Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stanley Donen|
|Produced by||Stanley Donen|
|Written by||Larry Gelbart
|Starring||George C. Scott
Trish Van Devere
|Music by||Ralph Burns|
|Cinematography||Charles Rosher Jr.
|Editing by||George Hively|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release dates||November 1978|
|Running time||105 minutes|
Movie Movie is a 1978 American double bill directed by Stanley Donen. It consists of two short films, Dynamite Hands, a boxing ring morality play, and Baxter's Beauties of 1933, a musical comedy, both starring the husband-and-wife team of George C. Scott and Trish Van Devere. A fake trailer for a flying-ace movie set in World War I (also starring Scott) is shown between the double feature.
Barry Bostwick, Red Buttons, Art Carney and Eli Wallach also appear in both segments, with Harry Hamlin, Barbara Harris and Ann Reinking featured in one each. The script was written by Larry Gelbart and Sheldon Keller.
At the start of the film, George Burns tells us that we are about to see an old-style double feature. In the old days, he explains, movies were in black-and-white, except sometimes "when they sang it came out in color."
Joey Popchik, a young man from a poor family, dreams of one day becoming a lawyer. His sister is losing her eyesight, so he becomes a boxer to raise the money to have her cured. Along the way, he gets seduced by fame and fortune, and runs afoul of a crooked boxing manager. In the end, his sister is cured and Joey, so that "poetic justice could be served," races through law school to become the prosecutor who puts the villain behind bars, spouting corny courtroom aphorisms such as "a man can move mountains with his bare heart."
Baxter's Beauties of 1933
Legendary theatrical producer Spats Baxter learns he's dying. To support the daughter he's never known after he's gone he plans to create one last Broadway smash. Kitty, a young ingenue with dreams of performing on Broadway arrives to audition. Baxter's accountant is at heart a genius songwriter. Baxter's star, Isobel Stuart, is a spoiled actress who almost destroys the entire production with her drunkenness and reckless spending of the show's money. In the end Kitty must go on in Isobel's place. Kitty becomes a star, and learns that Baxter is her long-lost father. As the curtain falls, a dying Baxter tells her, "One minute you're standing in the wings, the next minute you're wearing 'em."
- George C. Scott - Gloves Malloy / Spats Baxter
- Trish Van Devere - Betsy McGuire / Isobel Stuart
- Red Buttons - Peanuts / Jinks Murphy
- Eli Wallach - Vince Marlow / Pop
- Rebecca York - Kitty
- Harry Hamlin - Joey Popchik
- Ann Reinking - Troubles Moran
- Jocelyn Brando - Mama Popchik / Mrs. Updike
- Michael Kidd - Pop Popchik
- Kathleen Beller - Angie Popchik
- Barry Bostwick - Johnny Danko / Dick Cummings
- Art Carney - Doctor Blaine / Doctor Bowers
- Clay Hodges - Sailor Lawson
- George P. Wilbur - Tony Norton
- Peter Stader - Barney Keegle (as Peter T. Stader)
- Jimmy Lennon Sr. - The Announcer (as James Lennon)
- Barbara Harris-Trixie Lane
- Charles Lane-The Judge-Mr.Pennington
In the theatrical release, as George Burns leads us to expect in the film's prologue, Dynamite Hands and the mock film trailer were in black-and-white, while the musical Baxter's Beauties of 1933 was in color. Some home video editions featured a colorized version of Dynamite Hands. (Actually, this part of the feature was filmed in color, but shot and lit with the expectation that it would be printed in black and white, as it was in theaters and in some TV showings, where it reveals a rich palette of monochrome hues.)
Movie Movie earned three Golden Globes nominations, for Scott, for Hamlin and for Best Picture / Musical or Comedy.
Gelbart and Keller won the 1979 Writers Guild of America award for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen.