This homage to the childhood days of the motion pictures starts in 1910, when the young attorney Leo Harrigan by chance meets a motion picture producer. Immediately he’s invited to become a writer for him – the start of a sensational career.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
The long sequence on the plain with the fist fight, hot air balloon, etc. is wonderfully executed slapstick. Great cast as well. I haven't seen the "director's cut" in B&W, but the sepia tones of the theatrical version capture the period quite well. The D.W. Griffith cameo is elegant. That this was followed by the magnificent "Saint Jack" says a lot for Bogdanovich's range.
Ya, the director's cut, while not a perfect film, was very, very good, taking the screwball style developed in "What's Up, Doc" and applying it to a film filled with cinematic commentary. The Griffith worship is a little much (especially not including any racist scenes of "Birth of a Nation" in a ten minute excerpt) but this is a very overlooked film in the Bogdanovich oeuvre.