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Forbidden Hollywood Collection Volume 4
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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2012
There are no extras on Forbidden Hollywood 4, but the films are still fun. How bad can it be with stars like Kay Francis, William Powell, David Manners, & Loretta Young?
"Jewel Robbery" is a Lubitsch-like film almost as sublime as "Trouble in Paradise". Francis & Powell are so wonderful to watch. This film alone is worth the price of the whole collection.
Powell teams with Joan Blondell (always great) in "Lawyer Man" which is another solid film. Powell is a lawyer with Blondell as his secretary.
Kay Francis again in "Man Wanted" as a married hard working executive fooling around with handsome David Manners.
A very young Loretta Young in "They Call It Sin" with George Brent, David Manners, Una Merkel (as a speciality dancer!), & Louis Calhern. The ending is unbelievable!
Only "They Call It Sin" was previously available on home video. Another must have for film buffs.
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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2012
I like most of the pre-code movies. The four from this particular volume are all from 1932 and the themes are great: a robber is romanticized, a lawyer becomes corrupt, an executive woman has a very liberal marriage relationship, and an innocent country girl moves to a "sin" city. The only thing I did not like about this package is not one of the DVD's has any special features, nor background information, just the movie and that is it. For the high price of this DVD set, I was expecting to see more than just the 4 movies. That is why I did not give this product a 5-star.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2013
The best movie on this DVD (in my opinion) is "Jewel Robbery" which takes place in Vienna. The dialogue is so nuanced and clever that you must watch it several times to appreciate it fully. German-speaking viewers will pick up visual clues that add to the hilarity. The essence of the "Zeitgeist" is captured in the separation of the classes and the pomposity of the self-important public officials who, in the end, get their come-uppance. This is a Pre-code film and the sexual innuendos come at you fast and furious and my eldest daughter asked me, after viewing it, "Why don't they make movies like this any more!" And indeed, I for one prefer this over the overt steamy, heaving and pumping scenes were are subjected to by the filth merchants of Hollywood. Sex isn't filthy but Hollywood manages to make it so. Kay Francis is lovely, seductive and desirable and William Powell steals the show when it comes to just the right thing to say to coax another laugh from us viewers. The other films on this DVD don't come close in entertainment value but "Jewel Robbery" is worth the price of the whole DVD.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2012
The Four Films contained in this collection are all very different,but are excellent, both in the way the films are shot, and also to let the story unfold at a great pace.All are very enjoyable, and all have great stars who can act and play their roles with a believable interpretation.
The restoration is excellent.
Many thanks to Warner Bros. for releasing such long lost gems.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2013
I have been waiting for "Jewel Robbery," one of the films included in this collection for a long while - I have a VHS copy taped from TCM a long time ago - I remember the intro on TCM discussed the fact that when the film came out, viewers contacted the studio not to complain about the marijuana use in the film, but instead asking where they could get some, LOL!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2013
I was pleasantly surprised to find that "Man Wanted" was in really good condition. There are only some minor scratches occasionally, but the quality of the image is really good, crisp and rich in detail, and the sound is also very good, especially considering this is from 1932 and I've seen older movies look and sound really bad.
I am pretty sure this was remastered in some way, or it's a lucky find.
The movie itself is quite interesting, the characters have a bit more depth than usual, I was surprised that Kay Francis and her husband almost consider not breaking up, as it seems many movies of this era dealt with marriage and love quite easily as it they were talking about buying a record.
Kay Francis looks beautiful, the sets are classic pro WB art déco, and her leading man also looks very good. Una Merkel is a hoot as usual.
This is a good package of a movie and will expect nothing less from the other movies. I held off buying the Forbidden Hollywood packages in DVD-R because these collections used to be so carefully packaged and now they are what they are, simply the movies, with their trailers. At least the menu screens and disc themselves look very good.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
Absolutely terrific.
William Powell was as usual A -1
BUt I had not seen Kay Francis before and she was a delight.
Warning: These are NOT sexy films; just damn good old Hollywood!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2013
I bought this for "Jewel Robbery". Which, by itself, is worth the price. "Lawyer Man" made me glad I did!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2013
I love this era and genre of film. Love the music, settings, characters, dialog, costumes, automobiles, etc. Purely entertaining. Mentally entertaining.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2013
Continuing the Forbidden Hollywood collection: a pair of Kay Francis films -- MAN WANTED with David Manners and JEWEL ROBBERY with William Powell. Moderately good films for all respective principals, but certainly vehicles for Francis.

Neither are particularity believable -- JEWEL ROBBERY especially, being set in an unrealistic world of gentlemen thieves and love-starved ladies. But Powell makes it seem so gosh-darn fun, and Kay Francis is having such a great time, who's going to complain? Pre-Code checklist: glamorized theft, unpunished adultery, and [most notably] blatant marijuana use [not named, but the described effects are unmistakeable]. 7/10

MAN WANTED trades between Kay's endless decolletage with the aptly-named Manners. Not much depth to character or story but brisk pacing keeps it all alive. Andy Devine provides excellent comic relief, while Una Merkel has to wait til the last act to get anything worth doing. Mostly Pre-Code in its tone and keep-it-going pacing, with some mild philandering as a matter of course. 6/10

LAWYER MAN: not a great film but a decent one with some strong scenes, especially in the middle (Joan with the scissors is the standout, one of her best moments). William Powell's acting runs weak in the early scenes, and his later conversion isn't convincing, but the middle part of LAWYER MAN finds him comfortably doing what he would later do as Nick Charles. Meanwhile Blondell forecasts her later performance in 42nd STREET -- and in many ways equals it -- making this a thumbs-up film despite the flaws. 6/10

THEY CALL IT SIN: On the one hand, Loretta Young and David Manners book look fabulous; on the other, Manners is a bit bland & Young tends to evoke Shelley Long's more high-strung moments. Una Merkel is neither at her most delightful or irritating, but perplexingly riddled with the least convincing Southern-ish accent ever put on screen. in comparison, George Brent and Claire Dodd are refreshingly warm, improving their respective scenes over the rest of the film. It's never really clear just what the title refers to, except possibly pursuing two women simultaneously. If this be sin, heaven must be dull indeed. 5/10

Overall, FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD #3 didn't feel as strong as the first three volumes [particularly the excellent first two], but still quite worthwhile for William Powell and Kay Francis.
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