Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 9

Big City Blues (1932)                          Hell's Highway (1932)

The Cabin in the Cotton (1932)                           When Ladies Meet (1933)                  I Sell Anything (1934)

 

Return with us now to those naughty days of yesteryear in this ninth volume of Forbidden Hollywood, containing a quartet of pre-Code wonders plus a special post-Code bonus film! Joan Blondell stars as a free-wheeling chorus girl who hooks up with the ultimate hick (Eric Linden) in Mervyn LeRoy's Big City Blues (with a young Humphrey Bogart!). Richard Dix stars as one cool convict working the road crew for a corrupt warden in Rowland Brown's Hell's Highway. Bette Davis utters the immortal "I'd love to kiss you, but I just washed my hair" to Richard Barthelmess in Michael Curtiz's The Cabin in the Cotton. Myrna Loy stars as a writer with extramarital designs in Harry Beaumont's When Ladies Meet. Finally, pre-Code favorites Pat O'Brien and Ann Dvorak spice up the proceedings in the tale of a Second Avenue auctioneer (O'Brien) who gets played by a society grifter (Claire Dodd) in Robert Florey's I Sell Anything.

Posters

 

 

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 1

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 2

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 3

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 4

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 5

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 6

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 7

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 9

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 9) - 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

 

 

 

Comments

Warner Archive took over Forbidden Hollywood sets since volume 4 and
this year's volume 10 was released as the last one in the series. We
reviewed first seven volumes - Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4, Vol. 5, Vol. 6, and Vol. 7. More pre-code sets were released by other studios - Pre-Code Hollywood Collection from Universal and Columbia Pictures Pre-Code Collection from Sony, but the releases from Warner/MGM library established the standard back in the laserdisc days. We will try to fill in the gaps of the last three volumes.

Volume 9 upped the number of films in the set - it includes 4 pre-codes and one extra feature, I Sell Anything, released in October 1934, after Motion Picture Production Code censorship guidelines went into effect on July 1 1934. Stars seen in the films are Joan Blondell, Eric Linden, Richard Dix, Bette Davis, Richard Barthelmess, Robert Montgomery, Myrna Loy, Ann Harding, Pat O'Brien, Ann Dvorak... Humphrey Bogart is in Big City Blues in his early role. Each film represents different aspects of the pre-code cinema - criminal drama Big City Blues, chain gang problem picture Hell's Highway, Southern melodrama The Cabin in the Cotton, romantic comedy of marriage and infidelity When Ladies Meet and, finally, the comedy/drama of changing morals in code era I Sell Anything. We can see the aspects of each film that would be censored after The code went into effect.

There are 4 discs in this volume with the last dual-layered disc sharing 2 movies, When Ladies Meet and I Sell Anything. Each film features new progressive transfers that vary in quality due to the original materials utilized without going through extensive restoration process. There are many specs and marks on the prints, with some damaged frames, but overall contrast is fine and this is the best each film looked on home video. The mono soundtracks are decent, with no distortions or noticeable damage. There are 3 trailers included as extras, Big City Blues, The Cabin in the Cotton and I Sell Anything. As usual for Forbidden Hollywood sets, the first pressing found at Warner Archive store is replicated. Amazon sells made-on-demand discs since the release date, so buy elsewhere if you seek the factory replicated DVDs. Volume 9 provides a great representation of pre-code cinema from 3 different studios (Warner, RKO, MGM) and gets our highest recommendation.

  - Gregory Meshmam

 


DVD Menus
 

 


 

directed by Mervyn LeRoy
USA 1932

 

Based on the play New York Town by Ward Morehouse, Mervyn LeRoy directs the black-and-white 1932 comedy drama Big City Blues. A small-town innocent from Indiana, Bud Reeves (Eric Linden) inherits money and goes to New York to get in all sorts of trouble. He meets up with his cousin Gibby (Walter Catlett), who introduces him to chorus girl Vida Fleet (Joan Blondell). Bud and Gibby then throw a drunken hotel party with bootleg liquor that gets out of hand and a young woman (Josephine Dunn) is hit on the head and accidentally killed. Bud and Vida go gambling and drinking to escape the cops, but they are caught and arrested with everyone else from the party. Eventually, the police find the real killer and release everyone. Bud leaves for Indiana, but plans to go back, get his dog, and marry Vida. Humphrey Bogart appears in a brief uncredited role as Shep Adkins, a guy who gets into a fight with Lyle Talbot during the party.

Theatrical Release: 10 September 1932 (premiere)

Reviews                                              More Reviews                                     DVD Reviews

 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:02:30
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.43 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:
� 5 films on 4 discs
� Theatrical Trailer for Big City Blues (2:01)

DVD Release Date: October 27th, 2015
4 discs in a Keep case

Chapters 18

 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 
Damaged frame

 


