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Pre-Code Hollywood Collection (The Cheat / Merrily We Go to Hell / Hot Saturday / Torch Singer / Murder at the Vanities / Search for Beauty) (Universal Backlot Series)
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"Search for Beauty", released in 1934, is a terrible film. The pre-code elements are some nudity and a screenplay based on exploitation using sex as the bait. This would be of interest if the context in which they were presented had any merit but this must be one of the worst films ever. The garrulous screenplay concerns the sex-ploitation of athletic specimens, fronts for the get rich schemes of a trio of ex-cons. A teenage Ida Lupino, looking like a kewpie doll, and Buster Crabbe, an Olympic swimmer, star as the dupes, first via a health magazine and subsequently a health farm. The screenplay is dreadful, the production values ordinary, the editing poor and the cynicism behind the plot mind blowing. The film promoted a real life "Search for Beauty" and Ann Sheridan, who made her debut in this film and can be glimpsed as the winner from Texas, confirmed later in interviews that the whole thing was as appalling as it seems on the screen.
"Merrily We Go To Hell", released in 1932, is a marital drama whereby alcoholic writer Fredric March marries heiress Sylvia Sidney. When she is unable to reform him, she joins him in his extra curricular activities until she finds she is pregnant. It is a weak film with too much exposition. While the stars do a good job, the director, Dorothy Arzner, tries for unsubtle camera tricks which are corny.Read more ›
The Cheat (1931, 74 min.) directed by George Abbott
(Actually a Paramount production)
A compulsive gambler (Tallulah Bankhead) will do anything to pay off her debt - including turning to a wealthy businessman behind her husband's back.
Merrily We Go to Hell directed by Dorothy Arzner (1932, 78 min.)
(Actually a Paramount production)
An abusive alcoholic (Fredric March) reunites with a woman from his past and drives his wife (Sylvia Sidney) to drastic measures.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gritty, risque, sometimes just weird, Pre-Code Hollywood movies are a blast to watch. I'd rather watch these than anything in the theaters today. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Frank Costanzo
Another fun collection of pre-Code films that play close to the edge of then-scandalousness. Fun as windows to another era but also fun in themselves, with some great dialogue and... Read morePublished 11 months ago by WMD55
Nice to view the old movies. I had a personal contact with Nancy Carroll when I was 5 years old in 1932 - won a pony at Madison Square Garden at Rodeo, Nancy was hostess and gave... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Frank E. Sisson
There it is, naked male butt on film in 1930...then everything went to hell for 25 years while the pre-code conservative idiots decided what the public should see. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Gene StJohn
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|will the dvds for this be double sided?||
These are single sides discs with two movies on each disc.
May 31, 2009 by Tee | See all 2 posts
|Possible Titles for Volume Two of Pre-Code Hollywood||
How about a triple-title Tallulah Bankhead DVD (1931-1932). "My Sin", "Tarnished Lady", and "The Devil And The Deep"?
Mar 5, 2010 by Efroseni | See all 2 posts
|pre-code hollywood collection||Be the first to reply|
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