The Melodramas Part 1: John M. Stahl – From Back Street to Heaven – Episode 11

Episode 11! Part 1 of a 2 part series on the melodramas of the ’30’s and ’50’s starting with the films of John M. Stahl. Stahl directed some of the most popular films of the romantic melodrama genre through the 1930’s, some of which would go on to be remade in glorious technicolor by Douglas Sirk in the 1950’s. He was forgotten in film history for many decades mostly due to the lack of availability of any decent prints. A resurgence of interest in his work was sparked by the Universal Pictures under Laemmle Jr retrospective in MoMA last year. For the first time since their release audiences were able to experience the pristine and slow burning beauty of Stahl’s films, where women were the centre of action and interest.

We also discuss the other forgotten man of that time, Laemmle Jr.

Charles Boyer is discussed in loving detail in our He’s a Keeper segment.

The Melodramas Part 1: John M. Stahl – From Back Street to Heaven – Episode 11 by Any Ladle’s Sweet

Episode 11! Part 1 of a 2 part series on the melodramas of the ’30’s and ’50’s starting with the films of John M. Stahl. Stahl directed some of the most popular films of the romantic melodrama genre through the 1930’s, some of which would go on to be remade in glorious technicolor by Douglas Sirk in the 1950’s.

Sources:
An Affair to Remember (1957) Dir. Leo McCarey [YouTube] Twentieth Century Fox.

Back Street (1932) Dir. John M Stahl [YouTube] Universal Pictures.

Back Street (1941) Dir. Robert Stevenson [Daily Motion] Universal Pictures.

Bawden, J. and Miller, R. (2016) ‘Interview with Irene Dunne’ in Conversations with Classic

Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood’s Golden Era. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Gaslight (1944) Dir. George Cukor [DVD] Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer.

Hold Back the Dawn (1941) Dir. Mitchell Leisen [DVD] Paramount Pictures.

Imitation of Life (1934) Dir. John M Stahl [DVD] Universal Pictures.

Leave Her to Heaven (1945) Dir. John M Stahl [DVD] Universal Pictures.

Le Bonheur (1934) Dir. Marcel L’Herbier [Internet Archive] Universal Pictures.

Liliom (1934) Dir. Fritz Lang. [YouTube] Fox Film Corporation/ Fox Europa.

Love Affair (1939) Dir. Leo McCarey [YouTube] RKO Pictures.

Magnificent Obsession (1935) Dir. John M Stahl [DVD] Universal Pictures.

Only Yesterday (1933) Dir. John M Stahl [YouTube] Universal Pictures.

Swindell, L. (1983) The Reluctant Lover: Charles Boyer. New York: Doubleday.

The Earrings of Madame de … (1953) Dir. Max Ophüls [DVD] Gaumont (France)Arlan (US).

When Tomorrow Comes (1939) Dir. John M Stahl [DVD] Universal Pictures.

brightlightsfilm.com/women-love-thr…/#.V69xApgrKM9

sensesofcinema.com/2014/feature-ar…irks-interlude/

www.filmcomment.com/blog/the-high-t…carl-lammle-jr/

Closing music from Where Does Love Go (1966) ‘La Vie En Rose’ sung by Charles Boyer

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Fizz on the Soda: Ginger Rogers and Joan Blondell – Episode 9

Episode 9! This month we’re discussing women in showbusiness, focusing on two stars who started out their film careers pounding the stage circuit hoping to make it big. Ginger Rogers and Joan Blondell. He’s a Keeper this month is the wonderful Peter Lorre.

In the 1930’s, Hollywood became expert at creating fantasies for its audiences. Beautiful girls in skimpy costumes. in Busby Berkley designed spectacles singing ‘We’re in the money, we’re in the money’ gave audiences a momentary escape from the greyness and worry of reality. The Great Depression affected all Americans and led to thousands of movie theaters closing and ticket sales plummeted, in saying that Hollywood was still in the business of entertaining people. In 1933 60 million people still went to the movies. Life on the stage was very tough with thousands of girls audtioning and only a handful making it in the pick. Backstage there would be 25 girls to one dressing room, bad lighting, everyone stealing each others make-up, in-fighting and holding off advances from creepy stage managers. Ginger and Joan came up the hard way and by 1933 were two of biggest stars at the time.

Curtain up!

Fizz on the Soda: Ginger Rogers and Joan Blondell – Episode 9 by Any Ladle’s Sweet

Episode 9! This month we’re discussing women in showbusiness, focusing on two stars who started out their film careers pounding the stage circuit hoping to make it big. Ginger Rogers and Joan Blondell. He’s a Keeper this month is the wonderful Peter Lorre. In the 1930’s, Hollywood became expert at creating fantasies for its audiences.

