Wac Double Features: Girl Missing/Illicit
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Independent women take center stage in a twin bill showcasing the range and moxie of pre-Code filmmaking. The pace leaps and lines snap in Girl Missing as gal pals Glenda Farrell and Mary Brian set out to solve the mystery of a gold digger who disappears during her honeymoon. Not even murder will stop these sassy sleuths. "Married love or illicit: which does the modern girl prefer?" the
studio's ad for Illicit asks. Barbara Stanwyck portrays a woman who, devoted to her man but not to the norms of her time, prefers cohabitation over marriage. Yet the two marry just the same, leading to jealousies and temptations that could destroy their love.
Co-stars include Ricardo Cortez and blonde bundle-of-talent Joan Blondell.
When sold by Amazon.com, this product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Illicit, 79 minutes, copyright 1930 and released February 1931, is directed by Archie Mayo, known today for helming the 1946 Marx Brothers feature, A Night in Casablanca. Mayo also directed a number of memorable films (such as The Man with Two Faces, The Petrified Forest, Moontide, Angel on My Shoulder) and another of the better early Stanwyck films (Ever in My Heart). Film elements available for this release are poor indeed but, since this is a Warner release on Warner Archive, probably as good as we will get. The standout performance is, as you might expect, by Barbara Stanwyck, sweet but never saccharine, fresh, believable, with a delightful joie de vivre. It was the first film in which Stanwyck received top billing. Mayo may not have been a Capra, but under him she gives a performance more spontaneous and convincing than the one Barrymore directed in her next film, Ten Cents a Dance. (Mayo's camerawork, however, is static and undistinguished, in the early talkie manner.) The screenplay, co-authored by Robert Riskin and Edith Fitzgerald, is not genre but drama, explicitly social drama, as the trailer (included) is at pains to make clear. The whole premise of the film -- that a young woman can prefer an exciting, untethered (albeit monogamous) sexual relationship to boring old marriage -- not only shouts "pre-code" but probably embodies as strong an advocacy for "living in sin" as you will find in any pre-code story. The reason, I think, is that in 1930 no one but Stanwyck was capable of succeeding both as vivacious, appealing star and as persuasive advocate of such then-extreme morality. ([ONE-SENTENCE SPOILER] The denouement, to be sure, has Stanwyck's character somewhat unconvincingly conclude that marriage is the way to go after all.) Overall the movie is both mildly entertaining and mildly serious. Fun for fans of early film, heaven for fans of Stanwyck.
Trivia: A better-known early Warners film, Little Ceasar, was showing in theaters at the same time as Illicit. One for him, one for her marketing.
Trivia: Robert Florey's next directorial effort after Girl Missing, 1933's Ex-Lady, was a remake of Illicit, with Bette Davis in the Stanwyck role. As before it was the first film in which its female star received top billing. The Ex-Lady screenplay was once again coauthored by Edith Fitzgerald, this time with David Boehm. Florey directed Stanwyck herself in the 1935 film The Woman in Red and in the more substantial 1949 film East Side, West Side. Stanwyck liked him enough to make him one of the directors of her 1960-61 NBC series, The Barbara Stanwyck Show. (On the other hand, she knew Mayo as a fat man with a proclivity for pinching posteriors.)
Trivia: You can see Glenda Farrell and Barbara Stanwyck acting together in the 1937 comedy Breakfast for Two.
Illicit was good movie,but it needs to be restored the copy they used is very rough
to say the least,but this is a very old movie,the difference between movies made
between 30 and 32,and movies made 33 and 34 is huge!