Howard Hughes bought Bartlett Cormack’s play The Racket, which had made Edward G. Robinson a star on Broadway. Hughes made it into a film twice. This article focuses on the first film version, a 1928 silent movie, starring Thomas Meighan with Louis Wolheim as the gangster.
Paramount’s Marion Gering gives us Louis Bromfield’s 24 Hours (1931) in just 66 minutes. Featuring an alcoholic Clive Brook, fashionable Kay Francis and Miriam Hopkins belting out a pair of songs in a pre-Code drama ripe for rediscovery.
A biography of Adrianne Allen, actress who rose to fame in Noel Coward’s Private Lives. Her sparse film career included two 1932 Paramount gems, MERRILY WE GO TO HELL and THE NIGHT OF JUNE 13TH. The former Mrs. Raymond Massey and mother of actors Daniel Massey and Anna Massey.
Archie Leach comes to Paramount, becomes Cary Grant. Cary Grant leaves Paramount to become a legendary star. Post includes some old Archie Leach ads, more.
Sylvia Sidney stars in Mary Burns, Fugitive (1935) her first film under contract to Walter Wanger for Paramount. Introduces Alan Baxter as gangster Babe Wilson. Also featuring Melvyn Douglas, Wallace Ford, Brian Donlevy and Pert Kelton.
The Night of June 13th (1932) was Paramount’s answer to Street Scene in which they set an ensemble cast loose on each other in the suburbs. With Clive Brook, the first pairing of Charles Ruggles and Mary Boland, plus Lila Lee, Gene Raymond, Frances Dee, Charley Grapewin and many others.
A look at Cecil B. DeMille’s lavish 1934 production of Cleopatra starring Claudette Colbert as Cleopatra. With Warren William and Henry Wilcoxon.
A look at Paramount’s Summer 1932 nationwide contest to cast Lota, the Panther Woman in Island of Lost Souls. Focus on the eventual Panther Woman winner, Kathleen Burke. Lots of old news clippings.
The Paramount pre-code horror classic Island of Lost Souls has just been released on DVD as part of The Criterion Collection. Reflections on the film and DVD extras.
A detailed look at Paramount’s Devil and the Deep (1932) starring Tallulah Bankhead and Gary Cooper, with Cary Grant and introducing Charles Laughton to American audiences as the paranoid submarine commander.