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Big Business Girl

What does a working girl have to do to get ahead, when all she has in her favor is an incredible face, a lavish wardrobe, and a pair of legs to make any executive wolf howl? Loretta Young juggles two egotistical swains, while Joan Blondell shines as an enticing all-pro homewrecker.

Big Business Girl

DVD-r

The Warner Archive Collection

1931 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 74 min. / Street Date September 14, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Loretta Young, Frank Albertson, Ricardo Cortez, Joan Blondell, Frank Darien, Dorothy Christy, Oscar Apfel, Judith Barrett, Mickey Bennett, George ‘Gabby’ Hayes, Virginia Sale.

Cinematography: Sol Polito

Film Editor: Pete Fritch

Written by Robert Lord, story by Patricia Reilly & H.N. Swanson

Produced and Directed by William A. Seiter

Let’s hear it for the Warner Archive Collection’s voluminous vault of early ’30s Warners, MGM and Rko entertainments, which has given us a real education about this era of filmmaking.
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Good Bad Man Cortez: Final Interview Segment with Biographer of The Great Hollywood Heel

Good Bad Man Cortez: Final Interview Segment with Biographer of The Great Hollywood Heel
'The Magnificent Ambersons': Directed by Orson Welles, and starring Tim Holt (pictured), Dolores Costello (in the background), Joseph Cotten, Anne Baxter, and Agnes Moorehead, this Academy Award-nominated adaptation of Booth Tarkington's novel earned Ricardo Cortez's brother Stanley Cortez an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White. He lost to Joseph Ruttenberg for William Wyler's blockbuster 'Mrs. Miniver.' Two years later, Cortez – along with Lee Garmes – would win Oscar statuettes for their evocative black-and-white work on John Cromwell's homefront drama 'Since You Went Away,' starring Ricardo Cortez's 'Torch Singer' leading lady, Claudette Colbert. In all, Stanley Cortez would receive cinematography credit in more than 80 films, ranging from B fare such as 'The Lady in the Morgue' and the 1940 'Margie' to Fritz Lang's 'Secret Beyond the Door,' Charles Laughton's 'The Night of the Hunter,' and Nunnally Johnson's 'The Three Faces
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Cortez Part IV: Leading Ladies and Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Wife

Cortez Part IV: Leading Ladies and Marriage to Tragic Drug-Addicted Wife
Ricardo Cortez in 'Ten Cents a Dance,' with Barbara Stanwyck. No matter how unthankful the role, whether hero or heel – or, not infrequently, a combination of both – Cortez left his bedroom-eyed, mellifluous-voiced imprint in his pre-Production Code talkies. Besides Barbara Stanwyck, during the 1920s and 1930s Cortez made love to and/or life difficult for, a whole array of leading ladies of that era, including Bebe Daniels, Gloria Swanson, Betty Compson, Betty Bronson, Greta Garbo, Florence Vidor, Claudette Colbert, Mary Astor, Kay Francis, Joan Crawford, Irene Dunne, Joan Blondell, and Loretta Young*. (See previous post: “Ricardo Cortez Q&A: From Latin Lover to Multiethnic Heel.”) Not long after the coming of sound, Ricardo Cortez was mostly relegated to playing subordinate roles to his leading ladies – e.g., Kay Francis, Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert – or leads in “bottom half of the double bill” programmers at Warner Bros. or on loan to other studios. Would
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Cortez Part III: From Latin Lover to Multiethnic Heel

Cortez Part III: From Latin Lover to Multiethnic Heel
Ricardo Cortez in 'Mandalay,' making love to Kay Francis – not long before he sells her into the 'white slave trade,' in which Francis reaches the top of her profession as a lavishly garbed Rangoon nightclub hostess known as 'Spot White.' Cortez was featured opposite a whole array of female stars during both the silent and the talkie eras. Earlier on, plots usually revolved around his heroic characters; later on, plots usually revolved around the characters of his victimized-but-heroic leading ladies, with Cortez cast as a heel of varying degrees of egotism. Besides 'Mandalay,' Ricardo Cortez and Kay Francis were featured together in 'Transgression,' 'The House on 56th Street,' and 'Wonder Bar.' (See previous post: “'Latin Lover' Ricardo Cortez: Q&A with Biographer Dan Van Neste.”) I am reminded of a humorous review of the melodramatic film Mandalay (1934), penned by Andre Sennwald in the
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Remembering Cortez: Biographer Van Neste Discusses Paramount's 'Valentino Threat'

