Showing posts with label Pre-Codes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pre-Codes. Show all posts

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Ladies They Talk About (1933)


Ladies They Talk About (1933) is one of the original women-in-prison films and is perfectly suited for the Pre-Code era. Directed by Howard Bretherton and William Keighley for Warner Bros., Barbara Stanwyck stars as Nan Taylor, a glamorous gun moll and a member of a bank robbing gang led by Don (Lyle Talbot) and Lefty (Harold Huber). Nan is a career criminal and has her job down pat. She's just needs to distract the cops and the people in charge while her cohorts do the dirty work. But one day her plan doesn't quite work out and she ends up in the clink. The comes her knight-in-shining-armor David Slade (Preston Foster). He's a hymn shouting reformer who broadcasts his religious sermons over the radio and hosts popular revivals in the city. He's got significant influence on the public and on local politicians and he takes a particular interest in Nan. It doesn't hurt that he's attracted to her too. Nan isn't quite sure about him and while he tries to save her from a conviction she winds up in San Quentin (when they used to house both male and female prisoners) anyways.

Now Nan needs to navigate the social politics of a women's prison. She quickly befriends the spunky and no-nonsense Linda (Lillian Roth) who becomes her sidekick. Linda introduces Nan to a motley crew of characters. There's Aunt Maggie (Maude Eburne), a former madame and an important ally for Nan. Mustard (Madame Sul-Te-Wan) who gets into quite the battle of social dominance with a seemingly high-and-mighty prisoner. Keeping watch over the crew is Noonan (Ruth Donnelly) a hard-nose but sympathetic prison matron who always has a cockatoo on her shoulder. Nan makes an enemy in Susie (Dorothy Burgess), one of David Slade's devoted followers who seethes with jealousy at Nan's romantic connection with him. Nan soon needs to decide whether she's going to give this David Slade guy a chance or risk it all by continuing her life of crime.




You really can't go wrong with a Pre-Code prison movie. There are so many good ones of the era including 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932), Paid (1930) and my personal favorite The Big House (1930) (which I reviewed here). Ladies They Talk About is thoroughly enjoyable despite a rather weak romantic storyline. The main draw really is the women-in-prison sequences. There's a reason this subgenre became popular during the exploitation era. It's titillating! Ladies They Talk About really has fun with the women's prison. Barbara Stanwyck's cell is decked out with fancy pillows, dolls, flowers, a dresser and even a gramophone to play records. The prisoners smoke cigarettes, do their hair and makeup and wear lingerie. One of them even gets to keep a pet dog. The film offers some outrageous fun with a crime drama and opposites-attract love story serving as just window dressing. How many other films boast Lillian Roth singing a love song to a picture of Joe E. Brown?!

Revisiting Ladies They Talk About sent me down the research rabbit hole about radio evangelism of the 1920s/1930s. While most people forget Preston Foster is even in this movie, I took special note of his character on this viewing. They tone down the religious elements—most likely to not offend any denominational groups—but it's clear that Foster's character represents the era when these figures influenced public morality through radio broadcasts and in-person revivals. This subject matter comes into play more prominently in another Barbara Stanwyck Pre-Code movie The Miracle Woman (1931) in which she plays an Aimee Semple McPherson type.




Ladies They Talk About was based on the play Women in Prison by Dorothy Mackaye who based the story on her own time locked up in San Quentin. In the late 1920s, Mackaye was a stage actress married to song-and-dance performer Ray Raymond and embroiled in a passionate affair with another actor Paul Kelly. On April 26th, 1927, a drunk Raymond and an equally drunk Kelly got into a fight at Raymond and Mackaye's apartment. Kelly beat Raymond so brutally that when Raytmond went to bed that night he fell asleep and never woke up. Mackaye tried to clean up the mess her lover made by bribing the coroner to change her husband's autopsy report finding from blunt force trauma to natural causes. Her scheme backfired. Both Kelly and Mackaye went to trial, were convicted and subsequently sent to San Quentin. Mackaye and Kelly reunited and married once Kelly served his time. She wrote about her experience in a play and Kelly was able to continue his acting career.  I haven't gotten my hands on the original play yet but I'd be curious to see how much of her own story was in the play and what was changed for the movie adaptation.





Ladies They Talk About (1933) is available on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive Collection. It’s also available on DVD in volume #5 of the Forbidden Hollywood series.

The Blu-ray is from a 1080p HD Master from 4K scan of the original nitrate camera negative. Bonus features include English language subtitles, a theatrical trailer and the Warner cartoon Merrie Melodies: I Like Mountain Music


Thank you to the Warner Archive Collection for sending me Ladies They Talk About for review!


I share more thoughts about the film and the Blu-ray on episode #6 of The Classic Movie Roundup on YouTube. Watch here:


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Hot Saturday (1932)


Bank clerk Ruth (Nancy Carroll) is a prized date for a "hot Saturday". Fellow bank employees Archie (Grady Sutton) and Connie (Edward Woods) have their eye on Ruth. But they're about to face major competition with rich playboy Romer (Cary Grant). He's invited the bank employees and all their friends for a weekend party at his lakeside mansion. It's an opportunity for Romer to get some extra time with the beautiful Ruth who attends the party with Connie. When Ruth rejects Connie's advances, he plants a false rumor that Ruth slept overnight at Romer's mansion. Aided by Ruth's archnemesis Eva (Lilian Bond), the rumor spreads like wildfire causing chaos. Her old love interest Bill (Randolph Scott) wants Ruth to marry him, much to the delight of her parents Ida (Jane Darwell) and Harry (William Collier Sr.) but what will happen once he finds out about Romer?

Directed by William A. Seiter, Hot Saturday (1932) is a vivacious jazz age drama that explores sexual politics and how rumor and scandal had devastating effects on women in society. This is Cary Grant's first leading role. It's an unusual characterization of a wealthy playboy. Romer is a genuine guy throughout. He has no machinations and his character doesn't have to overcome any moral failings to win the girl. Romer genuinely likes Ruth. This contracts with Connie, played by Edward Woods of Public Enemy fame, who isolates Ruth and comes close to sexually assaulting her. Nancy Carroll plays into the sweetheart role as a young middle class woman who gets caught up in a bad situation. Randolph Scott's character doesn't appear until half way through the movie. Bill has the appearance of being a nice guy but he ends up being just as toxic as the rest of them. It's interesting that both the playboy and the nice guy do not meet our expectations of their roles in the story. 

