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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Marion Davies: Red Mill, Bachelor Father, Show People, Little Old New York




Legendary Marion Davies

Little Old New York (1923)
The Red Mill (1927)
Show People (1929)
The Bachelor Father (1931)

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Individual double feature DVDs ...

Little Old New York (1923) & The Red Mill (1927) - 1 DVD
Show People (1929) & The Bachelor Father (1931) - 1 DVD

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Kismet (1944) starring Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich




Kismet is a 1944 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film in Technicolor starring Ronald Colman, Marlene Dietrich, Joy Page, and Florence Bates. James Craig played the young Caliph of Baghdad, and Edward Arnold was the treacherous Grand Vizier. It was directed by William Dieterle.

The film is based on the play of the same name by Edward Knoblock, which was also the basis for a 1953 musical. The play had been filmed twice before, in 1920 and again in 1930 by Warner Brothers in an English version directed by John Francis Dillon and in a German-language version directed by William Dieterle.

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Strike Me Pink (1936) Eddie Cantor, Ethel Merman


Strike Me Pink is a 1936 American musical comedy film, starring Eddie Cantor and Ethel Merman, directed by Norman Taurog, and produced by Samuel Goldwyn.

Cantor plays a nebbishy employee of an amusement park, forced to assert himself against a gang of slot-machine racketeers. The climax involves a wild chase over a roller coaster and in a hot-air balloon, filmed at The Pike in Long Beach, California.

This was Eddie Cantor's sixth of six films for Goldwyn, all produced and released within seven years. The story derives from the novel Dreamland by the once-popular writer Clarence Budington Kelland, reworked as a 1933 stage musical comedy by Ray Henderson for Jimmy Durante

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Queen Christina (1933) Greta Garbo, John Gilbert - pre-code Drama


Queen Christina is a Pre-Code Hollywood biographical film, produced in 1933 and directed by Rouben Mamoulian, starring Swedish-born actress Greta Garbo and John Gilbert.

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The Hollywood Revue of 1929: Jack Benny, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, William Haines


The Hollywood Revue of 1929

The Hollywood Revue of 1929 is a 1929 American musical-comedy film released by part Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was the studio's second feature-length musical, and one of the earliest ventures into the sound format. Produced by Harry Rapf and directed by Chuck Riesner, the film brought together some of MGM's most popular performers in a lavish two-hour revue shot partially in Technicolor.

The two masters of ceremonies are Conrad Nagel and Jack Benny. A month after this movie, Warner Brothers released The Show of Shows, a musical revue which was photographed almost entirely in Technicolor and a full talking picture.

Starring Conrad Nagel, Jack Benny, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, Anita Page, Marie Dressler, William Haines, Buster Keaton, Gus Edwards

Music by Gus Edwards with the exception of Singin' in the Rain with lyrics by Arthur Freed

Release date November 23rd, 1929

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Monday, January 28, 2013

D.W. Griffith: Scarlet Days & Cecil B. DeMille: Male & Female (1919) Gloria Swanson





Cecil B. DeMille: Male and Female (1919) Gloria Swanson, Thomas Meighan & Lila Lee

Male and Female (1919) is a silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Gloria Swanson and Thomas Meighan.  Its main themes are gender relations and social class. The film is based on the J. M. Barrie play The Admirable Crichton.

The film contains two famous scenes, indicative of de Mille's predilections as a filmmaker.

An early scene depicts Gloria Swanson bathing in an elaborate setting, attended by two maids, lavishing her with rosewater and bath salts, silk dressing gown, and luxurious towels.

Toward the end of the film, a fantasy sequence about ancient Babylon shows Swanson posed as Gabriel von Max's famous painting The Lion's Bride, which involved her being photographed with an actual lion.

Starring Gloria Swanson
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille
Produced by Cecil B. DeMille, Jesse L. Lasky
Written by Jeanie Macpherson, J. M. Barrie (play)
Released November 23rd, 1919


Running time: 1hr 55min





D.W. Griffith: Scarlet Days (1919) Richard Bathelmess, Clarine Seymour

Scarlet Days is a 1919 silent film western produced and directed by D. W. Griffith and released through Paramount/Artcraft Pictures, Artcraft being an affiliate of Paramount. This film survives at the Museum of Modern Art.