Remembering Cortez: Biographer Van Neste Discusses Paramount's 'Valentino Threat'
Ricardo Cortez: Although never as big a star as fellow 1920s screen heartthrobs Rudolph Valentino, Ramon Novarro, and John Gilbert, Cortez had a long – and, to some extent, prestigious – film career, appearing in nearly 100 movies between 1923 and 1950. Among his directors: Allan Dwan, Cecil B. DeMille, D.W. Griffith, James Cruze, Alexander Korda, Herbert Brenon, Roy Del Ruth, Frank Lloyd, Gregory La Cava, William A. Wellman, Alexander Hall, Lloyd Bacon, Tay Garnett, Archie Mayo, Raoul Walsh, Frank Capra, Walter Lang, Michael Curtiz, and John Ford. See previous post: “Remembering Ricardo Cortez: Hollywood's Silent “Latin Lover” & Star of Original 'The Maltese Falcon'.” First of all, why Ricardo Cortez? Since I began writing about classic movies and vintage filmmakers roughly 30 years ago, people have always been curious why I choose particular subjects. It sounds kind of corny, but I have always wanted to do original work and perhaps make a minor contribution to film history at the
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

After Valentino and Before Bogart There Was Cortez: 'The Magnificent Heel' and the Movies' Original Sam Spade

After Valentino and Before Bogart There Was Cortez: 'The Magnificent Heel' and the Movies' Original Sam Spade
Ricardo Cortez biography 'The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez' – Paramount's 'Latin Lover' threat to a recalcitrant Rudolph Valentino, and a sly, seductive Sam Spade in the original film adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's 'The Maltese Falcon.' 'The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez': Author Dan Van Neste remembers the silent era's 'Latin Lover' & the star of the original 'The Maltese Falcon' At odds with Famous Players-Lasky after the release of the 1922 critical and box office misfire The Young Rajah, Rudolph Valentino demands a fatter weekly paycheck and more control over his movie projects. The studio – a few years later to be reorganized under the name of its distribution arm, Paramount – balks. Valentino goes on a “one-man strike.” In 42nd Street-style, unknown 22-year-old Valentino look-alike contest winner Jacob Krantz of Manhattan steps in, shortly afterwards to become known worldwide as Latin Lover Ricardo Cortez of
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Forgotten Actress Bruce on TCM: Career Went from Dawn of Talkies to L.A.'s Punk Rock Scene

Virginia Bruce: MGM actress ca. 1935. Virginia Bruce movies on TCM: Actress was the cherry on 'The Great Ziegfeld' wedding cake Unfortunately, Turner Classic Movies has chosen not to feature any non-Hollywood stars – or any out-and-out silent film stars – in its 2015 “Summer Under the Stars” series.* On the other hand, TCM has come up with several unusual inclusions, e.g., Lee J. Cobb, Warren Oates, Mae Clarke, and today, Aug. 25, Virginia Bruce. A second-rank MGM leading lady in the 1930s, the Minneapolis-born Virginia Bruce is little remembered today despite her more than 70 feature films in a career that spanned two decades, from the dawn of the talkie era to the dawn of the TV era, in addition to a handful of comebacks going all the way to 1981 – the dawn of the personal computer era. Career highlights were few and not all that bright. Examples range from playing the
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On TCM: Conservative Actress Young in Audacious Movies

