewhere during the broadcast, so that Ronnie can show his face as the real singer.

Hugh Herbert who played Mona's goofy father, and Mabel Todd, as Mona's goofy sister, tried to be funny in their usual ways, but usually fell flat for me.

Currently available as part of the Busby Berkeley DVD Collection

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