World Premiere


1h 10m 1941

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 15, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,420ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Before the entrance of the United States into World War II, the two Axis powers of Italy and Germany send undercover spies, Signor Scaletti and Franz von Bushmaster, to Hollywood to prevent the release of the film The Earth's on Fire , because it contains Allied propaganda. At Hollywood's Bengal Studios, tyrannical studio chief Duncan DeGrasse orders his publicity man, Joe Bemis, to hire two actors from central casting to play the part of spies and to send threatening notes to the actors to get publicity. Scaletti and von Bushmaster are unwittingly hired for the job, and they immediately set to work terrifying the cast of The Earth's on Fire by sending genuine threats, dropping sandbags and, finally, engineering explosions in the film vaults. When the film is completed, the entire production crew arrives at Union Station for a trip to Washington, D.C. for the film's world premiere. Although the railroad agents refuse to allow the crew to continue the trip because of the reported threats, DeGrasse outwits them by getting his top producer, Gregory Martin, to purchase the train. While en route jealousies arise when film star Kitty Carr finds her lover, Mark Saunders, seducing the studio's ingenue, Lee Morrison, who is secretly married to Bemis. Von Bushmaster and Scaletti are also onboard trying to figure out how to destroy the film, since their previous attempts were unsuccessful, but the film is being stored in the cage of the studio mascot, a bengal tiger. With the assistance of field marshal Muller, who has been sent to supervise the spies, they succeed in throwing the film from the train. At the premiere, it takes some time before DeGrasse and the crew realize that the film on the screen is not their film, but a German propaganda film called The Land von Peace und Beauty . Their real film arrives shortly thereafter, for, unknown to the spies, they tossed the cans into another passing train, and the film was forwarded by mail to Washington. As a last desperate attempt to prevent the screening, Muller traps von Bushmaster and Scaletti in a storeroom with a bomb, but the device simply falls apart and The Earth's on Fire is finally shown to thunderous applause.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 15, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,420ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Hollywood Reporter news items report the following: Rudy Vallee was set to star as "Mark Saunders" in this film, and Otis Garrett was scheduled to direct. However, Vallee was committed to another film, and Garrett was replaced when he had to undergo a major operation and cameraman Ted Tetzlaff was given this film as his directorial debut. John Mescall was listed as cameraman in a pre-production Hollywood Reporter news item. Ray Golden was assigned to work on the script; however, his contribution to the final film has not been determined. The Hollywood Reporter review states that the character played by William Wright was modelled after gossip columnist Herb Stein.