Sign in to follow this  
Guest Alix

I Just Saw....

268 posts in this topic

Guest son, jery

Rosie, the bead-swinging blonde, in "The Broadway Melody" is fantastic. I always loved the way she really got into that jazz music. She embodied perfectly the way I imagine those jazz-mad flappers acted like. I love the scene with Anita Page and Bessie Love as they enter the hotel room. I was knocked out by Anita. She didn't wear that black lipstick and zombie-white make-up. Bessie Love is an aquired taste. She really did look and act like a "little peanut."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest walker, ken

Mala[Ray Mala],was the star of "Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island"[1936],an early serial effort from Republic,and co-starred with Bruce Bennett in the much better"Hawk of the Wilderness"[1938]Republic serial.I don't remember the name of the actress who played the wife.I read somewhere that neither Mala or the actress were of Eskimo descent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

I **love** Rosie! My eyes always dart to her when I watch that opening song. Like you, Jery, she's exactly what I picture a 1929 Jazz Baby to be like. I love that hat she wears and the way she really shakes it! The scene with the "big woman" and the swishy designer was featured in the documentary "The Celluloid Closet." The first time I saw that scene, I thought, "Oh my gosh, what did they say?" One thing I like about Anita Page is that she looks like a real woman--not a half-starved juvenile who survives on lettuce and yogurt. She has a full figure and yet still is one of the sexiest women onscreen. Her blonde beauty is stunning in this movie. The only thing I can't figure out with regards to this movie, if why would these two women fight over Charles King???? Maybe he's an acquired taste too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest son, jery

Charles King is indeed an acquired taste. I wondered the same thing, Alix, as to what the big attraction was about him. I wanted "Rosie" to have a bigger role and wished she had appeared again later. I could just see her doing the Charleston and swigging that bath tub gin at one of those wild Broadway parties!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest son, jery

If I'm not mistaken, "Mala" was billed in the preview for "Robinson Crusoe on Clipper Island" as "Clark Gable's Wife"! I think they referred to the fact she played Gable's wife in "Mutiny on the Bounty." When I saw that preview I nearly jumped out of my chair. I thought: Good God, was Clark Gable married to Mala at the same time he was married to Carole Lombard?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest walker, ken

jery son, In the previews of"Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island",Mamo Clark was billed as Clark Gables "WIFE".She played his wife in "Mutiny on the Bounty".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest son, jery

Did anyone see the l929 "Weary River" with Richard Barthlemess on TCM Sunday morning? Very curious antique. Richard was obviously lip-synching to another male voice. Also, it was strange the way the movie was filmed as a part-silent and a part-talkie. I pity the poor audiences back then who had to listen to endless renditions of "Weary River" sung by a star who wasn't really singing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Marc

Finally saw SMART MONEY the other day. It was great to see Cagney & Robinson together but terribly dissappointing that Cagney has such a small role. Nice movie overall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

Jery, I got it taped, but haven't seen it yet. The idea of seeing Bathelemess sing was too good to be ignored. Now it seems he only lip synched. DARN. Those part-talkies are pretty weird. It's like, make up your mind...is this going to be a silent, or not!!?? Watching it is on my list of things to do this week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

I love SMART MONEY! Like you, I was disappointed that Cagney had only a small role. Edward G. Robinson is always enjoyable playing characters like "Nick the Barber." Did it seem to you like Cagney's character had a crush on Nick?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Dan, Coffee

I taped WEARY RIVER too, but because it started late, I missed the last two or three minutes. I could pretty much guess how it ended, though. But these part-talkies are always so darned interesting. Sometimes there's a rhyme and reason as to why certain sections are silent and others talk, but that didn't seem to be the case here. It looked like the first half of each reel was silent, and the second half had sound -- more arbitrary than art. But Richard Barthelmess really sang in this film. It couldn't have been any other way. You couldn't lip-synch back then, because the technology didn't exist! Everything had to be done live, or not at all, especially in the merciless Vitaphone sound-on-disc process. That's what I like about the very early (c. 1929-1933) musicals -- that live quality gives them a verve and excitement that was lost later on. I've written about this in more detail in the Musicals folder, so I won't take up a lot of space here. But I agree that the song "Weary River" seemed to go on and on -- I counted five renditions in the film. I would much rather have heard Barthelmess sing "It's Up To You," the song he sang to Betty Compson early in the film, which I liked a lot better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest son, jery

Coffee Dan, it's always great to get your in-put. On "Weary River", I understand there was controversy when it was released as to whether Barthelmess actually sang. One insider who was on the set says that each time Richard sang, it was always in close-up, on a closed-off set with audience reaction shots later cut in. This was to assure that no one knew another singer was right behind camera, close to the microphone who did the actual vocalizing, and this way it went directly onto the disc. I don't think we'll ever really know the truth. You're right, though, about those early musicals. That's what makes "Broadway Melody" and especially "Sunnyside Up" so wonderfully fresh and appealing. They weren't pre-recorded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest K, Sandy

I saw WEARY RIVER, too. It wasn't really a true musical since they just sang the one song over and over. I thought that it was Barthelmess singing. I thought that the song was quite pretty, if old fashioned. And Betty Compson looked beautiful. I thought Barthelmess looked good, too. Maybe this was before his eye surgery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

