Elstree Calling (1930)




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In emulation of such "all-talking, all-singing, all-star" Hollywood extravaganzas as The Show of Shows and Hollywood Revue of 1929, Britain's Elstree Studios served up its own big-budget revue, Elstree Calling, in early 1930. This plotless melange of musical numbers and "Heavens My Husband!" comedy sketches rises or falls on the merits of the individual stars. Among the Elstree contractees taking part herein are Will Fyffe, Tommy Handley, Jack Hulbert, Cicely Courtneidge, and Lily Morris, together with such British International Pictures "regulars" as Anna May Wong and Gordon Harker. The tenor of the production can be measured by the scene in which the exotically beautiful Ms. Wong participates in a Keystone-style pie-throwing sequence. According to the film's credits, Alfred Hitchcock was responsible for "sketches and other interpolated items," reportedly taking over direction of the film when Adrian Brunuel was fired; other sources adamantly deny that Hitchcock had anything at all to do with the film. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


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