The Love Parade (1929)
Ernst Lubitsch’s first "talking picture" was also Hollywood's first movie musical to integrate songs with narrative. Additionally, The Love Parade made stars out of toast-of-Paris Maurice Chevalier and girl-from-Philly Jeanette MacDonald, cast as a womanizing military attaché and the man-hungry queen of "Sylvania." With its naughty innuendo and satiric romance, The Love Parade opened the door for a decade of witty screen battles of the sexes.
Monte Carlo (1930)
Jeanette MacDonald's independent-minded countess leaves her foppish prince fiance at the altar, and whisks herself away to the Riviera. There, she strikes the fancy of the sly Count Rudolph (Broadway crossover Jack Buchanan), who poses as a hairdresser to get into her boudoir. Lubitsch's follow-up to The Love Parade shows even more musical invention, and presents MacDonald at her haughty best.
The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)
Maurice Chevalier's randy Viennese lieutenant is enamored of Claudette Colbert's freethinking, all-girl-orchestra-leading cutie. Yet complications ensue when the repressed princess of the fictional kingdom of Flausenthurm, played by newcomer Miriam Hopkins, sets her sights on him. The Smiling Lieutenant is a delightful showcase for its rising female stars, who are never more charming than when Colbert tunefully instructs Hopkins, "Jazz Up Your Lingerie.
One Hour With You (1932)
Lubitsch reunites Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, this time as a seemingly blissful couple whose marriage hits the skids when her flirtatious school chum comes on to her husband a bit too strong. Necking in the park at nighttime, husbands and wives having casual dalliances, and a butler telling his master, "I did so want to see you in tights!": it's one of Lubitsch's sauciest escapades and his final pre-Code musical.
**Fox** has announced a February 12th release date for Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 4. The set will include the first four Sidney Toler Chan adventures: Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938), Charlie Chan in Reno (1939), Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939) & City in Darkness (1939). Among the co-stars are Lynn Bari, Lon Chaney Jr., Victor Sen Yung, Cesar Romero, Douglas Fowley, Donald MacBride, Ricardo Cortez, Phyllis Brooks, George Zucco & Marc Lawrence. The 4 DVD set will be sold only as a complete set and will retail for $49.99, but is available at Classicflix.com for only $37.99.
On March 4, Warner Home Video (WHV) will introduce a second group of sassy and taboo films from Hollywood’s Pre-Production Code era with the DVD debut of TCM Archives: Forbidden Hollywood Volume 2. Following the success of last year’s Volume 1, this new 3-disc collection will contain five pre-code sizzlers, with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Disc One spotlights Norma Shearer in her Best Actress Oscar®-winning role as The Divorcee and again in A Free Soul; with Lionel Barrymore and Clark Gable. Disc Two features Bette Davis, Joan Blondell and Ann Dvorak in Three on a Match paired with the Michael Curtiz-directed comedy Female starring Ruth Chatterton as a no-nonsense CEO. Disc Three features William Wellman’s powerful drama Night Nurse, which stars Barbara Stanwyck with a very young Clark Gable, along with the new documentary feature Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood. The film provides fascinating insight into the American psyche of late 1920s and early 1930s, illustrating why, more than seventy years later, the so-called “Pre-Code” movies remain among the most vital and provocative films ever made.
The Divorcee (1930, 82 min)
Based on Ursula Parrott’s spicy 1929 novel “Ex-wife,” the highly controversial The Divorcee was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture. Norma Shearer won for Best Actress as a woman who confronts the hypocrisy of the double standard after catching her husband in a compromising position and forcing him to confess his infidelities. Her solution to the problem: try to match him tryst for tryst.
A Free Soul (1931, 91 min)
In A Free Soul, Lionel Barrymore captured an Oscar for his portrayal of a brilliant alcoholic lawyer Stephen Ashe, who successfully defends dashing gangster Ace Wilfong (Clark Gable) on a murder charge only to find that his headstrong daughter, Jan (Norma Shearer), has fallen in love with his client. Jan, a fun-loving socialite seeking freedom from her blue-blood upbringing, is only too eager to dump her aristocratic boyfriend (Leslie Howard) for the no-good gangster. She runs away from her childhood home to become Ace's mistress, embarking on a series of seedy adventures in New York's underbelly. Desperate to save his daughter's tainted reputation, Stephen finds her and makes her a deal: He'll stop drinking if she'll stop seeing Ace. The thrilling conclusion might just tear them apart forever. Shearer and director Clarence Brown also received nominations for their work in this powerful and moving film.
- The Divorcee commentary by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta
Three on a Match (1932, 63 min)
The gangster melodrama, Three on a Match, stars Bette Davis, Joan Blondell and Ann Dvorak as a trio of school chums – Mary, Ruth and Vivian – meeting for a reunion ten years after high school. Director Mervyn LeRoy crams much plot into the 64 minute run time following each of the women’s lives. Mary is now a chorus girl after a stint in reform school; level-headed Ruth has a job as a secretary; and sexy Vivian is on the verge of deserting her wealthy husband Henry Kirkwood and their baby in favor of a glamorous gangster. The film is also noteworthy for the number of future stars making brief appearances, such as Lyle Talbot, Edward Arnold and, in his first gangster role, Humphrey Bogart as “The Mug.”
