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On tomorrow: Other Men's Women


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Either very late, or very early. As part of STOM Mary Astor's films. Has much to recommend it, so record it if you can't stay up late, or get up early for it. Directed by William Wellman, it has a lot of nice camerawork, including the first scene. Early appearances by Joan Blondell and James Cagney. I believe this is what alerted Wellman to Cagney's talent and led to his using him for The Public Enemy. We see a good example of Cagney's early, playful style of acting. The dialog is well written, with a lot more simple honesty than you get in today's supposedly frank, psycobabble riddled movies.


One of the things that appeals the most to me is a fragile quality in pre-code enforcement moves of the early thirties that was destroyed for some unaccountable reason with the enforcement of the production code. Most historians and commentators focus on the themes of open sexuality, and empowered women that were suppressed after 1934. But in films of that time, there was also a casual style of delivering the dialog, an informality that made it more like it was watching people have conversations, as opposed to acting. You don't see it in every film, or even throughout any one film. It doesn't come back to movies until the 60s, or 70s with the various revolutions in filmmaking that happened in those times.

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