Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932), Universal Horror With Bela Lugosi

Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932 newspaper ad

Universal’s 1932 horror adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s Murders in the Rue Morgue made quite a few changes, the best of which was inclusion of Dr. Mirakle, the villain played by Bela Lugosi. Lugosi covered extensively, plus comparisons of the story to the film, and an overall positive appraisal of the movie as it was made. Except for the ape.

The Mad Doctor of Market Street (1942), Universal Horror With Lionel Atwill

Lionel Atwill in The Mad Doctor of Market Street

An early B movie from director Joseph H. Lewis, The Mad Doctor of Market Street (1942) is a minor Universal horror entry highlighted by horror icon Lionel Atwill’s performance.

Men Against the Sky (1940) – Richard Dix’s Ace of Aces Goes Modern

Men Against the Sky 1940

The public was air-minded when RKO released Men Against the Sky (1940), an exciting “B” film starring former “Ace of Aces” Richard Dix, with Kent Taylor, Wendy Barrie, and Edmund Lowe. A look at why the public was so fascinated by flying at that time, and how the four stars and other elements of the film worked so well together.

One Night at Susie’s (1930) – Movie Compared to Short Story, Plus Helen Ware Biography

Helen Ware in One Night at Susies

A look at First National’s One Night at Susie’s, a 1930 crime film starring Billie Dove and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., but really showing off Helen Ware to advantage. Frederick Hazlitt Brennan’s 1929 short story from Liberty magazine is discussed and a biography of Miss Ware is also included. Plus, just exactly how long is this movie?

Five and Ten (1931) Starring Marion Davies and Leslie Howard

Marion Davies Richard Bennett Irene Rich

From a novel by Fannie Hurst, MGM’s Five and Ten stars Marion Davies and Leslie Howard, but this tale of the nouveau riche is at its weakest during their scenes. Strong support from Richard Bennett, Irene Rich, and Kent Douglass should have been even stronger. A recent MOD DVD-R release from Warner Archive.

TCM Preview October 2014 – A Look Inside My Now Playing Guide

Janet Leigh 1950s Florita Screen Artists

Preview and recommendations for October 2014 on Turner Classic Movies. Janet Leigh is Star of the Month and horror movies play throughout the month, but not any of the Universal classics. Highlights include mini-marathons of movies starring Tom Keene, Richard Dix, Sally Blane, and Lowell Sherman, plus films from producer William Le Baron and director John Francis Dillon.

Downstairs (1932) Starring John Gilbert, From a Story by John Gilbert

Bodil Rosing and John Gilbert

Despite its poor reception in 1932, today Downstairs is often pointed to as John Gilbert’s best talkie and further evidence that his voice was not poor. A look at some key scenes with Virginia Bruce and Paul Lukas, plus just how bad of a guy was Gilbert’s Karl?

She Had to Say Yes (1933) Starring Loretta Young

She Had to Say Yes 1933 Newspaper ad

She Had to Say Yes is a pre-Code film so outrageous that it’s bound to bother men and women alike. An expose on the life of the “customer’s girl,” the Depression era’s version of a high class call girl in business circles. Starring Loretta Young, who manages to be pawed by Regis Toomey, Lyle Talbot, and Hugh Herbert, all in the same movie.

Pre-Code eBook for Kindle Now Available

11 Pre Code Hollywood Movie Histories book

11 Pre-Code Hollywood Movie Histories: Early Depression-Era Melodramas, Adaptations, and Headline Stories Kindle eBook is now for sale. Includes two exclusive entries, For the Defense (1930) and Only Yesterday (1933). Articles about 11 pre-Code movies that variously look at source material, pre-production notes, casting changes, basic story and plot, the history behind any story elements unique to their time, brief biographies of key film players, and other relevant aspects of each film.