Sunday, February 14, 2010

Film Preservation Blogathon - Now You See It, Now You Don't

I am (and you should be too, hint, hint) a proud National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) contributor who believes the motion picture was one of the most culturally important developments of the twentieth century. Preserving films as the historical and artistic artifacts they are is tremendously important. It isn't just the films themselves, the actors and directors, etc., but the moving images of people, places and things that document our shared history. The main text of this post limits itself to commercial films, but amateur, independent, and institutional films need to be preserved as well. I have a clip of teenagers riding the roller coaster at Coney Island in the early forties that shows so much about the people and the era. It couldn't be evoked in any other or better way.

For this post I decided to take a look at films in theaters in 1931 that are available today, those which aren't or are given only limited private screenings, and those that may be lost. The reasons: we know today that many studios were at best shortsighted, and in the opinion of some, criminal. It didn't want to look at an earlier year because I suspect that would have been really disheartening.

Interspersed throughout the text are images analogous to the deterioration and potential loss of many wonderful films. The Granada theater, built in Chicago in 1926, was allowed to fall into disrepair, wasn't preserved, and was eventually torn down and is now lost. We don't want this to happen to films languishing in vaults and isolated storage facilities. Donate to NFPF here. Click here or here to be taken to the blogathon host sites and a list of all the other wonderful contributors.

What follows is Photoplay's monthly listing, "Brief Review of Current Films", for the September 1931 issue.

This list contains 186 films. 68 are available in some form today. They may have been restored or transferred in their current condition. 65 are not available, possibly in vault storage, 45 more are not available or lost, I couldn't determine their status from my sources, and 6 are definitely lost. To determine their status I used IMDB, Wikipedia, various film sites, etc. I am sure it's off in places, but the bottom line is that almost 2/3 of the films listed are not available currently.

Photoplay, September 1931 - Cover artist: Earl Christy

Films with an asterisk are available.
All the text was scanned in and then OCR'd, but there may by some typos.

AFFAIRS OF ANNABELLE, THE—Fox.Jeanette MacDonald and Victor McLaglen in a laugh- worthy farce.
*ALEXANDER HAMILTON — Warners.— George Arliss, need we say more? Another superb characterization of an historic figure.
ALMOST A HONEYMOON—British International—A light bedroom farce. The gags would have been funny ten years ago. Very mild.
ALOHA—Rogell-Tiffany Production.—The old "Bird of Paradise" plot made over for the talkies. Some quite-good comedy and a lot of surefire sob stuff. Ben Lyon and Raquel Torres work hard.
ALWAYS GOODBYE—Fox.—Elissa Landi gives a charming performance in a rather ordinary piece. Lewis Stone and Paul Cavanagh support her.
*AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY—Paramount.— Dreiser's great tragedy becomes one of the month's best pictures. Phillips Holmes and Sylvia Sidney head a glorious cast. Not for the children.
*BACHELOR APARTMENT—Radio Pictures.— The superb direction and acting of Lowell Sherman make this sophisticated story interesting from start to finish. Mae Murray returns as a modern vamp, a restless married woman. Splendid cast.
*BAD SISTER—Universal.—Sidney Fox, talented little newcomer, plays the title role in this entirely natural story based on Booth Tarkington's "The Flirt." Conrad Nagel is the hero.

*BEHIND OFFICE DOORS—Radio Pictures.— Mary Astor fine as the clever secretary who helps her boss (Robert Ames) to rise to importance in the industrial world. Interesting story.
*BEYOND VICTORY—RKO-Pathe.—Poor war film, starring Bill Boyd. ZaSu Pitts, Lew Cody and Jimmy Gleason make the effort but can't do much for this one.
*BIG BUSINESS GIRL—First National.—Lively comedy of 1931 styles in business and love. Plenty of laughs, some thrills, Ricardo Cortez, Frank Albertson and Loretta Young in pretty clothes. A good movie.
BODY AND SOUL—Fox.—See this one. Great entertainment. Charlie Farrell and Elissa Landi (from the stage). You'll like her. Myrna Loy is the mean one.
*BORN TO LOVE—RKO-Pathe.—Ancient plot of the war nurse. Two officers and whose-baby-is-it fails to be highly entertaining in spite of the efforts of Constance Bennett.
*BROAD MINDED—First National.—Joe E. Brown tries hard to bring a lot of moribund jokes and gags back to life, but there's scarcely a giggle.
*BY ROCKET TO THE MOON—UFA.—The Germans present an interesting lesson in astronomy, if you like astronomy.
CAPTAIN THUNDER—Warners.—A dull story about a Robin-Hoodish captain whose lawless deeds are all for a good end. Victor Varconi and Fay Wray.
CAUGHT CHEATING—Tiffany Productions.— George Sidney and Charlie Murray get tangled with a Chicago gangster's wife and are taken for a ride. Fast-moving and pretty good fun.
*CHANCES—First National.—Young Doug's first starring picture is a war thriller. The lad is good but the story is so-so.
CHARLIE CHAN CARRIES ON—Fox.—Grand mystery with lots of thrills and romance. Warner Oland marvelous as Chan. John Garrick and Marguerite Churchill are the love interest.
CHILDREN OF DREAMS—Warners.—A musical which you can miss and think nothing of it.
*CITY LIGHTS—Chaplin-United Artists.— The one and only Chaplin makes another masterpiece. Magnificent comedy and heartbreaking pathos intermingled. You can see it again and again.
*CITY STREETS — Paramount. — Absorbing, fast-moving gang melodrama, well directed. Gary Cooper and Sylvia Sidney (from the New York stage) give grand performances. Don't miss it.

