5.4/10
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2 user 1 critic

Talent Scout (1937)

Approved | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 24 July 1937 (USA)
A Hollywood playboy helps a small-town girl achieve stardom.

Director:

William Clemens

Writers:

George Bilson (original story) (as George R. Bilson), George Bilson (screen play) (as George R. Bilson) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Woods ... Steve Stewart
Jeanne Madden ... Mary Brannigan
Fred Lawrence ... Raymond Crane
Rosalind Marquis ... Bernice Fox
Joseph Crehan ... A.J. Lambert
Charles Halton ... M.B. Carter
Teddy Hart Teddy Hart ... Moe Jerome
Mary Treen ... Janet Morris
Robert Paige ... Bert Smith (as David Carlyle)
Al Herman Al Herman ... Jack Scholl
Joan Valerie ... Ruth - Secretary (as Helen Valkis)
John Pearson John Pearson ... Jed Hudkins
Frank Faylen ... Master of Ceremonies (scenes deleted)
John Harron ... Charlie - Bus Driver
Mary Doyle Mary Doyle ... Miss Grant - Carter's Secretary
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Storyline

A Hollywood playboy helps a small-town girl achieve stardom.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Studio Romance See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Craig Reynolds, who appears briefly from archive footage in the movie, was originally cast as the star of this movie, but caught the flu and was replaced by Donald Woods. See more »

Soundtracks

Born to Love
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by M.K. Jerome
Lyrics by Jack Scholl
Sung by Jeanne Madden and Fred Lawrence with Teddy Hart on piano
Reprised by them with chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Movie Struck
9 September 2017 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

TALENT SCOUT (Warner Brothers, 1937), directed by William Clemens, is a very minor "B" musical/comedy that could have been an exceptional programmer about Hollywood and the movies, but it isn't. Taken from an original story by George R. Bilson, the product is far from original since it contains some elements lifted from the George S. Hoffman and Most Hart 1928 play and later screen adaptation to ONCE IN A LIFETIME (Universal, 1932) along with TWENTY MILLION SWEETHEARTS (Warners, 1934) featuring Pat O'Brien. Donald Woods goes against type doing a Pat O'Brien in the title role through his fast talking, quick thinking fashion. While the studio's relatively newcomer, Jeanne Madden, following her promising movie debut opposite Dick Powell in STAGE STRUCK (1936), gathers the most attention, for her second screen performance,unfortunately turns out to be both unrewarding and unmemorable.

The story opens on a cross country tour bus with outdoor sign reading "Beauty on Wheels" with Steve Stewart (Donald Woods), publicity man and talent scout for Apex Pictures riding along with numerous Hollywood starlets. After the bus gets stuck on in the mud, Steve hitches a ride with Jed Hoskins (John Pearson), a country yokel, to the nearest service station ten miles away for help. Dropped off at Joe's Place, Steve makes a collect call to A.J. Lambert (Joseph Crehan), the studio head, informing him of the situation, but gets fired instead "as of last Saturday." Stranded, Steve hitch-hikes his way to a small town in Detroit where he stops in a burlesque theater where he sees Mary Brannigan (Jeanne Madden) performing. Amazed by her talent, he takes her back with him to Hollywood at a promise of grooming her to major movie stardom. Following a screen test, M.B. Carter (Charles Halton) and Smith (David Carlyle) become disappointed with her song delivery through suggestions by Steve. However, he discovers the error in his ways after listening to Mary later singing a ballad in her own manner. She gets a spot singing at a charity benefit at KFWB Radio where this time, she becomes a sensation. Having her name changed to Doris Pierce, she soon stars in a series of motion pictures starring Raymond Crane (Fred Lawrence), much to the chagrin of Bernice Fox (Rosalind Marquis), his frequent co-star who loves him. Through the course of a year, Pierce and Crane have become a popular screen item. Having fallen in love with her, Steve intends on proposing to Mary, but finds she has other plans for her future. Others appearing in the cast are Teddy Hart (Moe Jerome); Helen Valkis (Ruth); David Carlyle (Bert Smith); and Frank Orth (The Theater Manager). Although Warner Brothers contract players as Allen Jenkins, Joan Blondell and Patricia Ellis are said to have cameo appearance in TALENT SCOUT, their scenes are actually clipped from their earlier movies, notably Jenkins from TWENTY MILLION SWEETHEARTS (1934) and Blondell from Broadway GONDOLIER (1935).

With a forgettable story comes such forgettable songs by M.K. Jerome and Jack Scholl as: "Silent Picture Days," "Silent Picture Days" (reprise); "I Am a Singer, You Are the Song," "I Am the Singer, You Are the Song" (reprise, all sung by Jeanne Madden); "No, No Senor" (sung by Rosalind Marquis, dance by ensemble); "Born to Love," "I Was Wrong" and "Born to Love" (all sung by Fred Lawrence and Jeanne Madden). Only "No, No Senor" gets a slight production number status at a movie studio set.

The problem with TALENT SCOUT is that it tries to put so much in its tight 62 minutes, resulting to very brief bits here and there indicating heavy editing and deleted scenes before the movie was released in theaters. Madden is introduced singing a song about silent picture days, but is not sung throughout. She sings a few bars of the song, then followed immediately with a scene where she's approached by the talent scout, and suddenly she's on her way to Hollywood. On the comedic side comes a rustic named Jed Hodkins who, for offering the talent scout and discoverer of "Dick Powell, Kay Francis and Pat O'Brien" a ride, and having the scout patiently listen to his rendition to "Am I Blue?," takes the talent scout seriously by coming to Apex Pictures later on to look him up for a job, only to get the run- around. Then there's Mary Treen as the no- nonsense secretary, Janet Morris, who allows playwrights Muscleman and Twirp (Eddie Acuff and Donald Kerr) to await in the waiting room for four months to meet with the studio head. And what's become of the stranded bus full of starlets earlier in the story is never explained.

As hard as the cast tries to deliver a fine performance, it just doesn't work. Jeanne Madden would appear in one more motion picture, SEA RACKETEERS (Republic, 1937) before leaving the motion picture business forever. Donald Wood would resume his usual style of acting for many years to come (playing the father in THIRTEEN GHOSTS (1960), for example), but never developed himself to a top leading mustache actor as Clark Gable. Never distributed to home video, this rarely seen TALENT SCOUT has been presented every so often on Turner Classic Movies, especially on themes of Hollywood's Hollywood, but don't expect too much. (**)


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