Hollywood Party (1934)

Directors:

Richard Boleslawski (uncredited), Allan Dwan(uncredited)

Jimmy Durante is jungle star Schnarzan the Conqueror, but the public is tiring of his fake lions. So when Baron Munchausen comes to town with real man-eating lions, Durante throws a big party with so that he might use the lions in his next movie. His film rival sneaks into the party to buy the lions before Durante.

Jimmy Durante spoofs Johnny Weismuller’s Tarzan by playing a jungle film star who throws a lavish party for his Hollywood friends (complete with Zeigfeld style musical numbers). Lupe Velez (the real life Mrs. Weismuller) spoofs Maureen O’Sullivan’s “Jane” character (controversial at the time for “Jane’s” skimpy outfits). Durante is annoying but Velez shines with the best bit teaming her with Laurel & Hardy. The Three Stooges appear as autograph seekers. This MGM musical features an appearance by Mickey Mouse who spoofs Durante and introduces the Disney color cartoon “Hot Chocolate Soldiers.” The 70 minute plot is a mess with the parts being better than the sum, however a must for fans and collector’s of the aforementioned appearances.

hollywoodparty2

Don’t Miss It if You Can

10/10
Author: drednm from United States
6 April 2006

What a hoot. Hilariously bad musical comedy that was butchered by MGM and dumped as a B film stars Jimmy Durante as a failing actor whose Schnarzan character needs a boost. So they decide to buy new lions (with teeth) to beef up his screen image. But his rival, Liondora, also wants the lions. So Durante throws a Hollywood party to lobby the lions’ owner, Baron Munchausen, for a sale.

A great cast and some terrifically snappy production numbers and funny bits make this a total trip. Along with Durante we get Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy who got cheated out of the lions, Lupe Velez as Durante’s spitfire Jane, Polly Moran and Charles Butterworth as Oklahoma oil millionaires, Arthur Treacher as a butler, Jack Pearl as the Baron, Ted Healy and the Three Stooges as autograph fiends, Eddie Quillan and June Clyde as the lovers, Frances Williams in the great “Hollywood Party” number, Shirley Ross, Harry Baris, and Robert Young as themselves, and a ton of small-part actors like Ferdinand Gottschalk, Nora Cecil, Clarence Wilson, Leonid Kinskey, Tom Kennedy, Gilbert Emery, Jed Prouty, Richard Carle, Edwin Maxwell, Ray Cooke, George Givot and Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey Mouse! “Hollywood Party” and “My One Big Moment” are great songs. Jimmy Durante is fun, Laurel and Hardy get a funny sketch with Lupe Velez and eggs, Polly Moran gets to sing, and then there’s leggy and glittery Frances Williams and her great jazzy voice!

tumblr_ob09lckcit1shvsevo1_500

A must for collector’s of Disney, Laurel & Hardy, Tarzan, or 3 Stooges.

Author: Stephen J. Bolling from San Diego, California
1 April 1999

Jimmy Durante spoofs Johnny Weismuller’s Tarzan by playing a jungle film star who throws a lavish party for his Hollywood friends (complete with Zeigfeld style musical numbers). Lupe Velez (the real life Mrs. Weismuller) spoofs Maureen O’Sullivan’s “Jane” character (controversial at the time for “Jane’s” skimpy outfits). Durante is annoying but Velez shines with the best bit teaming her with Laurel & Hardy. The Three Stooges appear as autograph seekers. This MGM musical features an appearance by Mickey Mouse who spoofs Durante and introduces the Disney color cartoon “Hot Chocolate Soldiers.” The 70 minute plot is a mess with the parts being better than the sum, however a must for fans and collector’s of the aforementioned appearances.

hollywoodparty23

Production background

During production the film was known as Star Spangled Banquet and the Hollywood Revue of 1933. Although Hollywood Party has no director credited, it has been asserted that Allan Dwan, Edmund Goulding, Russell Mack, Charles Reisner, Roy Rowland and Sam Wood directed various scenes with the overwhelming majority directed by Richard Boleslavsky.George Stevens directed the Laurel and Hardy sequence  and Dave Gould directed the “Feelin’ High” dance number with choreography by Georgie Hale. Seymour Felix and Eddie Prinz directed final reshoots.  Around the MGM backlot, the choreographers of the dance sequences were competing with those staging the MGM film Dancing Lady, vying to see who could create the most elaborate dance number. 

mickey_mouse___hollywood_party

The film had many sequences cut or reshot after several references proved too esoteric for foreign audiences. A sequence that had featured Thelma Todd (impersonating Mae West), Lupe Velez, Jimmy Durante and Zasu Pitts playing bridge was deleted after it was lost on British viewers not yet familiar with the game.  Further episodes that featured actors Herman Bing, Johnny Weissmuller and Max Baer were cut from the film. As a result, surviving prints run approximately 68 minutes, but the original run time was 75 minutes. Famed songwriters Rodgers and Hart contributed most of the music.

hollywood_party__title_card_

Gus Kahn wrote “Moonlight Serenade” for the 1933 Busby Berkeley film Footlight Parade. However, when that song was cut from the Warner Brothers picture, it was placed a year later in Hollywood Party and sung by Eddie Quillan.The film was not a financial or critical success. It was considered too avant garde to appeal to a general audience. It remains significant today for its 31 stars, including Laurel and Hardy, radio celebrity Jack Pearl, The Three Stooges (in their final appearance for MGM), and Mickey Mouse. The Three Stooges routine was written by Arthur Kober.  The Mickey Mouse sequence introduces a Technicolor cartoon, “The Hot Choc-late Soldiers“, created by Walt Disney with music by Nacio Herb Brown, and lyrics by Arthur Freed.

hollywoodparty32

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s