Category Archives: Uncategorized

IN VIBRANT COLOR

Press photographer Harry Warnecke (1900-1984) joined the New York Daily News in 1921, only two years after New York’s first tabloid was established . He worked there till his retirement in 1970.

The paper was always picture- heavy and Harry became interested in color photography at a time in the 1930s when color photos in a newspaper were extremely rare.
He used a process and camera he devised himself. Before color film came into use, he would expose three different black and white negatives through coloured filters and combine the three images.

The result was a very vivid color image and the Daily  News would use many of Harry’s photos in their Sunday magazine.
Harry’s work was recognised in an 2012 exhibition of 24 of his images at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

Here are some of these wonderfully vibrant photos:

 

 

Irene Dunne

 

Jimmy Durante

 

Orson Welles

 

Gene Raymond, Jeanette MacDonald

 

Lucille Ball

 

Laurel and Hardy

 

Alexis Smith

 

Ann Blyth

 

Harry Warnecke

MOVIE TRAILERS

TRAILERS!  PREVIEWS!  COMING ATTRACTIONS !  Always part of cinema going . We need to know what to see next.

Of course the job of trailers is to make filmgoers go see the movie the following  week.  Nowadays, trailers don’t follow/trail the main feature , but back in the silent era , they ran after the movie.

With the coming of sound and continuous performances, we got double features followed by cartoons, newsreels – and trailers.

By 1919, a New Yorker, Herman Robbins, without any studio permission, took stills from films, spliced them with text and titles, and sold them to movie theaters.
He formed a company called THE NATIONAL SCREEN SERVICE and gradually the big studios started sending their films to NSS to be converted into trailers.

Considering everything else was done in-house, I’m not clear why the important advertising of trailers was outsourced. ( the only comment I saw was that making trailers was too time consuming).
As well as producing trailers, NSS also did posters and ads for the majors till the 1960s, when the studios took back control.

Trailers often had third person narrators, montages, teasers, rapid cuts, pictures of the stars, some clips of dramatic or exciting scenes – and all in about three minutes.

Like print advertising, the trailer is full of excessive praise for the film – Colossal and Stupendous were often the words used .
And sometimes the actual film was a let down after the rip roaring trailer.
Occasionally a trailer would use footage not in the actual film, depending on whether NSS was working from a final cut.  Sometimes they worked from the dailies ( unedited footage of film).

For example, in one of the trailers for CASABLANCA, Rick says, “ok, you asked for it”  before shooting Strasser – a line not in the final film.

When a film was re-issued some years later, a further trailer might be made, often  running only about 90 seconds.

With the advent of video and dvd, trailers were often added as extras and have become popular to watch.

I’ve pulled a few trailers from You Tube , with some comments.

 

NOTE: An extra comment to this post .

Having read some further articles, it looks like MGM and Warner Bros. did some of their own trailers, maybe for the bigger releases like MILDRED PIERCE and SHOP AROUND THE CORNER ,shown below. When the stars of the film are filmed for special spots in the trailers, that would be done in the studio.

 

 

This trailer for JOHNNY O’CLOCK was a re-issue and runs only 1m. 36 secs. Of course it emphasises  the dramatic character of the lead character – “the most fascinating character you’ve met in years!”

 

 

 

With PEOPLE WILL TALK, the film’s makers were selling points – Darryl Zanuck, Joseph Mankiewicz  had Oscar winning credentials. And the usual hyperbole – “Expect the unexpected, and you’ll still be surprised!”

 

DARK PASSAGE reminds filmgoers about the Bogie/Bacall previous hits, saying Dark Passage is the best yet.

The trailer even shows the end scene of the film, but no one would know that at the time.

 

 

LADY IN THE LAKE: “THE SCREEN TALKED, NOW THE CAMERA ACTS!” – “A MILESTONE IN MOVIE MAKING, starring Robert Montgomery and YOU!”  “You play the starring role!”

The trailer is a bit misleading because you see lots of Montgomery as he does the narration.

 

 

 

MILDRED PIERCE: One of the best trailers I have seen. Gripping first shot of the shooting of ‘Monty’, then Jack Carson, Bruce Bennett,  Zachary Scott speak to the camera, each describing how they see Mildred . And then the scene where Vida slaps Mildred.
And the description – “The film the WORLD  will talk about!”
it’s all there!

 

 

 

“SHOP AROUND THE CORNER.” I love this one, with Frank Morgan speaking directly to the camera and introducing the cast – with a surprise appearance at the end of director Ernst Lubitsch.

