Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Now Playing: DEC. 10, 1933

Little Women ruled the Milwaukee box office last week, earning a second week at the Warner, while The Invisible Man departs after two weeks at the Alhambra. There isn't a lot of competition among the new releases, several of which are deemed secondary to the live attractions at the city's movie palaces.

Sing Sinner Sing is an independent picture loosely based on a recent celebrity scandal that apparently has fallen into the public domain and can be seen for free at various internet sites. I may check it out myself.

The Palace opts for class in both live and screen attractions. It tells you something about the Pre-Code era that Paramount Pictures would bring Dorothea Wieck, the star of pioneer lesbian picture Maedchen in Uniform (aka the Blue is the Warmest Color of its day) to Hollywood and star her in an American movie.

The trend continues at the Oriental, a theater we haven't visited very often, but the novelty's worth noting this week.

Beverly was Mae's younger sister (born Mildred), five years her junior. She never broke into the movies, her sole IMDB credit being a German TV special from the 1960s. As for the movie, I just saw Professional Sweetheart last month and had plenty to say about this strange Ginger Rogers vehicle.

The Wisconsin puts its movie up front after hosting the Earl Carroll Vanities live for a week. This theater presumably has confidence in one of the most popular actresses of the period.

This is definitely counterprogramming, for whatever else you might say about Marie Dressler, she was indisputably not a little woman. Speaking of the defending champ, one of its stars, Frances Dee, has another picture playing this week.

In this picture, Dee recalled nearly seventy years later, she played "a kleptomaniac, a nymphomaniac, and anything in between." For another picture you might have mentioned that you had a "Star of Little Women," but I don't think the audience for Little Women would appreciate this one.

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