Posts Tagged ‘pre-code cinema’

Rain publicity photo, 1932

November 1, 2010

Joan Crawford

hedda hopper

Doctor X poster, 1932

October 28, 2010

Grand Hotel publicity still, 1932

August 27, 2010

Joan Crawford by George Hurrell

Dark City

Grand Hotel production still, 1932

August 25, 2010

Director Edmund Goulding with Wallace Beery and Joan Crawford

much more at Dark City

Five Star Final production still, 1931

August 21, 2010

Edward G. Robinson with Mervyn Le Roy

Greenbriar Picture Shows

20 Shots: Diary of a Lost Girl (1929), part 2

April 27, 2010

Reform school riot! With Louise Brooks, Edith Meinhard, Valeska Gert, and Andrews Engelmann.

part one

20 Shots: Diary of a Lost Girl (1929)

February 1, 2010

Part one. With Louise Brooks and the sublimely loathsome Fritz Rasp.

Part two.

20 Shots: Murder At The Vanities (1934)

April 21, 2009


Glenn Kenny has already weighed in on the sublime strangeness that is Murder At The Vanities (part of Universal’s new Pre-Code Hollywood Collection). For me it reinforces the powerful attraction of even middling movies from this period. Despite its sometimes ham-handed acting (Carl Brisson, leading man?), a few terrible songs, and paint-by-numbers murder mystery plot, the film got under my skin. It’s overloaded with sleek deco imagery, the dialog is often pointed and funny, and tough guy mugs Victor McLagen and Jack Oakie prove to be great foils. I also have a soft spot for backstage stories and this one has a lot of enjoyably choreographed bustle. And it has Duke Ellington!

20 Shots: Hot Saturday (1932)

April 9, 2009


“It wasn’t until his twenty-first movie, in 1935… that Grant gave a truly solid and distinctive performance; until then he had been simply a very good-looking though fairly bland leading man.” – Peter Bogdanovich, Who The Hell’s In It.

Maybe that quote attests to the obscurity of Hot Saturday from 1932 (just released as part of Universal’s Pre-Code Hollywood Collection), because if the voracious movie-viewer Bogdanovich had been aware of it, he would have acknowleged that in this early Grant film (his seventh, according to IMDb), the Cary Grant character is already in full flower. He’s the sophistcated cad (“Romer”) who spoils the reputation of the small town’s most sought after ingenue (Nancy Carroll, who holds her own quite nicely) in a love quadrangle. It’s not a classic, but at an hour and ten minutes Hot Saturday moves along at a good clip, and in a rare move even in pre-code movies, the “bad girl” heroine ends up OK.