A look at the very specific time and place of King Kong’s March 2, 1933 premiere at Radio City Music Hall and the Roxy in New York City.
One of three pre-Code titles directed by temperamental Rowland Brown, Blood Money (1933) stars George Bancroft as a bail bondsman to the underworld with Frances Dee as a young kleptomaniac with an “underworld mania” and a desire for a strong man to dominate her. Feature debut for Judith Anderson.
Warren William stars as a Depression-era hustler who turns carnival psychic until the love of a good woman tames him. He can’t pay the bills selling brushes though so his old partner lures him back into the mind reading racket. Warren William stars in The Mind Reader (1933) with Constance Cummings, Allen Jenkins, and Clarence Muse. Directed by Roy Del Ruth.
Adapted by Columbia from a critically savaged Broadway play by Preston Sturges. Child of Manhattan is saved on screen by its captivating star, Nancy Carroll, who plays taxi-dancer Madeleine McGonagle. With John Boles, Buck Jones, and Jessie Ralph. Directed by Edward Buzzell.
The boys play rough in White Woman (1933) with Charles Laughton and Charles Bickford upstaging Carole Lombard at every turn. Poor Kent Taylor seems to be more in peril than Lombard. Jungle terror from a Malaysian rubber plantation run by Laughton’s “King of the River.”
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.
The Sin of Nora Moran may have come from Poverty Row but it is years ahead of its time. The 1933 film makes heavy use of flashback to enhance several twists in this life and death story of a female prisoner on Death Row. Starring Zita Johann of The Mummy and directed by Phil Goldstone. Don’t be put off by the lack of big names or major studio logo, The Sin of Nora Moran lives up to the high standards set by its acclaimed promotional poster.
After covering Evergreen (1934) last year I craved more Jessie Matthews. VCI Entertainment has complied with several DVD releases. This post takes a look at four of them: There Goes the Bride (1932), The Good Companions (1933), First a Girl (1935) and Gangway (1937).
Enjoying a key scene between Chester Morris and Grant Mitchell in King for a Night (1933) leads to more Morris in a Boston Blackie entry plus Mitchell’s own starring vehicle, Father Is a Prince (1941), itself a remake of Big Hearted Herbert (1934), which is also discussed.
Lester Cohen adapted his own novel Sweepings for RKO in 1933. It was remade as Three Sons in 1939. The story is about a retail king and his family, but the focus of this article turns to Helen Mack’s explosive Christmas Eve scene with additional details about her character filled in from Cohen’s novel.