Merton of the movies

   This four-act comedy by George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly opened on 13 November 1922 for 398 performances at the Cort Theatre. In Simsbury, Illinois, Merton Gill is enamored of the newly popular motion pictures to the point that he is mocked by his fellow townspeople and loses his job as a clerk at Gashwiler's General Store. He rushes to Hollywood and meets a bathing beauty turned queen of slapstick comedies, Flips Montague, a character inspired by Mabel Normand, who gets him bit roles in movies, but he is disillusioned by what he regards as the pho-niness of it all. When he is cast in a slapstick comedy, Merton acts his role with such gravity that it becomes hilarious. Now a star, he marries Flips. This popular comedy, inspired by Harry Leon Wilson's Hollywood spoofs in the Saturday Evening Post, was filmed in 1924 and 1947.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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