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Hollywood Party (1934 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hollywood Party
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Written by
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyJames Wong Howe
Edited byGeorge Boemler
Music by
Production
companies
Distributed byLoew's Inc.
Release date
  • June 1, 1934 (1934-06-01) (US)
Running time
75 minutes (original)
68 minutes (existing)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Hollywood Party, also known under its working title of The Hollywood Revue of 1933 and Star Spangled Banquet,[1][2] is a 1934 American pre-Code musical film starring Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges, Jimmy Durante, Lupe Vélez and Mickey Mouse (voiced by an uncredited Walt Disney). It was distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Each sequence featured a different star with a separate scriptwriter and director assigned.

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  • Laurel & Hardy in "Hollywood Party" (1934) with Lupe Velez
  • Hollywood Party (1934) Official Trailer - Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy Comedy Movie HD
  • Mickey Mouse in Hollywood Party 1934 (Better Quality)
  • ,,The Night of the Party''-1934 British mystery thriller film directed by Michael Powell
  • Original Theatrical Trailer | The Hollywood Party | Warner Archive

Transcription

Plot

Jungle movie star "Schnarzan", a character in parody of Tarzan, is advised by his manager that he needs new lions for his pictures, as his old ones are "worn out". At a wild Hollywood party with many varied guests, including a "lion provider", hilarity ensues. After it all gets out of hand, Schnarzan awakens to find he is just plain old Durante, who had a strange dream.[3]

Live action cast

Laurel and Hardy with Lupe Vélez in a scene of the movie

Uncredited cast

Voice cast

Production background

During production the movie was known as The Hollywood Revue of 1933 and Star Spangled Banquet.[1] It was originally intended as an all-star attraction, like the studio's successful The Hollywood Revue of 1929 produced by Harry Rapf. Rapf's 1933 revue would star Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Marie Dressler, and Lee Tracy, supported by studio comedians Jimmy Durante, Lupe Vélez, Charles Butterworth, and Jack Pearl. After a series of expensive rewrites and revisions, with numerous directors taking a hand in the filming, only the comedians remained, with Polly Moran, George Givot, and Ted Healy and his (Three) Stooges augmenting the cast. Laurel and Hardy were borrowed from producer Hal Roach to appear in the final section of the film. The revue format was abandoned, and the film became a farcical comedy with music.

It has been asserted that Allan Dwan, Edmund Goulding, Russell Mack, Charles Reisner, Roy Rowland and Sam Wood directed various scenes, with the overwhelming majority directed by Richard Boleslavsky.[4] George Stevens directed the Laurel and Hardy sequence[4] and Dave Gould directed the "Feelin' High" dance number with choreography by Georgie Hale. Seymour Felix and Eddie Prinz directed final reshoots.[5][6] Around the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer backlot, the choreographers of the dance sequences were competing with those staging the MGM movie Dancing Lady, vying to see who could create the most elaborate dance number.[7]

The movie had many sequences cut or reshot after several references proved too esoteric for foreign audiences. A sequence that had featured Thelma Todd (impersonating Mae West), Lupe Vélez, Jimmy Durante, and Zasu Pitts playing bridge was deleted after it was lost on British viewers not yet familiar with the game.[6] Additional episodes that featured actors Herman Bing, Johnny Weissmuller, Jackie Cooper, and Max Baer were cut from the movie. As a result, surviving prints run approximately 68 minutes, but the original run time was 75 minutes. Famed songwriters Rodgers and Hart contributed most of the music.[4] Gus Kahn wrote "Moonlight Serenade" for the 1933 Busby Berkeley movie Footlight Parade. However, when that song was cut from the Warner Bros. picture, it was placed a year later in Hollywood Party and sung by Eddie Quillan.[8]

Reception

Critical reception for Hollywood Party upon its original release was largely negative.[2] Multiple exhibitors wrote in to the Motion Picture Herald to express their disgust with the movie, and one theater manager from Kentucky called it "One of the poorest excuses for a picture we have ever played".[9] The New York Times wrote that it "may have been very funny while it was being made, but as it comes to the screen it is not a little disappointing".[10]

The film's chaotic, patchwork structure didn't appeal to general audiences. Hollywood Party remains significant today for its comedy stars, including Laurel and Hardy, radio celebrity Jack Pearl, The Three Stooges (in their final appearance for MGM, written by Arthur Kober[11]), and Mickey Mouse. The Mickey Mouse sequence introduces a Technicolor cartoon, The Hot Choc-late Soldiers, created by Walt Disney with music by Nacio Herb Brown, and lyrics by Arthur Freed.

The studio regarded Hollywood Party as such an embarrassment that no director claimed screen credit, and the technical credits were crowded onto a single panel and only disclosed after the end title. The film was a box office disaster, posting a loss of $500,000 in Depression dollars.[12] It was producer Harry Rapf's last attempt to stage an expensive revue -- or any expensive project at all. The failure of Hollywood Party resulted in Rapf being transferred to MGM's short-subjects department, but he acquitted himself well enough there to return to low-budget feature productions, which he produced until his death in 1949.

Hollywood Party did recoup some of its losses later. Hal Roach had discontinued his releasing arrangement with MGM in 1938, so MGM would have no further Laurel and Hardy comedies to offer exhibitors. The studio filled the void with a reissue of Hollywood Party in 1939. Its crazy-quilt approach could now pass for a "screwball" comedy, and its cast of Jimmy Durante, Lupe Vélez, and The Three Stooges now had more name value.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Variety, March 13, 1934.
  2. ^ a b Kaufman, J.B. (June 1993). "Before Snow White". Film History. 5 (2): 164–172. JSTOR 27670718.
  3. ^ "Hollywood Party".
  4. ^ a b c Variety, March 29, 1934
  5. ^ Variety, November 18, 1933
  6. ^ a b Variety, February 22, 1934
  7. ^ Variety, October 31, 1933
  8. ^ Variety, August 22, 1933
  9. ^ Jenkins, Henry (1992). What Made Pistachio Nuts?: Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic. Columbia University Press. pp. 110–132. ISBN 9780231078559. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Hollywood Party (1934)". The New York Times. May 26, 1934. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ Variety, October 12, 1933
  12. ^ Richard Barrios, A Song on the Dark, Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 405.
  13. ^ Scott MacGillivray, Laurel & Hardy From the Forties Forward, Second Edition, iUniverse, 2009, p.47.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 January 2024, at 21:54
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