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Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume Three (Other Men's Women / The Purchase Price / Frisco Jenny / Midnight Mary / Heroes for Sale / Wild Boys of the Road)

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Product Description

Forbidden Hollywood Collection Volume 3 (TCM Archives) (DVD)

Forbidden Hollywood Collection Vol.3


Five more Warner Bros. features produced before the Hollywood Production Code await viewers on the third volume of TCM’s consistently impressive Forbidden Hollywood series. While suggestive content (and by 21st century standards, extremely mild in its suggestiveness) is the overall binding factor of the films in the series, Volume 3 centers around the work of director William Wellman (Wings, The Public Enemy, The Ox-Bow Incident), who helmed each of the pictures in the set. The strongest feature of the set, both in terms of content and message, is perhaps 1933’s Wild Boys of the Road, with pint-sized Frankie Darro as a can-do kid searching for work amidst the urban jungle of Depression-era New York. It, along with Heroes for Sale (1933), with Richard Barthelmess as a World War I hero who battles drug addiction and corporate shenanigans, only to end up among the jobless, paint a fairly dark picture of the American middle class that may resonate in the modern economic landscape. The remaining pictures offer a brighter outlook, inspired, no doubt, by the arrival of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the White House. Midnight Mary (1933), the only picture in the collection from MGM, sees the eternally charming Loretta Young plunging headlong into a life of crime, only to be rescued by wealthy Franchot Tone. Then it’s Barbara Stanwyck in need of salvation in 1932’s The Purchase Price; her unlikely knight in shining armor is farmer George Brent, who offers her stability in the form of hard rural living (all the better to support the agricultural industry, one supposes). Frisco Jenny (1932) and Other Men’s Women (1931) are lighter-weight drama-romances; the former concerns a love triangle between Mary Astor, Grant Withers and Regis Toomey (with James Cagney and Joan Blondell stealing the scene in minor roles) against the backdrop of the Southern Pacific railways in Los Angeles, while the latter is high melodrama about bootlegger (Ruth Chatterton) who comes up against the district attorney, only to discover that he is the son she gave up for adoption. All six features offer an entertaining and intriguing glimpse of how Hollywood managed to address mature themes under its own rigid production code, as well as a reminder of Wellman’s versatility and skill at producing exciting fare in a wide variety of genres. As with previous Forbidden Hollywood releases, Volume 3 includes a wealth of extras; chief among these are two TCM documentaries on Wellman--1995’s Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick, which features interviews with Clint Eastwood, Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck; and 2007’s The Men Who Made the Movies by critic Richard Schickel. There are also several two-reeler mysteries, Bosko cartoons, and a Pete Smith short, as well as commentary on Midnight Mary, Heroes for Sale and Wild Boys of the Road, with the latter including Wellman’s son, actor/author William Wellman Jr. --Paul Gaita

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Grant Withers, Mary Astor, James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Barbara Stanwyck
  • Directors: William Wellman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Color, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Restored, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 518 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001OSC4G0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,121 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume Three (Other Men's Women / The Purchase Price / Frisco Jenny / Midnight Mary / Heroes for Sale / Wild Boys of the Road)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 73 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 3, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
All six of the entries in this set were directed by William Wellman. Since the announcement I've heard some people complain about what's in this set, but I take my hat off to Warner Home Video for going into their archives and pulling out some lesser known titles. Besides, who says WHV is through with the franchise? They have enough films of this type to fill up several more volumes. This set looks at some of the working conditions of depression era America in "Other Men's Women", and some of the worst social issues of the depression itself in "Wild Boys of the Road" and "Heroes for Sale", in addition to the films with sexual themes for which pre-code films are primarily remembered.

1930's "Other Men's Women" stars Grant Withers as railroad worker Bill White who becomes enamored of the wife (Mary Astor) of his close friend Jack (Regis Toomey). Both men are railroad workers, and prior to coming home to live with Jack and his wife Bill has been romancing a tough waitress (Joan Blondell) among others, getting drunk every night to the point of almost losing his job, and finally gets ejected from his rooming house. At Jack's house he finds the kind of home he's never had, and he and Jack's wife, Lily, fall in love, but due to their mutual loyalty to Jack, do nothing about it. However, Jack does find out and he and Bill have it out one night on the train in what turns out to be a bad place for a fist fight. Grant Withers never made it as a leading man, and it is interesting to see him in this film, and also in his previous leading role "Sinner's Holiday", getting upstaged by the dynamic James Cagney, who has a very small role in both movies.

1933's "Wild Boys of the Road" shows that the folks in "Other Men's Women" were lucky to at least have a steady paycheck.
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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Douglas M VINE VOICE on January 2, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Each collection in the "Forbidden Hollywood" always contains something of interest and Volume 3 is no exception. This set focuses on 5 Warner Brother's programmers and 1 from MGM but all directed by William Wellman, a director with a notable flair for a gutsy, rough and tumble story. None of the films are really very well known except maybe to enthusiasts. At this point in Wellman's career, he was a Warner Brother's contract director, tackling whatever came his way so the films adhere to no particular genre. Here's what you get:

- The earliest (1931) film is "Other Men's Women". This one has James Cagney and Joan Blondell before they became leads. They support Mary Astor, Grant Withers and Regis Toomey in an entertaining triangle story set around workers on the railroads. Astor, of the 3 leads, is particularly convincing as the wife whose marital contentment is innocently disrupted by husband Toomey's best friend, Withers. The situation is surprisingly mature. Cagney only has a few scenes but one is a standout when he arrives at a dance hall, sheds his oils, goes into a flirtatious dance, grabs his girl and moves towards the dancefloor. Blondell plays Wither's girlfriend and has a very good drunk scene. Wellman was obviously keen to free up the camera in this early talkie and there are a lot of lengthy tracking shots in single takes with the camera shaking away, including some scenes taken on top of a moving train. It is impressive.
- "The Purchase Price", released in 1932, stars Barbara Stanwyck as a nightclub singer who becomes a mail order bride to get away from her mob connections. George Brent is miscast as Stanwyck's bucolic husband and the film focuses on her adjustment to her new life and the circumstances which finally lead to the couple consumating their marriage.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Klein Tonio on July 14, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One has to admit that not all of these six pictures directed by William Wellman are masterpieces. But it is nevertheless fascinating that "Wild Bill" was able to turn a mediocre script within a limited time schedule and budget to good, vivid, fast-moving entertainment. And one should honour TCM to have made these six pre-code B-pictures available in good quality and with English subtitles. Therefore, I will rate the entire collection five stars, even if not any of the movies deserves this highest score. Note that three of the six pictures are accompanied by an audio commentary and that the fourth DVD contains two Wellman-documentaries (60 and 90 minutes long) which are both worth watching. I will now give some indications about the six movies:

"Wild Boys Of The Road" (1933) is one of two films in this collection dealing with the not-so-great depression. It gives a deep and realistic insight in the mass phenomenon of juveniles roaming through the country, trying to escape poverty and founding their own half-legal colonies, sometimes battling with the representatives of the public order. It is valuable that Wellman is far from any MGM- or Paramount-polishing and that he has the courage to cast only unknown teenage actors who behave as good or bad as adults do - but who are also more progressive than their predecessors (and than other movies of the time). Note that under precarious circumstances, the kids cannot afford to cultivate their parents' prejudice and that they have, at last, equality of races and equality of sex (one tough and courageous girl is first taken for a boy and wins a fistfight against a boy). It is clear that Wellman sympathizes with the teenagers - but this also weakens the film considerably.
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