Naive small-town youngster Helen Middleton (Barbara Read) dreams of nothing but Broadway success with her tragedy, "The End of Everything" ... boyfriend Ted Palmer (John Archer) just wants to marry her ... it's 1940, so you know who gets their wish in the end ... but first Helen is off to New York with "The End of Everything" ... In New York producer Jeff Crandall (Donald MacBride) and his partner/director Donald Avery (Alan Mowbray) scrap with their big star, Charlotte Morley (Helen Vinson), who wants out of her contract for the greener pastures of a rival producer ... Charlotte has one play left on her contract with Crandall ... Crandall and Avery can't afford to lose Charlotte, so Crandall hatches idea of forcing her to do the worst play ever written to complete contract—when Charlotte balks, Crandall and Avery will offer her an out: sign with them for another five years and they'll give her another play ... Crandall calls in his secretary, Smith (Leona Maricle), and asks if any bad plays have come through ... Smith has just finished reading one of the worst she's ever seen, "The End of Everything" ... Crandall and Avery can't wait for Charlotte to lay eyes on this career-breaker ... they're practically drooling when Charlotte comes to the office the next morning, except—she loves it ... Helen Middleton arrives in the city, now a professional playwright with a $500 check from Crandall and Avery for "The End of Everything" ... Crandall and Avery are now forced to produce Helen's play, as per Charlotte's contract ... Crandall and Avery fear their careers will be ruined if they go through with this ... Crandall sics Avery on Helen with order to romance the girl into accepting his story changes ... Charlotte is infuriated by Avery's changes, which ruin her character ... Charlotte convinces Helen to stand on her contractual rights, which include no script changes without approval ... Avery's inevitable blowup causes Helen to storm off, restoring rights of revision to the producing team ... Avery changes Helen's tragedy into a farce ... Charlotte doesn't even notice ... a rather meanspirited climax reveals to Helen how poor her play really was ... Luckily the boyfriend, Ted, is on hand to pick up the pieces ... decent situation inside an unrewarding story highlighted by excellent dialogue between the hardened theatrical people ... Mowbray and Vinson especially excel ... Leona Maricle, in limited role, always the smartest character in the room ... Dalton Trumbo credited with the screenplay, I'm assuming the wit is all his, but story framework belongs to writer Howard J. Green ... directed by Frank Woodruff ... my IMDb rating 6/10.
Lightning reviews are first impressions of movies I've yet to research for more detailed articles. Unlike my more polished full reviews there is little to no research here; sparse images and links; a more relaxed writing style. These are movies I'd love to eventually cover with a more fully developed article, but until time permits, here's the short version: