Hollywood Party (1934)

68 or 70 mins | Musical comedy | 1 June 1934

Cinematographer:

James Wong Howe

Editor:

George Boemler

Production Designer:

Fredric Hope

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Hollywood Revue of 1933. According to a 6 Mar 1934 DV news item, the title was briefly changed to Star Spangled Banquet. The picture was intended as a follow-up to M-G-M's The Hollywood Revue of 1929, which was also produced by Harry Rapf (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.2553). Although no director is listed in the onscreen credits, contemporary sources indicate that Allan Dwan, Richard Boleslawski, George Stevens and Charles Riesner directed different sections of the film. Boleslawski was assigned to the film in mid-Aug 1933, and a 4 Oct 1933 FD news item pointed out that Stevens was handling the comedy sequences. Dwan was engaged in mid-Jan 1934 to direct additional sequences, and Reisner was assigned in early Mar 1934 to finish the film. Other directors listed by contemporary sources were Edmund Goulding (who, according to a HR news item, resigned because he "knew nothing about the handling of low comedy") and Russell Mack. Their participation in the completed film has not been confirmed, however. According to modern sources, Roy Rowland was also one of the film's uncredited directors, while Alexander Leftwich, who was assigned to direct, was taken off the film before production began.
       Goulding and Reisner were also among the many writers listed by contemporary sources as contributing to the film's screenplay. Some of the other writers and songwriters listed in contemporary news items and company records located at the USC Cinema-Television library are: Ritchie Craig, Jr, Clarence Hennecke, Henry Myers, Harvey Gates, Robert Hopkins ...

