Movie Movie

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Movie Movie
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stanley Donen
Produced by Stanley Donen
Written by Larry Gelbart
Sheldon Keller
Starring George C. Scott
Trish Van Devere
Red Buttons
Eli Wallach
Barry Bostwick
Harry Hamlin
Barbara Harris
Music by Ralph Burns
Cinematography Charles Rosher Jr.
Bruce Surtees
Edited by George Hively
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
November 1978 (1978-11)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Movie Movie is a 1978 American double bill directed by Stanley Donen.[1] It consists of two 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 entitled Zero Hour (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.

Plot summary[edit]

The film is introduced by George Burns, who tells viewers that they were 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."

Dynamite Hands[edit]

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[edit]

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 Simpson, a young ingenue with dreams of performing on Broadway arrives to audition. Baxter's accountant is at heart a genius songwriter Dick Cummings. 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."



In the theatrical release, as George Burns leads us to expect in the film's prologue, Dynamite Hands and the mock film trailer (for Zero Hour, a flying-ace movie set in World War I) were in black-and-white, while the musical Baxter's Beauties of 1933 was in color. Some home video editions featured the original color version of Dynamite Hands which was printed on black and white film stock during its theatrical release.

Lew Grade liked the movie so much that he commissioned Larry Gelbart to write a sequel. However the movie failed at the box office. Grade blamed poor distribution from Warner Bros.[2]


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.


  1. ^ "Movie Movie". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Lew Grade, Still Dancing: My Story, William Collins & Sons 1987 p 251

External links[edit]