Pick a Star

Pick a Star

Director: Edward Sedgwick

Cast: Edward Sedgwick, Patsy Kelly, Jack Haley, Rosina Lawrence

     
 
Film collectors take note: Hal Roach's Pick a Star is not a Laurel and Hardy picture, though the popular comic duo does make a brace of amusing cameo appearances halfway through the film. A remake of Buster Keaton's Free and Easy, this is the story of how small-town gas-station owner Joe Jenkins (Jack Haley) tries to help his sweetheart Cecilia Moore

Overview

Film collectors take note: Hal Roach's Pick a Star is not a Laurel and Hardy picture, though the popular comic duo does make a brace of amusing cameo appearances halfway through the film. A remake of Buster Keaton's Free and Easy, this is the story of how small-town gas-station owner Joe Jenkins (Jack Haley) tries to help his sweetheart Cecilia Moore (Rosina Lawrence) realize her ambition to become a movie star. At the behest of travelling entrepreneur Stone (Russell Hicks), Jenkins organizes a talent contest, the first prize being a trip to Hollywood and a screen test. When Stone turns out to be a crook and skips town with the proceeds of the contest, Cecilia is heartbroken, but Joe promises to go to Hollywood himself and make the right connections to assure her rise to stardom. Alas, the best Joe can manage in Tinseltown is a busboy job at the Colonial Club, a fact he tries to conceal from Cecilia and her wisecracking sister Nellie (Patsy Kelly) when they unexpectedly arrive in California as guests of movie-matinee idol Rinaldo Lopez (Mischa Auer). In desperation, Joe pretends to be a nightclub entertainer, but when this ruse is revealed, Cecilia angrily walks out on him, accompanying Rinaldo first to his movie studio and then to his apartment. Naturally Rinaldo has seduction on his mind, but innocent Cecilia doesn't realize this until Joe storms into the apartment with blood in his eye. Ashamed for his lascivious behavior, Rinaldo arranges for Cecilia to have a screen test for producer Klawheimer (Charles Halton). At the last moment, Cecilia suffers an attack of "camera fright," but Joe gently coaches her through her test, and there's a happy ending for all concerned -- even for sister Nellie, who's been relentlessly cynical about the storyline from first scene to last. Cast as "movie stars," Laurel and Hardy show up briefly in the movie-studio scenes to participate in a reciprocal-destruction sequence with their old screen nemesis Walter Long, and to perform an amusing musical routine with "dueling" harmonicas. Pick a Star has been reissued as Movie Struck, while the Laurel & Hardy scenes were released separately to TV as the ersatz two-reeler A Day at the Studio.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Despite a moderately funny routine by Laurel and Hardy and the usual Hal Roach scene stealers (Lyda Roberti, Jack Norton, James Finlayson, et al.), Pick a Star is memorable mainly for a priceless scene in which wolfish cinema star Mischa Auer shows naïve Rosina Lawrence his "collection of Hindu artifacts." Auer makes the most of the opportunity -- including the mention of a German director whose name is mainly a series of sound effects -- and Lawrence plays the straight woman (or should it be "straight girl"?) to wide-eyed perfection. The latter also performs several renditions of Alexander Anderson's lilting title tune, including the rather overproduced closing number, but Pick a Star belongs squarely to Auer, a master of eccentric character comedy.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/29/2012
UPC:
0883316452264
Original Release:
1937
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:10:00
Sales rank:
75,313

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Patsy Kelly Nellie Moore
Jack Haley Joe Jenkins
Rosina Lawrence Cecilia Moore
Mischa Auer Rinaldo Lopez
Lyda Roberti Daqmar
Charles Halton Malheimer
Tom Dugan Dimitri Hogan
Russell Hicks J. Aubrey Stone
Cully Richards Master of Ceremonies
Spencer Charters Judge Pike
Sam Adams Sheriff
Robert Gleckler Nightclub Steward
Joyce Compton Ernie's Bride
Johnny Arthur Ernie
James Finlayson Laurel and Hardy's Director
Walter Long Mexican Tough Guy
Wesley Barry Assistant Director
John Hyams Mr. McGregor
Leila McIntyre Mrs. McGregor
Benny Burt Tony
Stan Laurel Himself
Oliver Hardy Himself
Charles A. Bachman Actor
Brooks Benedict Eddie
Howard Brooks Other Judge
James Burke Detective Nolan
Eddie Clayton Bellboy
Ray Cooke Assistants to Finlayson
Wilma Cox Oscar's Wife
Jack Egan Orchestra Conductor
Otto H. Fries Actor
Mary Gordon Undertaker's Wife
Charlie Hall Actor
Eddie Hart Benny the Chauffeur
Si Jenks Old-Timer
Eddie Kane Albert Headwaiter
Cornelius Keefe Dress Extra
Felix Knight Actor
Sam Lufkin Mexican hit with a chair
Wilbur Mack Door Greeter
Murdock MacQuarrie Undertaker
Charles McMurphy Actor
Alice Moore Miss Centerville
James C. Morton Bartender
Jack Norton Oscar the Souse
Frank O'Connor Studio Guard
Sid Saylor Street Sweeper
Charles Sullivan Juicer
May Wallace Joe Jenkins' Landlady
Barbara Weeks Hostess
Ralph Malone Actor
Blair Davies Pilot

Technical Credits
Edward Sedgwick Director
Alexander Anderson Songwriter
Norbert F. Brodin Cinematographer
Edward Court Choreography
Jack Dawn Makeup
Tom Dugan Screenwriter
Richard Flournoy Screenwriter
Marvin Hatley Score Composer,Songwriter,Musical Direction/Supervision
Arthur V. Jones Screenwriter
Johnny Lange Songwriter
Lawrence Songwriter
Art Lloyd Cinematographer
Arthur Morton Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Hal Roach Producer
Arthur I. Royce Art Director
Ernest Schrapps Costumes/Costume Designer
Roy Seawright Special Effects
William L. Stevens Set Decoration/Design
Fred Stryker Songwriter
William Terhune Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Pick a Star
1. Chapter 1 [1:10]
2. Chapter 2 [2:34]
3. Chapter 3 [1:01]
4. Chapter 4 [2:14]
5. Chapter 5 [2:10]
6. Chapter 6 [2:51]
7. Chapter 7 [3:27]
8. Chapter 8 [1:54]
9. Chapter 9 [2:45]
10. Chapter 10 [2:23]
11. Chapter 11 [3:10]
12. Chapter 12 [2:41]
13. Chapter 13 [:57]
14. Chapter 14 [2:34]
15. Chapter 15 [5:15]
16. Chapter 16 [2:49]
17. Chapter 17 [:51]
18. Chapter 18 [1:54]
19. Chapter 19 [1:48]
20. Chapter 20 [:27]
21. Chapter 21 [3:16]
22. Chapter 22 [4:11]
23. Chapter 23 [2:06]
24. Chapter 24 [1:57]
25. Chapter 25 [2:16]
26. Chapter 26 [4:31]
27. Chapter 27 [2:11]
28. Chapter 28 [2:47]
29. Chapter 29 [:43]
30. Chapter 30 [:39]

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