Seventeen-year-old Linda Darnell received her first big break in the appropriately titled 20th Century Fox production Star Dust
. Discovered by talent scout Thomas Brooke (Roland Young
), teenager Carolyn Sayres (Darnell) is brought to Hollywood, where she is turned down for a contract because she is considered too young. Down but not out, Carolyn falls in love with studio contractee Bud Borden (John Payne
), who promises to help her achieve her career goals. Teaming up with Brooke, Borden succeeds in winning a screen test for Carolyn, and the rest is gravy. As can be seen, Star Dust
draws most of its inspiration from Linda Darnell's real-life rise to fame, which gives the clichéd screenplay a bit of added depth and humanity. It's also amusing to watch William Gargan, cast as studio executive Dane Wharton, perform a devastating (albeit affectionate) take-off of 20th Century Fox head man Darryl F. Zanuck
, right down to DFZ's habit of swinging a polo mallet during story conferences.