User Reviews (16)

  • ijonesiii26 January 2006
    7/10
    A Special Treat for Film Buffs
    MOVIE, MOVIE is a forgotten gem from the late 70's which is an affectionate spoof of a 1930's double feature (there's even a preview of coming attractions)that is divided into two separate films that run about 50 minutes a piece. The first film, "Dynamite Hands" is a black and white "Golden Boy"-type spoof with Harry Hamlin as a young boxer rising to the top with George C. Scott as his manager, Red Buttons as his trainer, Kathleen Beller as his hometown girlfriend and Ann Reinking as a nightclub singer named Troubles Moran. The second film is called "Baxter's Beauties of 1933" and is a colorful spoof of films like 42nd STREET with George C. Scott featured again as the egomaniacal director, Barry Bostwick as the idealistic young songwriter, Rebecca York (who years later would practically steal the Broadway show VICTOR/VICTORIA from Julie Andrews) as the young Ruby Keeler type and Trish VanDevere as the bitchy diva who York eventually replaces. True movie buffs and fans of these kinds of movies will be in cinema heaven here...a loving tribute to a bygone era that works thanks to spirited direction by Stanley Donen and an energetic cast.
  • wardkay19 June 2000
    10/10
    Funny Funny
    I saw this movie when it first came out and remember laughing hysterically. The VHS tape went out of print in the early '80s and I spent more than 15 years looking for a copy. I finally found one and while not quite as funny as I remember, it is a funny movie that found an audience. George C. Scott is great as always. Barry Bostwick is great as the accountant who wants to be a songwriter. The songs should be comedy classics, especially, "It Just Shows to Go Ya."

    I've seen a butchered version on TV once that cut out a bunch of the set-ups that are needed to make the jokes work. So if at all possible find a uncut version.
  • Lou Rugani28 July 1999
    10/10
    Great! Great!
    This is a film-fan's film, filled with industry insight and in-jokes. (The two back-to-back stories, separated by a preview trailer, display the way the fictional (real?) studio's contract players would crank out product at a dizzying rate.) I wouldn't apply the words "parody" and "satire" in their strictest sense here, though....I'd rather say the sounds and images serve more to emphasize our real-or-imagined memories of the moviegoing experience in the mid-to-late Thirties. And the producers had the good sense to hire the great Ralph Burns and Buster Davis to write the terrific period songs and soundtracks (which deserve current re-release!). See it if only to catch the multi-talented Barry Bostwick, who gets a chance to shine in a singing-dancing role. And Charles Lane is always a treat to see. Everything's a treat in "Movie Movie"!
  • chez-35 September 1999
    9/10
    A Movie Lover's Gem
    "Movie Movie" is an absolute gem that few people have even heard of. It's a throwback to the days of old when you went to the movies and stayed all day long. In this film we are treated to two short films (one in color, one in b&w) that sandwich an assortment of coming attractions and other goodies from a bygone era.

    George C. Scott stars in both short films. One is a boxing movie and the other is a musical. This film is hard to find but does pop up occasionally on cable. I suggest looking for this at your local video store. It's a real gem for anyone who ever loved going to the movies then and now.
  • kinolieber19 May 2001
    It'll put a smile on your face
    For anyone who has grown up loving Hollywood musicals, the second half of this film is an absolute joy. Stanley Donen, who has arguably directed the greatest of these, had a chance to create an homage to them which includes every silly musical plot and song and dance device he could think of. Barry Bostwick's first number will knock your socks off and the finale (including dancers on bikes!) will put a grin on your face from start to finish. Watch for Stanley Donen's cameo as a cab driver.
  • regem24 August 2002
    the difference language and culture can make
    I viewed this movie in Israel, where it was shown with subtiles. Whilst discusing the movie what stood out was how those who had relied only on the text viewed it as a serious presentation exactly as the style/era that it was spofing. Contrast this with native English speakers, who also were familiar with the era could detect the various sendups and would frequently burst out in peals of laughter. All in all I found it very well presented and acted, well worth viewing both for it's content and social comment.
  • Coxer9927 May 1999
    Movie Movie
    Affectionate parody of 1930's movies with Scott hamming it up perfectly in double roles. There's a boxing drama, then a corny musical, but it adds up to fun in this pleasant trip down Hollywood's memory lane.
  • kellybob19 March 2002
    7/10
    why are this film's votes so low?
    A quick glance at the user comments will tell you that this film is worth seeing. I'm neither a musical fanatic nor a boxing enthusiast, but the numbers, performances and nuances were entrancing.

