Monday, July 15, 2013

Now Playing: JULY 15-16, 1933

We have a new champion in Milwaukee.

Paramount's musical comedy has seen off Warners' Gold Diggers of 1933 to end the latter's mind-boggling five-week winning streak. This ad tells you how many people in town saw last week's winner. According to local papers, College Humor and Gold Diggers are the city's most popular movies in years, possibly since the Depression hit. Movie reporters predict a wave of musicals to exploit the demand created above all by Gold Diggers and its Berkeleyan predecessor, 42nd Street.

For now, the Warner theater keeps its Pre-Code flag flying proudly.


In our own generation, Baby Face has clawed its way back into history to become one of the definitive Pre-Code pictures. Barbara Stanwyck's Nietzschean seductress -- is the dame in the first ad really supposed to be her??? -- might once have been seen as a sexist stereotype of someone sleeping her way to the top, but many critics now see her as an icon of empowerment, an avatar of the era's survival ethics. And it definitely is a different world where John Wayne is just a stepping stone for her rise to power. Take a look at the trailer from

Elsewhere in Milwaukee: gold diggers on the Mississippi ...

I've seen this one. No Baby Face but fairly amusing. The next one has intrigued but eluded me so far.

Here's a movie about women with real power: Amazons in Ancient Greece in an allegorical comedy sending up the modern day battle of the sexes, war profiteering, etc. Elissa Landi stars in a role created on Broadway by Katharine Hepburn. Sounds like a perfect Pre-Code subject, but this picture doesn't circulate as much as it might. It may have been a dud, but don't you want to see it?

1 comment:

jervaise brooke hamster said...

For over one hundred years now Hollywood has been selling their product with sex without ever actually showing any, how the hell are they still getting away with that deception in this the age of the internet ?.