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Walter Pidgeon: Wac X2 Feature (2 Discs)

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Mar 02, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Before he hit his stride as a symbol of screen decency and likeability (notably in films opposite Greer Garson), Walter Pidgeon worked in numerous A films as second leads and as the occasional male lead in compelling B programmers like these two movies from 1939. As a Park Avenue Society Lawyer, Pidgeon pieces together details of a murder at an exclusive high-rise. Virginia Bruce teams with Pidgeon in this remake of the pre-Code Penthouse. Stronger Than Desire's tale of murder and matrimony has Pidgeon defending a woman accused of killing her husband - all the while unaware that his wife (Virginia Bruce) is involved in the crime. Court's in session with this remake of Evelyn Prentice.

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Walter Pidgeon, Virginia Bruce, Leo Carrillo, Eduardo Ciannelli, Lee Bowman Irected By Edwin L. Marin
  • Directors: Edwin L. Marin, Leslie Fenton
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2011
  • Run Time: 159 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004MFFB3K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,959 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

SOCIETY LAWYER (1939)was a remake of the Myrna Loy-Warner Baxter hit PENTHOUSE (1933). Screenwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, who did wonders with the Thin Man series, were responsible for SOCIETY LAWYER'S sharp, funny, and suspenseful script which promoted the idea that common folk had more ethics than the pampered rich. The key figure who figures into this idea is Virginia's heart-of-gold chanteuse. We first see her in a nightclub spotlight, descending a staircase, singing "I'm in Love with the Honorable Mr. So and So." As the plot thickens, Virginia risks her life to protect Walter Pidgeon, a lawyer, who has a reputation of defending public nuisances like racketeer Tony Gazotti (Leo Carrillo). SOCIETY LAWYER has the essence of the early Thin Man films--a smartly turned out murder mystery. Watch for Virginia Bruce's eyes ... they have a beautiful sensitiveness. STRONGER THAN DESIRE (1939) re-teamed Bruce and Pidgeon with satisfying results. It was a remake of the Myrna Loy-William Powell film EVELYN PRENTICE (1934). Pidgeon again plays a lawyer who, in the process of defending a young woman of murder, comes to believe this his own wife (Bruce) actually committed the crime. STRONGER THAN DESIRE is intense dramatic turf, implausible, yet manages to come off a notch above the original film. Both Loy and Bruce brought poignancy and natural understatement to the part of the wife. Virginia, however, breathed more texture into her character, and polish in her performance. The dialogue in STRONGER THAN DESIRE has the advantage over the remake and Leslie Fenton's direction, a more realistic edge. 5 stars for both these excellent offerings.
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Both of these movies are great movies from the golden era of Hollywood, with two great actors: Walter Pidgeon and Virginia Bruce. However, Virginia Bruce is particularly good in both of these movies. She was a very underrated actress who had everything going for her but for some unknown reason never really seemed to break through into Hollywood's upper echelon. Her acting was excellent and even though her abilities were clearly acknowledged she never really seemed to get all the parts she deserved. She was also a very beautiful woman with eyes that are almost indescribable, as Scott O'Brien has pointed out in his review. She was also a tremendous singer who sang in a number of movies, including such classics as the Great Ziegfield and Born to Dance. Scott O'Brien should be congratulated for his outstanding biography of her and for helping to bring her career and her movies to everyone's attention. His efforts have been tremendous. Hopefully, we will continue to see more of her movies reissued and hopefully TCM will continue to play a number of her movies for everyone's enjoyment, as they have been doing recently.

As has been discussed, these movies are in the vein of the great Thin Man series. As good as Powell and Loy were, it is obvious that the Pidgeon and Bruce pairing can easily approach their very high standards. Both of these movies are very well done and very well acted. I strongly recommend both movies and I also recommend viewers accept Scott O'Brien's challenge and investigate the films and the life of Virginia Bruce, who was an outstanding talent from Hollywood's golden age.
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I liked both of these undiscovered gems. STRONGER THAN DESIRE surprised me as I thought it might be an ordinary melodrama. There are plenty of twists and turns. As usual Ann Dvorak is excellent in a supporting role. In fact all the women including Virginia Bruce and Ilka Chase are quite good and has Walter Pidgeon ever given a bad performance? These 2 are more than 'B' films. Highly recommended.
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