 

DOUBLE INDEMNITY: Another instance where the end scene is shown, with Fred MacMurray saying, “I killed Dietrichson…”

 

 

San Francisco  re-release trailer., stating this is a “limited return engagement.” Shots of the earthquake make for plenty of action.

 

 

A clever use of two William Powells for The Thin Man. It’s all about a tall, thin man.”

 

 

RKO re-released King Kong in 1938 and the message was , Dont Miss It This Time!

 

 

THE WOMEN : Reference  is made to the hit Broadway show on which the film is based.

 

 

An excellent Criterion trailer for their dvd release of 3.10 TO YUMA.

 

 

ON DANGEROUS GROUND. Always  great to hear Bernard Hermann’s soundtrack.

PHOTO MIX 41

 

 

JEAN ARTHUR.Carmel 1988 . Photo by Roddy McDowall

A rare photo of Jean Arthur, aged 88. She died in 1991.

 

Robert Montgomery , Audrey Totter.LADY IN THE LAKE.

Wonder what it would have been like if they had made a conventional version – more of Robert Montgomery for a start.

 

 

Edward Everett Horton, Josephine Hull, Jean Adair.ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

Dont drink!

 

Too easy.  Whose hands?

 

Van Heflin, Cornel Wilde, Fred MacMurray, Clifton  Webb. A WOMAN’S WORLD.

It’s “A Woman’s World” and here are their men.  Who gets the job?

 

Joan Fontaine checks her hair, Robert Taylor checks his nails.

IVANHOE. 1952

 

 

Fred MacMurray. DOUBLE INDEMNITY.

Crime doesn’t pay, not when Barbara Stanwyck is involved.

Neff reveals all.

 

Jack Warner has won an award, not sure what for but Virginia Mayo and Randolph Scott are on hand for congratulations.

 

Lyle Bettger, Barbara Stanwyck. NO MAN OF HER OWN.

Dont mess with me, I’m Lyle Bettger.”

 

 

Changes. Before and after.

Biggest changes are surely Joan and Myrna.

 

 

William Powell, Myrna Loy.

1936. Grauman’s. Cool footwear.

 

Bette Davis

Casual wear. 1939 , photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

THE WESTERNER with Brian Keith

 

 

THE WESTERNER was a 1960 TV series created by Sam Peckinpah and starring Brian Keith as a drifter who wanders the West with his dog, ‘Brown’.

With a theme similar to Lloyd Bridges’ The Loner, Brian Keith , as ‘Dave Blassingame’  meets all sorts of folk and trouble on his travels. We don’t learn a lot about him, except he sometimes  talks about having a ranch in the future.

We learn he can’t read  or write, but from time to time, he tries to learn.

 

Brian Keith

The show only had 13 episodes before being cancelled. Brian Keith wore the part very well, as a peaceable man ready to defend himself when necessary. It doesn’t look as if the series had much of a budget.
There are plenty of fist fights and shootings, so a lot of violence typical of Peckinpah , though  Blassingame only lashes out when pushed.
Of course his name alone – ‘Dave Blassingame’ – can bring trouble, though in a nice contrast, Malcolm Atterbury as the local sheriff says, “I like that. It’s a good name.”

( I’ d love to know how Sam Peckinpah came up with this very unusual surname.)

The series is well worth watching for all the well known supporting  names in the cast, including,one of my favourites, John Dehner who appears in three of the lighter episodes,playing a character called Burgundy Smith who tries to buy Blassingame’s dog, and is a rival for a lady Blassingame has an eye for.

(Keith’s ‘co-star’, Brown’ is a very well trained dog who was also ‘Old Yeller’. Blassingame has quite a few conversations with ‘Brown.’)

Other guest stars include Robert Wilke, Arthur Hunnicutt, Sam Jaffe, Ben Cooper, Katy Jurado . One episode has Malcolm Atterbury and Adam Williams ( both fresh from “North By Northwest”).Incidentally, Adam Williams, whom I liked in VICE SQUAD and THE BIG HEAT, was born in 1922 and died in 2006. According to IMDB, he never made another TV/ Film appearance after 1978 when he was 56 yrs old.

Arthur Hunnicutt

Hunnicutt plays an old prospector ready to kill Blassingame for gold .

 

In a powerful episode, reminiscent of The Ox-Bow Incident, Blassingame is set up for a murder.  With no real proof, R.G. Armstrong tells Dave to dig his own grave.
A young teacher has been killed and Dave’s  connection is that she was helping him – “I was learning how to write my name.”

