Going Hollywood (1933)

  • Marion Davies is a French teacher, but she doesn’t really want to be & gets easily distracted by life & wanting to live it to the fullest.
  • For instance – she’s supposed to be grading her students’ final exams. Instead, she puts on a Bing Crosby (or whatever his name is going to be in this) record & stares out her window, looking at the moon.
  • Bing Crosby’s voice inspires her to leap out of her moon-gazing position to grab her suitcase & begin to pack it. She’s out of here, y’all!
  • Meanwhile (kind of), Bing Crosby is doing an impromptu song recording in his hotel room, having hopped out of bed only a few seconds before, and while also attempting to get dressed – and drink – all at the same time. He nails it, because he is Bing Crosby. Charming!
  • Lili (Fifi D’Orsay): What did we have to drink last night?

Bill (Bing Crosby): Oh, you mean that green stuff? …What do you call it? Oh – absinthe.

[Real exchange.]

  • Ohhh…Bing Crosby (okay, okay – Bill Williams) is going to Hollywood to make a movie in which he is required to speak French. Conveniently, Mr. Williams, the girl who is tucked away in your train closet is somewhat familiar with the language. Clever, movie writers! Clever.
  • So they get to Hollywood & immediately there is a lightning-quick montage of shots of Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery & Marie Dressler (in that order) attending red carpet events. Weird.
  • Great line, regarding Lili:

“She’s so busy telling me how good she is, she’s got no time left to learn her lines.” — Conroy, the director (Ned Sparks)

  • Oh, hi Patsy Kelly! (She’s great.)
  • There are some weird surprise musical dance sequences in this. I mean…they’re decently done – it’s just like the filmmakers felt as though a Bing Crosby movie should have more singing & dancing in it, so they took the script & said “The opportunities for musical sequences are here, here, & here. That should do it!” and that was that.
  • Now Marion Davies is in black face. Why? We’re not entirely sure. She just is, and it’s very uncomfortable to watch.
  • There really isn’t much substance to this story, is there?
  • Like, for real – this has devolved into a group of guys taking turns doing weird voices & singing snippets of songs on a (possibly not even being broadcast to anyone) radio show. Clearly this is filler because the writers lacked the motivation and/or talent to come up with anymore plot details or story depth. What a drag.
  • Predictably, Marion Davies has now been given Lili’s part in the movie, and Bill Williams has fallen in love with her. Blah, blah, blah.
  • Marion’s last outfit makes her look like a slightly Russian sparkle Santa. Why, Adrian? Why?
  • Just fyi: Marion Davies fans always inflate the IMDb ratings for her movies…it’s just what they do. Often, this is totally justified (for movies like SHOW PEOPLE (1928), PAGE MISS GLORY (1935), & EVER SINCE EVE (1937)) – but for this one? Totally misleading. This is pretty much just a crap movie starring talented people who are given absolutely nothing to do. Definitely skip it, if you have the chance.
  • Ps: Marion Davies’s character’s name in this is Sylvia. In case anyone was wondering.


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