Starring Richard Barthelmess, Clarine Seymour
Cinematography, G. W. Bitzer
Released November 30th, 1919


Running time: 1hr 16min

2 classic silent film gems
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Raja Harishchandra (1913) & The Childhood of Krishna Kaliya Mardan (1919)


Raja Harishchandra (1913)

Raja Harishchandra (translation: King Harishchandra) is a 1913 silent Indian film directed and produced by Marathi icon Dadasaheb Phalke and is the first full-length Indian feature film.

The film was based on the legend of King Harishchandra, recounted in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

The film revolves around the noble and righteous king, Harishchandra, who first sacrifices his kingdom, followed by his wife and eventually his children to honour his promise to the sage Vishwamitra. Though, in the end, pleased by his high morals, the Gods are pleased and restore his former glory, and further bestow him with divine blessings.

Cast
Dattatraya Damodar Dabke as Raja Harishchandra
Salunke as Taramati
Bhalachandra D. Phalke

Directed & Produced by Dadasaheb Phalke for Phalke Films
Written by Dadasaheb Phalke
Story by Ranchhodbai Udayram
Cinematography, Trymbak B. Telang
Release date: 1913
Running time: 40 minutes
Country: India

The film premiered on 21 April 1913 at the Olympia Theatre, Grant Road for a selective audience that included famous personalities of Mumbai and editors of many newspapers.

It was first shown in public on 3 May 1913 at Mumbai's Coronation Cinema, Girgaon, where crowds thronged the roads outside the hall, as it marked the beginning of the Indian film industry. The film was so successful that Dada Saheb had to make more prints to show the film in rural areas as well. The film was a grand success and soon established Phalke as a producer and paved the way for the Indian film industry.


The Childhood of Krishna Kaliya Mardan (1919)

The playmates of Krishna are insulted by a female villager who splashes water on them. They take revenge by stealing butter from her house. When they are beaten up by the woman, they again take revenge with the aid of Krishna. He receives a gift of fruit for his help but gives it away. Krishna then enters the room of a wealthy merchant and his wife at night and ties the man's beard to his wife's hair. These exploits lead to a large crowd complaining of Krishna's antics to his foster parents.

Stars: Neelkanth and Mandakini Phalke as Krishna
Director: Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (Sant Tukaram (1921), Setu Bandhan (2921)
Writer: Dhundiraj Govind Phalke
Production Co: Hindustan Cinema Film Company
Run time: 47 minutes

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

William Haines, Marion Davies, Lon Chaney, John Gilbert King Vidor 6 films 3 DVDs





Tell it to the Marines (1926) & Show People (1928)

Tell it to the Marines (1926) Lon Chaney, Eleanor Boardman

Tell It to the Marines is a 1926 silent movie starring Lon Chaney, William Haines and Eleanor Boardman and directed by George W. Hill. The film follows a Marine recruit and the sergeant who trains him, and was the biggest box office success of Chaney's career and the second biggest moneymaker of 1926/1927.

Show People (1928) Marion Davies

Show People is a 1928 comedy silent film directed by King Vidor. The movie was a starring vehicle for actress Marion Davies and actor William Haines and included notable cameo appearances by many of the film personalities of the day, including stars Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart and John Gilbert, and writer Elinor Glyn. Vidor also appears in a cameo as himself, as does Davies (to a decidedly unimpressed reaction by herself in character as Peggy Pepper). The film is a lighthearted look at Hollywood at the end of the silent film era (it was released the year after breakthrough talking picture The Jazz Singer), and is considered Davies' best role.

In 2003, Show People was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

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King Vidor: Wild Oranges (1924) & The Big Parade (1925)

Wild Oranges is a 1924 silent drama film directed by King Vidor

The Big Parade is a 1925 silent film. It tells the story of an idle rich boy who joins the US Army's Rainbow Division and is sent to France to fight in World War I, becomes friends with two working class men, experiences the horrors of trench warfare, and finds love with a French girl.

