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directed by Sam Wood
USA 1933

 

Made in 1933, Hold Your Man is a fascinating mix of racy pre-Code cynicism and post-Code sentimentality and piety. Split right down the middle of its running time, the film’s first part resembles less a glossy MGM film and more a proletarian or underworld Warner Bros. product of the time, while the second half looks forward to the overt moralizing tendencies apparent in MGM’s films after mid-1934, when studio head Louis B. Mayer insisted that his studio give audiences reassuring Christian moral and spiritual uplift. In retrospect, Hold Your Man embodies Depression-era Hollywood’s contradictory impulses to obey pressures mounting from organized groups like the Catholic National Legion of Decency, as well as fulfill popular demand for more sexy and gritty fare in order to maintain corporate profitability in a depressed market. Hold Your Man had its cake and ate it too.

[...]

Designed as a vehicle to re-team Jean Harlow and Clark Gable after the equally successful Red Dust (1932), Hold Your Man effectively exploited the personas of its two stars. Harlow is a working-class wise-cracking dame whose hard shell conceals a heart of mush and a yearning for bourgeois domesticity and conventional married family life. Gable, after a rapid ascent to become MGM’s most important male star in less than three years, plays the naughty, lovable scam artist redeemed by Harlow's fidelity.

Excerpt of review from David Boxwell for Senses of Cinema located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 30 June 1933 (New York City)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:26:24
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.60 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:
• Spanish Trailer (2:36)

DVD Release Date: October 16th, 2012
Keep Case

Chapters 10

 

Comments

Hold Your Man was the third feature starring Jean Harlow and Clark Gable after the hugely successful Red Dust. Pre-code first half contrasts with over-moralizing of the ending of the picture. The film debuted on DVD as part of Warner Archive Collection in October 2012 outside the Jean Harlow 100th Anniversary Collection released a year earlier. An extra time was required to clean up the transfer and the image looks splendid considering the film's age and comparing to VHS release from 1998. The contrast is good and there are some marks on the print, but it never gets intrusive. A Spanish language trailer is included as an extra. Overall, this is another great release from Warner Archive that we can easily recommend. One wishes they revisit with such care Jean Harlow's introduction picture to WAC from the first batch in 2009 - The Beast of the City.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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