Contemporary reaction to William A. Wellman’s Wild Boys of the Road (1933), plus writer Danny Ahearn, and a peek at Thomas Minehan’s study “Boy and Girl Tramps of America.”
A biography of character actor Arthur Hohl, whose Broadway stardom typed him as cowardly villains and humorless prosecutors throughout Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Columbia attempts to repeat May Robson’s success in Lady for a Day the following year in Lady by Choice with Carole Lombard. Without Frank Capra or Damon Runyon it’s not as colorful. Production Code enforcement pales it a bit more. Well acted and worth catching despite its flaws.
James Cagney stars in Warner Bros. fast-paced Jimmy the Gent (1934), made all the faster by Cagney’s own frenzied performance. Bette Davis co-stars in an underwhelming role while Alan Dinehart excels in his part as rival “Heir Chaser.” Directed by Michael Curtiz and also featuring Allen Jenkins and Alice White.
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.
MGM’s horse racing weepie Stablemates starring Wallace Beery and Mickey Rooney released just three weeks before Seabiscuit’s match race vs. War Admiral. A look at time, circumstances and film.
A look at Cecil B. DeMille’s lavish 1934 production of Cleopatra starring Claudette Colbert as Cleopatra. With Warren William and Henry Wilcoxon.
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.
Paul Muni stars in First National’s 1933 multigenerational film The World Changes. Also starring Mary Astor. Muni earns a fortune in the meat-packing industry but is led too far from his roots and watches his children stray even further from what he considers a good life.
A personal look at this Somerset Maugham fan’s discovery of The Narrow Corner (1933) from Warner Brothers starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Patricia Ellis, and Ralph Bellamy. A Maugham tale of the South Seas on film with all the sex and sin of the pre-code era.