This film is a pre-code but it lacks some of the spice that comes with movies from that era, especially ones that deal directly with sex and morality. Carroll does the typical undressing scene that we've all witnessed in many a pre-code (she also partially undress her teen sister Annie, played by Rose Coghlan but the camera moves away so we don't see anything). Ruth sleeping with Romer is boldly suggested a few times throughout the story. She's also put in various precarious positions where she is vulnerable to sexual assault. Otherwise, it's a very tame pre-code film.

For those who love the era, Hot Saturday (1932) is a time capsule of early 1930s frivolities. Cary Grant's character Romer is driven by a chauffeur in this car with what almost looks like a rumble seat. Romer and his date sit with their laps covered by a partial hood which the chauffeur has to lift it up to let them out. (If anyone has more details on this car please let me know!). It's fascinating to look at but seems quite dangerous. At Romer's lakeside mansion party, he has a custom made hot dog/milkshake cart which is wheeled around the party to serve the guests. Carroll wears a variety of fun outfits including cloche hats and secretary style blouses and dresses.

Hot Saturday (1932) is available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber. It includes subtitles in English, a reversible cover (see both sides below) and commentary from film historian Lee Gambin. The commentary was really fascinating. There is a lot of cultural context given and some really interesting insights into how the film portrays the societal mores and gender politics of the time. There were times I didn't agree with Gambin's perspective. He notes that Edward Woods comes off as a good guy in the role of Connie and then he takes an unexpectedly dark turn. As a woman I knew from the very first scene that Connie was up to no good so his character's story arc was no surprise. This is definitely a movie that women and men will interpret differently.







Thank you to Kino Lorber for sending me Hot Saturday (1932) for review!

Friday, November 27, 2020

Video: Female Led Pre-Code Movies

I had a wonderful time chatting with Robert and Stephen of the YouTube channel Coffee with Aliens at the Movies about women in Pre-Code film. We discussed The Divorcee (1930), Blonde Crazy (1931), Working Girls (1931), Millie (1931), Safe in Hell (1931), Baby Face (1933), Female (1933) and Design for Living (1933). I hope you'll check out our discussion and subscribe to their channel!


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Professional Sweetheart (1933)


"I want to sin and suffer. But right now I only suffer." - Glory

Miss Glory Eden (Ginger Rogers), aka The Purity Girl, is a radio sensation. Ipswich (Gregory Ratoff), the owner of the Ippsie Wippsie Wash Cloth Company, which runs their own sponsored radio station, is desperate to lock down Glory with a brand new contract. But Glory has other ideas. As the baby-voiced model of purity and innocence, the management team tightly controls her public image. Herbert (Franklin Pangborn) is in charge of Glory's wardrobe and diet and Ipswich's cohorts including his right-hand men Speed (Frank McHugh) and Winston (Frank Darien) do his bidding to protect their collective property. Glory is jealous of her maid Vera (Theresa Harris) who has a boyfriend and goes out dancing at night clubs in Harlem. Glory wants to live life on her terms! Complicating matters is Ipswich's rival the Kelsey Dish Rag Co. who wants to steal Glory away from them and sends agent O'Connor (Allen Jenkins) off to sabotage Ipswich's plans. So the Ippsie Wippsie crew comes up with a plan. They want to get Glory a beau. They zero in on Jim (Norman Foster), a simple country man from Kentucky who was plucked out of a batch of prospective fan letters. They bring him to New York City and thus starts the media circus of publicity stunts that journalists, including the clueless Elmerada (Zasu Pitts) and mid-mannered Stu (Sterling Holloway), just lap up. No one stops to think what Glory really wants... except for Jim. Will Glory find true happiness in the midst of all of this chaos?




Professional Sweetheart (1933) was directed by William A. Seiter for RKO. The story was written by Maurine Dallas Watkins, best known for her stage play Chicago. This Ginger Rogers' first film for RKO and later that year she signed her own contract with them. Norman Foster was loaned out from Fox to play the leading man.

The biggest draw for me to this film was the cast. There were so many of my favorites crammed into one 79 minute movie: Ginger Rogers, Theresa Harris, Frank McHugh, Allen Jenkins, Zasu Pitts and Sterling Holloway. Wow! My perennial favorite Akim Tamiroff has a small role as the hotel waiter who takes Frank Pangborn's elaborate food order.

Speaking of food, I love to see how it's represented in early films. I was delighted with one scene in particular when characters discuss what they'd like to order from the hotel room service.

What Glory (Ginger Rogers) wants to order: caviar, lobster in wine, avocado salad, champagne, fruit salad with whipped cream, nuts and maraschino cherries
What Herbert (Franklin Pangborn) orders for Glory: breast of young chicken on whole wheat toast with no mayonnaise, unsalted butter, baked apples with cream (certified not pasteurized), cocoa (not chocolate).
What Herbert (Franklin Pangborn) orders for himself: caviar, Lobster Thermidor, avocado salad, fruit salad with whipped cream, nuts and maraschino cherries, chocolate ice cream, hot fudge sauce and marshmallow cake.
What Speed (Frank McHugh) orders for Elmerada (Zasu Pitts) to delay her: Baked Alaska (because it takes 20 minutes to make.)




"You don't kiss like you look." - Glory

Professional Sweetheart warns viewers of the dangers of treating humans like commodities although it wraps up nicely in the end. Glory as a character can be insufferable with her spoiled behavior and tantrums. She wasn't winning any points from me with her blatant distaste for books. But you can't help sympathize with her. She just wants her personal freedom. That's something everyone deserves.

The film spices things up by featuring Ginger Rogers in various states of undress giving it some Pre-Code flavor. Allen Jenkins is probably the most suave I've ever seen him in a film role. As O'Connor he uses his knowledge of romantic relationships, women ("I know dames backwards.") and business to manipulate the different characters.

Unfortunately the racism in this film is quite palpable. The management team clearly wants to appeal to a conservative white audience ("It doesn't look good to the corn belt."). When they search for Glory's prospective beau they make it clear that he has to be as white and pure as possible. Especially after Glory has expressed her desire to visit Harlem. Frank McHugh's Speed travels to "Home of the Purest Anglo-Saxons" to find Jim (Norman Foster).

