Kept Husbands in Forbidden Hollywood

If you want to see Joel McCrea at the beginning of his acting career get taken in by a sassy, well-trained Dorothy Mackaill be sure to watch Kept Husbands (1931). 4 Weeks. After meeting the steel boss and former football star Dick ( McCrea), spoiled rich girl Dorothy (Mackaill) lets her father know that she’s only…

Let Us Be Gay

It took me almost 10 minutes to realize that the frumpy wife that looked like Ann B. Davis in this movie was actually Norma Shearer. Of all the Shearer films I’ve watched I am most impressed by Norma’s acting in this film. Norma was pregnant during the filming it’s fun to see the creativity the…

Pandora’s Box

OMGoodness…the German Cinema Weimar Era was pretty eye opening especially this G.W. Pabst version of Pandora’s Box, Sex, innuendo, manslaughter and murder are the bottom line in this 1929 German made silent movie featuring American born actress Louise Brooks. Again relying on DVD I am enjoying the Criterion Collection version of Pandora’s Box. Louise Brooks,…

ANNA CHRISTIE

‘Gimme a whiskey, ginger ale on the side, and don’t be stingy baby’ These were the first words spoken in the English version of the 1930 film Anna Christie by Swedish born Greta Garbo in a talking film. For TCM’s German Cinema in the Weimar Era theme I decided to borrow the DVD from my…

Happy Un-Valentines Day or…Divorce in Classic Hollywood

Fresh from the tails of the 1930’s Hays code which regulated just about everything in Classic Hollywood, came movies with spunk, wit and lots and lots of humorous divorces. These films were nothing like the divorce films prior to the Hays code regulations. The Divorcee with Norma Shearer is a prime example of how divorces were…

Female

If you’re not familiar with Ruth Chatterton, now’s the time to get familiar. While there may be good reason to not know Ruth, her work in some fantastic pre-code films in the 20’s and 30’s warrant attention. Those that paired her with husband George Brent were always particularly steamy. One film most memorable is FEMALE, starring opposite…

A Life of Barbara Stanwyck Steel-True 1907-1940

There is nothing more shocking pre-code, than an early Barbara Stanwyck movie. Some of her most infamous, really stretched any semblance of a code before Breen took over as the strict enforcer of the code. Ladies of Leisure (1930), Illicit (1931), The Miracle Woman (1931), Ten Cents a Dance (1931), Night Nurse (1931), The Purchase…

Three on a Match

  Three on a Match 1932 (First National): Joan Blondell, Bette Davis, Ann Dvorak, Warren William Coming off an extremely delicious Warren William in the Gold Diggers of 1933, I decided to revisit Three on a Match, also pairing Joan Blondell and Warren William. Rather shocked by the Pre-Hays Code ending, it had been one…

Smarty

Smarty (1934 Warner Brothers) Warren William and Joan Blondell play the magically in-love married couple Tony and Vicky. Then one day Vicky goes a little too far mentioning impotence and baby carrots in the same sentence, and Tony slaps her in the face, in front of friends. This of course is just a little marital…

Week-End Marriage

Week-End Marriage 1932 (First National) “I like being independent.” “Because you’re not in love, that’s why.” This is the story of the Independent Woman in the 1930’s. If you were a working woman it was usually because you were single and needed to support yourself, or because you were stupid. See if you weren’t single,…

Road to Paradise

Road to Paradise 1930 (First National) Loretta Young Times Two A 17 year old Loretta Young plays double roles as Mary- the girl mixed up with jewel robbers, and Margaret- the high society lady they plan to rob. Both can read minds. This is a fast-paced cat vs. mouse story laced with twists and turns…

Girl Missing

Girl Missing(1933 Warner Brothers): Lyle Talbot and Glenda Farrell “I brought you to Palm Beach, I had no intention of being a gentleman.” Gold digger Daisy gets a headache when she realizes her playboy husband only married her to satisfy the stipulations of his father’s will, and subsequently goes missing. But when the cops arrive…