Marie Prevost Project: Party Girl (1930)

“Party Girl” is a 1930 social drama slash exploitation flick that was written, directed, and produced by Victor Halperin. It’s available on about a million public domain disks, even in the UK where it was banned until 2003. The film was notable as being the movie that spent the longest time between banned status and passed status in the UK, though that’s probably because in the years between 1930 and 2003, no one bothered to try to get it unbanned for release. “Party Girl” is very similar to other 1930s social drama flicks, so if you’ve seen “Marihuana” or “Tell Your Children” you know what to expect. It’s low budget, low on plot, and filled with obviously untalented actors. But the difference here is that not all of the actors are untalented or obscure. Heading the cast is Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., who does a far superior job of acting here than he did in 1932’s “Union Depot.” Fairbanks was a star at the time he did “Party Girl”, having just been in “Our Modern Maidens” (1929) and starring in “Dawn Patrol” (1930) the same year. The other big name star in the film is, of course, Marie. Get this: Marie isn’t credited, not even with a pseudonym! I originally thought that she wasn’t credited because this was an exploitation film and her role is rather saucy, but she’s clearly listed in the 1930 Mordaunt Hall review of the film as a player. They don’t try to disguise her one bit, … Continue reading

Happy 120th Birthday, El!

A mini El Brendel gallery to celebrate what would have been the Elster’s 120th birthday. El and a group of lovely ladies from “Phoney Cronies” (1942). Harry Langdon, Rebel Randall, and El in “Snooper Service” (1945). El and Fifi, the cutest couple ever, from “Mr. Lemon of Orange” (1931). I am not 100% sure, but given the still code and the fact that the guy on the left looks like Tom Kennedy, I think this is from “Happy Days” (1929). P.S. I’m going to try to post more often, I swear.

Recently Watched: I Loved a Woman (1933) and Living on Velvet (1935)

Kay Francis made a lot of movies that should have been mediocre, but Kay’s presence and her influence at the studio meant she often had great costars and a decent director at her disposal, elevating what was supposed to be a woman’s weepy into a classic film. Unfortunately, neither of the two Kay movies I saw lately were classics, and it’s been a little difficult for me to figure out exactly where they failed. These are not bad films, but they seem to miss their intended mark. “I Loved a Woman” (1933) stars Edward G. Robinson, Kay Francis, and Genevieve Tobin in a weird but ultimately somewhat boring love triangle. John Hayden (played by Eddie G) is a rich young man flitting about Europe in the 1880s, studying art and unwilling to go back home to a management job in his dad’s meat packing plant. Dad dies, of course, forcing John to back, full of liberal ideals that piss off the stockholders. He marries Martha Hayden (Tobin), the daughter of a rich competitor. His business starts to lose money because he’s spending cash on making workers safer, making the meat safer, and other silly things. His father-in-law lends him some money with the caveat that John, if he can’t pay it back, will forfeit his business to the father-in-law. That’s what the father-in-law wants, anyway, so he considers this a great investment. A note about that poster: Genevieve Tobin never appears in skimpy lingerie in the film. She plays a … Continue reading

Random Encounters While Seeking Enlightenment

Before I blah blah about randomness, I want to mention that anyone who wants to send a note to Ivan of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear while he chases nurses a la Harpo Marx recuperates in hospital can find ways to do so here. A few months ago I posted about “Night Parade” (1929) and mentioned Ann Pennington, the sexy dancer at the wild party in the insanely fabulous art deco apartment. At the bottom of the post I had a photo of Ann Pennington in a costume designed by Ertl. I have since found another photo of the same costume… with Krazy Kat Felix the Cat! I just gotta ask: What led up to this? Operator 99 tells us here! Highly recommended, and not just for the hot mostly-nude Ann Pennington photo at the bottom of the entry. Oh hey, I just realized that the name of the guy Trudy thinks she married in “Miracle of Morgan’s Creek” is a Krazy Kat joke: Ignatz Ratzkywatzky. Dude. Too bad Krazy Kat doesn’t have anything to do with this photo, because it’s Felix the Cat and I was confused until Scott corrected me. Mutter mutter. Anyway, moving on: I’ve mentioned The Secret Life of Objects several times. One of the props discussed extensively in the article is the statue “Zephyr Dancing with Flora”, which appeared in many Universal films. I think I found another Universal picture it’s in: “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Muzzy’s house has a lot of statuary in and around it. … Continue reading

Get Well Soon, Ivan (of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear fame)

After several days of escalating worry about Ivan Shreve of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear (I’m a worrier; it’s my super power) I finally discovered today via Edward Copeland that Ivan is ill and in the hospital. Ivan’s blog and SBBN share several readers, and I thought you’d want to know. Ivan, if you’re reading this — you did sneak a few laptops and DVDs into the hospital with you, right? — I hope you get better soon. We miss you. I don’t know any more than what was posted on Edward Copeland’s blog, but if anyone has any information, please pass it along. I can’t screen comments, so if you want to email me instead of post here, drop me a line: she (at) shebloggedbynight.com or glitterninja (at) gmail.com. UPDATE: Ivan is in Room 5127 per Eddie Copeland (formerly in Room 5401) at the Athens Regional Medical Center and there is no set release date as of yet out of the hospital as of now. Yay! From what I’ve heard, I’m reassured he’ll be back to blogging soon. Which is good, because Thrilling Days of Yesteryear provides at least 50% of my online Jack Benny intake. Ivan’s hospital has an eGreetings system here that you can use to leave him a note if you want. I plan on harassing him I mean sending him lovely notes at least once a day.