Female (1933, 60 min)
In director Michael Curtiz's romantic comedy Female, Ruth Chatterton plays Alison Drake, the iron-fisted president of a motorcar company. Alison oversees the daily operations of her male employees with a predatory gaze and frequently exercises her right to engage with them in any way she deems fit. She meets her match in an equally strong-minded new employee, Jim Thorne (George Brent), and the two engage in a smoldering, contentious, sexually charged duel. The action of the film--one of the first to depict a female character turning a man's world to her advantage--feeds on the novelty of presenting a woman as a corporate shark and bedroom hound. Though it's obvious the filmmakers thought they were creating a scenario that would never actually happen, Alison's world-smashing exploits make the bulk of the film (before she begins to question her nontraditional lifestyle) a protofeminist romp. Brent and Chatterton were married at the time they made the film, and the natural chemistry between them is abundantly evident. Curtiz packs the screen with extravagant set design and period detail.
- Theatrical trailers
Night Nurse (1931, 72 min)
William Wellman's Night Nurse is a sassy, unsentimental comedy about a private pediatric nurse named Lora Hart (Barbara Stanwyck) who, after applying as an apprentice in a family home, discovers there is a plot afoot to starve her two rich, fat, young charges to death. The culprit is the family’s chauffeur, Nick (Clark Gable), a villain who plans to marry the kids' dissolute mother and make off with their trust fund. It then is up to Hart, her wisecracking nurse friend Maloney (Joan Blondell), and her bootlegger beau Mortie (Ben Lyon) to save them. Director Wellman keeps the jokes humming along with the peril.
This never-before seen documentary, Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood examines the unique collision of events that resulted in one of the most dynamic – and delicious periods in Hollywood history -- a fascinating mix of scandal, big business and social history.
- Night Nurse commentary by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta
- Night Nurse theatrical trailer
**Walt Disney Home Entertainment** has announced a March 4th release date for 101 Dalmatians (Platinum Edition). The 2-Disc DVD set will retail for $29.99, but is available at Classicflix.com for only $21.99. As with previous Platinum releases there will be loads of extras as well as a new digital restoration. And if it's anything like last years release of the restored Peter Pan (Platinum Edition), it will be brilliant! Details below...
For the first time in nearly a decade, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment unleashes 101 of the world’s most famous dogs when Walt Disney’s original dog classic, 101 Dalmatians: Platinum Edition comes to DVD March 4, 2008 for a limited time only.
101 Dalmatians is the true Disney Dog classic, considered by critics to be one of the best and most innovative Disney animated films. This all-new two-disc Platinum Edition is a must-own for fans big and small, featuring beloved characters Pongo, Perdita, and their 99 puppies, as well as one of Disney’s most deliciously evil villains of all time – Cruella De Vil (ranked on American Film Institute’s Best Villains of All Time List).
101 Dalmatians: Platinum Edition is brilliantly restored with enhanced picture and sound and includes all-new, never-before-seen bonus features that will have fans of all ages howling with delight: An all-new interactive ”Virtual Dalmatian” game with over 101 possibilities to adopt, train and care for your very own virtual puppy, deleted songs, behind-the-scenes featurettes, an in-depth look at the personal correspondence between Walt Disney and Dodie Smith, (author of the book The Hundred and One Dalmatians), and much more.
One of the most cherished and sought-after Disney classics of all time, 101 Dalmatians is among the last films to bear the personal touch of Walt Disney. This original classic is available for a limited time only before it returns to the Disney vault.
When Pongo and Perdita, a pair of adorable Dalmatians play Cupid for their human pets, wedding bells soon ring! In a short time, the dogs become the proud parents of 15 winsome puppies, but their happiness is short-lived. The wicked Cruella De Vil wants to buy the all puppies—to make a coat! When her dastardly offer is turned down, she orders her bumbling henchmen Horace and Jasper to abscond with the puppies as well as every other Dalmatian puppy in London. Pongo and Perdita must rally a network of animals across England with the “twilight bark” to help find Cruella's secret hideaway and rescue 99 precious puppies.
- Disney’s Virtual Dalmatians - Adopt, name, train and care for your very own virtual puppy where there are over 101 possibilities.
- Puppy Profiler - Find out which dog you’re most like!
- 101 Pop-Up Trivia Facts For The Family & Collector - Discover 202 amazing things You Never Knew about the movie as you watch it – with 101 pop up facts for the family and 101 for the collector
- All-New “Cruella De Vil” Music Video - The classic song “Cruella De Vil” gets a contemporary twist when multitalented teen Disney Channel star Selena Gomez performs the song in a brand new video!
- Redefining The Line: The Making Of 101 Dalmatians - 101 Dalmatians is considered by critics to be one of the best and most innovative Disney animated films. Go behind the scenes with its creators to find out about everything - including the technological innovation of the Xerox process in animation.
- Cruella De Vil: Drawn To Be Bad - Inspired by flamboyant actress Tallulah Bankhead, Cruella De Vil has become a villain that movie fans love to hate. Marc Davis, an animation legend and one of Disney’s immortal “Nine Old Men” reveals how this iconic character came to be.
- Sincerely Yours, Walt Disney - Experience Walt Disney and Dodie Smith’s (author of the book The Hundred and One Dalmatians) actual correspondence during the movie’s production.