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Once In A Lifetime (1932) DVD

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Once In A Lifetime (1932)


 Russell Mack


 Moss Hart (play), George S. Kaufman (play)


 Jack Oakie, Sidney Fox, Aline MacMahon 
Based on the stage comedy by Moss Hart and George S. KaufmanOnce in a Lifetime is a satire of Hollywood's early-talkie era. A down-and-out vaudeville trio (Jack OakieAline MacMahon, and Russell Hopton) takes advantage of the confusion attending the talkie revolution by heading to Hollywood and posing as voice experts. George (Oakie), the team's dimwitted straight man, falls in love with a pretty young miss (Sidney Fox) who has come to Hollywood to become an actress -- and won't let her utter lack of talent get in the way. Fast-talking themselves into jobs at the Glogauer Studios, the phony vocal specialists eventually wear out their welcome and are on the verge of being fired. But George, who has been listening to the complaints of a disillusioned screenwriter, suddenly spouts those complaints word for word to Mr. Glogauer (Gregory Ratoff) -- and is lauded as a genius for being the first man to stand up to the despotic studio head. George is made a producer, and immediately sets about filming an expensive movie vehicle for his girlfriend. Unfortunately, George had found the script for his film in a wastebasket, and winds up shooting the wrong picture. He and his vaudeville chums are fired, but when his picture (an incomprehensible farrago shot in darkness because George forgot to turn on the klieg lights) is previewed, it is hailed as a daringly original masterpiece. George is made the supervising producer of Glogauer Studios, and all ends happily for himself and his friends. An interesting precursor to the Singin' in the Rain school of Hollywood kidding itself, Once in a Lifetime has tarnished a bit over the years but is still well worth seeing. 
Here is the link to the film at the Internet Movie database:

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  1. A Very Funny Glimpse of Hollywood Past 5 Star Review

    Posted by on Nov 17th 2016

    This is a classic of great American drama transposed to the medium it satirizes in style. It was George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart's first collaboration and launched their stellar career on Broadway and, for Kaufman, Hollywood. Some of the humor and references are dated, but the acting is first rate and incisive. The rest of the humor holds its own,too. For those interested, Hart wrote a memoir of the collaboration, Act One, which made it into film, with George Hamilton and Jason Robards as the playwrights. The film also bears comparison to the 1950s hit, Singin' In the Rain, a shiny version of the advent of talkies on the screen.

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