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Guest Alix

I Just Saw....

268 posts in this topic

Guest Alix

The pre-Code folder is getting so crammed full of comments, why don't we use this folder to discuss pre-Code movies just aired on TCM! It seems like we often like to discuss movies that were just shown, and perhaps this will make it easier to navigate! Happy viewing!

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Guest Alix

TROUBLE IN PARADISE...did anyone besides me catch this Lubitsch classic? Kay Francis was a knockout, and I was impressed by Miriam Hopkins. I also enjoyed the performance of character Edward Everett Horton. He is always so funny and provides excellent comic relief. I am so glad TCM finally aired this gem. I feel it has been long in coming. Comments, anyone?

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Guest K, Sandy

Alix, I stayed up to watch TROUBLE IN PARADISE. It was great! I've never seen Herbert Marshall be that charming before. Of course, the movie that I remember him from is THE SECRET GARDEN where he's in a depressed funk for most of the film. I thought Kay was ultra-glamorous and Miriam was quite funny. I liked Edward Everett Horton-he never disappoints-but I loved Charlie Ruggles! I liked the running gag of Hopkins and Marshall picking each others pockets. I wish that there were more Lubitsch movies to go around. They're always so lovely.

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Guest Alix

My only experience with Herbert Marshall, before TROUBLE IN PARADISE was in movies where he was more of a charactrer actor or a supporting player--like THE ENCHANTED COTTAGE. He was very, VERY charming in this one, however. I love the scene where he takes Miriam lovingly by the shoulders and shakes her for all she's worth and the wallet falls out of her dress. Hmmm....wonder what she had on underneath that dress??

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Guest Lorusso, Ed

Well, let's see if this gets posted. None of these messages were here yesterday.......... FINALLY saw TiP and it was wonderful. I agrre with all your comments. Miriam Hopkins is not well remembered today, but she was a very good comedianne, though her best films were dramas like Becky Sharp and These Three. Kay Francis is always wonderful and chic. Herbert Marshall was around for so long, many forget he started out as a leading man. Excellent film all around, well worth the wait. The only thing I disliked was the UGLY art deco clock that stood between Harbert's and Kay's rooms. It was on-screen almost longer than Miriam!!!

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Guest K, Sandy

You're right about that clock, Ed! It should've had its own billing!

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Guest son, jery

Ed, that clock you mentioned was an inside joke between director Ernst Lubitsch and Kay Francis. Kay is supposed to have had a clock like that in her art deco mansion. It sat right outside her boudoir. She supposedly made appointments with her lovers and used this clock to keep things moving smoothly.

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Guest Alix

Oh Jery! Trust you to know the inside scoop! That is such a cool piece of Hollywood trivia. (But who would be late for a tryst with the gorgeous Kay Francis?) She is at her most beautiful in this film. Gosh, her clothes...but then, when isn't Kay gorgeously gowned. I heard that Herbert Marshall had affairs with both Kay and Miriam (not at the same time, but during his lifetime). Wow--what a guy!

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Guest Alix

I watched (or rather taped, because it was on during the wee hours) DYNAMITE, with Kay Johnson, & Charles Bickford. I didn't much care for Bickford, but the movie was pretty good. The little girl who played "Dirks" daughter was a cutie. I wonder who she was. I'd not really noticed Kay Johnson before. I'd seen her in a late 30's movie, JALNA and liked her but I haven't seen much of her pre-code work before. Anyone else see this one? What did you think? Kind of thought that the mine cave in was a little contrived, but other than that it was a long and enjoyable picture.

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Guest walker, ken

Alix, I viewed the first few minutes.Looked like it might be good,but it was on too late for me.Imdb lists Muriel McCormac as the actress who played the daughter.Two of her screen credits were "Sparrows",AND "King of Kings".I viewed both these films,with "Sparrows[w/Mary Pickford]being my favorite.There were children in the cast,but the picture showcased Pickford.

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Guest Alix

Thanks Ken. I just went to imdb myself, and read through the reviews that members had written. One person said the girl who played Dirk's sister was whiney and annoying. Go figure! There's no accounting for taste.

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Guest Dan, Coffee

I taped DYNAMITE too, and wondered if I would get through it -- it's a long movie, even by today's standards. But I should know better by now than to underestimate Cecil B. DeMille. Like all of the other films of his that I've seen, it's full of action and never boring. (That includes THE AFFAIRS OF ANATOL, which I found a clever contrivance.) For his first all-talking film, DeMille certainly picked actors with good, distinctive voices. Charles Bickford is a better actor than a lot of people will give him credit for, and this is one of the best I've seen him in. I went to school in coal country, and I knew several proud, hard-working miners like Hagan Dirks. Bickford got it all right, and then some. I also enjoyed the pleasantly patrician Kay Johnson. This role was obviously a stretch for her, for she often played upper-class dames like banker Walter Huston's wife in AMERICAN MADNESS or the society woman who enters Leslie Howard's life in OF HUMAN BONDAGE. She was the woman who shot herself on the train in THIRTEEN WOMEN, which aired on TCM recently. You know these two personalities are going to clash hard, but it's a credit to DeMille's direction (and no less to Jeanie Macpherson's story) that he makes us care about them, and even hope that they can make it together. Sure, after the movie ends, you ask yourself how you could have believed it, but you have to admit that, while it was running, you did. What I found fascinating about this film is its use of sound and editing. For an early sound film, the technique is very well assured. While there are still a lot of static shots in the picture where the camera doesn't move much, DeMille keeps the action moving through editing and sound cutting, particularly through off-screen sound. Very economical and effective!

