Tag Archives: rare archive

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)

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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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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)

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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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Cast

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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]

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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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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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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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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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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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

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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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Plot

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

(Cast list as per AFI database)[1]

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Reception

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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References

  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 Jewel, ‘RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951’, Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p57
  3. 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.
  4. Jump up^ Bradley, Edwin M. (January 1, 2004). “Chapter 7: 1929-1930”. The First Hollywood Musicals: A Critical Filmography of 171 Features, 1927 through 1932. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 192–195. Retrieved 2015-02-08.
  5. Jump up^ Mordaunt Hall (September 5, 1930). “The Screen: Dixiana (1930)”. New York Times.
  6. Jump up^ Jewell, Richard B.; Harbin, Vernon (1982). The RKO Story. New York: Arlington House. p. 29. ISBN 0-517-546566.

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Color end sequence in Dixiana (1930)

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World Accuses, The (1934)


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World Accuses, The (1934)

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Director: Charles Lamont

Cast: Vivian Tobin, Dickie Moore, Cora Sue Collins, Russel Hopton, Harold Huber, Mary Carr, Paul Fix, Sarah Edwards, Robert Eliott

62 min

 

The World Accuses is a 1934 American drama film directed by Charles Lamont and starring Vivian TobinDickie Mooreand Cora Sue Collins.[1]

Cast

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References

  1. Jump up^ Pitts p.86

Bibliography

  • Michael R. Pitts. Poverty Row Studios, 1929–1940: An Illustrated History of 55 Independent Film Companies, with a Filmography for Each. McFarland & Company, 2005.

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Behold My Wife (1934)


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Behold My Wife (1934)

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Behold My Wife! is a 1934 drama film directed by Mitchell Leisen. It stars Sylvia Sidney and Gene Raymond.[1] Based on a novel by Sir Gilbert Parker, The Translation of a Savage,[2] the story had been filmed before in the silent era in 1920 as Behold My Wife! starring Mabel Julienne Scott and Milton Sills.

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Director: Mitchell Leisen

Cast: Sylvia Sidney, Gene Raymond, Laura Hope Crews, H B Warner, Juliette Compton, Monroe Owsley, Ann Sheridan, Charlotte Granville, Kenneth Thomson

79 min

 

Contents

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Cast

Rest of cast listed alphabetically:

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Plot

Michael Carter (Gene Raymond) a young socialite returns drunk home telling the butler, that he will marry the next day. The butler talks to his parents and the next morning his sister Diana (Juliette Compton) pays a visit to see the young lady Mary White (Ann Sheridan) and to tell he a story about the brother having left for France, he always falls in love promises to marry and than leaves. Mary White can’t believe it, but at his home nobody lets her talk to him.Diana offers her a cheque and a ticket to California.

But when she walks out, triumphant about her victory, she hears a scream and the body of Mary White has landed under the window on the hard street. When returning home she tries to make up a strategy for Michael, this one notices that they have strange behavior, unless they tell him what happened. In his despair about the loss of Mary White and his own family thinking about being disgraced by him, he takes the car and drives from one state to another drinking at every station he stops.

At one bar he meets an Apache Man, very tall and very drunk and he invites him to drink from his bottle as the barman knowing him, don’t want to give him any. A little Woman comes into the bar and tries to tear away the Indian. But Mr. Carter still wants to have him on his side drinking. The indian girl Tonita (Sylvia Sidney), tells Carter he is no good and other things, meantime the drunken indian pulls out his pistol and starts shooting at bottles and things. Carter wants to shoot as well and tries to take away the pistol from the indian. In the fight he is shot in the shoulder. Tonita operates him from the bullet, to save her indian friend, and Carter asks her to marry him, as he thinks to disgrace his family. At the station the family is awaiting him with a lot of reporters and newspaper men. All the town knows about Michael and Tonita.

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The family at first desperate is again guided by Carter’s sister Diana. She proposes her parents to give a big reception ball for the newly weds and invite every important person in town. The evening of the ball she sneaks in Tonita’s room and convinces her to wear a beautiful night dress, whereas Michael wanted to dress her in her indian clothes to make a scandal. Tonita descends the stairs, beautiful and everybody is allured by her presence. She even answers to impertinent people, and finally wins them all. Michael is furious because he feels his family triumphs always over him. She is introduced to Mr. Prentice, the secret lover of Diana. When Tonita finds Michael, he tells her about his rage against his family. She realizes that he married her only because of his fight against his family and leaves him going away with Prentice. Diana follows them in his apartment and tells Prentice she left her husband to stay with him. He doesn’t want her back, as he says she is no good. Diana finds a revolver and shoots him.