Richard Rust plays  the deputy who tries to stop what’s happening.

A surprise in this episode was to see William Tracy whom I remember so well as the fast young go-getter from The Shop Around the Corner who stole every scene he was in.

In his early 40s at the time of the series, I kept thinking Tracy looked and sounded like Herbert Mundin.

William Tracy

I know he is made up for the role and it is 20 years later, but such a change.

William Tracy. Shop Around the Corner.

( British born Herbert Mundin tragically died in a car crash at the age of 40 in 1939.) Mundin was in so many 30s films such as The Adventures of Robin Hood, Mutiny on the Bounty.)

William Tracy served in the Second World War for 5 years and when he returned to Hollywood he only made a few films in the 1950s. A pity he didn’t get a studio contract and some decent roles. He died in 1967, aged 50.

 

 

Another episode has a Marie Celeste like opening , Dave coming into a small Mexican town which is deserted, though food is on a stove and the cantina has drinks on the table.  Katy Jurado guest stars.

The 13 episode box set has recently been issued in the U.K. by Renown. The series was previously released in  America by the Shout  Factory in 2017. The U.S. release had the added extra of the 1959 episode of the Zane Grey Theatre, “Trouble at Tres Cruces” which first featured Brian Keith as the ‘Dave Blassingame’ character.

And a slight mistake in the U.K. set – the cover says the series was made in  1962.

The whole series seems to be in the public domain and  can be viewed on You Tube. I don’t rate it quite as highly as IMDB reviews suggest. It’s all down to the writing of course and four or five of the 13 episodes are very good in my opinion.

Shout Factory

Brian Keith subsequently appeared in Sam Peckinpah’s “The Deadly Companions” in  I961 and continued to have a successful career, mainly in television including his own show, “The Brian Keith Show” in which he played a doctor. He was also in a long running sitcom, “Family  Affair” from 1966 to 1971. Another long running hit was HARDCASTLE AND MCCORMICK (1983-86).He and Ben  Cooper appeared in another western, “The Raiders”(1963). It seems a pity Brian’s career on screen only really got started in the 50s – he was active in stage and radio in the 40s after the war. I liked him in TIGHT SPOT, CHICAGO CONFIDENTIAL, ROUGH COMPANY. His laconic manner suited Noir.

Just after the series was cancelled, Brian had a big success in THE PARENT  TRAP with Maureen O’Hara and Hayley Mills. There was also an attempt at a reboot of The Westerner in 1963, in an episode of the Dick Powell Show called ‘The Losers’, with Lee Marvin and Keenan Wynn in the roles,played by Brian Keith and John Dehner.   Brian Keith, born in 1921 and the son of character actor, Robert Keith, was suffering from cancer when he took his own life in 1997.

Brian Keith, Ben Cooper

JAMES MASON: The Star with the Velvet Voice

James Mason

New to me, live online talks via webinars. ( I had to look up the meaning of ‘webinar’ – coined in the 1990s , a blend of web and seminar.)

I enjoyed one recently given by Adrian Garvey, a James Mason expert and organised by Nicky Smith of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea library.

James Mason (1909-1984) was the star with impeccable diction who conquered British and Hollywood films.

In the 1930s ,James had two careers -on stage and film. He did repertory at London’s Old Vic theatre, led by Charles Laughton, and appeared in ‘Quota Quickies’ from 1935 ( those films made to get more British films on British screens.)

 

In 1939, James costarred in the small independent film, I MET A MURDERER . His  costar Pamela Kellino whom he married in 1941. Mason played a farmer who murders his wife.

Interestingly, the film was co-written by Mason, Pamela Kellino and her then husband Roy Kellino who produced and directed it.

 

During the Second World War, James had deferred status due to essential civilian employment (the film industry). He could have had a lot of trouble in his career if this hadn’t happened , as he registered as a conscientious objector.

Stardom came with THE MAN IN GREY (1943) and FANNY BY GASLIGHT (1944).  He became known as ‘the man they loved to hate!’ in the Gainsborough costume melodramas.

In 1946 he was voted Britain’s  Most Popular Star by the readers of the Daily Mail.

 

With Margaret Lockwood. THE WICKED LADY.

Audiences loved his ‘ crushed velvet’ voice and found him charismatic and dangerous!

Director Michael Powell described Mason’s voice:

“It was cultured, tender and masculine, and irresistible  to women!”

James was cast for Powell’s I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING but fell out with Powell. (Roger Livesey took over.)

