Going Hollywood (1933)

75-76,79 or 84 mins | Musical | 22 December 1933

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Producer:

Walter Wanger

Cinematographer:

George Folsey

Editor:

Frank Sullivan

Production Designer:

Merrill Pye

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was listed in HR as both Paid to Love and Paid to Laugh. According to an Aug 1933 HR news item, C. Gardner Sullivan was hired to co-write the script with credited writer Donald Ogden Stewart. Sullivan's contribution to the final film has not been confirmed. Although not credited on film, Frances Marion is listed in some reviews and news items as the writer of the screen story. The song "Beautiful Girl" was first performed in M-G-M's 1933 picture Stage Mother. M-G-M borrowed Bing Crosby from Paramount for the production. One modern source claims that Crosby earned $50,000 for his work in the film, while another states that the performer received $2,000 per week, a deal negotiated by Crosby's brother Everett. Patsy Kelly made her feature film debut in this picture. A FD news item includes Henry Armetta in the cast, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed.
       Modern sources provide the following information about the production: Because her own popularity was sagging, Marion Davies requested the very successful Crosby as her co-star. William Randolph Hearst, the financial backer of M-G-M's Cosmopolitan Productions, however, disliked Crosby's singing style and refused to cast him. Eventually songwriter Arthur Freed interceded on Crosby's behalf and convinced Hearst that the singer would make an appropriate "boy-next-door" co-star for Davies. Hearst also wanted French actress Lili Damita to play the part of "Lili," but bowed to Davies' wish that D'Orsay, whose career was faltering, be cast. Because of Davies' casual attitudes about production schedules, ...

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The working title of this film was listed in HR as both Paid to Love and Paid to Laugh. According to an Aug 1933 HR news item, C. Gardner Sullivan was hired to co-write the script with credited writer Donald Ogden Stewart. Sullivan's contribution to the final film has not been confirmed. Although not credited on film, Frances Marion is listed in some reviews and news items as the writer of the screen story. The song "Beautiful Girl" was first performed in M-G-M's 1933 picture Stage Mother. M-G-M borrowed Bing Crosby from Paramount for the production. One modern source claims that Crosby earned $50,000 for his work in the film, while another states that the performer received $2,000 per week, a deal negotiated by Crosby's brother Everett. Patsy Kelly made her feature film debut in this picture. A FD news item includes Henry Armetta in the cast, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed.
       Modern sources provide the following information about the production: Because her own popularity was sagging, Marion Davies requested the very successful Crosby as her co-star. William Randolph Hearst, the financial backer of M-G-M's Cosmopolitan Productions, however, disliked Crosby's singing style and refused to cast him. Eventually songwriter Arthur Freed interceded on Crosby's behalf and convinced Hearst that the singer would make an appropriate "boy-next-door" co-star for Davies. Hearst also wanted French actress Lili Damita to play the part of "Lili," but bowed to Davies' wish that D'Orsay, whose career was faltering, be cast. Because of Davies' casual attitudes about production schedules, the film took forty-seven days to complete. The cost of production was $914,000; the total revenues were $962,000. (Modern sources claim that, in spite of these numbers, Hearst actually made a healthy profit from the picture.) Leo Lynn, a old school friend of Crosby's, was hired by both the actor and M-G-M as Crosby's stand-in. Modern sources also list the film's footage as 7,298 feet.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Dec 1933
p. 3
Film Daily
2 Sep 1933
p. 2
Film Daily
7 Sep 1933
p. 6
Film Daily
22 Dec 1933
p. 14
HF
9 Sep 1933
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 1933
p. 2, 3
Hollywood Reporter
9 Dec 1933
p. 3
Motion Picture Herald
16 Dec 1933
p. 30, 34
New York Times
23 Dec 1933
p. 19
Variety
26 Dec 1933
p. 10
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Cosmopolitan Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Joe Newman
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Orch cond
SOUND
Rec dir
Mixer
DANCE
Dance dir
Harrison Green
Dance instructor on "Virginia Reel" number
SOURCES
SONGS
"Beautiful Girl," "Going Hollywood," "Our Big Love Scene," "We'll Make Hay While the Sun Shines," "Cinderella's Fella," "After Sundown" and "Temptation," music and lyrics by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed.
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Paid to Laugh
Paid to Love
Release Date:
22 December 1933
Production Date:
began 1 Sep 1933
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
19 December 1933
LP4363
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75-76,79 or 84
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Inspired by the crooning of radio star Bill Williams, Sylvia Bruce announces to the principal of the Briarcroft School, where she lives and works as a French teacher, that she is going to follow her dreams and quit her job. After abandoning the repressive school, Sylvia tracks Bill to his New York hotel room and confesses to him that his singing changed her life. Bill, who is about to leave the city for Hollywood, slips away from the star-struck Sylvia and heads for Grand Central Station. There, Bill is besieged by reporters, who are anxious to hear about his new movie venture and his romance with French actress and co-star Lili Yvonne. After Bill, Lili, Bert Conroy, the droll director of the film, and Ernest P. Baker, the film's idealistic backer, depart on the westbound train, Sylvia appears on board. Trapping Bill in his rooms, Sylvia confesses her love but is gently rejected by the singer. Determined to stay on board, Sylvia gets a job as Lili's maid, unaware of the actress's relationship with Bill. When Sylvia discovers Bill and Lili embracing, she insults her tempermental employer and is both slapped and fired by her. Once in Hollywood, Sylvia searches for Bill at Ernest's Independent Art Studios and is befriended by Jill Barker, a wisecracking, out-of-work actress. Jill invites Sylvia to room with her and consoles her about Bill. The next day, Sylvia disguises herself in blackface and approaches Bill on the movie set. Although touched by Sylvia's devotion to him, Bill again dismisses her, after which Lili demands that her rival be thrown out of the studio. Aware that Ernest ...