The film was groundbreaking for not glorifying the war or its human costs, exemplified by the lead character's loss of a leg from battle wounds. It heavily influenced all subsequent war films, especially All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). It was adapted by Harry Behn and King Vidor (uncredited) from the play by Joseph Farnham and the autobiographical novel Plumes by Laurence Stallings, and directed by Vidor. It stars John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Claire Adams, Karl Dane, Robert Ober and Tom O'Brien.

The Big Parade was one of the greatest hits of the 1920s earning gross rentals of $4,990,000 in North America and $1,141,000 overseas on a budget of $382,000 during its initial release, playing in some larger cities continually for a year or more. It boosted Gilbert's career, and made Renée Adorée a major star, although Adorée would soon be diagnosed with tuberculosis and die only a few years later. The film ultimately grossed $18–$22 million in worldwide rentals and is sometimes proclaimed as the most successful film of the silent era, although it is most likely this record falls to The Birth of a Nation.

After the film's producers found a clause in Vidor's contract, entitling the director to 20% of the net profits, studio lawyers called for a meeting with him. At this meeting, accountants played up the costs of the picture while downgrading their forecast of its potential success. King Vidor was thus persuaded to sell his stake in the film before receiving his percentage. However, the film's tremendous success did establish Vidor as one of MGM's top directors for the rest of his career.

In 1992 The Big Parade was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

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King Vidor: The Crowd (1928) & Our Daily Bread (1934)

The Crowd is a 1928 American silent film directed by King Vidor It starred Vidor's wife Eleanor Boardman and James Murray.

The picture is an influential & acclaimed feature and was nominated for the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production. In 1989, this film was one of the first 25 films to be selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Our Daily Bread is a 1934 film directed by King Vidor and starring Karen Morley, Tom Keene, and John Qualen. Vidor tried to interest Irving Thalberg of MGM in the project, but Thalberg rejected the idea. Vidor then produced the film himself and released it through United Artists.

The film is also known as Hell's Crossroads, an American reissue title.

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Williams Haines in Tell It To The Marines (1926) Lon Chaney & Show People (1928) Marion Davies


Tell It To the Marines (1926) Lon Chaney, Eleanor Boardman

Tell It to the Marines is a 1926 silent movie starring Lon Chaney, William Haines and Eleanor Boardman and directed by George W. Hill. The film follows a Marine recruit and the sergeant who trains him, and was the biggest box office success of Chaney's career and the second biggest moneymaker of 1926/1927.


Show People (1928) Marion Davies

Show People is a 1928 comedy silent film directed by King Vidor. The movie was a starring vehicle for actress Marion Davies and actor William Haines and included notable cameo appearances by many of the film personalities of the day, including stars Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart and John Gilbert, and writer Elinor Glyn. Vidor also appears in a cameo as himself, as does Davies (to a decidedly unimpressed reaction by herself in character as Peggy Pepper). The film is a lighthearted look at Hollywood at the end of the silent film era (it was released the year after breakthrough talking picture The Jazz Singer), and is considered Davies' best role.

In 2003, Show People was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

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King Vidor: Show People, The Crowd (1928), Our Daily Bread (1934)


Show People (1928)

Show People is a 1928 comedy silent film directed by King Vidor. The movie was a starring vehicle for actress Marion Davies and actor William Haines and included notable cameo appearances by many of the film personalities of the day, including stars Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart and John Gilbert, and writer Elinor Glyn. Vidor also appears in a cameo as himself, as does Davies (to a decidedly unimpressed reaction by herself in character as Peggy Pepper). The film is a lighthearted look at Hollywood at the end of the silent film era (it was released the year after breakthrough talking picture The Jazz Singer), and is considered Davies' best role.

In 2003, Show People was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

The Crowd (1928)

The Crowd is a 1928 American silent film directed by King Vidor It starred Vidor's wife Eleanor Boardman and James Murray.

The picture is an influential & acclaimed feature and was nominated for the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production. In 1989, this film was one of the first 25 films to be selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".




Our Daily Bread (1934) King Vidor's "sequel" to The Crowd.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Body & Soul (1924) Paul Robeson film debut, The Scar of Shame (1927)



Body and Soul (1924) Paul Robeson film debut

Body and Soul is a 1925 race film produced, written, directed, and distributed by Oscar Micheaux and starring Paul Robeson in his motion picture debut.