Loretta Young films as TCM celebrates her 102nd birthday (photo: Loretta Young ca. 1935) Loretta Young would have turned 102 years old today. Turner Classic Movies is celebrating the birthday of the Salt Lake City-born, Academy Award-winning actress today, January 6, 2015, with no less than ten Loretta Young films, most of them released by Warner Bros. in the early '30s. Young, who began her film career in a bit part in the 1927 Colleen Moore star vehicle Her Wild Oat, remained a Warners contract player from the late '20s up until 1933. (See also: "Loretta Young Movies.") Now, ten Loretta Young films on one day may sound like a lot, but one should remember that most Warner Bros. -- in fact, most Hollywood -- releases of the late '20s and early '30s were either B Movies or programmers. The latter were relatively short (usually 60 to 75 minutes) feature films starring A (or B+) performers,
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First Best Actress and Best Actor Academy Award Winners Tonight

First Best Actor Oscar winner Emil Jannings and first Best Actress Oscar winner Janet Gaynor on TCM (photo: Emil Jannings in 'The Last Command') First Best Actor Academy Award winner Emil Jannings in The Last Command, first Best Actress Academy Award winner Janet Gaynor in Sunrise, and sisters Norma Talmadge and Constance Talmadge are a few of the silent era performers featured this evening on Turner Classic Movies, as TCM continues with its Silent Monday presentations. Starting at 5 p.m. Pt / 8 p.m. Et on November 17, 2014, get ready to check out several of the biggest movie stars of the 1920s. Following the Jean Negulesco-directed 1943 musical short Hit Parade of the Gay Nineties -- believe me, even the most rabid anti-gay bigot will be able to enjoy this one -- TCM will be showing Josef von Sternberg's The Last Command (1928) one of the two movies that earned
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Beery Is Loving Father of Future Superman Newspaper Editor in Oscar-Winning Blockbuster

Wallace Beery: Best Actor Academy Award winner and Best Actor Academy Award runner-up in the same year (photo: Jackie Cooper and Wallace Beery in ‘The Champ’) (See previous post: “Wallace Beery Movies: Anomalous Hollywood Star.”) In the Academy’s 1931-32 season, Wallace Beery took home the Best Actor Academy Award — I mean, one of them. In the King Vidor-directed melodrama The Champ (1931), Beery plays a down-on-his-luck boxer and caring Dad to tearduct-challenged Jackie Cooper, while veteran Irene Rich is Beery’s cool former wife and Cooper’s mother. Will daddy and son remain together forever and ever? Audiences the world over were drowned in tears — theirs and Jackie Cooper’s. Now, regarding Wallace Beery’s Best Actor Academy Award, he was actually a runner-up: Fredric March, initially announced as the sole winner for his performance in Rouben Mamoulian’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, turned out to have
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Bogart and the Stuff That Both Dreams and Nightmares Are Made Of

Humphrey Bogart movies: ‘The Maltese Falcon,’ ‘High Sierra’ (Image: Most famous Humphrey Bogart quote: ‘The stuff that dreams are made of’ from ‘The Maltese Falcon’) (See previous post: “Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall Movies.”) Besides 1948, 1941 was another great year for Humphrey Bogart — one also featuring a movie with the word “Sierra” in the title. Indeed, that was when Bogart became a major star thanks to Raoul Walsh’s High Sierra and John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon. In the former, Bogart plays an ex-con who falls in love with top-billed Ida Lupino — though both are outacted by ingénue-with-a-heart-of-tin Joan Leslie. In the latter, Bogart plays Dashiel Hammett’s private detective Sam Spade, trying to discover the fate of the titular object; along the way, he is outacted by just about every other cast member, from Mary Astor’s is-she-for-real dame-in-distress to Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominee Sydney Greenstreet. John Huston
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Looking at Women: William A. Wellman’s Style in "Frisco Jenny" and "Midnight Mary"

  • MUBI
Film Forum's 2012 William Wellman retrospective brought new and much-needed critical attention to a director best remembered today for a small handful of the 80 or so films he made between 1920 and 1958, including Wings (1927), The Public Enemy (1931), A Star is Born (1937), Beau Geste (1939), and The Ox-Bow Incident (1943). Despite the relatively strong reputations of those films, Wellman has often been overlooked in critical discussions of Hollywood auteurs. In fact, a collection of essays that grew out of the retrospective, William A. Wellman: A Dossier, edited by Gina Telaroli and David Phelps, is the closest thing to a book-length study of Wellman currently available. After reading through much of the Dossier, I was encouraged to give Wellman a serious look myself, and this formal analysis is a small effort to continue the momentum of Telaroli's and Phelps's work.