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Guest Alix

I'd not really noticed Kay Johnson before, but I enjoyed her performance in DYNAMITE. I've only seen Bickford in a couple of movies, and he just doesn't do it for me. However, I did think he gave an honest portrayal of Dirks. I believe Bickford was in ANNA CHRISTIE with Garbo too.

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Guest Alix

PASSION FLOWER--anyone see this one? I taped it the same night as DYNAMITE, but just got around to watching it this weekend. Both Kays--Johnson and Francis--looked good, but you gotta hand it to Kay Francis! Nobody could wear the clothes like she did. Another thing I noticed was how nice her hair looked. Kay Francis had a "widow's peak" hairline, and although I have no idea why, it seems in many of her movies that her hair's slicked back! The final scene of PASSION FLOWER had her hair down, and not slicked back in a perfectly awesome white, off the shoulder gown. One interesting note...although this gown is rather low, no matter how Kay moves, we never see any clevage. I wonder if that neckline was glued down to prevent that?

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Guest Lorusso, Ed

Got them taped, Alix, but haven't gotten to them yet. It seems Kay Johnson was also in an early talkie called Madam Satan or Madam Sin, which I've been waiting for TCM to air. Kay Francis, of course, is always divine!

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Guest son, jery

"Madame Satan" is a real hoot!Talk about risque, Cecil B. gets by with so much--especially the scene where Lillian Ross jumps in bed with a man to hide from her boyfriend. And those wild costumes worn on the dirigible that floats over Central Park. There's this big storm and everyone has to jump off. Lillian Ross lands in the massage room of a men's health club. Kay Johnson sings okay but Lillian Ross is the one who can really put over a hot jazzy number. She later wrote her memoirs about being an alcoholic and her life story was made into a movie with Susan Hayward, "I'll Cry Tomorrow."

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Guest Alix

MADAME SATAN is really classic pre-Code. Nobody could push the limit like DeMille! Does anyone know what happened to Kay Johnson? I seem to enjoy movies she's in, but I know nothing about her. The imdb isn't much help either!

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Guest son, jery

Kay Johnson quickly faded from the movie scene when the public tuned out on her, despite Cecil B.'s gigantic push to make her a star. She had a drab, colorless secondary role in the Bette Davis smash, "Of Human Bondage." It was originally planned to push Kay and Leslie Howard as the big stars. But hurricane Bette stole the show and was on her way up...

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Guest Seattle, Sister

DYNAMITE also intrigued me as DeMille's 1st talkie. As to the cave-in, it IS DeMille! Watching a film of his is like watching a tornado touch the midst of an avalanche. Just when you think it's over, a meteor crashes in! Sorry, don't know who the young lady was. To catch DeMille at his most bizarre, I recommend the darn-near incomprehensible MADAM SATAN.

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Guest Seattle, Sister

It's MADAM SATAN, DeMille again. Starts a bit slow, but hang in there. Ending simply not to be missed.

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Guest Alix

I first saw Kay Johnson in a 1936 movie called JALNA, which is set on a family estate in Canada. It starred Kay, David Manners and a wonderful old character actress named Jessie Ralph. She played a 99 year old matriarch, and did a wonderful, crotchety job. With CB DeMille behind her, it's amazing that her career never did take off. I've seen OF HUMAN BONDAGE multiple times...who was Kay? I can't seem to place her.

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Guest son, jery

Kay Johnson played the simpering, bland looking girlfriend of Leslie Howard. She was one of those vague people who you forgot as soon as The End came on. Of course, nobody was watching anybody else but dynamic Bette in "Of Human Bondage."

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Guest Alix

So true...how could you remember any character except that awful Mildred? I wanted to slap her each time she said, "I don't care." Thanks for helping me place Kay Johnson. I do think I recall her now, but you're right...it was a forgetable role.

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Guest Hulse, Charlie

Today, 03/06/02, early this morning I watched W. S. Van Dycke's "Eskimo" of 1933. Van Dycke played the role of the Inspector of the Mounties and Joe Sawyer was a Mountie who tracks down "Mala", the eskimo,who killed a wicked sea capitan. Does anyone know the name of the actors who played Mala, and his wife? I missed the credits in the beginning. I seem to remember Mala , the actor, as one who played small roles in the budget Westerns I watched on many Saturdays at the Movies. Anyone out there can help?? Thanks, Charlie

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Guest Lorusso, Ed

Saw The Broadway Melody again and still loved it. Bessie Love, Anita Page and Charles King were all just right. Also noted James Gleason, Mary Doran, Eddie Kane, Kenneth Thomson, Jed Prouty, and Nacio Herb Brown as the pianist. I believe Hope Emerson was "big woman," but who played the swishy designer? And who played the wonderful Rosie in the opening scene, swinging her beads to King's intro song?

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