An escaped prisoner seeks refuge in the predominantly African American town of Tatesville, Georgia, by passing himself off as the Rt. Reverend Isaiah T. Jenkins. He is joined in town by a fellow criminal, and the pair scheme to swindle the phony reverend's congregation of their offerings.

Jenkins falls in love with a young member of his congregation, Isabelle Perkins, even though she is in love with a poor young man named Sylvester, who happens to be Jenkins’ long-estranged twin brother. Jenkins steals money from Martha Jane, Isabelle's mother and convinces the young woman to take the blame for his crime. She flees to Atlanta and dies just as her mother locates her. Returning to Tatesville, Isabelle's mother confronts Jenkins in front of the congregation. Jenkins flees and during a twilight struggle he kills a man who tries to bring him to justice.

The following morning, Martha Jane awakens and realizes the episode with Jenkins was only a dream. She provides Isabelle (who is not dead) and Sylvester with the funds to start a married life together.

Directed & Produced by Oscar Micheaux
Written by Oscar Micheaux (novel and screenplay)
Starring Paul Robeson, Mercedes Gilbert, Julia Theresa Russell
Distributed by Micheaux Film Corporation
Release date: November 9, 1925
Running time: 1 hour 19 miutes



The Scar Of Shame (1927) Colored Players Film Corporation silent film
An educated, upscale young black musician marries a woman from a lower socioeconomic class to get her out of the clutches of her stepfather, who beats and abuses her.
The Scar of Shame is a silent film which was filmed in 1926 and released in 1927.

It was produced by the Colored Players Film Corporation of Philadelphia, in one of the earliest examples of "race movies", in which an entirely black cast performed a feature film specifically for a black audience. The film was produced and written by David Starkman and was directed by Frank Peregini, both white.

The Scar of Shame was a black silent melodrama with black actors written for a predominately black Audience. Melodramas were the genre of choice for early 20th century filmmakers.

This film emerged during a time of great breakthroughs in not only African American film but all art with the Harlem Renaissance when “a new sense of black consciousness emerged” likely after witnessing the bravery of African American soldiers in World War I. This was a collaboration of a “black cast, white crew and interracial production team” produced by the conspicuously named “Colored Players” who were mostly white, in 1927.

The Scar of Shame was one of the only three films produced by this company which was founded in 1926 in Philadelphia by a generous investment.

In Jane Gaine’s article on “Skin Color and Caste in Black Melodrama,” she claims that the film mostly takes its substance from D.W. Griffith’s films: Intolerance (1916) and Broken Blossoms (1919). Both of these Griffith classics starred Lillian Gish.

There are undeniable similarities between the films with scenes such as Spike beating Louise matching up remarkably with paternal beatings of the character Lucy (Lillian Gish) in Broken Blossoms.

Cast:
Harry Henderson - Alvin Hillyard
Norman Johnstone - Eddie Blake
Ann Kennedy - Mrs. Lucretia Green
Lucia Lynn Moses - Louise Howard
William E. Pettus - Spike Howard
Lawrence Chenault - Ralph Hathaway
Pearl McCormack - Miss Alice Hathaway

Original Music Score by Brian Pinette
1 hour 17 minutes

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Scar of Shame (1927) & Within Our Gates (1920) Colored Players Film Corporation silent films



The Colored Players Film Corporation, also known as The Colored Players Film Corporation of Philadelphia, was an independent silent film production company based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Primarily founded by David Starkman and Sherman H. Dudley in 1926, the film company for the most part made silent melodramatic films that featured all African American casts.

During its brief time operating, the production company released four films, including A Prince of His Race (1926), a remake of Timothy Shay Arthur’s Ten Nights in a Bar Room (1926) with an all black cast, Children of Fate (1927), and finally The Scar of Shame (1929).

Of the four films the company produced only Ten Nights in a Bar Room and The Scar of Shame still remain.

The Scar Of Shame (1927) Colored Players Film Corporation silent film

An educated, upscale young black musician marries a woman from a lower socioeconomic class to get her out of the clutches of her stepfather, who beats and abuses her.