Made just a few months apart and packaged conveniently on the same disc of TCM’s Forbidden Hollywood Collection,
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Rare Movie Posters Discovered, Expected To Fetch $250,000

Philadelphia — A rowdy band of bloodsuckers, gunslingers, wily wise guys, jaded private eyes, hardboiled reporters and good girls gone bad, stuck in an attic together for 80 years, is going its separate ways.

Nearly three dozen movie theater posters from the Golden Age of Hollywood found in a Pennsylvania attic are expected to fetch $250,000 at auction in Texas this month. They were stuck together with wallpaper glue when they were purchased for around $30,000 at a country auction last fall in Berwick, near Wilkes-Barre in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The buyer, who chose to remain anonymous, consigned them to Heritage Auctions in Dallas, where the stack of 33 Depression-era posters were painstakingly steamed and gingerly separated over the course of several weeks.

"As we started to peel them apart, it was one of the greatest treasure troves from a beautiful period of poster printing," said Grey Smith of Heritage Auctions, where the posters go on
See full article at Huffington Post »

Forgotten Pre-Codes: Her Man (1930)

  • MUBI
Beginning a series looking at obscure pre-Code Hollywood films, made between the advent of sound and the strict enforcement of the Production Code. Some of these movies are rightly celebrated and frequently screened: Baby Face (1933), Red Headed Woman (1932), even to some extent Bed of Roses (1933). But others are trapped in copyright limbo or locked in vaults by studios too blind to exploit their holdings. That's the kind we're going to look at.

Tay Garnett was a typical tough-guy director, working in every genre but with a feeling for exotic climes (usually reproduced on the backlot). His reputation—that of a seventh-rate Howard Hawks, maybe—has never been hugely prestigious, and despite his frequently working on the screenplays of Hawks' films, and even making cameo appearances, the notion of Garnett as auteur never really took hold. Maybe, just maybe, this is partly due to the scarcity of some of his most interesting work.
See full article at MUBI »

Robert Downey Jr eyeing third franchise with Perry Mason film

Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes star to complete turnaround in fortunes by signing up to third movie series, reports say

He's already flying through the skies on a regular basis as Iron Man, and is due to appear in a second Sherlock Holmes film for director Guy Ritchie next year. But Robert Downey Jr reportedly wants a third high-profile Hollywood franchise and is eyeing a starring turn as the detective Perry Mason in the first big-screen outing for the unflappable Los Angeles defence lawyer since 1937.

Variety reports that Downey Jr and his wife, producer Susan Downey, are putting the project together at their production company, Team Downey, as a potential starring vehicle for the actor. The film looks likely to be a period piece set in 1930s La, a fertile era and location for Hollywood over the years. Erle Stanley Gardner wrote more than 80 novels featuring Mason between 1933 and his
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes

Joan Blondell. Those who have heard the name will most likely picture either a blowsy, older woman playing the worldwise but warm-hearted saloon owner in the late 1960s television series Here Come the Brides, or a lively, fast-talking, no-nonsense, and unconventionally sexy gold digger in numerous Pre-Code Warner Bros. comedies and musicals of the early 1930s. Matthew Kennedy's Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes (University Press of Mississippi, 2007) seeks to rectify that cultural memory lapse. Not that Blondell doesn't deserve to be remembered for Here Come the Brides or, say, Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade, Havana Widows, and Broadway Bad. It's just that her other work — from her immensely touching performance as a sexually liberated woman in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to her invariably welcome (if brief) appearances in films as varied as The Blue Veil, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, and Grease — should be remembered as well.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Humphrey Bogart on TCM: The Caine Mutiny, The Maltese Falcon, Sahara

