Thursday, May 02, 2013


Bebe Daniels is an aging movie star appearing in a new stage show. She's not a big draw anymore but seems completely oblivious to that fact—maybe because her young boyfriend (Thomas Beck) always sits in the front row and applauds wildly—and still makes big-star demands on everyone. Also in the show is a musical comedy trio (Alice Faye, Frank Mitchell, Joe Durant) looking to hit the big time. When the show's tour is canceled, the trio goes to Hollywood where Faye works at a laundry and the two guys work on a streetcar. Faye thinks their manager has arranged for an audition for her with a big producer, but he sneaks her into a Mexican restaurant to sing while the producer is eating dinner. Eventually, she gets a movie role—in a movie with Daniels, who has brought her kid sister to Hollywood. Daniels has big ideas for the movie; her vision for one production number calls for "Rabbits… symbolic… about 150." The sister gets the hots for Beck, Faye gets her big break, and Daniels is finally able to face up to reality, admits the girl she's passing off as her sister is really her daughter, and agrees to take a smaller role in the movie. This short musical isn't bad considering Alice Faye is the star—I've never really warmed up to Faye, and she's no better here, early in her career, than she was later, but there is the novelty that in this film she's done up as a dead ringer for Jean Harlow (as in the picture above). Mitchell and Durant, who were a real-life comedy team, do a lot of physical comedy; some of it works, some doesn't.  Daniels is quite good as an egotistical movie star, playing mostly for good-natured laughs instead of mean jabs. The title song got stuck in my head for a few days, but now I can't recall it at all. It's fun that Thomas Beck's character’s name is Tony Bennett.  [FMC]

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