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The Star Maker

The Star Maker(1939)

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Larry Earl, a penniless songwriter possessed of a flaming ambition but an impractical approach to success, convinces the very practical Mary to become his wife. A year and a half later, the couple are still in love but still broke. Larry, seeking yet another job, stops to watch a group of newsboys dancing and singing and decides to organize the boys into an act. When no manager will audition Larry and his boys, Mary approaches Mr. Proctor, a big theatrical manager, and persuades him to give the act a tryout. When the act becomes a success, Larry organizes more child acts and begins sending them across country. To publicize the acts, he hires "Speed" King, and the two conceive of a talent train to travel cross country auditioning youngsters. Soon after, back in New York, Carlotta Salvini, a snobbish, retired opera singer, brings her talented young daughter, Jane Gray, to audition for Larry. Larry is impressed, and after getting rid of Carlotta by sending her on tour, he decides to build Broadway's first "all kiddie" musical around the girl. On opening night, however, the Children's Welfare Society closes the show because of a new law forbidding children to work past ten at night. Because of the law, Larry must withdraw his acts everywhere, and although Jane is still under exclusive contract to him, Larry arranges for her to perform with Walter Damrosch and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Just when Larry's career appears to be at its end, he learns about a new gadget called the crystal radio and envisions a future with his child acts broadcasting over the air waves. Five years later, Larry is once again on top of the entertainment world and buys the International Broadcasting Company.