21 August 2014 | ma-cortes
Fun satire of studio executives with top-notch actors , entertaining situations and intelligently realized
When a Hollywood studio called ¨Colossal Productions¨ is threatened with bankruptcy , the bank sends a shy efficiency expert (Leslie Howard) to save it from financial ruin . A former child star (interestingly cast Joan Blondell) falls in love with the stuffy as well as head-in-the-books accountant , who wants to learn why his firm's movie studio is losing money . Meantime , there appears Bogart playing a drunken filmmaker in love with star Shelton . Soon Leslie discovers there's a scheme to sabotage ¨Colossal¨ and sell it to the unscrupulous Ivor Nassau (effective Henry Gordon). While , the studio is shooting a failed film titled ¨Sex and Satan¨ starred by Cheri (Marla Shelton) .
A high-grade as well as amusing comedy on Hollywood low-life filled with laughs , fun happenings , sentiment and funny events . This is an intelligently made picture blend of satire , humor and farce . The main actors play such an amusingly made movie that spectators will appeal too much . Nice acting by Leslie Howard as a hard-working , timid and stiff accountant expert on mathematics . Humphrey Bogart is well cast in his first comedy role playing a drunk producer at a quite amazing character . This is an absolute gift for fans of Howard and Bogart to watch them step outside their ordinary genres . Special mention to delicious Joan Blondell as likable and fiery stand-in actress called Lester Plum ; she bares some resemblance Marie Osborne, a child actress in the silent era who returned to the film industry in the 1930's as an extra and stand-in . Good support cast such as Alan Mowbray , Marla Shelton , Henry Gordon , Jack Carson and uncredited Charles Middleton . The former silent film star in the boarding house , desperate for a small role in a film, is played by Mary MacLaren, a former leading lady of the silent film era who, by the time this film was made, was working as an extra . Atmospheric musical score by Heinz Roemheld . Adequate and evocative cinematography by Charles Clarke .
This lavishly and highly budgeted motion picture was well produced by Walter Wanger , being professionally directed by Tay Garnett , a good Hollywood craftsman . Tay entered films in 1920 as a screenwriter . After a stint as a gag writer for Mack Sennett and Hal Roach he joined Pathe, then the distributor for both competing comedy producers, and in 1928 began directing for that company . Garnett garnered some attention in the early 1930s with such films as Bad company (1931) and Way Passage (1932) , but his best work came in the mid-'30s and early 1940s with such films as S.O.S. Iceberg (1933) , China seas (1935), Slave Ship (1937) and Trade Winds (1938) . His best known film would have to the John Garfield/Lana Turner vehicle : The postman always rings twice (1946), although his version of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949) was a well-deserved critical and commercial success as well . Other successes were the followings : Bataan (1943) , The cross of Lorraine (1943) , Soldiers Three (151) , The Black Knight (1953) , and , of course , this ¨Stand-in¨ , among others . As ¨Stand-in¨results to be a treat for Humphrey Bogart and Leslie Howard enthusiasts .