Movie Mirrors Index

Movie Crazy

(1932 b 96')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A man goes to Hollywood for a screen test and meets an actress who finds that he is nothing but trouble, though she likes him.

         In Littleton, Kansas young Harold Hall (Harold Lloyd) rides a bike home, puts a hose in a hole, turns on the water until a baby duck comes out. Then he turns off the water and goes into the house and gives his mother (Lucy Beaumont) the meat. As she cranks the handle of the meat-grinder, he imagines it is a motion-picture camera. He answers the phone and tells his wife he cannot get home tonight because of the market. He hangs up the phone and acts as though there is someone else in the room and pulls a gun. He opens a cooler, and a dead duck falls out.

         His father (De Witt Jennings) reads a letter Harold wrote to a movie director in Hollywood who is looking for new faces. Harold encloses the letter and his photo in an envelope and turns on the radio.

         Harold drives home in an old car and calls to his mom, showing her and his father the letter he received from Hollywood. He is promised a test in Hollywood. Harold says he is going, and his father offers to buy him a round-trip ticket. They hear a sound and see the car crashed against another. His father calls him stupid and careless.

         Harold is riding on the back of a train. He gets off in Los Angeles and sees a movie being filmed. The director J. L. O’Brien (Spencer Charters) tells the two actors to fix their make-up. Harold watches the man powdering his face and tries to help him. Harold asks for his autograph in his book, and the man writes, “Will u Scram.” The director tells them about the scene in which the actress Mary Sears (Constance Cummings) with dark hair drops the rose. The director asks for more people, and the assistant asks Harold to walk through the scene. He puts powder on his face. During the scene he stops and picks up the rose. The scene is cut, and the assistant tells him not to see anything in the scene. In the next take Harold walks into the actor and falls over. The assistant director Bill (Eddie Featherston) tells him to stand there and be quiet. Harold’s suitcase comes open, and a rope is caught in it. During the scene he pulls down noisy milk cans. Then he opens the door of the chicken coop, and the director calls lunch. In a car the actress throws a flower, and Harold catches it. He walks into the director, who is annoyed. Harold’s hat is broken, and the director laughs. Then the director realizes he has the wrong hat, and his hat was smashed.

         At the Planet Film Company Harold asks to see Mr. O’Brien. He goes into an office and shows his letter to a secretary. She calls and asks if he wants to see him. A woman shows him a letter with a handsome photo of a man. J. L. O’Brien tells her to bring him in and says he wants a test for him. Harold sees he is the director and walks out, breaking glass in a door. As he is leaving, the secretary tells him that Mr. O’Brien wants to see him. Harold goes back in the office, and a fan blows O’Brien’s papers around. Harold leaves again, breaking more glass. O’Brien tells Miller (Harold Goodwin) to find Harold Hall.

         Outside Miller calls to Hall and tells him that O’Brien wants to give him a test. Harold says he threw him out, and Miller says O’Brien is like that. Harold says he plays heroes, and Miller says he will get a dame. They walk into a studio, and Harold is taken to wardrobe. The actress Margie (Mary Doran) tells Miller that she has sex appeal, and he tells her to make the test. Miller gives Harold a coat from wardrobe, and Harold asks about his test. Miller tells him to come back tomorrow, and O’Brien will tell him about it.

         Harold goes outside in the rain, and gets a shoe caught in a drain. He tries to retrieve it, and it floats down the gutter into a drain. He falls in the water and splashes blonde Mary Sears, who is trying to raise the top of her car. He tries to help her and splashes water on her. She asks him to walk away. He puts up the top for her, but it falls apart. He picks up an umbrella, but he opens it too far. She gets in the car and drives off. He runs after her calling for his coat. When she is stopped, he tries to get his coat loose. Cars toot at him. He climbs on the car, and she drives off. He pulls the top over her head, and she drives into another car. A policeman tells her to back up. Harold says it was his fault. The cop gives him a ticket. Harold rides on the running board and hands her the ticket. She parks the car and says he will have to take a taxi.

         Mary goes in her place, and her maid sees Harold hopping outside. Mary calls him Trouble from her window and tells him to come in. The maid lets Harold in, and he sneezes. The maid notices he only has one shoe. He sits down, and the chair leg breaks off, putting him on the floor.