Theresa Harris has a marvelous role as Glory's maid and friend Vera. Glory wants Vera's lifestyle as a young woman living it up in New York City. Both Harris and her character get the shaft. Harris has a substantial role, even more so than Sterling Holloway who only speaks a few lines and gets on screen credit where Harris remains uncredited. Vera is Glory's superior when it comes to her singing skills and we get one glorious scene where Vera takes over Glory's show delivering a sexier and more adult voice over the waves. Vera disappears shortly after as the story wraps up in Glory's favor.




Professional Sweetheart (1933) is a lighthearted Pre-Code with a fantastic cast and a lot of charm. It suffers from the trappings of the era most notably in the depiction of gender and race.





Professional Sweetheart (1933) is available on DVD-MOD from the Warner Archive Collection and can be purchased at the WB Shop. When you use my buy links you help support this site. Thank you!

This is the film's DVD debut. George, D.W. and Matt of the Warner Archive Podcast discuss this film in the January episode Jungle Kings, Giants and Jokers.

Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I feature titles from the Warner Archive Collection. Thank you to Warner Archive for sending me copy of Professional Sweetheart (1933).

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Forbidden Hollywood by Mark A. Vieira

Forbidden Hollywood
The Pre-Code Era (1930-1934)
When Sin Ruled the Movies
by Mark A. Vieira
TCM and Running Press
Hardcover ISBN: 9780762466771
April 2019
252 pages

AmazonBarnes and Noble Powells TCM Shop


"Pre-Code refers to the four-year period before the Production Code was strengthened and enforced. There had been a Code since 1930, but the studios negotiated with it, bypassed it, or just plain ignored it." - Mark A. Vieira

For true classic movie fans, it's not enough to just watch our favorite films. We need to extend the experience. We watch, research, learn, share, repeat. We relish the details. One of the reasons I love classic film books is that they provide me with context on why these films were made. They help me understand how movies were influenced by politics, culture, social mores, industry trends and the lives and careers of the key players involved.

Mark A. Vieira's new book Forbidden Hollywood does just that for the Pre-Code era. It provides the context needed to fully appreciate what made 1930-1934 a unique period in film history. Movies were an increasingly popular form of entertainment and with the threat of government regulation looming over them, Hollywood decided to self-regulate. But during the Great Depression, stakes were high and a power struggle ensued between the studios and the censors. Who were the people on both sides of the table? First who have the studio execs, the directors, the producers, the writers who were all trying to circumnavigate the system, one they had originally agreed upon but prevented them from producing the scandalous movies that Depression era audiences would put their hard earned money towards. On the other side you have the censors, Will Hays, Joseph Breen, the MPPDA, the SRC and countless state regulators who were fighting a losing battle. When the censors finally put their foot down and the production Code was finally enforced the way it was intended to be, the Pre-Code era was officially over.

Forbidden Hollywood is the ideal film book. It's the perfect marriage of information and entertainment. The text focuses on the people behind-the-scenes and the beautiful photographs showcase those in front of the camera. This coffee table style book is compact enough to read comfortably but large enough to be displayed in all its glory. The text starts with an introduction from the author and a section devoted to the 1920s, which set the stage for what was to come. Then each section is a year-by-year analysis, breaking down the escalating factors that made Hollywood filmmakers bolder and the censors weaker. Within each section are chapters based on themes that help readers tie the threads together of what exactly what was going on in the Pre-Code era. And for anyone whose studied this era, it's not an easy one to follow which makes Vieira's direction all that more helpful.


Source: Running Press

Source: Running Press

Source: Running Press


Some of the films discussed include:
Little Caesar (1931)
The Public Enemy (1931)
A Free Soul (1931)
Mata Hari (1931)
The Easiest Way (1931)
Possessed (1931)
Cock of the Air (1932)
Scarface (1932)
Red Headed Woman (1932)
Grand Hotel (1932)
The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)
Freaks (1932)
Call Her Savage (1932)
Sign of the Cross (1932)
Island of Lost Souls (1932)
So This Is Africa (1933)
She Done Him Wrong (1933)
42nd Street (1933)
Gold Diggers of 1933
Footlight Parade (1933)
Baby Face (1933)
Tarzan and His Mate (1934)
and more

If you want to know more about how the book is structured, what it looks like inside and more, check out my video review of the book below!




Make sure you check out my interview with Mark A. Vieira on the TCM website and the TCM Tumblr (which has some additional images!).

Thank you to Running Press for a review copy of this book!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Gay Bride (1934)

Chester Morris, Nat Pendleton, Carole Lombard and Zasu Pitts in The Gay Bride (1934)

1934 was a transitional year in the film industry. The Hays Code, which had been in effect for years but not strictly enforced, was now the law of the land. Hollywood got away with a lot in those few years between the advent of talking pictures and the enforcement of the Code. Pre-Code films went on to become a genre much beloved by future generations of film buffs because of how these early 1930s films pushed boundaries. In an effort to conform to this new censorship, post-code films went through a scrubbing of content, washing away much of what titillated audiences . In 1934 especially, filmmakers were trying to figure out how to get their pre-code stories to fit into this new post-code mold. The Gay Bride (1934) is an example of how fitting a round peg into a square hole just didn't quite work out.

The Gay Bride stars Carole Lombard as Mary, a chorus girl looking to lock her wealthy racketeer boyfriend Shoots Magiz (Nat Pendleton) into holy matrimony. Ignoring the warnings of her trusty sidekick Mirabelle (Zasu Pitts), she manages to snag her cash cow. Due to the nature of his business and its occupational hazards, Mary makes quick work to secure her fortune. On her wedding night, her lawyer finalizes Shoots' will and the next day they set off on a cruise to Europe so Mary can shop to her hearts delight. When Shoots and Mary come back from their mostly disastrous trip (only Greece would have them), more trouble awaits. Shoot's assistant Jimmie (Chester Morris), affectionately referred to as Office Boy, is the only member of Shoots' crew with any common sense. He tries to protect his boss from his impending financial failure but can't protect him from the ill intentions of Mikey The Greek (Leo Carillo) and Daniel J. Dingle (Sam Hardy). All three men have an eye for Mary and one of them is set on removing Shoots permanently. Mary's desire for financial security hangs in the balance as she discovers that mob life is more than she bargained for.


