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Stand-In

Rating:No Rating
Genre:Comedy
Release Date:October 29, 1937
Running time:91 minutes
Cast:Leslie Howard, Joan Blondell, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Mowbray, Marla Shelton
Director:Tay Garnett
Producer:Walter Wanger
Writer:Clarence Budington Kelland
Distributor:United Artists

Description: Bookish bank employee Atterbury Dodd (Leslie Howard) is ordered to investigate the near-bankrupt Colossal Studios in Hollywood, to see if the firm is any sort of good risk. Dodd's first brush with Tinseltown's cuckoo atmosphere occurs when he takes a room in a boarding house for extras, where all manner of eccentrics wander about as they wait for the phone to ring (Charles Middleton comports himself in an Abe Lincoln costume, on the off-chance that Hollywood will go back to making Civil War pictures soon). He befriends Lester Plum (Joan Blondell), a former child star now working as a stand-in for haughty movie queen Thelma Cheri (Marla Shelton), and perpetually soused producer Douglas Quintain (Humphrey Bogart). Aware that the latest epic of autocratic director Koslofski (Alan Mowbray) will ruin the studio, Howard investigates further, discovering that a rival company has bribed Koslofski to pad the budget and thus bring about the foreclosure of Colossal. While his business sense tells him that this is the next logical move, Dodd has fallen in love with Plum; thus, he gives Quintain 48 hours to re-edit Koslofski's fiasco into something workable, and himself staves off the studio's shutdown by rallying all the Colossal employees to stand firm against being removed from the premises. Based on a Saturday Evening Post story by Clarence Buddington Kelland, this is a light-hearted satire of the movie industry, the sort of amiable farce in which everyone--even the most contentious of characters--is shown to be basically decent underneath.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

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