Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

What Price Hollywood? Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

What Price Hollywood is often referred to as the "first" version of the oft-filmed . While there are strong resemblances between the two properties, Hollywood is in many respects a wholly separate entity. Constance Bennett plays a star-struck waitress who manages to make a good impression on prominent film director Lowell Sherman. With Sherman's patronage, Bennett rises to film stardom as "America's Pal." Sherman is gratified, but he keeps his distance; a chronic alcoholic, he is certain that his inevitable fall from grace will adversely affect Bennett's stardom. Impulsively, Bennett marries wealthy playboy Neil Hamilton, who genuinely loves his wife but is jealous of the demands made on her by her career. Hamilton walks out, but not before Bennett has been impregnated. Turning her attentions to her mentor Sherman, Bennett does everything she can to halt his career downslide, but it is too late. In a startlingly conceived sequence (utilizing slow motion and rapid-fire montage cutting), Sherman kills himself in Bennett's bedroom. When his body is found, the ensuing scandal destroys Bennett's career (represented visually by a life-sized cutout of "America's Pal" shrinking into nothingness). Hoping to heal her emotional wounds, she flees to Paris with her child, where she is reunited with a contrite Hamilton. What Price Hollywood? producer David O. Selznick later claimed that most of the dialogue and situations in the film were drawn from life; he'd make the same claim upon producing the similar (but not identical) five years later. Somewhat perversely, Lowell Sherman based his performance-especially the inebriation scenes-on his then brother-in-law John Barrymore. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:June 24, 1932

Cast

Constance Bennett
as Mary Evans
Lowell Sherman
as Maximilian Carey
Neil Hamilton
as Lonny Borden
Gregory Ratoff
as Julius Saxe
Brooks Benedict
as Muto
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
as James
Charles "Heinie" Conklin
as Car Owner
Eddie Dunn
as Doorman at Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Phil Tead
as Jimmy
Bryant Washburn
as Washed-Up Star
Louise Beavers
as Juanita
Bryant Washburn
as Washed-Up Star
Charles "Heinie" Conklin
as Car Owner
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
as James
Phil Tead
as Jimmy
Eddie Dunn
as Doorman at Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Crew

George Cukor
Director
Gene Fowler
Screenwriter
Jane Murfin
Screenwriter
Ben Markson
Screenwriter
Max Steiner
Musical Direction/Supervision
Max Steiner
Composer (Music Score)
Jack Kitchin
Editor
Carroll Clark
Art Director
Pandro S. Berman
Associate Producer
David O. Selznick
Executive Producer
Slavko Vorkapich
Special Effects
Lloyd Knechtel
Special Effects
Advertisement