Lightning review takes a brief look at transitional Paramount talkie Chinatown Nights (1929) starring Wallace Beery, Florence Vidor, and Warner Oland. Directed by William A. Wellman.
Lots of Depression-era slang tossed about in Paramount’s Good Dame (1934). Carny hustler Fredric March falls for chorine nice girl Sylvia Sidney in this rarely seen pre-Code.
A washed-up fighter and a Prohibition-era nightclub hostess form an unlikely foster family for a 12-year-old orphan. Strong performances by George Bancroft and Wynne Gibson in Lady and Gent. Directed by Stephen Roberts. Academy Award nominated screenplay.
A Bonnie and Clyde tale predating Gun Crazy (1950) by eleven years. Persons in Hiding is the first of four movies adapted from J. Edgar Hoover’s book of the same name. Electrifying debut by Patricia Morison with J. Carrol Naish strong opposite her.
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.”
Paramount pre-Code Hot Saturday (1932) stars Nancy Carroll with noted young leading men Cary Grant and Randolph Scott. Grant is especially good, but Scott not so hot. Includes history of original casting plans, which included Carole Lombard, and comparison to the later Columbia film Party Wire (1935).
A look at the most stylized of the 1931 gangster movies, Rouben Mamoulian’s City Streets (1931) from Paramount, starring Gary Cooper and Sylvia Sidney.
Tough to find and thus underappreciated, Murder by the Clock (1931) is an early mystery thriller highlighted by Lilyan Tashman, a creepy tomb alarm and a few surprising twists.
Paramount’s 1934 version of The Witching Hour is light on stars and, despite the title, isn’t even a horror movie. An early Henry Hathaway film based on the 1907 hit play by Augustus Thomas and featuring strong performances from John Halliday and Sir Guy Standing. It’s all covered here.
A look at early Paramount talkie The Devil’s Holiday (1930). Written and directed by Edmund Goulding, but saved from being stale by Nancy Carroll’s Academy Award nominated performance.