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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ernst lubitsch

‘Squirrels to the Nuts’ Women and Nonconformity in the films of Ernst Lubitsch – Episode 7

‘What would Lubitsch have done?’ Every director should have this sign hanging prominently in their office, a reminder of a unique individual and his enormous talent for showing things differently. Episode 7 is devoted to Lubitsch and his wonderful films, full of warmth, humour, style, wit and above all fearless in their depiction of sex, marriage and even war. The women in Lubitsch’s films are not captains of industry but are smart, knowing and they understand exactly what to do and why. The films we discuss: The Marriage Circle (1924), One Hour With You (1932), Trouble in Paradise (1932), Design for Living (1933), Angel (1937), Ninotchka (1939), To Be Or Not To Be (1942), and Cluny Brown (1946).

Our He’s a Keeper segment this month honours the inimitable George Sanders.

Sources:
All About Eve (1950) Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz (DVD) Twentieth Century Fox.
Angel (1937) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch (DVD) Paramount Pictures.
Cluny Brown (1946) Dir. Ernst Lubisch (DVD) Twentieth Century Fox.
Design for Living (1933) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch (YouTube) Paramount Pictures.
Eyman, S. (2000). Ernst Lubitsch: laughter in paradise. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Journey to Italy (1954) Dir. Roberto Rossellini (DVD) Titanus Distribuzione.
Ninotchka (1939) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch (DVD) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Noble, R. (1934) ‘The Very Thought of You’ [Recorded by George Sanders] on The George Sanders Touch … Songs for the Lovely Lady (1958). Available at:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7izmInLhM8
Novak, I., Dolar M. and Krecic, J. (2014) Lubitsch Can’t Wait: a collection of ten philosophical discussions on Ernst Lubitsch’s film comedy. New York: Columbia UP.
One Hour with You (1932) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch (DVD) Paramount Pictures.
Rebecca (1940) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock (DVD) United Artists.
Sanders, G. (1960) Memoirs of a professional cad. (2015) London: Dean Street Press.
Slavitt, D.R. (2009) George Sanders, Zsa Zsa and me. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Stagg, S. (2001) All about All About Eve St. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin.
‘Super Special Picture of the Year’ (1934) [Recorded by Yacht Club Boys and Ernst
Lubitsch] Available at: www.lubitsch.com/audio.html
The Marriage Circle (1924) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch (YouTube) Warner Bros./ UFA.
The Moon and Sixpence (’42) Dir. Albert Lewin (YouTube) United Artists.
Thompson, K. (2005) Herr Lubitsch goes to Hollywood: German and American film after World War I. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Trouble in Paradise (1932) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch (DVD) Paramount Pictures.

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You Don’t Own Me: Women’s Sexuality in the Pre-Code Era – Episode 3

Our third episode focuses on the small window of films made in Hollywood between 1930 and 1934, known usually as ‘Pre-Code’. The censorship rules of the ‘Hays Code’ was introduced to Hollywood studios in 1930 but was not actually enforced until late 1934. During these years studios were pumping out films testing the limits of propriety, usually with strong central female characters using their wiles to break out of poverty and marital drudgery. This month’s He’s a Keeper is devoted to the charming Melvyn Douglas. Lastly, an honourable mention to the late Setsuko Hara.

You Don’t Own Me: Women’s Sexuality in the Pre-Code Era – Episode 3 by Any Ladle’s Sweet

Our third episode focuses on the small window of films made in Hollywood between 1930 and 1934, known usually as ‘Pre-Code’. The censorship rules of the ‘Hays Code’ was introduced to Hollywood studios in 1930 but was not actually enforced until late 1934.

Sources:
A Woman’s Face (1941) Dir. George Cukor. [DVD] MGM.
Baby Face (1933) Dir. Alfred E. Green. [DVD] Warner Bros.
Bed of Roses (1933) Dir. Gregory La Cava. [DVD] RKO.
Doherty, T. (1999) Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality and Insurrection in American
Cinema 1930-1934. New York: Columbia University Press.
Douglas, M. (1986) See You at the Movies: The Autobiography of Melvyn Douglas (with Tom Arthur). Boston: University Press of America.
Jacobs, L. (1991) The Wages of Sin: Censorship and the Fallen Woman 1928-1942. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
LaSalle, M. (2000) Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Loos, A. (1974) Kiss Hollywood Goodbye. London: W.H. Allen.
Loy, M. (1987) Being and Becoming (with James Kotsilibas-Davis). London: Bloomsbury.
Brooks, Louise. (1974) Lulu in Hollywood. USA: University of Minnesota Press.
Ninotchka (1939) Dir. Ernst Lubitsch. [DVD] MGM.
Penthouse (1933) Dir. W.S. Van Dyke. [DVD] MGM.
Possessed (1931) Dir. Clarence Brown. [DVD] MGM.
Red Headed Woman (1932) Dir. Jack Conway. [DVD] MGM.
Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise (1931) Dir. Robert Z. Leonard [DVD] MGM.
The Divorcee (1930) Dir. Robert Z. Leonard. [DVD] MGM.
The Easiest Way (1931) Dir. Jack Conway [DVD] MGM.
Theodora Goes Wild (1936) Dir. Richard Boleslawski. [YouTube] Columbia.
Third Finger, Left Hand (1940) Dir. Robert Z Leonard. [DVD] MGM.
THAT scene in Possessed – www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWmI88_hP0M

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