Lyrics by Lorenz
Music by Richard Rodgers
Produced by Howard Dietz and Harry
Rapf for MGM
Directed by Edmund Goulding, Russel
Mack, Richard Boleslawsky and Allan Dwan
Starring: Starring Jimmy Durante,
included Laurel and Hardy, Charles Butterworth and Polly Moran.
Screenplay by Howard Dietz and Arthur Freed
Choreography by Seymour Felix, George Hale and Dave Gould
Early Title:Hollywood Revue of 1933
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.
Hollywood Party was planned as a lavish, star-studded MGM musical titled
Hollywood Revue of 1933. Under the less-than-sterling guidance of "kicked
upstairs" MGM producer Harry Rapf, production dragged on interminably,
using up the talents of five directors (none of whom were credited) and
seven writers. The "all star" cast lineup slowly dwindled down
to comparatively inexpensive contract players Jimmy Durante and Jack Pearl
(radio's Baron Munchhausen) and a passel of non-MGM personalities. The final
product wove a goofy story about The Great Schnarzan (Durante), a jungle-movie
star whose films are suffering at the box office because his lions are anemic.
Schnarzan schemes to purchase several healthy lions from Baron Munchhausen;
to get the baron into a bargaining mood, Schnarzan throws a huge Hollywood
party in Munchhausen's honor. Liondora (George Givot), Schnarzan's "hated
rival", hopes to purchase the Baron's lions for himself, and crashes
the party disguised as a Greek Baron.
Also figuring into the plot are the members of the Klemp family (Charles
Butterworth, Polly Moran and June Clyde), who are filthy rich and thus quite
attractive to both Schnarzan and Liondora; poor-but-honest Eddie Quillan,
who romances the Klemp's daughter; and Schnarzan's ex-girlfriend Lupe Velez,
who shows up at the party in an astonishingly revealing gown for the express
purpose of making trouble. In an amusing animated sequence courtesy of Walt
Disney, Mickey Mouse introduces the Technicolor musical exploits of "The
Hot Chocolate Soldiers." Shortly before the end, Stan Laurel and Oliver
Hardy make a welcome appearance as a pair of lion-farm owners who wish to
collect a debt from Baron Munchhausen. This segues into the classic egg-breaking
sequence involving Stan, Ollie, and Lupe Velez. Now we've reached the 65
minute mark, with no logical ending in sight. Director Allan Dwan, brought
into the project at the last minute, took a look at the existing footage
and declared "It's a nightmare!" Inspired, Dwan directed a closing
sequence which suggested that the whole plot had been dreamed by Jimmy Durante;
Durante is wakened from his slumbers by his wife--played by Mrs. Jimmy Durante.
Hollywood Party makes no sense at all, but it's a must for comedy lovers
and 1930s film buffs.
Don't miss that opening number
, written by Rodgers
and Hart and performed by Frances Williams and a chorus of barely
dressed telephone operators; and keep an eye peeled for a lengthy
un credited appearance by the Three Stooges.
Laurel (centre), Oliver Hardy (left) and Lupe Velez (right).
At a movie theater a preview of "Schnarzan the Conqueror" is shown,
but the producer decides he needs real man-eating lions. He tells Jimmy
Durante to entertain the Baron Munchausen with a party. Telephone operators
sing "Hollywood Party" as guests get dressed for it. Oil millionaire
Harvey Clemp (Charles Butterworth) arrives with his wife Henrietta (Polly
Moran) and his daughter Linda (June Clyde). Robert Young announces the biggest
Hollywood party ever and sends a drunk, who bothers him to the swimming
pool. Chorus girls sing "Hello" to the Baron (Jack Pearl). Trying
to gain access to money, a Greek duke (George Givot) makes advances to Henrietta
and kisses her while her husband comments on his technique. However, Harvey
is quickly flipped by Schnarzan's co-star (Lupe Velez), and he decides loyalty
is better. Bob (Eddie Quinlan) and Linda sing "I've Had My Moments."