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The working title of this film was The Hollywood Revue of 1933. According to a 6 Mar 1934 DV news item, the title was briefly changed to Star Spangled Banquet. The picture was intended as a follow-up to M-G-M's The Hollywood Revue of 1929, which was also produced by Harry Rapf (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.2553). Although no director is listed in the onscreen credits, contemporary sources indicate that Allan Dwan, Richard Boleslawski, George Stevens and Charles Riesner directed different sections of the film. Boleslawski was assigned to the film in mid-Aug 1933, and a 4 Oct 1933 FD news item pointed out that Stevens was handling the comedy sequences. Dwan was engaged in mid-Jan 1934 to direct additional sequences, and Reisner was assigned in early Mar 1934 to finish the film. Other directors listed by contemporary sources were Edmund Goulding (who, according to a HR news item, resigned because he "knew nothing about the handling of low comedy") and Russell Mack. Their participation in the completed film has not been confirmed, however. According to modern sources, Roy Rowland was also one of the film's uncredited directors, while Alexander Leftwich, who was assigned to direct, was taken off the film before production began.
       Goulding and Reisner were also among the many writers listed by contemporary sources as contributing to the film's screenplay. Some of the other writers and songwriters listed in contemporary news items and company records located at the USC Cinema-Television library are: Ritchie Craig, Jr, Clarence Hennecke, Henry Myers, Harvey Gates, Robert Hopkins and Bert Green. Modern sources credit Edgar Allan Woolf with the original story and Herbert Fields with dialogue. The contribution of these writers to the final script has not been confirmed.
       Contemporary news items and company records listed a wide variety of actors and actresses who were to appear in the film, although they were not in the completed picture. Among them were: Joan Crawford (who was to appear in a production number entitled "Black Diamond," about a light-skinned black woman who attempts to pass for white), Jean Harlow (who was to play a hotel night operator), Johnny Weissmuller (who was to appear with a swimming chorus), Frank Morgan, Buddy Rogers , Marie Dressler, Ed Wynn, Lee Tracy and Nils Asther. Among those whose participation in the completed picture has not been confirmed are: The Albertina Rasch Ballet, Mary Carlisle, Florine McKinney, Muriel Evans, Marcia Ralston, Jean Howard, Ruth Channing, Margaret McConnell, Martha Sleeper, Dorothy Short, Agnes Anderson, Pauline Brooks, Linda Parker, Jean Parker, David Landau, Russell Hardie, Herman Bing and Max Baer. Jack Pearl played "Baron Munchausen" in another 1934 M-G-M film, Meet the Baron (see entry). According to a 23 Apr 1934 HR news item, the film was re-edited following a preview in Atlanta. According to another HR news item, Hollywood Party was banned in Germany.
       Although Mickey Mouse had briefly appeared in the 1933 Fox film My Lips Betray (see entry), this was the first feature film for which Disney created new animation of Mickey. In the picture, Mickey appears in a live-action sequence with Jimmy Durante and introduces "Hot Chocolate Soldiers," which was done in the style of a Disney Silly Symphony cartoon. According to a modern source, the animated portions were deleted, and Disney's name blacked out of the onscreen credits, when M-G-M released the film to television because Disney retained the television rights. In 1992, however, Turner Entertainment released Hollywood Party on video in a version that does contain the animated sequences and Disney's credit. According to information in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the picture's original ending was set in a nudist camp, but protests from state censor boards prompted M-G-M to furnish the ending described above, which was in the print viewed. No other information about the nudist camp sequences has been found.
       Modern sources note that Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart wrote several songs that were not included in the completed film. One of them, "Prayer," was to be sung by Jean Harlow. Its lyrics were later rewritten and the song was retitled "Manhattan Melodrama," and then "The Bad in Ev'ry Man," the title under which it was included in the 1934 Cosmopolitan production Manhattan Melodrama (see entry). The lyrics were rewritten once again and the song was finally titled "Blue Moon." In 1983, an English record label produced and released an album of some of the Rodgers and Hart songs written for, but not included in, Hollywood Party.
       Modern sources include the following actors in the cast: Rychard Cramer and Nora Cecil (Scientific pedants); Baldwin Cooke (Doorman); Sidney Bracy (Butler); Irene Hervey (Showgirl); Frank Austin (Party guest); Ray Cooke (Theater patron); Ernie Alexander (Servant at the party); and Bess Flowers. Modern sources also state that Walt Disney provided the voice of Mickey Mouse.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
6-Jun-34
---
Daily Variety
30 Jan 1934
p. 2
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1934
p. 4
Daily Variety
6 Mar 1934
p. 4
Daily Variety
29 Mar 1934
p. 3
Film Daily
7 Sep 1933
p. 6
Film Daily
2 Oct 1933
p. 6
Film Daily
4 Oct 1933
p. 6
Film Daily
25 May 1934
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 1933
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 1933
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 1933
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 1933
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 1933
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 1933
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 1933
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1933
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
5 Dec 1933
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jan 1934
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 1934
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 1934
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 1934
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
8 Mar 1934
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 1934
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 1934
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
23 Apr 1934
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
22 Aug 1934
p. 1
Motion Picture Daily
18 May 1934
p. 18
Motion Picture Herald
7 Oct 1933
p. 30
Motion Picture Herald
2 Jun 1934
p. 39
New York Times
26 May 1934
p. 12
Variety
29 May 1934
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Charles Riesner
Dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Frederic Hope
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Interior dec by
COSTUMES
Cost
SOUND
DANCE
Dance numbers arr by
Dance numbers arr by
David Gould
Dance numbers arr by
ANIMATION
Animated cartoon seq courtesy of
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim
Backgrounds
Backgrounds
SOURCES
SONGS
"Hello," "Hollywood Party" and "Reincarnation," words and music by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart; "I've Had My Moments," words and music by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn; "I'm Feelin' High," words and music by Howard Dietz and Walter Donaldson; "Hot Chocolate Soldiers," words and music by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed.
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Star Spangled Banquet
The Hollywood Revue of 1933
Release Date:
1 June 1934
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 24 May 1934
Production Date:
completed mid-Mar 1934
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
14 May 1934
LP4716
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black & white with color sequences
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
68 or 70
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Knapp, the manager of jungle movie star Schnarzan, complains to a theater manager when, following a showing of Queen Christina , the trailer for the latest Schnarzan film is not well-received. The manager advises Knapp that the public is sick of Schnarzan's moth-eaten lions, and that the "soon-to-be has-been" had better get new lions if he wants to be king of the jungle once again. Buddy Goldfarb, the manager of Liondora, the actor who is Schnarzan's main competitor, is also told by the theater manager that his meal ticket will soon be standing in the bread lines without new lions to spice up his act. Knapp goes to Schnarzan's opulent mansion and tells the actor that Baron Munchausen, a famous explorer, will soon be arriving in town with his latest shipment of wild animals, including some fabulous lions. Knapp convinces Schnarzan to throw a huge party for the baron and buy the lions before Goldfarb and Liondora get them. As the invitations are distributed for what promises to be the party of the year, Lupe Velez, who plays "The Jaquar Woman" in Schnarzan's films, is furious that she has not been invited to the party. When she calls, Schnarzan complains that she is too rough and hot-tempered, and hangs up on her. On the night of the party, Oklahoma multimillionaire Harvey Clemp, his wife Henrietta and their niece Linda prepare to attend. On the way, Linda meets and flirts with a young man named Bob, while the Clemps are taken in by the suave Liondora, who is crashing the party disguised as a European aristocrat. A multitude of guests ...

