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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Apr 262016
 

warner-archives-4-26-16SUSAN SLEPT HERE (1954) on Blu-ray!  Frank Tashlin’s colorful Christmas romance gets a tinsel-bright sheen thanks to this new master prepared for a pristine 1080p HD presentation. Debbie Reynolds delights as a delinquent placed under the care of a screenwriter (Dick Powell), desperately in search of a subject. Looney Tunes veteran Frank Tashlin’s color palette presents as ‘like new’, ensuring this frothy meringue of a movie never settles down to earth. With Glenda Farrell and Ann Francis. 16×9 Widescreen

It’s Forbidden!

FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD, VOLUME X (1931-33) Remember to knock five times, as the Cinema Speakeasy is once again open with a quintet of controversial pre-Code classics. Lionel Barrymore stars as a DA who commits the perfect crime in W.S. Van Dyke’s GUILTY HANDS, co-starring Kay Francis. Next Warren William is crowned the pre-Code King with his breakout performance in James Flood & Elliott Nugent’s THE MOUTHPIECE. Then Edward Sutherland spills the SECRETS OF THE FRENCH POLICE as a Sûreté inspector (Frank Morgan) and a thief (John Warburton) scour the underworld for a waif (Gwili Andre) who may be the Princess Anastasia. Warren William follows with Howard Bretherton and William Keighley’s acclaimed biopic THE MATCH KING, with Glenda Farrell on hand to deliver the glam. Finally, Babyface star Barbara Stanwyck sizzles as a spouse torn between love (Otto Kruger) and country in Archie Mayo’s EVER IN MY HEART, with Ralph Bellamy as ‘the other guy’ – naturally! NOTE: While we bring the Forbidden Hollywood collections to an end with our tenth volume, fear not! Not only will we be making ALL the previous Forbidden Hollywood DVD collections available again, we promise that more pre-Code wonders await!

Robert Taylor in Love and War

A YANK AT OXFORD (1938) Robert Taylor begins to tough up his onscreen persona with this overseas MGM film – the Tiffany studios first British production. Taylor plays the arrogant American athlete Lee Sheridan who scores a scholarship to Oxford’s Cardinal College. The brash fish-out-of-water Sheridan dries his wet-behind-the-ears attitude through conflict (Griffith Jones), conspiracy (Vivien Leigh), and cupid (Maureen O’Sullivan). Also starring Lionel Barrymore and Edmund Gwenn. Directed by Jack Conway.

REMEMBER? (1939) Robert Taylor, Greer Garson and Lew Ayres are the three points of a ‘happy triangle’ in Greer Garson’s sophomore feature. Garson plays a fling-prone society gal that gets engaged while on vacation to one man (Ayres) only to end up marrying the best man (Taylor). But the new bride’s anger at her husband’s puts a strain on the marriage and a split is in the offing. Re-enter best pal/ex-fiancé with a spotless mind potion…with memories wiped, can the triangle be saved? Directed by Norman Z. McLeod.

SONG OF RUSSIA (1944) Robert Taylor plays American conductor John Meredith caught up in the Soviet side of World War II in MGM’s answer to Warner Bros.’ Mission to Moscow “Russia is our ally” wartime propaganda. And it’s an MGM show all the way – a sweeping war-time romance replete with classic USSR-style iconography including magical tractors, liberated dames, the united masses and child soldiers! But beyond all the through-the-looking-glass wonder lurks a pulse pounder with Susan Peters solidly stealing hearts as the musical prodigy that snares a maestro’s heart, only to leave love to join the anti-Nazi resistance. With Peter Benchley, John Hodiak and Felix Bressart. Directed by  Gregory Ratoff.

TIMES SQUARE LADY (1935) A freshly minted Robert Taylor plays a smooth and slick society scion in this early starring feature alongside Virginia Bruce who plays a country maid that heads to the big bad city to settle her father’s estate. Seeing easy pickings, a bent mouthpiece (Henry Kolker) drafts a nightclub manager (Taylor) in his bid to separate lady from legacy. But this lady is not the country mouse they think she is… The crime and romance are enhanced by a terrific ensemble that includes Helen Twelvetrees, Nat Pendleton, Raymond Hatton, Isabel Jewell and Pinky Tomlin, the singing heartthrob of 1935. Directed by George B. Seitz.

More Marion Davies

MARIANNE (1929) Marion Davies takes us to the female side of The Big Parade in her first talking feature. Davies plays the titular character, a French innkeeper, in this World War I romance that mixes mirth, music and human drama. Betrothed to fellow Gaul Andre (George Baxter), Marianne has promised to wait for his return from the trenches, but a company of US GI’s bivouac in her partially destroyed village. And one member of the company (Lawrence Gray) knows that the path to girls’ heart is through her pet pig. Davies conquered her stammer and the charts with her delivery of the hit song “Just You, Just Me”. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard.

BLONDIE OF THE FOLLIES (1932) Marion Davies delivers pluck galore when she teams up with Billie Dove for a showgirl triangle with Robert Montgomery. Since they were both veteran Follies’ girls, the pair are in familiar territory whether clowning with Jimmy Durante or competing for a society gent (Montgomery). Lottie Callahan (Dove) lures Blondie McClune (Davies) into the uptown speakeasy life and the chorus, only to find they both have their eyes on rich boy Larry Belmont (Montgomery) and Lotte is a firm believer in all’s fair. Also features James Gleason, Zasu Pitts, Sidney Toler and Douglass Dumbrille. Directed by Edmund Goulding.

NOTE: These DVDs are Manufactured on Demand (MOD); to order, fans must visit The Warner Archive Collection, WB Shop.com, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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