Indiscreet (1931)


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Indiscreet (1931)

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Director: Leo McCarey

Cast: Gloria Swanson, Ben Lyon, Monroe Owsley, Barbara Kent, Arthur Lake, Maude Eburne, Henry Kolker, Nella Walker

92 min

Indiscreet is a 1931 American pre-Code comedy film directed by Leo McCarey and starring Gloria Swanson and Ben Lyon. The screenplay by Buddy G. DeSylvaLew Brown, and Ray Henderson, based on their story Obey That Impulse, originally was written as a full-fledged musical, but only two songs – “If You Haven’t Got Love” and “Come to Me” – remained when the film was released.[1] The film is available on DVD.

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Plot

The plot of the United Artists release centers on fashion designer Geraldine Trent (Swanson), who takes up with novelistTony Blake (Lyon) after leaving her former beau Jim Woodward because of his many indiscretions with other women.

Tony has indicated he has no interest in dating a woman with a past, so Geraldine remains mum about her affair with Jim, until her younger sister Joan arrives and announces she’s engaged—to Jim. Madcap complications ensue as Geraldine tries to keep her secret from Tony while convincing her sister to rid herself of her womanizing fiancé in favor of simple country boy Buster Collins.[2]

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Cast (in credits order)

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Principal production credits

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Critical reception

In May 1931 in The New York Times, film critic Mordaunt Hall gave Indiscreet a mixed review:

It may have its off moments so far as the few serious incidents are concerned, but when it stoops to farce, there is no denying its jollity . . . on the whole, it is a well-worked out entertainment, wherein gusts of merriment cause one to overlook its occasional flaws . . . Now and again the film sobers up, but the director and the authors have solved a way of inoculating it with further mirth, and even at the end there is a streak of fun that is almost Chaplinesque.[3]

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References

  1. Jump up^ Indiscreet at the New York Film Annex
  2. Jump up^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:Indiscreet
  3. Jump up^ Hall, Mordaunt (1931). “THE SCREEN; A Merry Miss Swanson”, film review, The New York Times, May 7, 1931; retrieved October 6, 2017.

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Thirteenth Guest, The (1932)


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The Thirteenth Guest (1932) AKA Lady Beware

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Director: Albert Ray 

Cast: Ginger Rogers, Lyle Talbot, J Farrell MacDonald, Paul Hurst, Erville Anderson, Ethel Wales, James Eagles, Eddie Phillips

69 min

The Thirteenth Guest is a 1932 American pre-Code mystery comedy thriller film, released on August 9, 1932. The film is also known as Lady Beware in the United Kingdom.

It is based on the 1929 novel by crime fiction writer Armitage Trail[1] best known for writing the novel Scarface,[2] on which the 1932 movie was based. The novel was again brought to the silver in screen in 1943 as Mystery of the 13th Guest.[3]

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Plot summary

Marie Morgan (Ginger Rogers) has been lured to an old abandoned house by a false note from a friend, and is in jeopardy although she doesn’t yet realize it. As she sits at the table inside, she thinks back to the banquet held there 13 years earlier, when she was a little girl.

Only 12 of 13 guests had attended, and the manor’s owner, the Morgan family patriarch, who was then dying, has since passed on. The chance to claim the bulk of the estate fortune has resulted in an ongoing campaign of murder by someone targeting the original 12 guests, whose dead bodies are being left at the table in the same seats they had occupied originally.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ginger Rogers Ginger Rogers
Lela / Marie Morgan
Lyle Talbot Lyle Talbot
Phil Winston
J. Farrell MacDonald J. Farrell MacDonald
Police Capt. Ryan
Paul Hurst Paul Hurst
Detective Grump
Erville Alderson Erville Alderson
Uncle John Adams
Ethel Wales Ethel Wales
Aunt Jane Thornton
James Eagles James Eagles
Harold ‘Bud’ Morgan
Crauford Kent Crauford Kent
Dr. Sherwood (as Craufurd Kent)
Eddie Phillips Eddie Phillips
Thor Jensen
Frances Rich Frances Rich
Marjorie Thornton
Phillips Smalley Phillips Smalley
Uncle Dick Thornton

See also

References

  1.  Trail, Armitage (1929). The Thirteenth Guest (First ed.). Whitman. ASIN B000KD7C8U.
  2. Jump up^ Trail, Armitage (1930). Scarface (1ST ed.). D.J. Clode. ASIN B00085TELI.
  3. Jump up^ The Thirteenth Guest, msnbc.com; accessed August 3, 2015.

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Klondike (1932)


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Klondike (1932) AKA The Doctor’s Sacrifice 

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Klondike is a 1932 American Pre-Code film directed by Phil Rosen. The film is also known as The Doctor’s Sacrifice in the United Kingdom. It was silent film star Priscilla Dean‘s final film.

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Plot summary

A doctor, Lyle Talbot as Dr. Robert Cromwell, is charged with murder, when a patient dies, after an experimental operation to remove a brain tumor.

His pilot friend, Frank Hawks as Donald Evans, convinces him to start a new life; and, they plot their course, across the Bering Strait. The weather blows them off course; and, they end up in Alaska.

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There the doctor is faced with a new dilemma. Mark, Henry B. Walthall as Mark Armstrong, the Father of Jim, Jason Robards Sr. as Jim Armstrong, a man crippled by a similar brain tumor, begs the doctor to attempt the operation. When the doctor refuses, he accuses him of wanting his son to die, because he’s in love with Jim’s fiancée, Thelma Todd as Klondike.

