MGM’s Modern Maiden
With this crackling quintet of Crawfords, we are pleased to announce that, thanks to the combined efforts of Warner Home Video and Warner Archive Collection, Joan’s entire run of MGM talkies is now available on DVD. Achievement unlocked! Time to start dancing the Charleston!
OUR BLUSHING BRIDES (1930) The third film in a thematically linked Jazz Age bad gal trilogy (following Our Dancing Daughters and Our Modern Maidens) provides an early step in Joan Crawford’s transition from frivolous flapper to femme force of nature. This talkie outing also features Anita Page (also in all three films), returns Our Dancing Daughter’s Dorothy Sebastian and re-pairs Joan up with a talkie Robert Montgomery (Untamed). The fizz of the free-wheeling Twenties goes pop in this more sobering speak-easy showcase as three shop girls take three very different approaches to romance and life with three very different outcomes. Directed by Harry Beaumont. Newly Remastered
THE LAST OF MRS. CHEYNEY (1937) The second screen adaptation of Frederick Lonsdale’s drama of cons and conquest features a trilogy of powerhouse players as the film’s central triangle. Robert Montgomery plays supercilious seducer Lord Arthur Dilling who thinks he’s competing with the wealthiest man in England (Frank Morgan) for the amours of young American widow Cheyney (Crawford), but it’s her steel-eyed and steel-spined manservant Charles (William Powell) that Lord Dilling should be worried about. A romantic comedy of crime and manners, The Last of Mrs. Cheyney is frivolity at its finest. Directed by Richard Boleslawski. Newly Remastered
MONTANA MOON (1930) When a society frill (Crawford) takes a powder to extricate herself from the enticements of the man her sister loves (Ricardo Cortez); she stumbles into the arms of a tall sexy stranger -er- cowboy (John Mack Brown). As prairie life ignites passions, the pair take the plunge into sudden matrimony. Now the couple needs to see if they have the mettle to muddle through life between ranch and manor. A romantic modern western musical, Montana Moon’s genre mishmash works surprisingly well thanks to a swell bunch of supporting ranch hands including Dorothy Sebastian, Benny Rubin, and Cliff Edwards. Directed by Malcolm St. Clair. Newly Remastered
I LIVE MY LIFE (1935) This time ’round, society frill Crawford jumps yacht in a pique of boredom and decides to do a little Greek island sight-seeing. She ends up falling at archeological dig, whose working class Irish archeologist (Brian Aherne) falls for her. She flirts with the prof, while pretending to simply be her magnate father’s secretary. Much to her shame and chagrin, the love struck digger follows her to the Big Apple but she discovers she may just dig him too. With Frank Morgan, Aline MacMahon and Eric Blore. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke. Newly Remastered
THE BRIDE WORE RED (1937) At the fulcrum for this romantic fable’s triangle, a decidedly earthier incarnation of Crawford anchors the opposing points of Robert Young’s affable aristo and Franchot Tone’s sincere country posto. When a wealthy Count decides to prove that circumstance creates character, he plucks the chanteuse of Trieste’s lowest dive from obscurity and sends her Cinderella-style to an exclusive mountain resort to hobnob with the nobs. There she pours on the charm to snag the very wealthy and very engaged Rudi Pal (Young) but finds herself distracted by the attentions of a very eccentric postman (Tone). Directed by the then only female director, Dorothy Arzner from an unproduced play by Ferenc Molnar. Newly Remastered.