Friday, August 11
Jennie Gerhardt (Paramount, 1933; 85 minutes; 35mm film) Directed by Marion
Gering; with Sylvia Sidney, Donald Cook, Mary Astor, Edward Arnold, H.B.
Warner, Louise Carter, Cora Sue Collins, Dorothy Libaire.
Poor scrubwoman Jennie (Sylvia Sidney) meets a rich senator (Edward
Arnold) and a romance ensues, leading to tragedy. Based on Theodore Dreiser’s
“…for the most part the film is practically flawless, and is particularly to be
praised for its perfect reconstruction of the period it represents….Where Jennie
Gerhardt shines is in the performance of its cast. Sylvia Sidney is brilliant in the
early scenes and effective throughout. Donald Cook does the best work I have
seen from him. Edward Arnold does the outstanding bit of the show as the
Senator….” –Hollywood Filmograph
Ladies Must Love (Universal, 1933; 70 minutes; 35mm film) Directed by Ewald
André Dupont; with June Knight, Neil Hamilton, Sally O’Neil, Dorothy Burgess,
Mary Carlisle, George E.. Stone, Maude Eburne, Oscar Apfel, Edmund Breese,
Richard Carle, Berton Churchill, Virginia Cherrill, Rudolph Anders, Walter
Four gold digging chorus girls make a pact to share their future (yet unknown)
husband’s wealth with the other three.
–“Ladies Must Love is a snug little show that has enough laughs in it to put it
on the ok list.” –New Movie Magazine
Saturday, August 12
Fashions in Love (Paramount, 1929; 73 minutes; 35mm film) Directed by Victor Schertzinger; with Adolph Menjou, Fay Compton, Miriam Seegar, John Miljan, Joan Standing, Robert Wayne.
From the successful stage farce, Concert, Adolph Menjou (in his first talkie) plays a concert pianist who is willingly seduced by another man’s wife (Miriam Seegar), while his wife (Fay Compton) takes up with the seducer’s mild-mannered husband (John Miljan in a rare non-villainous role).
“[Adolphe Menjou] contributes a rare performance with the aid of speech quite as good, it seems to me, as any actor on the speaking stage could deliver. Better, really, for Mr. Menjou’s wide experience on the screen gives him an edge over any trained actor on the stage.”
Oh, Doctor! (Universal, 1925; 75 minutes; digital presentation [DCP]) Directed by Harry Pollard; with Reginald Denny, Mary Astor, Otis Harlan, William Mong, Tom Rickets, Lucille Ward, Mike Donlin, Blanche Payson.
From the farcical novel by Harry Leon Wilson, Reginald Denny is a hypochondriac who has convinced himself that he has but a short time to live. He gets three elderly businessmen to advance him $100,000 against the $750,000 inheritance he is to receive in three years (believing he won’t live to collect it) so that he might be able to afford a swank sanitarium. When he falls in love with his beautiful nurse (Mary Astor), he suddenly develops a violent will to live and begins to enjoy leading a daring life, much to the dismay of his three benefactors.
“In Reginald Denny Universal has a star whose recent stuff has been riotously funny….Here his performance is always first rate. Aided as it is by one of the best farces ever transferred to the screen, it looks like a pipe to go out and clean up….Mary Astor in support is a good looking girl who does her acting chores well, while the three old fogies are played with much comedy gusto by fat Otis Harlan and the lean William Mong and Tom Rickets.” –Variety.
Private Jones (Universal, 1933; 35mm film) Directed by Russell Mack; with Lee Tracy, Gloria Stuart, Donald Cook, Emma Dunn, Shirley Grey, Russell Gleason, Frank McHugh.
Lee Tracy is a reluctant and imbittered doughboy in the world war whose lack of patriotism and hatred for the service make him much despised by his fellow soldiers. Private Jones was released with two completely different endings in different markets– both endings will be shown at Capitolfest.
“The fast-talking Lee Tracy has the best vehicle to date in this unusual story of a dumb, friendly, ne’er-do-well forced into a war which he doesn’t’ understand….This is a powerful pacifist picture and Tracy gives a superb characterization. If you thought Tracy was only a comedian, see him in this!” –-Motion Picture.
Sunday, August 13
Reckless Living (Universal, 1931, 70 minutes, 35mm film) Directed by Cyril Gardner; with Ricardo Cortez, Mae Clarke, Norman Foster, Marie Prevost, Slim Summerville, Robert Emmett O’Connor, Thomas E. Jackson.
A race-track bookie (Ricardo Cortez) schemes to steal the wife (Mae Clarke) of a nice young man (Norman Foster). With ulterior motives the bookie sets the young man up in business as a taxi-driver, eventually getting him in wrong with the law.
“A snappy, hold-your-interest program picture. Ricardo Cortez is the peasant villain seeking Norman Foster’s wife. We can’t blame him. Mae Clarke is worth chasing.” –Photoplay
Wake Up and Dream (Universal, 1934; 35mm film) Directed by Kurt Neumann; with Russ Columbo, June Knight, Roger Pryor, Andy Devine, Spencer Charters, Gavin Gordon, Catherine Doucet, Henry Armetta, Wini Shaw, Richard Carle.
A musical comedy about a struggling trio of vaudevillians (Columbo, Knight, Pryor) and their quest to make it to the “big time.” Russ Columbo’s only starring feature (he had met with an untimely death a month before the film’s release), he performs the title tune, “Let’s Pretend There’s a Moon,” “Too Beautiful for Words,” and “When You’re in Love.”
“Kurt Neumann certainly squeezes every bit of comedy out of Wake Up and Dream with a fast, well-timed direction which will put this picture in real money. He whips his pathos and comedy sequences into a frothy mélange and serves it up with a delightful sauce of pretty tunes.” –Hollywood Filmograph