Tonita proposes to take the blame as she hasn’t any reason to live any more. And while she goes to the police station to give herself up, Michael comes to Prentice’s apartment to search for her. He finds the body of Prentice, and while the police officers arrive to see if the girl told the truth, Michael hides in a closet. Through a noise he makes, they find him and he confesses that he did it. At the police station, the inspector tells him that his wife said that she did it. When left alone, he tells her that she has to shut her mouth and let them think he did it, as she was said to claim guilt to save him. The scene ends up being the one love scene between Michael and Tonita, while the police officers are enthusiastic about their new bugging device through which they can hear even their kisses.

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References

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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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Back Street (1932)


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Back Street (1932)

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Director: John M Stahl

Cast: Irene Dunne, John Boles, June Clyde, George Meeker, Zasu Pitts, Shirley Grey, Doris Lloyd, William Bakewell, Arletta Duncan, Maude Turner Gordon, Walter Catlett, James Donlan, Jane Darwell, Betty Blyth, Russell Hopton, Gloria Stuart

93 min

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Back Street is a 1932 American Pre-Code drama film directed by John M. Stahl and starring Irene Dunne and John Boles.

Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Fannie Hurst, it tells the story of a woman who spends her life as the secret mistress of a wealthy married man.

This was the first of three film versions of Hurst’s novel; remakes were released in 1941 and 1961.

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Plot

In early 1900s Cincinnati, young and beautiful Ray Schmidt (Irene Dunne) works in her father’s shop by day and stays out late drinking beer and dancing with various men by night, although her stepmother disapproves. Ray dates for fun, mostly going out with traveling salesmen passing through town, and neither she nor her dates are interested in any permanent attachment. An exception is Kurt Shendler, who owns a bicycle shop near Mr. Schmidt’s shop and aspires to get into the automobile business. Kurt is in love with Ray and asks her to marry him, but she refuses because while she likes Kurt, she doesn’t return his romantic feelings.

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While visiting the train station with Kurt, Ray meets Walter Saxel (John Boles) and the two fall for each other at first sight. Walter soon confesses to Ray that he is actually engaged to another woman in town, Corinne, who comes from a wealthy background and whose mother is friends with his own mother. Nevertheless he has fallen in love with Ray, and asks her to meet him at a local band concert that he will be attending with his mother.

Walter hopes to introduce Ray to his mother and perhaps get her approval of the relationship. On the day of the concert, Ray is late arriving because her younger half-sister Freda is suicidal over her boyfriend, Hugo, leaving town. Freda begs Ray to go after Hugo and stop him, threatening to throw herself out a window if Ray does not help.

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By the time Ray has dealt with Freda’s situation and gotten to the concert, it is over, and Ray cannot find Walter or his mother in the departing crowds. Walter, thinking she stood him up, writes her an angry letter and marries Corinne.

Several years later, Walter, now a rising young financier on Wall Street, runs into Ray who is single and working in New York City. The two renew their acquaintance and realize they still love each other, although Walter is still married and has two children. Walter sets Ray up in an inexpensive apartment and gets her to give up her job so she will be free to see him when he has time.

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However, his work, family and social commitments sometimes keep him away for long periods of time, causing Ray to feel lonely and isolated. After Walter takes an extended trip to Europe with his wife, leaving Ray alone with insufficient money to live on, she breaks up with him and accepts a proposal from Kurt, who has become a rich automobile manufacturer. Walter goes to Cincinnati to convince her not to marry Kurt and they resume their previous relationship.

Years pass, and Walter has become a wealthy and prominent financier. When he travels he now brings Ray along, although they must keep their relationship hidden and avoid being seen in public together, meaning Ray spends much of her time alone. Ray is the target of gossip and is hated by Walter’s adult children, who regard Ray as a gold digger.

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Walter’s son Dick tells Ray to get out of his family’s life, but his father Walter walks in on the conversation and tells his son to be more understanding or at least to mind his own business. That night, Walter suffers a massive stroke and dies shortly thereafter. Just before Walter dies, he asks Dick to telephone Ray’s number and hears her voice over the phone one last time.