"I wondered when you boys were going to tumble."

Based on Charles Francis Coe's novel Repeal, the title was changed and the story adapted to the screen by husband and wife writing team Sam and Bella Spewack, best known for their collaboration on Broadway play turned movie Kiss Me Kate. This is the only MGM film featuring Paramount star Carole Lombard. MGM was known for quality productions (or as Warner Archive's George Feltenstein called it "the Tiffany's of movie studios) and Lombard assumed this film would be one too. However, her costar Chester Morris knew it was a dud from the start. The film was directed by Jack Conway, a mainstay in the MGM stable of talent. Conway could be counted on to deliver movies to the studio execs on budget and on time.

The Gay Bride was panned by critics and did not perform well at the box office. However Carole Lombard was a bankable star and theatres made the most of it. According to Carole Lombard biographer Michelle Morgan, "The idea of Carole playing a 'gold-digging chiseller' inspired the Lowe's State Theatre in New Orleans to give out special 'Chiseller Club' membership cards to their patrons, with Carole listed as secretary. Nearby stores were also utilized and included movie-inspired floral displays in bridal shops and hair displays in a beauty parlor."

Chester Morris, Carole Lombard and Nat Pendleton in The Gay Bride (1934)


"When you missed meals as a kid money becomes awfully important."

The story had a lot of potential. I was particularly interested in Mary's motivations. She's a glamorous chorus girl who courts the attention of notorious racketeer. Having grown up desperately poor she's hell bent on having a financially secure future. In one scene, Mary tells Mirabelle that she's not about a quick buck rather she wants to have enough money to live comfortably into her 50s, 60s and beyond. A richer story would have explored Mary's history and fleshed out the characters. The final result is a movie that is enjoyable but on the whole superficial.

The Gay Bride is a hybrid of several popular genres. It starts out as a backstage story, morphs into a gangster flick, then into a screwball comedy and ends with a romance. Tying it all together is this thread living through the Great Depression. While the story and characters are lacking, viewers will be delighted by the superb cast including some 1930s all-stars like Carole Lombard, Chester Morris, Nat Pendleton and Zasu Pitts, who are all personal favorites of mine. Actor Gene Lockhart has a small uncredited role. The movie's dialogue is witty and I found myself writing down several fun quotes. I'd be interested in reading the original source material to see what potential there was in making The Gay Bride/Repeal into a Pre-Code film.



The Gay Bride (1934) is available on DVD-MOD from the Warner Archive Collection. You can hear the WAC trio George, D.W. and Matt discuss the film on the Warner Archive Podcast.


Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. Thank you to Warner Archive for sending me a copy of The Gay Bride (1934) to review!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Topaze (1933)

Myrna Loy and John Barrymore in Topaze
Myrna Loy and John Barrymore in Topaze

Professor Auguste A. Topaze (John Barrymore) teaches his young pupils about the moral philosophies that will make them honest and kind men. But one spoiled little rich kid, Charlemagne (Jackie Searl) doesn't want to hear it. Topaze gives him failing grades but doesn't realize what he's up against: The La Tour La Tour family. Baron Philippe (Reginald Mason) is the patriarch. He splits his time between his mansion where he lives with his neurotic wife Baroness Hortense (Jobyna Howland) and his son, the aforementioned failing student. The rest of the time he spends in his grand Art Deco apartment with his fashionable mistress Coco (Myrna Loy). When Charlemagne's tantrums leads Hortense to get Topaze fired from his job, Philippe offers Topaze a proposition. Help him create Sparkling Topaze, a tonic cure-all. Topaze takes this opportunity to use his education in chemistry for good. What he doesn't realize is that he's essentially a frontman for a money making scheme meant to fool the general public. And Topaze, enamored with Coco who quickly develops an affection for him, doesn't realize what's going on between her and Philippe. Will the morally minded Topaze's world fall apart when he learns the truth?

Directed by Harry d'Abbadie d'ArrastTopaze (1933) is half fun, half serious and all Pre-Code. The fun comes from La Tour La Tour's scheming (and let's be honest, his ridiculous name is also a factor), the Art Deco splendor and the foolish antics of the upper class. The seriousness comes from Topaze's commitment to living a transparent and moral life. We raise our fists at La Tour La Tour for trying to corrupt this gentle soul who only wants to pave the way for good in the world. The Pre-Code comes from the blatant adultery as well as from some of the sexual connotations and innuendoes. The film ends with a marquee reading Men and Women Sin, Twice Daily, with that last part blinking over and over again in neon lights.

Based on a French play by Marcel Pagnol, Topaze was adapted to screen by writers Ben Hecht and Benn W. Levy. While the story is set in France and there are some references to French life, the movie has a decidedly American feel. Perhaps it's because of the political theme that runs throughout. Topaze is accused of being a Communist because of his philosophies and the Barron La Tour La Tour exemplifies Capitalistic greed. While this film comes during the Pre-Code era, it still had to be toned down. An American movie about an older man having a rather open affair with a younger woman can be excused for it's French sensibilities. Audiences could easily displace the fault to the other side of the Atlantic. The end result was saucy enough that the censors banned the film in 1936. The play was adapted to film in France in 1933, 1936 and 1951. It was also adapted in Britain as Mr. Topaze starring Peter Sellers in 1961.

Topaze was produced by David O. Selznick for RKO. John Barrymore does a marvelous job as the awkward old professor with high ideals. He's matched beautifully with Myrna Loy who is fabulous despite not having much to do in the film. Despite the marvelous cast, this film is so-so. I wasn't quite captivated by it as I'd hoped. It's worth seeing though for the social message but most importantly the mind-blowing Art Deco apartment that La Tour La Tour keeps with his mistress. It's a thing of beauty. It boasts the clean lines, empty white spaces and exoticism that makes me love that aesthetic so much. The apartment has circular rooms, square chairs, opulent door handles, a fire place with snake plants growing out of built-in planters, lamps with sculpted hands as the base, ridiculously narrow shelves with tiny ornaments and an Art Deco clock I wanted to steal. I was ready to pack my bags and move in.





Topaze (1933) is available on Blu-Ray from Kino Lorber. The extras include commentary by Kat Ellinger and trailers from other Kino Lorber classics. There are no subtitle options for this disc.

