One More Spring, Hoopla!, The Wrong Way Out

One More Spring
Now virtually a lost film due to deterioration of original material, One More Spring should be the definitive depression comedy, toppling the sophisticated (but quite dishonest) My Man Godfrey from its throne. One More Spring has plenty of comedy too, but encased within a framework of whimsy, and when it needs to be honest or dramatic it pulls no punches. In many ways an off-beat companion picture to Borzage's Man's Castle, it is charming and unpredictable, though already (in 1935) being a little dated, based as it was on an earlier play, and being forced by the Production Code to pull in its horns a little ... especially in the matter of how the would-be actress heroine actually makes a living. It's sprightly, often quite moving. Janet Gaynor and Warner Baxter star, but the big surprises are Walter Woolf King in perhaps his only good movie role (he was too often used as a stuffy stooge for Laurel & Hardy and the Marx Brothers) and Stepin Fetchit, in a devastatingly funny supporting role.

• Directed by Henry King. Screenplay by Edwin Burke from the novel by Robert Nathan. Photographed by John F. Seitz. With Janet Gaynor, Warner Baxter, Jane Darwell, Walter Woolf King, Stepin Fetchit. (1935, 87 mins, Print from WKE)

The final shot of Hoopla! is a shimmering, radiant closeup of Clara Bow who, in the plot, has just achieved stardom. Ironically, it was her last shot - and her last movie. Seeming something of an anachronism at the time, and beset by personal problems, she was rapidly being shunted into the background by the new sex symbol, Jean Harlow. But Hoopla!, a remake of The Barker, stands the test of time rather well and indicates that with care and the right properties, Clara Bow could have continued as a major star in the sound period too.

• Directed by Frank Lloyd. Adapted from Kenyon Nicholson's stage play, “The Barker.” With Clara Bow, Preston Foster, Richard Cromwell, James Gleason. (1933, 75 mins, Print from WKE)

The Wrong Way Out
The first American film (a two-reeler from the Crime Does Not Pay series) from the director of Extase showed that he could adapt to Hollywood requirements without abandoning his rich style. Unfortunately his Hollywood career was aborted, there being no place for his rich eroticism in the late 30s and 40s, and only one feature ever materialized.

• Directed by Gustav Machaty. (1938, ca.20 mins, Print from WKE)

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