Dick, who now understands his father’s feelings for Ray, goes to see her and offers to continue to support her. He finds her distraught over Walter’s death and also learns that his father had been paying her only a very small amount per month, thus proving that she stayed in the relationship for love, not money. After Dick leaves, Ray dies looking at Walter’s picture.

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Cast

Back Street 8

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Back Street 5

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Sunnyside Up (1929)


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Sunnyside Up (1929)

Sunnyside Up 1

Director: David Butler

Cast: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Marjorie White, El Brendel, Mary Forbes, Peter Gawthorne, Sharon Lynn, Frank Richardson, Joe Brown, Henry Armetta, Sherwood Bailey, Jay Berger 

121 min

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Sunny Side Up is a 1929 American Pre-Code Fox Movietone musical film starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, with original songs, story, and dialogue by B. G. DeSylvaLew Brown and Ray Henderson. The romantic comedy/musical premiered on October 3, 1929 at the Gaiety Theatre in New York City.[3] The film was directed by David Butler, had (now-lost) Multicolor sequences, and a running time of 121 minutes.

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Plot

The film centres around a Will-they won’t-they romance. Wealthy Jack Cromwell from Long Island runs off to New York City on account of his fiancee‘s relentless flirting. He attends an Independence Dayblock party where Molly Carr, from Yorkville, Manhattan, falls in love with him.
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Comic relief is provided by grocer Eric Swenson (El Brendel), above whose shop Molly and her flatmate, Bea Nichols (Marjorie White), live.[3][4] Gaynor performs a charming singing and dancing version of the song “(Keep Your) Sunny Side Up” for a crowd of her neighbors, complete with top hat and cane. Later in the film, a lavish pre-Code dance sequence for the song “Turn on the Heat,” including scantily clad and gyrating island women enticing bananas on trees to abruptly grow and stiffen, with the graphic metaphor lost on no one, occurs without Gaynor’s participation.

Gaynor and Farrell made almost a dozen films together, including Frank Borzage‘s classics Seventh Heaven (1927), Street Angel (1928), and Lucky Star (1929). Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress for the first two and F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise.

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Cast

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Reception

The Times and The New York Times both express the opinion that the film, and the singing voices of Gaynor and Farrell, are all tolerable if not exactly worthy of praise. Despite the sugary sentimentality, the film is engaging, while the cinematography and special effects are impressive.[3][4]

Footage from Sunny Side Up was included in the comedy film It Came from Hollywood, which parodied B movies.[5]

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The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Music

I’m A Dreamer, Aren’t We All?

Several times throughout the film Gaynor sings the tune “I’m a Dreamer, Aren’t We All?” and, on one occasion, sings it impressively, according to the New York Times.[3] The credits are: words, De Sylva & Brown; music, Ray Henderson.

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The song was punned by the Marx Brothers in the film Animal Crackers (1930). Groucho asks his brother to “play the song about Montreal“. Chico asks, “Montreal?, and Groucho replies, “I’m a dreamer, Montreal.” The pun has been much-recycled [7] not least in Stewart Parker‘s award-winning play I’m a Dreamer, Montreal.

An early popular recording was by Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra on October 16, 1929 with a vocal group including Bing Crosby[8] and this reached the charts in 1929.[9] The tune was also recorded by John Coltrane in 1958 [10] and included on his album Bahia (1964).

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Turn on the Heat

Another song in the film. This one would be used in the Pooch the Pup cartoon Hot and Cold (1933).[11]

(Keep Your) Sunny Side Up

Another song in the film that would later be used as the theme song to the 1988 British sitcom Clarence.

In the 1950s, the song was used as the theme song for Sunnyside Up, a variety program produced by HSV-7 (a television station in Melbourne, Australia_. The song’s melody was later adapted by the Essendon Football Club for its club song, “See the Bombers Fly Up”, written by Kevin Andrews in 1959.[12]

