Merton of the Movies

Read by Margaret Espaillat

(4.7 stars; 15 reviews)

Merton of the Movies is a comedy that centers around Merton Gill, an aspiring dramatic artist from Simsbury, Illinois who makes his way to Hollywood to become a serious actor. How could Merton fail in attaining his dreams after finishing a correspondence course from the General Film Production Company of Stebbinsville, Arkansas, certifying him to be a competent screen actor?

Harry Leon Wilson, the author, was a very popular humor writer in the first decades of the 20th century. This book was made into film several times, the last in 1947 starring Red Skelton. (Summary written by Margaret.) (0 hr 15 min)


01 - Dirty Work at the Border 25:17 Read by Margaret Espaillat
02 - That Night - The Apartments of Clifford Armytage 43:16 Read by Margaret Espaillat
03 - Western Stuff 57:49 Read by Margaret Espaillat
04 - The Watcher at the Gate 34:45 Read by Margaret Espaillat
05 - A Breach in the City Walls 45:28 Read by Margaret Espaillat
06a - Under the Glass Tops, part 1 32:47 Read by Margaret Espaillat
06b - Under the Glass Tops, part 2 30:11 Read by Margaret Espaillat
07 - "Nothing To-Day, Dear!" 48:28 Read by Margaret Espaillat
08 - Clifford Armytage, the Outlaw 22:23 Read by Margaret Espaillat
09 - More Ways than One 28:56 Read by Margaret Espaillat
10 - Of Shattered Illusions 29:40 Read by Margaret Espaillat
11 - The Montague Girl Intervenes 51:40 Read by Margaret Espaillat
12 - Alias Harold Parmalee 39:36 Read by Margaret Espaillat
13 - Genius Comes into its Own 29:28 Read by Margaret Espaillat
14 - Out There Where Men are Men 37:50 Read by Margaret Espaillat
15 - A New Trail 34:24 Read by Margaret Espaillat
16 - Of Sarah Nevada Montague 31:18 Read by Margaret Espaillat
17 - Miss Montague Uses her Own Face 37:10 Read by Margaret Espaillat
18 - "Five Reels - 500 Laughs" 32:06 Read by Margaret Espaillat
19 - The Tragic Comedian 24:29 Read by Margaret Espaillat
20 - Onward and Upward 18:16 Read by Margaret Espaillat


Film Fun

(4 stars)

A good reading of an amusing book. Merton is a small town hick who dreams of being a movie star and so goes to Hollywood to try his luck, all the while infatuated by an ideal view of film making, in particular a female actress of the 'Perils of Pauline' type. Once there, he does have eventual success, but not in the way he might have hoped for. The central weakness of the book is Merton's sustained naivety, which sometimes stretches belief too far, this while the detailed recounting of scenarios, if amusing, can slow matters down. Only one chapter (19) falls a little flat IMHO, labouring what should have been conveyed implicitly. However the overall warmth of Merton's character is a winner and those who enjoy cinema of the late 20's early 30's ought to hear this. (Harold Lloyd's 'Movie Crazy' was loosely inspired by this book, and is worth seeing.)

This was great!

(5 stars)

I found this glimpse into the days of silent movie making extremely interesting. I'm a fan of silent movies, and in some ways I think they were a higher art form (Merton would agree with me, I think)than the talkies - much more international, easy to translate, for instance. The characters were very very charming as was the plot, though I agree with the reviewer above that on occasion extended details of scenarios slowed things down a bit. As for the reader, Margaret Espaillat, I think that she was PERFECT! This is one of my very favorite Librivox books!

(5 stars)

Very enjoyable. Humor along with interesting description of movie sets and the action taking place within them. I would give it 6 stars if I could. Also a big thank you to the reader who did an excellent job, adding more humor in one incident where the neighborhood children loudly inform everyone of the main character's embarrassing incident.

(5 stars)

Interesting! I have watched two movies “Make Me A Star”( Stuart Erwin) and “Merton Of The Movies”( Red Skelton) based on this book! The book was very well read. It was much more comprehensive than I expected. The movies are both pretty light by comparison and hit on different aspects of the book!

Well worth a listen

(5 stars)

I'd never before heard of the book or its author, and it was a pleasant discovery. The story is well written, with first-rate dialogue, and it gives a fascinating picture of the early days of Hollywood. The narration by Margaret could hardly be better.

A charming, hilarious tale.

(5 stars)

I wonder if they ever made this story into a movie?

Good Read

(4.5 stars)

A too read. Reader was also enjoyable to listen to.

Merton of the Movies

(5 stars)

Well Read, Fun listen and recommended... Thanks!