A professor takes the three stooges for Neanderthals. Durante sings "Reincarnation,"
dreaming he was a butterfly, Adam, and Paul Revere's horse. Harvey outbids
the producer for the Baron's lions. Durante finds Mickey Mouse, who introduces
a color cartoon called "The Hot Chocolate Soldiers" about a
candy and dessert war; when the war is won, the sun melts the chocolate
soldiers. Durante says he will go Don Juan one better by being Don Two.
Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel bring a check from the Baron they could
not cash in order to get their lions back. They keep ringing the doorbell
until they get in. Oliver calls loudly for the Baron. Henrietta plays
the piano and sings a reprise of "Moments" to Durante. At the
bar Lupe Velez is refused any more drinks and cracks eggs with Oliver
and Stan. When men come after them, Oliver and Stan run away and let loose
the lions. Durante tells Henrietta he needs lions to fight as Schnarzan,
and he is soon wrestling with one. During the reprise of "Hollywood
Party" Durante is dreaming. His wife wakes him up to go to a party.
This satire of Hollywood is designed to be entertaining, and the comedy
and music are mildly amusing, giving audiences a dream-like diversion
from daily living.
Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck
Plunked down right in the
middle of this MGM musical revue is a Disney cartoon about some chocolate
soldiers who melt in the sun; the cartoon is introduced by Mickey Mouse,
an uninvited guest at the Hollywood Party.
Who were the hosts? The
picture doesn't carry producer or director credits; the entire extravaganza
is hit-or-miss casual, as if the brass at MGM didn't want to admit having
committed themselves to make the thing, and the big MGM stars never show
Instead, you get Jimmy
Durante in a Tarzan takeoff and singing a song about reincarnation, as
well as Polly Moran as an oil tycoon's wife, Charles Butterworth and Ted
Healy, and June Clyde, Jack Pearl, and Lupe Velez, who join Laurel & Hardy
in an egg-breaking routine. Some fairly funny moments, and a pleasant
The writing was probably
by Howard Dietz and Arthur Kober, the directing by Richard Boleslawski,
Allan Dwan, and Roy Rowland.
Jimmy Durante, playing a character called Schnarzan, had a fairly amusing
scene in Hollywood Party (MGM) doing battle with a lion; and Walt Disney
supplied a Mickey Mouse cartoon (in colour) which helped take one's mind
off the "entertainment" on offer. But the story thought up by publicity
man Howard Dietz and Arthur Kober (who also scripted it) about an elaborate
Hollywood party thrown by Durante, just wouldn't play.
from The Hollywood Musical
by Clive Hirschhorn
Musical comedy hodgepodge built around screen star
Durante throwing a gala party. Romantic subplot is for the birds, but
Stan and Ollie battling fiery Velez, Durante as Schnarzan, befuddled Butterworth
and opening title tune make it worthwhile. Richard Boleslawski, Allan
Dwan, Roy Rowland directed various scenes without credit; TV print runs
63 minutes, and is missing appearance by Mickey Mouse and color Disney
cartoon HOT CHOCOLATE SOLDIERS.
Leonard Maltin Review: 2.5 stars out of 4
33" nowrap> ...
The remarkable saga of Prayer epitomizes what
Rodgers & Hart went through when they were under contract to M.G.M.|
In its first version the melody that became Blue
Moon was intended for Jean Harlow to sing in Hollywood Party.
Neither Miss Harlow nor Prayer appeared in Hollywood Party.
In its second life the "Prayer/Blue Moon"
tune was given a new lyrics and became the title song of the 1934
M.G.M film Manhattan Melodrama, which
starred Clark Gable, William Powell and Myrna Loy, and was the
movie that John Dillinger had been watching when he was gunned
down outside the Biograph Theatre In Chicago.
The song was also know as "It's Just That Kind
Of Play", but was cut from the film before it was ready for release.
Manhattan Melodrama Was also responsible
of the third setting of the "Prayer/Blue Moon" tune. Under its
new title "The Bad In Every Man" It was sung by Shirley Ross in
The fourth lyric setting of the melody came about
when Jack Robbins, Head of the M.G.M.'s publishing company, liked the
tune and said he would promote it if Hart would write a more commercial
lyrics. The result was Blue Moon.