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Inspired by the crooning of radio star Bill Williams, Sylvia Bruce announces to the principal of the Briarcroft School, where she lives and works as a French teacher, that she is going to follow her dreams and quit her job. After abandoning the repressive school, Sylvia tracks Bill to his New York hotel room and confesses to him that his singing changed her life. Bill, who is about to leave the city for Hollywood, slips away from the star-struck Sylvia and heads for Grand Central Station. There, Bill is besieged by reporters, who are anxious to hear about his new movie venture and his romance with French actress and co-star Lili Yvonne. After Bill, Lili, Bert Conroy, the droll director of the film, and Ernest P. Baker, the film's idealistic backer, depart on the westbound train, Sylvia appears on board. Trapping Bill in his rooms, Sylvia confesses her love but is gently rejected by the singer. Determined to stay on board, Sylvia gets a job as Lili's maid, unaware of the actress's relationship with Bill. When Sylvia discovers Bill and Lili embracing, she insults her tempermental employer and is both slapped and fired by her. Once in Hollywood, Sylvia searches for Bill at Ernest's Independent Art Studios and is befriended by Jill Barker, a wisecracking, out-of-work actress. Jill invites Sylvia to room with her and consoles her about Bill. The next day, Sylvia disguises herself in blackface and approaches Bill on the movie set. Although touched by Sylvia's devotion to him, Bill again dismisses her, after which Lili demands that her rival be thrown out of the studio. Aware that Ernest is infatuated with her, Sylvia appeals to him for help, and he generously offers both Sylvia and Jill work on the film. While rehearsing on location, Lili performs badly and is sharply criticized by Conroy. Infuriated, Lili announces that she is quitting and storms away to her dressing room, where Bill is sent to reprimand her. Instead, Bill gives in to Lili's feminine manipulations and forgives her. However, when Lili overhears Sylvia imitating her over the movie sound system, she again denounces and slaps her, and receives a punch in the eye from Sylvia in return. Ernest then declares that Sylvia will replace the puffy-eyed Lili in the film, and the former teacher soon proves to be an overnight sensation. Sylvia's success brings Bill and she together, and after a romantic evening, the two performers pledge their love. When Sylvia makes an unexpected call at Bill's hotel, however, she overhears him singing in Lili's room and angrily snubs him the next day. Hurt by Sylvia's rejection, Bill begins to drink and deserts the film to carouse with Lili in Mexico. Sylvia eventually tracks him to a bar and offers him a chance to return to Hollywood with her. Still under Lili's spell, Bill fails to make the airplane, and Ernest is forced to hire his replacement. As they are filming the picture's big number, however, a sober Bill appears on the set and reunites with an ecstatic Sylvia.

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

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