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Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume 7

The Hatchet Man (1932)                  Skyscraper Souls (1932)

Employees’ Entrance (1933)              Ex-Lady (1933)

Loose women. Unscrupulous heels. Adulterous husbands. Unfaithful wives. Pre-Code Hollywood had them all, with most sins going unpunished. Starring Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, Loretta Young and quintessential screen scoundrel Warren William in two of his best, Forbidden Hollywood: Volume Seven shines the spotlight on four of the era’s most scandalous sizzlers. The Hatchet Man (1932): A Tong executioner (Robinson) allows his wife (Young) to run off with a gangster only to learn she’s been sold into prostitution. Skyscraper Souls (1932): A financier (William) stops at nothing to gain control of a 100-story office building and a "na´ve" Maureen O’Sullivan. Employees’ Entrance (1933): A tyrannical department store manager (William) chases after profits and Loretta Young. Ex-Lady (1933): An artist (Davis) who doesn’t believe in marriage reluctantly weds her lover (Gene Raymond) only to discover he’s seeing another woman.

Posters


Comments

Forbidden Hollywood Collection sets from Warner Home Video has been very popular and starting with volume 4 they are part of Warner Archive Collection. We already reviewed volume 4, volume 5, volume 6, and here comes volume 7, probably one of the best pre-code collection in the series. The main star of the set is Warren William with two of the most demanded pre-codes finally available on DVD - Skyscraper Souls (1932) and Employees' Entrance (1933), but Loretta Young also stars in two of the films (Employees' Entrance and The Hatchet Man(1933)). Other familiar faces in this collection are Edward G. Robinson, Maureen O'Sullivan and Bette Davis, who got her first top billing for a Warner picture in Ex-Lady (1933).

There are 4 single-layered discs, one film per disc. The first pressing of this set is not on DVD-R and is traditionally replicated. There are some marks and specs on all transfers, some of them are in better shape, like Employees' Entrance, which looks excellent. Ex-Lady in some shots gets overly grainy, especially in the transitional shots, like in the third capture for that film, but it rarely happens. The new transfers look much better than what was used for the laserdisc and VHS editions of Warren William's features. All films except for Skyscraper Souls get a theatrical trailer as an extra. This is a highly recommended release that is, hopefully, not going to be the last in the Forbidden Hollywood series.

  - Gregory Meshman

DVD Menus
 


(aka "The Honourable Mr. Wong" or "The Honorable Mr. Wong")

 

directed by William A. Wellman
USA 1932

 

The Hatchet Man is a dated but fascinating film set amidst the "tong wars" in San Francisco's Chinatown. Tong hatchet man Wong Low Get (Edward G. Robinson) is required to kill his boyhood friend Sun Yet Sen (J. Carroll Naish). Sen is resigned to his fate, but extracts a promise that Wong will look after Sen's daughter Toya San, and marry the girl when she grows up. Played as an adult by Loretta Young, Toya San weds Wong, now an influential Chinatown figure. But the girl is secretly in love with Harry En Hai (Leslie Fenton), a disreputable young half-caste. When Wong learns of the affair, he sends Toya and Harry packing, and is ostracized by the community for not fighting for his honor. Harry is deported to China for drug-dealing, taking Toya with him and ultimately deserting her. Wong trails the pair to China, where he finds that Toya has been sold into prostitution. He intends to use his hatchet to kill Harry, but is talked out of the murder by Toya. But before Wong and Toya leave for America, Harry En Hai accidentally receives his comeuppance from the one-time "hatchet man." Well acted and powerfully directed, Hatchet Man would hardly qualify as "politically correct" these days, since virtually every Asian character is portrayed by a Caucasian.

Theatrical Release: 4 February 1932 (New York City, NY)

Reviews                              More Reviews                            DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volume 7) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:13:24
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (1:52)

DVD Release Date: April 30th, 2013
4 discs in a keep case

Chapters 27

 

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


(aka "Skyscraper" )

 

directed by Edgar Selwyn
USA 1932

 

Produced by William Randolph Hearst's Cosmopolitan Production for MGM, this well made Grand Hotel clone was based on a 1931 novel by Faith Baldwin. Warren William stars as David Dwight, a building and bank magnate who not only attempts to double-cross his backers but is two-timing both his wife (Hedda Hopper) and devoted secretary/mistress (Verree Teasdale). Threatened with losing his conglomeration in general and the 100 stories Dwight Building in particular to Hamilton (Arnold Lucy), David's cynical manipulations end up backfiring with unforeseen tragedy.

Theatrical Release: 16 July 1932 (USA)

Reviews                                       More Reviews                            DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volume 7) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:38:36
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.92 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date:
4 discs in a keep case

Chapters 29

  


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

directed by Roy Del Ruth
USA 1933

 

A recent expose of corporate scandal? No, this was the ad copy for Employees' Entrance (1933), a shocking pre-code movie with a surprising relevance to today.

Warren William stars as the appropriately named Kurt Anderson, a corporate hotshot brought in to save Franklin Monroe & Co., the world's largest department store. The Depression has hit the store hard but Anderson sweeps aside all excuses. When one of the board of directors opines that, "I don't know if there's very much to be said. There's a depression and everybody's affected. I should say the thing to do is retrench, economize;" Anderson barks back, "Get out! You're dead weight!" The board member soon becomes literally dead weight, committing suicide. Anderson sheds no tears. "When a man outlives his usefulness, he ought to jump out a window!"

Excerpt from TCM HERE

Theatrical Release: 20 January 1933 (New York City, NY)

Reviews                                More Reviews                                DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volume 7) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:14:45
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.47 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (2:16)

DVD Release Date:
4 discs in a keep case

Chapters 22

  


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

directed by Robert Florey
USA 1933

 

In this romantic sex-comedy from director Robert Florey, Bette Davis stars as Helen Bauer, a free-spirited, self-sufficient feminist who would rather pursue her career as a graphic artist than settle down and marry Don Peterson (Gene Raymond), the advertising writer she loves, out of fear that marriage will destroy the romance. Eventually, Don wears Helen down and the couple marry. But when the flame quickly burns out, Don begins an affair with a female client. Not to be outdone and without missing a beat, Helen takes up with Nick Malvyn (Monroe Owsley), another ad writer, who by no coincidence also happens to be Don's biggest rival. In light of their respective bouts of infidelity, the couple must consider whether or not they want to give the marriage another shot."

Theatrical Release: 14 May 1933 (premiere)

Reviews                                     More Reviews                           DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volume 7) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:06:46
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.63 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (2:02)

DVD Release Date:
4 discs in a keep case

Chapters 15

  


Screen Captures


damaged frame

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC




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