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See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Quigley Publishing Company “The All Time Best Sellers”, International Motion Picture Almanac 1937-38 (1938) p 942 accessed April 19, 2014
  2. Jump up^ “WHICH CINEMA FILMS HAVE EARNED THE MOST MONEY SINCE 1914?”The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1956). Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia. March 4, 1944. p. 3 Supplement: The Argus Weekend magazine. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  3. Jump up to:a b c d NY Times October 4, 1929 Movie Review
  4. Jump up to:a b The Times, December 30, 1929, New Gallery Cinema “Sunny Side Up”
  5. Jump up^ “Collage of 10 worst films now a movie of its own”, Lodi News-Sentinel, November 25, 1982. (p.8).
  6. Jump up^ “AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals Nominees” (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-13.
  7. Jump up^ Glenn Mitchell, The Marx Brothers encyclopedia (Reynolds & Hearn, 2003) ISBN 1-903111-49-8
  8. Jump up^ “A Bing Crosby Discography”BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  9. Jump up^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 452. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  10. Jump up^ The Complete Prestige Recordings
  11. Jump up^ “The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia: 1933”. The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  12. Jump up^ History behind every AFl club theme song

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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

Discarded Lovers 3

Discarded Lovers 5

Discarded Lovers 7

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Double Harness (1933)


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Double Harness (1933)

Double Harness  1.jpg

Director: John Cromwell

Cast: Ann Harding, William Powell, Lucille Browne, Henry Stephenson, Lilian Bond, George Meeker, Reginald Owen, Kay Hammond, Leigh Allen, Irving Bacon, Lila Chevret, Wong Chung, Jean Malin

69 min 

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Double Harness (1933) is an American Pre-Code film starring Ann Harding and William Powell. It was based on the play of the same name by Edward Poor Montgomery. A young woman maneuvers a lazy playboy into marrying her.

This was one of several films, all produced by Merian C. Cooper at RKO, that were out of distribution for more than 50 years as a result of a legal settlement that gave Cooper complete ownership of the films. Turner Classic Movies eventually acquired the rights to the films.

Plot

When spoiled younger sister Valerie Colby (Lucile Browne) becomes engaged to be married to Dennis Moore (George Meeker), a more level-headed Joan (Ann Harding) decides to do the same, not because she is in love, but in order to make something of herself. She chooses unambitious, wealthy playboy John Fletcher (William Powell), who owns a troubled shipping line.

She eventually spends the night in his apartment. To Joan’s annoyance, over the following months, she finds herself falling in love. When John shows no interest in marrying her, Joan forces the issue. She arranges for her father, Colonel Sam Colby (Henry Stephenson), to find them in a compromising position. John graciously agrees to do the honorable thing and marry Joan. However, on their honeymoon cruise, he lets her know that he expects her to grant him a divorce after a decent interval. They settle on six months.

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Joan prods her husband into taking an interest in his family business. To his surprise, he finds that he enjoys it. As the new Postmaster General (Wallis Clark) is a good friend of her father’s, Joan invites him to dinner, hoping to land a government contract for John’s company.

Meanwhile, Valerie goes into debt due to her extravagant spending habits and borrows from her big sister over and over again. Joan gives Valerie all she can afford without touching John’s money. Finally, she pawns a ring for half the latest sum Valerie needs, but tells her that it is the last time.

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That same day, John finally realizes that he loves his wife. However, when he goes home, Valerie goes to John behind Joan’s back and cons him into giving her a check. Joan finds out and tears up the check. In her anger, Valerie blurts out how Joan trapped John into marriage.

Disillusioned, he turns to his former paramour, Mrs. Monica Page (Lilian Bond). Joan follows them to Monica’s apartment and confesses all, including the fact that she has fallen in love with him, to no avail. She then tries to salvage her dinner party. To her delight, John shows up and makes it clear that he believes and forgives her.

Double Harness 6

Cast

Double Harness 5

Preservation status

This is one of the “lost RKO films” owned by Merian C. Cooper and only re-released in April 2007 when Turner Classic Movies acquired the rights and showed all six films on TCM.

Cooper accused RKO of not paying him all the money contractually due for the films he produced in the 1930s. A settlement was reached in 1946, giving Cooper complete ownership of six RKO titles:

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According to an interview with a retired RKO executive, shown as a promo on TCM, Cooper withdrew the films, only allowing them to be shown on television in 1955–1956 in New York City.

