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Atterbury Dodd is an efficiency expert who believes everything can be reduced to mathematics. He is sent to Hollywood to see whether Colossal Pictures is a good investment. He soon learns that movie production doesn't fit his formulaic mindset. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
The character of Lester Plum bares some resemblance Marie Osborne, a child actress in the silent era who returned to the film industry in the 1930's as an extra and stand-in. It's unclear if Osborne's life story was directly influential on this film or the role played by Joan Blondell. See more »
A little way in accountant Atterbury Dodds walks through the accounts dept. A clerk gives him a slip containing a list of figures which total 1296221. Dodds says "There's an error in the addition the total should be 1296321, have the machine fixed". The total however is correct. The figures are - 63155; 122925; 57005; 54685; 404200; 56705; 122925; 54685; 305250; 54686 which total 1296221 See more »
Tay Garnett had a flair for comedy, and he proves it again with this film, "Stand-In" from 1937, starring Leslie Howard, Joan Blondell, and Humphrey Bogart. Howard plays businesslike accountant Atterbury Dodd, who comes out to Hollywood to find out what the problem is with Collosal Studios, which the owner wants to sell. The studio isn't making money, and it should be. When Dodd gets out to LA, he meets stand in Lester Plum (Blondell), a former child star who falls for him. Of course, he's completely unaware of anything on a personal level and she is constantly thwarted. He's only in Hollywood to find out why the movie factory is losing money.
Dodd learns that a director, Koslofski, is making a jungle movie, Sex and Satan starring a star on the wane, Thelma Cheri. Doug Quintain, who heads up the studio, is in love with her in spite of himself. It turns out there's not only amazing waste and pilfering going on at the studio, but a plot is afoot to make the studio lose money so it is ripe for purchase by an unscrupulous businessman who eats up small studios. This will put everyone at the studio out of work. Can Dodd save the day?
Howard is great as Dodd, a man with few social skills and a mathematical mind. Blondell is adorable as Lester, who started life as a Shirley Temple wannabee and now is a stand in. Bogart gives his usual fine performance as the harried producer who has everything hanging on a film where the ape has proved to be more popular than the star.
Very good movie. Tay Garnett did "Love is News," another delightful comedy, available on the Tyrone Power Matinée Idol Collection. In a tribute to Power in 2008, "Love is News" was the hit of the three-day tribute. Garnett's work is worth checking out.
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