“Doc” acquiesces, at Klondike’s insistence. Although, having none of the facilities of a hospital. He believes that the operation is less likely to succeed, the longer it is delayed.

The operation seems to be a partial success. But, now, Jim will do anything to keep “Doc” from taking Klondike back to the States with him, even using his genius, with electricity, to electrocute him.[1]

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Cast

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Production

The film was remade as Klondike Fury (1942).[2]

References

  1. Jump up^ “The Doctor’s Sacrifice (1932) : Plot Summary”. IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  2. Jump up^ “Klondike Fury (1942)”. IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-11-05.

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Probation (1932)


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Probation (1930) AKA Second Chances

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Director: Richard Thorpe

Cast: Clara Kimball Young, Betty Grable, John Darrow, Sally Blane, J Farrell MacDonald, Eddie Phillips, David Rollins

67 min

Probation (also known as Second Chances) is an American Pre-Code 1932 film directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Clara Kimball Young and Betty Grable.[1] The film was distributed by the Chesterfield Motion Pictures Corporation.

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Synopsis

Ruth (Betty Grable) is a minor who is running with an uptown, older man; Ruth’s brother Nick, (John Darrow), is unaware of kid sisters activities.

Ruth is turned into the Juvenile authorities by the well meaning Mrs. Humphries, (Clara Kimball Young). Nick finds the man in their apartment and proceeds to be arrested for beating up the man, who runs away before Nick is arrested.

Nick is taken to Night Court and remanded to the custody of the judges, (J. Farrell MacDonald), niece, Janet, for six months as her chauffeur. Janet, (Sally Blane), is the fiancé of Allen, (Eddie Phillips), who is coincidentally the man who was beaten up by Nick.

Betty Grable is on the verge of becoming a superstar, in the 1940s.[2][3]

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Cast

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References

Jump up^ “Probation”. IMDB.Jump up^ “Probation”. American Film Institute. Retrieved 30 July 2013.Jump up
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Danger Lights (1930)


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Danger Lights (1930)

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Director: George B Seitz

Cast: Louis Wolheim, Robert Armstrong, Jean Arthur, Hugh Herbert, Frank Sheridan, Robert Edeson, Alan Roscoe, Willam P Barley

74 min

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Danger Lights is a 1930 American Pre-Code drama film, directed by George B. Seitz, from a screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman. It stars Louis WolheimRobert Armstrong, and Jean Arthur.

The plot concerns railroading on the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, and the movie was largely filmed along that railroad’s lines in Montana. The railway yard in Miles City, Montana was a primary setting, while rural scenes were shot along the railway line through Sixteen Mile Canyon, Montana. Additional footage was shot in Chicago, Illinois. The film was the first ever shot in the new Spoor-Berggren Natural Vision Process.

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Synopsis

Louis Wolheim plays the boss of the railroad yard in Miles City, Montana. The film opens with a landslide across the tracks in Montana, and a repair crew is dispatched to clear the tracks. Several hobos are lounging nearby and are put to work helping the repair crew. One of the hobos, played by Robert Armstrong, is discovered to have been a former railroad engineer who lost his job due to insubordination. He is given a new job for the railroad by the yard boss, but quickly falls in love with the boss’s fiancée, played by Jean Arthur.

Jealousy grows between the two over the affections of Arthur with both of them attempting to win her in marriage. Things come to a head during a fight in the railroad yard between the two, during which Wolheim is hit by a train and injured. To save his life, Armstrong must transport him in record time to Chicago for surgery.

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Cast

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Notes

Danger Lights was filmed during a period when some movie studios were experimenting with various widescreen film formats. As part of this trend, two versions of the film were created. One used standard 35mm film and Academy ratio, the other used an experimental 65mm widescreen format at a 2:1 aspect ratio. This latter process was called “Natural Vision” and was invented by film pioneers George Kirke Spoor and P. John Berggren. The Natural Vision print of the film was reportedly screened at only two theaters (the only two with the equipment necessary to show the film), the State Lake Theater in Chicago and the Mayfair Theater in New York, and no copies of it are known to exist today. Danger Lights would be the only film created using this process, and the entire effort to move to wide screen would be shelved for several decades due to the increased costs of both production and presentation.[1][2][3]

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Historically significant footage

Danger Lights features rare footage of a tug of war between two steam locomotives, actual documentary footage of the activities in the Miles City yard, and what is believed to be the only motion picture footage of a dynamometer car from the steam railroad era in the USA. Similar footage may have existed in MGM’s Thunder(1929), with Lon Chaney but that film is now lost.

The portion of the film that was filmed in Montana was part of the electrified Rocky Mountain Division of the railroad, with the 3000 volt direct current trolley and the 100,000 volt alternating current “highline” plainly visible in several shots. Despite the fact that the railroad often touted the power and reliability of its straight electric locomotives, none are seen in the film.

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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.[4]

Danger Lights was edited down to 55 minutes for television broadcast; this version is freely available for download. In 2009 Alpha Video released the original 74 minute version[1] on DVD.

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c d e “Danger Lights: Detail View”. American Film Institute. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  2. Jump up^ Coles, David (March 2001). “Magnified Grandeur”. The 70mm Newsletter. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  3. Jump up^ Jewell, Richard B.; Harbin, Vernon (1982). The RKO Story. New York: Arlington House. p. 30. ISBN 0-517-546566.
  4. 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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