Hollywood Boulevard


1h 15m 1936

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 21, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,746ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

As actress Eleanore Whitney makes footprints in the wet concrete outside Graumann's Chinese Theatre, washed-up star John Blakeford strolls nonchalantly down Hollywood Boulevard and enters the Cafe Trocadero. There he telephones his agent, desperate for work, then holds a loud, fake conversation to convince onlookers that he is in demand. After telling Gary Cooper and other friends that he is doing "magnificently," Blakeford's account at the Trocadero is closed because of overdue bills. Publisher Jordan Winslow approaches Blakeford and offers him $25,000 for a ghostwritten, serialized autobiography to appear in his gossip magazine, Modern Truth . At home, Blakeford begins to dictate his thoughts and tells Martha, his maid, that only two women have truly been important in his life: his ex-wife Carlotta, and his lover, Alice, who broke his heart. Despite the author's complaints, Winslow orders the memoirs "spiced up" and turned into "The Life and Loves of John Blakeford." While in New York and then Malibu, California, Winslow's wife Alice worries that her husband will learn of her affair with Blakeford twelve years earlier when he reads Blakeford's memoirs. In Santa Barbara, Blakeford's daughter Patricia, who owns a flower shop with her mother, meets a vacationing scenarist from Occidental Studios, Jay Wallace. Jay falls in love with Pat, who explains that she hates Hollywood, having lived there with her estranged father until she was twelve. Although he claims to live a monk's life, Jay fails to convince Pat that their romance could work despite Hollywood. Winslow's venture with Blakeford, meanwhile, has been so successful that he is financing a new film vehicle for him at Occidental. During a visit to the Mission in Santa Barbara, Pat finally decides to accept Jay's proposal. To distract temperamental Occidental actress Flora Moore, Jay, the most junior author at the studio, is sent to rewrite her latest part. Later, at a loud nightclub, Hollywood couples, including the slightly intoxicated Jay and Flora, are photographed by reporters. Intending to punch the nightclub's bouncer, Jay unintentionally slugs Blakeford, and the incident appears in the newspaper. Pat and Jay end their engagement, and she asks her father to cancel the publication of his memoirs before exposing his family. Blakeford begins to realize the hurt he has caused, but Winslow refuses to terminate their contract. Alice asks Blakeford to spare her and shoots him when he insists he has no choice but to write of their relationship. After Winslow takes his wife away, Pat tells him that she and Jay still plan to marry. No one is aware of how badly Blakeford has been hurt. Later, when the police find Blakeford, Pat is arrested. Jay discovers that a dictaphone recorded the confrontation between Alice and Blakeford and blackmails Winslow into ending the memoirs. The recovering Blakeford then claims the gunshot wound was a self-inflicted accident, thereby exonerating both Pat and Alice.

Cast

John Halliday

John Blakeford

Marsha Hunt

Patricia Blakeford

Robert Cummings

Jay Wallace

C. Henry Gordon

Jordan Winslow

Esther Ralston

Flora Moore, an actress

Esther Dale

Martha

Frieda Inescourt

Alice Winslow

Albert Conti

Mr. Sanford

Thomas Jackson

Detective

Oscar Apfel

Doctor Inslo

Purnell Pratt

Mr. Steinman

Hyman Fink

Snapshot 'Hymie'

Irving Bacon

Gus, bartender

Richard Powell

Pete Moran

Rita La Roy

Nella

Francis X. Bushman

Director of desert scene

Maurice Costello

Director

Betty Compson

Betty

Mae Marsh

Carlotta Blakeford

Charles Ray

Charlie Smith, the assistant director

Herbert Rawlinson

Manager of Graumann's Chinese Theater

Jane Novak

Mrs. Steinman

Bryant Washburn

Robert Martin

Jack Mulhall

Man at bar

Creighton Hale

Man at bar

Gary Cooper

Man at bar

Roy D'arcy

The sheik

Ruth Clifford

Nurse

Jack Mower

Frank Stucky

Frank Mayo

Himself

Harry Myers

Himself

Mabel Forrest

Mother

Tom Kennedy

Bouncer

Pat O'malley

Dancer

Bert Roach

Scenarist

Lois Kent

Little girl

Gregory Gaye

Russian writer

Eleanore Whitney

Herself

Ed Cecil

Butler

Lowell Drew

Doorman at Trocadero

Phil Tead

Master of ceremonies

Robert E. Homans

Gray

Eddie Dunn

Grip

Monte Vandergrift

Electrician

Kitty Mchugh

Secretary

Matty Roubert

Newsboy

Frances Morris

Moran's secretary

Ed Dearing

Motor policeman

Charles Williams

Reporter

Otto Yamaoka

Thomas

Gertrude Simpson

Gossip

Johnny Fletcher

Vendor

Joanne Dudley

Girl in Pullman

Hal Prince

Police radio announcer

Charles Morton

Guest

Margaret Harrison

Guest

John Sylvester

Guest

William Desmond

Guest

Edmund Burns

Guest

James Ford

Guest

Franklin Parker

Workman--Brown Derby

William Wayne

Workman--Brown Derby

Eddie Room

Margaret Hourian

G. H. Gordon

William Farnum

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 21, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,746ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although many reviews and publicity items credit George Clemens as cinematographer, Karl Struss is credited on the screen. Most contemporary sources give Faith Thomas sole story credit and make no mention of Max Marcin, who is credited on the screen with Thomas. In a modern interview, director Robert Florey states that the idea for this film was taken from his 1927 experimental short film, The Life and Death of 9413-a Hollywood Extra. Many former and present stars appear in the film. According to Florey, before principal photography started (in late May 1936), he shot a week of location sequences on Hollywood Boulevard and in Santa Barbara and Malibu, CA. Florey had planned to have each scene in the film open on an exterior of a well-known location. However, after the initial editing, associate producer Edward Cline ordered the picture trimmed to emphasize the plot line, and eighteen exteriors were cut. The appearances of Evelyn Brent, Louise Brooks, Alice Lake, Florence Lawrence, Rosemary Theby and a major cameo by Harold Lloyd were edited out; while the roles of Mae Marsh and Gary Cooper were reduced. Hollywood Reporter production charts list Dorothy Wilson, Ann Evers and Louise Stanley in the cast, although their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources credit Gregory Stone with music.