 

One of his last films before Hollywood was the highly regarded ODD MAN OUT(1947), with fine direction by Carol Reed and James as a dying Irish fugitive on the run from the police in Belfast.

 

Walter  Winchell described Mason in THE SEVENTH VEIL(1945)  as ……..”Humphrey Bogart with an Oxonian accent.”

(Mason didn’t go to Oxford, but he did graduate from Cambridge – he had studied architecture but preferred dramatics.)

With The Seventh Veil, Mason became more vulnerable and romantic – though not when he brings his cane down on Ann Todd’s fingers at the piano!

The film was a huge success in both Britain and America.

James commented on his move to Hollywood. He was fed up with his villainess image:

“I see precious little glamour in British films…..I wanted to see what it would be like in the U.S……..I wanted to be an international star because I thought it would give me the power to produce my own films.”

He did not want a long term contract, And in 1947, James signed with producer David Rose but was unable to work in Hollywood for over a year due to a dispute with Rose. (He and his wife Pamela worked on stage in New York for a year.)

His first Hollywood film was CAUGHT (1949)  with Robert Ryan and Barbara Bel Geddes . Although James got top billing, Robert Ryan, as a Howard Hughes type, had the more powerful role,  but it gave James the opportunity to play a more sympathetic part as a doctor.

An IMDB note says James could have played the main role but wanted to change his image.

 

 

Robert Ryan, Barbara Bel Geddes, James Mason

 

James Mason, Max Ophuls, Barbara Bel Geddes

Max Ophuls also directed the next Mason film, THE RECKLESS MOMENT with Joan Bennett.

 

One of my favourite Mason films, EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE, as a man torn between Barbara Stanwyck and Ava Gardner.

 

 

Mason did not attempt a German accent when he played Field Marshall Rommel of the Afrika Corps in THE DESERT FOX (1951). The portrayal of Rommel as a military man who was to be admired for his expertise was not well received in some quarters, being so soon after the war.

In 1953, Twentieth Century Fox persuaded Mason to play Rommel again in THE DESERT RATS, but as a cameo and with a plot showing the war in North Africa from the British point of view, and with a less sympathetic view of Rommel.

“The Desert Rats”may have been a counterpoint to “The Desert Fox”, but it wasn’t nearly as good.

 

JULIUS CAESAR

James made a fine ‘Brutus’ in the all star JULIUS CAESAR, his voice perfect for Shakepeare’s words.

 

James reprised Douglas Fairbanks Jr’s role of Rupert of Hentzau in THE PRISONER OF ZENDA. It seemed a strange choice for him, duelling with Stewart Granger, and I preferred the portrayal by Fairbanks in the 1930s version.

 

FIVE FINGERS (1952) gave him  another memorable role as the valet turned spy, with the wonderful name of ‘Ulysses Diello’.  Set in neutral Turkey during World War ll, he plays a valet to the British Ambassador who sells information to the Germans about the Allied war plans.
A great thriller from Joseph Mankiewicz.

 

With Judy Garland. A STAR IS BORN.

I could only wish that both Judy and James has won Oscars for “A Star is Born”.
Mason’s ‘Norman Maine’ is so raw,intense and emotionally charged, surely one  of his finest performances .

He was very fond of Judy Garland and spoke the eulogy at her funeral.

A visual sign that Vicki Lester is overtaking  Norman Maine in star ratings.

 

James Mason, Jack Carson, Charles Bickford, Judy Garland. A STAR IS BORN.

 

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA.

 

Pat Boone,  Peter Ronson, James Mason, Arlene Dahl.

Another of my favourites, JOURNEY TO THE  THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH, with James as an Edinburgh professor who leads an expedition to the earth’s core. With a memorable Bernard Herrmann soundtrack and fantastic visual effects.

 

Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason. NORTH BY NORTHWEST.

James was a perfect foil for Cary Grant, as the urbane villain, Philip Vandamm in the Hitchcock thriller. Mason said he got on well with Hitchcock and Grant, but felt tightly controlled by the director.

I can still hear his voice when he says to Cary Grant, “With such play acting, you make  this very room a theater.”

In the 1960s, James eased into character roles, with his last starring role in LOLITA ( 1962). His last film was THE SHOOTING PARTY in 1984, shortly before his death.

130 films over 50 years. When  asked in an interview, “Is there anything you would have done differently?”, his reply, after some hesitation, was ,”Not much!”

 

A 1946 first place for James in a pole for Motion Picture Herald.

