Filled with silent-screen names in its smaller roles, HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD is a cameo-filled drama, and something of a predecessor to 1950's SUNSET BOULEVARD in that it shows the dark side of Tinsel Town. A rather predictable drama interesting mainly for its "whatever happened to?" casting,
HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD tells the lurid story of Halliday, a washed-up and broken-down actor who has seen his day in Hollywood and now must swallow his pride and accept just about any role to keep his aged body and indomitable soul together. Gordon is a sleazy magazine publisher who offers Halliday
$25,000 if the actor will tell all and name names in his memoirs. Desperate, Halliday accepts. The first installment comes out and is, as might be imagined, a sensation. Halliday's family is appalled and wants to have nothing to do with him for besmirching the family name, and his daughter, Hunt,
begs him to stop the serialization of his book in the magazine. Told that he's signed a contract and there's no way out, she then pleads with Gordon, who refuses to let Halliday off the hook. Then Gordon tells Halliday that he had better complete those memoirs or he's going to make sure Halliday
never works again. Further, Halliday is in line to perform in a new movie and Gordon will make sure the job is not offered if the actor doesn't fulfill his contract obligations. Gordon and Halliday have an argument that erupts into a fight and culminates when Gordon shoots Halliday to death.
Police suspect that Hunt killed her own father, but that is quickly disproved when Cummings, Hunt's boyish fiance, exhibits his cleverness and realizes that the dictaphone machine in Gordon's office had been on. When he plays back the recording, Hunt is cleared of Halliday's death and Gordon is
arrested. Without the cameos by Bushman, Marsh, Cooper, et al., this would have little interest, being less an expose of Hollywood ways than a standard blackmail tale. But it gave a lot of the old-timers some work at a time when the silent stars of old were probably having the same kind of
financial trouble as Halliday's character was having in the story. Of special interest are actual shots showing actual Hollywood hotspots of the era--Cinegrill, Sardi's, Vendome. Many of the silent screen personalities are shown briefly enacting or directing movie scenes on studio lots and inside
sound stages at Paramount, a device later used in SUNSET BOULEVARD by the same studio.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Filled with silent-screen names in its smaller roles, HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD is a cameo-filled drama, and something of a predecessor to 1950's SUNSET BOULEVARD in that it shows the dark side of Tinsel Town. A rather predictable drama interesting mainly for it… (more)