Best Movies by Farr
What Price Hollywood? Poster
Released Runtime Category
1932 88 Drama
Director Language
George Cukor English
Lowell Sherman, Constance Bennett, Neil Hamilton, Gregory Ratoff

What Price Hollywood?

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What's it About

Mary (Bennett) waitresses at the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles but dreams of the silver screen. One night she serves the aging, alcoholic director Max Carey (Sherman) who promises her a screen test. Mary nails her audition and goes on to become a huge star. She meets millionaire playboy Lonny Borden (Hamilton) and marries him in an ostentatious Hollywood wedding orchestrated by studio head Julius Saxe (Ratoff). Meanwhile, Max’s excessive drinking has compromised his career and caused a scandal. As a result of this, Mary starts to question her own path.

Why we love it

Cukor’s first big screen success teamed him with producer David O. Selznick in the first of many collaborations. Adapted from a story by Hollywood columnist Adela Rogers St. Johns, this diverting melodrama is by turns witty, trenchant and tragic. Produced before the Hays Code of 1934, the film doesn’t shy away from then-daring themes of alcoholism and divorce. Bennett is radiant as Mary, and silent star Sherman turns in a poignant portrayal of a fading Tinseltown player. Hooray for “Hollywood”! (Note: this would inspire three versions of the better-known title, “A Star Is Born”).

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"