Warner Archive Collection New Releases April 2 -- OnVideo Guide to Home Video Releases

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Warner Archive Collection New Releases April 2: Hollywood Verboten

NOTE: These DVDs are Manufactured on Demand (MOD); to order, fans must visit The Warner Archive Collection (www.WarnerArchive.com or www.wbshop.com)


FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD VOLUME SIX (1932-34) It's back - and more forbiddery than ever! Young! Francis! Barthelmess! Dvorak! Gilbert! It's an easy-on-the-eyes speakeasy with a pre-Code quartet starring a selection of Golden Age Hollywood's taboo-transgressing titans in some of the most sought after pieces of verboten sin-ema.


  • THE WET PARADE (1932) Victor Fleming brings the epic along for this adaptation of Upton Sinclair's anti-alcohol polemic novel adding a more jaundiced perspective while sticking to the source materials "wowser" reformer sympathies. Dorothy Jordan and Robert Young are the central figures in the sweeping saga of the Chilecotes and the Tarletons that takes us from the postbellum South to Great Depression New York, all the while bearing witnesses to John Barleycorn's holocaust. And the film comes loaded with stellar support - Walter Huston and Lewis Stone as alcoholic patriarchs, Neil Hamilton as a Southern swell with a penchant for swill, Myrna Loy as a flapper with a heart like a gin-trap, and Jimmy Durante as the Fed with a famous schnoz.


  • DOWNSTAIRS (1932) When John Gilbert is discussed, someone always seems ready to pull out the old saw about 'a voice too high for Talkies', regardless of the auditory evidence to the contrary. But we come here to praise the great John Gilbert, not to bury him! Downstairs was a very personal project - Gilbert conceived, co-wrote and stars as the leading cad in this black comedy of manners that serves as a delicious palette cleanser after a diet of too much Downton. Virginia Bruce and Paul Lukas co-star as the other sides of the domestic triangle created by Gilbert's self-loathing chauffeur's seductions. Depression Era Perez Hilton, Hedda Hopper, also appears.


  • MANDALAY (1934) "YOU certainly can wear clothes" is thrown at Kay Francis' courtesan chanteuse in this twisted tale of low-dealing among the high-lifers of the Far East -and she certainly can! Just take a peel at the number of stunners draped on her figure in the film's first act when she's abandoned to the brothel - and a leering Warner Oland. But it’s the stunning reversals of Mandalay's second and third acts that prove Kay was far more than a comely clotheshorse - her final close-up is a masterpiece of suggestion and understatement, worthy of cinephiliac study and extol for decades to come. And Ricardo Cortez lends his welcome "Corteazy" persona to the proceedings, as the believable blackguard a girl could find herself falling for.


  • MASSACRE (1934) Richard Barthelmess and Ann Dvorak don native dress to play a pair of Sioux in this searing, high-octane denunciation of the depredations visited upon the nation's original inhabitants. Barthelmess plays a "civilized savage" who makes his living as “Chief Thunderhorse," a high-riding, sharpshooting cliché of an American Indian while consorting with white upper crusties who have caught a case of 'red fever. But when Joe Thunderhorse gets called back to the rez, the horrors he witnesses awaken his heritage and push him on the bloody path of vengeance. Ann Dvorak plays the educated girl who stayed behind and helps Joe look for justice instead of murder. Sidney Toler and Dudley Digges are remarkably reprehensible as the undertaker and federal agent who fleece the locals, alive or dead.



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