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The Great Morgan

The Great Morgan(1945)

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At the Culver City home of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, character actor Frank Morgan complains to his dresser that he is tired of being an actor and wants to be a producer. As he is talking, studio production head K. F. calls, and when Morgan harangues his boss about becoming a producer, K. F. decides to let Morgan try if he thinks that it is so easy. Soon Morgan is situated in a large office with the sign "Frank Morgan, Producer" on the door and is desperately trying to get a movie started, despite the fact that he forgets every story idea, does not know who studio sound department head Douglas Shearer is and has trouble remembering why he wants to contact costume designer Irene and art director Cedric Gibbons. Morgan finally gets his first property into production, a historical melodrama entitled The Burning Secret . The picture goes on the M-G-M production schedule, but while the other films on the lot are completed, The Burning Secret continues until it has been in production for more than sixty days. When the picture is finally done, K. F. wants to see the finished product right away, so a nervous Morgan goes into the editing room. The editor is skeptical of Morgan's ability to "help," but Morgan insists that he can edit the film himself. He is totally incompetent to do so, and soon drops cans of film and has a hard time putting the reels back together correctly. When he rushes into the studio screening room, K. F. and others from the studio are impatiently waiting. Morgan confidently says that he wants $10,000 for his producing services, but soon finds that he has accidentally cut a musical short, Musical Masterpieces into his own film. After a brief return to The Burning Secret , John Nesbitt's Passing Parade short, Our Old Car appears on the screen. Morgan nervously says that he will go fix the print, but K. F. tells him to be quiet because they are watching "John Nesbitt." After more editorial mixups, they wind up seeing only a few minutes of The Burning Secret , but are entertained by several musical numbers from other M-G-M pictures, featuring Eleanor Powell, the King Sisters, Virginia O'Brien and Tommy Dorsey, all of them from other M-G-M films, as well as a Pete Smith short entitled Badminton . When Morgan's opus finally ends, he squirms in his seat, then shows K. F. and the others where his place is--sitting in for "Leo," the roaring lion in the M-G-M logo. Finally, Leo replaces Morgan in the screening room and says "If I could only act."