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Make Me a Star (1932)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1 July 1932 (USA)
Merton Gill is longing to become a cowboy actor and leaves his hometown to try his luck in Hollywood, but there his acting ability is regarded as non-existent. Actress Flips gives him a ... See full summary »


William Beaudine


Sam Mintz (screen play), Walter DeLeon (screen play) (as Walter De Leon) | 4 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Joan Blondell ... 'Flips' Montague
Stuart Erwin ... Merton Gill
Zasu Pitts ... Mrs. Scudder (as ZaSu Pitts)
Ben Turpin ... Ben Turpin
Charles Sellon ... Mr. Gashwiler
Florence Roberts ... Mrs. Gashwiler
Helen Jerome Eddy ... Tessie Kearns
Arthur Hoyt ... Hardy Powell
George Templeton George Templeton ... Buck Benson (as Dink Templeton)
Ruth Donnelly ... The Countess
Sam Hardy ... Jeff Baird
Oscar Apfel ... Henshaw


Merton Gill is longing to become a cowboy actor and leaves his hometown to try his luck in Hollywood, but there his acting ability is regarded as non-existent. Actress Flips gives him a chance in a bit part, but he fails in that; however, the way he fails makes her think that he could be a good comedian. She persuades the studio to put him in a western parody, not telling him what they're really planning, because they know that he does not like comedies. Rather than ending tragic-comically, the movie becomes a brilliant coda to art and its servants, the artists, in this case the magniloquent Joan Blondell and Stuart Erwin. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HOLLYYWOOD BEHIND THE SCENES! (original print ad-all caps) See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 July 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gates of Hollywood See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The play, "Merton of the Movies" upon which this film is based, opened on Broadway at the Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St., on November 13, 1922 and ran for 392 performances until October 20, 1923. See more »


When Flips takes Merton to breakfast, the waitress sets a glass of orange juice down on his left, but in the next shot it is on his right. See more »


Merton Gill: Do taxi cabs charge for just standing still?
'Flips' Montague: Yes, why?
Merton Gill: Well, it's worth it.
[Buries his head in her chest]
See more »


Version of Merton of the Movies (1924) See more »


Round My Heart
(1932) (uncredited)
Written by Carmen Lombardo and Joe Young
See more »

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User Reviews

Hollywood dreams can come true... sort of.
8 April 2007 | by mkilmerSee all my reviews

Here I am, in 2007, and I'm a huge Joan Blondell fan. Yes, Zasu Pitts appears in MAKE ME A STAR – daffy and confounding – but only for a bit. I think it's Joanie's movie.

Stuart Erwin stars as Merton Gill, a.k.a. 'Whoop' Ryder, a kid from a small town who wants to make it in Hollywood as a serious actor in Westerns. He gives it a huge effort, but he's dismissed as the rube he actually is. Flips Montague (Joan) is sympathetic. She gets him a job, with a Mack Sennett-like director whose big star is that "cross-eyed man" Stuart dislikes so much. Merton thinks he's acting in a serious film, but it is edited and spliced, his voice changed to make him sound effeminate, and turned into a farce.

Merton proposes to Joan before the film's big opening, but she feels guilty and fakes sickness. He goes to the opening by himself and is humiliated.

I won't give away the ending, and the film is resolved by the closing scene, but it's nice to imagine his future if he takes the course which involves the girl.

This is a fun film.

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