Hollywood Hotel (film)
|Directed by||Busby Berkeley|
|Produced by||Samuel Bischoff
Hal B. Wallis
Jack L. Warner
|Written by||Jerry Wald
|Music by||Ray Heindorf
|Editing by||George Amy|
|Studio||First National Pictures|
|Running time||109 minutes|
Hollywood Hotel is a 1937 American romantic comedy film, directed by Busby Berkeley. It stars Dick Powell, Rosemary Lane, Lola Lane, and Ted Healy. Ronald Reagan, Benny Goodman and Harry James (a member of Goodman's band) also appear.
It is best remembered for the featured song and opening number "Hooray for Hollywood" by Johnny Mercer and Richard A. Whiting, sung in the film by Johnnie Davis and Frances Langford, accompanied by Benny Goodman and his orchestra. The song has become a standard part of the soundtrack to movie award ceremonies, including the Academy Awards. Mercer's lyrics contain numerous references, often satirical, to the movie industry and the path to film stardom.
Saxophone player and singer Ronnie Bowers (Dick Powell), is on his way to Hollywood, having been signed to a ten-week contract by All Star Pictures. At the airport, his former employer, Benny Goodman, and his band give him a big sendoff, performing "Hooray for Hollywood".
In Hollywood, temperamental star Mona Marshall (Lola Lane) becomes furious when she learns that another actress has landed the part she desperately wanted. As a result, she refuses to attend the premiere of her latest movie. Publicist Bernie Walton (Allyn Joslyn) convinces studio boss B. L. Falken (Grant Mitchell) to substitute a double. After looking over a number of women, Bernie chooses Virginia Stanton (Rosemary Lane), who has already worked as a stand-in for Mona. For her escort, Bernie chooses an unsuspecting (and starstruck) Ronnie.
The charade works. Everyone, from Ronnie to Louella Parsons to the radio host at the premiere (an uncredited Ronald Reagan in his second film appearance), is fooled. Things take an unexpected turn when Ronnie and Virginia begin to fall in love, wading in a fountain pond and singing "I'm Like a Fish Out of Water".
The next day, Bernie takes Ronnie to lunch at the restaurant where Virginia is working as a waitress, to break the news of his date's real identity. Ronnie and Virginia begin dating.
When Mona reads in the newspaper that "she" was at the premiere with Ronnie, she forces Falken to release the young man from his contract. Photographer Fuzzy Boyle (Ted Healy) appoints himself Ronnie's agent, and they make the rounds, trying to get his acting career started without success. The two end up employed at a drive-in. When Ronnie sings during work, director Walter Kelton (William Davidson) is impressed and offers him a job. Ronnie is disappointed to learn, however, that he will not be acting (in Mona's next picture). Kelton only wants him to dub the singing for Mona's longtime screen partner, Alex Du Prey (Alan Mowbray).
Du Prey's "singing" impresses the audience at the preview. When Louella Parsons invites Du Prey to perform on her radio program, he accepts without thinking. Desperate, All Star Pictures pays Ronnie an exorbitant fee to sing for the actor. However, Ronnie has his own ideas. Virginia (posing as Mona) picks up Du Prey in a limousine driven by Fuzzy. The pair drive him out into the countryside so he misses the program. Ronnie substitutes for Du Prey and is a hit. Falken decides to resign him, at a much larger salary.
- Dick Powell as Ronnie Bowers
- Rosemary Lane as Virginia [Stanton]
- Lola Lane as Mona Marshall
- Hugh Herbert as Chester Marshall, Mona's daffy father
- Ted Healy as Fuzzy Boyle. Healy is perhaps best known for creating the vaudeville act which later evolved into The Three Stooges. Hollywood Hotel was released in January 1938, less than a month after Healy's untimely death.
- Glenda Farrell as Miss Jones, aka "Jonesy", Mona's assistant
- Johnnie Davis as Georgia
- Louella Parsons as Louella Parsons
- Alan Mowbray as Alexander "Alex" Du Prey
- Mabel Todd as Dot Marshall, Mona's sister
- Frances Langford as Alice Crayne
- Jerry Cooper as Jerry Cooper
- Ken Niles as Ken Niles
- Duane Thompson as Duane Thompson
- Allyn Joslyn as Bernie Walton
- Grant Mitchell as B. L. Faulkin
- Edgar Kennedy as Callaghan, the drive-in owner
- Fritz Feld as The Russian, a sympathetic restaurant patron waited on by Virginia
- Curt Bois as Butch
- Perc Westmore as Perc Westmore
- Eddie Acuff as Joe
- Clinton Rosemond as Tom
- William Davidson as Director Walter Kelton
- Wally Maher as Assistant Director Drew
- Georgie Cooper as Seamstress (as Georgia Cooper)
- Libby Taylor as Cleo, Mona's maid
- Joe Romantini as Headwaiter
- Paul Irving as Bramwell
- Raymond Paige and His Orchestra as themselves
- Benny Goodman and His Orchestra as themselves
- Helfer, Andrew (author), Steve Buccatello (artist), and Joe Station (artist). Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography. Hill and Wang. 22.