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Two half-wits drive cross country to Hollywood in their search for stardom.
After losing $3,000 on the horses, New York gambler Steve Wiley is threatened with death by Bookie Benny. Steve tells Benny that he has devised a scam which will allow him to repay his entire debt, as he has fixed an automobile giveaway at a local motion picture theater by printing duplicate tickets of the entire lottery. Unfortunately for Steve, the legitimate winner of the red convertible, a film fanatic named Malcolm Smith, is in attendance the night of the drawing. Unable to distinguish the real ticket from its duplicate, the theater manager declares them both winners and insists that they share the car. Learning that Malcolm is obsessed with Anita Ekberg, Steve claims that the Swedish film actress is his neighbor in Hollywood and offers to drive the young man cross-country to meet her. He actually plans to ditch Malcolm and abscond with the car, but each time his plot is thwarted by Mr. Bascom, Malcolm's Great Dane. Realizing that he has little chance of deserting both Malcolm and his dog, Steve telephones Benny from the road and tells him that he will pay his debt after he arrives in Hollywood and sells the car. Having been severely beaten by his boss for failing to secure either Steve or his money, Benny warns the failed gambler that he now has two people looking to kill him. Soon, the convertible runs out of gas after Malcolm fails to fill the tank, and while the two men rest after pushing the car up a hill, it begins to descend with Mr. Bascom at the wheel. The car finally comes to rest on a railroad track, and with the Great Dane's help, Steve and Malcolm manage to push it out of the way of an oncoming train. Later, at Malcolm's urging, they stop for a stranded old woman, who then pulls out a revolver and steals their car. Knowing the convertible will soon run out of gas, they hop aboard a passing car driven by a beautiful young redhead named Terry Roberts and give chase. Unfortunately, Terry's worn-out jalopy quickly falls apart under the strain, and despite Malcolm's efforts to fix it, the vehicle is beyond repair. After recovering the convertible, Terry joins Steve and Malcolm on their trip to the West Coast, as she has a job awaiting her as a chorus girl in Las Vegas. Upon arriving in Chicago, Malcolm happily tells Terry about his lucky streaks and his plans to meet Anita Ekberg, while Steve worries about leaving the city before his gangster friends find him. The quartet then travels through Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico before stopping in Arizona, where they visit the Grand Canyon. After Steve sends him to a local farm on the pretext of getting milk so that Steve can try to romance Terry, Malcolm finds himself trapped in a tree by an angry bull. Malcolm attempts some bullfighting moves, but is saved from serious injury by Steve. In Las Vegas, Malcom spies Anita Ekberg, who is there on a short vacation, and Mr. Bascom follows his master's lead by falling for the actress' poodle, but the love-struck fan ruins the moment by knocking Anita into the hotel pool. Nearly broke, Malcolm suddenly gets one of his lucky feelings and turns twenty-five cents into over $9,000 playing craps. Unlucky for Steve, Malcom's winnings become a national news story, attracting the attention of Benny and his boss, who orders Sammy Ross, one of his Los Angeles cronies, to go to Las Vegas and take care of Steve. Steve, who has just become engaged to Terry, fights off the gangster, and the group heads off to Hollywood. After learning that Malcolm has spent their gambling winnings on a diamond necklace for Anita, Steve insists that they sell the car, but the two are so desperate for money that they receive only $1,500, less than half the car's true value. Feeling another lucky streak coming, Malcolm puts down a deposit to buy back the car, only to learn that the price is now $5,000. After sending Terry away, the broken Steve confesses all to Malcolm, including his crooked theater ticket, but the young man forgives him. The two then head to Hollywood Park in hopes of winning enough money to pay Steve's gambling debts, as well as buy back their convertible. Instead, they lose all $1,500 and end up sleeping in the Hollywood Bowl. After reading that Anita is starting a new picture for Paramount Pictures, Steve and Malcolm sneak onto the studio lot in hopes of retrieving the necklace. There, Steve discovers Terry singing in a recording studio, and the two lovers are reunited. After being chased throughout the lot by studio security, Malcolm not only gets back the diamond necklace and the convertible, but Anita as well, as the actress wants Mr. Bascom to co-star in her new film, The Lady and the Great Dane .
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||San Francisco opening: 21 Dec 1956; New York opening: 23 Dec 1956|
|Release Date:||1956||Production Date:||
[VistaVision Motion Picture High-Fidelity]
EB*; AFI Library; AFI
EB=PAR comm tape
|Color/B&W:||Color (Technicolor)||Distributions Co:||Paramount Pictures Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono (Western Electric Sound System)||Production Co:||Paramount Pictures Corp., Hal Wallis Productions|
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hollywood or bust
kevin sellers 2018-09-19
In lieu of laughs I spent most of this last Martin/Lewis film looking for intimations of animosity between them (and enjoying Henry Bumstead's and Hal...
They don't make movies like this anymore
They don't make movies like this anymore--thank goodness...
Martin and Lewis Collection DVD
Julie Crebs 2007-08-07
I couldn't believe it when I checked this site and found that you had released a Martin and Lewis collection with "Hollywood or Bust" in it....