Humphrey Bogart, the most revered Old Hollywood tough guy, is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Day this Wednesday as TCM continues its "Summer Under the Stars" film series.[Humphrey Bogart Movie Schedule.] My favorite tough guy — by far — is Edward G. Robinson. The star of Little Caesar, The Sea Wolf, House of Strangers, Key Largo, etc. is followed by James Cagney — when in psycho mode — and a whole bunch of tough dames, among them Barbara Stanwyck, Jane Greer, Ann Sheridan, and Ida Lupino. Bogart isn't on my list. In the aforementioned Key Largo, for instance, he is all but eviscerated by Robinson's charisma. TCM is currently showing John Huston's The Maltese Falcon (1941), officially Hollywood's first film noir and one of the most widely admired classics of the studio era. Needless to say, I'm at odds with the general consensus. I much prefer Roy Del Ruth's less atmospheric but more entertaining 1931 version
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Lon Chaney Movie Schedule: The Phantom Of The Opera, Tell It To The Marines, Mr. Wu

Lon Chaney on TCM: He Who Gets Slapped, The Unknown, Mr. Wu Get ready for more extreme perversity in West of Zanzibar (1928), as Chaney abuses both Warner Baxter and Mary Nolan, while the great-looking Mr. Wu (1927) offers Chaney as a Chinese creep about to destroy the life of lovely Renée Adorée — one of the best and prettiest actresses of the 1920s. Adorée — who was just as effective in her few early talkies — died of tuberculosis in 1933. Also worth mentioning, the great John Arnold was Mr. Wu's cinematographer. I'm no fan of Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), or The Phantom of the Opera (1925), but Chaney's work in them — especially in Hunchback — is quite remarkable. I mean, his performances aren't necessarily great, but they're certainly unforgettable. Chaney's leading ladies — all of whom are in love with younger, better-looking men — are Loretta Young (Laugh, Clown, Laugh), Patsy Ruth Miller
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

New York's "Essential Pre-Code" Series: Week 2

  • MUBI
Each year New York residents can look forward to two essential series programmed at the Film Forum, noirs and pre-Coders (that is, films made before the strict enforcing of the Motion Picture Production Code). These near-annual retrospective traditions are refreshed and re-varied and re-repeated for neophytes and cinephiles alike, giving all the chance to see and see again great film on film. Many titles in this year's Essential Pre-Code series, running an epic July 15 - August 11, are old favorites and some ache to be new discoveries; all in all there are far too many racy, slipshod, patter-filled celluloid splendors to be covered by one critic alone. Faced with such a bounty, I've enlisted the kind help of some friends and colleagues, asking them to sent in short pieces on their favorites in an incomplete but also in-progress survey and guide to one of the summer's most sought-after series. In this entry: what's playing Friday,
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Warner Archive Releases Lon Chaney Rarities

  • CinemaRetro
By Doug Gerbino

The Warner Archive Collection released six rare Lon Chaney, Sr. films on October 26 -- five silents and one talkie (his one and only talkie). The films are He Who Gets Slapped (1924); The Monster and The Unholy Three (both 1925); Mr. Wu and Mockery (both 1927); and The Unholy 3 (1930), the sound remake of the 1925 film with a numerical title and a different ending. Lon Chaney, Sr. was a fascinating actor. It's a shame that he is pigeon-holed as a horror star. This is due to the over-availability of two of his most famous films: Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and Phantom of the Opera (1925/29). The fact that these two films are public domain has made them the most widely available of his movies. Within recent years, Warner Home Video has been releasing some of Chaney's MGM films. In 2003, Warner Home Video and TCM released The Lon Chaney Collection, which contained three films: The Aces of Hearts,
See full article at CinemaRetro »
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