TCM, which had acquired the rights to the six films after extensive legal negotiations, broadcast them on TCM in April 2007, their first full public exhibition in over 70 years. TCM, in association with the Library of Congress and the Brigham Young University Motion Picture Archive, had searched many film archives throughout the world to find copies of the films in order to create new 35mm prints.[2][3][4]

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Reception

According to RKO records, the film made $10,000 in profit.[1]

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c Richard Jewel, ‘RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951’, Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p39
  2. Jump up^ Fristoe, Roger. “Rafter Romance” (TCM article)
  3. Jump up^ Osborne, RobertTurner Classic Movies broadcast on April 4 and 11, 2007.
  4. Jump up^ Eder, Bruce “Rafter Romance” (AMG review)

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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

Big News 6

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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Big News 7

Big News 9

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Lady To Love, A (1930)


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A Lady To Love (1930)

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A Lady to Love is a 1930 American drama film directed by Victor Sjöström and written by Sidney Howard. The film stars Vilma BánkyEdward G. RobinsonRobert AmesRichard Carle and Lloyd Ingraham. The film was released on February 28, 1930, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[1][2]

Plot

Tony, a prosperous Italian vineyardist in California, advertises for a young wife, passing off a photograph of his handsome hired man, Buck, as himself. Lena, a San Francisco waitress, takes up the offer, and though she is disillusioned upon discovering the truth, she goes through with the marriage because of her desire to have a home and partially because of her weakness for Buck, whose efforts to take her away from Tony confirm her love for her husband.

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Cast

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References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ “A Lady to Love (1930) – Overview – TCM.com”Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  2. Jump up^ “A Lady To Love”TV Guide. Retrieved 11 November 2014.

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Locked Door, The (1929)


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The Locked Door (1929)

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Director: George Fitzmaurice

Cast: Rod LaRocque, Barbara Stanwyck, William Stage Boyd, Betty Bronson, Harry Subbs, Mack Swain, ZaSu Pitts, George Bunny

74 min

The Locked Door is a 1929 American pre-Code drama film directed by George Fitzmaurice and starring Rod LaRocqueBarbara StanwyckWilliam “Stage” Boyd, and Betty Bronson.

The film is based on the play The Sign on the Door by Channing Pollock.[1] The play was first adapted for the screen in 1921 as The Sign on the Door, starring Norma Talmadge.[2] The Locked Door was Barbara Stanwyck’s second film appearance, first starring role, and first talking picture.

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Plot

Ann Carter (Barbara Stanwyck), an inexperienced young woman, accepts an invitation to dinner from Frank Devereaux (Rod LaRocque), the son of her employer. The date turns out to be far from what she expects. It is aboard a “rum boat”, a ship that sails beyond the 12 mile limit to get around the restrictions of Prohibition. Worse, Frank turns out to be a cad.

When she tries to leave, he locks the door and tries to force himself on her, tearing her dress. Fortunately, the ship drifts back into U.S. waters and a police raid stops him from going any further. When a photographer takes a picture of the two under arrest, Frank buys it from him.

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Eighteen months later, Ann is happily married to wealthy Lawrence Reagan (William “Stage” Boyd). They are about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary when Frank resurfaces in Ann’s life, this time as the boyfriend of her naive young sister-in-law, Helen (Betty Bronson). Though both Ann and her husband tell Helen that Frank is no good (Lawrence knows that Frank is having an affair with the wife of one of his friends), it is clear to Ann that Helen does not believe them.

Ann goes to Frank’s apartment to stop him from taking advantage of Helen. She hides when Lawrence shows up unexpectedly. He warns Frank to leave town before Lawrence’s friend catches up with him and shoots him. Frank had already planned to go, but when Lawrence declares that he intends to administer a beating first, Frank draws a gun. He is shot in the ensuing struggle. Lawrence leaves without being seen, unaware that his wife has heard the whole thing.

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To protect her husband, Ann phones the switchboard operator and reenacts her earlier assault, ending with her firing two shots. When the police arrive, the district attorney (Harry Mestayer) soon pokes holes in her story. Also, the photograph is found, providing a motive for murder. However, Frank is not yet dead; in his last few minutes of life, he explains what really happened, exonerating both Ann and Lawrence.

Cast

Barbara Stanwyck 63

References

  1. Jump up^ White Munden, Kenneth, ed. (1997). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films, 1921-1930. University of California Press. p. 445. ISBN 0-520-20969-9.
  2. Jump up^ White Munden 1997 pp.715-716

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Tip Off, The (1931)


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The Tip Off (1931)

Tip Off The 1

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Director: Albert S Rogell

Cast: Eddie Quillan, Robert Armstrong, Ginger Rogers, Joan Peers, Ralf Harolde, Mike Donlin, Ernie Adams, Charles Sellon, Helen Ainsworth, Luis Alberni, Harry Bowen, Dorothy Granger

71 min

Tip Off The 3

The Tip-Off is a 1931 American Pre-Code comedy film directed by Albert S. Rogell and written by Earl Baldwin. The film stars Eddie QuillanRobert ArmstrongGinger Rogers, Joan Peers and Ralf Harolde.[1][2] The film was released on October 16, 1931, by RKO Pictures.

