Charley Chase

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Charley Chase promotional photo 1920’s

Charley Chase (born Charles Joseph Parrott, October 20, 1893 – June 20, 1940) was an American comedian, actor, screenwriter and film director, best known for his work in Hal Roach short film comedies. He was the older brother of comedian/director James Parrott.

Life and career

Born Charles Joseph Parrott in Baltimore, Maryland, Charley Chase began performing in vaudeville as a teenager and started his career in films by working at the Christie Film Company in 1912.[1]

He then moved to Keystone Studios, where he began appearing in bit parts in the Mack Sennett films, including those of Charlie Chaplin.

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Poster for His New Profession (Charles Chaplin, 1914) with Chaplin and Charley Chase

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His New Profession (Charles Chaplin, 1914) with Chaplin and Charley Chase

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His New Profession (Charles Chaplin, 1914) with Chaplin and Charley Chase

By 1915 he was playing juvenile leads in the Keystones, and directing some of the films as Charles Parrott. His Keystone credentials were good enough to get him steady work as a comedy director with other companies; he directed many of Chaplin imitator Billy West‘s comedies, which featured a young Oliver Hardy as villain.

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Charley Chase, Billy West and Oliver Hardy in The Hobbo (Arvid L Gillstrom, 1917)

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Charley Chase, Billy West and Oliver Hardy in Playmates (Charley Chase, 1918)

He worked at L-KO Kompany during its final months of existence. Then in 1920, Chase began working as a film director for Hal Roach Studios.

Among his notable early works for Roach was supervising the first entries in the Our Gang series, as well as directing several films starring Lloyd Hamilton; like many other silent comedians, Chase is reported to have regarded Hamilton’s work as a major influence on that of his own. Chase became director-general of the Hal Roach studio in late 1921, supervising the production of all the Roach series except the Harold Lloyd comedies.

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Charley Chase and Our Gang 1920s – Hal Roach Studios

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Moonshine (Charley Chase, 1920) Charley Chase with Lloyd Hamilton

Following Lloyd’s departure from the studio in 1923, Chase moved back in front of the camera with his own series of shorts, adopting the screen name Charley Chase.

Chase was a master of the comedy of embarrassment, and he played either hapless young businessmen or befuddled husbands in dozens of situation comedies. His screen persona was that of a pleasant young man with a dapper mustacheand ordinary street clothes; this set him apart from the clownish makeups and crazy costumes used by his contemporaries. His earliest Roach shorts cast him as a hard-luck fellow named “Jimmie Jump” in one-reel (10-minute) comedies.

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Charley Chase as Jimmy Jump in April Fool (Ralph Ceder, 1924)

The first Chase series was successful and expanded to two reels (20 minutes); this would become the standard length for Chase comedies, apart from a few three-reel featurettes later.

Direction of the Chase series was taken over by Leo McCarey, who in collaboration with Chase formed the comic style of the series—an emphasis on characterization and farce instead of knockabout slapstick. Some of Chase’s starring shorts of the 1920s, particularly Mighty Like a MooseCrazy Like a FoxFluttering Hearts, and Limousine Love, are often considered to be among the finest in silent comedy.

Chase remained the guiding hand behind the films, assisting anonymously with the directing, writing, and editing.

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Mighty Like A Moose (Leo McCarey, 1926) with Charley Chase, Vivien Oakland and Ann Howe

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Mighty Like A Moose (Leo McCarey, 1926) with Charley Chase, Vivien Oakland and Ann Howe

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Crazy Like A Fox (Leo McCarey, 1926) Charley Chase with Martha Sleeper and William V Mong

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Crazy Like A Fox (Leo McCarey, 1926) Charley Chase with Martha Sleeper and William V Mong

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Fluttering Hearts (James Parrot, 1927) Charley Chase with Oliver Hardy, Martha Sleeper and Eugene Paltette

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Fluttering Hearts (James Parrot, 1927) Charley Chase with Oliver Hardy, Martha Sleeper and Eugene Paltette

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Limousine Love (Fred Guiol, 1928) Charley Chase with Edna Marion, Edgar Kennedy and Viola Richard 

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Limousine Love (Fred Guiol, 1928) Charley Chase with Edna Marion, Edgar Kennedy and Viola Richard 

Chase moved with ease into sound films in 1929, and became one of the most popular film comedians of the period.[2]

He continued to be very prolific in the talkie era, often putting his fine singing voice on display and including his humorous, self-penned songs in his comedy shorts. The two-reeler The Pip from Pittsburg, released in 1931 and co-starring Thelma Todd, is one of the most celebrated Charley Chase comedies of the sound era.[3]

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The Pip From Pittsburg (James Parrott, 1931) Charley Chase with Thelma Todd and Dorothy Granger 

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The Pip From Pittsburg (James Parrott, 1931) Charley Chase with Thelma Todd and Dorothy Granger 

Throughout the decade, the Charley Chase shorts continued to stand alongside Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang as the core output of the Roach studio. Chase was featured in the Laurel and Hardy feature Sons of the Desert; Laurel and Hardy made cameo appearances as hitchhikers in Chase’s On the Wrong Trek.

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Sons of the Desert (William A Seiter, 1933) Charley Chase with Laurel and Hardy, Mae Busch and Dorothy Christie

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Sons of the Desert (William A Seiter, 1933) Charley Chase with Laurel and Hardy, Mae Busch and Dorothy Christie

On the Wrong Trek was supposed to be the final Charley Chase short subject; by 1936 producer Hal Roach was now concentrating on making ambitious feature films.

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On the Wrong Treck (Charley Chase and Harold Law, 1936) Charley Chase with Rosina Lawrence, Clarence Wilson and Laurel and Hardy

Chase played a character role in the Patsy Kelly feature Kelly the Second, and starred in a feature-length comedy called Bank Night, lampooning the popular Bank Night phenomenon of the 1930s.

Chase’s feature was plagued with a host of production problems and legalities, and the film was drastically edited down to two reels and finally released as one last Charley Chase short, Neighborhood House. Chase was then dismissed from the Roach studio.

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Kelly the Second (Gus Meins, 1936) Charley Chase with Patsy Kelly and Guin Williams

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Neighborhood House (Charley Chase and Harold Law 1936) Charley Chase with Rosina Lawrence and George Meeker

Later years and death

In 1937, Chase began working at Columbia Pictures, where he spent the rest of his career starring in his own series of two-reel comedies, as well as producing and directing other Columbia comedies, including those of The Three Stooges and Andy Clyde.

He directed the Stooges’ classic Violent Is the Word for Curly (1938); although he is often credited with writing the film’s song “Swinging the Alphabet“,[4] the tune actually originates with 19th-century songwriter Septimus Winner.

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Violent is the Word For Curly (Charley Chase, 1938) with Three Stooges

Recent research asserts that the Chase family’s maid introduced the song to Chase and taught it to his daughters.[5] Chase’s own shorts at Columbia favored broader sight gags and more slapstick than his earlier, subtler work, although he does sing in two of the Columbias, The Grand Hooter and The Big Squirt (both 1937).

Many of Chase’s Columbia short subjects were strong enough to be remade in the 1940s with other comedians; Chase’s The Heckler (1940) was remade with Shemp Howardas Mr. Noisy (1946) while The Nightshirt Bandit (1938) was remade with Andy Clyde as Go Chase Yourself (1948) and again in 1956 as Pardon My Nightshirt.

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Charley Chase promotional material 1920s

Chase reportedly suffered from depression and alcoholism for most of his professional career, and his tumultuous lifestyle began to take a serious toll on his health. His hair had turned prematurely gray, and he dyed it jet-black for his Columbia comedies.

His younger brother, comedy writer-director James Parrott, had personal problems resulting from a drug treatment, and died in 1939. Chase was devastated. He had refused to give his brother money to support his drug habit, and friends knew he felt responsible for Parrott’s death.

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James Parrott with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

He coped with the loss by throwing himself into his work and by drinking more heavily than ever, despite doctors’ warnings. The stress ultimately caught up with him; just over a year after his brother’s death, Charley Chase died of a heart attack in Hollywood, California on June 20, 1940. He is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery near his wife Bebe Eltinge in Glendale, California.[6][7] Brother James Parrott is also interred at Forest Lawn.[8]

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Charley Chase received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6630 Hollywood Boulevard on February 8, 1960.[9][10]

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Renewed interest

Since the 1990s, there has been a revival of interest in the films of Charley Chase, due in large part to the increased availability of his comedies. An extensive website researching his life and work, The World of Charley Chase, was created in 1996, and a biography, Smile When the Raindrops Fall, was published in 1998.

