Thursday, January 22, 2015

Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)

Director: Michael Winner

Writers: Arnold Schulman, Cy Howard

Composer: Neal Hefti

Starring: Madeline Kahn, Bruce Dern, Teri Garr, Art Carney and TONS of famous names and faces you'll recognize from the early days of film and comedy

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Introducing The Dog Who Launched 1000 Stars.

Plot: In 1923 Estie comes to Hollywood to become an actress, but the dog, that followed her becomes the star. But Hollywood has its own rules of success.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? I might if for no other reason than to try and spot all of the greats that I missed the first time around.

Is this good?  Not really.  But the reason you need to see this (that is, if you're like me and LOVE old Hollywood and comedy) is to see the tremendous amount of great character actors and movie stars of old like Sterling Holloway, William Demarest, Virginia Mayo, Henny Youngman, Rory Calhoun, Billy Barty, Jackie Coogan, Ricardo Montalban, Aldo Ray, Ethel Merman, Yvonne De Carlo, Joan Blondell, Andy Devine, Phil Silvers, Johnny Weissmuller, Rudy Vallee, George Jessel, Rhonda Flemming, Tab Hunter and on and on and on.  Plus it's set in Hollywood in 1923.  The dialogue from the leads is often pretty bad and it makes the film feel cheaper than it should.  Neal Hefti's score is hit and miss but all of that is offset by seeing one famous "once was" after another and a lot of them have some really funny bits.  This is why you should see it and not because of the story or anything else.  I had a grin on my face for over half the picture and I laughed out loud quite a few times.  It's currently on Netflix streaming.  This is definitely not a film for most people but then I'm not most people.

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