Plot

Young Tommy Jordan (Eddie Quillan) is sent for a repair job. When he arrives at the address he was told, two guys are waiting for him on the street, bringing him somewhere else – without letting him see where – to repair a radio.

He jokes about “must be a hide-out, that I should not know where I am”, for which he earns a “you’re a smart guy”. When left in the apartment doing his job, he follows a wire and ends up in the bedroom, lying on the floor under the bed. At this point, the telephone rings and a woman comes out of the bathroom and answers.

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He is trapped under the bed and can only see her legs. When the lady has finished her conversation, they have to talk and he is told that his great idol Kayo McClure (Robert Armstrong (actor)) a fighter lives in that apartment.

She herself is “famous” Babyface (Ginger Rogers) the woman of McClure. When McClure comes back home, Tommy manages to hide and when Gang leader Nick Vatelli (Ralf Harolde) appears in McClure’s apartment with his men threatening him, Tommy acts as Policeofficers through the radio-microphone, so that they leave the flat. McClure is forever thankful to Tommy and he offers him to help him whenever he needs it. McClure hands him out a ticket to a ball.

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When he gets to the ball there is Baby-Face eager to dance with him. To avoid being mixed up too much with her attracting jealousy of McClure he grabs another girl, that was handy to him, to dance. But this girl is even worse, as she is the fiancé of Nick, Edna Moreno (Joan Peers). Tommy is very fond of her and when Nick appears he finally takes Edna with him to McClure, to hide for a night. The next day Babyface argues with McClure about hiding the kids, threatening to leave him.

Edna leaves the apartment without saying anything. Tommy finds out where she is, and with the help of McClure he saves her from marrying Nick. As the movie ends, Tommy and Edna get married.

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Cast

References

  1. Jump up^ “The Tip-Off (1931) – Overview”Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  2. Jump up^ “The Tip-Off Trailer, Reviews and Schedule for The Tip-Off”TV Guide. Retrieved September 9, 2014.

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Love Affair (1932)


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Love Affair (1932)

Love Affair 4

Love Affair 1

Director: Thornton Freeland

Cast: Dorothy Mackaill, Humphrey Bogart, Hale Hamilton, Halliwell Hobbes, Astrid Allwyn, Jack Kennedy, Bradley Page, Barbara Leonard

68 min

Love Affair 2

Love Affair is a 1932 American Pre-Code romantic drama film starring Dorothy Mackaill as an adventurous socialite and Humphrey Bogart as the airplane designer she falls for. It is based on the short story of the same name by Ursula Parrott.

Plot

Wealthy socialite Carol Owen (Dorothy Mackaill) decides to take up flying. Gilligan (Jack Kennedy) sets her up with a homely instructor, but she requests dashing Jim Leonard (Humphrey Bogart) instead. Jim has some fun, taking her through some aerobatic maneuvers that leave her queasy, but still game. For revenge, she gives him a lift into town in her sports car, driving at breakneck speeds. They begin seeing each other.

Carol learns that Jim is designing a revolutionary airplane engine, but cannot get any financial backing. She decides to give him a secret helping hand, persuading her skeptical financial manager, Bruce Hardy (Hale Hamilton), to invest in the project. Hardy is only too pleased to oblige, as he has asked Carol numerous times to marry him.

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Hardy keeps a mistress on the side, aspiring stage actress Linda Lee (Astrid Allwyn). Unbeknownst to him, she is Jim’s sister and in love with Georgie Keeler (Bradley Page), a Broadway producer. Things become serious between Carol and Jim. He begins neglecting his work and eventually spends the night with her. The next day, he asks her to marry him. She realizes that she is distracting him from making a success of his engine and turns him down.

When Hardy asks Carol once again to marry him, she jokingly tells him she would only consider his offer if she were broke. He then informs her that she is. He has been paying all her bills for the past year. Hoping to help Jim, she agrees to wed Hardy.