The Scar of Shame is a silent film which was filmed in 1926 and released in 1927.

It was produced by the Colored Players Film Corporation of Philadelphia, in one of the earliest examples of "race movies", in which an entirely black cast performed a feature film specifically for a black audience. The film was produced and written by David Starkman and was directed by Frank Peregini, both white.

The Scar of Shame was a black silent melodrama with black actors written for a predominately black Audience. Melodramas were the genre of choice for early 20th century filmmakers.

This film emerged during a time of great breakthroughs in not only African American film but all art with the Harlem Renaissance when “a new sense of black consciousness emerged” likely after witnessing the bravery of African American soldiers in World War I. This was a collaboration of a “black cast, white crew and interracial production team” produced by the conspicuously named “Colored Players” who were mostly white, in 1927.

The Scar of Shame was one of the only three films produced by this company which was founded in 1926 in Philadelphia by a generous investment.

In Jane Gaine’s article on “Skin Color and Caste in Black Melodrama,” she claims that the film mostly takes its substance from D.W. Griffith’s films: Intolerance (1916) and Broken Blossoms (1919). Both of these Griffith classics starred Lillian Gish.

There are undeniable similarities between the films with scenes such as Spike beating Louise matching up remarkably with paternal beatings of the character Lucy (Lillian Gish) in Broken Blossoms.

Cast:
Harry Henderson - Alvin Hillyard
Norman Johnstone - Eddie Blake
Ann Kennedy - Mrs. Lucretia Green
Lucia Lynn Moses - Louise Howard
William E. Pettus - Spike Howard
Lawrence Chenault - Ralph Hathaway
Pearl McCormack - Miss Alice Hathaway

Original Music Score by Brian Pinette
1 hour 17 minutes



Within Our Gates (1920)

Within Our Gates (1920) is a silent film by the director Oscar Micheaux that portrays the contemporary racial situation in the United States during the early twentieth century, the years of Jim Crow, the revival of the Ku Klux Klan, the Great Migration of blacks to cities of the North and Midwest, and the emergence of the "New Negro". It was part of a genre called race films.

The plot features an African-American woman who goes North in an effort to raise money for a rural school in the Deep South for poor Black children. Her romance with a black doctor eventually leads to revelations about her family's past and her own mixed-race, European ancestry. The film portrays racial violence under white supremacy, and the lynching of a black man. Produced, written and directed by Oscar Micheaux, it is the oldest known surviving film made by an African-American director.

Abandoned by her fiancé, an educated negro woman with a shocking past dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished negro youths. Within Our Gates was produced and directed by Oscar Micheaux in 1919. He is considered to be the first African-American director of feature films and this is the first such film still in existence.

Cast:
Evelyn Preer as Sylvia Landry
Flo Clements as Alma Prichard
James D. Ruffin as Conrad Drebert
Jack Chenault as Larry Prichard
William Smith as Detective Philip Gentry
Charles D. Lucas as Dr. V. Vivian
S.T. Jacks as Reverend Wilson Jacobs (uncredited).

Original Music Score by Brian Pinette
Running time: 1 hour 17 minutes
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Within Our Gates & Symbol Of the Unconquered (1920) by Oscar Micheaux



Within Our Gates (1920) is a silent film by the director Oscar Micheaux that portrays the contemporary racial situation in the United States during the early twentieth century, the years of Jim Crow, the revival of the Ku Klux Klan, the Great Migration of blacks to cities of the North and Midwest, and the emergence of the "New Negro". It was part of a genre called race films.

The plot features an African-American woman who goes North in an effort to raise money for a rural school in the Deep South for poor Black children. Her romance with a black doctor eventually leads to revelations about her family's past and her own mixed-race, European ancestry. The film portrays racial violence under white supremacy, and the lynching of a black man. Produced, written and directed by Oscar Micheaux in 1919 and released in 1920, it is the oldest known surviving film made by an African-American director.

Cast:
Evelyn Preer as Sylvia Landry
Flo Clements as Alma Prichard
James D. Ruffin as Conrad Drebert
Jack Chenault as Larry Prichard
William Smith as Detective Philip Gentry
Charles D. Lucas as Dr. V. Vivian
S.T. Jacks as Reverend Wilson Jacobs (uncredited).