 

directed by Rowland Brown
USA 1932

Often referred to as an imitation of Warner's legendary prison drama I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932), RKO's stirring Hell's Highway was actually released a few months earlier. The two films were in production at the same time, but RKO was determined to beat the competition (which also included Universal's Laughter in Hell, 1933) and not a few corners were cut. All three films were set in a generic Southern state (read Georgia) and depicted a horrid penal system more akin to the Middle Ages than the supposedly enlightened 1930s. In Hell's Highway, the chain gang prisoners wear uniforms with a large target printed on the back and the torture instrument du jour is a so-called sweatbox, in constant operation so that unscrupulous contractor Billings (Oscar Apfel) may construct his "Liberty Highway" on time and under budget. When a prisoner dies from exposure in the dreaded contraption, Duke Ellis (Richard Dix) concocts a plan to escape. The escape comes to an abrupt halt with the sudden arrival of his kid brother, Johnny (Tom Brown). The latter ends up in the sweatbox, but Duke has the kid transferred to office duty by using a bit of blackmail. There is a climactic prison riot, during which Duke is killed after saving his brother once again. Or at least that was what a preview audience saw. The death of the film's hero proved so shocking that RKO hastily filmed an alternative ending and Hell's Highway, as it survives today, concludes with Billings being charged with murder (the sweatbox situation) and Duke asked to testify against him. Typical of pre-code Hollywood, Hell's Highway features an openly gay prisoner (who bats his eyes at the prison guards), several scenes of torture, an appearance of near equality between black and white inmates, a bible-quoting polygamist (Charles Middleton), a wife-murdering guard (Warner Richmond), and, for added verisimilitude, a handicapped character who, when mortally wounded during the riot, signs his farewell to this world. Hell's Highway may not have enjoyed the status of I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, but it remains a powerful indictment of the Georgian penal system of 1931 and a fine, well-acted film in its own right.

Theatrical Release: 23 September 1932 (USA)

Reviews                                                     More Reviews                                                    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 9) - 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 1:01:58
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.43 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:
� 5 films on 4 discs

DVD Release Date:
4 discs in a Keep case

Chapters 16
 

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

directed by Michael Curtiz
USA 1932

 

Henry Harrison Kroll's novel Cabin in the Cotton was an attack on wealthy southern landowners who exploited their sharecroppers. While the landowners still don't come off too well in Warner Bros.' film version of Kroll's novel, the film tries to avoid stepping on powerful toes, even composing an opening-title disclaimer pointing out that both sides of the issue had arguments in their favor. Richard Barthelmess, 23 going on 45, plays a sharecropper's son who wants to improve his lot with a college education. Land baron Berton Churchill advises Barthelmess' father to get those "silly ideas" out of our hero's head, lest he forget his place. Bette Davis plays Churchill's seductive daughter, whose influence with daddy enables Barthelmess to rise to the position of Churchill's bookkeeper. When Barthelmess discovers that Churchill is cooking the books, Churchill counters that Barthelmess wouldn't have any chance to advance himself without the largess of the landowners. He even tries to get Barthelmess to inform on those field workers who plan to organize a union. A potentially bloody confrontation between the workers and management is quelled by Barthelmess, who manages to wangle compromises from both sides. The only thing Barthelmess loses is Davis, but he is compensated by the affections of longtime sweetheart Dorothy Jordan. Nobody really remembers the plot complications in Cabin in the Cotton; to most viewers, the film is memorable only for Bette Davis' classic line "Ah'd love to kiss ya, but ah jest washed ma hair.

Theatrical Release: 26 September 1932 (Dyersburg, Tennessee)

Reviews                                                                            More Reviews                                                                     DVD Reviews

 

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 9) - 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 1:17:36
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.4 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:
� 5 films on 4 discs
� Theatrical Trailer for The Cabin in the Cotton (2:26)

DVD Release Date:
4 discs in a Keep case

Chapters 20

  


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


(aka "Strange Skirts" or "Truth Is Stranger")

 

directed by Harry Beaumont, Robert Z. Leonard (uncredited)

USA 1933

 

Henry Beaumont directed this verbose adaptation of Rachel Crother's play. Ann Harding plays Claire Woodruff, the wife of philandering publisher Rogers Woodruf (Frank Morgan). Myrna Loy is Mary Howard, a lithe and beautiful writer of novels with whom Rogers is in love. Meanwhile, her friend Jimmie Lee (Robert Montgomery), a frosty newspaper man who continually puts down her novel writing, is actually in love with her. When Claire and Mary finally meet up with each other to discuss characters in a new book Mary is writing, Claire, in a blunt and common-sensical way, provides Mary with her own personal take on love and philandering husbands.


Theatrical Release: 23 June 1933 (USA)

Reviews                                                                 More Reviews                                                    DVD Reviews

 

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 9) - 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 1:25:03
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:
� 5 films on 4 discs

DVD Release Date:
4 discs in a Keep case

Chapters 21

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


(aka "I Sell Everything" )

 

directed by Robert Florey
USA 1934

 

"I Sell Anything" is the boast of penny-ante auctioneer Spot Cash Cutler (Pat O'Brien), and he more than makes good his boast in this brisk Warner Bros. programmer. When Cutler accidentally sells a rare antique to clever Millicent Clark (Claire Dodd) for a mere 50 bucks, he demands a cut when Millicent resells the item to a museum for $5000. Instead, she talks him into utilizing his talents at a high-class Broadway auction house. This leads to a series of double- and triple-crosses as Millicent maneuvers Cutler into selling the worthless items cluttering the home of her boyfriend Smiley Thompson (Russell Hopton), leaving our hero empty-handed except for the love of his ever-patient sweetheart Barbara (Ann Dvorak). The cast of I Sell Anything lists "three stooges," but they're played by Hobart Cavanaugh, Gus Shy and Harry Tyler rather than Curly, Larry and Moe.

Theatrical Release: 20 October 1934 (USA)

Reviews                                                             More Reviews                                                          DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Forbidden Hollywood, Volume 9) - 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 1:09:33
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.57 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:
� 5 films on 4 discs
� Theatrical Trailer for I Sell Anything (2:26)

DVD Release Date:
4 discs in a Keep case

Chapters 24

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 1

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 2

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 3

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 4

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 5

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 6

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 7

Forbidden Hollywood Volume 9




Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!