Ripped from the headlines: New York’s Vice Squad scandal in Paramount pre-Code The Vice Squad (1931), starring Paul Lukas in a part inspired by Chile Acuna, with Kay Francis and Judith Wood. Directed by John Cromwell.
Classic Movie Reviews by Cliff Aliperti
Spoiler-free reviews of movies from Hollywood's Golden Age, especially the 1930s. Most reviews also include research into background of the film and, when relevant, the history surrounding the subject of the movie.
The second film adaptation of Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis was released in late 1934. Guy Kibbee is well cast in the title role with Aline MacMahon as his wife Myra Babbitt. Directed by William Keighley for First National-Warner Bros.
A pre-Code set around a dance hall starring Barbara Stanwyck with Monroe Owsley and Ricardo Cortez, and I didn’t like it? Uh uh. Here’s what I didn’t like about Ten Cents a Dance (1931).
What Price Hollywood? (1932), the best of the pre-Code era “inside-Hollywood” films, stars Constance Bennett and Lowell Sherman in director George Cukor’s first film for David O. Selznick.
World Wide’s Uptown New York (1932) turns out to be more than a Bad Girl (1931) rip-off. With biography of Viña Delmar, who wrote both original stories.
Edward G. Robinson in an early gangster role that’s supposed to take a backseat to early talkie attraction Alice White. Film works for fans of both.
Murder-mystery GIRL MISSING (1933) ignores its murder and telegraphs its mystery, but Glenda Farrell manages to carry the day anyway. An excellent pre-Code showcase for the actress. Good support from Guy Kibbee, Helen Ware, and Ferdinand Gottschalk.
A look at lost Universal horror film The Cat Creeps (1930) starring Helen Twelvetrees. Contemporary reaction. Piecing the lost film together from Boo! and various versions of The Cat and the Canary.
Josef von Sternberg’s Underworld (1927) inspires a cycle of gangster films that stretches beyond the late silent era. A look at the performances of George Bancroft, Evelyn Brent, and Clive Brook, and the relationship between their characters.
RKO-Pathe pre-Code Young Bride (1932), aka Love Starved, features great period slang throughout a lower middle-class slice of life in the city. Stars Helen Twelvetrees with excellent work from leading man Eric Linden, and Arline Judge in support.