Running time: 1 hour 17 minutes


Iris Hall

The Symbol Of the Unconquered (1920)

In this silent film, a black heiress fights off the Ku Klux Klan to save her land. (1 of the 2 films Oscar Micheaux filmed as a 'response' to The Birth of A Nation)

The Symbol of the Unconquered (aka:The Wilderness Trail) is a 1920 silent "race film" drama produced, written and directed by Oscar Micheaux. It is Micheaux's fourth feature length film and along with Within Our Gates is amongst his earliest surviving works. This film was made at Fort Lee New Jersey and released by Micheaux on November 29, 1920. Extant at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Producer: Oscar Micheaux

Cast:
Iris Hall - Eve Mason
Walker Thompson - Hugh Van Allen
Lawrence Chenault - Jefferson Driscoll

Running time: 58 minutes


Oscar Micheaux

Oscar Micheaux is remembered today as the first African-American filmmaker and as an outstanding entrepreneur of the early film industry. His films, some of which have been lost, include The Homesteader (1919), Within Our Gates (1920), The Symbol of the Unconquered (1920), and Body and Soul (1925), and range from mysteries to westerns, from political commentaries to musicals.

Both of his 1920 films -- Within Our Gates and The Symbol of the Unconquered -- respond directly to D.W. Griffith's groundbreaking celebration of the Ku Klux Klan, The Birth of a Nation (1915).

In answer to the several climactic scenes of attempted rape of white women by Black men around which the story of The Birth of a Nation centers, in Within Our Gates Micheaux flips the scene with a depiction of the victim as a Black woman and the perpetrator as a white man. The central section of The Symbol of the Unconquered, currently lost, hinges on the Black community's success in repelling a raid by the KKK, and much of the story serves to discredit the Klan's claims of justification for their violence against African-American communities.

While many of Micheaux's films are classified as "Race Films," filmed for an African-American audience and shown in segregated, "colored only" theaters, Micheaux's films -- especially his earlier works -- reached an audience which included whites.

His celebration of middle-class African-American experience provided hope for better times to come, and his practice of spreading blame across a racially diverse group of villanous characters (rather than directly pointing the finger at the white community as a whole) is an indication of his political sensibilities as a follower of Booker T. Washington.

2 Silent films by Oscar Micheaux 1st African American film-maker 1 DVD

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Stella Dallas (1925 & 1937) Ronald Colman, Barbara Stanwyck, Anne Shirley


Stella Dallas (1925) Ronald Colman, Belle Bennett

One of the silent era's most popular tearjerkers, this soapy melodrama was adapted by legendary screenwriter Frances Marion for Samuel Goldwyn from the 1923 novel by Olive Higgins Prouty and Directed by Henry King. The film stars Ronald Colman, Belle Bennett, Lois Moran, Alice Joyce, Jean Hersholt, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Belle Bennett stars as Stella Dallas, a small town girl who is devastated by her father's death and quickly marries the upper class Stephen Dallas (Ronald Colman), with whom she has nothing in common. After the birth of a daughter, Laurel, the Dallases go their separate ways, Stephen returning to New York. As Laurel (Lois Moran) grows into a spirited young woman, Stella realizes that Stephen can provide their daughter countless opportunities she'll never have while living with a destitute single mother.

Stella Dallas is a 1925 American silent film that was produced by Samuel Goldwyn, adapted by Frances Marion, and directed by Henry King.
Distributed by United Artists
Release date: November 16, 1925
Running time: 110 minutes

Stella Dallas (1937) Barbara Stanwyck, Anne Shirley

American film based on the Olive Higgins Prouty novel of the same name. It was directed by King Vidor and stars Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles and Anne Shirley. Stanwyck was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Shirley for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry

Distributed by United Artists
Release date: August 6, 1937
Running time: 106 minutes

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The Affairs of Cellini (1934)
What Price Hollywood (1932)

2 pre-code Constance Bennett 1930s DVDs

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Affairs of Cellini (1934) Constance Bennett



The Affairs of Cellini (1934) is a pre-code comedy film set in Florence over 400 years ago. This 1934 movie was adapted by Bess Meredyth from the play The Firebrand of Florence by Edwin Justus Mayer. It was directed by Gregory La Cava.

