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It Happened in Hollywood (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 7 September 1937 (USA)
While hospitalized young Billy meets his silent movie idol Tim Bart but then the talkies came, destroying Bart's career. Now Bart must convince his young friend he is still a star.

Director:

Harry Lachman

Writers:

Ethel Hill (screen play), Harvey Fergusson (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Richard Dix ... Tim Bart
Fay Wray ... Gloria Gay
Victor Kilian ... Slim
Charles Arnt ... Jed Reed
Granville Bates ... Sam Bennett
William B. Davidson ... Al Howard
Arthur Loft ... Pete
Edgar Dearing ... Joe Stevens
James Donlan James Donlan ... Shorty
Bill Burrud ... Billy - The Kid (as Billy Burrud)
Franklin Pangborn ... Mr. Forsythe
Zeffie Tilbury ... Miss Gordon
Harold Goodwin ... Buck
Charles Brinley ... Pappy
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Storyline

While hospitalized young Billy meets his silent movie idol Tim Bart but then the talkies came, destroying Bart's career. Now Bart must convince his young friend he is still a star.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE FLESH AND BLOOD DRAMA BEHIND THE SCREEN'S SOUND AND SHADOWS! (original lobby card-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 September 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Once a Hero See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Toby, the name of Dix's horse, is based on Tom Mix's horse, Tony. See more »

Goofs

The car used by Tim Bart (Dix) during the making of his film as a gangster about to hold up a bank and the car used later by the three robbers in an actual hold-up attempt bears the same license plate number 6W 4079. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits cast shown as the pages of a book. See more »

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User Reviews

Give me a double

"It Happened in Hollywood" (1937)is a frothy little comedy with a brilliant gimmick. The star of the film is Richard Dix, a rugged actor who usually played two-fisted action roles but occasionally gave excellent performances in romantic comedies. It won't spoil your fun if I tell you the gimmick. Some of Hollywood's biggest stars of the time (1937) make brief appearances in this film, including Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, James Cagney, W.C. Fields ... plus Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, who hadn't officially retired from acting yet. Now here's the gimmick: all of those big stars are played in this film by THEIR OWN STAND-INS, the wanna-be actors and actresses who (unlike most actors) had full-time employment in the Hollywood studios, but who only kept working by copying the physical appearance of a better-known actor (or actress) and following that actor from one film role to the next. (Stand-ins, unlike stunt doubles, almost never appear onscreen: their chief job is to stand in for the "real" actor during time-consuming lighting set-ups, wearing a duplicate of that actor's costume. Stand-ins are required to maintain the same build, hairstyle and complexion as the person whom they're imitating, which limits their ability to get acting jobs in their own right.)

So, in "It Happened in Hollywood" we meet Bing Crosby, played by an obscure lookalike actor whose real-life job was to stand in for the genuine Bing during all of Crosby's films. John Barrymore (Drew's grandfather) is played here by Barrymore's full-time double. Victor McLaglen is played by his own brother, who was his real-life stand-in. Marlene Dietrich and Garbo are played by their own stand-ins: real-life sisters named Dietrich (no relation to Marlene).

This gimmick wouldn't work nowadays, because movie stars no longer have long-term relationships with a single movie studio; consequently, they use a different stand-in for each film, and they don't maintain ongoing working relationships with a particular lookalike.

I'll rate "It Happened in Hollywood" 4 out of 10.


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