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Pre-Code Loretta Young


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Tomorrow TCM celebrates the 97th birthday anniversary of Loretta Young with a schedule that includes her silent film *Laugh, Clown, Laugh* (1928) and two pre-code titles, *Play Girl* (1932) and *She Had To Say Yes* (1933). Although I haven?t seen either of these films, the titles are familiar to me because I did a little research on Winnie Lightner last year and she appears in both films. Winnie?s particular brand of humor might not appeal to contemporary audiences, but during the late twenties and early thirties she was quite popular. She appeared in *Gold Diggers Of Broadway* (1929) along with Ziegfeld girl Ann Pennington, and she had the lead in *The Life Of The Party* (1930), in which she played another gold digger. She also appeared in *She Couldn?t Say No* (1930), *Gold Dust Gertie* (1931) and had a supporting role in *Dancing Lady* (1933), starring Clark Gable and Joan Crawford, before retiring a year later. Her characters were not the glamorous leading ladies of other pre-code films, but there is something endearing about her screen persona. She was often wisecracking and a bit brash, an approach to humor taken by many of her contemporaries, and often reminds me of Ruth Donnelly. I have watched the trailers for each film and I am looking forward to both, for the pre-code plot and for Winnie Lightner.

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