Tag Archives: pre code

Her First Affaire (1932)


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Her First Affaire (1932)

 

Her First Affaire 3

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.

Plot

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.

Her First Affaire 1

Cast

References

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

Her First Affaire 2

 

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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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Plot

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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Cast

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Journey’s End (1930)


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Journey’s End (1930)

Journey's End 2

Journey's End 6

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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Plot

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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Cast

 

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Production

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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References

Notes
  1. Jump up^ Curtis 1998, p. 86.
Bibliography
  • 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)

Ten Minutes To Live 1

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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Cast

Ten Minutes To Live 3

Ten Minutes To Live 2

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From Hell To Heaven (1933)


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From Hell To Heaven (1933)

 

 

From Hell To Heaven 2

From Hell To Heaven 3

From Hell To Heaven 1

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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Synopsis

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

Cast

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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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References

  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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From Hell To Heaven 5

 

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It Pays To Advertise (1931)


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It Pays To Advertise (1931)

 

It Pays To Advertise 1

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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]

Plot

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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Cast

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Reception

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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References

  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)

 

Laughter 1

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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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Plot

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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References

  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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Plot

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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Cast

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Heart of New York 5

Heart of New York 2

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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.

Plot

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.

Plot

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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Cast

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Production

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

References[edit]

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

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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]

Plot

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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Cast

Reception

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).

References

 

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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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Plot

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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Cast

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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Cast

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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Production

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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Reception

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

(Cast list as per AFI database)[2]

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Reception

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]

Notes

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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References

  1. Jump up^ Hook, Line and Sinker: Technical Details”. theiapolis.com. 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

Sin of Nora Moran 1

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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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Cast

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References

 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)

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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]

Plot

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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Don t Bet On Love 6

Cast

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References

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

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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

Thirteenth Guest The 1

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]

Thirteenth Guest The 2

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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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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Discarded Lovers (1933)


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Discarded Lovers (1932)

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Discarded Lovers is a 1932 American Pre-Code mystery film directed by Fred C. Newmeyer.

Plot summary

Discarded Lovers is a murder mystery. Early in the film a blonde bombshell movie star is murdered and her body is found in a car.

She had just finished doing the last and final scenes in a film. Irma Gladden was a sexy blonde bombshell who was having many tangled romantic affairs. She was loose and easy. In solving the murder there are the usual friends, police, reporters and employees who administer their help to the police captain and the police sergeant.

In this whodunit suspects abound and include Irma’s husband, a jealous wife, a boy friend and an ex-husband.

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Cast

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Once in A Lifetime (1932)


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Once In A Lifetime (1932)

Once in A Lifetime  1.jpg

Director: Russell Mack

Cast: Jack Oakie, Sidney Fox, Aline MacMahon, Russell Hopton, Louise Fazenda, Zasu Pitts, Gregory Ratoff, Jobyna Howland, Onslow Stevens, Gregory Gaye, Frank LaRue, Walter Brennan, Alan Ladd

91 min

Once in a Lifetime is a 1932 American pre-Code comedy film based on Once in a Lifetime by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.[1] The film was produced and distributed by Universal Pictures, directed by Russell Mack and stars Jack OakieSidney Fox and Aline MacMahon.[2]

It is preserved at the Library of Congress.[3]

Plot

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The immense success of The Jazz Singer, the first all-talking picture, results in the cancellation of a booking for three song-and-dance vaudeville performers: Jerry Hyland, May Daniels and George Lewis. Jerry, convinced that talkies are the future, decides they will head to Hollywood to break into the fledgling movie industry before others get the same notion.

May comes up with the idea to open a school of elocution to teach actors how to speak on film. On the train there, May encounters an old friend, Helen Hobart, an influential, nationally syndicated columnist. She offers to put them in touch with Herman Glogauer, the head of a major movie studio. George is smitten with another passenger, aspiring young actress Susan Walker.

They discover the movie world to be an eccentric place. George is unexpectedly appointed by Glogauer as supervisor of production, allowing him to promote Susan’s career. Despite his incompetence (or rather because of it), his first picture turns out to be a critical and commercial smash hit, and Susan becomes a star.

Later, a very persuasive salesman gets George to buy 2000 airplanes, which causes Glogauer to fire him. However, air movies become very popular, and George has inadvertently cornered the market. The other studios are desperate to get airplanes from Glogauer at any price, and George is once again considered a genius.

