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Merton of the Movies (1947)

A Kansas bumpkin goes to Hollywood to become a movie star and gets a job burlesquing his favorite actor - only he thinks the role is serious.

Director:

Robert Alton

Writers:

Lou Breslow, Marc Connelly (play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Red Skelton ... Merton Gill aka Clifford Armytage
Virginia O'Brien ... Phyllis Montague
Gloria Grahame ... Beulah Baxter
Leon Ames ... Lawrence Rupert
Alan Mowbray ... Frank Mulvaney
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Jeff Baird
Hugo Haas ... Von Strutt - Director
Harry Hayden ... Mr. Gashwiler
Tom Trout Tom Trout ... Marty
Douglas Fowley ... Phil
Dick Wessel ... Chick
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tom Dugan ... Sam Montague (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

In 1915, Kansas theatre usher Merton Gill is a rabid silent-movie fan. When he brings Mammoth Studios free publicity by imitating star Lawrence Rupert's heroics, they bring him to Hollywood to generate another headline; he thinks he'll get a movie contract. Disillusioned, he haunts the casting offices, where he meets and is consoled by Phyllis Montague, bit player and stunt-woman. When Merton finally gets his "break," though, it's not quite what he envisioned... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Red Skelton's Howling Hit About Hollywood!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Buscame en Hollywood See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This was Virginia O'Brien's final starring role and the last film she made for MGM. After this she had small roles in two later films but otherwise retired from the screen. See more »

Quotes

Beulah Baxter: [Introducing Merton to champagne] It's made of grapes... like fruit juice. The Frenchman that sold it to me explained the whole thing one night. We... well, ordered a boat load.
See more »

Connections

Version of Make Me a Star (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

The Man on the Flying Trapeze
Music by Gaston Lyle
Played at the preview when Merton and Phyllis are talking in the lobby
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A decent time-passer.
29 March 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Merton of the Movies" is a Red Skelton movie that sure lacked originality. It's based on the movie by the same name from 1924 and was already remade in 1932. Additionally, the plot bears a very strong resemblance to a Harold Lloyd film from 1932--"Movie Crazy". So, while this 1947 film is nice, it's all terribly familiar. Plus, the Lloyd film was a heck of a lot better.

Skelton plays the title character, Merton Gill--a rube from a small town that thought his path to becoming a movie star was by taking a correspondence course. So, when he wins a trip to Hollywood, he incorrectly assumes it's because of his diploma--but it's really just a publicity stunt. However, he's not deterred and tries to get work as an extra. But he's a clumsy oaf and seems to be out of place in dramas-- until his girlfriend (also an actress) convinces the studio executives to use his terrible footage and just market the films as comedies. Soon, Merton is a star but has no idea everyone is laughing at him. What's next?

This is a rather agreeable film but not much more. Skelton has done better stuff but it's a decent time-passer provided you haven't seen these other films--then it just seems a bit repetitious.


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