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Polly of the Precodes

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About Polly of the Precodes

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  1. Also, It's been rescheduled for October 2020. Crossing my fingers that a Covid-19 second wave doesn't shut down theaters again.
  2. Two Against the World (1932): A man kills the man who, he believes, has compromised his sister's virtue. The prosecutor explicitly denies the existence of the "Unwritten Law"--the idea that murder, when done in the name of a family's honor, is acceptable--but the jury votes to acquit. It's apparently based on a real case that happened in Philadelphia. The Phantom Broadcast (1933): The police assume that the victim was murdered by his manager (there was already bad blood between the two, coming to a head over a woman in whom both of them are interested); the police shoot the manager while he is fleeing the victim's home, and figure that closes the case. In fact, the victim was shot by one of his many conquests (the victim is shown to have been a conceited jerk, and a minimally competent lawyer could have gotten the killer acquitted on grounds of crime of passion and/or temporary insanity). The movie ends with the killer on a boat leaving New York, innocent in the eyes of the law but having to live with the memory of what she has done.
  3. In Blackmail (1929), at the end of the movie, the guilty party is about to confess when the police come back to the station because the person they had been pursuing had died during the chase. The indications are that the guilty person will be free to go...at the cost of having to live with the knowledge of what really happened.
  4. DANG Hopper was burly (doesn't appear fat here, just hefty)...I like that in a man, but...dang.
  5. And before that, The Godless Girl (1929), Are These Our Children (1931), and Wild Boys of the Road (1933)--all more or less derived from contemporary news stories.
  6. I'd love a Pre-Code film survey--especially if TCM could license films from outside the Turner library--but that's pure wishful thinking.
  7. http://www.tcm.com/schedule/weekly.html?tz=est&sdate=2020-06-30 Starting from here I was able to see July 2020, week by week. The only title that excited me was So This Is Paris (Lubitsch, 1926), scheduled for 7/10/20. Crossing my fingers that this won't be another Lilac Time. Also, there's a Friday Night Spotlight on John Ford--nothing I'm longing to see, but others may be interested.
  8. There's nothing like unavailability to cast a glamour over a film. In this case you can tell it was based on a play, and the studio made very little effort to "open it up." The result is a sporadically interesting drawing-room drama of airchair Freudianism. (Christine should have been a psychology postgrad, except that wasn't a thing at the time.) That said it is in its way an ancestor of the Hag Horror genre--presenting motherhood and mature femininity as something monstrous. As for the kissing on the lips, that seems to have been okay between friends or relatives...until post-Code Hollywood seized on it as a way of showing (heterosexual) love and affection. Shall I take one for the team, and watch a back-channel copy of Letty Lynton, to see if that causes the legal injunction on it to suddenly be resolved?
  9. The Silver Cord seems to have been hindered by rights issues (if yes, many thanks to whoever untangled them), although it was available through alternative resources. I'd say it's a doozy of a melodrama, except it will appear almost restrained next to Nora Moran.
  10. Oh don't pick on TV movies for anachronistic hair styles--that was also endemic to feature films and television since at least the 50s. Although in the 70s you do get some real eyesores. I could see TCM doing a spotlight on the Golden Age of the Made-for-TV Movie. Each week could have a different theme--the first generation of these productions; the early works of directors who would go on to feature films (esp. Spielberg); the former studio stars at the end of their careers; the ripoffs of blockbuster feature films; and the titles that had an influence beyond their initial broadcast (e.g., Brian's Song or Bad Ronald).
  11. Moreover, this audience could be relied upon to turn out to see his latest movie, in great enough numbers to ensure a profit.
  12. 1) Rights issues. It's based on a Ferenc Molnár play, and MGM sold the remake rights to Paramount for 1960 's A Breath of Scandal. 2) The only known surviving print is held by The Library of Congress. The good news is that this has been shown at some festivals, and those who have seen it say the stories about Gilbert's voice are nonsense. I don't know what TCM's legal department would have to do to authorize a screening of this movie, but I wish they would.
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