May 3, 2010

The Irregular Blather May 3, 1931

No Journal was published Sunday, May 3, 1931. A few videos of the week:

The full film Svengali, mentioned May 2, is on Youtube: John Barrymore gives a performance among his most masterful in this adaptation of George du Maurier's sinister tale set in old Paris of a hypnotic music-master and the pretty model who falls under his spell. ... reminiscent of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Play "Svengali" on Youtube.

I was unable to find Tallullah Bankhead's US screen debut in Tarnished Lady, also mentioned May 2, but here's a rather disturbing clip from The Cheat, which also came out in 1931:

Play "The Cheat" on Youtube.

Here's a song by the Henry Busse orchestra, mentioned April 29: Appearing at the Palace: Henry Busse and his orchestra from the Hotel New Yorker - music is "pleasing contrast with a good deal of vaudeville jazz ... more tuneful than ostentatious"

Play "Henry Busse" on Youtube.

And here's Helen Morgan, also mentioned as appearing at the Palace, singing a song (if you watch very carefully you just might be able to spot a young Jimmy “Schnozzola” Durante):

Play "Helen Morgan" on Youtube.

And last but definitely not least, The Public Enemy, mentioned Apr. 27: "A graphic picture of the rise of two city hoodlums from petty thievery to a commanding position in the beer-running racket of a contemporary metropolis." Cagney's portrayal as the tougher of the two "is strikingly real and filled out with a variety of convincing detail." Film "sketches the changes of city life from the saloon days of 1909 to the night club and speakeasy days of 1930 with an accurate knowledge of atmosphere ... intensely moving and often brutal ... an avowed preachment against gangsterism, a driving, dramatic attack upon an outstanding evil of contemporary American life. ... The picture as a whole is worth anybody's while as entertainment or as sociological case material." [Note: launched Cagney to stardom; Woods was originally cast in the lead, but the roles were switched mid-production.] The obligatory grapefruit-in-the-face scene:

Play "The Public Enemy 1" on Youtube.

And a pretty good scene where his character meets Jean Harlow's:

Play "The Public Enemy 2" on Youtube.

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