*CLEARING THE RANGE—Allied.—Hoot Gibson and the wife. Sally Filers, in a fine Western with thrills, laughs and plenty of action.
*COMMON LAW, THE—RKO-Pathe.—A poor adaptation of an old favorite but Constance Bennett is worth seeing. Sophisticated fare.
*COMRADES OF 1918—Forentilms.—Gruesome, harrowing German talkie follows the fortunes of four young Teuton soldiers in the last year of the late war. Don't take the children.
CONFESSIONS OF A CO-ED—Paramount. Not a very convincing piece with Sylvia Sidney, Phillips Holmes and Norman Foster. College atmosphere.
*CONNECTICUT YANKEE, A—Fox.—It's better than the silent version and you'll love Will Rogers. William Farnum and Myrna Loy are excellent. Maureen O'Sullivan and Frank Albertson supply the love interest.
CONQUERING HORDE, THE—Paramount.Dick Arlen makes this Western fine entertainment. Fay Wray adorable as the girl.
*CRACKED NUTS—Radio Pictures.—Wheeler and Woolsey in a rush of dialogue to the screen, and not very good dialogue. Amusing in spots.
*DADDY LONG LEGS—Fox.—The beloved classic with Janet Gaynor in a role just suited to her but just a little too saccharine. Warner Baxter as the bachelor. Take the family.
DAMAGED LOVE—Sono Art—World Wide.— Pretty mild. June Collyer's charm and dimples save it from being an entire waste of time.
*DANCE FOOLS, DANCE—M-G-M.—Fast and thrilling entertainment. Joan Crawford again proves herself a great dramatic actress. Billy Bakewell fine as the weak young brother who falls in with gangsters.
*DAYBREAK—M-G-M.—The charming performances of Helen Chandler and Ramon Novarro, as the student prince, make this romantic and wistful love story well worth seeing.
DER GROSSE TENOR—UFA.—A slow moving, all-German talkie with Emil Jannings in a typical Jannings role. A song or two.*
*DIRIGIBLE—Columbia.—Thrilling melodrama of adventure at the South Pole. The Navy helped make it and the airplane and dirigible shots leave you breathless. Ralph Graves, Jack Holt and Fay Wray take high honors.
*DISHONORED—Paramount.—Marlene Dietrich exciting as an Austrian spy in a tense story, splendidly directed. Victor McLaglen great as the Russian officer.
DOCTORS' WIVES—Fox.—Joan Bennett, Warner Baxter and Victor Varconi in a story of jealousy. Not very convincing.
DON'T BET ON WOMEN—Fox.—Husbands, wives and lovers mix-up. Good adult entertainment, with smart dialogue. Roland Young, Edmund Lowe, Jeanette MacDonald and Una Merkel make the most of their parts.
*DRACULA—Universal.—A mystery story full of creeps and thrills. Helen Chandler grand as the terrified heroine.
*DRUMS OF JEOPARDY, THE—Tiffany Prod. —Mystery melodrama with enough murders to satisfy the bloodthirsty. Good cast headed by Warner Oland and June Collyer.
DUDE RANCH—Paramount.—Jack Oakie woos and wins June Collyer in this hilarious comedy on a dude ranch, locale of many complications. Not a dull moment.
*EASIEST WAY, THE—M-G-M.—A modern sophisticated story, beautifully directed. Constance Bennett. Adolphe Menjou, Anita Page and Bob Montgomery do some grand acting—and what costumes!
EAST LYNNE—Fox.—Don't miss this one. Beautiful, artistic production of the heart‑breaking old melodrama. Ann Harding captivatingly beautiful. Fine support by Conrad Nagel and Clive Brook.
*EVERYTHING'S ROSIE—Radio Pictures.—One of the talkiest talkies yet released.
EX-BAD BOY—Universal.—If you like gag- farce, you'll get a kick out of this. Robert Armstrong and Jean Arthur give fine comedy acting.
EXPENSIVE WOMEN—Warners.—A pretty unhappy return to the screen for Dolores Costello. The less said about it the better.
FAME (LOST)—First National.—Beautifully and humanly told story of everyday people. Nothing spectacular, but full of charm. Doris Kenyon heads a perfect cast.
FIFTY MILLION FRENCHMEN—Warners. American tourists in Paris. Moves so fast it leaves you weak. One good gag after another. Don't miss it.
FIGHTING THRU — Tiffany Productions. — Worth the price of admission. Ken Maynard and his horse "Tarzan" do some fine work and the beautiful Jeanette Loff helps considerably.