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Smile When The Raindrops Fall was the theme song of Whispering Whoopee, a two-reeler from 1930, starring Charley Chase

Chase’s sound comedies for Hal Roach were briefly televised in the late 1990s on the short-lived American cable network the Odyssey Channel. Retrospectives of Chase’s work organized by The Silent Clowns Film Series were held in 1999, 2001, 2006, and 2008 in New York City.

A marathon of selected Charley Chase shorts from the silent era was broadcast in 2005 on the American cable television network Turner Classic Movies. In late 2006, Turner Classic Movies began to air Charley Chase’s sound-era comedies. In January 2011, several of his sound shorts were featured during Turner Classic Movies’ tribute to Hal Roach Studios.

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In 2007, Mighty Like a Moose (1926) was selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry, solidifying its reputation as one of the most celebrated comedies of the silent era and cementing Chase’s status as a pioneer of early film comedy.[11]

Kino International released two Charley Chase DVD volumes in 2004 and 2005 for their Slapstick Symposium series. The films came from archives and collectors around the world. In July 2009, VCI Entertainment released Becoming Charley Chase, a DVD boxed set of Charley Chase’s early silent films.

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Kino Lorber Charley Chase Collection on DVD

Columbia Pictures has prepared digital restorations of its twenty Charley Chase shorts, in the same manner as its Buster Keaton DVD restorations. On January 1, 2013 Sony Home Entertainment released Charley Chase Shorts Volume 1, part of its “Columbia Choice Collection” MOD DVD-R library. The 1-disc release contains eight of Chase’s starring shorts, and one Smith & Dale short which he directed, A Nag in the Bag (1938). On November 5, 2013 Sony Home Entertainment released Charley Chase Shorts Volume 2, another in their MOD DVD-R series, which contained the remaining twelve Chase shorts.

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Charley Chase MGM promotional photo

Selected filmography

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Release poster for Why Men Work (Leo McCarey, 1924)

See also


  1. Jump up^ Anthony, Brian and Edmonds, Andy (1998). Smile When the Raindrops Fall: The Story of Charley Chase. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 23. ISBN 0-8108-3377-8
  2. Jump up^ Lahue, Kalton C. and Gill, Samuel (1970). Clown Princes and Court Jesters. A.S. Barnes and Company, 94.
  3. Jump up^ Solan, Yair. “Many Big Squawks.” The World of Charley Chase. “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2010-01-26. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
  4. Jump up^ Okuda, Ted and Watz, Edward (1986). The Columbia Comedy Shorts: Two-Reel Hollywood Film Comedies, 1933–1958. McFarland & Company, Inc., 27. ISBN 0-7864-0577-5.
  5. Jump up^ Finegan, Richard. “Swingin’ the Alphabet Composer Finally Identified.” The Three Stooges Journal (Winter 2005): 4.
  6. Jump up^ “Charley Chase (1893–1940) – Find A Grave Memorial” Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  7. Jump up^ “BeBe Chase (1888–1948) – Find A Grave Memorial” Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  8. Jump up^ “James Parrott (1897–1939) – Find A Grave Memorial” Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  9. Jump up^ “Charley Chase | Hollywood Walk of Fame” Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  10. Jump up^ “Charley Chase” Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  11. Jump up^ “National Film Registry 2007.”
  12. Jump up^ ARABIAN TIGHTS(1933)“, Turner Classic Movies

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Charley Chase


Classic Films Streaming on Film Dialogue Channel

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We have some exciting news to share with all of our readers!

Last month we had successfully tested a new platform on Rabbit which will enable us to screen a variety of classic films in real time.

In addition to our already popular Cinematheque Live, from 1st of March 2018 we will be screening a selection of classic films. They will be streamed in our Film Dialogue Room on Rabbit.

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We love watching, discussing and analysing films and for the first time, our screenings will give us an opportunity to discuss everything in real time. You will need to have your audio/video enabled in order to participate.

Our screenings will be scheduled and organised in a Film Season format.

Our current Film Seasons are:

  • Pre Code Films
  • Film Noir
  • Silent Classics
  • Classic Comedy
  • Animation Greats
  • Experimental Films
  • Film History Documentaries


Some of our screenings will have special guests, introductions and post-screening discussions.

Let us know if there are any other Film Seasons that you may wish to see. Also if there are any particular films that you would like to watch and discuss with us.

We hope you will enjoy our new format for watching and discussing films! See you in our Film Dialogue Room very soon!

To join us for scheduled screenings please click on the link below:

Daniel B Miller

Film Dialogue

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Loretta Young

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Loretta Young (January 6, 1913 – August 12, 2000) was an American actress and singer.

Starting as a child actress, she had a long and varied career in film from 1917 to 1953. She won the 1948 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1947 film The Farmer’s Daughter and received an Oscar nomination for her role in Come to the Stable in 1949.

Young moved to the relatively new medium of television, where she had a dramatic anthology seriesThe Loretta Young Show, from 1953 to 1961. The series earned three Emmy Awards and was rerun successfully on daytime TV and later in syndication.

In the 1980s, Young returned to the small screen and won a Golden Globe for her role in Christmas Dove in 1986. Young, a devout Roman Catholic,[1][2] worked with various Catholic charities after her acting career.[1][3]

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Early life

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Loretta Young

She was born Gretchen Young in Salt Lake City, Utah, the daughter of Gladys (née Royal) and John Earle Young.[4][5] At confirmation, she took the name Michaela. When she was two years old, her parents separated, and when she was three, her family and she moved to Hollywood. Her sisters Polly Ann and Elizabeth Jane (better known as Sally Blane) and she worked as child actresses, but of the three, Gretchen was the most successful.

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The Primrose Ring (Robert Z Leonard, 1917) – Loretta Young’s First Film Role

Young’s first role was at the age of three, in the silent film The Primrose Ring. During her high-school years, she was educated at Ramona Convent Secondary School. She was signed to a contract by John McCormick (1893–1961), the husband and manager of the actress Colleen Moore, who saw the young girl’s potential.[6] The name Loretta was given to her by Moore, who later explained that it was the name of her favorite doll.[7]

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Loretta Young aged 14

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Loretta Young aged 15

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Loretta Young aged 15

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Loretta Young aged 14



Young was billed as Gretchen Young in the silent film Sirens of the Sea (1917). She was first billed as Loretta Young in 1928, in The Whip Woman. That same year, she co-starred with Lon Chaney in the MGM film Laugh, Clown, Laugh. The next year, she was named one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars.[8]

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Sirens of the Sea (Allen Holubar, 1917) billed as Gretchen Young

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The Whip Woman (Allan Dwan, 1928) first billed as Loretta Young

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Laugh Clown Laugh (Herbert Brenon, 1928) Loretta Young with Lon Chaney

Her silent films were followed up by a string of very successful Pre Code features. They included The Squall (Alexander Korda, 1929), Three Girls Lost (Sidney Lanfield, 1931), The Right of Way (Frank Lloyd, 1931), Platinum Blonde (Frank Capra, 1931), The Way of Life AKA They Call It Sin (Thornton Freeland, 1932), Taxi (Roy Del Ruth, 1932), Play Girl (Ray Enright, 1932), Working Wives AKA Week-End Marriage (Thornton Freeland, 1932), The Devil’s In Love (William Dieterle, 1933).

Young excelled in two seminal Pre Code films – Heroes for Sale (William Wellman, 1933) and Employees’ Entrance (Roy Del Ruth, 1933) and her deeply emotional performances helped her in becoming a major studio star.

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Loretta Young in Squall (Alexander Korda, 1929)

Loretta Young with John Wayne in Three Girls Lost (Sidney Lanfield, 1931)

Loretta Young with Conrad Nagel in The Right Of Way (Frank Lloyd, 1931)

Loretta Young with Robert Williams and Jean Harlow in Platinum Blonde (Frank Capra, 1931)

Loretta Young with George Brent and Una Merkel in They Call It Sin AKA The Way of Life (Thornton Freeland, 1932)

Loretta Young with James Cagney in Taxi (Roy Del Ruth,1932)

Loretta Young with Norman Foster and Winnie Lightner in Play Girl (Ray Enright, 1932)

Loretta Young with Norman Foster and Aline MacMahon in Working Wives AKA Week-End Marriage (Thornton Freeland, 1932)

Loretta Young with Victor Jory and Vivienne Osborne in The Devil’s In Love (William Dieterle, 1933)

Loretta Young with Richard Barthelmess and Aline MacMahon in Heroes For Sale (William Wellman, 1933)


Loretta Young with Warren William and Wallace Ford in Employees’ Entrance (Roy Del Ruth, 1933)

In 1930, when she was 17, she eloped with the 26-year-old actor Grant Withers; they were married in Yuma, Arizona. The marriage was annulled the next year, just as their second movie together (ironically entitled Too Young to Marry) was released.