Many thanks to Kino Lorber for sending me a copy of the Blu-Ray for review!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Goodbye Again (1933)


Goodbye Again (1933)


Author Kenneth Bixby (Warren William) is one hot ticket. His sensational novels are titillating lady readers all over the country. Bixby and his secretary Anne (Joan Blondell) are on a nation wide book tour and have made a pit stop in Cleveland. Anne, who is a secretary by name but is practically his wife in all other respects, tends to Bixby's hectic schedule, his meals, his growing scrapbook and the multitude of calls for lectures and bookstore visits. But Bixby is more interested in attending prize fights than he is giving short informal talks or autographs to his adoring fans. And a possible distraction for this perennial playboy is just around the corner. Housewife Julie (Genevieve Tobin) is bored with her life and her mild mannered husband Harvey (Hugh Hubert). Her obsession with Bixby, with whom she once had a fling, has turned her into a crazed fan. Julie is convinced she's the inspiration for all his passionate novels. Julie and Bixby have an affair while Julie's uptight sister Elizabeth (Helen Chandler) and brother-in-law Arthur (Wallace Ford) try to separate them to save Julie's marriage. Caught in the middle is the long suffering Anne who sees her beloved Bixby slipping away from her and Bixby who wants nothing to do with outrageous situation. Can sensible Anne get Bixby out of this jam?


Goodbye Again (1933)

Joan Blondell in Goodbye Again (1933)

Goodbye Again (1933)


Goodbye Again (1933) is a ridiculous movie that has to be seen to be believed. This film is full of outrageous antics, zippy one-liners and a love triangle so twisted it will make your head spin. When does this guy have time to write his books? It's amazing how much comedy they tried to fit in only 66 minutes. And like many Pre-Codes, Goodbye Again is infused with sexual innuendos and scenarios. Bixby and Julie have a full on affair and Anne practically lives with Bixby while they're on the road. At one point Bixby pretends to have a son and he claims that he's not married, just "bohemian". Based on a successful play by Allan Scott and George Haight, Goodbye Again was directed by Michael Curtiz for First National picture after they had merged with Warner Bros.


Goodbye Again (1933)

Goodbye Again (1933)


Warren William and Joan Blondell were two of the most dynamic on screen personalities in the Pre-Code era. This is one of five feature films they appeared in together. The others were Three on a Match (1932), Gold Diggers of 1933Smarty (1934) and Stage Struck (1936). William and Blondell are the two biggest reasons to watch this film. William fits the bill as the remorseful playboy and Blondell is at her best as the wise-cracking and sensible dame. Tobin was a bit too over-the-top for my taste but it's what her character called for. And there wasn't nearly enough for Hugh Hubert to do.

You have to be in the mood for a zany whackadoodle film to appreciate Goodbye Again. This short screwball comedy moves so quickly that you'll have to watch it a second time to catch what you missed. In Alan K. Rode's book Michael Curtiz: A Life, he says 

"Blondell was never better than in this film. She serves up smart-aleck palaver to William, who volleys it right back... Variety got it exactly right, 'Perfect for audiences of quick wit, but too slick for others.' Fortunately, there were enough clever theatergoers who appreciated this amusing picture."




Goodbye Again (1933) is available on DVD-MOD from the Warner Archive Collection and can be purchased at the WB Shop. You can hear George Feltenstein, Matt Patterson and D.W. Ferranti discuss this movie on the Warner Archive podcast. This movie makes its home video debut with this DVD release.

Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. Thank you to Warner Archive for sending me a copy of Goodbye Again (1933) to review!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I Like Your Nerve (1931)

I Like Your Nerve (1931) title card


"Why must you always be so unsociable in motor cars?"

Rich people behaving badly always makes for good comedy. The Pre-Code I Like Your Nerve (1931) stars Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as Larry O'Brien, an American causing mayhem in Central America. He gets booted out by the local authorities but decides to stay when he spies the beautiful young Diane Forsythe (Loretta Young). They have a brief meet-cute moment before she's off. Once he finds out she's American and not a local, he sets his sights on her. Diane likes the look of Larry, and his nerve!, but she's already spoken for. Her step-father Areal Pacheco (Henry Kolker), is the Minister of Finance for the unnamed Central American country, he's set her up with middle-aged businessman Clive Lattimer (Edmund Breon). Pacheco has been dipping into government funds and Lattimer's $200k would help him avoid the fate of the previous Ministers of Finance which have all been killed for their corruption. Meanwhile, up-to-no-good Larry gets bailed out of jail by his "eternal bachelor" friend Archie Lester (Claud Allister) and sets off to break up Diane and her fiancee. Can he win Diane's affections and save her step-father from the firing squad? Not without some hilarious antics and trickery.


Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in I Like Your Nerve (1931)

Loretta Young in I Like Your Nerve (1931)

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in I Like Your Nerve (1931)


Loretta Young in I Like Your Nerve (1931)


I Like Your Nerve was directed by William C. McGann for First National Pictures. That studio had been absorbed by Warner Bros. but was still making pictures under that name. McGann had a career directing B pictures and went on to work as a cinematographer and special effects technician. The story is based on an original idea by Roland Pertwee and adapted by Houston Branch. Boris Karloff is in the film but has a dreadfully small and rather useless role as Luigi, the butler for the Pacheco mansion.

I love really early talkies and can forgive some of the clunkiness of the final product. The film industry was still trying to work out the kinks of their transition from silents to talkies. Some people are turned off by this by I find it quite charming. I was even amused by the choice of music which often times didn't even match what was going on in the story.

Technically I Like Your Nerve is not complete. According to the AFI:

"Contemporary reviews describe an opening scene that was not in the viewed film. In this scene, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. is a spectacled bookworm with a straight-laced mother who goes to the tropics when a fortune-teller advises him to travel to Central America."

This may explain why the beginning of the film seems so abrupt. However, it also feels out of character for Larry who is more playboy than bookworm. Unless the fortune-teller encounter somehow transformed him.

I Like Your Nerve is more silly comedy than racy Pre-Code. The stars Loretta Young and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. are delightful in this frothy, cheesy romp. I generally don't care for Loretta Young except for in her early films. Cars play an important role in the film. They are harbingers of chaos but also a means for the couple to be together. I love vintage cars and enjoyed watching these early models zipping through different scenes.