*FINGER POINTS, THE—First National.—Dick Barthelmess as a reporter for one of Chicago's biggest newspapers, gets in with gangsters. An intensely absorbing story. Fay Wray and Regis Toomey give splendid support.
FINN AND HATTIE—Paramount.—One long howl. Mr. and Mrs. Haddock's trip abroad ruined by a fiendish nephew and a daughter, played well by Jackie Searl and Mitzi Green.
FIVE AND TEN—M-G-M.—Marion Davies with a splendid cast. Adapted from the Fannie Hurst story—jerky in spots.
FLOOD, THE—Columbia.—A weak, poorly directed story which the good acting of Eleanor Boardman and Monte Blue cannot save.
FORBIDDEN ADVENTURE—(Also released as Newly Rich)—Paramount.—An entertaining picture for kids and grown-ups. Jackie Searl and Mitzi Green in some swell acting. Don't miss it.
*FREE SOUL, A—M-G-M.—Norma Shearer and Lionel Barrymore in a picture that will hold you, but in plot and treatment it's for grown-ups only.
*FRONT PAGE, THE—United Artists.— Whirlwind newspaper talkie, full of thrills, laughs and sobs. You've simply got to see it. Adolphe Menjou great as the managing editor.
GANG BUSTER, THE — Paramount. — Comedy-melodrama with Jack Oakie at his best. William (stage) Boyd menaces as the gang leader and Jean Arthur is the pretty heroine.
GENTLEMAN'S FATE — M-G-M. — This tense drama brings us Jack' Gilbert with all his old appeal. The beautiful Leila Hyams and Anita Page support him and Louis Wolheim gives a flawless performance.
GIRL FROM THE REEPERBAHN, THE(DAS MAEDEL VON DER REEPERBAHN)—SonorProd.—The Germans crash through with a good one. Grim melodrama with plenty of action and some good songs.
GIRL HABIT, THE—Paramount.—An uproarious farce that boosts Charles Ruggles to stardom. It's all laughs. See it.
GIRLS DEMAND EXCITEMENT—Fox.—Marguerite Churchill, John Wayne, Virginia Cherrill and William Janney are a fine cast wasted in a story that never rings true.
*GOD'S GIFT TO WOMEN—Warners.—Frank Fay is the gift—Laura La Plante the receiver, but after many hilarious complications. Well worth seeing.
*GOLD DUST GERTIE—Warners.—Exuberant Winnie Lightner gambols through a poor story.
GOLDIE—Fox.—If you like lusty, gusty stuff, this'll do. Spencer Tracy and Warren Hymer make a new comedy team.
*GOOD BAD GIRL, THE—Columbia.—The old plot of the girl who leaves the racket to marry and go straight.
GUN SMOKE—Paramount.—Great for the kids, this old-time Western melodrama, with Dick Arlen as a cowboy, Mary Brian, the girl, and William Boyd, the menace.
HELL BOUND—Cruze-Tiffany Prod.—Good gang story if you're not tired of them. Leo Carrillo plays the broken-Englished speakeasy operator and Lola Lane is completely charming.
HELL'S VALLEY—National Players, Ltd.—Very little story, if any, but lots of riding and shooting in this Western, with Virginia Brown Faire, Wally Wales and Vivian Rich sharing the acting honors.
HIGH STAKES—Radio Pictures.—Lowell Sherman as an amateur detective is the main reason for seeing this. Mae Murray is the woman in the case.
HOLE IN THE WALL, THE (Nar Rosorna Sla Ut) — Paramount. — Swedish talkie brings us Sven Gustafsson, Garbo's brother, but nothing like his famous sister. Light and chatty love story.
*HOLY TERROR, A—Fox.—A two-fisted stern with George O'Brien. Good, wholesome entertainment.
HONOR AMONG LOVERS—Paramount.Good dialogue in this story of love between boss and secretary, with excellent performances by Fredric March, Claudette Colbert and that Ace of Cads, Monroe Owsley.
HOW HE LIED TO HER HUSBAND—British International.—George Bernard Shaw surrenders to the talkies. Amusing, if you like the Shaw wit.
HUSH MONEY—Fox.—Another gangster film and not a very thrilling one. Joan Bennett and Hardie Albright try hard. A print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives.