 

James was married to Pamela Kellino from 1941 to 1964 and they had two children,Morgan and Portland.
His second marriage in 1971 was to Clarissa Kaye Mason .

 

 

I found  this lovely portrait online by an artist called N. Shaddrion. Possibly from “Odd Man Out”.

How best to describe James Mason – Grace, elegance, charm, with a hint of menace!

 

 

 

Bonhams Auction: June 2021

Bonhams   in Los Angeles are holding an auction on 8th June, 2021 and the full catalogue can be viewed at http://www.bonhams.com/26882

Of interest to vintage Hollywood fans is the private stills collection of postal worker Stanley Simon (1945-2017).

A total 10,000 photographs reflected  Mr.Simon’s  film interests    The collection is described as the most extensive collection of Hollywood images in private hands.

If only the new Hollywood  museum was able to buy the entire collection and keep it intact.

 

Examples  of the bid prices:

  • 78 photos of Humphrey Bogart. $1500- $2500.
  • 94 photos from The Wolf Man.$5000-$7000.
  • 99 photos of Katharine Hepburn.$3000-$5000.
  • 22 photos of Claude Rains in The Invisible Man. $1000-$1500.
  • 57 photos of James Cagney. $1000-$1500.

 

Here are some samples of the stills on sale:

 

Fay Wray and Kong’s  hand.

 

Elsa Lanchester, Boris Karloff.BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN

 

Claude Rains gets his hair-do as Prince John for  THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. .

With a photo of Claude for reference on the table.

 

Amazing outfit worn by Claudette Colbert in CLEOPATRA.

 

Charles Boyer, Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea. PRIVATE WORLDS.

 

 

Mitchell Leisen, Claudette  Colbert on the Paramount lot while shooting NO TIME FOR LOVE.

 

 

Frank Capra gets up close to Jack Carson, Jean Arthur , Thomas Mitchell in MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON.

 

Katharine Hepburn surrounded by some of the cast and crew of THE PHILADELPHIA STORY.

Ruth Hussey bottom left, John  Howard to Kate’s right, George Cukor , James Stewart .

 

Humphrey Bogart.

 

James Cagney.

THIS ‘ N THAT 22

A history of the club published in 2006.

Many stars were members of The Lambs Theatrical Club which was founded in 1869 in London and named after essayist Charles Lamb. In 1874 the club took up residence in New York.
Members included Fred Astaire, Irving Berlin, Spencer Tracy, Danny Kaye,  John Barrymore, Edward G. Robinson, Pat O’Brien.

When Fred Astaire became a member in 1922, he said, “When I was made a Lamb, I felt as if I was knighted.”

  • Ten of the 17 founding members of The Screen Actors Guild were Lamb club members, including Boris Karloff, James Gleason, Alan Mowbray.

 

Motto, “Florient Agni” – “May The Lambs Flourish.”

The chief executive officer of the club is called The Shepherd , and when shows were put on,they were called Gambols.

STALAG 17 was first tried out at the Lambs.

And it still is flourishing  in New York, with a great theatrical archive.
Their website is https://the-lambs.org

The website is also of great interest because you  can view extensive interviews with Piper Laurie, George Chakiris, Maria Janis Cooper (daughter of Gary Cooper), Constance Towers, Lee Grant.

 

……….SINUS PROBLEMS: And it’s  always the villains, glad to say!

Maybe they were related and it runs in the family.

Richard Widmark, Donald Buka in THE STREET WITH NO NAME (1948)

 

Gary Merrill,  Neville Brand.  WHERE THE SIDE WALK ENDS.(1950)

 

Lee Marvin . VIOLENT SATURDAY. (1955)

 

……….Due in June, 2021 from Sepia Records in London. (Sepia 1368)

Stars featured include Judy Garland, Ethel Merman, Barbara Stanwyck, Dolores Del Rio. Shirley Temple, Tony Martin, Eddie Cantor.

B

 

  • ………I recently  re-watched BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN(1950) and thought Donald Buka ,as the young villain chased by cops Edmond O’Brien and Mark Stevens ,looked remarkably like one of my favourite character actors, Anthony Caruso. 

See what you think:

Donald Buka, Gale Robbins

 

Donald Buka

 

Anthony Caruso (1916-2003)

 

 

Anthony Caruso

Donald Buka (1920-2009) only made a few movies including WATCH ON THE RHINE in which he played the son of Bette Davis.

Donald Buka , Bette Davis

 

 

…………..Dialogue quote: HOLD BACK THE DAWN (1941).

