Tag Archives: Donald Woods

The White Angel (1936) William Dieterle, Kay Francis, Ian Hunter, Donald Woods, Biography, Drama

the-white-angel-1936
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.
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Sweet Adeline (1934) Mervyn LeRoy, Irene Dunne, Donald Woods, Hugh Herbert, Musical, Romance

sweet-adeline-1934
The 1929 Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein Broadway musical Sweet Adeline has generally been credited as the vanguard for the “Gay 90s” nostalgia fad of the early 1930s. By the time the film was adapted to the screen in 1935, that fad had pretty much played itself out, making the property seem more old-fashioned than ever. Irene Dunne takes over from Broadway’s Helen Morgan as beer-hall entertainer Adeline Schmidt, whose romance with songwriter Sid Barnett (Donald Woods) undergoes an inordinate number of setbacks in the course of the film’s 85 minutes. Much of the play’s libretto has been scrapped in favor of an espionage angle, as Adeline tries to avoid assassination at the hands of a Spanish spy named Elysia (Wini Shaw). Contemporary critics carped that Irene Dunne was unable to match Helen Morgan’s delivery of such torch songs as “Why Was I Born”; this is true enough, but Warner Bros. deserves credit for endeavoring to cast Dunne against type.
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