Sunday, January 20, 2013

Now Playing: JAN. 20, 1933

Let's start this week's visit to Milwaukee with the Wisconsin theater:

I tried watching Strange Interlude a few days ago. "Tried" should warn you. As people who've seen Animal Crackers may know, Eugene O'Neill's play allowed actors to express their inner thoughts, in contrast to the words they said to each other, by pausing for brief monologues. In the movie version, what they did was have the actors stand with their mouths shut while voice-overs spoke the inner thoughts. It quickly proved unwatchable.

Here's one I sat through all the way, playing at the Riverside:

The Penguin Pool Murder is an oddball picture in which eternal spinster Edna May Oliver plays a schoolmarm who takes a hand in solving a murder after discovering a body in the title location while on a field trip to an aquarium. James Gleason assists as a police inspector. This is lite fare, okay for an hour's amusement.

At the Warner:

There's no excuse for my not having seen William Wellman's Frisco Jenny, since I have it as part of the Forbidden Hollywood Vol. 3 collection. I'll have to get around to it eventually, and given that this is Wellman's peak period of productivity this ought to be good. As for the second feature, if TCM shows it I'll watch it.

At the Palace, George Raft gets the rub from last year's Scarface and lands a leading role in this Paramount picture.

Raft's a good guy in this one, joining forces with the cops to avenge his father's death. Probably worth a look if TCM will show more Pre-Code Paramounts.

Finally, at the Alhambra, a star one doesn't automatically identify with Pre-Code cinema, but popular at the time anyway.

The short subject Flame of the Pacific is listed as a 1934 release at IMDB, so a correction would appear to be in order. Here's the thing itself, uploaded to YouTube by travelfilmarchive.

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