5.9/10
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7 user 1 critic

The Star Maker (1939)

Approved | | Biography, Comedy, Music | 25 August 1939 (USA)
This is a film about the life of Gus Edwards, a well known vaudeville composer, entertainer, and producer.

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writers:

Arthur Caesar (based on a story by), William A. Pierce (based on a story by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bing Crosby ... Larry Earl
Louise Campbell ... Mary
Linda Ware Linda Ware ... Jane Gray
Ned Sparks ... 'Speed' King
Laura Hope Crews ... Carlotta Salvini
Janet Waldo ... Stella
Walter Damrosch ... Walter Damrosch
Thurston Hall ... Mr. Proctor
Clara Blandick ... Miss Esther Jones
Oscar O'Shea ... Mr. Flannigan
John Gallaudet ... Duke
Ben Welden ... Joe Gimlick
Emory Parnell ... Mr. Olson
Dorothy Vaughan ... Mrs. Riley
Bodil Rosing ... Mrs. Swanson
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Storyline

A penniless song writer, Larry Earl, is convinced he is going places in shown business, and convinces Mary, an assistant at an orphanage, to marry him. Fifteen months later they are still in love, but broke as Larry writes songs that won't sell and loses one job after another one. He stops to watch a group of newsboys singing and dancing, and decides to organize them into the greatest kid act to ever hit vaudeville. Mary persuades Proctor, a big theatrical manager, to book the act, and they are a big hit. Then Larry and his publicity agent, "Speed" King, launch a big publicity stunt---a talent train in which they travel across country holding auditions for young performers. Back in New York, Carlotta Salvini, an ex-Opera singer, brings in her talented fourteen-year-old-daughter, Jane, who has an amazing voice. Larry, to get the mother out of the way, offers Carlotta a forty-week vaudeville tour, and then goes to work to make a star out of Jane, by building Broadway's first all-kiddie ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Heart of Show Business - Bing's greatest, most human role as the showman who turned the kids of yesterday into the stars of today (origina ad) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 August 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Berço de Estrelas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

Soundtracks

The Sidewalks of New York
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Lawlor
Lyrics by James W. Blake
Danced by Shoe Shine Kids on the street
See more »

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User Reviews

 
How much you enjoy this will depend strongly on your tolerance for kids acts
5 June 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"The Star Maker" is a film that will catchy you by surprise. At first, you'll like it and it seems enjoyable...but then the second portion hits and the going gets tough! How much you agree with this will certainly depend on your tolerance for watching a children's' talent show.

When the film begins, Larry (Bing Crosby) is a dreamer with huge plans of making it big on stage. Despite his being a fat-head, Mary (Louise Campbell) believes in him and marries him. But they are headed for tough times as Larry's musical career doesn't take off and they are living hand to mouth. However, his career explodes when he begins performing with a group of talented kids....so what's next?

I really enjoyed the first group of child performers--their tap dancing routine was lovely. But the rest of the acts were a real mixed bag...and most of the bag was awful! I have little patience for bad child actors...and the film really pushed this to the limit. Fortunately, Linda Ware was talented...although I didn't particularly love her operatic stylings...but at least they weren't painful!! The only bright spots were Ned Sparks' little digs about how he hated kids! Those were pretty funny.

Overall, a real mixed bag and it's sad that the movie didn't give us more Ned Sparks and more of Crosby's lovely crooning. On balance, it's a film for really devoted fans of Crosby as well as folks who LIKE child pageants!

By the way, be sure to prepare yourself for the incredibly racist song "The Darktown Strutter's Ball"...sung about midway through the picture.


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