6.5/10
323
11 user 1 critic

Merton of the Movies (1947)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 11 October 1947 (USA)
A Kansas bumpkin goes to Hollywood to become a movie star and gets a job burlesquing his favorite actor - only he thinks the role is serious.

Director:

Robert Alton

Writers:

Lou Breslow, Marc Connelly (play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Red Skelton ... Merton Gill aka Clifford Armytage
Virginia O'Brien ... Phyllis Montague
Gloria Grahame ... Beulah Baxter
Leon Ames ... Lawrence Rupert
Alan Mowbray ... Frank Mulvaney
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Jeff Baird
Hugo Haas ... Von Strutt - Director
Harry Hayden ... Mr. Gashwiler
Tom Trout Tom Trout ... Marty
Douglas Fowley ... Phil
Dick Wessel ... Chick
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tom Dugan ... Sam Montague (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

In 1915, Kansas theatre usher Merton Gill is a rabid silent-movie fan. When he brings Mammoth Studios free publicity by imitating star Lawrence Rupert's heroics, they bring him to Hollywood to generate another headline; he thinks he'll get a movie contract. Disillusioned, he haunts the casting offices, where he meets and is consoled by Phyllis Montague, bit player and stunt-woman. When Merton finally gets his "break," though, it's not quite what he envisioned... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Red Skelton's Howling Hit About Hollywood!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Buscame en Hollywood See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This was Virginia O'Brien's final starring role and the last film she made for MGM. After this she had small roles in two later films but otherwise retired from the screen. See more »

Quotes

Beulah Baxter: [Introducing Merton to champagne] It's made of grapes... like fruit juice. The Frenchman that sold it to me explained the whole thing one night. We... well, ordered a boat load.
See more »

Connections

References Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played when Merton is about to leave for Hollywood
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A passable low key comedy with the Keaton touch
13 December 2009 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

This isn't the best film Red Skelton ever made. That is probably either "The Fuller Brush Man" or maybe even when he was teamed with Fred Astaire in "Three Little Words". However, it is funny enough and very sweet. Skelton plays Merton Gill, an usher from a small town that dreams of making it big in films back in 1914. He unintentionally foils a robbery attempt at the theater where he works and attributes his success to his movie hero, Lawrence Rupert. Rupert's publicist thinks it would be good publicity for Rupert if Gill were invited to Hollywood for a few photos labeling Gill as Rupert's protégé. Unfortunately, Morton believes he really is Rupert's protégé and is disappointed when he is told to take a hike after the publicity campaign is over. He takes several stabs at making it in the movies, but his overacting and clumsiness get him ejected every time. What Morton doesn't know is that what is hideous acting in a drama is perfect for the slapstick comedies of the 1910's, and this leads to his big break. Skelton is perfect as the naive and easily rattled Merton, and Virginia O'Brien is very good as the stunt woman who ends up Merton's protector and love interest.

The original silent version of this film made in 1924 is lost, and one interview with Buster Keaton prior to 1924 had him saying that he would really like to make this film himself. He did in a way. He was an uncredited gag man on this and many of Skelton's other MGM films, and you can see the Keaton touch in several of the gags throughout the film. Recommended if you want to watch something that will make you laugh and also warm your heart.


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