    Somehow, Donen found the perfect blend for the self-reflexive genre picture, a combination that is exceedingly difficult for modern filmmakers to get a handle on. The viewer is watching a spoof yet all of the elements are still real. We feel for the pitifully archetypal characters because it seems that they realize their fate as symbols. George C. Scott's glances of reaction, just askew of breaking the third wall, depict someone who is aware of his limited fate, but still experiences with all of his emotions every situation as if he doesn't know it's coming. In this way, the actors, as in the Brechtian mode of theater, are somewhat like audience members themselves. They know the story and the ending, but they can't help suspending their disbelief, just for fun.

    The musical numbers work in the same way. They are spoofs, fulfilling specific purposes and making all the proper illusions, yet are thoroughly enjoyable as musical numbers.

    "Movie Movie" isn't necessarily a great movie, but it gives the illusion of greatness in its sincerity. In a medium where the audience often feels that they are the butt of a joke only the director knows the setup to, "Movie Movie" puts across the feeling that the director genuinely enjoys movies and expects everyone involved to derive the same pleasure from them.
  • Scott_Mercer16 November 2008
    8/10
    Wonderful Wonderful
    Just wrote a review of the far, far, far, far, inferior "National Lampoon's Movie Madness," which also parodies films, though contemporary ones. I brought up "Movie Movie" as an example of the same concept which is as excellent as the National Lampoon movie is awful.

    This is a delightful trip back to the movies of the 1930's. Somehow I saw this movie when it first came out. I guess I sought it out as (having been an eager consumer of Mad Magazine as a little squirt) I am a fan of parodies and mockumentaries of this sort. I remember watching it in a tiny closet-sized movie theater in a shopping mall in New Jersey. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the only movie theater in the state of New Jersey that played it. I was only 12 years old at the time, and obviously not around during the 1930's, but I had been exposed to enough old movies on television during my young life that I enjoyed the whole thing fully.

    I remember noticing that both movies start off with the same stock footage of a busy Manhattan street, the first one in black and white of course, and the second one in color, both backed by a similar jaunty tune meant to evoke the bustle of Manhattan in the 1930's. Sure to provoke a big laugh even before we meet the characters or hear the first line of dialog.

    Who know George C. Scott had such a facility for comedy? It's worth finding out. If you are in any way, shape or form a fan of crusty old movies, you should seek this out. A lovable way to spend 100 minutes.
  • preppy-31 April 2002
    7/10
    Enjoyable
    Fun parody of 30s movies showing two "movies" (they're actually only 50 minutes each) done by Warren Bros. (ha ha)

    The first is "Dynamite Hands" with Harry Hamlin (so young and full of life) playing a boxer to save money to...well, the plot is familar...VERY familar. Every single boxing movie cliche is hit head on with sledgehammer subtlety and the dialogue is way over the top. It's not half as clever as it thinks it is but it still works. It's quick and so energetic it's impossible to dislike. Also Hamlin is obviously enjoying himself. George C. Scott (who's in both) is in it briefly and Red Buttons (also in both) lends strong support. It was in black and white up the theatres in 1978, but it's in color on cable. Why?

    "Baxter's Beauties of 1933" is a parody of those big, splashy colorful musicals. The plot is basically a combination of every cliche from musicals back then. Barry Bostwick is in it and he's just "swell" as a Dick Powell type and Rebecca York is just great as a Ruby Keeler type. The music and lyrics are just OK but this is lots of fun--beautiful sets, great singing and dancing, impressive production numbers and full of fun.

    As said before, George C. Scott is in both but is (surprisingly) bad--he looks bored and unsure of his lines. Buttons is great in both but Trish Van Devere is just terrible. She's very good-looking but a horrible actress.

