Star for a Night (1936)

76 mins | Drama | 28 August 1936

Director:

Lewis Seiler

Cinematographer:

Ernest Palmer

Editor:

Alex Troffey

Production Designer:

Duncan Cramer

Production Company:

Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Holy Lie . According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, producer Sol Wurtzel wanted to buy the rights to the play early in 1935, but the deal was held back until the next year because National-Film A.G., a Berlin-based production company, held the silent film rights for ten years from the time of acquisition. In a note, Wurtzel commented, "I consider that The Holy Lie has the basis of a story that can be just as important as the picture Four Sons which we made about six years ago, and as important as Over the Hill " (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.1459 and F3.3329). Later correspondence indicates that the studio planned to rewrite the story, "retaining the basic idea." The legal records indicate that Harry Akst and Sidney Clare wrote an additional song for the film, "Argentine Swing," which was cut. That song remained the property of Twentieth Century-Fox, and it was subsequently used in their 1937 film Big Town Girl (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.0335), which also starred Claire Trevor. The National-Film silent film based on the play was released in 1927 and entitled Die heilige Lüge ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Holy Lie . According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, producer Sol Wurtzel wanted to buy the rights to the play early in 1935, but the deal was held back until the next year because National-Film A.G., a Berlin-based production company, held the silent film rights for ten years from the time of acquisition. In a note, Wurtzel commented, "I consider that The Holy Lie has the basis of a story that can be just as important as the picture Four Sons which we made about six years ago, and as important as Over the Hill " (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.1459 and F3.3329). Later correspondence indicates that the studio planned to rewrite the story, "retaining the basic idea." The legal records indicate that Harry Akst and Sidney Clare wrote an additional song for the film, "Argentine Swing," which was cut. That song remained the property of Twentieth Century-Fox, and it was subsequently used in their 1937 film Big Town Girl (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.0335), which also starred Claire Trevor. The National-Film silent film based on the play was released in 1927 and entitled Die heilige Lüge . More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 Aug 1936.
---
Daily Variety
6 Jul 36
p. 4.
Daily Variety
6 Aug 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
14 Aug 36
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 36
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 36
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Aug 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
7 Aug 36
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald
18 Jul 36
p. 60, 62
Motion Picture Herald
15 Aug 36
p. 62.
New York Times
5 Sep 36
p. 7.
Variety
26 Aug 36
p. 20.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Wally Albright Jr.
Moyer Bupp
Georgie Billings
George Bruggerman
Eddie Foy
Elouise Rozelle
Nanci Lyon
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCER
Exec prod
WRITERS
Contr to trmt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
DANCE
Dances staged by
STAND INS
Dancing double for Claire Trevor
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Die heilige Lüge by Karin Michaelis (copyrighted 1 Apr 1915).
SONGS
"Over a Cup of Coffee," "Down Around Malibu Way," "Holy Lie Production Routine #1" and "At the Beach at Malibu (Hullabaloo at Malibu)," music and lyrics by Harry Akst and Sidney Clare
"You're My Favorite One," music by Lew Pollack, lyrics by Sidney Clare.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Holy Lie
Release Date:
28 August 1936
Production Date:
1 June--6 July 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
28 August 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6838
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
76
Length(in feet):
6,850
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

In a village in the Austrian Tyrol, the neighbors of the blind frau Martha Lind give her a going away party as she prepares to go to New York to visit her three children: Anna, whom she says is a concert pianist; Fritz, whom she thinks owns an automobile factory; and Nina, whom she believes is a famous singer and dancer. In reality, Anna plays the piano at a music store, Fritz drives a cab, and Nina is a chorus girl. When the children receive their mother's cable that she is coming for a visit, Nina convinces them that they must keep up their deception because their mother would be ashamed to know that they have spent money that they really could not afford to send her to eye specialists in Europe. Because of Mrs. Lind's blindness, the ruse works, but it is endangered when Dr. Spellmeyer, a former student of Mrs. Lind's doctor from Austria, arrives at Anna's small Third Avenue apartment to examine Mrs. Lind. After listening to Anna's story about the charade, he calls her courageous and does not let on. Dr. Spellmeyer's operation to restore Mrs. Lind's vision is successful, and when Nina learns that her mother will be able to see in a few days, she breaks down and cries during a number, which angers the self-centered star, Josephine Hall, who wants to have Nina fired. Nina's two friends on the chorus line, Mamie DeLaMont and Mildred La Rue, convince a ditsy blonde friend, Ellen Romaine, to let Nina borrow her fancy clothes and large apartment that her wealthy beau has given her. After Mrs. Lind is able to ... +


In a village in the Austrian Tyrol, the neighbors of the blind frau Martha Lind give her a going away party as she prepares to go to New York to visit her three children: Anna, whom she says is a concert pianist; Fritz, whom she thinks owns an automobile factory; and Nina, whom she believes is a famous singer and dancer. In reality, Anna plays the piano at a music store, Fritz drives a cab, and Nina is a chorus girl. When the children receive their mother's cable that she is coming for a visit, Nina convinces them that they must keep up their deception because their mother would be ashamed to know that they have spent money that they really could not afford to send her to eye specialists in Europe. Because of Mrs. Lind's blindness, the ruse works, but it is endangered when Dr. Spellmeyer, a former student of Mrs. Lind's doctor from Austria, arrives at Anna's small Third Avenue apartment to examine Mrs. Lind. After listening to Anna's story about the charade, he calls her courageous and does not let on. Dr. Spellmeyer's operation to restore Mrs. Lind's vision is successful, and when Nina learns that her mother will be able to see in a few days, she breaks down and cries during a number, which angers the self-centered star, Josephine Hall, who wants to have Nina fired. Nina's two friends on the chorus line, Mamie DeLaMont and Mildred La Rue, convince a ditsy blonde friend, Ellen Romaine, to let Nina borrow her fancy clothes and large apartment that her wealthy beau has given her. After Mrs. Lind is able to see, the ruse continues in Ellen's apartment. Because Mrs. Lind wants to see Nina's show, Mamie, Mildred and Ellen ask Josephine to pretend to be sick one night so that Nina, Josephine's understudy, can go on in her place. When Josephine indignantly refuses, they lock her in her liquor closet, and when she does not appear at the theater, Nina is starred in the show. Mrs. Lind sees the performance, but at the end of the first act, Josephine, who has been let out by her maid, comes onstage and slaps Nina. The audience is unsure if the disruption is part of the act, and during intermission, when the producer learns what happened, he gives Josephine's role to Nina. Hoping to capitalize on the story, the producer calls the newspapers, and the next day, which is Thanksgiving, Ellen, Mamie and Mildred awaken to read about it in the headlines. They call Nina, who then plans with Anna to keep their mother from reading the papers. They find, however, that she has left the apartment. Mrs. Lind goes to the Third Avenue apartment, and later in the day, Anna's landlady calls to have the whole family come at once. They find that their mother has prepared a Thanksgiving meal and has learned about the ruse. Rather than being upset, Mrs. Lind says that she is prouder of her children than she would have been if they had really been what they pretended to be. When Mamie, Mildred and Ellen come to join the family, Mrs. Lind says grace and blesses them all. +

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.