Hollywood Cavalcade (1939)

100 mins | Drama | 13 October 1939

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Falling Stars . According to materials contained in the Fox Story Files at the UCLA Library, treatments for the film were first presented in Oct 1938, but Buster Keaton was not included in the script until 26 Apr 1939. Life notes that this picture, presented to coincide with the American screen's fiftieth anniversary celebration, was Hollywood's first large-scale attempt to dramatize its own history. The cast was filled with silent film stars. Hank Mann, Heinie Conklin and James Finlayson were members of Sennett's troupe. Program notes contained in the production files at the AMPAS Library claim that this was the first time that black and white and color film stocks were combined in one picture. The Keystone Cops sequence was shot in black and white and the rest of the film was in color. According to news item in HR , the train sequences were shot by Mal St. Clair at Muroc Dry Lake, CA. The film was budgeted at $2,000,000. Another news item in HR adds that the gross receipts from the premiere went to the Motion Picture Relief ... More Less

The working title of this film was Falling Stars . According to materials contained in the Fox Story Files at the UCLA Library, treatments for the film were first presented in Oct 1938, but Buster Keaton was not included in the script until 26 Apr 1939. Life notes that this picture, presented to coincide with the American screen's fiftieth anniversary celebration, was Hollywood's first large-scale attempt to dramatize its own history. The cast was filled with silent film stars. Hank Mann, Heinie Conklin and James Finlayson were members of Sennett's troupe. Program notes contained in the production files at the AMPAS Library claim that this was the first time that black and white and color film stocks were combined in one picture. The Keystone Cops sequence was shot in black and white and the rest of the film was in color. According to news item in HR , the train sequences were shot by Mal St. Clair at Muroc Dry Lake, CA. The film was budgeted at $2,000,000. Another news item in HR adds that the gross receipts from the premiere went to the Motion Picture Relief Fund. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
2 Oct 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
4 Oct 39
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
31 May 39
p. 1, 2
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jun 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 39
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 39
pp. 5-6.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 39
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Oct 39
p. 3.
Life
9 Oct 39
pp. 63-64.
Motion Picture Daily
28 Mar 39
p. 14.
Motion Picture Daily
4 Oct 39
p. 1, 12
Motion Picture Herald
12 Aug 39
p. 39.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Oct 39
p. 35.
New York Times
14 Oct 39
p. 13.
Variety
4 Oct 39
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir of Keystone Cops seq
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story
Story
Idea by
Contr to dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor dir
Assoc
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Falling Stars
Release Date:
13 October 1939
Production Date:
began 31 May 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
13 October 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9213
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
100
Length(in feet):
9,048
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5436
SYNOPSIS

In 1913, at the infancy of the film industry, erstwhile studio prop boy Michael Linnett Connors sees understudy Molly Adair perform on Broadway and, convinced that she is star material, persuades her to sign a personal contract with him. Next, Mike induces the president of Globe Pictures, Lyle P. Stout, to give him a chance to direct Molly in her first picture. Mike's lively imagination and tireless energy propels Molly from the queen of the "pie-in-the face" Keystone Cops to leading lady, and with Dave Spingold as his producer partner, Mike rises to become the head of his own studio. Molly falls in love with Mike but, believing that he is only interested in making pictures, marries her leading man, Nicky Hayden. Upon learning of the marriage, Mike, who is in love with Molly, feels betrayed and tears up the newlyweds' contract. As their stars continue to rise, his falls until he is down and out. Thanks to Dave and Molly, however, Mike gets a chance to come back, directing Molly's new picture. With only one reel left to be shot, Nicky is killed and Molly seriously injured in a car crash,and the film's financial backer, Mr. Roberts, orders Mike to finish the picture with a double. Believing that Robert's suggestion would ruin the picture and Molly's career, Mike refuses and steals the unfinished negative until he can persuade Molly to come back to the set. After the success of the first "talkie," The Jazz Singer , Mike convinces Roberts to finish the picture in sound. Mike's enthusiasm renews Molly's will to live, and after the picture's success as ... +


In 1913, at the infancy of the film industry, erstwhile studio prop boy Michael Linnett Connors sees understudy Molly Adair perform on Broadway and, convinced that she is star material, persuades her to sign a personal contract with him. Next, Mike induces the president of Globe Pictures, Lyle P. Stout, to give him a chance to direct Molly in her first picture. Mike's lively imagination and tireless energy propels Molly from the queen of the "pie-in-the face" Keystone Cops to leading lady, and with Dave Spingold as his producer partner, Mike rises to become the head of his own studio. Molly falls in love with Mike but, believing that he is only interested in making pictures, marries her leading man, Nicky Hayden. Upon learning of the marriage, Mike, who is in love with Molly, feels betrayed and tears up the newlyweds' contract. As their stars continue to rise, his falls until he is down and out. Thanks to Dave and Molly, however, Mike gets a chance to come back, directing Molly's new picture. With only one reel left to be shot, Nicky is killed and Molly seriously injured in a car crash,and the film's financial backer, Mr. Roberts, orders Mike to finish the picture with a double. Believing that Robert's suggestion would ruin the picture and Molly's career, Mike refuses and steals the unfinished negative until he can persuade Molly to come back to the set. After the success of the first "talkie," The Jazz Singer , Mike convinces Roberts to finish the picture in sound. Mike's enthusiasm renews Molly's will to live, and after the picture's success as a "talkie," the producing team of Mike, Molly and Dave marvel at the progress of Hollywood. +

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.