The film is only 62 minutes long and if you want a palate cleanser after a long or difficult movie, this would be a good fit. It's a bit backwards, a bit sexist and the Central American setting (why couldn't they have picked a country?) is more a plot device than anything substantial. It's just a fun movie that you shouldn't take too seriously.




I Like Your Nerve (1931) is available on DVD-MOD from the Warner Archive Collection. You can listen to George Feltenstein, D.W. Ferranti and Matt Patterson of WAC discuss this film on their podcast. D.W. calls this film "bonkers" and Matt calls Fairbanks Jr. "anarchy in an automobile". Both are statements I heartily agree with.


Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. Thank you to Warner Archive for sending me a copy of I Like Your Nerve (1931) to review!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Miracle Woman (1931)



"Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing..."


Barbara Stanwyck stars in The Miracle Woman (1931) as Florence Fallon, the daughter of a preacher. Her father dies of heartbreak when his parish replaced him with a younger man. The disillusioned Florence lashes out at the parish. Witnessing this is con man Bob Hornsby (Sam Hardy). The delivery of her impassioned speech inspires him and he convinces her to use her talents to make a tidy profit. He proclaims, "religion is great if you can sell it, no good if you give it away." Bob transforms Florence into Sister Fallon, a radio evangelist whose religious messages make her a nationwide sensation. They put on elaborate shows at Fallon's tabernacle using trickery to fool the masses into believing she can perform miracles.

Everything goes to plan until John Carson (David Manners) comes into Florence's life. John is a former Air Force pilot gone blind. He spends his days in his apartment, composing music, practicing with his ventriloquist dummy and interacting with his landlady/helper Mrs. Higgins (Beryl Mercer). Depressed about his situation, he writes a suicide note and plans to jump out of the window. He hears Florence's radio broadcast and her words save him. John seeks out the woman who gave him a new lease on life. During one of Sister Fallon's tabernacle spectacles, John joins Florence on stage while they are both in a cage of lions. John doesn't realize Florence is a scam artist when he falls in love with her. As the two spend time together, Florence falls for John too. Florence starts to doubt herself, the people she's hurting and starts to imagine a different life. Will she be able to get out of her situation and keep John? And can she wrangle herself away from her manager Bob's stronghold?

Barbara Stanwyck and David Manners in The Miracle Woman (1931)


The Miracle Woman (1931) is a Pre-Code film with a critical eye and a tender heart. It explores the dangers of using religion for greed and also what it means to see someone for who they truly are rather than what they pretend to be. Florence and John experience awakenings and rebirths as their stories progress. One could see this as a criticism of religion but I saw it as a warning against using faith for personal gain. I was enamored with the love story which is the heart and soul of the film.

Directed by Frank Capra for Columbia Studios, The Miracle Woman was based on John Meehan and Robert Riskin's play Bless You Sister and acquired by Harry Cohn. The story is loosely inspired by Aimee Semple McPherson, a Pentecostal evangelist famous in the 1920s and 1930s. The original play was a failure on Broadway. However Capra saw potential in the story especially after the success of George M. Cohan's The Miracle Man which was later adapted into a movie in 1919. Capra brought on Riskin to adapt the screenplay. Riskin was still traumatized by the failure of his Broadway production didn't think the story would work as a film. Capra then hired screenwriter Jo Swerling to take over. With a hat tip to The Miracle Man the title was changed to The Miracle Woman. Some details were changed including the name of the protagonist as well as the details involved with Florence meeting John Carson.

The movie was Capra's second of five collaborations with Barbara Stanwyck. David Manners was loaned out by First National for his part. He became famous for his role as John Harker in Dracula (1931). In later years he claimed to have never seen Dracula and asked that fans not send him copies of the film. Manners is absolutely charming in his role as John Carson. And it's clear that Capra was captivated with Stanwyck. The close-up shots and lighting of her character demonstrate the camera's attraction to its subject. Stanwyck and Manners would put in two very dangerous situations. This was in the days when the technology of movie making could only go so far. In the lion den scene Stanwyck and Manners were separated from the lions by an invisible net. During the film's climactic scene, both actors risked their lives as real flames shot up around them.

Unfortunately The Miracle Woman (1931) was a box office failure. With all of Capra and Swerling's good intentions not to make a movie that was anti-religion, audiences still didn't flock to the theaters for this one. The film was rejected by the British Board of Film Censors for its content and as a result never released theatrically in England. The box office failure had no effect on Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Capra's careers which were both on the rise.

The Miracle Woman (1931) is available on DVD through Sony Classics Choice Collection series. I recently watched the film on TCM. I highly recommend checking out Danny's excellent piece on the movie, completely with lots of visuals, over at Pre-Code.com.

Sources:
TCMDB
A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940by Victoria Wilson

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sadie McKee (1934)

Franchot Tone, Akim Tamiroff, Joan Crawford and Edward Arnold in Sadie McKee (1934)
Franchot Tone, Akim Tamiroff, Joan Crawford and Edward Arnold in Sadie McKee (1934)

On the heels of Dancing Lady (1933), MGM teamed up off screen couple Joan Crawford and Franchot Tone for another on screen romance in Sadie McKee (1944). But it seems like Hollywood wouldn't let Crawford be the apple of one eye. She has to be desired by several. Crawford stars as Sadie McKee, a maid working for the wealthy Alderson family. Michael Alderson (Franchot Tone) has returned home to discover that Sadie has blossomed into a beauty. But Sadie is in love with the formerly employed Tommy (Gene Raymond). The two run off to New York together and plan to marry. Sadie befriends Opal (Jean Dixon), a street-wise dame with a penchant for a good time. While the two are waiting for Tommy to show up at the courthouse for the wedding, he runs off with show girl Dolly (Esther Ralston). Sadie is destitute of both money and love. She starts a new life as a show girl (plus a little more) to make ends meet. That's when she meets the incredibly wealthy and incredibly drunk Jack Brennan (Edward Arnold). Brennan is smitten with her and through marriage offers her an opportunity to get ahead. Sadie takes advantage of this even though it puts her in the precarious situation of taking care of an alcoholic. She also suffers the disdain of Brennan's friend and her old acquaintance Alderson and Brennan's staff including his butler Finnegan (Leo G. Carroll). Sadie takes on the task of saving Brennan from himself, closing one chapter in her life and starting a new one.

