Briefly breaking away from her high-gloss modern soap operas, Kay Francis stars as Florence Nightingale in this reverent Warner Bros. biopic. The screenplay concentrates on Nightingale’s humanitarian activities during the Crimean War of 1854-55. Defiant in the face of military bureaucracy and the male hierarchy, she organizes a volunteer group of nurses to tend to the military wounded, and also works tirelessly to update and improve the primitive, almost barbaric medical conditions of the Victorian Era.
Tag Archives: 1930s
An heiress gets a crash course in the simple life when she marries a penniless man in this comedy. Calvin Jordan (Henry O’Neill) is the prosperous owner of a successful steel mill, and the apple of his eye is his daughter Cora (Myrna Loy). Cora stands to inherit Calvin’s firm, and he’s taken it upon himself to find a good husband for her. However, free-spirited Cora doesn’t think much of her father’s skills as a matchmaker, and makes it clear she’s going to marry whomever she pleases.
Jack lives the high life and wants to make Marjorie his one and only. He then learns that his deceased father is alive but dying of lead poisoning. His father sent him away, twenty years before, to keep him out of the rackets. But now that he is dying, he wants to split the business between Giacomo (Jack) and Frank, his other son. The business includes running booze down from Canada.
Dorothy, and her big city lawyer boyfriend, return to the Lazy ‘B’ ranch to read her late father’s will. For Dorothy to inherit everything, she must stay on the ranch for 5 years. If she does not, everything goes to Buck, who is the manager. She does not like Buck, so she makes a deal with the wrong people for cattle and then the outlaws go to the ranch to get the $10,000 from her. But Buck is on the job.
The Phantom of Paris (1931) John S. Robertson, John Gilbert, Leila Hyams, Lewis Stone, Drama, Thriller
Bibi is a world class escape artist, but he cannot escape the false murder charge that is placed on him. Max has killed Bourrelier before he was removed from the will so that he will be rich when he marries Cecile. Together with Vera, they put the blame on Bibi, who is a romantic rival to Max, and he is sentenced to death. But Bibi escapes before his execution and hides in Herman’s secret cellar. When he learns that Max is dying, Bibi goes to his house for his confession, but Max dies before it is told to anyone else. So Bibi, has just one chance, and he goes to Dr. Gorin who will make him look like Max so that he can clear his name and put the blame where it belongs – on Max, even in death.
Sally, Irene and Mary (1938) William A. Seiter, Alice Faye, Tony Martin, Fred Allen, Comedy, Music, Romance
Three manicurists hope to become entertainers through the auspices of their wisecracking agent (Fred Allen). Sally (Alice Faye) is the smart one, Irene (Joan Davis) the funny one, and Mary (Marjorie Weaver) the cute-and-innocent one. The girls secure work in a Greenwich village nitery, where Sally falls for star singer Tony Martin. The threesome’s career becomes stalled until Mary inherits an old ferry boat, which she converts into a floating nightclub. Among the highlights of Sally Irene and Mary is a jitterbug number by Joan Davis and supporting appearances by Jimmy Durante and Gypsy Rose Lee (billed under her real name, Louise Hovick). The film was based on a non-musical play by Eddie Dowling and Cyril Rood, previously filmed in 1925.
Independently wealthy American Jack Forbes has just arrived in Paris. Because of his wealth, he can have any woman on his arms. Currently that role is filled by Marcelle Dubrey, but Jack ditches her when he spots the woman of his dreams. When Jack tells his equally wealthy friend Michael Cummins that he will marry that mystery woman, Michael, upon learning that that woman is Lu Lu Carroll who he too has been trying to court, bets Jack $50,000 that he can’t give up all his money and get engaged to her within two weeks. Jack accepts the bet as Mike strips him of his money. Jack has to try and meet and woo her all without doing anything with her that requires money, all the while trying to hide the fact that he has no money as he tries to earn some using whatever limited job skills he has at hand. Meanwhile, Mike hires a couple of American detectives, Simon Johanssen and Peter Swanson, to tail Jack to ensure that he keeps to the rules of the bet, but also to thwart Jack’s attempts with Lu Lu at any turn. What Mike is unaware of is that they are poor schmucks who are rather inept at being detectives. The combination of all their issues gets the collective into one misadventure after another as the two weeks wears on.
The Man Who Played God (1932) John G. Adolfi, George Arliss, Bette Davis, Violet Heming, Drama, Romance
Montgomery Royle is a famed pianist whose student, the much younger Grace Blair, believes herself to be in love with him. When an explosion destroys Royle’s hearing, he is bitter at the loss of his art and profession. His sister Florence persuades him to learn lip-reading as a way to break out of the isolation of deafness. Royle discovers a new meaning to his life when he uses his new lip-reading knowledge to help others. But the new skill has serious ramifications for his relationship with Grace.
Seishun no yume ima izuko / Where Are the Dreams of Youth (1932) Yasujirô Ozu, Ureo Egawa, Kinuyo Tanaka, Tatsuo Saitô, Comedy, Romance
This remake of West of Zanzibar (1928) made four years later tries to outdo the Lon Chaney original in morbidity. From a wheelchair a handicapped white man rules an area of Africa as a living god. He rules the local natives through superstition and stage magic and he rules the few white people through sadism, keeping them virtual prisoners. He lives for the day he can avenge himself horribly on the man who stole his wife and crushed his spine. Strong and macabre stuff in a nearly forgotten horror film.