         Mary is playing the piano, and Harold comes out of a room wearing a skirt. She laughs and tells him to sit down. She looks at a bruise on his knee. She puts ointment on it and asks who he is. He says he wants to be in the movies and hopes he could work with her. The door buzzer sounds, and the maid says it is Mr. Vance. Mary says she is dining with him, and the maid says he is drunk. Mary says he is in love with her. Harold asks if she loves him, and she says no. Mary asks Harold not to leave them alone together. Harold says she can rely on him. Vance (Kenneth Thompson) comes in, and Mary tells him he is too drunk to go to dinner. Vance says she drives him desperate. He sits and cries, and she tells him there are other girls. Harold agrees with her but says she is worth it. Mary asks Harold what business it is of his. They argue, and Harold says his career will come first. She says he may be an extra. He says he will show her and gets attached to a lamp, making her laugh at him. She apologizes and says he did not try to make a pass at him. He learns her name, and she asks about his career. She sees his class pin and asks if she can keep it. He says it is for the girl he is engaged to. She tells him not to change because he is new. He says he is having a good time. They say goodbye, and he leaves.

         Mary is preparing for her role and wears a dark wig. Miller is waiting to see the test and says they shot it 26 times. In the test Harold comes in and answers the phone. Miller tells him not to answer it until he hears the bell. In the next take he mentions the market. Miller tells him just to pack his case and get out. Next time Harold has trouble with the phone. Harold messes up take 25 by putting the phone in his suitcase. On take 26 the actress comes in, and Harold tells her why he is leaving. She embraces him, and he says he loves her over and over. Their voices are heard speeded up. Miller asks him for more heart. Miller gets a call that O’Brien is on his way over. A secretary tells Harold he is coming. When O’Brien sees Harold, he gets angry. Miller tells him that is Harold Hall. He accuses Hall of sending him a phony photo.

Outside Harold overhears O’Brien telling Miller about another good test and predicts he will be a star. Showgirls come running out for lunch and knock Harold down. Harold walks by a camel, and Mary calls to him. He runs over to her and shows her the rose that she threw him at the station. She uses a Spanish accent and pretends she is not Mary, asking if he met a blonde. He denies he did and says he likes her. She asks if she could be more important than his career. She asks about his pin and hopes she will find it if he loses it. She pins it over heart and says, “Adios.”

Harold opens a door, and pushes O’Brien against a wall. O’Brien sees him and chases him out. Vance tells Harold that Miss Sears says she likes him. He warns Harold to stay away.

         Harold buys some flowers and takes them to the actress, who says she has no place to keep them. Harold learns he cannot return them.

         Harold takes the flowers to Mary’s place, and the maid lets him in. Mary throws the flowers in his face and says she saw him offer them to the Spanish girl. She makes fun of how he talked with her. She asks where his pin is. Mary says she hates him and slaps him. She kicks the flowers, trips, and falls into his arms. He kisses her, and she is surprised they love each other. He says he feels he will faint. They sit down on a couch and talk. She asks him to be always the same with her because she loves his nature. She asks him to get his pin back for her. She asks him to kiss her again, and he does.

         Mary as the Spanish actress calls Harold her friend. He asks her for the pin, and she asks why. He says he needs it. She asks him to get in the car with her. He enters the car, and they pull down curtains. She says they are alone. She asks why he wants the pin. He says he has to give it to another girl. She asks if she is the woman of his dreams. He says she saw him give it to her. The actress asks for one kiss first. They kiss and hear a knock. They are ready for her, and she leaves without giving him the pin.

         Bill says hello to Harold, who asks him for his class pin. Bill says he will lend it to him and hands to him. Harold is happy and walks off. He drops the pin in a bin of peanuts and tries to find it.

         Harold is on the porch when Mary comes home. He shows her the pin, and Mary says it looks different. She asks if he had trouble getting it. He explains he wanted it for the most wonderful girl. Harold says she gave it to him. He puts the pin on her. She drops it on the ground. Mary says she saw him get in the car with her. She says the party is over and goes into the house and closes the door. Harold does not pick up the pin.

