It Happened in Hollywood (1937)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Showbiz Drama  |   Release Date - Sep 7, 1937 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 67 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Janiss Garza

By 1937, everyone was tired of films about silent stars who couldn't make the transition to talkies (and would be until Singin' in the Rain), but this Columbia comedy-drama still had its moments in spite of gross inaccuracies. Richard Dix is Western star Tim Bart, a screen hero who is adored by children everywhere. All that changes when sound comes in -- outdoor pictures are risky because of sound problems and Bart's screen test proves that he can't possibly play indoorsy society men. On the other hand, his co-star Gloria Gay (Fay Wray) is a natural for glamour. The studio offers to keep Bart on if he will play gangsters and bank robbers, but he refuses to let his young fans down by becoming a bad guy. (All this makes you want to ask, "What about 1930's Academy Award-winning Cimarron, in which Dix was the star?" The writers at Columbia must have had extremely short memories!) Bart's career dries up, while Gloria's flourishes -- at least for a while. With his ranch foreclosed and no work forthcoming, Bart decides to leave Hollywood. But then, Billy (Billy Burrud) shows up on his doorstep -- he's one of the kids Bart visited in a hospital. The boy has no family and begs to stay, so Bart relents. He even throws Billy a party which is attended by all the stars of the day (actually they're the stars' doubles, but Billy never guesses). Gloria also shows up and admits that her career is on the outs, too. The desperate Bart walks into a bank just as it's being robbed. He gets into a shoot-out with the crooks and becomes a real-life hero. With his name in all the papers -- and Westerns once again a popular commodity -- the studio signs him up to a new contact, along with Gloria. Franklin Pangborn does one of his amusing turns in a bit part as a dialog coach.




career, celebrity, child, cowboy, employment, handicap, loot, meeting, party, producer [showbiz], quitting, stars [celebrities], transition, voice [speaking]