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alix1929

Warren William

63 posts in this topic

I had never heard of Warren William until about two years ago, when I began to catch up on some of the great pre-code films I haven't seen. He looked familiar, but I never placed the face with the name.

 

Anyway, I saw EMPLOYEE'S ENTRANCE and was blown away by his performance. I admit that I initially tuned in for Loretta Young, who I think is one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the screen, but Warren's performance was a surprise. You dislike his character when you first meet him, but as the film goes along, you begin to understand him and almost pity him by the end of the film! What a brilliant piece of acting......

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ACK!:(

 

There's an entire thread on Warren William and I didn't know it!

 

alix, don't know if you're still here, but Warren Williams is one of my favorite hunks from forever. Thanks to TCM, which I've only had since Jan. 2004, I can see his movies over and over.

 

I love him as Philo Vance, heck I'd watch him reading the phone book. I think he is talented, and sexy as all heck.

 

Just wanted to thank Warren, wherever he is, for his body of work. It may not be considered 'great' by everyone, but he brightens my day whenever I watch one of his movies.:)

 

 

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I only became aware of Warren Williams fairly recently, having had a chance to view some of his films on TCM.

So far, my favorite performance of his was in LADY FOR A DAY.

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Just for fun, I did a schedule search for Warren William and found that the following movies will be shown on TCM in the near future. Wish that "Employee Entrance", "The Match King" and "Skyscraper Souls" were among them, but these will do for now. BTW, William is the peppiest, and probably the shadiest Perry Mason ever--he had FUN playing the role. I don't know why TCM lists Errol Flynn as one of the costars of "The Case of the Curious Bride" since he was, I believe , a corpse in this, his first American film. I can't wait to see "Don't Bet on Blondes" or the intriguing sounding "The Mind Reader", both of which are new to me. Has anyone else seen these films?

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Case of the Curious Bride, The / 1935

CAST: Warren William, Margaret Lindsay, Errol Flynn.

Perry Mason helps a young woman whose supposedly dead husband suddenly returns to life. BW 80m. CC

Suspense/Mystery. D: Michael Curtiz.

PLAYING ON TCM: 04/19/2005 06:00 PM

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Cleopatra / 1934

CAST: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Henry Wilcoxon.

The fabled queen of Egypt leads Julius Caesar and Marc Antony astray. BW 100m. CC

Drama. D: Cecil B. DeMille.

PLAYING ON TCM: 03/07/2005 10:15 PM

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Don't Bet On Blondes / 1935

CAST: Warren William, Claire Dodd, Errol Flynn.

An actress's manager tries to keep her from leaving the stage for marriage. BW 59m.

Comedy. D:Robert Florey.

PLAYING ON TCM: 03/23/2005 05:00 AM

PLAYING ON TCM: 04/26/2005 05:00 AM

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Firefly, The / 1937

CAST: Jeanette MacDonald, Allan Jones, Warren William.

A Spanish spy masquerades as a singer to sabotage Napoleon's forces. BW 130m. CC

Musical. D: Robert Z. Leonard.

PLAYING ON TCM: 03/30/2005 03:45 PM

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Imitation Of Life / 1934

CAST: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Ned Sparks.

A widow and her housekeeper go into business together but almost lose their daughters. BW 110m. CC

Drama. D: John M. Stahl.

PLAYING ON TCM: 03/07/2005 12:00 AM

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Lady For A Day / 1933

CAST: May Robson, Warren William, Guy Kibbee.

A gangster helps an old apple-vendor pose as a society woman to fool her visiting daughter. BW 96m.

Comedy. D: Frank Capra.

PLAYING ON TCM: 04/20/2005 02:30 PM

PLAYING ON TCM: 05/18/2005 09:00 AM

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Mind Reader, The / 1933

CAST: Warren Williams, Constance Cummings, Allen Jenkins.

A fake mentalist tries to go straight, only to end up in jail. BW 70m.

Drama. D: Roy Del Ruth.

PLAYING ON TCM: 03/22/2005 08:00 PM

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moira, no I have never seen Don't Bet on Blondes or The Mind Reader (thank you TCM, both sound like vintage WW) nor have I seen The Firefly. The latter seems like an icky costume musical, but I'll fast forward 'till I get to my hunk Warren.

 

If you check IMdB for WW, you'll read under the comments that Under Eighteen was previously shown on TCM. Now there's a WW film I'd like to see!

 

By the way, WW is a wonderful Philo Vance and Perry Mason.

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Warren certainly had a great speaking voice. Rich. Deep.Mellifluous.He always seemed quite patrician in his many roles..and there were many!

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Warren William has become perhaps my favorite "classic" male movie star. It's a shame that almost nobody today knows who he is.

 

He was always good playing off a sidekick whether it was Allen Jenkins or (especially) Eric Blore.

 

An earlier post mentioned puffiness from alcoholism. Is that correct? It was my understanding he had skin cancer (which ultimately killed him at a young age) and that was what accounted for his poor appearance in later years.

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Early June brings two Warren William movies on TCM that I haven't seen...they're on pretty early, but heck, I bet they're worth a peek! Has anyone else seen these?

 

 

The Dragon Murder Case (1934)

CAST: Warren William, Lyle Talbot, Eugene Pallette.

Society sleuth Philo Vance looks into a murder near a mysterious "dragon pool." BW 67m.

PLAYING ON TCM: 06/02/2005 08:45 AM

 

The Mouthpiece(1932)

CAST: Warren William, Sidney Fox, Aline MacMahon.