I don't know what happened, but my VCR didn't tape WEARY RIVER. Plugged in the tape last night and got nothing! ARGGGGGHHHH.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest son, jery

Awww, you missed the beautiful Richard Barthelmess lip-synching again and again and again that dreary "Weary River." You also missed the blonde-haired flapper Betty Compson. She sounded like Betty Boop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

I blame my husband for not setting the VCR correctly, and he blames the VCR. Either way, I lost out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lorusso, Ed

Here's my 2 cents: I liked the film. Barthelmess was good (dubbed singing obviously--whether it was his own voice, I don't know) and Betty Compson was good. She had a few terrific closeups early in the film. Her tough dame voice was perfect for her image and she should have been bigger in talkies. I also liked the warden (William Holden), but no one else in the cast stood out. Must have been a big film in its day (big stars and all) because Frank Lloyd got an Oscar nom for direction. The hybrid silent/talkie films were usually the result of silent films already in the can that were modified by adding talkie sequences or reshooting existing scenes as talkie sequences. From 1927 to 1930, these were fairly common and audiences just ate up anything with talking and especially singing. Interesting film, a little heavy on the melodramatics, but good stars certainly made it watchable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

I just noticed that two of William Haines last movies are for sale from Nostalgiafamilyvideo.com. They were done for either Mascot or Monogram pictures, so they are probably not up to the MGM standard of excellence. YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL, and THE MARINES ARE COMING are both from 1934. Has anyone seen these? I'm contemplating ordering them just because Haines is in them, and I'm interested to see more of his talkies. The imdb recommends both, and says that Haines looks gorgeous in a Marine uniform! I previously ordered from this same company JUNGLE BRIDE (1933) with the gorgeous Anita Page. In this movie, she & a reporter/boyfriend have chased a man halfway across the world because they think he's involved in a murder in which her brother stands accused. The boat they're on sinks, and Anita, her boyfriend, the accused murderer and his buddy get stranded on a deserted island! Let me tell you, it's like Gilligan Island, 1933 style complete with naughty monkeys who steal Anita's clothes while she's bathing!! Anita looks fabulous in this picture. She wears a very thin dark dress, a sailor suit, an evening dress that looks like it got caught in the shredder,and jiggles her attractive figure all over the place. At one point she leans forward and OH BOY...cover those eyes! For a low budget picture it was very good and shows that Anita certainly should have had a long film career ahead of her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lorusso, Ed

Hi Alix---I've seen The Marines Are Coming and it was pretty bad. Haines was ok, but the production values were just awful. Haines was a little paunchy, and Conrad Nagel was miscast. Esther Ralston (another silent star) nad no sparkle whatever. The story was a rehash of all those wiseguys who turn hero during battle stories. Yawn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

Aw...I was hoping it would be good. The price was right at $14.99, but I'd really like to see Haines at his best, not at his worst.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest son, jery

Alix, I was thrilled to read your take on JUNGLE BRIDE with our adorable Anita. I, too, have thought about ordering it but didn't know whether it'd be a real Poverty Row production or worth buying or whether it would be so depressing to see Anita in a bad movie. Now, I'm definitely going to check it out. You should definitely take a look at Grapevine Video website. That's where I've ordered all my silent movies. They're always in great condition. That's where I got "Bare Knees" with Virginia Lee Corbin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

Jery, I have to honestly tell you that I was also worried about JUNGLE BRIDE being an ultra grade Z movie, but I didn't find it so at all! There was one part where the ship is blown up, and it's very obvious that it's a toy boat in a tub of water, but other than that I really enjoyed it. It certainly has none of the glitz of the MGM productions, but I really did enjoy it. Wait till you see those naughty, naughty monkeys!! The leading man in this one is Charles Starrett. Anyone know anything about him? I hope if you order it you'll like it too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Marilyn

Just wanted to say a little about Grapevine Video...I emailed them for a catalog and they sent it out promptly. I also get emails for sales and close-outs. I took advantage of that to add to my personal collection of silents and pre-codes. It is first come, first served & I was able to get every one of my choices. Also good to know..if you order 6 or more tapes, the shipping is free. The quality of the tapes were very good. I was definitely pleased. No, I don't work for them. I am just a satisfied customer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest son, jery

Charles Starrett! Drooool! I've only seen the gorgeous Charles in one movie and that was a real pre-code l932 sizzler. Did you ever see "the Mask of Fu Manchu"? In one scene, Charles has been drugged and stripped of nearly all of his clothes (except for a modest loin-cloth). Hot stuff! Myrna Loy plays Boris Karloff's sex-crazed daughter and she has her hands all over Charles. He looks like he is really enjoying it! He went on to play in cowboy movies. Just like the fabulous JM Brown! I'm on the trail of another **** who I keep reading about. Sunset Carson. He was a cowboy in 30s movies, too. All his leading ladies fell in love with him. His pictures are mmmm-hotttt! Now, it's off into the sunset.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

Thanks you two, for the info. I also drooled over Charles Starrett. Imagine being stranded on a desert island with him! OOooo bay-bee! Sign me up! I think Anita Page looked like she liked him too, in the movie! Jery, you gotta order this film, and see what you think. I've never ordered from Grapevine,but have been to their website several times,and they look pretty decent. I will give them another look! Thanks, Marilyn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us