Conceited actor Emery Slade, on a mission to recruit a Broadway star for Fox, picks unknown Julie Clarke instead.Conceited actor Emery Slade, on a mission to recruit a Broadway star for Fox, picks unknown Julie Clarke instead.Conceited actor Emery Slade, on a mission to recruit a Broadway star for Fox, picks unknown Julie Clarke instead.
William Powell plays a much hated has-been movie star named Emery Slade. Down on his luck and too proud to accept charity, he convinces Melville Crossman, the head of 20th Century Fox, that he can sign a Broadway star to a contract for a big film (not this one). The star is the daughter of his former show business partner. Fox puts him on as an agent and sends him to New York with a publicist, Bill Davis (Mark Stevens). Bill is in love with an aspiring performer, Julie Clarke (Drake). But she won't marry him until she's had her chance. Unbeknownst to Bill, Julie goes to see Slade to try and get an audition for the movie, not realizing that an item about it in the trade papers isn't really true. Drunk and half asleep, when Emery wakes up and sees Julie, he thinks she's an old girlfriend. There's a good reason for that. Maybe you can guess what it is. He did. Anyway, Emery discourages the Broadway star from taking the role and works with Julie so that Crossman will cast her.
There are a couple of problems with this film. The first one is that it looks cheap. The second one is Betsy Drake. A pretty woman, Drake was only a fair actress, a non-dancer and a non-singer. So what is she doing in a musical playing an aspiring musical performer? Good question.
William Powell is wasted here, as is Mark Stevens.
At the end of the movie, there is a big premiere for "The Prince of Foxes." Crossman's office was apparently a replica of Zanuck's office, and name Melville Crossman was apparently a pseudonym that Darryl F. Zanuck used when he wrote scripts. I hope he didn't write this one.
- Jul 13, 2009