What Price Hollywood? (1932)

What Price Hollywood? (1932)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

What Price Hollywood? Photos

Movie Info

What Price Hollywood is often referred to as the "first" version of the oft-filmed A Star is Born. While there are strong resemblances between the two properties, Hollywood is in many respects a wholly separate entity. Constance Bennett plays a star-struck waitress who manages to make a good impression on prominent film director Lowell Sherman. With Sherman's patronage, Bennett rises to film stardom as "America's Pal." Sherman is gratified, but he keeps his distance; a chronic alcoholic, he is certain that his inevitable fall from grace will adversely affect Bennett's stardom. Impulsively, Bennett marries wealthy playboy Neil Hamilton, who genuinely loves his wife but is jealous of the demands made on her by her career. Hamilton walks out, but not before Bennett has been impregnated. Turning her attentions to her mentor Sherman, Bennett does everything she can to halt his career downslide, but it is too late. In a startlingly conceived sequence (utilizing slow motion and rapid-fire montage cutting), Sherman kills himself in Bennett's bedroom. When his body is found, the ensuing scandal destroys Bennett's career (represented visually by a life-sized cutout of "America's Pal" shrinking into nothingness). Hoping to heal her emotional wounds, she flees to Paris with her child, where she is reunited with a contrite Hamilton. What Price Hollywood? producer David O. Selznick later claimed that most of the dialogue and situations in the film were drawn from life; he'd make the same claim upon producing the similar (but not identical) A Star is Born five years later. Somewhat perversely, Lowell Sherman based his performance-especially the inebriation scenes-on his then brother-in-law John Barrymore.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Pathé Films

Cast

Constance Bennett
as Mary Evans
Lowell Sherman
as Maximilian Carey
Neil Hamilton
as Lonny Borden
Gregory Ratoff
as Julius Saxe
Louise Beavers
as Bonita the Maid
Bryant Washburn
as Washed-Up Star
Gordon DeMain
as Yes Man
Heinie Conklin
as Car Owner
Eddie Dunn
as Doorman at Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Phil Tead
as Jimmy
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for What Price Hollywood?

All Critics (2)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | August 7, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A swirl of Tinseltown anecdotes peopled by spirited sketches of dyspeptic bosses and smirking gossip-peddlers, safe but piquant

Full Review… | July 7, 2012
CinePassion

Cukor's well acted melodrama (especially by Constance Bennett) precedes by five years the first version of A Star Is Born; it's basically the same story.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for What Price Hollywood?

The template for A Star is Born is a good film on its own. While certain scenes reflect the later films the tenure of this is different and the core relationship between the main characters is not a romantic one but one of friendship. Interesting use of imagery to make statements and set moods is dated but done it a way that makes sense within the context of the picture. Solid but the definitive version is still the Judy Garland 1954 starrer.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

½

The first version of the familiar "A Star Is Born" is quite good, but not up with the 1937 and 1954 versions. Well cast, good story and very entertaining.

James Higgins
James Higgins
½

The first version of the familiar "A Star Is Born" is quite good, but not up with the 1937 and 1954 versions. Well cast, good story and very entertaining.

James Higgins
James Higgins

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