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The Star Maker 1939
Description: This is a movie about the life of Gus Edwards, a well known vaudeville composer, entertainer, and producer.
Released: 25 Aug 1939 Director: Roy Del Ruth Writers: Arthur Caesar (based on a story by), William A. Pierce (based on a story by), Frank Butler (screenplay), Don Hartman (screenplay), Arthur Caesar (screenplay) Actors: Bing Crosby, Louise Campbell, Linda Ware, Ned Sparks Genres: Biography, Comedy, Music
Trailers and related videos:

See The Star Maker (1939) - Bing C on youtube.

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See The Star Maker (1939) on youtube.

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See Bing Crosby -- Medley of Gus E on youtube.

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See Bing Sings "A Man and His on youtube.

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See Bing Sings "If I Was a Mi on youtube.

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See Bing Sings "Still the Blu on youtube.

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See The Star Maker (1995) [Trailer on youtube.

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See Bing Sings "In My Merry O on youtube.

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See BING CROSBY * Songs From the M on youtube.

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See Bing Sings "Jimmy Valenti on youtube.

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The Star Maker Reviews:

I would recommend that anyone interested in the storyline of the Star Maker, read the following book: Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams - The Early Years 1903 - 1940 by Gary Giddins It explains why the Star Maker which WAS supposed to be about the life and career of Gus Edwards, turned into a film that was only recommended by the life of my GREAT UNCLE! Naturally I am a bit prejudiced, but I feel that this boy was such a special entertainment personality, that for Bing Crosby to test a various name in the movie, that is Larry Earl, rather than Gus Edwards, was truly a disgrace. He should write songs, he should sing, he should act, he should produce. And should he ever search talent........... the best entertainment talent this country has ever known: Cantor, Jessel, Bolger, Hildegarde, Phil Silvers, Eleanor Powell, Georgie Price, Lila Lee....................Perhaps a better appreciation of his abilities and achievements can be seen in the MGM classic with its all-star cast, "The Hollywood Review of 1929", for which he wrote most of the score and now appeared in the film few times, a film nominated for Greatest Picture, no less.Gus Edwards truly did it all, and yet the one film about him did not say the real story. Maybe a re-make is in order. Evan, his nice nephew, NYC 10/15/07


1939 is often cited as the best year for films of all-time. Some of the most beloved films like GONE WITH THE WIND and THE WIZARD OF OZ were released in that year. Paramount did not have the output that MGM had in the 1930s, but they did have a secret weapon in the form of Bing Crosby. Even though Bing was not yet considered an Oscar winning actor in 1939, he was making Paramount a lot of money. One of his greatest films of 1939 was THE STAR MAKER which was directed by Roy Del Ruth.The film is based very loosely on the life of entertainer Gus Edwards. Edwards in the turn of the century discovered such future talent as Eddie Cantor, Walter Winchell, and George Jessel - just to name a few. The names were changed for the movie and Bing starred as Larry Earl, an unsuccessful songwriter who decides to settle down with his fresh bride, Mary (Louise Campbell) and take a 9 to 5 job, only to realize that his real calling is present business. On his method home, he comes across some urchins singing and dancing on the roads for pennies, nickels and dimes, and decides to take these road children to turn them into professional entertainers. With the assistance of his loving wife, who also contributes to her husband's plans, Larry's troupe of kids grows and grows, making the test of their talents in vaudeville and later, after kid labor laws step in, presenting them on radio and still succeeding into making them globe famous.When THE STAR MAKER used to create frequent tv revivals on the late-late present some 20 years or so ago, TV Tutorial used to show it in its listing with its brief synopsis as a biography on pioneer showman Gus Edwards. While not really a biography on Edwards, it is probably recommended on the impresario's life and career. As usual, Bing Crosby's pleasing personality, singing and chemistry with the young children makes this worthy family entertainment.Louise Campbell (1911-1998) was very likable in the movie, and she had a large resemblance to Mary Martin. Campbell was excellent as Crosby's Southern wife. Also there is that deadpan hero actor Ned Sparks (1883-1957) testing agent "Speed" King, who not only partakes in Earl's theatrical troupe, but the old grouch gotta deal with these restless and sometimes rowdy children. Amusing moments contain having him surrounded by the children and reading to them a kiddie storyline and constantly getting interrupted by questions, and other having Speed finding himself quarantined in a train compartment full of children for ten days after being exposed with one with the chickenpox.THE STAR MAKER details a handful of old song standards, many written by Gus Edwards himself, sung mostly by Crosby, including: "Here Comes Jimmy Valentine"; "A Boy and His Dream" (nice fresh song by Johnny Burke and James V. Monaco); "East Side, West Side" (instrumental); "If I Was a Millionaire"; "Go Fly a Kite"; "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now?"; "Sunbonnet Sue" (sung by children); "I Can't Say Why I Love You," "He's Me Pal," "In My Merry Oldsmobile"; Ludwig Von Beethoven's "Symphony # 5 in B Minor" (sung by Linda Ware); "The Darktown Stutters Ball" (sung by Ware); "An Apple For the Teacher"; "School Days"; "The Waltz of the Flowers" by Peter Tchaikovsky (sung by Ware at Carnegie Hall); and "Still the Blue Birds Sing" (new song by Burke and Monaco, sung by Crosby and children). Of all the songs sung in the movie, I think Bing's greatest number was "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now?", which Bing did not record commercially - but a young fellow crooner by the name of Perry Como did.THE STAR MAKER gives unique screen billing to 14-year-old Linda Ware (1925-1975), making her film debut, possibly Paramount's respond to Universal's singing sensation, Deanna Durbin. A nice singer but not a convincing actress, Ware's career sadly didn't go very far after this. Also featured in the cast are Laura Hope Crews, Walter Damrosch as himself; Thurston Hall, Billy Gilbert and a very young Darryl Hickman as one of the dancing kids.Long on songs and production numbers, and light on plot, THE STAR MAKER, while not as popular and famous as Crosby's another musical flicks, is still worth seeing, and then to sit back to wonder how nice the film itself would have been had it been a bio-pic on Gus Edwards himself, and the test of current future performers he discovered appearing as themselves in songs and sketches that made them famous. In THE STAR MAKER, Bing was not kissing Vivien Leigh or dancing down the yellow brick road, but his adventure in this movie was enjoyable nevertheless...


