Making It In Hollywood

This unique documentary is a time capsule of Hollywood in the 1970s and the American obsession with fame. It follows a few of the thousands of people who come to Los Angeles every year to "make it" as actors and actresses--at their day jobs, going to auditions, and waiting for acting work at legendary Schwab's Drug Store. It tells the story of Cissy Colpitts, a new young face, hoping to find an agent and become a star. It also features the perspectives of several successful actors, including Tab Hunter and Shelley Winters, discussing what it takes to survive in Hollywood and how fame changes a person. That excess is portrayed through Sally Kirkland's legendary parties, attended by a wide variety of 1970s Hollywood players, including John Badham, John Belushi, David Blue, Dylan Cannon, Bud Cort, Dr. John, Kinky Friedman, and Robert Walden.

0:00Copy video clip URL Titles.

0:15Copy video clip URL Sally Kirkland, actress, says that when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she answered: a movie star.

0:28Copy video clip URL Douglas Benton, TV producer. Quotes Oscar Wilde: “An actress is little more than a woman; an actor is a little less than a man.”

0:45Copy video clip URL Tab Hunter, actor. Says success in Hollywood comes down to luck.

1:06Copy video clip URL Robert Walden, actor. Says he continued acting because when he comes off stage, people are respectful of him, they treat him as if he is “holy.”

1:25Copy video clip URL Shelley Winters, actress. She talks about how beginning actors are concerned with things that have nothing to do with acting: studio trends, publicity, looking sexy, etc.

1:47Copy video clip URL Cissy Colpitts, actress. Says she’s 24 and is waiting till she’s 30 to make it.

2:13Copy video clip URL We talk to a man who’s in line for a casting call for the latest Mae West vehicle, “Sextette.” Ken Hughes, director of “Sextette,” interviews actors. Can see woman with mic under table.

4:34Copy video clip URL An actor whose day job is bartending, says it doesn’t bother him when other actors talk about how successful they have been.

4:57Copy video clip URL Hunter. Weinberg asks him how fame felt to him. He says for every person like him, there are a hundred who can do his job just as well and who are waiting to fill his spot if he messes up.

5:39Copy video clip URL Colpitts tap dances outside to the tune of “I’m Goin’ Hollywood.” She then tries to get an agent at William Morris, a very big talent agency.

7:11Copy video clip URL Danielle Hill, an actress whose day job is a waitress, says she definitely will make it. She goes on to say that the film business “will destroy you if you let it.” We see her waiting tables.

8:14Copy video clip URL Colpitts returns from the meeting. The agent told her to look elsewhere.

9:17Copy video clip URL Kirkland calls her agent for the part of a stripper in Starsky and Hutch. Her agent tells her that the salary for the role is very low. Kirkland says she doesn’t care, she need the money because she is out of work.

10:16Copy video clip URL Nicole David, Kirkland’s agent. She talks about Kirkland’s abilities and her chances for stardom. She says that Kirkland will be a star, but that it may take longer than others for her to achieve stardom

10:40Copy video clip URL Walden talks about the responsibility actors have. They need to respect the people they are playing. Shows us the techniques he used to play Donald Segretti in “All the President’s Men.”

12:47Copy video clip URL Clip from “All the President’s Men” that Walden was in.

13:13Copy video clip URL A tour bus drives by Schawb’s drugstore, place where actors hang out while waiting for work.

13:38Copy video clip URL We interview actors in Schwab’s about working. Joe Turkel, an actor, advises to never buy anything you cannot hawk – that is the standard rule for an actor. An actor who had a reoccurring role in “Gomer Pyle” says he made a fortune saying the phrase “Things really getting’ to you. Huh, Sarge?” He is sitting with his mother who says she was always supportive of her son’s decision. Another group of actors say that have tried to leave the business, but keep coming back. Another says an actor’s life is lonely. Another says, “I’ve been killed every way there is.”

17:10Copy video clip URL Benton on phone. Producer of “Police Woman.”  Says he is trying to get a “marquee guest star.”

17:35Copy video clip URL Teresa Parkinson does emotional scene for a “Police Woman” audition. Woman with slight lisp does better reading – Darlene Craviotto. Pam Serpi, who Benton recognizes because her father is “in the business,” ends up getting a part. We see her in a clip from the show.

22:05Copy video clip URL Tour bus shows star’s homes, including Lucille Ball’s.

23:00Copy video clip URL Winters and Kirkland talk about acting. Winters says that Kirkland must never dwell on the roles she has lost. Winters urges Kirkland to always consider it “their loss, not yours, if you don’t get the part.”

26:50Copy video clip URL Tour bus shows Winters’ house.

27:11Copy video clip URL Hunter tells story about fans who think that they are entitled to his attention, saying that “The fans didn’t make me. No, no, they’re all wrong.”

29:00Copy video clip URL Judy Thomas, manager, talks to Colpitts about her potential. Thomas calls Colpitts an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. She says that Colpitts hasn’t got a “Chinese chance” unless she starts meeting the right people.

29:20Copy video clip URL Robert Walden ends the show by telling us that acting is a crazy way for an adult to make a living.

29:50Copy video clip URL Credits.

31:30Copy video clip URL End of tape.


1 Comment

  1. lori says:

    I love the 70’s. I grew up in the 70’s. Great site. Do more ! Love the video.

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