A crusading DA goes into private practice and succumbs to the temptations of corruption. BW 86m.

PLAYING ON TCM: 06/03/2005 06:00 AM

 

 

 

 

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I haven't seen either, but I requested the Mouthpiece some time ago, so perhaps TCM is actually airing one of my requests;- ) Looking forward to it, definitely!

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The Dragon Murder Case is great fun if you like "B" movie detective films. The great Eugene Pallette is in it too. Warren William has the distinction of being (I think) the only actor to play 3 different legendary detectives. He also was Perry Mason in 4 films and was the Lone Wolf in over a dozen pictures.

 

IIRC, there is a blooper in this film. In a scene inside a taxi William and another fellow alternate hats between shots.

 

I've not seen "The Mouthpiece" but I'm really looking forward to it. I actually don't mind the odd time slots. It makes it easier to record them without intruding on other family members' viewing habits.

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I just watched "The Mouthpiece," and boy was it good. As always, Warren William is fabulous. He is one of my all time favorites of the 1930's.

 

Anyone else like that one?

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Alix,

 

I mentioned in another recent post that I saw THE MOUTHPIECE for the first time a couple of days ago and I was really impressed with it. I know that it's been stated before on these boards, but it truly is amazing that Warren William's work isn't cited more in the many books that cover the early years of Hollywood. It is obvious that he was a terrific actor who was truly underrated. I mentioned in my other post that EMPLOYEE'S ENTRANCE is my favorite Warren William film, but I really like his work in several other films, including SKYSCRAPER SOULS, THREE ON A MATCH, GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933, etc. As much as I enjoy the Pre-Code films he appeared in, I would also like to see some of his later work, which I am not too familiar with. But yeah, THE MOUTHPIECE was wonderful and a nice surprise, as I had never seen it before.......

 

 

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Another thumbs up for "The Mouthpiece". I am continually amazed at how good an actor William was.

 

I absolutely agree with the prior post in that it's surprising that William's name doesn't come up more. I'm sure it probably has to with the fact

 

(a) he died young and never became familiar to audiences of the 50s which in turn spawned the filmgoers of today

 

and

 

(B) until TCM, there was no real outlet for his movies. My Saturday afternoons in the 70s/80s were filled with Tarzan, Charlie Chan, Bowery Boys etc. but I don't recall seeing any of his films.

 

On another part of this message board I requested that the TCMProgrammer please consider WW for "Star of the Month" status at some point. It would go a long ways to educating people about this underrated talent.

 

Maybe if Warners includes some of his pre-codes in their upcoming pre-code box in 2006 that'll help also.

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...and as "star of the month" I wish they'd show some of his more obscure pictures. One I like, and I think I've only seen listed once (the one time I caught it on video) is called UNDER EIGHTEEN. I also like THE MATCH KING, and it does appear in the listing once in awhile.

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There is a very well written lengthy article about WW in the August issue of Classic Images magazine. It's well worth the read considering virtually no biographical material exists on this guy.

 

Borders and Barnes & Noble carry this magazine.

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We have been fans of Warren William since his movies started showing up on TCM. We can watch his movies over and over and never get tired of the acting, dialog, story lines and romance. You can understand every word he utters, not like the actors of today who mumble and you can't understand what they are saying. We wish that he would have made more movies back then.

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I also became a fan of his when I noticed how he kept turning up in movies I really enjoyed. "Hey, it's that guy!" Then when I rewatched the movies I took note of what a fine actor he was.

 

One of my favorites...

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You are so right Alix, I have admired this man for years by attending countless L.A. screenings but it wasn't until TCM unveiled his entire output of films did I really appreciate what a fine actor he was. Ever see "Employee Entrance"!!-his greatest film performance. Show it, TCM, is a Warner's title.

 

And show "The Mouthpiece" again--on prime time!

 

Philip

Pathposter

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Gosh, yes, I love EMPLOYEES ENTRANCE! Along the same lines as that one is SKYSCRAPER SOULS. I like that one too. In fact, I marvel at anyone being able to name Warren William's "best" movie! I like them all too well to even start to choose!

 

William is certainly someone who is worthy of being recognized today as a fine actor.

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I, too, am a great fan of Warren William. Let's all bug TCM with endless requests to make him a Star of the Month (I wouldn't mind seeing Kay Francis as Star of the Month, either). A few years ago, I saw a fantastic Warren William film called UNDER EIGHTEEN during a pre-code festival. Turner has the rights and may have shown it once, years ago. I've been trying to request this for ages till I'm blue in the face. Warren plays the roue, trying to seduce Marion Marsh in his fabulous deco penthouse-definitely PRE-CODE!

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Wow! Marian Marsh with Warren William!!

 

I?ve got two Marian Marsh films she made with Barrymore: ?Svengali? and ?The Mad Genius?. He called her ?doll face? in ?The Mad Genius.?

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...and I thought I was the only one who'd seen UNDER EIGHTEEN! You are right..I think it's shown maybe once in the last 10-15 years, and I was lucky enough to accidentially leave the VCR taping, and caught it!

 

I absolutely love Warren William's Art-Deco penthouse! It's so gorgeous--just what I imagine the "rich" might have had in 1931. And that movie has one of my favorite pre-Code lines:

 

William (speaking to Marsh, who has just arrived at his penthouse pool party for a loan): Why don't you take off your clothes and stay awahile?

 

Nobody could deliver a seducing line like ol' Warren!

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