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Loretta Young and Grant Withers

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The Second Floor Mystery (Roy Del Ruth, 1930) Loretta Young and Grant Withers

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Loretta Young and Grant Withers

In 1935, she co-starred with Clark Gable and Jack Oakie in the film version of Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, directed by William Wellman.

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Loretta Young and Clark Gable in Call of the Wild  (William Wellman, 1935)

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Loretta Young and Clark Gable in Call of the Wild  (William Wellman, 1935)


Loretta Young and Clark Gable in Call of the Wild  (William Wellman, 1935)

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Loretta Young and Clark Gable in Call of the Wild  (William Wellman, 1935)

During World War II, Young made Ladies Courageous (1944; reissued as Fury in the Sky), the fictionalized story of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. It depicted a unit of female pilots who flew bomber planes from the factories to their final destinations. Young made as many as eight movies a year.

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Ladies Courageous AKA Fury in the Sky (John Rawlins, 1944)

Ladies Courageous AKA Fury in the Sky (John Rawlins, 1944)

In 1947, she won an Oscar for her performance in The Farmer’s Daughter. That same year, she co-starred with Cary Grant and David Niven in The Bishop’s Wife, a perennial favorite. In 1949, she received another Academy Award nomination for Come to the Stable. In 1953, she appeared in her last theatrical film, It Happens Every Thursday, a Universal comedy about a New York couple who move to California to take over a struggling weekly newspaper; her costar was John Forsythe.

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Loretta Young with her Academy Award for The Farmer’s Daughter (HC Potter, 1947

Loretta Young in The Farmer’s Daughter (HC Potter, 1947)

Loretta Young in The Bishop’s Wife (Henry Koster, 1947)

Loretta Young in Come to the Stable (Henry Koster, 1949)

Loretta Young in It Happens Every Thursday (Joseph Pevney, 1953)


Young hosted and starred in the well-received half-hour anthology television series Letter to Loretta (soon retitled The Loretta Young Show), which was originally broadcast from 1953 to 1961.

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She earned three Emmy awards for the program. Her trademark was a dramatic entrance through a living-room door in various high-fashion evening gowns. She returned at the program’s conclusion to offer a brief passage from the Bible or a famous quote that reflected upon the evening’s story.

(Young’s introductions and concluding remarks were not rerun on television because she legally stipulated that they not be, as she did not want the dresses she wore in those segments to make the program seem dated.) The program ran in prime time on NBC for eight years, the longest-running primetime network program hosted by a woman up to that time.[citation needed]

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Ancient Egypt Photograph – The Loretta Young Show, Aka Letter To by Everett

The program was based on the premise that each drama was in answer to a question asked in her fan mail. The title was changed to The Loretta Young Show during the first season (as of the episode of February 14, 1954), and the “letter” concept was dropped at the end of the second season. Towards the end of the second season, Young was hospitalized as a result of overwork, which required a number of guest hosts and guest stars; her first appearance in the 1955–56 season was for the Christmas show. From then on, Young appeared in only about half of each season’s shows as an actress and served as the program’s host for the remainder.

Minus Young’s introductions and conclusions, the series was rerun as the Loretta Young Theatre in daytime by NBC from 1960 to 1964. It also appeared in syndicationinto the early 1970s, before being withdrawn.

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In the 1962–1963 television season, Young appeared as Christine Massey, a freelance magazine writer and the mother of seven children, in The New Loretta Young Show, on CBS. It fared poorly in the ratings on Monday evenings against ABC‘s Ben Casey. It was dropped after one season of 26 episodes.[citation needed]

In the 1990s, selected episodes from Young’s personal collection, with the opening and closing segments (and original title) intact, were released on home video, and frequently were shown on cable television.[citation needed]

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On the set of The Loretta Young Show


In 1988, she received the Women in Film Crystal Award for outstanding women, who through their endurance and the excellence of their work, helped to expand the role of women in the entertainment industry.[9]

Young has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for her work in television, at 6135 Hollywood Boulevard, and the other for her work in motion pictures, at 6100 Hollywood Boulevard.[10] In 2011, a Golden Palm Star on the Walk of Stars, in Palm Springs, California, was dedicated to her.[11]

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Personal life

Young was married to the actor Grant Withers from 1930 to 1931.

From September 1933 to June 1934, she had a public affair with Spencer Tracy, her co-star in Man’s Castle.[12] She married the producer Tom Lewis in 1940; they divorced bitterly in the mid-1960s.

Lewis died in 1988. They had two sons, Peter Lewis (of the San Francisco rock band Moby Grape) and Christopher Lewis, a film director. Young married the fashion designer Jean Louis in 1993. He died in 1997. Young was godmother to Marlo Thomas (daughter of the TV star Danny Thomas).[13]

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With Grant Withers in Too Young To Marry  (Mervyn LeRoy, 1931)

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With Spencer Tracy in Man’s Castle (Frank Borzage, 1933)

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With Tom Lewis on their wedding day

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With Tom Lewis and children

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With her last husband Jean Louis 

Pregnancy by Clark Gable

Young and Clark Gable were the romantic leads of the 1935 Twentieth Century Pictures film The Call of the Wild, which was filmed early in that year. Young was then 22 years old, while Gable was 34 and married (to Maria “Ria” Franklin Prentiss Lucas Langham). During the filming, Gable impregnated Young.

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Loretta Young with Clark Gable

For the next 80 years, those who knew of Gable’s paternity widely assumed the pregnancy to be the result of an affair between the two. However, in 2015, Linda Lewis, Young’s daughter-in-law (and Christopher Lewis’s wife) stated publicly that, in 1998, Young told Lewis that Gable had raped her and that, though the two had flirted on set, there had been no affair and no intimate contact save for that one incident.[14]

Young had not revealed the information before to anyone. According to Lewis, Young only stated it after having learned of the concept of date rape; she had previously always believed that it was a woman’s job to fend off men’s amorous advances and had felt the fact that Gable had been able to force himself on her was thus a moral failing on her part.[14]

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Loretta Young with Clark Gable

Young, her sisters and her mother came up with a plan to hide the pregnancy and then pass off the child as an adopted child.[14] Young did not want to damage her career or Gable’s, and she knew that, if Twentieth Century Pictures found out about the pregnancy, they would try to pressure her to have an abortion, which Young, a devout Catholic, considered a mortal sin.[14]

When the pregnancy began to show, Young went on a “vacation” to England, and several months later returned to California. Shortly before the birth, she gave an interview from her bed, covered in blankets, stating that her long movie absence was due to a condition she had had since childhood. Young gave birth to Judith Young on November 6, 1935, in a house that she and her mother owned in Venice, California. Young named Judith after St. Jude, because he was the patron saint of (among other things) difficult situations.[14]

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Loretta Young and her daughter Judith

Three weeks later, Young returned to moviemaking. After several months of living in the house in Venice, Judy was transferred to St. Elizabeth’s, an orphanage outside Los Angeles. When she was 19 months old, her grandmother picked her up, and Young announced to gossip columnist Louella Parsons that she had adopted the infant.

Few in Hollywood were fooled by the ruse, and the child’s true parentage was widely rumored in entertainment circles. Young refused to confirm or comment publicly on the rumors until 1999, when Joan Wester Anderson wrote Young’s authorized biography. In interviews with Anderson for the book, Young stated that Judy was her biological child and the product of a brief affair with Gable.[15] The child was raised as Judy Lewis,[16] taking the last name of Young’s second husband.

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Loretta Young and Judith Lewis in 1960s

Judy Lewis wrote in her autobiography, Uncommon Knowledge, that some people made fun of her because of the prominent ears she had inherited from her father. She states that at seven she had an operation to “pin back” her large ears and that her mother always had her wear bonnets as a child.

In 1958, Lewis’s future husband, Joseph Tinney, told her “everybody” knew that Gable was her biological father. The only time she remembered Gable visiting her was once at her home when she was a teenager; she had no idea he was her biological father.

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Loretta Young, Clark Gable and Judy Lewis

Several years later he appeared on The Loretta Young Show after Young had been in hospital for several months. Lewis was an assistant and was right behind her mother when she noticed Gable. They never had a relationship, and she never saw him again.[17]Several years later, after becoming a mother herself, Lewis finally confronted her mother, who privately admitted the truth, stating that Judy was “a walking mortal sin.”[18]

Linda Lewis said the family stayed silent about the date rape claim until after both Loretta Young and Judy Lewis had died.[14]

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Judy Lewis


Young was a lifelong Republican.[19] In 1952, she appeared in radio, print, and magazine ads in support of Dwight D. Eisenhower in his campaign for President.

She attended his inauguration in 1953, along with Anita LouiseLouella ParsonsJane RussellDick PowellJune Allyson, and Lou Costello, among others.

