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The Life of the Party (1937)

Dr. Molnac and his musical troupe; Beggs, the manager; Mitzi Martos, a singer; Mitzi's agent Pauline; society scion Barry Saunders and his "keeper" Oliver Goodwin, are en route to Santa ... See full summary »


William A. Seiter


Bert Kalmar (screen play), Harry Ruby (screen play) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Penner ... Penner
Gene Raymond ... Barry
Harry Parke ... Parky (as Parkyakarkus)
Harriet Nelson ... Mitzi (as Harriet Hilliard)
Victor Moore ... Oliver
Helen Broderick ... Pauline
Billy Gilbert ... Dr. Molnac
Ann Miller ... Betty
Richard Lane ... Hotel Manager
Franklin Pangborn ... Beggs
Margaret Dumont ... Mrs. Penner
Ann Shoemaker ... Countess Martos
Betty Jane Rhodes ... Susan
George Irving ... Mr. Van Tuyl
Winifred Harris Winifred Harris ... Mrs. Van Tuyl


Dr. Molnac and his musical troupe; Beggs, the manager; Mitzi Martos, a singer; Mitzi's agent Pauline; society scion Barry Saunders and his "keeper" Oliver Goodwin, are en route to Santa Barbara. Barry falls for Mitzi while trying to loosen her slipper caught between two railroad cars, but she mysteriously leaves before he can learn her name. Barry and Oliver take a suite at the Casa Barbara, where they hire the house detective, Parkyakarkus to find the slipper's owner but he bungles the job. Oliver reminds Barry that he will lose his mother's $3,000,000 inheritance if he weds before the age of thirty. Mitzi and Pauline also register at the hotel, hoping to induce Dr. Molnac, performing there, to give Mitzi an audition. Also arriving are Mitzi's mother, Countess Martos and her wealthy friend Mrs. Penner and her son Joe, and the mothers have intentions of Joe marrying Mitzi. Barry finally meets Mitzi, and proposes marriage at a date three years in the future. To break up the romance, ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The greatest comedy cast ever assembled for one picture!


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Release Date:

3 September 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Alma da Festa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ann Miller was actually only about 14 years old when she made this. See more »


The tap shoe sounds don't match up to the tap dancing during the opening number on the train. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits swing in and out from one side, as if they were on door-hinges. See more »


So You Won't Sing
Music by Allie Wrubel
Lyrics by Herb Magidson (as Herbert Magidson)
Played on piano and sung by Gene Raymond (uncredited)
Sung also by Harriet Nelson (uncredited)
Reprised by both at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Joe Penner joins the regulars in caper
22 August 2007 | by ksf-2See all my reviews

Another of the zany mix up films by familiar cast Gene Raymond, Helen Broderick, Frank Pangborn. This one co-stars Ann Miller and Harriet Hilliard. There is a funny bit at the beginning, when they all check into the hotel, which sounds just like a Marx Brothers routine, which is even more funny, Because......Margaret Dumont the high society dame from A Day at the Races (and many of the Marx Brothers films) joins the cast as Mrs. Penner. Joe Penner is determined to join the band, against his mother's wishes. This 1937 version doesn't seem to be at all related to any of the earlier films by the same name (the 1920 one was Fatty Arbuckle, also 1930,1934,1935 versions). This fun caper was written by Joseph Santley, who also wrote Smartest Girl in Town, & Walking on Air. (And of course, those films also starred Gene Raymond and Helen Broderick!) Keep an eye out for Billy Gilbert (His Girl Friday, The Bride Walks Out, the Great Dictator, and 200 other films, half of them uncredited parts.) the music director Dr. Molnac, who sneezed and stuttered his way thru films. This movie seems to be a platform for Joe Penner to do his comedy, with some songs and dance numbers thrown in. Fun, but not Gene Raymond's best. See him in Smartest Girl in Town, Walking on Air, or The Bride Walks Out if you can catch em... they don't show them very often.

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