Sources:
42 nd Street (1933) Dir. Lloyd Bacon. [DVD] Warner Bros.

Bawden, J and Miller, R. (2016) ‘Interview with Joan Blondell’ in Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood’s Golden Era. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Blondell, J. (1972) Center Door Fancy. New York: Delacorte Press.

Broadway Bad (1933) Dir. Sidney Lanfield. [YouTube] Warner Bros.

Dames (1934) Dir. Ray Enright & Busby Berkeley. [DVD] Warner Bros.

Der Verlorene ‘The Lost One’ (1951) Dir. Peter Lorre [YouTube] National-Filmverleih.

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) Dir. Mervyn LeRoy [DVD] Warner Bros.

Havana Widows (1933) Dir. Ray Enright [DVD] Warner Bros.

Kennedy, M. (2007) Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

M (1931) Dir. Fritz Lang [YouTube] Vereinigte Star-Film.

Mad Love (1935) Dir. Karl Freund. [DVD] Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer Studios.

Maltese Falcon (1941) Dir. John Huston [DVD] Warner Bros.

Nightmare Alley (1947) Dir. Edmund Goulding [DVD] 20 th Century Fox.

Professional Sweetheart (1933) Dir. Wiliam A. Seiter [YouTube] RKO.

Stage Door (1937) Dir. Gregory La Cava. [DVD] RKO

Swing Time (1936) Dir. George Stevens [DVD] RKO.

Rogers, G. Ginger: My Story. New York: It Books.

Youngkin, S.D. (2005) The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Gourley, Catherine. (2008) Rosie and Mrs America: Perceptions of Women in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Twenty First Century Books.

glamourdaze.com/2013/01/inside-a-…ressing-room.html

Music excerpt from 42nd St (1933), music and lyrics by Al Dublin and Harry Warren.

Music excerpt from Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), music and lyrics by Al Dublin and Harry Warren.

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What Do Women Want?: Female Desire in Film 1918 – 1954 – Episode 8

What do women want?
What do they do when desire is repressed or thwarted?
What about desire and female spectatorship?
Moving the discussion on female desire and sexuality out of the dry academic arena, we focus on women’s conscious or experiential desire present on-screen. The films we discuss fit into various categories such as Repressed Desire, Masochistic Desire, Misdirected Desire, Fantasy, Forbidden Desire and Drag. We have framed this episode to be a companion piece to our third episode on the Pre-Code’s so sit back, relax and prepare to get hot and bothered!

What Do Women Want?: Female Desire in Film 1918 – 1954 – Episode 8 by Any Ladle’s Sweet

What do women want? What do they do when desire is repressed or thwarted? What about desire and female spectatorship? Moving the discussion on female desire and sexuality out of the dry academic arena, we focus on women’s conscious or experiential desire present on-screen.

Sources:
Bed and Sofa (1927) Dir. Abram Room www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrG3FA2lmiI

Ecstasy (1933) Dir. Gustav Machatý
vimeo.com/99946740

Gone With The Wind (1939) Dir. Victor Fleming [DVD]

I Don’t Want to Be a Man (1918) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch
www.youtube.com/watch?v=non55zCjx8Y

It’s Love I’m After (1937) Dir. Archie Mayo [DVD].

Johnny Guitar (1954) Dir. Nicholas Ray [Irish Film Institute cinema].

Lamarr, H. (1966) Ecstasy and Me: My Life as a Woman. Greenwich: Fawcett.

Lifeboat (1944) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock [DVD]

Liliom (1934) Dir. Fritz Lang
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTv6pUDyvEA

Madam Satan (1930) Dir. Cecil B DeMille (ball scene)
www.dailymotion.com/video/x16we2_ma…ty-1930-1_music

Madchen in Uniform (1933) Dir. Leontine Sagan
www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bj1Z5Pd7vc

Rebecca (1940) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock [DVD].

Sunset Boulevard (1950) Dir. Billy Wilder [DVD].

The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933) Dir. Frank Capra [DVD].

The Cabin in the Cotton (1932) Dir. Michael Curtiz
www.dailymotion.com/video/x37gkjo

The Heiress (1949) Dir. William Wyler [DVD].

These Three (1936) Dir. William Wyler [DVD].

The Smiling Madame Beudet (1923) Dir. Germaine Dulac
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VA8NBhipvs

Music sample: An Ocasional Man, Martin-Blane, Sung by Marion Ryan (1962)[Columbia Records].

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