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.
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.
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.
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.
Story of romance and brotherhood spread across a movie neatly divided between the war and gangster genres. They Gave Him a Gun stars Spencer Tracy, Gladys George, and Franchot Tone. Released as MOD DVD-R by Warner Archive.
Universal murder mystery with an excellent ensemble cast revolves around a Gutenberg Bible. Bonus material about the U.S. Library of Congress 1930 purchase of a Gutenberg Bible with funds that ultimately filled the coffers of a Nazi propagandist.
A wild pre-Code con man romp directed by Roy Del Ruth for Warner Bros. and featuring the great chemistry of James Cagney and Joan Blondell. Blonde Crazy released in November 1931. Supporting cast highlighted by Louis Calhern, Noel Francis, Guy Kibbee, Polly Walters, and a very young Ray Milland.
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.
MGM Golden Age classic Captains Courageous is highlighted by a heavily modernized and modified adaptation of Kipling’s novel that provides opportunity for Spencer Tracy and Freddie Bartholomew to shine in the leading roles.
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.
All-American boy Mickey Rooney is plucked from his native shores and set loose at Eton where he quickly runs afoul of his British classmates. A Yank at Eton (1942) pairs Rooney with Freddie Bartholomew for the final time.