Ex-Lady Bette Davis and The Problem with Marriage

O.K. So I have to admit it took me like 2 months to finally wrap my head around this film enough to write this post. While I’m always up for a challenge to defend the noble institution of marriage, this pre-code film just brought up lots and lots of questions.

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…

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,…

The Moon is Blue

              1953 was the year the Production Code began to unravel, and in no short part due to the film, The Moon is Blue.                  Laced with brazen questions brought on by Maggie McNamara , it’s William Holden who ends up holding all the moral ground in this story. It’s difficult to tell who is picking up…

Party Husband

    Party Husband 1931 (First National) The best part of Party Husband, which I feared may just be another one of these movies with a message, is when the husband emerges from a dark kitchen wearing non-removable lip rouge, and is caught by his wife.  Mind you, she brought someone home too, but didn’t…

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…

Three Wise Girls

Three Wise Girls 1932 (Columbia Pictures) “Oh, go away, I hate blondes.” “Well I hate drunks, so that makes us even.” Frustrated that she can’t get anywhere in her own little town, Cassie( Jean Harlow) goes to New York to make her own way as a model. While staying with her friend Dot, she learns…

Dames

Dames (1934 Warner Brothers): Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell James( Powell) is trying to get money from the rich Uncle Ezra for his new broadway  show, but Uncle Ezra wants nothing to do with that one branch of his family tree who is not an upstanding moral citizen. In fact, upon swearing that…

Gold Diggers of 1933

Gold Diggers of 1933 (Warner Brothers): Joan Blondell, Ginger Rogers, and Dick Powell “I believe I can make this girl transfer her affection from him to me.” Down and out in the Depression, Ginger Rogers, Joan Blondell, and Dick Powell get it together to put on what they hope to be a successful show. But…

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…

Illicit

Illicit(1931 Warner Brothers): Barbara Stanwyck “There have been women who want to park their heads on this manly bosom.” Illicit Fearing the loss of her freedom Ann refuses to get married to a man desperately in love with her. The thing is is she’s absolutely hopelessly in love with him too…but her parent’s divorce left…

The Crash

The Crash(1932 First National): George Brent and Ruth Chatterton Real Life husband and wife( Brent and Chatterton) were paired in so many great films together, but The Crash while chronicling the newlywed pair through the up and down of the market leaves something to be desired. George Brent is hard to believe as the helpless…

Registered Nurse

Registered Nurse(1934 First National): Lyle Talbot, John Halliday and Bebe Daniels “It’s bad enough to be married, but when the man is a nut, tough.” Registered Nurse follows Ben( Daniels) as she navigates what it’s like to be secretly married to a man who is insane. With temptation in the forms of Dr. Connelly (Lyle…

Naughty Flirt

Naughty Flirt(1931 First National): Alice White and Myrna Loy. Kewpie Doll cutie Alice White plays Katherine or K as her friends call her. The spoiled little rich girl of a wealthy lawyer she has managed to get herself expelled from every proper school there is. She likes games, tricks, and using what she can to…

Loose Ankles

Loose Ankles(1930 ~ First National): Douglas Fairbanks Jr.  and Loretta Young “Where there’s a will, there’s a lot of relatives” Upon being left a substantial amount of money, and a large set of rules about marriage, in her grandmothers will, Ann goes about placing a classified ad to catch herself a man that will upset…

Blonde Crazy

Blonde Crazy (1931 ~ Warner Brothers): James Cagney and Joan Blondell “If I can’t get it from you, I’ll get it from someone else” As most of what we find in Forbidden Hollywood, Blonde Crazy is a movie about sex, not romance. How to use it, how to get it, and when to withhold it….

George Brent

March 15, 1904 George Brent Female, Baby Face I never liked George Brent more than I did in the pre-code film Female. Playing opposite Ruth Chatterton, who I had only known prior in the Simone Simon vehicle, Girls Dormitory, Brent plays the Alpha Male. Brent’s status as a man matters of course, because until now,…

MANDATORY CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD FILM LIST

LIST ONE….. Note: We’ve watched A LOT of classic Hollywood films. This is my list so far- and no they’re not necessarily based on anything even close to “merit.” I know annstj will have her own list, so look out for  a LIST TWO. This was prompted by my younger brother asking what “other” old…

Pre-Code Lyle Talbot

February 8, 1902 ~ March 2, 1996                                   Lyle Talbot   Lyle, up until recently for me used to be that “cute guy” that would show up on many a great old film. He was never really the headliner, didn’t have any scandals to contribute and no Oscar to gain him instant merit, and was the quintessential “B”…

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 5

Like most true Classic Hollywood Fans, we’ve been loving Forbidden Hollywood. Volume 5, however, it is not the comedic jewel we find in Volume 4. Forbidden Hollywood Volume 5 contains the darker side of humanity. The mysteries, murders, and set ups we’ve come to associate with films like Manhattan Melodrama, and Double Indemnity. In Ladies They…