Carol Clayton: You idiot, I did the one thing that would send him away.
Duke Bradley: You did? What was that?
Carol Clayton: I kissed him.
Duke Bradley: And that sent him away? Oh Carol, you underestimate yourself.
Carol Clayton: You don’t understand, Hartley happens to be a gentleman.
Duke Bradley: Oh, well then I’m glad I’m a mug. Kiss me like that and see if I go home.
Dennis Carson: Hey! How many times have I told you to let down those curtains?
Vantine: Why? They’ve all gone off to work.
Dennis Carson: You heard me, let them down!
Vantine: What’s the matter? Afraid I’ll shock the Duchess? Don’t you suppose she’s ever seen a French postcard?
When I saw that the Warner Archive was releasing Red Dust on DVD – and newly resmastered to boot – I literally shouted with joy (you can ask my roommate about that). This is my second favorite Harlow film (narrowly behind Personal Property). It has never been on DVD before and when the Warner Archive released the Harlow collection last year, I was pretty bummed that Victor Fleming’s pre-code masterpiece wasn’t part of it. Now we can all rejoice and our Harlow collections are almost complete (so many of her films on DVD now, it is amazing!) If I had to pick one actress to call my favorite (and please don’t make me!), there would be a strong case for Harlow taking that top spot. I just love her so much, and she is at the top of her game opposite Clark Gable in this steamy tale of lust, class, love and deception.
Columbia is releasing five of its Pre-Code films through the TCM Vault Collection on July 2nd. The collection will have five films on it: Arizona (1931), Ten Cents a Dance (1931),Virtue (1932), Three Wise Girls (1932) and Shopworn (1932).
It’s that time of year. Everyone is frantically trying to finish end of the year projects at work or at school. People are freaking out because they are alone (hopefully not forever though!), etc. etc. It’s also that time of year when we celebrate those we love by giving them things we think they’ll love (or that we love and want to convince them to love, too). Thus I give you my first-ever Holiday Gift Guide, filled with 15 things that I think would make awesome gifts for the movie lover in your life.
In March TCM celebrated Jean Harlow’s 100th birthday by showing Harlow’s films throughout the month. Prior to then I had only seen Platinum Blonde and Libeled Lady. During the month I watched all the films TCM showed: Red-Headed Woman, Three Wise Girls, Riffraff, Suzy, The Public Enemy, Bombshell, Reckless, Personal Property, Wife Vs. Secretary, Red Dust, Hold Your Man, China Seas, The Secret Six, Saratoga, Dinner At Eight, The Girl From Missouri and The Beast of the City.
It was quite a crash-course in Harlow. It was great to watch them all in such a confined amount of time because I could watch her progression as an actress. I firmly believe she would have been one of the great comediennes of the classic era had she lived. Since then I’ve also seen Hell’s Angels, which features her first performance (and what a stunning debut it was) and Iron Man, in which she plays opposite Lew Ayres. I’ve also seen Libeled Lady and Dinner at Eight on the big screen at the Castro Theatre. I think actually the only Harlow film I haven’t seen is 1931′s Goldie. If any of you dear readers can locate that one for me, I’d be ever so grateful.
Up until recently only a handful of her films were on DVD (visit our Jean Harlow store here), which is a real shame. It’s only by seeing someone’s work that you can ever truly begin to appreciate them. While I still wish someone would release Red Dust on DVD, I must say the new Jean Harlow 100th Anniversary collection that the Warner Archive released on October 25th is beyond amazing. Not only does it contain seven films that had previously not been released on DVD (including three remastered versions), but it also comes with gorgeous 5″ X 7″ portraits and a ton of special features. My favorite of the special features is the newly discovered trailer for Personal Property; I love that film oh so much.
What I like the most about the set is that it’s a nice cross-section of her career, starting with 1933′s Bombshell and ending with Harlow’s final film, 1937′s Saratoga (also her sixth pairing with Clark Gable). The other films included in the set are The Girl From Missouri (1934), Reckless (1935) – in which she co-stars with her real-life love at the time William Powell, Riffraff (1934) – featuring a wonderful performance from Spencer Tracy, Suzy (1935) – a strange wartime melodrama featuring Cary Grant and Franchot Tone and Personal Property – with Robert Taylor (this is my favorite Harlow film and one of my favorite films period). This set is definitely a must for anyone who loves Harlow, or really anyone who’s interested in this time period in film history.
I’m grateful that I’ve be able to become so familiar with Harlow’s work in the last year because I think she is utterly fantastic. She may well be my favorite actress and it’s funny to think I only really discovered her in the last year.
Disclaimer: This review is based on review discs given to me by the Warner Archive, though the opinions are all my own.
Kitty Packard: I was reading a book the other day.
Carlotta Vance: Reading a book?
Kitty Packard: Yes. It’s all about civilization or something. A nutty kind of a book. Do you know that the guy says that machinery is going to take the place of every profession?
Carlotta Vance: Oh, my dear, that’s something you need never worry about.
So I managed to watch a little bit less new-to-me films in August than I did in July. That’s okay, though, because I saw so many great films at the Castro theatre (I’m quite the regular there now). I saw The Big Sleep, Key Largo, Moulin Rouge!, Meek’s Cutoff (new-to-me), Limbo (new-to-me), Bad Education, Law of Desire (new-to-me), Talk To Her, All About My Mother, The Flower of My Secret (new-to-me), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (new-to-me), 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010: The Year We Make Contact (new-to-me), Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Days of Heaven, Badlands, The Philadelphia Story and Holiday. All of those were double features except Moulin Rouge! and all of them were well worth the admission price. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: nothing beats seeing a great film on the big screen. I’m just glad all these great films were showing in the month between the summer semester and the fall semester so I had time to see them. I also read a handful of screenplays (hey, I’m studying to get an MFA in screenwriting, I better be reading screenplays!) So far I’ve read L.A. Confidential, The Piano, Good Will Hunting, American Beauty, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, The English Patient, The Last Detail and Chinatown. It sure is interesting to see how a story starts out on the page and winds up the same, but different, on the big screen. As for my new-to-me list, most of the films I saw I loved (this was another month were it was hard to come up with just five featured films), but I also saw a few I really hated. Today is the first day of the fall semester and I’m taking three classes, so I have no idea what my free time is going to be like or how many new-to-me films I’ll manage to watch. Gonna shoot for at least one new-to-me a day though. As always, the full list of my August new-to-me films is after the cut.