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Rare early talkies on Wed. 1/21


LsDoorMat
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Wednesday appears to be honoring Michael Curtiz, although I'm not sure how he'd feel about the selections made. There are some rare early talkies here including "Bright Lights" from 1930, so if you are like me and like this kind of thing, set your recorders.

 

6:00AM Mad Genius, The (1931)
7:30 AM Bright Lights (1931)
8:45 AM Cabin In The Cotton, The (1932)
10:15 AM Female (1933)
11:15 AM Boy From Oklahoma, The (1954)
12:45 PM Playmates (1941)
2:30 PM That's Right - You're Wrong (1940)
4:15 PM Here We Go Again (1942)

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It's a shame that Mad Genius comes on so early that most people will miss it.

 

It's a bizarre variation on Svengali, with John Barrymore in great demonic form as a man obsessed with turning a young boy into the great dancer that he can't be (Barrymore's character has a club foot). Curtiz' directorial floruishes, including his own obsessions with shadows, adds great visual panache to this production, to the extent that I wish he had directed Svengali, as well.

 

madgenius8_zpsdd0ec3a6.jpg

 

The sets by Anton Grot further add to the bizarre nature of this production, which clearly shows the influence of German expressionism in its presentation. Parts of the film get a little campy, it's true, particularly when you see the pseudo-Aztec wardrobe and dance moves in the film's climactic stage presentation. If the "lovers" in this film (Marian Marsh, Donald Cook) are a little limited as performers, so what, it's really Barrymore's show anyway.

 

There's a small part played by Boris Karloff before he was associated with the horror genre (he would play the Frankenstein Monster the same year as this film). The film also has its share of comic relief courtesy character actor Charles Butterworth.

 

This film includes pretty blatant drug use by one of its main characters as one of its pre-code aspects.

 

I strongly suggest that some might consider recording The Mad Genius, if it's time slot is inconvenient for viewing. For whatever reason, this is a pre-code Warners effort that TCM rarely chooses to broadcast.

 

madgenius-drugdealing_zps4489cdf9.png

 

Curtiz and his love of shadows as a drug deal takes place

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Wednesday appears to be honoring Michael Curtiz, although I'm not sure how he'd feel about the selections made. There are some rare early talkies here including "Bright Lights" from 1930, so if you are like me and like this kind of thing, set your recorders.

 

6:00AM Mad Genius, The (1931)

7:30 AM Bright Lights (1931)

8:45 AM Cabin In The Cotton, The (1932)

10:15 AM Female (1933)

11:15 AM Boy From Oklahoma, The (1954)

12:45 PM Playmates (1941)

2:30 PM That's Right - You're Wrong (1940)

4:15 PM Here We Go Again (1942)

 

Note that the 3 RKO movies were not directed by Cruitz  (Playmates, That's Right,  and Here We Go Again).

 

But I also look forward to those early Warner (First National really) Cruitz films.   Too bad they are on so early,  but I can record them for later viewing.   TCM shows Female very often and I have seen the Bette Davis,  Cabin in The Cotton a few times.

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The Mad Genius (1931) is very much like SVENGALI, filmed the same year with the same two stars and basically the same story. But it is very good. I love Marian Marsh. :)

 

An unusual part of the story is the cocaine or heroin addiction of one of the cast members.

 

TCM has not aired this in years. A must for recording if you liked Svengali.

 

 

2013_Ctek_FebMar_MadGenius_613x463.jpg

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The Mad Genius (1931) is very much like SVENGALI, filmed the same year with the same two stars and basically the same story. But it is very good. I love Marian Marsh. :)

 

An unusual part of the story is the cocaine or heroin addiction of one of the cast members.

 

TCM has not aired this in years. A must for recording if you liked Svengali.

 

Thanks for the tip.    I'm a fan of Marian Marsh also.     

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Wednesday appears to be honoring Michael Curtiz, although I'm not sure how he'd feel about the selections made.

If they showed Casablanca, Mildred Pierce, and the other famous movies, people here would be complaining that TCM was running the same repetitive stuff again
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If they showed Casablanca, Mildred Pierce, and the other famous movies, people here would be complaining that TCM was running the same repetitive stuff again

 

You're correct!  I'm guilty as charged!      See the reply in the other thread I just made related to repeats.    

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Wednesday appears to be honoring Michael Curtiz, although I'm not sure how he'd feel about the selections made. There are some rare early talkies here including "Bright Lights" from 1930, so if you are like me and like this kind of thing, set your recorders.

 

6:00AM Mad Genius, The (1931)

7:30 AM Bright Lights (1931)

8:45 AM Cabin In The Cotton, The (1932)

10:15 AM Female (1933)

11:15 AM Boy From Oklahoma, The (1954)

12:45 PM Playmates (1941)

2:30 PM That's Right - You're Wrong (1940)

4:15 PM Here We Go Again (1942)

 

11:15 AM Boy From Oklahoma, The (1954)

 

1954 is an EARLY talkie??  laughing-smiley-014.gif

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Aside from its impressively expressionalistic Anton Grot sets, and flamboyant star turn by John Barrymore, all directed with an emphasis upon strong visuals by Michael Curtiz, The Mad Genius also benefits from the risque topics you find in pre-code films.