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Hardy tries to break off his relationship with Linda. This is what Georgie has been waiting for. He has coached Linda to extort $50,000 from Hardy to finance a new play in which Linda will star, but the businessman will only write her a check for $10,000. To try to pressure Hardy, Georgie has Linda lie to Jim about the relationship.

Meanwhile, Carol has second thoughts and goes to break the news to Hardy. Before she can however, Jim shows up and insists that Hardy marry his sister. However, when Hardy shows him the canceled $10,000 check endorsed to Georgie, Jim realizes Linda has deceived him. He apologizes and leaves.

Carol decides to kill herself by crashing an airplane. As she starts to take off, Jim reads the suicide note she left with Gilligan. He manages to cling to the fuselage, work his way gingerly to the cockpit (while the plane is in flight), and reconcile with Carol.

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Cast

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Bad Sister, The (1931)


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Bad Sister is a 1931 American Pre-Code drama film directed by Hobart Henley. The screenplay by Edwin H. Knopf, Tom Reed, and Raymond L. Schrock is based on the 1913 novel The Flirt by Booth Tarkington, which had been filmed in 1916 and 1922.

The film marks the screen debut of Bette Davis and Sidney Fox, who was billed over Davis. It also features Humphrey Bogart and ZaSu Pitts in supporting roles. This film has been preserved in the Library of Congress collection.[1] [2]

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Plot

Naive Marianne Madison, bored with her routine life, falls for dashing con artist Valentine Corliss, who has come to her small town looking for fresh marks to swindle.

He soon charms her into faking her wealthy and prominent father’s name on a letter of endorsement, which he presents to the other local merchants, who willingly give him merchandise. He prepares his escape, but not before conning Marianne into becoming his wife.

Following their wedding night in a sleazy hotel, Valentine abandons Marianne. She returns home and begs forgiveness from her jilted fiancé Dick Lindley, but having seen Marianne for who she really is, he turns his attention to her shy younger sister Laura.

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Production

The film originally was called What a Flirt and then Gambling Daughters before being changed to Bad Sister just prior to its theatrical release.[3]
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Bette Davis, nervous about her appearance in her first film, consulted with studio makeup chief Jack Pierce, who “surveyed me critically, almost resentfully,” she recalled for an interview in the April 1938 issue of Good Housekeeping. “Your eyelashes are too short, hair’s a nondescript color, and mouth’s too small.

A fat little Dutch girl’s face, and a neck that’s too long,” he told her. He suggested a different shade of lipstick and advised her to use eye shadow, but their meeting left Davis feeling anxious and lacking self-confidence.

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After seeing the completed film, producer Carl Laemmle, Jr. commented, “Can you imagine some poor guy going through hell and high water and ending up with her at the fade-out?” [3]

Davis was required to change a baby in one scene, and the fact the infant was a boy was kept secret from her. When she undid the diaper and saw male genitals for the first time in her life, she was so embarrassed her face reddened enough to look deep gray on screen.[3]

Davis and her mother attended a preview of the film in San Bernardino. The actress was reportedly so distressed by her performance that they left before the final credits. Certain her Hollywood career was over, she cried all the way home.[3]

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Cast

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References

  1. Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress p.11 c.1978 by The American Film Institute
  2. Jump up^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:Bad Sister, afi.com; accessed September 23, 2015.
  3. Jump up to:a b c d Stine, Whitney, and Davis, Bette, Mother Goddam: The Story of the Career of Bette Davis. New York: Hawthorn Books 1974. ISBN 0-8015-5184-6, pp. 8-11

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Up The River (1930)


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John Ford

Up the River (1930) is a pre-Code comedy film about escaped convicts, directed by John Ford and starring Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart in their feature film debuts. The movie was remade by 20th Century-Fox in 1938, also entitled Up the River, with Preston Foster and Tony Martin respectively in the Tracy and Bogart roles.

Plot

Two convicts, St. Louis (Spencer Tracy) and Dannemora Dan (Warren Hymer) befriend another convict named Steve (Humphrey Bogart), who is in love with woman’s-prison inmate Judy (Claire Luce). Steve is paroled, promising Judy that he will wait for her release five months later. He returns to his hometown in New England and his mother’s home.

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However, he is followed there by Judy’s former “employer”, the scam artist Frosby (Gaylord Pendleton). Frosby threatens to expose Steve’s prison record if the latter refuses to go along with a scheme to defraud his neighbors. Steve goes along with it until Frosby defrauds his mother.