She was a vocal supporter of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan in their presidential campaigns in 1968 and 1980, respectively.[20] Young was also an active member of the Hollywood Republican Committee, with her close friend Irene Dunne and Ginger RogersWilliam HoldenGeorge MurphyFred Astaire, and John Wayne.[21]

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Loretta Young with John Wayne, Lew Cody and Joan Marsh – promo for Three Girls Lost (Sidney Lanfield, 1931)


Later life

From the time of Young’s retirement in the 1960s until not long before her death, she devoted herself to volunteer work for charities and churches with her friends of many years: Jane WymanIrene Dunne, and Rosalind Russell.[22] She was a member of the Good Shepherd Parish and the Catholic Motion Picture Guild in Beverly Hills, California.[23] Young briefly came out of retirement to star in two television films, Christmas Eve (1986) and Lady in the Corner (1989).

Loretta Young and Judy Lewis 65

Loretta Young with Judy Lewis attending a charitable event

She won a Golden Globe Award for the former and was nominated again for the latter.[24]

In 1972, a jury in Los Angeles awarded Young $550,000 in a lawsuit against NBC for breach of contract. Filed in 1966, the suit contended that NBC had allowed foreign television outlets to rerun old episodes of The Loretta Young Show without excluding, as agreed by the parties, the opening segment in which Young made her entrance. Young testified that her image had been damaged by portraying her in “outdated gowns.” She had sought damages of $1.9 million.[25]

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Loretta Young in Christmas Eve (1986)


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Loretta Young in Lady in the Corner (1989)


Young died of ovarian cancer on August 12, 2000, at the home of her half-sister, Georgiana Montalbán[26] (the wife of the actor Ricardo Montalban), in Santa Monica, California.

She was interred in the family plot in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Her ashes were buried in the grave of her mother, Gladys Belzer.[27][28] Her elder sisters had both died from cancer, as did her daughter, Judy Lewis, on November 25, 2011, at the age of 76.

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LORETTA YOUNG  ACTRESS 01 May 1952 CTC4878 Allstar/Cinetext/


Year Title Role Notes
1917 The Primrose Ring Fairy Lost; uncredited
1917 Sirens of the Sea Child As Gretchen Young
1919 The Only Way Child on operating table
1921 White and Unmarried Child Uncredited
1921 The Sheik Arab child Extant; uncredited
1927 Naughty but Nice Bit part Lost; uncredited
1927 Her Wild Oat Bit by ping pong table Extant; uncredited
1928 The Whip Woman The Girl Lost
1928 Laugh, Clown, Laugh Simonetta Extant; made at MGM
1928 The Magnificent Flirt Denise Laverne Lost; made at Paramount Pictures
1928 The Head Man Carol Watts Lost
1928 Scarlet Seas Margaret Barbour Lost (Vitaphone track of music and effects survives)
1929 Seven Footprints to Satan One of Satan’s victims Extant; uncredited
1929 The Squall Irma Extant, in Library of Congress
1929 The Girl in the Glass Cage Gladys Cosgrove Lost
1929 Fast Life Patricia Mason Stratton Lost (Vitaphone soundtrack discs at UCLA Film and Television)
1929 The Careless Age Muriel Lost
1929 The Forward Pass Patricia Carlyle Lost
1929 The Show of Shows “Meet My Sister” number Extant, in Library of Congress
1930 Loose Ankles Ann Harper Berry Extant, in Library of Congress
1930 The Man from Blankley’s Margery Seaton Lost (Vitaphone soundtrack discs at UCLA Film and Television)
1930 Show Girl in Hollywood Extant, in Library of Congress; uncredited
1930 The Second Floor Mystery Marion Ferguson Extant, in Library of Congress
1930 Road to Paradise Mary Brennan/Margaret Waring Extant, in Library of Congress
1930 Warner Bros. Jubilee Dinner Herself Short subject
1930 Kismet Marsinah Lost (Vitaphone soundtrack discs at UCLA Film and Television)
1930 War Nurse Nurse Extant; made at MGM; uncredited (Young’s scenes deleted)
1930 The Truth About Youth Phyllis Ericson Extant, in Library of Congress
1930 The Devil to Pay! Dorothy Hope Extant; produced by Samuel Goldwyn; released by United Artists
1931 How I Play Golf, by Bobby Jones No. 8: “The Brassie” Herself Short subject
1931 Beau Ideal Isobel Brandon Extant; made at RKO
1931 The Right of Way Rosalie Evantural Extant, in Library of Congress
1931 The Stolen Jools Herself Short subject
1931 Three Girls Lost Norene McMann Extant
1931 Too Young to Marry Elaine Bumpstead Extant, in Library of Congress
1931 Big Business Girl Claie “Mac” McIntyre Extant, in Library of Congress
1931 I Like Your Nerve Diane Forsythe Extant, in Library of Congress
1931 The Ruling Voice Gloria Bannister Extant, in Library of Congress
1931 Platinum Blonde Gallagher
1932 Taxi! Sue Riley Nolan Extant, in Library of Congress
1932 The Hatchet Man Sun Toya San Extant, in Library of Congress; original title The Honorable Mr. Wong
1932 Play-Girl Buster “Bus” Green Dennis Extant, in Library of Congress
1932 Week-End Marriage Lola Davis Hayes Extant, in Library of Congress
1932 Life Begins Grace Sutton Extant, in Library of Congress
1932 They Call It Sin Marion Cullen Extant, in Library of Congress[29]
1933 Employees’ Entrance Madeleine Walters West Extant, in Library of Congress
1933 Grand Slam Marcia Stanislavsky Extant, in Library of Congress
1933 Zoo in Budapest Eve Extant
1933 The Life of Jimmy Dolan Peggy Extant, in Library of Congress
1933 Heroes for Sale Ruth Loring Holmes Extant, in Library of Congress
1933 Midnight Mary Mary Martin
1933 She Had to Say Yes Florence “Flo” Denny Extant, in Library of Congress
1933 The Devil’s in Love Margot Lesesne Extant
1933 Man’s Castle Trina Extant
1934 The House of Rothschild Julie Rothschild
1934 Born to Be Bad Letty Strong
1934 Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back Lola Field
1934 Caravan Countess Wilma
1934 The White Parade June Arden
1935 Clive of India Margaret Maskelyne Clive
1935 Shanghai Barbara Howard
1935 The Call of the Wild Claire Blake
1935 The Crusades Berengaria, Princess of Navarre
1935 Hollywood Extra Girl Herself Short subject
1936 The Unguarded Hour Lady Helen Dudley Dearden
1936 Private Number Ellen Neal
1936 Ramona Ramona
1936 Ladies in Love Susie Schmidt
1937 Love Is News Toni Gateson
1937 Café Metropole Laura Ridgeway
1937 Love Under Fire Myra Cooper
1937 Wife, Doctor and Nurse Ina Heath Lewis
1937 Second Honeymoon Vicky
1938 Four Men and a Prayer Miss Lynn Cherrington
1938 Three Blind Mice Pamela Charters
1938 Suez Countess Eugenie de Montijo
1938 Kentucky Sally Goodwin
1939 Wife, Husband and Friend Doris Borland
1939 The Story of Alexander Graham Bell Mrs. Mabel Hubbard Bell
1939 Eternally Yours Anita
1940 The Doctor Takes a Wife June Cameron
1940 He Stayed for Breakfast Marianna Duval
1941 The Lady from Cheyenne Annie Morgan
1941 The Men in Her Life Lina Varsavina
1941 Bedtime Story Jane Drake
1942 A Night to Remember Nancy Troy
1943 China Carolyn Grant
1943 Show Business at War Herself Short subject
1944 Ladies Courageous Roberta Harper Famously “a clef” biopic of the WWII WASPs, pioneering women pilots
1944 And Now Tomorrow Emily Blair
1945 Along Came Jones Cherry de Longpre
1946 The Stranger Mary Longstreet
1947 The Perfect Marriage Maggie Williams
1947 The Farmer’s Daughter Katrin “Katy” Holstrum Academy Award for Best Actress
1947 The Bishop’s Wife Julia Brougham
1948 Rachel and the Stranger Rachel Harvey
1949 The Accused Dr. Wilma Tuttle
1949 Mother Is a Freshman Abigail Fortitude Abbott
1949 Come to the Stable Sister Margaret Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actress
1950 Key to the City Clarissa Standish
1951 You Can Change the World Herself Short subject
1951 Cause for Alarm! Ellen Jones
1951 Half Angel Nora Gilpin
1951 Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Awards Herself Short subject
1952 Paula Paula Rogers
1952 Because of You Christine Carroll Kimberly
1953 It Happens Every Thursday Jane MacAvoy
1986 Christmas Eve Amanda Kingsley
1989 Lady in the Corner Grace Guthrie
1994 Life Along the Mississippi Narrator (voice)

Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source
1940 The Campbell Playhouse Theodora Goes Wild[30]
1945 Cavalcade of America Children, This Is Your Father[30]
1947 Family Theater “Flight from Home”[30]
1950 Suspense “Lady Killer”[30]
1952 Lux Radio Theatre Come to the Stable[31]
1952 Family Theater “Heritage of Home”[32]

Loretta Young-1940

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See also


  1. Jump up to:a b Laufenberg, Norbert B. (2005). Entertainment Celebrities. Trafford Publishing. p. 863. ISBN 1-4120-5335-8.
  2. Jump up^ Davis, Ronald L. (2001). Duke: The Life and Image of John Wayne. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 47. ISBN 0-8061-3329-5.
  3. Jump up^ Lowe, Denise (2005). An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Women In Early American Films, 1895–1930. Psychology Press. p. 585. ISBN 0-7890-1843-8.
  4. Jump up^ Leading Ladies The 50 Most Unforgettable Actresses of the Studio Era. New York: Chronicle, 2006
  5. Jump up^ Spicer, Christopher J. “Clark Gable: Biography, Filmography, Bibliography”. p. 113. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  6. Jump up^ “Loretta Young”. Loretta Young. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  7. Jump up^ “Loretta Young Biography”. 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  8. Jump up^ Lowe, Denise (2005). An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Women in Early American Films, 1895–1930. Routledge. p. 67. ISBN 0-7890-1843-8.
  9. Jump up^ [1] Archived June 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Jump up^ “Walk of Fame Stars: Loretta Young”. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on April 3, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  11. Jump up^ “Palm Springs Walk of Stars by Date Dedicated” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-13. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  12. Jump up^ Curtis (2011), p. 210 for the beginning of the affair, pp. 213 and 215 for the public nature of the relationship, p. 235 for the breakup.
  13. Jump up^ “Loretta Young – (Movie Promo) by Marlo Thomas”. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  14. Jump up to:a b c d e f Petersen, Anne Helen. “Clark Gable Accused of Raping Co-Star”. BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  15. Jump up^ Anderson, Joan Wester (November 2000). Forever Young: The Life, Loves, and Enduring Faith of a Hollywood Legend: The Authorized Biography of Loretta Young. Thomas More Publishing. ISBN 978-0883474679.
  16. Jump up^ アンジェリカルートとは. “アンジェリカルートとは”. Judy– Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  17. Jump up^ Lewis, Judy (May 1994). Uncommon KnowledgePocket BooksISBN 978-0671700195.
  18. Jump up^ Interview with Judy Lewis. Girl 27 (documentary), 2007.
  19. Jump up^ Dick, Bernard. Hollywood Madonna: Loretta Young. pp. 197– 201.
  20. Jump up^ Dick, Bernard. Hollywood Madonna: Loretta Young. p. 202.
  21. Jump up^ Epstein, Edward (1986). Loretta Young: An Extraordinary Life. pp. 215–16.
  22. Jump up^ “Classic Hollywood 101: The BFF’s of Classic Hollywood”. 2010-07-09. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  23. Jump up^ “Our History | Church of the Good Shepherd”. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  24. Jump up^ “Awards for Loretta Young”. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  25. Jump up^ “Loretta Young Wins $559,000 Damages”. Oakland Tribune. January 18, 1972. p. 12.
  26. Jump up^ “Elegant Beauty Loretta Young Dies”. 2000-08-12. Retrieved 2 May2010.
  27. Jump up^ Gary Wayne. “Holy Cross Cemetery, Part 2: Stars’ Graves”. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  28. Jump up^ Loretta Young at Find a Grave
  29. Jump up^ They Call It Sin at the American Film Institute Catalog
  30. Jump up to:a b c d “Those Were the Days”. Nostalgia Digest39 (1): 32–41. Winter 2013.
  31. Jump up^ Kirby, Walter (March 23, 1952). “Better Radio Programs for the Week”. Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved May 21, 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  32. Jump up^ Kirby, Walter (February 17, 1952). “Better Radio Programs for the Week”. Decatur Daily Review. p. 40. Retrieved June 1, 2015 – via open access publication – free to read

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Her First Affaire (1932)

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Her First Affaire (1932)


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Director: Allan Dwan

Cast: Ida Lupino, George Curzon, Diana Napier, Harry Tate, Muriel Aked, Arnold Riches, Kenneth Kove, Helen Haye, Roland Culver

71 min  

Her First Affaire is a 1932 British drama film directed by Allan Dwan and starring Ida LupinoGeorge Curzon and Diana Napier.[1] It was based on a play by Merrill Rogers and Frederick J. Jackson.


A headstrong young girl falls completely for a writer of trashy novels, and insinuates herself into his household, all to the chagrin of her erstwhile fiancé.He conspires with the author’s wife to show the girl how foolish she’s been.

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  1. Jump up^ “Her First Affaire (1932)”BFI. Retrieved 3 May 2016.

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Saturday Night Kid, The (1929)

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The Saturday Night Kid (1929)

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Director: A Edward Sutherland

Cast: Clara Bow, Jean Arthur, James Hall, Jean Arthur, Edna May Arthur, Charles Sellon, Ethel Wales, Jean Harlow

63 min

The Saturday Night Kid is a 1929 American Pre-Code romantic comedy film about two sisters and the man they both want. It stars Clara BowJean ArthurJames Hall, and in her first credited role, Jean Harlow. The film was based on the play Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em (1926) by George Abbott and John V. A. Weaver. The movie still survives. The film was preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding by Clara Bow biographer David Stenn.

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Set in May 1929, the film focuses on two sisters – Mayme (Clara Bow) and Janie (Jean Arthur) – as they share an apartment in New York City. In daytime, they work as salesgirls at the Ginsberg’s department store, and at night they vie for the attention of their colleague Bill (James Hall) and fight over Janie’s selfish and reckless behavior, such as stealing Mayme’s clothes and hitchhiking to work with strangers.

Bill prefers Mayme over Janie and constantly shows his affection for her. This upsets Janie, who schemes to break up the couple.

One day at work, Bill is promoted to floorwalker, while Janie is made treasurer of the benefit pageant. Mayme, however, is not granted a promotion, but gets heavily criticized for constantly being late at work by the head of personnel, Miss Streeter (Edna May Oliver).

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Journey’s End (1930)

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Journey’s End (1930)

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Director: James Whale

Cast: Colin Clive, Ian Maclaren, David Manners, Billy Bevan, Anthony Bushell, Robert Adair, Charles K Gerrard, Tom Whiteley

120 min

Journey’s End is a 1930 British-American war film directed by James Whale. Based on the play of the same name by R. C. Sherriff, the film tells the story of several British army officers involved in trench warfare during the First World War. The film, like the play before it, was an enormous critical and commercial success and launched the film careers of Whale and several of its stars.

The following year there was a German film version Die andere Seite directed by Heinz Paul starring Conrad Veidt as Stanhope and Wolfgang Liebeneiner as Raleigh. The film was banned just weeks after the Nazis took power in 1933.

In 1976, the play was adapted again as Aces High with the scenario shifted to the British Royal Flying Corps. The play was adapted for film again with its original title and scenario in 2017.

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On the eve of a battle in 1918, a new officer, Second Lieutenant Raleigh (David Manners), joins Captain Stanhope’s (Colin Clive) company in the British trench lines in France. The two men knew each other at school: the younger Raleigh hero-worshipping Stanhope, while Stanhope has come to love Raleigh’s sister.

But the Stanhope whom Raleigh encounters now is a changed man who, after three years at the front, has turned to drink and seems close to a breakdown. Stanhope is terrified that Raleigh will betray Stanhope’s decline to his sister, whom Stanhope still hopes to marry after the war.

An older officer, the avuncular Lieutenant Osborne (Ian Maclaren), desperately tries to keep Stanhope from cracking. Osborne and Raleigh are selected to lead a raiding party on the German trenches where a number of the British forces are killed, including Osborne. Later, when Raleigh too is mortally wounded, Stanhope faces a desperate time as, grief-stricken and without close friends, he prepares to face another furious enemy attack.

