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NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS (1935)


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  • 1 year later...

> {quote:title=PrinceSaliano wrote:}{quote}I would really like TCM to show it. It won't turn up anywhere else. The TOPPER films are popular on TCM and NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS was written by Thorne Smith

Also it was the last film directed by Lowell Sherman who died suddenly and rather young in 1934 at age 46. He started directing Becky Sharp but died before filming got very far. He was an up and coming director and it would be nice to see the very last film that he directed. Maybe as part of a mini-Lowell Sherman tribute on his birthday on October 11?

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The film fell into obscurity no doubt because of its lack of name stars (Alan Mowbray, Florinne McKinney, Peggy Shannon). It wasn't included in Universal's Shock Theater television package in 1957 (other obscure non-horror titles were). It was made after the production code enforcement of mid-1934 and, therefore, lacks the sauciness of the novel. However, the special effects are said to be very good.

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Thanks to your post, I checked the Shock Theater entry in Wikipedia. Very interesting! That's when I, as a child, became addicted to horror films. The first one I saw was Dracula's Daughter. There are other titles on that list that I've hardly seen since, like The Spider Woman Strikes Back and The Mystery of Marie Roget. I don't think Zacherley had yet arrived on the NY scene when I began watching, though I remember when he arrived. Another poster here -- I think it was Clore -- has said that that Shock Theater in NYC (WABC -- Channel 7) had another name before it was named Shock Theater. I do remember that whatever it was called, it came on after the Ben Hecht show. I remember the ads/photos in the TV Guide promoting the films, which were categorized as "melodrama" rather than "horror."

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It's an excellent comedy with great performances even though there are no major stars. The copy I had was very dark, so I edited it and came out with a watchable film. Florine McKinney is especially good, but the ribald statue gods are hilarious when they come to life.

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Thank you for mentioning the director, I didn't know that about him. Actually I don't know anything at all about the movie version of Night Life of the Gods , except that I'd love to see it (maybe as a double feature with One Touch of Venus ). The cover of my book copy looks like the photo in hamradio's link. When I got it about 15 years ago, at first I wasn't sure if the images were from a stage version or a movie.

 

Besides Topper , TCM has shown a couple other films based on Thorne Smith's novels - Turnabout and I Married a Witch . Does anyone know if any more of Smith's stories were filmed, and if so, have they been shown on TCM? Thanks, in advance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited to correct movie title.

 

 

Edited by: Calamity on Jan 21, 2013 4:29 PM

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  • 1 year later...

Occasionally TCM shows the 1933 film short "MENU" that was written by Thorne Smith during his brief tenure at MGM. In fact, it's airing on the 15th of this month (16th if you're on the east coast).

 

Thorne also wrote a treatment that got turned into MEET THE BARON, starring Jack Pearl, Jimmy Durante and The Three Stooges. He gets no screen credit for this however.

 

There was also an Ed Wynn film called THE CHIEF that Thorne wrote a treatment for didn't receive any screen credit.

 

If I think of anything else I'll post it.

 

Michael

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  • 4 months later...

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