Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Going Hollywood


Marion Davies gets top billing. Poor Marion Davies. She was good at comedy, but her asshole boyfriend, William Randolph Hearst, insisted she do dramatic roles, so her career tanked. Pretty much exactly as shown in Citizen Kane. Of course, it’s a little hard to be too sorry for a woman who got to preside at the parties at San Simeon, and who, thanks to her good business sense, died with around 30 million in the bank after she loaned a bundle to bail WRH’s worthless ass out when he got in financial trouble. And who got married a couple months after Citizen Hearst died.

Bing Crosby looks a little weird in the heavy make-up and lip tint of that era. The non-musical scenes are static and badly paced, which is typical for 1933, only seven years into the sound era. There’s a weird dance number in Grand Central Station, like Busby Berkeley on a tight budget. Another song and dance set on a farm with dancing scarecrows is amusing. The picture itself is really kind of awful. Marion is stiff as a board except for one little comic scene, where she comes alive. The plot is way beyond shallow. The happy ending? She wins the heart of playboy Bing, who is clearly an alcoholic and will fuck around on her the very first chance he gets. Fade to black, and all the women in the audience who think they can change their bad boy lover get to wring out their handkerchiefs and touch up their mascara.