Once in a Lifetime

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Movie Info

Based on the stage comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, Once in a Lifetime is a satire of Hollywood's early-talkie era. A down-and-out vaudeville trio (Jack Oakie, Aline MacMahon, and Russell Hopton) takes advantage of the confusion attending the talkie revolution by heading to Hollywood and posing as voice experts. George (Oakie), the team's dimwitted straight man, falls in love with a pretty young miss (Sidney Fox) who has come to Hollywood to become an actress -- and won't let her utter lack of talent get in the way. Fast-talking themselves into jobs at the Glogauer Studios, the phony vocal specialists eventually wear out their welcome and are on the verge of being fired. But George, who has been listening to the complaints of a disillusioned screenwriter, suddenly spouts those complaints word for word to Mr. Glogauer (Gregory Ratoff) -- and is lauded as a genius for being the first man to stand up to the despotic studio head. George is made a producer, and immediately sets about filming an expensive movie vehicle for his girlfriend. Unfortunately, George had found the script for his film in a wastebasket, and winds up shooting the wrong picture. He and his vaudeville chums are fired, but when his picture (an incomprehensible farrago shot in darkness because George forgot to turn on the klieg lights) is previewed, it is hailed as a daringly original masterpiece. George is made the supervising producer of Glogauer Studios, and all ends happily for himself and his friends. An interesting precursor to the Singin' in the Rain school of Hollywood kidding itself, Once in a Lifetime has tarnished a bit over the years but is still well worth seeing. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Jack Oakie
as George Lewis
Sidney Fox
as Susan Walker
Aline MacMahon
as May Daniels
Russell Hopton
as Jerry Hyland
Zasu Pitts
as Miss Leighton
Louise Fazenda
as Helen Hobart
Gregory Ratoff
as Herman Glogauer
Onslow Stevens
as Lawrence Vail
Robert McWade
as Mr. Walker
Jobyna Howland
as Mrs. Walker
Claudia Morgan
as Miss Chasen
Gregory Gaye
as Rudolph Kammerling
Eddie Kane
as Meterstein
Johnnie Morris
as Weisskopf
Mona Maris
as Phyllis Fontaine
Carol Tevis
as Florabel Leigh
Frank LaRue
as Sign Painter
Alan Ladd
as Projectionist
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Critic Reviews for Once in a Lifetime

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