*INDISCREET — United Artists. — Good, entertaining story. Gloria Swanson sings well. Ben Lyon and Arthur Lake great support.
*IRON MAN—Universal.—Lew Ayres is starred as the prize-fighter but -Bob Armstrong, in the role of manager, steals the picture. Jean Harlow plays her usual vamp role.
IT PAYS TO ADVERTISE—Paramount.—The old stage play revamped for the talkies with plenty of speed and lots of laughs. Skeets Gallagher, Norman Foster and Carole Lombard head a perfect cast.
TAKE THIS WOMAN—Paramount.—A wheezy old plot dressed up for Gary Cooper and Carole Lombard. Just another movie. (Aug.)After its release, the original nitrate negative and fine grain prints were given to Mary Roberts Rinehart. She had a 16mm safety print made from the 35mm negative so she could see the film. Over the years, all original material was destroyed, and to date, only that one 16mm print is known to have survived, which has since been copied and preserved.
IT'S A WISE CHILD—M-G-M.—Marion Davies' rare gift for comedy and Robert Leonard's direction make this old stage play a brand new hilarious farce not to be missed.
JAWS OF HELL—Sono Art—World Wide.—Depicts the old poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and makes the charge a pretty thrilling business. The romantic story's a bit weak.
JUNE MOON—Paramount.—You'll like this one. Ring Lardner wrote the wisecracking lines and Jack Oakie puts them over with a bang.
JUST A GIGOLO—M-G-M.—William Haines in a spicy, amusing offering. But leave the children at home.
*KEPT HUSBANDS—Radio Pictures.—Lively entertainment. Dorothy Mackaill and Joel McCrea an attractive pair and the still beautiful Clara Kimball Young returns to us.
KICK IN—Paramount.—They tried hard to make Clara Bow dramatic, sympathetic and emotional in this one. Regis Toomey is great. Restored.
KIKI—United Artists.—Presenting a new Mary Pickford, saucy and sophisticated in a grand comedy. You can safely take the kids. Reginald Denny is the lead.
LADIES' MAN—Paramount.—William Powell as a sympathetic and attractive gigolo, charms Olive Tell, Carole Lombard and Kay Francis. Entertaining picture.
LADY REFUSES, THE—Radio Pictures.—If you want a good cry, here's your chance. Rather an old story, but Betty Compson, Gilbert Emery and John Darrow make it realistic.
LAST PARADE, THE—Columbia.—Another gangster picture and good too. with thrills, suspenie, romance and laughs. Jack Holt and Tom Moore are rivals for Constance Cummings' favor. Jack wins.
*LAUGH AND GET RICH—Radio Pictures.— Misadventures of a boarding house mistress, played by Edna May Oliver, and her chronically tired hubby, Hugh Herbert. Good for plenty of laughs.
*LAUGHING SINNERS—M-G-M.—Not so good, but if you are a Joan Crawford fan you may like it. Clark Gable and Neil Hamilton, too.
LAWLESS WOMAN, THE—Chesterfield Pictures.—An uninteresting, unimportant film. A gangster-newspaper plot, poorly done. Two nitrate prints of this film survive in the UCLA Film and Television Archives, and neither are listed for preservation.
LAWYER'S SECRET, THE—Paramount.Clive Brook, Charles Rogers, Richard Arlen, Fay Wray and Jean Arthur give fine performances. Intense drama. A nitrate print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives, and is not listed for preservation.
*LE MILLION—Tobis Production.—It's not necessary to understand the language to get all the fun out of this French musical farce.
LIGHTNING FLYER, THE—Columbia.—Jimmy Hall as the wild young son, who makes good and wins the love of a good woman—Dorothy Sebastian. Not so good; then again, not so bad.
LITTLE CAFE, THE (Le Petit Cafe)—Paramount.—Chevalier's French version of "Playboy of Paris" and simply great. Gay and charming with more songs added and his wife, Yvonne Vallee.
*LONELY WIVES—Pathe.—Edward Everett Horton great, in a side-splitting farce. Patsy Ruth Miller, Esther Ralston and Laura La Plante are the girls involved.
LOVE HABIT, THE—British International.— British conception of a French bedroom farce. Very heavy.
LOVE KISS, THE—Celebrity Productions.—A nice little college comedy with plenty of romance and laughter.
LOVER COME BACK—Columbia.—Betty Bronson changing her type with rather sorry results.
