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It Happened in Hollywood (1937) DVD-R

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Starring Richard Dix, Fay Wray, Victor Kilian, Franklin Pangborn, Charles
Directed by Harry Lachman

Print: black/white
Runtime: 67 min.
Genre: comedy
Print Quality: B

By 1937, everyone was tired of films about silent stars who couldn't make
the transition to talkies (and would be until Singin' in the Rain), but this
Columbia comedy-drama still had its moments in spite of gross
inaccuracies. Richard Dix is Western star Tim Bart, a screen hero who is
adored by children everywhere. All that changes when sound comes in —
outdoor pictures are risky because of sound problems and Bart's screen
test proves that he can't possibly play indoorsy society men. On the other
hand, his co-star Gloria Gay (Fay Wray) is a natural for glamour. The studio
offers to keep Bart on if he will play gangsters and bank robbers, but he
refuses to let his young fans down by becoming a bad guy. (All this makes
you want to ask, "What about 1930's Academy Award-winning Cimarron, in
which Dix was the star?" The writers at Columbia must have had
extremely short memories!) Bart's career dries up, while Gloria's
flourishes — at least for a while. With his ranch foreclosed and no work
forthcoming, Bart decides to leave Hollywood. But then, Billy (Billy
Burrud) shows up on his doorstep — he's one of the kids Bart visited in a
hospital. The boy has no family and begs to stay, so Bart relents. He even
throws Billy a party which is attended by all the stars of the day (actually
they're the stars' doubles, but Billy never guesses). Gloria also shows up
and admits that her career is on the outs, too. The desperate Bart walks
into a bank just as it's being robbed. He gets into a shoot-out with the
crooks and becomes a real-life hero. With his name in all the papers —
and Westerns once again a popular commodity — the studio signs him up
to a new contact, along with Gloria. Franklin Pangborn does one of his
amusing turns in a bit part as a dialog coach.

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