skip navigation
Room Service

Room Service(1938)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (2)


powered by AFI

Gordon Miller, a penniless theatrical producer, is told by brother-in-law Joseph Gribble, the manager of the White Way Hotel, that he and his cast of twenty-two actors, who have run up a bill of $1,200, have to leave the hotel immediately or face the wrath of supervising director Gregory Wagner. As Gordon and his faithful but broke friend Binelli prepare to slip out of the hotel wearing Gordon's entire wardrobe, Christine Marlowe, a secretary and aspiring actress, telephones to say that she has found a backer for Gordon's show, Hail and Farewell . Immediately after receiving this good news, Gordon, Binelli and Faker Englund, another faithful friend, are joined by Leo Davis, the near penniless author of Hail and Farewell . Soon after, Wagner, who is furious at Gribble for apparently allowing Gordon to escape without paying, inspects Gordon's room and discovers that the producer and Binelli are still there. In spite of Gordon's promises that money is on the way, Wagner orders the duo to pay their bill or be arrested. While Wagner is alerting the hotel bouncers, Simon Jenkins, the investing agent of an unnamed wealthy man, comes to the room and tells Gordon that his employer will invest $15,000 in Hail and Farewell if a certain young woman is cast in a role. Gordon eagerly agrees to the terms, and Jenkins promises to return with a contract the next morning. Determined to stay in their room for another night, Gordon, Binelli and Faker convince Davis, who has since fallen in love with hotel employee Hilda Manny, to fake an attack of measles. Although Davis' iodine measles fool Wagner into postponing the group's eviction, the four men are soon overcome by hunger. While Faker goes out to hunt turkeys, Russian emigre Sasha Smirnoff, a waiter in the hotel grill, agrees to steal the quartet some food if they cast him in the show. Before the food arrives, however, Timothy Hogarth, an employee of the We Never Sleep Collection Agency, shows up at the door looking for Davis, whose typewriter the agency wants to repossess. Gordon and Binelli convince Hogarth that Davis, who is hiding in the bed, lost his mind and took the typewriter with him to an insane asylum. After Hogarth leaves, Faker returns with a live turkey, which quickly flies out of the window, and Sasha shows up with the pilfered hotel food. His stomach now full, Davis leaves the room to meet Hilda, forcing Faker to impersonate him when Wagner and Gribble arrive with the hotel physician, Dr. Glass. After an unsuccessful try at examining Faker, Dr. Glass threatens to expose the group but is tied up and locked in the bathroom before Jenkins shows up with the contract. As Jenkins is about to sign over his employer's check to Gordon, Wagner bursts into the room and screams threats at the producer. Upset by the ensuing commotion, Jenkins, who has revealed that the backer is California millionaire Zachary Fiske, refuses to sign the check and, in his haste to leave, accidentally opens the bathroom door. Having overheard Jenkins while in the bathroom, Dr. Glass tells Wagner that Fiske is backing Gordon's show, and Wagner quickly assures a still stunned Jenkins that Gordon is indeed reliable. After Jenkins signs the check and leaves, Wagner insists that Gordon deposit the money in the hotel bank. The group's joy at solvency is soon squashed, however, when Davis returns and announces that Jenkins is going to stop payment on the check. Knowing that the check will take a week to clear at the bank, Gordon suggests that they cash it at the hotel and mount the play within the week. Moments before the show is to open, Wagner learns about the bounced check and prepares to have Gordon and his friends arrested and the play stopped. As a stall, both Faker and Davis stage suicides, distracting Wagner long enough for the play to prove itself a hit. While Wagner, Gordon, Faker and Binelli celebrate their impending financial success, Davis and Hilda celebrate their impending marriage.