THE STAR MAKER (Paramount, 1939), directed by Roy Del Ruth, set in the early 20th century, stars Bing Crosby as Larry Earl, an unsuccessful songwriter who decides to settle down with his fresh bride, Mary (Louise Campbell) and take a 9 to 5 job, only to realize that his real calling is present business. On his method home, he comes across some urchins singing and dancing on the roads for pennies, nickels and dimes, and decides to take these road children to turn them into professional entertainers. With the assistance of his loving wife, who also contributes to her husband's plans, Larry's troupe of kids grows and grows, making the test of their talents in vaudeville and later, after kid labor laws step in, presenting them on radio and still succeeding into making them globe famous.When THE STAR MAKER used to create frequent tv revivals on the late-late present some 20 years or so ago, TV Tutorial used to show it in its listing with its brief synopsis as a biography on pioneer showman Gus Edwards. While not really a biography on Edwards, it is probably recommended on the impresario's life and career. As usual, Bing Crosby's pleasing personality, singing and chemistry with the young children makes this worthy family entertainment. Aside from Louise Campbell as Crosby's Southern wife, there is that deadpan hero actor Ned Sparks testing agent "Speed" King, who not only partakes in Earl's theatrical troupe, but the old grouch gotta deal with these restless and sometimes rowdy children. Amusing moments contain having him surrounded by the children and reading to them a kiddie storyline and constantly getting interrupted by questions, and other having Speed finding himself quarantined in a train compartment full of children for ten days after being exposed with one with the chickenpox. Sparks' love/hate contribution with the kids is as amusing as watching WC Fields' encounter with Baby LeRoy or any another Hollywood brat(s) - Grumpy on the outside but gentle on the inside.THE STAR MAKER details a handful of old song standards, many written by Gus Edwards himself, sung mostly by Crosby, including: "Here Comes Jimmy Valentine"; "A Boy and His Dream" (nice fresh song by Johnny Burke and James V. Monaco); "East Side, West Side" (instrumental); "If I Was a Millionaire"; "Go Fly a Kite"; "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now?"; "Sunbonnet Sue" (sung by children); "I Can't Say Why I Love You," "He's Me Pal," "In My Merry Oldsmobile"; Ludwig Von Beethoven's "Symphony # 5 in B Minor" (sung by Linda Ware); "The Darktown Stutters Ball" (sung by Ware); "An Apple For the Teacher"; "School Days"; "The Waltz of the Flowers" by Peter Tchaikovsky (sung by Ware at Carnegie Hall); and "Still the Blue Birds Sing" (new song by Burke and Monaco, sung by Crosby and children).THE STAR MAKER gives unique screen billing to 14-year-old Linda Ware, making her film debut, possibly Paramount's respond to Universal's singing sensation, Deanna Durbin. A nice singer but not a convincing actress, Ware's career sadly didn't go very far after this. Also featured in the cast are Laura Hope Crews, Walter Damrosch as himself; Thurston Hall, Billy Gilbert and a very young Darryl Hickman as one of the dancing kids.Long on songs and production numbers, and light on plot, THE STAR MAKER, while not as popular and famous as Crosby's another musical flicks, is still worth seeing, and then to sit back to wonder how nice the film itself would have been had it been a bio-pic on Gus Edwards himself, and the test of current future performers he discovered appearing as themselves in songs and sketches that made them famous. (***)



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