All posts tagged: pre-code Hollywood

a closer look at the second mrs Rathbone…

When you read Basil’s autobiography and various magazine interviews with him in the late 1930s, you get the impression of Ouida, his second wife, as a devoted and selfless woman who rescued him from failure, gave up a brilliant career as a thousand-dollar a week screenwriter to help him become a star, and was instrumental in reuniting him with his estranged son… Is this impressive portrait the true story?….

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A Notorious Affair (1930)

Again we have goodies courtesy of the amazing A Folded Umbrella. This time it’s some beautiful caps of that tremulous weepy A Notorious Affair (1930). This is a pre-code movie that features an adulterous male and a blatantly promiscuous female who doesn’t have to die or go to jail or in any way suffer for her sins, something unimaginable a decade later. It also features one of the greatest ever contenders for Most Improbable Movie Illness, challenging Bette Davis’s awesome tour de force (“it’s going to rain, oh no wait it’s my brain tumor”) in Dark Victory. This movie is also notable for being made during the period 1930-33 that’s been under discussion in the comments here. The Baz was at the top of his game, a matinee idol on Broadway and a leading man on screen, but in 1932 he turned down Reunion in Vienna (subsequently given to John Barrymore), quit Hollywood and returned to the UK, declaring his intention – dramatically and vehemently – never to go back. His reasons for taking this …