*MAD GENIUS, THE—Warners.—Magnificently produced and photographed, but John Barrymore's artistry is so perfect in an unsympathetic role that the story leaves a bad taste.
MAD PARADE, THE—Liberty Productions.— The woman's side of the war done brilliantly by an all-feminine cast.
*MALTESE FALCON, THE — Warners. — Gripping mystery story from the novel by the same name. The sleek Ricardo Cortez plays the demon detective superbly and Bebe Daniels does excellent work. Don't miss it.
MAN FROM CHICAGO, THE—Elstree Productions.—The British go hay-wire on this story of Chicago gangsters and their ladies. Skip this, one.
MAN IN POSSESSION, THE—M-G-M.— Robert Montgomery in a spicy comedy full of situations and sparkling lines. Amusing.
*MAN OF THE WORLD—Paramount.—Good picture; not much action but plenty of drama and a great performance by William Powell. Carole Lombard is the lovely heroine.
MAN WHO CAME BACK, THE—Fox.—Farrell and Gaynor sink to the depths, but love reforms them. Not a "7th Heaven" but worth seeing.
MANY A SLIP—Universal.—Joan Bennett and Lew Ayres in a wise-cracking dialogue comedy. You may, but you probably won't, like it.
MEET THE WIFE—Columbia.—Lew Cody and Laura La Plante excellent in a hilarious farce taken from the old stage play. Plenty of laughs.
MEN CALL IT LOVE—M-G-M.—(Reviewed under the title "Among the Married.") Sophisticated story of married life in the country club set. Adolphe Menjou excellent. Norman Foster and Leila Hyams good as the young lovers. Not for the children.
MEN ON CALL—Fox.—Edmund Lowe wastes his time and talents in a bad story. A print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives.
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, THE—Chesterfield Prod. Nothing new, but plenty of excitement. Good for the kids.
*MILLIE — Radio Pictures. — Helen Twelvetrees splendid in this tense drama. Enough tears and chuckles to make it well worth seeing.
*MILLIONAIRE, THE—Warners.—George Arliss—need we say more? This time he plays a wealthy American automobile manufacturer. Evalyn Knapp is the attractive daughter and David Manners, the business partner. See it.
*MIRACLE WOMAN, THE—Columbia.— A well staged, directed, and photographed picture with Barbara Stanwyck doing her best work as a female evangelist.
MONSTERS OF THE DEEP—Nat. Spitzer Prod.—Fishing adventures in Magdalena Bay, off the Mexican coast, where mammoth fish abound. For fish fans.
MR. LEMON OF ORANGE—Fox.—El Brendel, starring, in some mistaken identity stuff. Riotously funny in spots, and Fifi Dorsay helps a lot.
NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET—M-G-M. Lavishly produced remake of the old silent, but not nearly so good. Leslie Howard great in some scenes.
NIGHT ANGEL, THE—Paramount. —A bad display for the talents of Nancy Carroll and Fredric March.
NIGHT BIRDS — British International. — Mystery melodrama, with much a-do over a killing. Not so bad.
*NIGHT NURSE—Warners.—Drag out your pet adjectives, go see this and use 'em. Its great. Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon and a grand cast.
NO LIMIT—Paramount.—Clara Bow as a flapper, an usherette and a gangster's moll, and wearing some amazing clothes. You may be amused.
NOT EXACTLY GENTLEMEN—Fox.—Three men's battles for a map, a girl (Fay Wray) and riches. Top-notch entertainment. Victor McLaglen, Lew Cody and Eddie Gribhon share acting honors.
ONCE A SINNER—Fox.—The oldest type of triangle story. The really fine performances of Dorothy Mackaill, Joel McCrea and John Halliday make it well worth seeing. A print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives.
PAGLIACCI—Audio Cinema Prod.—Bad grand opera poorly transferred to the screen.
*PAINTED DESERT, THE—Pathe.—A Western which you'll like. Bill Boyd is the virile hero and Helen Twelvetrees the girl.
*PARLOR, BEDROOM AND BATH M-G-M.—It's a howl, this farce. Buster Keaton and Charlotte Greenwood race for honors. As a heavy lover, Buster is amazing. Available on
PARTY HUSBAND—First National.—Dorothy Mackaill and James Rennie work hard as the newlyweds, but the story is weak.
PRODIGAL, THE — M-G-M. — (Reviewed under the title "The Southerner") — Lawrence Tibbett in a gay, charming comedy—and how he sings! Esther Ralston, too, and more beautiful than ever.

