Thursday, April 25, 2013

Now Playing: APRIL 25, 1933

Gabriel Over the White House seemed to prove that there was an audience for a movie about a President who acted like a dictator. Would they come out for a movie about a real dictator?

Mussolini Speaks is a relic of a time when fascism, before Hitler had made any real impression, still had a good name in many circles for making the trains run on time and so forth. Notice how Columbia can't lay off the movie ballyhoo even for a documentary -- they can't even call it that. It's a "DRAMA" and Il Duce is not only powerful but "romantic" and "mysterious." Nothing about the love life of fascist women, however. I don't see how they missed that angle.

Speaking of romantic and mysterious...

Secrets was Mary Pickford's swan song, a very troubled production that hides its identity as a pioneer epic in the advertising. Notice that they're promoting it by association with director Frank Borzage's last picture, not Pickford's. The co-founder of United Artists would live for another 46 years without making another picture.

I'm at a loss for all the remaining pictures this week, so let's just have a look at them all.


Finally, Mussolini gets replaced by more typical Pre-Code fare:

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