Merton of the Movies (1924)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This first of three film versions of the George S. Kaufman/Marc Connelly stage comedy Merton of the Movies stars Glenn Hunter in the title role. A small-town boy with big-time ideas, Merton heads to Hollywood, hoping to become a great dramatic star in films. Before long, he's on the verge of starvation, and no closer to his goal than before. With the help of good-natured stuntwoman Viola Dana, Merton is given a screen test. His overwrought emoting is laughed off the screen, totally crushing Merton's spirits. But a happy ending ensues when Merton is signed to a contract anyway-as a comedy star. Later adaptations of Merton of the Movies starred Jack Oakie and Red Skelton; only the 1947 Skelton version is currently available for reappraisal.

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Keywords

actor, aspiration, film-industry, Hollywood, screen-test, stuntperson