Hollywood Hotel (1938)

100, 103 or 109 mins | Musical comedy | 15 January 1938

Director:

Busby Berkeley

Cinematographer:

Charles Rosher

Editor:

George Amy

Production Designer:

Robert Haas

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

In an article in HR , Roy Del Ruth wrote that the Hollywood Hotel was an early gathering place for movie industry people, attracting the likes of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks to Thursday night dances. The film includes shots of the exterior of the hotel, which was no longer prominent at the time of the film. This film was based on a popular radio program of the same name, which was broadcast from the hotel. An ad in HR notes that the Orchid Room, site of the radio broadcasts, was created especially by Warner Bros. for the movie. Contemporary sources credit either Bryan Foy or Sam Bischoff as producers, although neither was credited on the film itself. HR notes that Bette Davis was to star in the film. Contemporary sources mention that George Barnes photographed the finale.
       Louella Parsons, who hosted the Hollywood Hotel radio program, made her screen debut in this production. According to Hal Wallis's autobiography, Campbell Soup, who sponsored Parson's radio show, sued Warner Bros. for using the title without authorization, as did the owners of the Hollywood Hotel. Actor Ted Healy, who portrayed the character Fuzzy, died of a heart attack a few hours after attending the film's preview. For more information on Healy's death, consult the entry below on Of Human Hearts ... More Less

In an article in HR , Roy Del Ruth wrote that the Hollywood Hotel was an early gathering place for movie industry people, attracting the likes of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks to Thursday night dances. The film includes shots of the exterior of the hotel, which was no longer prominent at the time of the film. This film was based on a popular radio program of the same name, which was broadcast from the hotel. An ad in HR notes that the Orchid Room, site of the radio broadcasts, was created especially by Warner Bros. for the movie. Contemporary sources credit either Bryan Foy or Sam Bischoff as producers, although neither was credited on the film itself. HR notes that Bette Davis was to star in the film. Contemporary sources mention that George Barnes photographed the finale.
       Louella Parsons, who hosted the Hollywood Hotel radio program, made her screen debut in this production. According to Hal Wallis's autobiography, Campbell Soup, who sponsored Parson's radio show, sued Warner Bros. for using the title without authorization, as did the owners of the Hollywood Hotel. Actor Ted Healy, who portrayed the character Fuzzy, died of a heart attack a few hours after attending the film's preview. For more information on Healy's death, consult the entry below on Of Human Hearts . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Dec 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Dec 37
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 35
p.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 37
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 37
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 37
pp. 10-11.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Dec 37
p. 1, 3
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 38
pp. 5-36.
Motion Picture Daily
22 Dec 37
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
23 Oct 37
p. 49.
Motion Picture Herald
25 Dec 37
p. 38.
New York Times
13 Jan 38
p. 17.
Variety
22 Dec 37
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Georgia Cooper
Joe Romantini
Sunny Bupp
Helen Valkis
Ellen Clancy
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Mus numbers photog by
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Orch arr
DANCE
Asst dance dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Satan's Holiday," music by Joe Venuti, arranged by Benny Goodman.
SONGS
"Can't Teach My Heart New Tricks," "I'm a Ding Dong Daddie from Dumas," "I'm Like a Fish Out of Water," "I've Hitched My Wagon to a Star," "Let That Be a Lesson to You," "Silhouetted in the Moonlight," "Sing You Son of a Gun" and "Hooray for Hollywood," words and music by Richard Whiting and Johnny Mercer
"California, Here I Come," words and music by Al Jolson, Buddy DeSylva and Joseph Meyer
"Dark Eyes," Russian folksong, arranged by Raymond Paige.
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 January 1938
Production Date:
early August--early November 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 December 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7710
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
100, 103 or 109
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3718
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Ronnie Bowers, a singer and saxophone player with Benny Goodman's orchestra has been placed under contract by All Star Pictures. They book him into the Hollywood Hotel, which is also the residence of All Star luminary Mona Marshall. The afternoon before the premiere of her latest movie, Mona is interviewed by Louella Parsons, who breaks the news that Mona will not get the lead in a new film. Because her heart was set on starring in this film, Mona decides not to go to the premiere and disappears from her hotel. Publicist Bernie Walton holds a casting call to find a woman who looks enough like Mona to pass for her at the premiere and finds Virginia Stanton, whose only work in Hollywood has been as Mona's stunt double. Since Mona's usual escort, Alexander Dupre, will spot the substitution, they assign Ronnie to be her date. Ronnie is smitten with Virginia while thinking she is Mona. The next day, Mona returns and, in a fit of temper, demands that Ronnie and Virginia be fired. Ronnie is dumbfounded by Mona's behavior until Bernie reveals that he is really in love with Virginia. Virginia gets Ronnie a job as a car hop, where director Walter Kelton overhears his singing. Kelton offers Ronnie a job dubbing Dupre's voice in the new Mona Marshall movie. Louella is so charmed by what she thinks is Dupre's voice that she invites him to sing with Mona on the Hollywood Hotel program. The studio asks Ronnie to dub the voice again, but Virginia negotiates a terrific deal for him. Then pretending to be Mona, she kidnaps ... +


Ronnie Bowers, a singer and saxophone player with Benny Goodman's orchestra has been placed under contract by All Star Pictures. They book him into the Hollywood Hotel, which is also the residence of All Star luminary Mona Marshall. The afternoon before the premiere of her latest movie, Mona is interviewed by Louella Parsons, who breaks the news that Mona will not get the lead in a new film. Because her heart was set on starring in this film, Mona decides not to go to the premiere and disappears from her hotel. Publicist Bernie Walton holds a casting call to find a woman who looks enough like Mona to pass for her at the premiere and finds Virginia Stanton, whose only work in Hollywood has been as Mona's stunt double. Since Mona's usual escort, Alexander Dupre, will spot the substitution, they assign Ronnie to be her date. Ronnie is smitten with Virginia while thinking she is Mona. The next day, Mona returns and, in a fit of temper, demands that Ronnie and Virginia be fired. Ronnie is dumbfounded by Mona's behavior until Bernie reveals that he is really in love with Virginia. Virginia gets Ronnie a job as a car hop, where director Walter Kelton overhears his singing. Kelton offers Ronnie a job dubbing Dupre's voice in the new Mona Marshall movie. Louella is so charmed by what she thinks is Dupre's voice that she invites him to sing with Mona on the Hollywood Hotel program. The studio asks Ronnie to dub the voice again, but Virginia negotiates a terrific deal for him. Then pretending to be Mona, she kidnaps Dupre, and Ronnie stands in for him at the studio. He is a big hit, and for an encore, Virginia once again pretends to be Mona and sings along with him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.