Starring Frank Morgan, Constance Bennett, Fredric March, Fay Wray, Louis Calhern
Produced/released by: 20th Century Pictures
Release date: 24 August 1934
Running time: 80 minutes

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What Price Hollywood (1932) Constance Bennett


What Price Hollywood (1932) is an American pre-code drama film directed by George Cukor and starring Constance Bennett with Lowell Sherman. The screenplay is by Gene Fowler, Rowland Brown, Ben Markson and Jane Murfin. It is based on a story by Adela Rogers St. Johns.

Adela Rogers St. Johns and Jane Murfin were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Story but lost to Frances Marion for The Champ.

Studio: RKO Pathé
Distributed by RKO-Pathé Distributing Corp.
Release date: June 24, 1932 (US)
Running time: 88 minutes

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SHE (1925 & 1935) Betty Blythe, Helen Gahagan, Randolph Scott




SHE (1925) Betty Blythe

SHE is a 1925 British-German fantasy adventure film directed by Leander de Cordova and G.B. Samuelson and starring Betty Blythe, Carlyle Blackwell, Mary Odette. It was filmed in Berlin as a co-production, and based on H. Rider Haggard's novel of the same name.

According to the opening credits, the intertitles were specially written for the film by Haggard himself (he died in 1925, the year the film was made).

The book has been a popular subject for filmmakers in the silent and sound eras, with at least five short film adaptations produced in 1908, 1911, 1916, 1917, and 1919 respectively.

The 1925 version was the first feature length adaptation, although it was trimmed from its original 98-minute running time down to 56-69 minutes for U.S. release. It is the most faithful of the three feature-length adaptations to date and follows the action, characters and locations of the original novel closely.

Music and Restoration by Brian Pinette
Running time: 56 minutes

and




SHE (1935) Helen Gahagan, Randolph Scott

SHE is a 1935 American film produced by Merian C. Cooper. Based on H. Rider Haggard's novel of the same name, the screenplay combines elements from all the books in the series: SHE, SHE and Allan, Ayesha: The Return of SHE and Wisdom's Daughter. The film reached a new generation of moviegoers with a 1949 re-release.

The ancient civilization of Kor is depicted in an Art Deco style with imaginative special effects. The setting is Arctic Siberia, rather than in Africa, as in the first book. The third book is set in the Himalayas.

With music by Max Steiner, the film stars Helen Gahagan, Randolph Scott and Nigel Bruce.

The title character in SHE served as the inspiration for the appearance of the Evil Queen in Walt Disney's 1937 animated Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

It was hoped that SHE would follow Cooper's previous success, King Kong. Cooper had originally intended to shoot the film in color, but budget cuts by RKO forced him to shoot the film in black and white at the last minute. However, the black and white film had disappointing results at the box office. It initially lost $180,000, although it later had a successful re-release.

In 2006, Legend Films and Ray Harryhausen colorized the film as a tribute to Cooper. The colorized trailer for SHE premiered at the 2006 Comic-Con.

SHE was considered a lost film for many years until an original print, stored in silent film star Buster Keaton's garage, was turned over to film distributor Raymond Rohauer for preservation.

Colorized: 90 minutes

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The Affairs of Cellini (1934)/What Price Hollywood (1932)
2 pre-code Constance Bennette 1930s DVDs
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fritz Lang’s "The Nibelungen Saga" (1924) w/English titles; Complete




"Siegfried" and "Kriemhild's Revenge" by Fritz Lang finally presented as one complete epic.

Die Nibelungen is a series of two silent fantasy films created by Austrian director Fritz Lang in 1924: Die Nibelungen: Siegfried and Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge.

Both films were co-written by Lang's then-wife Thea von Harbou, based upon the epic poem Nibelungenlied written around 1200 AD.

Siegfried was released in the U.S. on 23 August 1925, premiering at the Century Theatre in New York City in the short-lived Phonofilm sound-on-film process.


Kriemhild's Revenge was released in the U.S. in 1928.

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