         The next day Harold sees Mary go into a house and knocks on the door. He writes a note and asks the maid to give it to Miss Sears. She does so, and Mary writes a note telling him not to wait outside because she has nothing more to say to him. He gets the note but reads the other side which is a formal invitation to a dinner dance.

         At the dance two men are drunk and get confused. Harold in a formal suit gets it messed up with powder. He goes to a wash room. Henry is preparing for his act. Harold gets cleaned up with his coat.

         At the dinner Mrs. Kitterman (Louise Closser Hale) says hello to a blonde. Harold asks for table 26 and sits next to Mrs. Kitterman, who says Mary is very nice. The orchestra plays a song for Mrs. Kitterman, who says she wants to dance to it. Harold asks her to dance. She says her husband could help him. A bird gets loose, and Harold finds an egg in his hand. Harold puts it on a table. A waiter cracks it open, and a chick chirps. Harold finds an egg in his other hand and hands it to the drunk, who slaps his face with it. Harold finds a rabbit and gets rid of it. A waiter serves it to the drunk. Harold’s flower squirts water in Mrs. Kitterman’s face, and she slaps him. Margie sees Harold and dances with him. She says she likes him. A mouse crawls on the back of his coat, and women scream. He reaches in his pocket and pulls out a box that is full of mice that get loose. The women panic. Harold takes off his coat, and Henry blames him for taking his coat. A waiter asks for his invitation, and Harold says Mrs. Sears sent it to him. He sees Mary and asks if she invited him to the party. She says he is crazy. The waiters show Harold out, and he falls down the stairs. He finds the invitation and reads Mary’s note. Mary comes out and asks if he is hurt. She apologizes and realizes he is trouble. He says it won’t happen again. She asks if his knee is hurt, and he says goodbye.

         The next day Harold goes in a phone booth that is rolled to a set. Harold gets out and finds himself in a snowy scene. Mary as the Spanish actress calls him “Trouble.” He realizes that she is Mary Sears. Vance tells him to stay away from her. They both are prepared to fight for her. Vance roughs him up and knocks him into a basket.

         O’Brien gives orders for the scene. Mary and Vance are to come in. O’Brien tells Vance to keep going during the water. Vance and Mary come in, and a man grabs Mary and has a gun. Vance shoots at him. Harold gets out of the basket and hits Vance and the other man. A chest falls on O’Brien and makes him look silly. Harold picks up Mary and lays her on a chest. Vance hits Harold twice, and they fight. Harold has a cage of ducks stuck on his head. On cue the water flows in on Vance. They go on fighting, and Harold is caught in a life preserver. They get tangled in ropes and suspended above the water. They fight in the water. Harold knocks Vance into the water, and Vance becomes exhausted. O’Brien wakes up and calls cut. Harold sees Mary floating on a chest. Harold pulls a rope, and O’Brien falls in the water with others. Bill tells Harold to leave before he is murdered. Bill tells Harold that his test was a flop. Bill advises him to go home.

         Mr. Kitterman tells Mary that the scene is great and will make the picture. Mary tells Harold and brings him over. Kitterman congratulates him on his performance and says he has a contract for him. Harold says he got it wrong; it was a real fight, not for the picture. He tells him the director said he would strangle him if he caught him there again. Kitterman says he does not seem to know anything. He drives off. Mary says Harold is nothing but trouble. He says his test was a flop. Mary says he cannot make love. When he is just himself, he is the loveliest man in the world. She says he cannot get rid of her. She says he is in her blood and cannot do without him. A policeman makes Harold go with him.

         They are taken to Mr. Kitterman, who offers him a contract. O’Brien is there, and Kitterman says he made him laugh. Kitterman says O’Brien will look after the contract. O’Brien tells him to sign it, and Harold does so. O’Brien takes Harold’s hat and punches a hole in it. Harold leaves with Mary, breaking glass in the door. Mary tells Trouble to come with her.

         This farce portrays the fantasies of a shy man who wants to be in the movies but always manages to find himself in trouble. An actress tired of men coming on to her finds that his simplicity is refreshing, but she makes fun of him by playing two roles until she is really in love with him.

Copyright © 2010 by Sanderson Beck

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