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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> I just want to say that though I don't have a collection to post, I _truly_ have enjoyed everyone's photos and posters.


> I feel very sad that everyone seems to have given up on the boards.

Love the pics...the toxic personality, not so much.

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Oh, that's Geoffrey Kerr in the photo with her, not Ivor. Kerr played her husband -- who treats her rather poorly. Ivor plays the lover, who truly loves her, but she doesn't love him. Here is my review.


*Once A Lady* (1931) stars Ruth Chatterton, Ivor Novello, Jill Esmond, Geoffrey Kerr, Bramwell Fletcher, Lillian Rich and Theodore von Eltz. I think this is the first performance by Ruth where I really and truly warmed to her for the very first time. Before this film I recognized she was a good actress but she was never someone I sought out as a favorite.


Here she plays a Russian woman in exile in Paris who marries an aristocratic Englishman when she gets pregnant with his baby out of wedlock. He brings her home to England to his stuffy relatives and their relationship quickly deteriorates, with the husband siding with the relatives on important matters instead of his wife. He goes into politics and feels she will be a detriment to his career, so he sends her back to Paris, telling her he will spend a few days with her to restore the marriage when he has no intention of doing so. At the last minute he backs away from his promise and she goes on the train alone, grief stricken.


There she meets an old lover, played well by Ivor Novello, and stays with him for a few days in Paris, not knowing that after they left the train prematurely that it crashed down a mountain and everyone was killed. She is assumed dead by the press and the world and her family.


But Ruth suddenly decides to leave Ivor and comes back to England and reappears in front of the shocked family. They STILL try to get rid of her so that the husband can have his precious political career! She agrees to a divorce but the family never reveals to the press that she is still alive. The husband marries again and Ruth goes back to Paris, leaving the child with her husband because she feels her daughter will have a better and more stable life with him.


Years pass and the daughter falls in love with a struggling architect. The father disapproves of the relationship and so she runs off with her sweetheart in defiance. They go to Paris and of course run into Ruth. Ruth knows almost immediately that this is her grown up daughter and tries to steer her onto the straight and narrow path.


I won't reveal the ending but it's nothing too original. However Ruth's performance in this film is exceptional and lifts the script up from ho hum to interesting. I really enjoyed it.

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Jill, what a great review! I am really curious about this one since it was directed by Guthrie McClintic, the hugely famous and talented stage director.


I too didn't really warm up to Chatterton until I watched *Frisco Jenny* about a month ago on TCM. She was just great, playing a woman who falls into ill repute and later must sacrifice herself for her child. I really enjoyed it because her performance was gritty and strong, as opposed to the sort of false, teary-eyed toughness many actresses put on for such a role. This may have more to do with William Wellman's direction than with Chatterton's choices, but the combination was incredibly good.

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Thanks. Frisco Jenny was enjoyable too but I still didn't warm to her. She was always a bit hard in a lot of her films but in Once A Lady she was completely sympathetic. She also got the Russian accent down pat. Her vocal coach must have been top rate.

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  • 1 month later...

> {quote:title=PrinceSaliano wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> > I just want to say that though I don't have a collection to post, I _truly_ have enjoyed everyone's photos and posters.

> >

> > I feel very sad that everyone seems to have given up on the boards.

> Love the pics...the toxic personality, not so much.

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  • 2 weeks later...

> {quote:title=GradeBMovies wrote:}{quote}

> I wish this thread was still going. I just joined the community, and I am so into early 1930 black and white films.


> I don't have anything to post as far as pics, but would love to converse with others who love the movies from the 1930's.


Hi GradeBMovies, welcome to the forum! :)


I'm not too much into posting pictures, but hopefully someone will step to the plate in regards to the pre-codes. There are quite a few photos being posted, but lately most of them are in the Your Favorites section of the forum, which encompasses everything from the silent era to contemporary movies.


Hope you'll find something for you.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi, welcome to the boards!


I love pre-codes too, however a complete lack of moderation on this thread from pernicious and persistent trolling

combined with new rules limiting resolution size should provide some insight how

welcome this thread was here.


I'm sure you'll find plenty of good conversation on the forums though.


Thanks, Jeff

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 years later...

Was looking for a suitable place to post the occasional precode pic or two.


Old news to some here but I just found out -

reading The Vitaphone Project's latest Vitaphone News Spring/Summer edition and excited to hear Synthetic Sin and Why Be Good?, both silent films with accompaniment from 1929, are being restored and are planned for screening in 2014!!


Noteworthy for the Colleen Moore feature disks is that the musical performances are jazzy, toe-tapping and highly reflective of the late 1920?s. This is especially true of the soundtrack for WHY BE GOOD? Jazz historians have identified such legendary musicians as Jimmy Dorsey, Phil Napoleon, Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang on the disks...


"While the entire (Vitaphone) soundtrack to WHY BE GOOD? survives..., only the disk for the last reel and exit music is known for SYNTHETIC SIN. Fortunately, a full list of Vitaphone music cues exists and will be used to recreate the soundtrack (possibly by Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks).


The restoration effort represents a true partnership between Warner Brothers, UCLA Film and Television Archive, Joe Yranski, and The Vitaphone Project. Restoration efforts will likely not be completed until 2014, when both films will be screened, for the first time (in) over 80 years, in 35mm and sound.


Both films were well budgeted, had strong First National art direction with a heavy art deco slant. In the case of WHY BE GOOD?, there is the added attraction of Jean Harlow as a prominent dress extra and a super musical score with top jazz musicians of the period.


Read more about it @ http://www.vitaphoneproject.com/


Edited by: farnsbarns on Aug 10, 2013 1:37 PM

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Yes, it is (as you reported in the Silent Forum earlier this year)!


It's doubtful I'll be able to catch a screening as they're usually on the east or west coasts but still exciting news and a first step toward it airing on TCM or coming to home video.


I'm especially anxious to see Why Be Good? Given the complete original soundtrack and all the great musical talent present.


Edited by: farnsbarns on Aug 14, 2013 12:47 AM

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