Forbidden Hollywood Volume 10
Forbidden Hollywood Volume 10 has five great movies from the pre-code early sound era, before censorship laws were uniformly imposed on all films released by the major studios. Warner Brothers Archive Collection's newest volume of pre-code films are nicely restored and give a good representation of the permissible transgressions allowed during the period when Hollywood was not overseen by censoring entities. Most films in the set worked well to create interesting visual elements when immobile early sound equipment hindered camera placement and movement. Then-forbidden topics about death, sex and morality in general are treated with a kind of sublime naivete that only Hollywood silent films and early talkies can achieve.

5 x DVD5 | NTSC 4:3 | 358 minutes
Language: English
Subtitles: none
Genre: Drama, Crime, Romance, War

The five films in volume ten come from the crime, romance, comedy genres and even propaganda films. There are five films in the set and all were released between 1931 and 1933: Guilty Hands (1931) stars Lionel Barrymore as a conniving district attorney who tries to prevent his young daughter from marrying a middle-aged lout by committing murder.

In The Mouthpiece (1932), a crooked lawyer's extravagant immorality creates a nearly perfect snapshot of all that was unprohibited in the pre-code era. William plays Vincent Day, a prosecutor who becomes a defense attorney for denizens of the criminal underworld after he sends an innocent man to the electric chair.

In just under an hour, The Secrets of the French Police (1932) unravels an entertainingly convoluted mystery whose optical effects and Expressionist-inspired visual style transcend its badness. The murkily written script centers around a Russian hypnotist who puts a Parisian flower girl under a spell and convinces her that she the heiress to a monarchy in order to steal millions of pounds from an English bank.

Warren William returns in The Match King (1932) and plays the kind of greedy fat cat that brought America to its nadir during the Great Depression. William is Ivan Kreuger, a character who was inspired by a real-life embezzler and crooked entrepreneur who cornered the matchstick market.

The final film of volume ten, Ever in My Heart (1933), stars Barbara Stanwyck in a bizarre pro-German propaganda film that mixes blind nationalism with incest and love.

Related posts:

  1. Forbidden Hollywood Collection Volume 8: Blonde Crazy (1931), Dark Hazard (1934), Hi, Nellie! (1934), Strangers May Kiss (1931) 4 x DVD5
  2. Hal Roach: Female Comedy Teams: Feed ‘em and Weep (1928), A Pair of Tights (1929), The Pajama Party (1931), On the Loose (1931), Show Business (1932), Asleep in the Feet (1933), The Bargain of the Century (1933), Beauty and the Bus (1933), Babes in the Goods (1934), Maid in Hollywood (1934), The Misses Stooge (1935), Top Flat (1935) 2 x DVD9
  3. Eclipse Series 44: Julien Duvivier in the Thirties: David Golder (1931), Poil de carotte / The Red Head (1932), La tete d’un homme / A Man’s Neck (1933), Un carnet de bal / Dance Program (1937) 4 x DVD Criterion Collection
  4. British Musicals Of The 1930s Volume 6: I Give My Heart (1935), A Star Fell from Heaven (1936), Sleepless Nights (1932), The Student’s Romance (1935) 2 x DVD9
  5. Eclipse Series 26: Silent Naruse: Flunky, Work Hard! (1931), No Blood Relation (1932), Apart from You (1933), Every-Night Dreams (1933), Street Without End (1934) 3 x DVD Criterion Collection