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When Howard Hughes made the decision to turn Hell’s Angels into a talkie, he hired a then-unknown James Whale, who had just arrived in Hollywood following a successful turn directing the play Journey’s End in London and on Broadway, to direct the talking sequences; it was Whale’s film debut, and arguably prepared him for the later success he would have with the feature version of Journey’s EndWaterloo Bridge, and, most famously, the 1931 version of Frankenstein. Unhappy with the script, Whale brought in Joseph Moncure March to re-write it. Hughes later gave March the Luger pistol used in the film.[1]

With production delayed while Hughes tinkered with the flying scenes in Hell’s Angels, Whale managed to shoot his film adaptation of Journey’s End and have it come out a month before Hell’s Angels was released. The gap between completion of the dialogue scenes and completion of the aerial combat stunts allowed Whale to be paid, sail back to England, and begin work on the subsequent project, making Whale’s actual (albeit uncredited) cinema debut, his “second” film to be released.[citation needed]

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  1. Jump up^ Curtis 1998, p. 86.
  • Curtis, James. James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters. Boston: Faber and Faber,1998. ISBN0-571-19285-8.
  • Dolan, Edward F. Jr. Hollywood Goes to War. London: Bison Books, 1985. ISBN0-86124-229-7.
  • Hardwick, Jack and Ed Schnepf. “A Viewer’s Guide to Aviation Movies”. The Making of the Great Aviation Films, General Aviation Series, Volume 2, 1989.
  • Orriss, Bruce. When Hollywood Ruled the Skies: The Aviation Film Classics of World War II. Hawthorne, California: Aero Associates Inc., 1984. ISBN0-9613088-0-X.
  • Osborne, Robert. 65 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards London: Abbeville Press, 1994. ISBN1-55859-715-8.
  • “Production of ‘Hell’s Angels’ Cost the Lives of Three Aviators.” Syracuse Herald, December 28, 1930, p. 59.
  • Robertson, Patrick. Film Facts. New York: Billboard Books, 2001. ISBN0-8230-7943-0.

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Ten Minutes To Live (1932)

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Ten Minutes To Live (1932)

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Director: Oscar Micheaux

Cast: Lawrence Chenault, A B DeComathiere, Laura Bowman, Willor Lee Guilford, Tressie Mitchell, Mabel Garrett, Carl Mahon, Galle De Gaston

58 min

Ten Minutes to Live is a 1932 American film directed by Oscar Micheaux.

Plot summary

A movie producer offers a nightclub singer a role in his latest film, but all he really wants to do is bed her. She knows, but accepts anyway. Meanwhile, a patron at the club gets a note saying that she’ll soon get another note, and that she will be killed ten minutes after that.

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From Hell To Heaven (1933)

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From Hell To Heaven (1933)



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Director: Erle C Kenton

Cast: Carole Lombard, Jack Oakie, Adrienne Ames, Sidney Blackmer, David Manners, Sidney Blackmer, Verna Hillie, Shirley Gray, Rita La Roy, Donald Kerr, Berton Churchill, Nydia Westman

67 min

From Hell to Heaven is a 1933 American Pre-Code drama film. It was directed by Erle C. Kenton, and features an ensemble cast including Carole LombardJack OakieAdrienne Ames and Sidney Blackmer.

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A group of people from several walks of life gather to watch a horse race.


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Production and reception

From Hell to Heaven was Paramount‘s effort to replicate the success of Grand Hotel (1932), which had won the Academy Award for Best Picture for MGM the year before.[1] Reviews were favorable; Mordaunt Hall of The New York Times wrote, “It is not as ambitious a picture as Grand Hotel, but it is interesting.”[2]

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  1. Jump up^ Swindell, Larry (1975). Screwball: The Life of Carole Lombard. New York: William Morrow & Company. p. 127. ISBN 978-0688002879.
  2. Jump up^ Ott, Frederick W. (1972). The Films of Carole Lombard. Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0806502786.

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It Pays To Advertise (1931)

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It Pays To Advertise (1931)


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Director: Frank Tuttle

Cast: Norman Foster, Carole Lombard, Richard Skeets Gallagher, Eugene Pallette, Lucien Littlefield, Judith Wood, Louise Brooks, Morgan Wallace, Tom Kennedy, Frank Tuttle

63 min

It Pays to Advertise is a 1931 American pre-Code comedy film, based on the play of the same name by Roi Cooper Megrue and Walter C. Hackett, starring Norman Foster and Carole Lombard, and directed by Frank Tuttle.[1]


Rodney Martin sets up a soap business to rival his father. With the help of an advertising expert and his secretary, Mary, he develops a successful marketing campaign. His father ends up buying the company from him, while Rodney and Mary fall in love.[2]

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The film received positive reviews. Photoplay wrote that it has “plenty of speed and lots of laughs”, and praised the “perfect cast”.[2]

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  1. Jump up^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:..It Pays to Advertise
  2. Jump up to:a b Ott, Frederick W. (1972). The Films of Carole Lombard. Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press. pp. 80–81. ISBN 978-0806502786.

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Laughter (19300

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Laughter (1930)


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Director: Harry d’Abbadie d’Arrast

Cast: Nancy Carroll, Fredric March, Frank Morgan, Glenn Anders, Diane Ellis, Ollie Burgoyne, Leonard Carey, Eric Blore

85 min 

Laughter is a 1930 American pre-Code film directed by Harry d’Abbadie d’Arrast and starring Nancy CarrollFredric March and Frank Morgan.[1]

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Story.[2]

A copy has been preserved at the Library of Congress.[3]

In 1931, a German-language version called Die Männer um Lucie was released starring Liane Haid and Lien Deyers. This film is considered lost.

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Peggy is a Follies dancer who forsakes her life of carefree attachments in order to meet her goal of marrying a millionaire. Alas, her elderly husband, broker C. Morton Gibson, is a well-meaning bore, and soon Peggy begins seeking entertainment elsewhere.

A year after their marriage, three significant events occur almost simultaneously. Peggy’s former boyfriend, Paul Lockridge, a composer and pianist who is in love with her and seems to have a funny quip for every occasion, returns from Paris.

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She reunites with him as he offers her his companionship as a diversion from her stuffy life. Also, Ralph Le Saint, a young devil-may-care sculptor who is still in love with Peggy, plans his suicide in a mood of bitterness, and Gibson’s daughter, Marjorie, returns from schooling abroad. Marjorie is soon paired with Ralph, and the romance that develops between them is paralleled by the adult affair between Peggy and Paul.

Ralph and Marjorie’s escapades result in considerable trouble for Morton, while Paul implores Peggy to go to Paris with him, declaring “You are rich–dirty rich. You are dying. You need laughter to make you clean,” but she refuses. When Marjorie plans to elope with Ralph, Peggy exposes the sculptor as a fortune hunter; and, dejected, he commits suicide. As a result, Peggy confesses her unhappiness to Gibson, then joins Paul and laughter in Paris.

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  1. The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:Laughter
  2. Jump up^ Osborne, Robert (1994). 65 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards. London: Abbeville Press. p. 27. ISBN 1-55859-715-8.
  3. Jump up^ Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congressp.101 c.1978 by the American Film Institute


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Heart of New York, The (1932)

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The Heart of New York (1932)

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Director: Mervyn LeRoy

Cast: Joe Smith, Charles Dale, George Sidney, Ruth Hall, Aline MacMahon, Anna Appel, Donald Cook, Oscar Apfel

73 min

The Heart of New York is a 1932 American pre-Code comedy film starring the vaudeville team of Smith & Dale and George Sidney. It was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and based on the Broadway play Mendel, Inc. by David Freedman.

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The plumber Mendel Marantz, a passionate inventor, hasn’t much luck and a family that doesn’t understand him. He finally strikes it rich with a dishwashing machine he invented.

He finds an investor, Gassenheim, and begins to make his way up in the world. But Mendel’s troubles are not over; his family doesn’t share his dream to become the landlord of the house where they live on New York’s Lower East Side.

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They prefer to move uptown to Park Avenue and adapt to how rich people live. Mendel’s ideas for the house are not forgotten. The men he once told how he wished to transform the building take on the work of renovating it, with every detail he planned.

Neighbours and visitors come to see the house and the new, beautiful penthouse. His wife and his children are still in Park Avenue and when Gassenheim stops paying royalties to Mrs. Marantz, she and the children come home, to find that Mendel is close to losing everything.

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Virtue (1932)

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Virtue (1932)

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Actresses Carole Lombard and Shirley Grey in Virtue

Director: Edward Buzzell

Cast: Carle Lombard, Pat O’Brien, Ward Bond, Shirley Grey, Mayo Methot, Jack LaRue, Williard Robertson, Jessie Arnold

68 min

Virtue is a 1932 Pre-Code American romance film starring Carole Lombard and Pat O’Brien.


New York City streetwalker Mae (Carole Lombard) is placed on a train by a policeman and told not to come back. However, she gets off, taking the cab of Jimmy Doyle (Pat O’Brien), who doesn’t think much of women. She slips away without paying the fare. Her friend and fellow prostitute, Lil (Mayo Methot), advises her to find honest work.

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The next day, Mae goes to the cab company to pay Jimmy. They start arguing, but they are attracted to each other. He gets her a job as a waitress. By coincidence, Gert (Shirley Grey), another former prostitute who knows her, also works at the restaurant.