*PUBLIC ENEMY, THE—Warners.—A gangster picture that is lining the thrill-seekers up at the box- office.
QUICK MILLIONS — Fox. — Another excellent gangster picture if you go for them. Spencer Tracy is the leader of the racketeers, and you'll like Sally Filers.
*REBOUND—RKO-Pathe.—Not in the big amusement class but worth seeing. Ina Claire and Robert Ames.
RECKLESS HOUR, THE—First National.—An old story with a few new twists. Dorothy Mackaill and a good cast. Just fair.
RESURRECTION—Universal.—Talkie version of the old tale is a triumph for Lupe Velez. She's all fire, beauty and sincerity. Well directed and John Boles sings nicely.
RIDER OF THE PLAINS, A—Syndicate.— Grand old Western full of hokum, and a happy, happy ending.
RIDIN' FOOL, THE—Tiffany Prod.—Great little Western. Will furnish the kids with plenty thrills.
ROAD TO SINGAPORE, THE—M-G-M.—(R viewed under the title "Cheri Bibi.") Jack Gilbe in an entertaining drama. Lots of tragedy, but happy ending and Leila Hyams as the heroine. We worth seeing.
*SEAS BENEATH—Fox.—Dashing adventure story of submarines during the war. Georg O'Brien does a grand job. All the family will like it.
SECOND HONEYMOON, THE—Continental —Farce comedy of domestic felicity with Josephin Dunn and Edward Earle. Entertaining.
*SECRET SIX, THE—M-G-M.—Still another gang story but with more humor. Splendicast, includes Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Clar
Gable, Johnny Mack Brown and Jean Harlow.
SEED—Universal.—Interesting and realistic story based on Charles Norris' novel. Joh Boles doesn't sing but his acting is superb. Lois Wilson and Genevieve Tobin both excellent. Don' miss it.
SHE-WOLF, THE—Liberty Prod.— (Reviewed under the title "Mother's Millions")—Humopathos, bright dialogue and splendid acting make this a delightfully entertaining story. May Robso is the mother.
SHIPMATES—M-G-M.—Plenty of pep and action, plus the United States Navy, make this a ver table gale of laughter from beginning to end. Robert Montgomery heads the cast.
SHIPS OF HATE (LOST)—Trem Carr.—Murder and gruesomeness on shipboard. Just fair. Don't pass up game a of bridge for it.
SINGLE SIN, THE—Tiffany Prod.—Nothing new, but splendidly handled. Kay Johnson does some fine acting. Bert Lytell, Mathew Betz and Paul Hurst lend good support.
6 CYLINDER LOVE—Fox.--An amusing farce with a pretty obvious plot.
*SKIPPY—Paramount.—Jackie Cooper as Skippy, and Bobby Coogan as Sooky entirely lovable in this grand picture based on Percy Crosby's famous comic strip. Young and old alike will love it.
SKY RAIDERS, THE--Columbia.—Gangsters in the air! Thrilling stuff and good entertainment.
*SMART MONEY—Warners.—Moves as fast as the money on the gambling tables in it. Plenty of laughs and excitement.
*SMILING LIEUTENANT, THE Paramount.—One of the breeziest and most tuneful entertainments in a long time. Chevalier at his best, under Lubitsch direction. See it.
*SON OF INDIA—M-G-M.—A fairy-tale sort of thing with Ramon Novarro as Prince Charming. If you like Oriental romance, this is it!
SQUAW MAN, THE—M-G-M.—A new version of a grand old story. See it by all means. Warner Baxter and Lupe Velez.
STEPPING OUT—M-G-M.— Charlotte Greenwood. Leila Hyams, Reg. Denny, Cliff Edwards, Merna Kennedy, Harry Stubbs and Lilian Bond make this light comedy one continual laugh. See it.A print of this film with sound discs, survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives.
STOLEN HEAVEN—Paramount.—Slow, unreal story. Nancy Carroll and Phillips Holmes fine in the romantic moments.
*STRANGERS MAY KISS—M-G-M.—Norma Shearer, the last word in sophistication and beautifully gowned in a vivid drama of modern life by the same author as "The Divorcee." To be seen.
SUBWAY EXPRESS—Columbia.—Jack Holt in a thrilling mystery of the stage that lost its kick in the movie version.
*SUNRISE TRAIL, THE—Tiffany Productions. —A Western with too much talking and not enough action.
*SVENGALI —Warners.— Well worth seeing for John Barrymore's superb performance in the title role. The story is rather gruesome. Don't take the children.
SWANEE RIVER (LOST)—Sono Art-World Wide.— Thelma Todd and Grant Withers try, but just can't save this melodrama from being anything but ordinary.
SWEEPSTAKES—RICO-Pathe.—Some romance, thrills and fast lines in a race-track yarn. Quillan and Gleason take honors.
*TABU—Paramount.—A poem of a picture laid in the South Seas, with an all-native cast, beautifully directed by the late F. W. Murnau. Fine synchronized musical score.
TAILOR MADE MAN, A—M-G-M.—The jaunty and self-confident Bill Haines plays this old Charlie Ray silent with a new restraint that is delightful. You'll laugh and like it.
TARNISHED LADY—Paramount.—Introducing Tallulah Bankhead, from Alabama and the London stage, in a heavy love drama. Clive Brook is the leading man.
TEXAS RANGER, THE—Columbia.—Carmelita Geraghty is the gal, Buck Jones the hero.
Three GIRLS Lost—Fox.—Loretta Young, Joan Marsh and Joyce Compton are the three little girls who come to the big city. Lew Cody good as the racketeer and John Wayne not so good. )Exists at UCLA Film Archives
THREE LOVES—Terra.—Marlene Dietrich is the only reason for seeing this three-year-old German silent.
THREE WHO LOVED—Radio Pictures.—Excellent acting by Betty Compson and Conrad Nagel in a production that suffers from too much story.
TOO MANY COOKS — Radio Pictures. — Bert Wheeler's first starring picture, minus Mr. Woolsey. Plenty of laughs, some lumps in the throat and Dorothy Lee as the heart appeal.
*TRADER HORN—M-G-M.--Harry Carey magnificent as Trader flora. Story of the African jungle, full of the tensest drama and perfection in photography.
*TRANSGRESSION—Radio Pictures.—The same old angle of the eternal triangle. Kay Francis wears swell clothes.
TRAPPED—Big Four.—Fights, songs, gangsters, night clubs, murders, chases, plus a confused plot.
TRAVELING HUSBANDS — Radio Pictures. Risque but not objectionably so. Top-notch acting, with Evelyn Brent in the lead.
TWO-GUN MAN, THE—Tiffany.—A Western in old swashbuckling style, nothing new but good entertainment. Ken Maynard and horse!
*UNFAITHFUL—Paramount.—Ruth Chatterton, a society matron who can't divorce her faithless husband (Paul Cavanaugh) without involving her; own sister-in-law, and so goes to the dogs. Good for the Chatterton fans.Exists but hard to find.
UP FOR MURDER—Universal.—(Reviewed under the title "Fires of Youth.") Talkie version of the old silent, "Man, Woman and Sin." Lew Ayres and Genevieve Tobin struggle through. Pretty badly worn plot.
*UPPER UNDERWORLD — First National. — Different from the average racketeering picture and bound to make you think.

