Tag Archives: 1920s
With unpaid actors and staff, the stage show Phantom Sweetheart seems doomed. To complicate matters, the box office takings have been robbed and the leading lady refuses to appear. Can the show be saved?
The Thirteenth Chair (1929) Tod Browning, Conrad Nagel, Leila Hyams, Margaret Wycherly, Drama, Mystery
Although his murdered friend was by all accounts a scoundrel a true “bounder” Edward Wales is determined to trap his killer by staging a seance using a famous medium. Many of the 13 seance participants had a reason and a means to kill, and one of them uses the cover of darkness to kill again. When someone close to the medium is suspected she turns detective, in the hope of uncovering the true murderer.
The Cocoanuts (1929) Robert Florey, Joseph Santley, Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Comedy, Musical
Mr. Hammer runs a bankrupt Florida hotel. He’ll try anything to make money, even make love to rich Mrs. Potter. But his main scheme, selling real estate, is in danger of sabotage from zanies Chico and Harpo, who also reduce the schemes of a pair of jewel thieves to chaos. A subplot involves the star-crossed love of Polly Potter and architect Bob Adams.
Why Be Good? (1929) William A. Seiter, Colleen Moore, Neil Hamilton, Bodil Rosing, Comedy, Drama, Romance
A criminal known as Thunderbolt is imprisoned and facing execution. Into the next cell is placed Bob Morgan, an innocent man who has been framed and who is in love with Thunderbolt’s girl, without knowing of their relationship. Thunderbolt hopes to stave off the execution long enough to kill young Morgan for romancing his girl.
A stenographer who works for a lawyer falls in love with and marries a wealthy young man. His family has the marraige annulled, after which she gives birth to a child. Her former boss helps her out to ensure the child’s welfare, which starts gossip that she is a “kept woman.”
Wealthy Cynthia is in love with not-so-wealthy Roger, who is married to Marcia. The threesome is terribly modern about the situation, and Marcia will gladly divorce Roger if Cynthia agrees to a financial settlement. But Cynthia’s wealth is in jeopardy because her trust fund will expire if she is not married by a certain date. To satisfy that condition, Cynthia arranges to marry Hagon Derk, who is condemned to die for a crime he didn’t commit. She pays him so he can provide for his little sister. But at the last minute, Derk is freed when the true criminal is discovered. Expecting to be a rich widow, Cynthia finds herself married to a man she doesn’t know and doesn’t want to.
Love / Anna Karenina (1927) Edmund Goulding, John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, George Fawcett, Drama, Romance
In Czarist Russia, Anna Karenina falls in love with the dashing military officer Count Vronsky and abandons her husband and child to become Vronsky’s mistress. Tragedy ensues when Vronsky chooses his military career over Anna.
Jobless, homeless and starving Freddie Joyzelle is saved by Mike Fall from the clutches of a masher, and is then invited to stay with him and his musician partners for at least two weeks. The four men call themselves The Four Seasons because of their surnames: there is also Joe Spring, Happy Winter and Pete Summer. Besides joining their group as a violinist, Freddie cooks and cleans for them and even gets them a gig at the Little Aregon restaurant after they are fired for asking for a raise at their old job. She is from the country of Aregon and knows the owner, Mr. Keppel, also from Aregon. When Prince Nicholaus of Aregon pays a visit to the restaurant and recognizes Freddie, he kisses her on the forehead, creating front page news that makes the restaurant famous. Keppel decides to open a larger restaurant because of the increase in business.