Jimmy and Mae soon marry, but Mae doesn’t tell her new husband about her past. After a honeymoon at Coney Island, the happy couple are met at Mae’s apartment by a policeman who mistakes Jimmy for Mae’s latest “client”. Jimmy shows him their marriage license to clear up the trouble, then leaves to think things over. He returns the next day, ready to try to make the marriage work.

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Jimmy has saved $420 of the $500 he needs to become a partner in Flannagan’s gas station. However, Gert begs Mae to lend her $200 for a doctor. Despite her misgivings, Mae gives it to her. The next day, she learns that Gert has lied to her. When Jimmy tells her that the gas station owner needs money and is willing to settle for what he already has, Mae begins searching desperately for Gert.

Mae finally finds her and slaps her around until she promises to get her the money the next night. However, Gert has given the money to her boyfriend Toots (Jack La Rue), who is also Lil’s pimp. When Gert tries to steal the $200 from his wallet, Toots catches her and accidentally kills her. He hides the body, then watches from hiding as Mae shows up, finds the money and leaves.

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The police arrest Mae for the crime because she left her bag behind in Gert’s apartment. However, a distrusting Jimmy had been following Mae and knows a man was with Gert. He learns that it was Toots, but when he confronts him, Lil gives Toots an alibi. Jimmy goes to the district attorney to report what he knows. Lil convinces Toots to go to the district attorney to lodge a complaint against Jimmy. Lil reveals herself to be Mae’s true friend, admitting that Toots lied and exonerating Mae.

Jimmy goes to the gas station to tell Flannagan he no longer wants to buy into the partnership. He sees Mae pumping gas under a Doyle & Flannagan sign. They argue and reconcile.

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Cast (in credits order)

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Virtue 4

Virtue 3

Virtue 2

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Broadway (1929)

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Broadway (1929)

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Director: Paul Fejos

Cast: Glenn Tryon, Evelyn Brent, Merna Kennedy, Thomas E Jackson, Robert Ellis, Otis Harlan, Paul Porcasi, Marion Lord, Fritz Field, Leslie Fenton, Arthur Housman

104 min


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Broadway is a 1929 film directed by Paul Fejos from the play of the same name by George Abbott and Philip Dunning. It stars Glenn TryonEvelyn BrentPaul PorcasiRobert EllisMerna Kennedy and Thomas E. Jackson.[1]

This was Universal’s first talking picture with Technicolor sequences. The film was released by the Criterion Collection on Blu-ray and DVD with Paul Fejo’s Lonesome on August 2012.


Roy Lane and Billie Moore, entertainers at the Paradise Nightclub, are in love and are rehearsing an act together. Late to work one evening, Billie is saved from dismissal by Nick Verdis, the club proprietor, through the intervention of Steve Crandall, a bootlegger, who desires a liaison with the girl.

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“Scar” Edwards, robbed of a truckload of contraband liquor by Steve’s gang, arrives at the club for a showdown with Steve and is shot in the back. Steve gives Billie a bracelet to forget that she has seen him helping a “drunk” from the club. Though Roy is arrested by Dan McCorn, he is later released on Billie’s testimony.

Nick is murdered by Steve. Billie witnesses the killing, but keeps quiet about the dirty business until she finds out Steve’s next target is Roy. Billie is determined to tell her story to the police before Roy winds up dead, but Steve isn’t about to let that happen and kidnaps her. Steve, in his car, is fired at from a taxi, and overheard by Pearl, he confesses to killing Edwards. Pearl confronts Steve in Nick’s office and kills him; and McCorn, finding Steve’s body, insists that he committed suicide, exonerating Pearl and leaving Roy and Billie to the success of their act.

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Director Fejos designed the camera crane specifically for use on this movie, allowing unusually fluid movement and access to nearly every conceivable angle. It could travel at 600 feet per minute and enlivened the visual style of this film and others that followed.

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Preservation status

Both the silent version and the talking version of Broadway are extant, but the surviving talking version is incomplete. The color sequence at the end survives in color and in sound. In 2013, Broadway was restored by The Criterion Collection and released on DVD and Blu-ray.

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See also


  1. Jump up to:a b BroadwayCatalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2015-11-24.

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Broadway 10


Broadway 9

Broadway 13

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Going Spanish (1934)

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Going Spanish (1934)

Going Spanish 1

Director: Al Christie

Cast: Bob Hope, Leah Ray, Frances Halliday, Jules Epailly, Vicki Cummings, William Edmunds, Godoy’s Spanish Band

19 min 

Going Spanish (1934) is an American short comedy film featuring the film debut of Bob Hope and directed by Al Christie. The short comedy co-stars Leah Ray and Jules Epailly. Released by Educational Pictures, the film premiered on March 2, 1934, and is also known as Bob’s Busy Day (American recut version).[1]


While on vacation in the South America nation of Los Poachos Eggos, Bob (Bob Hope) passes through the village of Los Pochos Eggos. His car collides with that of the mayor of the village. The mayor becomes enraged and he begins tearing Bob’s car to pieces. Bob retaliates and takes his car apart as well.

According to the village tradition, on one day each year, any crime is forgiven provided that the criminal sing a song afterward. Bob could have been arrested, but instead he happened to appear in town on the appropriate day. Later in the film, Bob woos Senorita (Leah Ray) and begins to make the mayor jealous. Each time an offense is committed, the mayor declares “This means war.”

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The film was very unsuccessful and was panned by critics. Shortly after it was released, the bank robber John Dillingerwas at large. Hope told Walter Winchell that he had starred in the film and then added “When they catch Dillinger, they’re going to make him sit through it twice.”

After Hope made this comment, Christie and Educational terminated Hope’s contract. Hope then starred in his second and third short films, Soup for Nuts (Universal Studios, 9 July 1934) and Paree, Paree (Warner Brothers, 8 September 1934).



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Three Broadway Girls (1932)

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Three Broadway Girls AKA The Greeks Had A Word For Them (1932)

Three Broadway Girls 1

Director: Lowell Sherman

Cast: Joan Blondell, Madge Evans, Ina Claire, David Manners, Lowell Sherman, Phillips Smalley, Sidney Bracey, Ward Bond, Betty Grable, Creighton Hale, Barbara Weeks

79 min 

The Greeks Had a Word for Them (1932), also known as Three Broadway Girls, is a pre-Code comedy film directed by Lowell Sherman, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, and released by United Artists. It stars Joan BlondellMadge Evans, and Ina Claire and is based on the play The Greeks Had a Word for It by Zoë Akins.

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The studio originally wanted actress Jean Harlow for the lead after her success in Red-Headed Woman (1932), but she was under contract to Howard Hughes, and he refused to loan her out.

The movie served as inspiration for films like Three Blind Mice (1938), Moon Over Miami (1941), and How to Marry a Millionaire (1953). Also Ladies in Love (1936) has a similar pattern and produced like “Three Blind Mice” by Darryl F. Zanuck.[clarification needed]

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Jean, Polaire, and Schatze are ex-showgirls who put their money together in order to rent a luxurious penthouse apartment. They are out to get wealthy boyfriends by dressing and acting like millionaires themselves. Jean shows herself to be determined and ruthless, leaving the other girls behind. The other two are more sensitive and trustworthy but only one woman will be able to find a rich husband. Which is she?

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See also

Three Broadway Girls 5

Three Broadway Girls 6

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Road To Ruin, The (1934)

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The Road To Ruin (1934)

Road To Ruin The 1

Director: Dorothy Davenport AKA Mrs Wallace Reid and Melville Shyer

Cast: Helen Foster, Nell O’Day, Glen Boles, Robert Quirk, Paul Page, Richard Hemingway, Virginia True Boardman, Richard Tucker, Donald Kerr

 62 min

Road to Ruin is a 1934 Pre-Codeexploitation film directed by Dorothy Davenport, under the name “Mrs. Wallace Reid”, and Melville Shyer, and written by Davenport with the uncredited contribution of the film’s producer, Willis Kent. The film, which is in the public domain, is about a young girl whose life is ruined by sex and drugs.

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Director/writer Dorothy Davenport appears in the film in the role of “Mrs. Merrill.” Mae Busch and Fern Emmett appear in uncredited roles.

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The Road to Ruin is a sound re-make of a 1928 silent film of the same name, written and produced by Willis Kent and also starring Helen Foster.[1] Foster, reprising her role as a high school girl, was 27 years old at the time, and six years older than her on-screen boyfriend, Glen Boles.