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Knapp, the manager of jungle movie star Schnarzan, complains to a theater manager when, following a showing of Queen Christina , the trailer for the latest Schnarzan film is not well-received. The manager advises Knapp that the public is sick of Schnarzan's moth-eaten lions, and that the "soon-to-be has-been" had better get new lions if he wants to be king of the jungle once again. Buddy Goldfarb, the manager of Liondora, the actor who is Schnarzan's main competitor, is also told by the theater manager that his meal ticket will soon be standing in the bread lines without new lions to spice up his act. Knapp goes to Schnarzan's opulent mansion and tells the actor that Baron Munchausen, a famous explorer, will soon be arriving in town with his latest shipment of wild animals, including some fabulous lions. Knapp convinces Schnarzan to throw a huge party for the baron and buy the lions before Goldfarb and Liondora get them. As the invitations are distributed for what promises to be the party of the year, Lupe Velez, who plays "The Jaquar Woman" in Schnarzan's films, is furious that she has not been invited to the party. When she calls, Schnarzan complains that she is too rough and hot-tempered, and hangs up on her. On the night of the party, Oklahoma multimillionaire Harvey Clemp, his wife Henrietta and their niece Linda prepare to attend. On the way, Linda meets and flirts with a young man named Bob, while the Clemps are taken in by the suave Liondora, who is crashing the party disguised as a European aristocrat. A multitude of guests pour in and soon the festivities are in full swing. Munchausen arrives and presents Schnarzan with a gorilla, while Henrietta is pursued by Liondora, and Harvey flirts with Lupe, who has crashed the party. Bob and Linda sing together and are oblivious to all else as Jimmy tangles with Mickey Mouse and Liondora persuades Harvey to buy the lions for him. Meanwhile, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy arrive and try to convince Beavers, the doorman, that they need to see the baron, who purchased their lions with a check for 50,000 tiddlywinks. Stan and Ollie finally succeed in getting into the mansion, and while they are engaged in an egg-smashing contest with Lupe, Schnarzan romances Henrietta and promises her movie stardom if she gets Harvey to give him the lions. Stan and Ollie inadvertently let one of the lions loose, and the terrified guests flee the party. Schnarzan, mistaking the lion for one of his rugs, battles the animal to impress Henrietta and knocks himself out. When he regains consciousness, he is plain, old Jimmy Durante, who fell asleep while reading Tarzan the Untamed by Edgar Rice Burroughs. As he realizes that he was dreaming, his wife comes in and tells him to hurry or else they will be late for Lupe's big party.

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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.