Watch Make Me a Star
- 1 hr 26 min
Make Me a Star is a 1932 Pre-Code drama directed by William Beaudine and starring Joan Blondell, Stuart Erwin, and Zasu Pitts. The film tells the story of Merton Gill (Erwin), a lowly grocery clerk with aspirations of becoming a Hollywood movie star. He finds his chance when famous film director Raoul Walsh (played by himself) comes to his hometown to shoot a new picture. Determined to make it in the movies, Merton travels to Hollywood, where he meets and befriends studio publicist Rosie (Blondell) and her roommate, the struggling actress Flips (Pitts). Rosie sees potential in Merton and decides to promote him as Hollywood's newest sensation, despite his complete lack of talent or experience. As Merton becomes more and more famous, he finds himself caught up in the world of Hollywood, with all its glitz, glamour, and backstabbing.
The film presents a glimpse into the inner workings of Hollywood during the early 1930s. Make Me a Star is filled with satire and irony, poking fun at the Hollywood system and the rise of celebrity culture. It highlights the ephemeral nature of fame and the ruthless cutthroat behaviors of those in power. The movie is a commentary on the inflated ego of Hollywood stars, the power dynamics within the industry, and the illusions of grandeur that come with success.
Stuart Erwin delivers an energetic performance as Merton Gill, the small-town boy with big dreams. He shines in his portrayal of a wide-eyed dreamer, who is completely oblivious to his lack of talent. Joan Blondell, as the quick-witted publicist, brings her signature sass and spunk to the role, providing much of the film's comic relief. Her character is instrumental in helping Merton navigate the complex and treacherous world of Hollywood.
Zasu Pitts, known for her comedic roles, brings a sense of pathos to her portrayal of Flips, the struggling actress who dreams of making it big. She delivers a touching performance, capturing the desperation and vulnerability of a woman who is constantly overlooked in a world where beauty and talent are everything.
Make Me a Star features several cameos from real-life Hollywood stars of the time, including Raoul Walsh, who plays himself, and Bing Crosby and George Burns, who appear in brief but amusing scenes. These appearances add to the realism of the film's portrayal of Hollywood and help to further satirize the industry.
The film's cinematography is also worth noting. The camera work is inventive, featuring several tracking shots and dynamic camera movements. The lighting and set design are also impressive, with some of the sets appearing almost surreal, as if lifted straight from a dream.
Make Me a Star is a perfect film for anyone interested in Hollywood history, the film industry or the power dynamics of fame. The movie is both a celebration of and indictment of celebrity culture, and a cautionary tale about the illusions of grandeur that come with success. It's an engaging drama that provides an entertaining look into the inner workings of Hollywood during the 1930s.