Merton of the Movies (novel)

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Merton of the Movies is a comic novel by Harry Leon Wilson. It was adapted into a stage play and three films. Wilson, a writer and novelist, wrote the book after a brief stint in Hollywood. Merton of the Movies was published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1919[1] and published as a book in 1922. Thomas Hischak described Merton of the Movies as a "light-hearted romp" with characters "cartoonish but endearing".[2] The novel sold millions of copies[2] and has been adapted to other media several times.

Premise and plot[edit]

Small-town bumpkin Merton Gill fantasizes about joining the glamorous world of silent films, and takes a correspondence school course in acting. He travels to Hollywood, where he is disillusioned by the foibles of his screen idols. He is befriended by comedienne and stuntwoman Flips Montague, who helps him land a bit part, which he bungles so badly with his comically inept acting that the studio is inspired to use him for comedy. Gill becomes a comedy star, delivering lines that he thinks are serious straight drama.[2][3][4]



  1. ^ "Merton of the Movies (California Legacy Book)". Abe Books. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Hischak, Thomas S. (2012). American Literature on Stage and Screen: 525 Works and Their Adaptations. McFarland. p. 144. ISBN 978-0786468423. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  3. ^ Fritzi Kramer (April 25, 2013). "Silent Movie Bookshelf: Merton of the Movies by Harry Leon Wilson". Movies Silently. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  4. ^ "Merton of the Movies". Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  5. ^ "Merton of the Movies". The Judy Room. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  6. ^ "Garland-Rooney to Star On "Radio Theater" Hour". Youngstown Vindicator (Ohio). 1941-11-17. p. 11. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  7. ^ John Corry (January 21, 1977). "Broadway". New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  8. ^ Andrew Gans (April 7, 2011). "Merton of the Movies Musical Reading to Feature Josh Grisetti, Celina Carvajal, Liz Larsen". Playbill. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  9. ^ Ashley Fox Linton (April 30, 2011). "Spring, Singin' & Savvy..." Chesire Fox. Retrieved February 20, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]