"Alice in Movieland" is an American 22-minute black-and-white short film from 1940, so this one will soon have its 80th anniversary and depending on when you read this review maybe it already happened. Maybe you probably haven't heard of most of the crew and cast members for this one unless you really are into old films, but still most of them were pretty successful back in the day and this also definitely includes lead actress Joan Leslie. By the way, this film here did not try to cash in with the title of the famous Disney film, would have been unusual for a WB production anyway, as that one came way later. Anyway, as for this one here, it is the story of a young woman who drerams of making it big in Hollywood, but doors are shut in her face, people are constantly making fun of her and dance performances turn out unsuccessfully. And eventually, when she finally did it, reality gets in the way as the dream is collapsing. But it seems at least she learnt something from it for her real attempt at becoming famous. Well, I guess many feminists now whine about how this film sends the message that Hollywood is very shallow or was back then if winning a beauty contest is enough to give you the prospect of becoming a star, but guess what? If people did not whine back then, then don't do it now. Or try to change something as honestly under the cover of staged outrage and political pseudo-correctness, really not a lot has changed. And why not? Because perhaps things are right the way they are. Anyway, back to this film here: a fine and entertaining example of the use of dream sequences that was at least as frequent back then in films as it is today, especially in cartoons. And I quite liked Leslie's performance who was so young back then and felt so grown-up, especially her singing voice. Hardly anybody could have carried this one better I guess. The music was nice too and I liked the penultimate shot as we see her upfront climbing the stairs to her dream. All in all, a faitly decent watch, maybe 2 or 3 subtle indicators that it was all just a dream could have made this an even better and smarter watch. But without a doubt I still give this one a thumbs-up. See it.
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