Fortunately, at this moment St. Louis and Dannemora Dan have broken out of prison and come to Steve’s aid, taking away a gun he planned to use on the fraudster, instead stealing back bonds stolen by Frosby. They return to prison in time for its annual baseball game against a rival penitentiary. The film closes with St. Louis on the pitcher’s mound with his catcher, Dannemora Dan, presumably ready to lead their team to victory.[1][2]

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Cast

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Casting

Tracy had starred in three shorts earlier the same year and Bogart had been an unbilled extra in a silent movie a decade before, as well as starring in two short films in the past two years, but this is the first credited feature film for both actors.

This was the only feature film that Tracy and Bogart ever made together. They tried to make The Desperate Hours in 1955, but neither would consent to second billing, so the role intended for Tracy went to Fredric March instead. It was the only film Bogart made with director John Ford, and Tracy wouldn’t work with Ford again until The Last Hurrah (1958).

Claire Luce (1903–1989) made very few films, but was on Broadway in many plays from 1923–1952. She should not be confused with author/playwright/political activist Clare Boothe Luce (1903–1987).

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References

  1. Jump up^ Up the River at TCM Movie Database
  2. Jump up^ Hall, Mordaunt. “Movies: About Up the River”The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2010.

Bibliography

  • New England Vintage Film Society, Inc. (2008). Spencer Tracy: The Pre-Code Legacy of a Hollywood Legend. Newton, MA: New England Vintage Film Society. ISBN 978-1-4363-4138-7.

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Hole In The Wall, The (1929)


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Hole In The Wall, The (1929)

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The Hole in the Wall is a 1929 mystery drama film directed by Robert Florey, and starring Claudette Colbert and Edward G. Robinson. This film marks the first appearance of Edward G. Robinson as a gangster.

Cast

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Plot

Jean Oliver falls in love with a wealthy young man, and his mother, Mrs. Ramsey, sees to it that she is sent to prison on a trumped-up charge. Time passes. Jean is released from stir and throws in with a band of phony spiritualists, donning the robes of Madame Mystera, a crook recently killed in an accident on the elevated.

Jean quickly proposes that her new companions in crime kidnap the granddaughter of Mrs. Ramsey and hold the child for ransom. The child is taken, but the police arrest the gang. The Fox, crafty leader of the spiritualists, is the only one who knows the whereabouts of the missing child, however, and he trades this information for immunity and a statement from Mrs. Ramsey that Jean had not in fact committed the crime for which she was sent to jail. Jean is freed and reunited with Gordon Grant, her childhood sweetheart, a reporter who has accompanied the police in the raid on the gang.

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Four Frightened People (1934)


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Four Frightened People (1934)

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Director: Cecil B DeMille

Cast: Claudette Colbert, Herbert Marshall, Mary Boland, William Gargan, Leo Carillo, Nella Walker, Tetsu Komai, Delmar Costello

78 min

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Four Frightened People is a 1934 American Pre-Code adventure film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Claudette ColbertHerbert MarshallMary Boland, and William Gargan. It is based on the novel by E. Arnot Robertson.

Plot

The film tells the story of two men (Marshall and Gargan) and two women (Colbert and Boland), who leave from a plague-ridden ship and reach the Malayan jungle. The relationships between the four people before they enter the jungle are examined and are transformed as they interact with natural phenomena and the natives who populate the jungle. The film also relates how each of the four people carried on in life after they emerged from the jungle.

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Cast

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Filming locations

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Production crew

  • Executive producer (uncredited) – Emanuel Cohen
  • Art Direction – Roland Anderson
  • Production Manager (uncredited) – Roy Burns
  • Assistant Director (uncredited) – Cullen Tate, James Dugan
  • Sound Mixer (uncredited) – Harry Lindgren
  • Double (uncredited) – Mildred Mernie as Claudette Colbert, Bruce Warren as Herbert Marshall, Leota Lorraine as Mary Boland, Carl Mudge as William Gargan, Curley Dresden as Leo Carrillo

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Reception

The film was a box office disappointment for Paramount.[1]

Home Video Release

This film, along with The Sign of the CrossCleopatraThe Crusades and Union Pacific, was released on DVD in 2006 by Universal Studios as part of The Cecil B. DeMille Collection.

References

  1. Jump up^ By, D. W. (1934, Nov 25). TAKING A LOOK AT THE RECORD. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/101193306?accountid=13902

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