From the very beginning it's established that Sadie McKee is the ideal physical specimen of womanhood. She has enough sass and sex appeal to keep men interested. And the three men she lures are all grossly inadequate. Tommy can't be held down, Brennan suffers from advanced alcoholism and Alderson is a spoiled rich playboy. Although Sadie is swayed by her emotions. she's the only one of the four who seems to have her shit together. She also has the support of her best friend and frequent voice of reason, Opal. The role of Sadie McKee fits Joan Crawford's persona perfectly. She embodied the spirit of the working girl who moves up the ranks and proves her worth. It's satisfying to watch her in parts like this. One could say that Sadie McKee is the pre-code precursor to Mildred Pierce (1945).

1934 brought on a tougher enforcement of the Hays Production Code. Sadie McKee slips in just in time and there are a few elements that classify it as a pre-code film. For example, the unmarried Sadie and Tommy sleep in the same bedroom together, albeit with her in the bed and him on the chair. Sexpot neighbor Dolly, played by Esther Ralston, channels Mae West and lures Tommy away from Sadie. When Dolly and Sadie have a showdown later in the film Dolly suggests that Sadie is a glorified prostitute. Pre-Code expert Danny Reid also points out that when Opal and Sadie are at city hall waiting for Tommy, a police officer approaches them and asks if they're getting married. He says it in a way that both suggests they might be marrying each other but also that they're waiting for their fiancees. I'd also like to point out the scene in which Finnegan the butler, played by Leo G. Carroll in his first on screen role, undresses a drunk Brennan (Edward Arnold), preparing him for bed. It's an oddly intimate scene that lingers just enough to give time for the audience to wonder.

Sadie McKee is based on a story by Vina Delmar who wrote many novels, short stories and screenplays including The Awful Truth (1937). She appears in the trailer for Sadie McKee as you can see below. The story suffers from trying to do too much. It starts off as a sweet romance between two people who escape the upstairs-downstairs life for a fresh start in New York City. Then it takes a twist when it becomes a story of a poor show girl who marries a rich alcoholic. Then it takes a somber tone when the first couple are reunited. And then of course Franchot Tone's continual attraction and momentary disgust for Sadie/Crawford adds several more plot points. One could say that Sadie McKee is an epic that didn't quite reach it's potential.


Even with its many flaws this is a gem of a film. Its such a joy to see cast members like Crawford, Tone, Arnold, Carroll, Raymond, Ralston and Dixon in action. Not to mention one of my personal favorites, Akim Tamiroff who plays night club owner Riccorri. I'll watch him in anything. Also in the movie are singer Gene Austin and the jazz duo Candy and Coco who all make their screen debut and play a couple of numbers in the movie.

Sadie McKee ad from The Film Daily April-June 1934
Sadie McKee ad from The Film Daily April-June 1934

Sadie McKee got mixed reviews but still proved profitable enough for MGM that after a batch of successful films Crawford was able to renegotiate her contract. According to Joan Crawford biographer Donald Spoto, Crawford said, "I was pretty unhappy with the way the picture was cut. Perhaps it will make sense, but I doubt it."

Interesting fact: The Library Hotel in New York City plays Sadie McKee on a loop on a TV in their rooftop lounge. I've attended a few parties in that space and that movie is always on. I couldn't find any information why that film in particular was selected for the loop. It's a curious choice especially considering their rooftop bar is just around the corner. Maybe they thought a sobering film about alcoholism might encourage patrons to drink less.


Sadie McKee (1934) DVD


Sadie McKee (1934) is available from the Warner Archive Collection. You can buy the DVD-R from the WB Shop by using this link.

Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. Thank you to the Warner Archive for sending me a copy of Sadie McKee (1934) for review!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Warner Archive Wednesday ~ Going Hollywood (1933)

Going Hollywood from Warner Bros. 

Going Hollywood (1933) is just the sort of bizarre musical that needs to be seen to be believed. The plot is definitely not the reason to watch it. You need to see this film for the amazing musical numbers. Early 20th century music is under-appreciated in my opinion. Get acquainted with some of the classics from song writers Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed by listening to the Bing Crosby deliver them with his golden voice. Perhaps you might be weirded out by the scarecrows, the moving daisies or the turban-sleeved dancers in front of a vertical orchestra pit in some of the numbers. But that's okay. This film is the best seen when you are not in the clearest state of mind. For example, after you've had a couple strong cocktails, or in my case, when you are a little sleep drunk. It's trippy, it's bizarre, it's an odd little film that will confuse you, repulse you and titillate you at the same time.

So you want to know the plot? Fine, here it is. Marion Davies, that's William Randolph Hearst's girl, plays Sylvia. She's a French teacher at the most uppity stuck-up school of spinsters that you ever did see. The teachers at this school don't believe in life, love or music. The head teacher won't even allow radio to be played. Pshaw! Sylvia is not having any of that. She wants to dance and love and listen to dulcet tunes. She turns on her radio in an act of rebellion and listens to an amazing song by the popular crooner Bill Williams (Bing Crosby). Convinced she's in love with him after hearing one song, she quits her job and goes to find him.

Bill is on his way to Hollywood to film a picture with the French actress Lili (Fifi D'Orsay). In true stalker fashion, Sylvia follows him on his journey. She's everywhere. His hotel room, his train car, his movie set, etc. She even shows up in black face to confuse him! What is wrong with this woman? She's coming on way too strong and is scaring him off.

Sylvia doesn't get Bill's romantic attentions until a series of events happens in her favor. But things get complicated because of the other woman in Bill's life, Lili, and his new drinking problem. Does she win him over with her ::cough:: charm or will she lose him forever? There's the realistic ending and then there's the Hollywood ending. How do you think this one ended?

There are some notable performances in this film that I'd to point out. Sterling Holloway, also known as the original voice of Winnie-the-Pooh, has an uncredited part as a radio remote technician who works with Bill Williams. He has the funniest scene in the movie. Sterling's technician character follows Bill around to record a song for the radio as he's getting dressed.