The Granada in 1926, looking beautiful. The headliners are Benny Meroff and Choreographer Jack Haskell's The Love Boat, both stage shows, but the movie is Leatrice Joy's The Clinging Vine (1926), happily available.

UP POPS THE DEVIL—Paramount.—Young love and its struggles neatly handled by Norman Foster, as a young author, and his wife, played by Carole Lombard. Sprightly dialogue
VICE SQUAD, THE—Paramount.—Besides being something that will keep you interested, this is a picture you'll think about. Paul Lukas, Kay Francis and Helen Johnson are excellent.
*VIKING, THE—Varick Frissell Production.—picture of the boat that met Arctic tragedy. Good photography.
VIRTUOUS HUSBAND, THE—Universal.—One of those over-sexed things. Starts off to be a howl and then goes serious and ends by being pretty bad.
WAITING AT THE CHURCH—Radio Pictures. —An amusing story with lovely Technicolor effects.
WHITE SHOULDERS (LOST)—Radio Pictures.—Rex Beach's dramatic story makes an interesting picture. Jack Holt, Mary Astor and Ricardo Cortez form the triangle.
WHITE THUNDER. (LOST)—The eternal triangle story is secondary to the magnificent photography showing the terrifying vast iciness of Newfoundland.
WILD WEST WHOOPEE (LOST)—Cosmo.—Jack Perrin in a conventional Western saved by a thrilling rodeo sequence and the noble work of his horse, Starlight. Josephine Hill is the heroine.
WOMAN BETWEEN, THE—Radio Pictures.— Heavy drama with lots of emotion and a song from Lily Damita. Miriam Seegar is the one bright spot.
WOMAN OF EXPERIENCE, A—RKO-Pathe.— Only average entertainment, in spite of a cast which does its best. Helen Twelvetrees, ZaSu Pitts and Lew Cody.
WOMEN LOVE ONCE—Paramount.—Producers wasted their time and that of Eleanor Boardman and Paul Lukas on this one.
WOMEN OF ALL NATIONS—Fox.—Edmund Lowe and Victor McLaglen as Quirt and Flagg of "What Price Glory" fame, continue their adventures. Good, rough entertainment, but not a Sunday school text.
YOUNG AS YOU FEEL—Fox.—Another grand Will Rogers' film, funny enough to make you forget a toothache.
YOUNG DONOVAN'S KID—Radio Pictures.—Good. From Rex Beach's story "Big Brother." Little Jackie Cooper practically steals the show in spite of Dix's excellent work.
YOUNG SINNERS—Fox.—The old story of modern kids in a jazz and cocktail setting. Thomas Meighan is a bright spot. Dorothy Jordan and Hardie Albright give an exhibition of couch wrestling. A Nitrate Print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives.


