Film: 3564

Feature Comedy | 1930 | Sound | B/W


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Short, comic feature about two New Yorkers who try and break into the Hollywood movie world. Good mock-up of behind the scenes studio set, with old cameras, lighting, and clapperboard man.

Opens on shot of unmade double bed. A female voice can be heard off camera complaining to "John". Pan up to the open door of an en-suite bathroom. Pan further around to reveal a woman (Marge - dark hair) sitting at a breakfast table and listening to the large wireless beside her (the source of the voices). Blonde woman enters and switches off the radio. They both drink coffee and discuss going to work. Blonde woman picks up a newspaper. Medium close up of her reading aloud an advertisement offering holidays in sunny Florida. She drops the paper and they both leave. Close up on the newspaper lying on the floor. See article headed "Win a Trip to Hollywood - All Expenses Paid and $500 in Cash". Next to this is a photograph of a man wearing a bowler hat, black overcoat and carrying an umbrella. The competition involves correctly identifying this man somewhere on the streets of New York.

Cut to the women at the roadside, waiting for a bus. They fidget in the cold. Suited people walk briskly past and behind them. They see their bus leaving from a different corner and join hands as they run to catch it. As they cross a road, they knock over the man from the newspaper photo (in a wrestling move known as the 'clothesline'). They do not recognise him. They comically help him into a sitting position and Marge berates him for being in the road in the first place. He mistakenly assumes that he has been identified and tells the women about their prize. Marge swoons.

Cut to a longshot over large, Hollywood buildings (possibly studios). Sign says "Hollywood Boulevard". Cut to a door bearing the sign, "Executive Office of J. Waldemar Slemp President of Perfection Pictures Inc.". Longshot of the large office. Slemp stands behind a desk and shouts at a group of cringing lackeys who stand in front of him. He stands and shouts into each of their faces. He is angry because none of them went to the airport to meet Lolita, a european star he is trying to sign to his studio. A bus boy enters and is sent away. Camera follows bus boy through the lobby as he goes past Marge and friend who are waiting at the reception desk. Obstructive receptionist denies their request to see Slemp and sends them over to sit on a leather sofa. Close up on receptionist talking to an actress on the telephone, discussing her contract and salary increase. Blonde woman grabs Marge's face and decides to try and sell it in the movies.

Well- dressed, haughty woman marches in to lobby, with two dogs on leads. She demands to know (in a laboured French accent) why Slemp did not send a representative to meet her at the airport (obviously Lolita). She sits next to Marge and friend. Lolita produces a contract from her bag. Blonde woman snatches it from her and reads it. Marge exchanges the contract for the letter she received from the newspaper. Her friend leads her up to the desk and demands that the receptionist take the contract up to Slemp. Cut to Slemp's office. He reclines on his chair on the left. In the middle, a man jumps onto his paper-strewn desk. On the right, a man sits on the back of a large chair. They read from scripts in thier hands and act out a death scene. Receptionist brings in the contract.

Cut to front desk. Receptionist allows Marge and friend to enter. Lolita stamps her feet. Receptionist pointedly closes the barrier against the actress. Cut to Slemp's office. The two women enter. Slemp bows and kisses the blonde woman's hand. She tells him that Marge is Lolita. Strangely, Marge's strong New York accent does not raise any suspicions and she is led away by Slemp for her screen test. Cut to Marge in her dressing room. She sits facing a large "star" mirror with bulbs all around it. She has her hair in a wrap and is being made up by a man with an unrecognisable "continental" accent.

In the lobby, Lolita throws a tantrum and hands over the letter which she believes is a contract. Receptionist takes the letter to Slemp. He is in the middle of two telephone conversations. He tears up the letter and arranges for Lolita to have a brief tour of the studio.

On the screen test set. Marge wears a slinky black dress with a feathered collar, and a pillbox hat. Slemp gives instructions to the cameraman. Studio director introduces Marge to her leading man, Mr Caldwell. He has a posh, faux-English accent, and wears a black suit with tails. Director gives Marge her line and walks off set. He joins a the rest of the crew, and Slemp, who all stand around the cameraman. Lights go up around the actors. The scene is set in a drawing room. Clapperboard boy does his thing, and the director gives the order to go. Marge runs around asking "where do I go" (tres amusant). They begin the scene. Caldwell is about to kiss her so she wrestles him to the ground and stands over him indignantly. Marge slaps Caldwell's face. Crew look amazed. Slemp is impressed with her firey temperament. Man wearing a smart suit and monocle enters the set and stands apart from the rest of the cast and crew.

Blonde woman goes to Marge on set. Slemp congratulates Marge. Director sets up next scene. Marge and Caldwell are to be brought sparkling wine by a butler. Clapperboard boy. Marge fires the wine cork into Caldwell's eye. Man with the monocle gasps and removes his eyeglass. Marge and Caldwell sit on a sofa. She overfills his glass and it spills on his expensive suit. Caldwell throws a strop. Cut to a man in a uniform showing the real Lolita around the studio. He points out a camera to her. Blonde woman and Slemp stand with the rest of the crew and decide to make Marge sing a song. Blonde woman pushes Marge over to a nearby piano where she is joined by a man in a suit. Director, Slemp and crew watch Marge sing. She leans on the piano which is on wheels and rolls away from her, causing her to fall over. Close up on Monocle man looking pleased. Marge finishes the song in medium close up. Crew gives Marge a standing ovation.

Outside the set, the studio man shows Lolita a light. She sees a sign on a door saying "Lolita Test". She barges in as Slemp is kissing Marge's hand. Slemp (a very bad actor incidentally) realises the deception. Monocle man steps in and whispers something to Slemp. He offers both Marge and her friend a career. Bus boy enters and calls Mr Van Swine (monocle man) away. Van Swine leads the two women over to a serving hatch where a chef hands him two trays of food. He gives the trays to the women and orders them to deliver the hamburgers. He tells them that he is not a film director but a burger maker. The two women walk away with the burgers. The End.

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