    No great film but worth catching--a must for movie buffs.
  • Poochie2 January 1999
    10/10
    Fantastic
    I know when I saw this film in'78 the first story was in black and white and then the second story in color. It's been showing on cable where it's color straight through. So for you purists out there, you should turn your color down on your TV when you watch the first story with Harry Hamlin if you want to see the film the way it was intended. This movie is a great time. Hilarious and clever!!!
  • MartinHafer26 February 2006
    8/10
    Wonderful but only for old movie buffs
    I loved this film and truly believe that most people will find the movie boring and trite. That's because I am a huge fan of the Golden Age of Hollywood and only lovers of these old movies would find this lovingly made film interesting. The movie is broken down into two wonderful parodies of Warner Brothers movies--specifically a musical similar to 42nd STREET and a boxing film similar to KID GALAHAD. These parodies, though, are meant more as a homage to the genres, as the movie really seems to try to honor the style instead of ridicule the originals. It was like the exact same writers and sensibilities were magically transported to 1978. George C. Scott did a great job--it's too bad this film is a one of a kind.
  • exc-411 June 2008
    8/10
    Really funny -- at least as originally released
    Warning: Spoilers
    Something to notice in this film: the same SETS are used in the two sub-movies.

    And the dialog is just twisted--I'm not surprised it doesn't survive being translated into subtitles:

    Boxer, wishing for a second career)"Dese hands are for--readin' BOOKS!".

    Can you even say that in Hebrew? I haven't seen the film since its theatrical release. I still remember act 1 scene 1 (after the vintage '42nd Street' New York Street sign establishing context ((also shared by the two sub-movies)) )Scott: "You can put your blouse back on now." Then you find out he was giving the little babe an EYE EXAM! Great stuff!!!
  • mark.waltz5 November 2012
    9/10
    "42nd Street" meets "Golden Boy".
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is one of those old-fashioned movie spoofs that simply pleases to entertain, and comes out on top even if it is a re-tread of everything we're seeing now on Turner Classic Movies. But back in 1978, cable TV was at a minimum, and if you had local channels showing old movies that TCM shows now (uncut and commercial free, if you didn't already know that...), chances are they were cut and overloaded with commercials. Even into the early 90's, that was the case.

    With a loving nod to Warner Brothers' "B" films of the early 30's (particularly the years 1932-1934), "Movie Movie" spoofs both the tough guy movie and the "Let's get through the depression with a song!" movie musical. "Dynamite Hands" is a spoof of boxing movies such as "The Life of Jimmy Dolan" with George C. Scott as the ailing boxing manager who introduces us to the ultra-sexy Harry Hamlin as the champ. Ann Reinking, a rising Broadway star at the time, is playing a spoof of all seemingly bad floozies, with Art Carney as a doctor with bad news. The real life Mrs. George C. Scott (Trish Van Devere) plays the good-hearted librarian who stands by Hamlin even when he goes off on his own with the aid of obvious mobster Eli Wallach.

    Then comes the piece-de-resistance...."Baxter's Beauties" (probably a nod to Warner Baxter, the producer in "42nd Street" and "King of Burlesque"). "Dames at Sea" had spoofed "42nd Street" on stage already, and indeed, just around the corner was the triumphant Broadway version of that classic. But in the meantime, we had this. George C. Scott as the broke producer, Art Carney (again as a doctor with bad news), the over-the-top Trish Van Devere as the Bebe Daniels dipsomaniac (and egomaniac) over-the-hill star who just needs to go, Barry Bostwick as the enthusiastic songwriter (a nod to Dick Powell in "Gold Diggers of 1933") and Rebecca York as the Ruby Keeler star-to-be. Barbara Harris takes on the role of the chorus girl with the heart of gold who takes York under her wing and obviously loves Scott from afar.

    Like Stephen Sondheim's musical classic "Follies", the songs in "Baxter's Beauties" are total pastiche. The cutesy-wootsie lyrics aren't meant to be taken seriously, and that adds an adorable charm to the story. The choreography and staging for the show within the movie is very lavish, and the sequence where Scott steps in for an unfortunate chorus boy is set up humorously. There's also that tough but sometimes clichéd dialog that might have sounded silly to some viewers, but for those of us who knew then (and know more now) about every essence of these types of films, it was heaven to our ears. Every character is an archetype of Warner Brothers type-casting, and in many cases, you will find yourself pointing out what Warner Brothers contract player would have played that part some 40 years before. (The most obvious casting comes with the two typical Joan Blondell parts, a delight because the same year, she was still working on screen with a small role in "Grease" and a larger part in the soon to be released "The Champ").