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Cast

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Reception

Mordaunt Hall, film critic of The New York Times, gave the film a favorable review, calling it a “merry diversion”.[1] He praised all the main performers, as well as ZaSu Pitts as the studio’s obtuse receptionist.[1]

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c Mordaunt Hall (October 29, 1932). “Jack Oakie, Aline MacMahon and Others in a Film of the Hart-Kaufman Satire on Hollywood.”The New York Times.
  2. Jump up^ The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1931-40 by The American Film Institute, c.1993
  3. Jump up^ Catalog of Feature Films The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress by The American Film Institute, c.1978

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Big News (1929)


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Big News (1929)

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Director: Gregory La Cava

Cast: Robert Armstrong, Carole Lombard, Louis Payne, Wade Boteler, Charles Sellon, Sam Hardy, Tom Kennedy, Warner Richmond,  Helen Ainsworth, Herbert Clark, George Gabby Hayes, Vernon Steele, Lew Ayres, Lynton Brent

75 min

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Big News is a 1929 American pre-Code film directed by Gregory La Cava, released by Pathé Exchange, and starring Robert Armstrong and Carole Lombard, billed as “Carol Lombard”.

Cast

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Plot

Steve Banks (Armstrong) is a hard-drinking newspaper reporter. His wife Margaret (Lombard), a reporter for a rival paper, threatens to divorce him if he doesn’t quit the drinking that is compromising his career. Steve pursues a story about drug dealers even when his editor fires him. When the editor is murdered, Steve is accused of the killing.

Preservation status

The film exists in a 16mm reduction print.[1]

References

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High Voltage (1929)


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High Voltage (1929)

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Director: Howard Higgin

Cast: Carole Lombard, William Boyd, Diane Ellis, Owen Moore, Phillips Smalley, Billy Bevan

63 min

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High Voltage (1929) is an American pre-Code film produced by Pathé Exchange and directed by Howard Higgin.[1][2]The film stars William BoydDiane EllisOwen MoorePhillips SmalleyBilly Bevan, and Carole Lombard in her feature-length “talkie” debut, billed as “Carol Lombard.”

This film is in the public domain.[3]

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Plot

The film begins with a bus driving along a snow-covered roadway in the Sierra Nevada between Nevada City, California, and Reno, Nevada.[4][5] Soon the vehicle gets hopelessly stuck in deep snow forty miles from the nearest town.

Needing shelter, the driver “Gus” (Billy Bevan) and his four passengers find refuge in an isolated one-room log church. The passengers include “Billie” (Carole Lombard), who is an escaped criminal being escorted back to jail in New York by a deputy sheriff, “Dan Egan” (Owen Moore); a young woman, “The Kid,” (Diane Ellis) on her way to Chicago to meet her boyfriend; and “Hickerson,” a pompous, ill-tempered banker. In the church the group finds “Bill” (William Boyd), a self-described “hobo,” who had found shelter there earlier. Tensions quickly arise in the group over their general plight, petty jealousies, and concerns about how six people are going to share the small supply of food that Bill had brought with him.

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Tensions quickly arise in the group over their general plight, petty jealousies, and concerns about how six people are going to share the small supply of food that Bill had brought with him.

After a few days being stranded, the group sees a passing mail plane high in the sky. They try to attract the pilot’s attention, but he is too far away to see them. More days pass, and the group continues to ration their dwindling supplies and battle the subfreezing temperatures. To keep warm they begin to break up the church’s pews and other furnishings to use as firewood in the room’s potbelly stove.

The group’s desperation intensifies, as does a romance between Bill and Billie. Soon Bill confides to her that he too is a wanted criminal, a fugitive from Saint Paul, Minnesota. As conditions worsen, The Kid collapses from hunger and become delirious; and the church’s interior becomes almost bare as more furnishings–even the church’s pulpit and pump organ–are consigned to the stove. Bill and Billie finally commit to leaving to avoid being imprisoned if the group is somehow rescued. They quietly depart during the night, hoping to reach a ranger station ten miles away.

