Hollywood seems to like nothing better than making movies about Hollywood and this is a terrific example of how well it knows its own business. In Technicolor, it screamed to have music with it but there was none, despite the presence of musical talents Faye and Ameche. Later, it was
discovered that three tunes were written for the movie (when it was still called "Shooting Stars"), but they were cut from the final print. One was the hit "Whispering." It's a story that is so close to the real-life drama of Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand that it might have occasioned a lawsuit
were it not for the fact that Sennett appeared as himself in the picture, so his permission was implicit. This same story was told in Jerry Herman's failed Broadway musical "Mack and Mabel." Ameche, playing a well-known silent screen director, and Bromberg, his affable pal, visit New York in 1913
and attend a Broadway play. The star gets sick in the middle of the show and her understudy, Faye, comes forward and knocks the crowd on its ear with her acting abilities. Ameche visits Faye's dressing room after the show and offers her a movie deal but her heart is on the stage, so she declines.
Next day he sweetens the offer to the princessly sum of $100 per week and she accepts. In California, Ameche directs Faye in her debut, a wacky comedy that stars Buster Keaton. The picture is a smash and Faye is an immediate star.
Time goes by and Ameche is the king of directors with Faye the queen of comic actresses. Bromberg is left a bundle by a dead relative, comes West, and finances Ameche in his own studio with Faye as their No. 1 star. Curtis joins the band of zanies and exhibits immediate interest in Faye who dearly
loves Ameche but he is so wrapped up in making movies that he pays little attention to her. Faye marries Curtis in a pique while they are in the midst of making a film. Once it's over, Ameche angrily fires them both and they go abroad on a honeymoon. When they come back, they sign with MGM and
watch their careers continue spiraling upward as Ameche's pictures start to fail. It's now the "Roaring Twenties" and Faye and Curtis are the No. 1 couple in movies. At the famous Coconut Grove nightclub, she sees Ameche, now a despondent man, and tells Bromberg (who has taken over as her agent)
to get Ameche to direct her next movie. While shooting the film, Curtis and Faye are involved in an auto accident which kills him and hospitalizes her. At the same time, Jolson (who makes an appearance as himself in the film and sings the Hebrew "Kol Nidre" in the sequence regarding the sound
breakthrough of THE JAZZ SINGER) makes film history. Ameche is told to finish the movie, using a double for Curtis, and rush it out since, as a silent, its days are numbered. Ameche won't hear of it. He purloins the negative and waits until Faye recovers enough to finish the shooting. He adds a
few talking sequences, the picture is released, and it is a hit. In the final scene, Faye, Ameche, and Bromberg reminisce about the old days and talk about the future and how they are going to continue their association in talking movies. The best part of the film was the comedy effort that
utilized Keaton, Conklin, Collins, Finlayson, Turpin, and all the rest of the Sennettmen who made America laugh so hard.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Hollywood seems to like nothing better than making movies about Hollywood and this is a terrific example of how well it knows its own business. In Technicolor, it screamed to have music with it but there was none, despite the presence of musical talents Fa… (more)