Georges (Charles Boyer) to Emmy (Olivia de Havilland):

“You needn’t be afraid, Miss Brown. Not a bit. You see, we are like two trains halted for a moment at the same station. But we’re going  in different directions.

We cannot  change our course anymore than we can hold back the dawn.”

Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland

 

……….Love this scene in the all-star Warners film, IT’S A GREAT FEELING.

 

 

R.I.P. NORMAN LLOYD

The death has been announced of Hollywood veteran Norman Lloyd who has passed away at the age of 106. Many tributes are being paid to him throughout the media.
Another tie to vintage Hollywood gone , but there is so much to enjoy through Norman’s films and interviews over the years.

A fine actor and a great communicator.

In 2019, I celebrated his birthday and here is the link.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NORMAN LLOYD

 

FOREIGN POSTERS 26

Private Hell 36……….Dollars That Burn

 

”Blowing  Wild”………………”Wild Ballad.”

 

”DARK VICTORY”…………..”VICTORY IN THE DARK”.

 

”Westward The Women”………..”CARAVAN OF WOMEN.”

 

 

”IF I Were King.”   Same title.

 

”GENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT “………..”TACID  AGREEMENT.”

 

 

”Johnny Concho”………..”Redemption of a Coward.”

 

 

The Unsuspected………The Alibi of Satan

 

Call Northside 777  ……..Call North 777.

 

Double Indemnity…….The Flame of Sin!

 

 

The Locket……….The Trace of a Memory

 

 

Talk of the Town……….He Came At Night.

 

Kiss The Blood off My Hands……..The Fearless.

 

 

 

 

MANSLAUGHTER (1930)

My reaction to this early talkie was to wish it had been re-imagined in the 1940s as a film noir. All the ingredients are there – a spoilt rich girl who lands in jail and a district attorney who falls for her but prosecutes her anyway, and good scenes in court and in a women’s prison.

 

Claudette Colbert, Emma Dunn

Claudette Colbert plays Lydia Thorne,  a rich heiress who lives with her aunt,  Emma Dunn .
Lydia lead a a hedonistic life style which eventually catches up with her.

For most of the movie, Claudette’s character is quite unlikeable, spoilt and selfish. She  drives too fast and bribes highway cops to stop them giving her a penalty. Eventually she is responsible for the death of one of the motor cycle cops in a car chase and is charged with manslaughter.

 

 

Fredric March, Claudette Colbert.

Fredric March plays a hardworking prosecutor who proves Claudette’s guilt, even although he has fallen fo her. Being part of the rich set, Claudette can hardly believe she is going to prison.

Best line in the film comes in the prison setting when Claudette (as Lydia Thorne) meets her former maid, ‘Evans ‘. (No first name).

Claudette is surprised to see her , and the following dialogue expresses so perfectly that they are no longer employer and employee.

Claudette says, “Why, Evans !”  and the maid replies, ‘Why, Thorne.”

( The maid has been convicted of stealing Claudette’s jewels for her boyfriend , and Claudette ( who isn’t too bothered about the theft) was supposed to appear at her trial and support her so the maid would get a shorter sentence. But Claudette  simply forgets about the court date.)

Hilda Vaughan, as ‘Evans’, is only in a few scenes but conveys the character well – a plain looking woman who stole to try and keep her boyfriend from leaving her.

 

The film falls down in the last few minutes when Claudette has a sudden change of heart – throughout the film she  vows vengeance on the lawyer who put  her in jail, and then she realises she really loves him!

 

Fredric March, Claudette Colbert.

Claudette and Fredric are excellent in their respective roles.

I was interested to see that the film’s director was George Abbott  who is best known for all the Broadway musicals he directed (The Pajama Game, What Lola Wants). He did a few films in the period 1929-1931.

The film is stretched out at just under 90 minutes. It could easily have been trimmed by about 20 minutes with better pacing.

 

Natalie Moorhead

Perhaps because of her striking platinum blonde hairstyle, Natalie Moorhead stood out in a small role as a friend of the heiress.

Uncredited as party guests were Bess Flowers, Frances DeeMary Gordon also appears briefly.

Louise Beavers, who would later re-unite with Claudette in “Imitation of Life” , has a small role as one the prison inmates.

 

 

Love this photo advertising the film outside the Kentucky cinema. COME IN! COOL OFF!

The car has a sign, “Advertising van, No.1” and is hauling the van advertising the film – and Westinghouse Electric Company. I imagine it would move from cinema to cinema as the film opened.