6.8/10
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8 user 4 critic

Once in a Lifetime (1932)

Passed | | Comedy | 2 October 1932 (USA)
Story of a Hollywood studio during the transition from silents to talkies.

Director:

Russell Mack

Writers:

Moss Hart (play), George S. Kaufman (play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Oakie ... George Lewis
Sidney Fox ... Susan Walker
Aline MacMahon ... May Daniels
Russell Hopton ... Jerome 'Jerry' Hyland
Louise Fazenda ... Helen Hobart
Zasu Pitts ... Miss Leighton
Gregory Ratoff ... Herman Glogauer
Jobyna Howland ... Mrs. Walker
Onslow Stevens ... Lawrence Vail
Gregory Gaye ... Rudolph Kammerling
Eddie Kane Eddie Kane ... Meterstein
Johnnie Morris Johnnie Morris ... Weiskopf (as Johnny Morris)
Frank LaRue ... The Bishop
Margaret Lindsay ... Dr. Lewis' Secretary
Edit

Storyline

Story of a Hollywood studio during the transition from silents to talkies.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Come see the funniest farce about the films ever filmed. Big comedy stars in the big star comedy! (Print Ad- Evening Post,((Wellington, NZ)) 6 April 1933)

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Una vez en la vida See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Aline MacMahon created the role of May Daniels in the first tryout of the play. (Source: Moss Hart's autobiography 'Act One'.) See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Walker: Susan's going to enter the talking pictures
George Lewis: Well, that's fine. Can she talk?
Mrs. Walker: Pardon?
George Lewis: I say can she talk?
Mrs. Walker: Of course she can talk.
George Lewis: Well how do you know?
George Lewis: I listen to her every day.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are followed by a written message from producer Carl Laemmle saying critics had questioned whether he would use the material that "so mercilessly and so hilariously poked fun at Hollywood and its motion picture people." But, he says, laughter is needed "in times like these." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Flash: Be My Baby (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bridal Chorus
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is funniest film I have ever seen.
4 February 2007 | by jes535See all my reviews

I am 59 years old; I have seen a lot of movies; "Once in a Lifetime" is the funniest film I have ever seen.

In the 1960s, when I was in high school in suburban Philadelphia, the local public television station broadcast this Kaufman and Hart play brought to the screen in 1932 with a brio that made it impossible to stop laughing.

The story concerns a Vaudeville troop unable to make a living because films had destroyed Vaudeville. Then, after seeing the "Jazz Singer," the troop members decide to head for Hollywood to open an elocution school for actors eager to speak acceptably for the newly-developed medium of talking pictures.

I have only seen this movie that one time, but every time I hear the word "elocution," I think of "Once in a Lifetime" and remember the train scene where a 9 year-old girl walks up and down the train reciting, "'Boots' by Rudyard Kipling…'Boots, boots, boots….'"


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