Stand-In (1937) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Atterbury Dodd is an efficiency expert who believes everything can be reduced to mathematics. He is sent to Hollywood to see whether Colossal Pictures is a good investment. He soon learns that movie production doesn't fit his formulaic mindset.

  • Atterbury Dodd, an employee of Pettypacker & Sons in New York, has numbers and figures flowing in his blood along with the corpuscles, to paraphrase a girl he's about to meet. He clashes with the eldest Pettypacker himself over the sale of Colossal Studios out in California. Dodd argues against selling it, so Pettypacker sends him to Hollywood to find out why the movie factory is losing money. Back at Colossal, Koslofski, a director with a cheap foreign accent, is making a jungle picture called "Sex and Satan" with Thelma Cheri, a leading lady whose hips do all her acting. That's according to her producer and former lover, Doug Quintain, a guy who always carries his Scottish terrier under his arm. Dodd finds himself schmoozed by a publicist and harassed by an aggressive stage mother the moment he arrives, sending him fleeing to somewhere no one can find him: Mrs. Mack's boarding house for broken-down actors. There he lives next to the former child star Lester Plum, a.k.a. Sugar Plum, who is now a stand-in for Thelma Cheri. Soon he discovers there's a plot to sabotage the studio and sell it to the unscrupulous Ivor Nassau. Meanwhile, Plum becomes Dodd's secretary, falls in love with him, and is annoyed to find that he admires her - for her mind.

  • Straight-laced mathematical and financial genius Atterbury Dodd works as Executive Vice-President for Wall Street Pettypacker & Sons, which has among its portfolio Hollywood movie studio, Colossal Pictures. Despite Colossal's poor financial state, Atterbury advises company owner, Fowler Pettypacker, not to accept the $5 million offer by Ivor Nassau for Colossal, which goes against Pettypacker's own thoughts. By his calculations, Atterbury knows Colossal should be making money and is worth twice Nassau's offer, which means there is a problem somewhere within the Colossal machine. So Pettypacker issues Atterbury an ultimatum: go to Hollywood with full control over the studio to turn its fortunes around, or don't come back. In Hollywood, Atterbury finds that running a studio isn't quite what he expects, as he knows nothing about popular culture. He is assisted in learning the ropes of Hollywood and studio life by former child star and now stand-in Lester Plum. Miss Plum immediately falls in love with Atterbury, who has no idea since male/female relations are foreign to him. Colossal's fortunes are riding on its latest picture, "Sex and Satan", produced by Doug Quintain, directed by Koslofski, starring Colossal's leading actress and Quintain's love interest Thelma Cheri, and publicized by the studio's chief publicist Tom Potts. What Atterbury is initially unaware of is that three of the four are working in cahoots with Nassau to bankrupt the studio for the sale. When Atterbury finally learns what's going on, it may be too late, unless he can orchestrate a slightly illegal plan, which may have the unintended consequence of losing Miss Plum's much desired admiration.

  • A bean counter from a New York bank goes to Hollywood to investigate a movie studio before his firm sells it at a loss. He uncovers chicanery, learns the ways of Hollywood, finds romance, and tries to save a movie and the studio with some help.

  • A New York bank plans to sell a Hollywood studio at a big loss. But the head accountant is suspicious and goes to investigate. He finds chicanery, romance, and help to save the studio.


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