Star for a Night


1h 16m 1936

Film Details

Also Known As
The Holy Lie
Release Date
Aug 28, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Die heilige Lüge by Karin Michaelis (copyrighted 1 Apr 1915).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 16m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,850ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

In a village in the Austrian Tyrol, the neighbors of the blind frau Martha Lind give her a going away party as she prepares to go to New York to visit her three children: Anna, whom she says is a concert pianist; Fritz, whom she thinks owns an automobile factory; and Nina, whom she believes is a famous singer and dancer. In reality, Anna plays the piano at a music store, Fritz drives a cab, and Nina is a chorus girl. When the children receive their mother's cable that she is coming for a visit, Nina convinces them that they must keep up their deception because their mother would be ashamed to know that they have spent money that they really could not afford to send her to eye specialists in Europe. Because of Mrs. Lind's blindness, the ruse works, but it is endangered when Dr. Spellmeyer, a former student of Mrs. Lind's doctor from Austria, arrives at Anna's small Third Avenue apartment to examine Mrs. Lind. After listening to Anna's story about the charade, he calls her courageous and does not let on. Dr. Spellmeyer's operation to restore Mrs. Lind's vision is successful, and when Nina learns that her mother will be able to see in a few days, she breaks down and cries during a number, which angers the self-centered star, Josephine Hall, who wants to have Nina fired. Nina's two friends on the chorus line, Mamie DeLaMont and Mildred La Rue, convince a ditsy blonde friend, Ellen Romaine, to let Nina borrow her fancy clothes and large apartment that her wealthy beau has given her. After Mrs. Lind is able to see, the ruse continues in Ellen's apartment. Because Mrs. Lind wants to see Nina's show, Mamie, Mildred and Ellen ask Josephine to pretend to be sick one night so that Nina, Josephine's understudy, can go on in her place. When Josephine indignantly refuses, they lock her in her liquor closet, and when she does not appear at the theater, Nina is starred in the show. Mrs. Lind sees the performance, but at the end of the first act, Josephine, who has been let out by her maid, comes onstage and slaps Nina. The audience is unsure if the disruption is part of the act, and during intermission, when the producer learns what happened, he gives Josephine's role to Nina. Hoping to capitalize on the story, the producer calls the newspapers, and the next day, which is Thanksgiving, Ellen, Mamie and Mildred awaken to read about it in the headlines. They call Nina, who then plans with Anna to keep their mother from reading the papers. They find, however, that she has left the apartment. Mrs. Lind goes to the Third Avenue apartment, and later in the day, Anna's landlady calls to have the whole family come at once. They find that their mother has prepared a Thanksgiving meal and has learned about the ruse. Rather than being upset, Mrs. Lind says that she is prouder of her children than she would have been if they had really been what they pretended to be. When Mamie, Mildred and Ellen come to join the family, Mrs. Lind says grace and blesses them all.

Cast

Claire Trevor

Nina Lind

Jane Darwell

Mrs. [Martha] Lind

Arline Judge

Mamie DeLaMont

Evelyn Venable

Anna Lind

J. Edward Bromberg

Dr. Spellmeyer

Dean Jagger

Fritz Lind

Alan Dinehart

James Dunning

Joyce Compton

Ellen Romaine

Susan Fleming

Mildred La Rue

Adrienne Marden

Katherine Lind

Frank Reicher

Dr. Hellmkin

Dickie Walters

Paul Lind

Chick Chandler

Eddie

Astrid Allwyn

Josephine Hall

Hattie Mcdaniel

Hattie

Doris Brenwald

Helen

Wally Albright Jr.

Hans

Moyer Bupp

Fritz

Otto Fries

Chauffeur

Kathryn Sheldon

Gretchen

Christian Rub

Postmaster

Constance Purdy

Townswoman

Torben Meyer

Saddle maker

Annette Lake

Saddle maker's wife

Frank Mills

Taxi driver

Lew Harvey

Man in taxi office

Fred Wallace

Man in taxi office

Fred Sylva

Man in taxi office

Eddie Tamblyn

Messenger

Claudia Coleman

Landlady

Eddie Anderson

Maid's boyfriend

Daisy Bufford

Maid

Phyllis Fraser

Flapper

Mary Bovard

Flapper

Grace Durkin

Salesgirl

Herbert Ashley

Piano mover

Jean Houghton

Neighbor

Mary Mersch

Neighbor

Marvin Stephens

Child

Georgie Billings

Child

James T. Mack

Stage doorman

Emmett Vogan

Radio announcer

Matty Roubert

Newsboy

Fred Kelsey

Moving man

George Magrill

Moving man

Bobby Dale

Dancer

Chuck De Shon

Dancer

Jim Blair

Dancer

Emmett O'brien

Dancer

George Bruggerman

Dancer

James Gonzalez

Dancer

Frank Erickson

Dancer

Perk Lazelle

Dancer

Fred Mayon

Dancer

Sol Haines

Dancer

Jimmy Grant

Dancer

Jimmy Notarro

Dancer

Jack Morton

Dancer

Tom Thompson

Dancer

Eddie Daniels

Dancer

Gus Hyland

Dancer

Don Ackerman

Dancer

Eddie Foy

Dancer

Bobbie Woods

Dancer

Frank Phillips

Dancer

Harriette Haddon

Inez Mortensen

Elouise Rozelle

Lillian Lock

Diane Dorsey

Colleen Ward

Helen Seamon

Eve Reynolds

Rhea Neissen

Louise Larabee

Dale Dee

Pokey Champion

Lorraine Gray

Nanci Lyon

Doreen Mckay

Lucille La Marr

Betty Gordon

Kay Gordon

Jeannette Warren

Dorothy Haas

Virginia Ray

Valerie Traxler

Norah Gale

Martha Manning

Kathryn Barnes

Paul Stanton

Film Details

Also Known As
The Holy Lie
Release Date
Aug 28, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Die heilige Lüge by Karin Michaelis (copyrighted 1 Apr 1915).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 16m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,850ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was The Holy Lie. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, producer Sol Wurtzel wanted to buy the rights to the play early in 1935, but the deal was held back until the next year because National-Film A.G., a Berlin-based production company, held the silent film rights for ten years from the time of acquisition. In a note, Wurtzel commented, "I consider that The Holy Lie has the basis of a story that can be just as important as the picture Four Sons which we made about six years ago, and as important as Over the Hill" (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1459 and F3.3329). Later correspondence indicates that the studio planned to rewrite the story, "retaining the basic idea." The legal records indicate that Harry Akst and Sidney Clare wrote an additional song for the film, "Argentine Swing," which was cut. That song remained the property of Twentieth Century-Fox, and it was subsequently used in their 1937 film Big Town Girl (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.0335), which also starred Claire Trevor. The National-Film silent film based on the play was released in 1927 and entitled Die heilige Lüge.