Vanwall said...

Wonderful post! It's depressing as hell, tho, and just from one year there are plenty of films that might've been fun to see today. The pics are heartbreaking, as well. I wish the preservation had started from day one.

Joe Thompson said...

Thank you for making the effort to go through all those movies. It gives a real feel for how much is gone, or at least is not available for us to see. A few observations: 1. I agreed with most of the comments on movies I have seen. 2. Great for the kids - 1. 3. take the kids - 1. 4. Good for the kids - 1. 5. Will furnish the kids with plenty thrills - 1. 6. An entertaining picture for kids - 1. 7. Don't take the children - 2. 8. Wild West Whoopee? Why are the good ones always lost?

kassy said...

What a lot of work that must have taken to look those up. Vanwall is right, it is depressing, a lot of those that aren't available sound really good.

Anonymous said...

Forbidden Adventure was reprinted for TV (I've had a print in my hands) and it's playing at Rome NY in August in an archival print. Goldie (1931) exists at UCLA or MOMA, and I've seen it. Conquering Horde was reprinted for TV and was run at Cinesation a few years ago. I've seen it too. Fifty Million Frenchmen exists; I have a VHS of it, but I'm not sure who's got it; probably UCLA. However, I think that Young Donovan's Kid may be lost!

Operator_99 said...

Anonymous, thanks for the additional information. As I said, I knew there would be some errors. Good to know those exist, but being show only at festivals, or held somewhere, is why its important to get the money to the National Film Preservation Foundation so they can restore and make new archival prints for us and future generations.

The Siren said...

Bob, one of our blogathon participants has an El Brendel blog and he will be writing about Mr. Lemon of Orange--I don't know if that means it's survived, we shall see. I agree -- access is another preservation issue. Getting these films before the public is how they live.

This took my breath away--the amount of time and research it took, the astonishing variety of films listed, the wry little Photoplay judgments attached, and wondering whether those judgments still would hold today. So much to see, even of those remaining. Kudos on this, and thanks so much for posting it as part of the blogathon.

artistvermont said...

Wow! Thank you for putting in the time and effort it took to create this post. The organizations trying to preserve old films and theaters must be struggling even more in today's economy.

I believe we should make every effort to preserve all of our past artwork, in every form, for future generations. They deserve nothing less.

Tinky said...

Valuable research. Thanks for sharing all this. Now, if we could just do all the other lists.....

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Stupendous research, well done.

diane said...

I've actually bought "Newly
Rich" aka "Forbidden Adventure"
from and
it is a wonderful comedy. They
have also just released "Finn
and Hattie" - that is very funny
too. Even in pre-code days the
kids had more fun!!

Anonymous said...

much of our cultural history slips away each year in all media. I used to think it a waste but now accept that it is normal. Rather than lost, it is actually absorbed and then what we think is new is made from the old. Great films of the 1920 era came from great theatre before, from older opera, from older written tales, from folklore before that. Nothing is lost; the shape changes.