 

Above all is the drug use in the story, with Barrymore ruthlessly exploiting the addiction of an employee of his to the max. But the film also has some humour to be found which, itself, would not have occurred after the code was enforced.

 

At one point Charles Butterworth, playing JB's assistant, says, "I have been having a little trouble with my ears lately. I took some pills for it. They didn't work very well."

 

"Ah, probably you didn't put them in the right place," Barrymore replies, "Use your imagination."

 

madgenius6_zps55eb22a1.jpg

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It is disgusting that THE MAD GENIUS was scheduled for 6am. This film is one of the few classics that TCM has rarely shown over the last 10 years and when they do finally get it they stick it on in the am. I may be wrong, but I think the last time they showed it was when Karloff was featured as star of the month and graced the cover of NOW PLAYING magazine October 2003.

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It is disgusting that THE MAD GENIUS was scheduled for 6am. This film is one of the few classics that TCM has rarely shown over the last 10 years and when they do finally get it they stick it on in the am. I may be wrong, but I think the last time they showed it was when Karloff was featured as star of the month and graced the cover of NOW PLAYING magazine October 2003.

 

The last time I remember the Mad Genius playing was January 2008 in primetime of all things. They were featuring the films of John Barrymore that night.

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It is disgusting that THE MAD GENIUS was scheduled for 6am. This film is one of the few classics that TCM has rarely shown over the last 10 years and when they do finally get it they stick it on in the am. I may be wrong, but I think the last time they showed it was when Karloff was featured as star of the month and graced the cover of NOW PLAYING magazine October 2003.

 

I also wish that TCM had shown The Mad Genius in a more convenient time slot,  but I don't find that disgusting.   

 

If that is what qualifies as disgusting,  life must be very hard for you.

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Aside from its impressively expressionalistic Anton Grot sets, and flamboyant star turn by John Barrymore, all directed with an emphasis upon strong visuals by Michael Curtiz, The Mad Genius also benefits from the risque topics you find in pre-code films.

 

Above all is the drug use in the story, with Barrymore ruthlessly exploiting the addiction of an employee of his to the max. But the film also has some humour to be found which, itself, would not have occurred after the code was enforced.

 

At one point Charles Butterworth, playing JB's assistant, says, "I have been having a little trouble with my ears lately. I took some pills for it. They didn't work very well."

 

"Ah, probably you didn't put them in the right place," Barrymore replies, "Use your imagination."

 

madgenius6_zps55eb22a1.jpg

thanks for mention.....wild, fun pre-code :)

anyone recognize the weird music or ballets that were featured?? :wacko:

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thanks for mention.....wild, fun pre-code :)

anyone recognize the weird music or ballets that were featured?? :wacko:

No, but that music and dance "choreography" was weird to the point of camp, as far as I was concerned.

 

Still, I love Mike Curtiz' direction, and the opportunity to watch John Barrymore before he became a self lampoon. Watching him playing a smooth talking villain in Mad Genius or a more ominous one, with a few comic overtones, in Svengali or a polished jewel thief/lover in Grand Hotel and Arsene Lupin or a wonderful character turn as a meek naive idealistic professor in Topaze is such a pleasure. I'm glad that TCM shows these, as well as other pre-codes that JB made before drinking got him by the throat, to show that his reputation as a great actor is not unwarranted, at least during this period in his career.

 

The young lovers in Mad Genius (Marian Marsh, Donald "The Charmless" Cook) are so boring and pedestrian that I find myself rooting to a  large degree for Barrymore's character, if only because of the style and flourish that JB brought to the characterization.

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I enjoyed CABIN IN THE COTTON this morning.  I had not seen it before.  The young Bette Davis was very alluring in this and other early movies she made.  Thanks TCM. 

 

I agree that young Bette Davis was very alluring in this movie and in other her early ones as well.  Especially when she has just washed her hair!  

 

But seriously,  I have always felt Davis gets a bad rap when it comes to her looks.  OK, she didn't age well but in the 30s,  I think she was a peach.

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I agree that young Bette Davis was very alluring in this movie and in other her early ones as well.  Especially when she has just washed her hair!  

 

But seriously,  I have always felt Davis gets a bad rap when it comes to her looks.  OK, she didn't age well but in the 30s,  I think she was a peach.

Most definitely an alluring large eyed peach in the early days.  A beauty though a different kind of beauty than the standard Hollywood starlet of the 30's and 40's.

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The young lovers in Mad Genius (Marian Marsh, Donald "The Charmless" Cook) are so boring and pedestrian that I find myself rooting to a  large degree for Barrymore's character, if only because of the style and flourish that JB brought to the characterization.

 

I enjoyed THE MAD GENIUS a lot, but it was a bit hard to accept that the electrifying Frankie Darro (I loved his squeals as he was being chased by his father Boris Karloff) grew up to be Donald Cook.

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I enjoyed THE MAD GENIUS a lot, but it was a bit hard to accept that the electrifying Frankie Darro (I loved his squeals as he was being chased by his father Boris Karloff) grew up to be Donald Cook.

I can't think of any film in which the dour Donald Cook was anything other than a drag as a performer. What a contrast he was to Cagney as his brother in Public Enemy.

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