The titles and composers of the three songs performed in the film are not recorded.[1]

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To promote the film, the producers advertised that it was not to be shown to anyone under eighteen, implying that it contained salacious material. Film censors in Virginia required a “record number” of cuts in the film before clearing it for release, according to Film Daily, while in Detroit, the film was boycotted by the Catholic Church, but was cleared by the local censors after some cuts.[1]

A novelization of the film was put out by the producers, apparently intended for use by school and civic groups as an aid to discussion of the social problems presented in the film: teenage drinking, promiscuity, pregnancy and abortion.[1]

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The reviewer for Variety found the film “restrained” in comparison to the more “hotly sexed” silent version, while other reviewers found it to be an improvement over the earlier film, and “sensational”.[1] A modern critic called the film “[A] sordid drive down the path of moral and physical degradation, capped off with just enough of a moral lesson to alleviate any guilt the viewer might feel for watching such a decadent display.”[2]

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Hook, Line And Sinker (1930)

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Hook, Line And Sinker (1930)

HOOK, LINE AND SINKER, Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey [Wheeler and Woolsey], 1930

Director: Edward F Cline

Cast: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee, Ralph Harolde, Jobyna Howland, Natalie Moorhead, Hugh Herbert, George F Marion

75 min

Hook, Line and Sinker is a 1930 American Pre-Code slapstick comedy directed by Edward F. Cline from a screenplay by Ralph Spence and Tim Whelan. It was the third starring vehicle for the comedy team of Wheeler & Woolsey (Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey), and also featured Dorothy Lee. It would be one of the largest financial successes for RKO Pictures in 1930.

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Plot summary

Two fast-talking insurance salesmen — Wilbur Boswell and J. Addington Ganzy — help penniless socialite Mary Marsh to turn a dilapidated hotel, which was willed to her, into a thriving success. They soon run into trouble, however, in the form of two sets of rival gangsters who want to break into the hotel safe; also, Mary’s mother, Rebecca Marsh, wants her to marry wealthy lawyer John Blackwell, although Mary has fallen in love with Wilbur.

And while she takes an instant dislike to Wilbur, Rebecca falls for Ganzy. Adding to the complications is the fact that Blackwell is actually in league with the gangsters. The finale involves nighttime runarounds and a shoot-out in the hotel. During the pitched battle between the rival gangs and the police, Boswell and Ganzy save the jewels, after which Ganzy marries Rebecca, and then gives away Mary at her marriage to Wilbur.

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(Cast list as per AFI database)[2]

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The film made a profit of $225,000,[4] and would be one of the top two money earners for RKO Radio Pictures in 1930.[4]


In 1958, the film entered the public domain in the USA due to the copyright claimants failure to renew the copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.[5]

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  1. Jump up^ Hook, Line and Sinker: Technical Details”. Retrieved August 6, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  2. Jump up to:a b c d Hook, Line and Sinker: Detail View”. American Film Institute. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  3. Jump up^ Richard Jewel, ‘RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951’, Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994, p. 55
  4. Jump up to:a b c Jewell, Richard B.; Harbin, Vernon (1982). The RKO Story. New York: Arlington House. p. 24. ISBN 0-517-546566.
  5. Jump up^ Pierce, David (June 2007). “Forgotten Faces: Why Some of Our Cinema Heritage Is Part of the Public Domain”. Film History: An International Journal19 (2): 125–43. doi:10.2979/FIL.2007.19.2.125ISSN 0892-2160JSTOR 25165419OCLC 15122313. See note #60, pg. 143.

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Sin Of Nora Moran, The (1933)

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The Sin Of Nora Moran (1933) AKA Voice From The Grave

Director: Phil Goldstone

Cast: Zita Johann, John Miljan, Alan Dinehart, Paul Cavanagh, Claire Du Brey, Sarah Padden, Henry B Walthall, Otis Harlan, Aggie Herring, Cora Sue Collins, Ann Brody

65 min

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The Sin of Nora Moran is a 1933 American film directed by Phil Goldstone. The film is also known as Voice from the Grave (American reissue title).

The painting for the movie poster was by Peruvian Alberto Vargas, who was working in the United States and later became known for his images of the “Vargas Girls.” This poster is frequently named as one of the greatest movie posters ever made.[1]

Plot summary

Nora Moran, a young woman with a difficult and tragic past, is sentenced to die for a murder that she did not commit. She could easily reveal the truth and save her own life, if only it would not damage the lives, careers and reputations of those whom she loves.

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 1. The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever, Premier Magazine
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Don’t Bet On Love (1933)

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Don’t Bet On Love (1933)

Don t Bet On Love 2

Don t Bet On Love 8

Director: Murray Roth

Cast: Ginger Rogers, Lew Ayres, Charley Grapewin, Shirley Grey, Tom Dugan, Merna Kennedy, Lucille Gleason, Robert Emmett Connor

62 min


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Don’t Bet on Love is a 1933 American comedy film directed by Murray Roth and written by Howard Emmett Rogers, Murray Roth and Ben Ryan. The film stars Lew AyresGinger RogersCharley GrapewinShirley GreyTom Dugan and Merna Kennedy. The film was released on July 1, 1933, by Universal Pictures.[1][2][3]


Molly Gilbert won’t accept a marriage proposal from Bill McCaffery unless he promises to quit betting money on horse races. He gives her his word, but Molly is miffed when she realizes he wants to honeymoon in Saratoga, New York due to its proximity to the racetrack.

Behind her back, Bill unethically uses money from his dad Pop McCaffery’s plumbing business to continue gambling. He gets on a hot streak, winning $50,000, then buys a horse of his own, cheats by disguising a faster horse as his, then loses all his money. Bill agrees to become a plumber, pleasing Molly.

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  1. Jump up^ “Don’t Bet on Love (1933) – Overview”. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  2. Jump up^ F.S.N. (1933-07-31). “Movie Review – Don t Bet on Love – Crazy Over Horses”. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  3. Jump up^ “Don’t Bet on Love”. Retrieved 2016-01-06.

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Don t Bet On Love 5

Don t Bet On Love 10

Don t Bet On Love 11

Don t Bet On Love 12


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Dixiana (1930)

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Dixiana (1930)

Director: Luther Reed 

Cast: Bebe Daniels, Everett Marshall, Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Joseph Cawthorn, Jobyna Howland, Dorothy Lee, Ralf Harolde, Bill Robinson

100 min

Dixiana 1

Dixiana (1930) is a lavish American pre-code comedy, musical film directed by Luther Reed and produced and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures.

The final twenty minutes of the picture were photographed in Technicolor. The film stars Bebe DanielsEverett MarshallBert Wheeler, Robert WoolseyJoseph CawthornJobyna HowlandRalf HaroldeBill “Bojangles” Robinson (in his film debut) and Dorothy Lee.

The script was adapted by Luther Reed from a story by Anne Caldwell. The Technicolor sequences were considered lost for years but were re-discovered in 1988 and subsequently included in the restored DVD. At the end of 1958, the film entered the public domain (in the USA) due to RKO’s failure to renew their copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.[3]

This is the film in which composer Max Steiner received his first screen credit for orchestration. Additionally, it was Wheeler & Woolsey‘s third film; however, as they were not yet an official “team”, they were still billed separately.

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Dixiana Caldwell and her friends, Peewee and Ginger, are circus performers in the antebellum South. When Dixiana falls in love with a young Southern aristocrat, Carl Van Horn, she leaves the circus where she is employed and, with Peewee and Ginger, accompanies Carl to his family’s plantation in order to meet Van Horn’s family. At first thrilled with the news of their impending nuptials, Carl’s father and stepmother, Cornelius and Birdie Van Horn, throw a lavish party for the couple. However, Peewee and Ginger inadvertently disclose Dixiana’s background as a circus performer, creating a scandal for the elder Van Horns.

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Asked by the stepmother to leave in disgrace, Dixiana and her friends return to New Orleans, seeking to gain re-employment from her former employer at the Cayetano Circus Theatre, but they are regretfully refused by him, due to way she had departed. Desperate, she takes employment at a local gambling hall, run by Royal Montague, who also has personal designs on Dixiana. As part of his plan, he intends to financially ruin Carl and his family and use Dixiana to accomplish that purpose.

Things come to a head when Dixiana is crowned Queen of the Mardi Gras. When Montague absconds with her, Carl challenges him to a duel, but, when a disguised Dixiana shows up in his stead, she tricks Montague into revealing his nefarious plans. Carl and Dixiana are reunited.[4]

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(Cast list as per AFI database)[1]

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Reviewer Mordaunt Hall of the New York Times wrote of the singing, “…one wishes there was more of it and less of the somewhat futile attempt at a story” and noted that Bill Robinson “…gives an excellent exhibition of tap dancing, which won a genuine round of applause” and concluded, “The early glimpses of the circus theatre … lead one to expect more than one is apt to get out of this production.”[5]

The film reunited the director and most of the cast of RKO’s most successful film of the year before, Rio Rita, but lackluster performances and direction, as well as a glut of movie musicals led to the film being one of RKO’s biggest disappointments of 1930. The film lost an estimated $300,000.[2][6]

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  1. Jump up to:a b “Dixiana: Detail View”. American Film Institute. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  2. Jump up to:a b c Richard J