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Act One (1963) - Plot Summary Poster

(1963)

Plot

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Summaries

  • Story of the life of writer/playwright Moss Hart.

  • Moss Hart's best-selling autobiography provided the basis for this colorful backstage story. The film depicts Hart as a struggling young playwright in 1929, searching for a sympathetic impresario. Although his manuscript is rejected by a Broadway tycoon, a less prominent manager finally agrees to produce it - on the condition that Hart will get George S. Kaufman, a leading comedy writer, to collaborate on the final script. Hart sets out to convince Kaufman of his play's value, and so begins one of the most famous partnerships in the American theatre.

  • 1929. Twenty-five year old Moss Hart, who still lives with his parents in their run down Brooklyn apartment, aspires to be the next great dramatist. He has written five serious plays in four years, all unproduced, all mediocre, but which contain wisps of talent. Based on the advice from one of his many confidantes who sees most of that talent in the sparkling comedic scenes in those plays, Moss, against what were his previous leanings, decides to write a comedy as his next play. His confidantes see that resulting comedy as potential Broadway material, and use whatever connections they have to get Moss introductions to only the best for consideration in producing it. After sending the play to high powered producers, most who seem to like it enough to at least meet with him, Moss, who initially will only settle for the best - which in his mind is producer Warren Stone - ends up settling for what he considers second best based on circumstance: produced by Sam Harris, with Moss working on the script in collaboration with renowned comedy playwright George S. Kaufman. Even with this established Broadway power behind him, there is no guarantee that the play will be a success, and even if it is if the more famous Kaufman will take the lion's share of the writing credit.

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