    Movie history buffs will love the appearance of veteran actor Charles Lane (who appeared in many of these Warner Brothers classics) in a small role. Stanley Donen, the director of many of the great MGM musicals of their golden age, hands this valentine to his audience like a rainbow after a storm. An ironic note about "Baxter's Beauties" (which was obviously named after Warner Baxter who originated the role of the producer in "42nd Street") is that the ending parallels the real-life drama which surrounded the Broadway version only a few years later. The choreography job fell to the legendary Michael Kidd who obviously really understood the trends of the era, even if Reinking's dance number in "Dynamite Hands" seems a bit more adult than something you would have seen even in pre-code Hollywood of 1933.
  • writers_reign4 December 2011
    9/10
    Double Delight
    Warning: Spoilers
    I have to agree with the majority of comments posted here on the two counts (sorry about that) that this will be a joy to buffs of Hollywood's Golden Age and those - presumably now thin on the ground - who actually grew up in the 1930s and by definition attended double bills like this one on a regular basis. Essentially the two 'formula' films linked here are perfect examples of their respective genres with the padding removed so that in 50 minutes we get every cliché of the Boxing film and the Musical, specifically the types served up by the brothers Warner which also reminds us how universal plot points were even in widely different genres; for example in Dynamite Gloves, Joey Popchick is delivering sandwiches to a gym when he is scorned by the title contender and promptly dumps him on his ass - cue trainer to come in with, 'say, kid, you know who that was'. etc, Popchick, natch, has no desire to turn pro, UNTIL he discovers his sister needs $25,000 for an operation in Vienna to save her sight. In Baxter's Beauties of 1933 we get the same situation with the twist that the accountant brought in to audit the books happens to be a fledgling songwriter whose appearance coincides with the leading lady's jettisoning of the existing score and demanding a new one. Both films build on these clichéd starts and keep right on going. The era that is being sent up is a little before my time but nevertheless I loved it. Sue me.
  • jc-osms20 August 2010
    7/10
    Good show to go (ya)
    A film I've hunted down from my youth, this is Stanley Donen's loving tribute to the early Hollywood Golden age, personified in two (and a bit, counting the trailer for the "Hell's Angels" spoof aviation film in the intermission) spliced novellas rolled into one. Directed with finesse, played with brio by all the cast doubling up roles in both features, it's a fine entertainment all round.

    I'm a sucker for boxing movies of the era and if anything slightly favour the B & W first feature "Dynamite Hands" over the "Baxter's Beauties" main attraction. The former benefits too from more gags, although the latter holds its end up with some typically stylish musical numbers at the finale. Both stories pay due homage to all the acknowledged clichés in both genres, and benefit from Donen's use of period devices like the old fashioned "curtains up" dissolves between scenes.

    The cast all look like they're enjoying themselves which certainly helps matters. Biggest star present, George C Scott, somehow seems a little miscast in each of his roles, but gets by on style and enthusiasm, while Red Buttons and Art Carney are able in support. Harry Hamlin is effective as the boxer with a jaw of gold, (about the only mixed metaphor not employed in the feature!) forsaking the ring for the legal profession in "Dynamite Hands" and it was nice to see Barry Bostwick, whom I recently watched play another nerdy character in "Rocky Horror Picture Show", get a prominent run out as a Dick Powell type in "Baxter's Beauties". Meanwhile Trish Van Devere is suitably peppy as the understudy-makes-good starlet in the Zeigfeld spoof.

    The set dressings for both films are first rate as you'd expect, the dialogue snappy if not quite laugh-a-minute, while the songs from the musical in "Baxter's Beauties", while well short of Porter or Gershwin standards, are pleasant and humorous enough.

    I really enjoyed this double tonic and wish the same team could have contrived a double feature follow up perhaps incorporating spoofs of say, a southern melodrama and a hard-boiled private eye thriller...