Jean Harlow lobbies for Red-Headed Woman and emerges as one of MGM’s top stars. Background notes on the film accompany a look at this pre-Code classic adapted from a Katharine Brush novel. The movie also stars Chester Morris, Una Merkel, and Leila Hyams. Directed by Jack Conway.
Based on a book by Captain Cornelius Willemse, the NYPD’s original “gang buster,” Behind the Green Lights pits the police vs. a crooked mouthpiece and features a romance between cop and lawyer. Easily found independent release is fast-paced and entertaining.
George Arliss is a concert pianist who loses his hearing in an explosion. After learning to read lips he overcomes depression and despair by using his new talent to eavesdrop and help strangers overcome their own misfortune. With Bette Davis in an early supporting role.
John Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore share the screen together for the first time in MGM’s Arsène Lupin (1932). Excellent mystery also includes strong work from Karen Morley.
Edward G. Robinson stars as a flawed yet likeable gambler who takes a shine to a champion greyhound in Dark Hazard, a 1934 pre-Code release from First National.
Comparing King Vidor’s adaptation of H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941) to the novel by John P. Marquand, and why both tellings are wonderful. Excellent performances from Robert Young and Hedy Lamarr trickle down throughout the entire cast, most of who are perfect representations of the characters Marquand created on the page. It’s a quiet story that tells a lot in the end.
Irving Stone’s novel Lust for Life from rejections through 1934 publication and compared to Kirk Douglas’ eventual portrayal of Vincent Van Gogh in the 1956 film directed by Vincente Minnelli.
As part of the Classic Film History Project Blogathon a look at the brand new stars and popular film cycles that dominated Hollywood in 1931. Gangsters and newspapermen, horrors and fallen women abound. With list of major studio releases for 1931.
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.
Like Roddy McDowall I find myself focused on Donald Crisp throughout the Academy Award winning How Green Was My Valley (1941). Labor unrest invades the valley and Crisp’s once stable world changes.