4.8/10
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The Road to Hollywood (1947)

Approved | | Biography, Comedy, Musical | 4 July 1947 (USA)
Film director Bud Pollard appears on screen to tell us of Bing Crosby's rise to fame, using scenes from four early Crosby shorts to illustrate his fictional biography.

Directors:

Bud Pollard, Del Lord | 2 more credits »

Writers:

John E. Gordon (adaptation), Harry McCoy (material) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bing Crosby ... Character in Sennett Shorts (archive footage)
Luis Alberni ... The Marquis, from 'I Surrender Dear' (archive footage)
Ann Christy ... Betty Brooks, from 'Dream House' (archive footage)
Patsy O'Leary Patsy O'Leary ... Ethel Bangs, from 'One More Chance' / Mrs. McCullough, from 'I Surrender Dear' (archive footage)
George C. Pearce ... Mary's Father, from 'Billboard Girl' (archive footage)
Arthur Stone ... Ethel's Uncle Joe, from 'One More Chance' / Jerry, Bing's friend from 'I Surrender Dear' (archive footage)
Dick Stewart Dick Stewart ... Jerry, Bing's Chum from 'Billboard Girl' (archive footage)
Lincoln Stedman ... Whitman, Mary's Fiancé, from 'Billboard Girl' (archive footage)
Kathrin Clare Ward Kathrin Clare Ward ... Mother Brooks, from 'Dream House' (archive footage)
James Eagles James Eagles ... Mary's Brother, from 'Billboard Girl' (archive footage)
Matty Kemp ... Percy Howard, Bing's Rival, from 'One More Chance' (archive footage)
Eddie Phillips ... Reginald Duncan, from 'Dream House' (archive footage)
Marion Sayers ... Peggy, Bing's Sweetheart, from 'I Surrender Dear' (archive footage)
Julia Griffith Julia Griffith ... Ethel's Mother, Bing's Future Mother-in-Law, from 'I Surrender Dear' (archive footage)
George Gray George Gray ... George Dobbs, from 'I Surrender Dear' (archive footage)
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Storyline

Film director Bud Pollard appears on screen to tell us of Bing Crosby's rise to fame, using scenes from four early Crosby shorts to illustrate his fictional biography.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

blackface | actor | singer | See All (3) »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 July 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Út Hollywoodba See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mack Sennett Comedies See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Edited from Dream House (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

I Surrender Dear
Music by Harry Barris (uncredited) and lyrics by Gordon Clifford (uncredited)
Performed by Bing Crosby
See more »

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User Reviews

 
shows us some of the historical evolution of filmmaking
18 March 2014 | by GryBytemanSee all my reviews

This film may not be excellent by 2014 standards, or even by 1947 standards, but it is excellent from the point of view of a pseudo-documentary (a pretend biography for Bing Crosby) that uses archival footage from early Bing Crosby films, even Mack Sennett comedies.

The special effects are terrible by our standards, but it's fun to see what our ancestors were able to do with that old acetate.

For all we know, some of this early footage might have been lost if it weren't for the fact that it was used in this later film. (I'm no expert, so I'm just guessing.) You'll have to use your imagination to bring the quality of the sound track up to what we grew to love about Bing's singing in later films, but I listed to his songs in this film with my mind's ear, not my physical ear, if you know what I mean.

The film is totally fictionalized, but it is a lot of fun to see what our old directors and producers could do by cutting and pasting old footage together to make a new whole.

As noted by another reviewer, there is one segment that included Crosby in blackface, but in my opinion, it was not done in a racial manner. Instead, it seems to have been played in a comedic style, with Crosby accidentally getting sprayed with black paint while he's peeking through a fence. But I also have to admit that I will understand that some people will think of it only as a racial comment. (The other two "black actors" in that segment appeared to be black actors, so the original director in the 1930's might have been making a sarcastic comment about even earlier directors who refused to hire black actors, and only used white actors in blackface to play black roles.

John


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