Hollywood Cavalcade

Hollywood Cavalcade

Director: Irving Cummings, Malcolm St. Clair

Cast: Alice Faye, Don Ameche

     
 
Hollywood Cavalcade was a fictionalized history of silent films and the growth of the movie industry. Don Ameche portrays a character based on equal portions of Mack Sennett and D. W. Griffith, while Alice Faye's silent star is an amalgam of Mabel Normand and Gloria Swanson. Ameche breaks into pictures with slapstick comedies, initiating the first "pie throwing

Overview

Hollywood Cavalcade was a fictionalized history of silent films and the growth of the movie industry. Don Ameche portrays a character based on equal portions of Mack Sennett and D. W. Griffith, while Alice Faye's silent star is an amalgam of Mabel Normand and Gloria Swanson. Ameche breaks into pictures with slapstick comedies, initiating the first "pie throwing" scene, with Buster Keaton the thrower and Alice Faye the throw-ee. Thanks to Ameche, Faye becomes a major comedy star, appearing in wild Keystone Kops chase comedies. But success goes to Ameche's head, and soon he's staging elaborate Intolerance-like historical spectacles. As Ameche's artistic aspirations climb, his relationship with the faithful Alice deteriorates. She finds solace with her young leading man (Alan Curtis) and becomes a top dramatic star. Having made and lost several fortunes, Ameche talks Alice into appearing in his "comeback" picture, but shortly before filming ends, she and her husband are in a serious auto accident. The husband is killed, and as Faye recuperates, Ameche agonizes over how he'll save his uncompleted masterpiece. He witnesses the premiere of Al Jolson's part-talking The Jazz Singer and decides to risk everything by scrapping his film and remaking it as a talkie. Faye, who's never really stopped loving Ameche, agrees to star in this new project. On a level of accuracy, Hollywood Cavalcade is for the birds, but it scores on its energetic performances and nostalgic appeal. As a bonus, several past movie greats appear in cameos: Al Jolson, Buster Keaton, Mack Sennett, Ben Turpin, Chester Conklin, Jimmy Finlayson, Hank Mann and even Rin Tin Tin Jr.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Hollywood Cavalcade is overall a fine piece of entertainment, but it would probably rate even higher had it ended about halfway through. Granted, slicing Cavalcade in half would have seriously affected its dramatic trajectory, but the truth of the matter is that the first half of the film is much better than the second half. This is largely because the first portion is concerned with capturing Hollywood during the silent era, when filmmaking was in its infancy and no one knew what they were really doing. They were making up the rules as they went along, and Cavalcade does a fine job of capturing that joyous spirit. It also provides opportunity for some of the silent era's finest comic talent, including Buster Keaton, Mack Sennett, Chester Conklin and Ben Turpin, to make appearances and demonstrate their special magic. The gags they pursue may be old, but the talent is as fresh as ever, and there is genuine sparkle to these sequences. Unfortunately, the second half deals less with Hollywood than with the clichéd and predictable love triangle that has sprung up among the leading players of Cavalcade. This story isn't necessarily bad; it just isn't very good, and it drags the second half of the film down a bit. Don Ameche, Alice Faye and Alan Curtis do everything they can -- which is saying a lot -- but one still finishes the film remembering how much more fun it was before it started concentrating so much on the story.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/07/2008
UPC:
0024543536949
Original Release:
1939
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:37:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Hollywood Cavalcade: The Silent Dream featurette; Buster Keaton: Head Over Heels in Hollywood featurette; Hello Roscoe: The Fate of Fatty Arbuckle featurette; Outtakes; Fox Movietonenews: Hollywood Cavalcade premiere; Restoration comparison; Advertising gallery; Still gallery

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alice Faye Molly Adair
Don Ameche Michael Linnett Connors
J. Edward Bromberg Dave Spingold
Alan Curtis Nicky Hayden
Stuart Erwin Pete Tinney
Buster Keaton Himself
Jed Prouty Chief of Police
Donald Meek Lyle P. Stout
George Givot Claude
Hank Mann Keystone Cop
Eddie Collins Keystone Cop
Chester Conklin Sheriff in Western
James Finlayson Keystone Cop
Chick Chandler Chick, Assistant Director
Robert Lowery Henry Potter
Russell Hicks Roberts
Ben Welden Agent
Willie Fung Willie
Paul Stanton Filson
Mary Forbes Mrs. Gaynes
Irving Bacon Bakery Clerk
Ben Turpin Bartender in Western
Marjorie Beebe Telephone Operator
Frederick Burton Thomas of Famous Players
Lee Duncan Himself
Rin Tin Tin Rin Tin Tin
Lynn Bari Actor
Charles "Heinie" Conklin Keystone Cop
Jolson Himself
Harry "Snub" Pollard Keystone Cop
Victor Potel Actor
Mack Sennett Himself
Fred "Snowflake" Toones Porter

Technical Credits
Irving Cummings Director
Malcolm St. Clair Director
Harry Joe Brown Associate Producer
Allen M. Davey Cinematographer
Richard Day Art Director
Herschel Costumes/Costume Designer
Brown Holmes Original Story
Wiard Ihnen Art Director
Natalie Kalmus Consultant/advisor
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Hilary Lynn Original Story
Ernest Palmer Cinematographer
Ernest Pascal Screenwriter
David Raksin Score Composer
Louis Silvers Musical Direction/Supervision
Walter Thompson Editor
Darryl F. Zanuck Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hollywood Cavalcade
1. Main Titles / A Star Is Born [7:00]
2. Where Do I Sign? [2:55]
3. Bonding [2:45]
4. Unsure [2:25]
5. Undignified [1:06]
6. New Formula [6:38]
7. Dream Come True [3:21]
8. A New Star [4:03]
9. More Than Business [:54]
10. Unbearable [10:51]
11. Ego Run Amok [2:22]
12. Too Many Mistakes [5:03]
13. Down and Out [2:24]
14. Pretty Please [3:49]
15. Resentment [2:11]
16. Love and Loss [2:54]
17. Deadline [5:40]
18. Revelation [5:00]
19. Don't Give Up [3:33]
20. Happy Ending / End Titles [3:24]

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