Ned Sparks, forever known for playing loveable grumps, plays Conroy, the film director trying to find some order amidst a lot of chaos. Fifi D'Orsay is hilarious as the temperamental French movie actress who has her eyes on Bill. Bing Crosby's Bill sings Nacio Herb Brown's song Temptation to her in one scene and she gives these looks to the camera that are very reminiscent of the ones the robot Maria does in Metropolis (1927). I wonder if it's a reference? Patsy Kelly has a comedic role as the friendly tomboy sidekick of Sylvia. Stuart Erwin plays the financial backer to the film in the story and the guy who should get the girl but doesn't. I looked him up on IMDb and was sad to read that he missed out on the lead male role in the Blondie series.The Three Radio Rogues have a scene in the film and receive billing. I knew nothing about them but apparently they were a famous radio personalities who were known for doing excellent imitations. They do some in the film.

I thought it was interesting how much of a role Radio plays in the Going Hollywood. Radio is the catalyst for the chain of events that make up the film. Bill is a radio star, listening to the radio is banned at the school and is an act of rebellion on Sylvia's part, radio is what inspires Sylvia to follow Bill to Hollywood, etc. This film is a backstage musical about Hollywood but in many ways it's really a love letter to radio.


Did I intrigue you enough with my rambling review that you want to watch Going Hollywood (1933) now? Did I mention that there is a cat fight between Marion Davies and Fifi D'Orsay?! Or how about this amazing musical number in a train station?

 

Going Hollywood (1933) is available on DVD MOD from Warner Archive.


Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. I received Going Hollywood (1933) from Warner Archive for review.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Warner Archive Wednesday ~ Forbidden Hollywood Collection Volume 7


The seventh set in the popular Forbidden Hollywood Collection is a true gem. All four films, on 4 MOD-DVD discs, are rife with all the sins that make Pre-Codes so enjoyable to watch.

I started to do something recently that I have been wanting to do for a very long time: watch Pre-Codes every morning. It sounds like a silly ritual and I blame it all on TCM's influence. I had TCM for years before I moved out on my own and couldn't afford cable anymore (I got it back last year). I had become used to waking up early in the morning, turning on TCM and watching about 20-30 minutes of whatever early 1930s film was showing. It became a habit and for years afterwards I had always craved Pre-Codes in the morning. The only bad part about this was that I would want to watch the entire film but didn't have the time. I would either rent it or buy it later but that didn't always work because many of the films weren't available on DVD. Now that I own numerous Pre-Codes, including several of the Forbidden Hollywood Collection sets, I decided that I would pop in a DVD in the morning and watch 30 minutes of a Pre-Code. I know it seems like such a weird thing but this new morning ritual makes me so happy and gives me a nice start to my day. If I have time, I watch the entire film in the morning if I can. I started this new ritual with the seventh set in the Forbidden Hollywood Collection and I had so much fun that I hope to stick with it.

Now on to the films...

The Hatchet Man (1932) - This curio from First National stars Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young. They are both made to look Asian and Loretta Young is almost unrecognizable in "yellow face". The story takes place in San Francisco's Chinatown and explores the conflict between old Chinese traditions and the modern sensibilities of 1930s America. Edward G. Robinson plays Wong Low Get, a Hatchet Man who acts as an executioner for the different Tongs in Chinatown. Whenever a crime is committed, he executes the criminal with his hatchet. He has to kill his best friend but before he does he makes a promise to take care of his daughter Sun Toya San (Loretta Young). There is romance, adultery, betrayal and violence in this rather disturbing movie. It's the slowest of the four films in the set and probably the most odd but worth watching.


Skyscrapers Souls (1932) - This is the first of the two Warren William films in this set, this Pre-Code looks at the lives of the people who work in a New York City skyscraper. All the action happens inside the building. The conceit works really well and made for a very enjoyable and clever little film. Warren William is despicable as the womanizing executive who is hell bent on owning the entire building. That skyscraper is his life, he lives, breathes, eats, works and sleeps in it. He's having an affair with his secretary Sarah (Verree Teasdale), funds his wife's (Hedda Hopper) adventures to keep her out of his sight but isn't satisfied until he gets his hands on his secretary's secretary Lynn (Maureen O'Sullivan) who happens to be having a romance with bank teller Tom (Norman Foster). That is quite a romantic entanglement! Anita Page is also in the film but has a very minor role. She receives good billing and I don't think she was utilized well. It's an enjoyable film with a rather serious ending.



Employees' Entrance (1933) - Warren William is back to his old antics in this film (well not really, in real life he was a very nice guy!). William plays Kurt Anderson, a tough executive who runs a department store with an iron fist. He has no compassion for anyone except for those who are willing to sacrifice everything, even happiness, in the name of business. Alice White plays Polly, a fashion model who Kurt hires on the side to be a romantic distraction to a busy-body executive. Kurt himself has his eye on another fashion model, Madeline, played by Loretta Young. He lures her into bed only to abandon her shortly after. When Madeline marries the boss' right-hand-man Martin West (Wallace Ford), they have to keep it a secret. Things get really messy when sex, booze and money get involved! If anyone tells you that they think old movies are tame, show them this film! In fact, sit them down and show them several Pre-Codes. 

Dog lovers may not care for one particular scene in the film. Consider yourself warned.



Ex-Lady (1933) - I know that Bette Davis used to make fun of her early movies and this one is considered to be one of her flops. I have always disagreed with Bette Davis though and her early pictures are my favorites. In my honest opinion, this one is the best of the set. I enjoyed it so much and  the story really resonated with me. It doesn't try to shock like other Pre-Codes do. Instead it takes an honest look at romantic relationships and marriage. Bette Davis plays Helen, a very accomplished artist whose illustrations are highly sought after. She's an independent woman and in charge of her own life and career. Gene Raymond plays Don, an advertiser and Helen's beau. Helen doesn't want to get married so instead Don sneaks in to her apartment and sleeps over regularly. Helen's parents find out and they feel pressure to marry but Helen fights it every step of the way. I could go on but this film is so good that I hope to devote an entire post to it. This film most likely flopped because it took an honest look at relationships instead of romanticizing the marriage ideal. That kind of truth doesn't make for popular entertainment. Everyone wants the fantasy, not the reality. This film is a new favorite indeed!



Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume 7 is available on DVD MOD from Warner Archive.



Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. I received Forbidden Hollywood Collection Volume 7 from Warner Archive for review.

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