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Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume 6

 

The Wet Parade (1932)                          Downstairs (1932)

 

Mandalay (1934)                         Massacre (1934)
 

Audacious, controversial and shockingly frank, Forbidden Hollywood: Volume Six turns the spotlight on adultery, alcoholism, prostitution and racism, issues the Production Code would soon ban from the screen. Starring the pre-Code era’s biggest stars, including John Gilbert, Richard Barthelmess, Myrna Loy, Kay Francis and Ann Dvorak, these four rarely seen gems are a provocative reflection of American mores in a not-so-innocent time. The Wet Parade (1932): Demon whiskey brings ruin to two families in this all-star adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s impassioned novel. Downstairs (1932): A philandering chauffeur (Gilbert) creates havoc in an upper-class household. Mandalay (1934): A Russian refugee (Francis) seeks revenge upon the ex-lover (Ricardo Cortez) who sold her into lavery. Massacre (1934): A college-educated Sioux (Barthelmess) wreaks vengeance upon the white officials who abused his family and cheated his people.

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 and volume 5 and the next two volumes were released in April of 2013.

Volume 6 features the most diverse collection of films with nothing connecting them to each other. 2 films in the collection are from MGM - The Wet Parade and Downstairs, and 2 are from Warner/First National - Mandalay and Massacre. All four films are prime pre-code examples with such diverse topics as alcoholism, rape, adultery, interracial romance, scarcely-clad women and the plight of American Indians. All around, this set is a winner for all the pre-code sins.

There are 4 discs - one for each film. The Wet Parade disc has a privilege of being dual-layered, something we don't see often for a single film from Warner Archive. The first pressing of this set is not on DVD-R and is traditionally replicated, so if this is something that prevents you from getting Warner Archive releases, be advised so it does not stop you from getting this collection. All four transfers suffer from marks and specs and damaged frames, but overall these transfers look good. Mono audio has its share or issues, but once again, they are decent enough to hear everything and not miss the English subtitles or closed-captioning. The lone extra is a trailer for Massacre on disc 4. All four features are not as well-known as what was in the first Forbidden Hollywood Collection or even the last, #7, but these rare gems are still highly recommended and hopefully Warner Archive Collection continues this series in the future.

  - Gregory Meshman

 

DVD Menus
 


 

directed by Victor Fleming
USA 1932

 

In this war drama, two buddies in WW I return stateside. One of them becomes a police sergeant, but the other cannot find work and begins running booze for a small-time bootlegger. He gets greedy and sets up his own operation, thereby enraging his former employer. When the young smuggler's brother is killed, the smuggler kills his old boss. The police sergeant captures him and he is sentenced to die in the electric chair. When the fateful day arrives, the cop and a nurse, who also served with them in the war, accompany him to his death

Theatrical Release: 17 March 1932 (Beverly Hills, CA)

Reviews                           More Reviews                      DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volume 6) - 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 1:57:20
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.95 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: April 2, 2013
4 discs in a keep case

Chapters 46

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

directed by Monta Bell
USA 1932

 

Anyone who believes that the career of silent screen idol John Gilbert ended because his voice has too high for the talkies hasn't seen this marvelously black comedy. In perhaps his best performance of the sound era (with his supporting role in 1934's The Captain Hates the Sea running a close second), Gilbert plays a rogue who can get away with just about anything because of his charisma and charm -- and his voice suits his character perfectly. Karl (Gilbert) is a chauffeur who goes to work for a Viennese Baron and Baroness (Reginald Owen) and Olga Baclanova) on the day that two of their servants -- head butler Albert (Paul Lukas) and maid Anna (an astonishingly lovely Virginia Bruce) -- are being wed. Almost immediately Karl creates havoc in the household -- he flirts with the innocent, susceptible Anna, blackmails the Baroness, who is having an affair, and seduces the middle-aged head cook, Sophie (Bodil Rosing), only so he can get his hands on her life savings. In spite of his wickedness, there is something magnetic about Karl, and Anna -- who is vaguely dissatisfied with her loving but dogmatic husband -- finally succumbs. But all of his schemes inevitably backfire on him and after Albert gets Sophie's money back, he gladly tosses Karl out of the Baron's mansion. The next we see of him, he is c harming his way into yet another chauffeur position (hinting at a potential sequel that, unfortunately, never came). Gilbert, who wrote the story four years earlier, originally had an appropriately macabre ending -- after a brutal fight, Albert drowns Karl in a vat of wine. When he first came up with the idea, Gilbert had wanted Erich Von Stroheim to direct. By 1932, this was out of the question (MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer had little use for Stroheim). Instead, the highly capable Monta Bell was given the job -sadly, it was one his last directing assignments. During the shoot, Gilbert and Virginia Bruce fell in love and they were married in August, 1932, the month that the film was released.

Theatrical Release: 6 August 1932 (New York City, NY)

Reviews                    More Reviews         DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volume 6) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:17:24
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:
• None

DVD Release Date:
4 discs in a keep case

Chapters 26

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

directed by Michael Curtiz
USA 1934

 

The official cast list of Warner Bros. Mandalay states that Kay Francis plays a character named Tanya. For most of the film, however, the heroine -- if she can be called that -- goes by the name of Spot White (or "Spot Cash," as she's cynically designated by one of the lesser characters). Betrayed by her smuggler lover Tony Evans (Ricardo Cortez), Tanya/Spot White becomes one of white slaver Nick's (Warner Oland) stable of girls in old Rangoon. She eventually escapes this sordid lifestyle, and is later instrumental in the redemption of dissolute doctor Gregory Burton (Lyle Talbot). Falling in love with Burton, Spot White resorts to drastic measure to purge the ubiquitous Tony Evans from her life. Most sources list Shirley Temple in the cast as "Betty," but her role has apparently been excised from the currently available prints of Mandalay.

Theatrical Release: 10 February 1934 (USA)

Reviews                            More Reviews                         DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volume 6) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:04:50
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.95 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 33

  


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

directed by Alan Crosland
USA 1934

 

Revealing the influence in Hollywood of New Deal liberality, Massacre made good on the (limited) progress of such silent films as Paramount's The Vanishing American (1925) and Redskin (1929), Cinema Corporation of America's Braveheart (1925) and Universal's Red Clay (1927), albeit this time out giving an actual voice to its Native American protagonist. (Columbia's End of the Trail (1932) was another early talkie that spoke up for the Indians, albeit via pale-faced mouthpiece Tim McCoy.) It is unknown what Dvorak thought of the job, which required her to apply the bronze toner of an assimilated Sioux (who works as a stenographer in a federal office) but the actress participated in a bit of studio ballyhoo to help sell Massacre. During principal photography in October 1933, Warners announced that Dvorak had been bitten by a rattlesnake while on location in Calabasas. A reporter for the Los Angeles Examiner was invited to the home Dvorak shared with husband Leslie Fenton and to photograph the actress convalescing in bed. Stranger still was the claim that the actress planned to study her own tainted blood under a microscope when she was feeling sufficiently fit..

Theatrical Release: 18 January 1934 (premiere)

Reviews                             More Reviews                            DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volume 6) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:09:33
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.95 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 (3:11)

DVD Release Date:
4 discs in a keep case

Chapters 28

  


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC




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