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Everyone else is sleeping except Dan, the deputy sheriff, who sees the two leaving; but he does nothing to stop them. After walking a short distance through snowdrifts, Bill and Billie hear and then see a search plane slowly circling overhead at low altitude. Realizing that the others inside the church will not hear the plane’s engine, they rush back and awaken them. The group hurriedly builds a signal fire, which the plane’s pilot sees. He parachutes a box of provisions to them with a note saying that help will be sent immediately.

The next day the group sees a rescue party heading toward the church. While awaiting their rescuers, Dan observes Bill and Billie sitting together on the floor. From his coat pocket Dan pulls out Billie’s extradition papers and a “wanted” notice that includes a photograph of Bill and information about his being a fugitive from Saint Paul. Dan walks over to the stove, now cold from no fires, and tosses both papers into it. Bill and Billie see him discard the papers, and they look at one another. Bill then gets up, retrieves the papers from the stove, gives them back to Dan, and asks him to drop him off in Saint Paul on his way back to New York with Billie.

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Cast

William Boyd as “The Boy” (Bill)

“Carol” Lombard as “The Girl” (Billie Davis)

Owen Moore as “The Detective” (Dan Egan)

Phillips Smalley as “The Banker” (J. Milton Hendrickson)

Billy Bevan as “The Driver” (Gus)

Diane Ellis as “The Kid”

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Cast notes

  • The opening credits of High Voltage give Carole Lombard’s first name as “Carol,” her preferred spelling for her name up until that time. However, the year after the release of High Voltage she performed in Paramount Pictures‘ production Fast and Loose. In her credits for that film, the studio mistakenly added an “e” to Carol. Lombard liked the spelling, so she decided to keep “Carole” permanently as her screen name.[6]
  • In the screen credits of High Voltage, Owen Moore’s character “Dan Egan” is identified as “The Detective”; but early in the film Dan shows Bill his badge, which actually identifies him as a New York deputy sheriff.[8]
  • Diane Ellis, who portrays “The Kid” in High Voltage, would die tragically the year after her performance in this film. In October 1930, she married Stephen C. Millett, a fellow American, in Paris, France. While on their extended honeymoon in India, she contracted an infection and died a week later in Chennai (then Madras) on December 15, 1930, just five days before her twenty-first birthday.[9][10]

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References

  1. Jump up^ “High Voltage”The New York Times.
  2. Jump up^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films: High Voltage
  3. Jump up^ High Voltage, “Free Public Domain Movies” listing; May 23, 2008. iMovies. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  4. Jump up^ Several full 63-minute copies of High Voltage are available for viewing on YouTube.
  5. Jump up^ In the opening minutes of the film, the exterior signage and route destinations displayed on the bus identify the storyline’s setting as the Sierra Nevada.
  6. Jump up^ Gehring, Wes D. (2003). Carole Lombard: The Hoosier Tornado. Indianapolis, Indiana Historical Society Press, 78-79. ISBN 978-0-87195-167-0.
  7. Jump up^ “William Boyd,”, Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  8. Jump up^ The full 63-minute film High Voltage is available for viewing on YouTube.
  9. Jump up^ “Diane Ellis,” IMDb. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  10. Jump up^ “Diane Ellis,” Redirectify. Retrieved March 10, 2017.

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Little Cafe, The (1930)


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Pre Code Hollywood Season: FD Cinematheque

Little Cafe, The (1930)

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The Little Cafe (French:Le petit café) is a 1931 French-language American Pre-Code musical film directed by Ludwig Berger and starring Maurice ChevalierYvonne Vallée and Tania Fédor. The film is a foreign-language version of the 1930 film Playboy of Paris, which was based on the play The Little Cafe by Tristan Bernard. Multiple-language versions were common in the years following the introduction of sound film, before the practice of dubbing became widespread.

The film received a better reception from critics than the English-language version had.[1]

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Synopsis

Albert Loriflan, a waiter in a Paris cafe, unexpectedly inherits a large sum of money from a wealthy relative. His unscrupulous boss, Philibert, refuses to release him from his long-term contract in the hope that Albert will buy him off with a large payment. But Albert refuses, and continues to work at the cafe even though he is now very rich. Before long he falls in love with Philibert’s daughter Yvonne.

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Cast

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References

  1. Jump up^ Bradley p.119

Bibliography

  • Bradley, Edwin M. The First Hollywood Musicals: A Critical Filmography Of 171 Features, 1927 Through 1932. McFarland, 2004.

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