Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, July 9
Kay Francis and Joel McCrea star, but supporting players Lilyan Tashman and Eugene Pallette really sparkle in George Cukor's lively romp about gold-digging women and the men they mine.
Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, and Dick Powell in an essential Busby Berkeley extravaganza. Production numbers like "We're In the Money" and "My Forgotten Man" back-handedly inject social relevance into the musical fantasy world.
Josef Von Sternberg's luminous vision of America has Marlene Dietrich singing "Hot Voodoo" in a gorilla suit. Need we say more?
Lovely Loretta Young struggles to escape from the wrong side of the tracks and the wrong side of the law, with dubious assistance from Ricardo Cortez and Franchot Tone, in William Wellman's elegantly constructed melodrama.
William Wellman's hard-hitting portrayal of pre-New Deal America addresses unemployment, urban alienation, and mob violence. "An essential Depression document."-Scott Simmon
Racketeer James Cagney transforms a brutal reform school into a juvenile utopia in this odd and compelling hybrid of prison drama, gangster comedy, and social problem film.
Introduced by Michael Mashon. Warren William gives a classic performance as a hard-nosed department store manager.
Introduced by Michael Mashon. Condemned criminal Edward G. Robinson recalls his descent into vice in this vividly stylized proto-noir.
Introduced by Michael Mashon. A new print of the notorious Barbara Stanwyck class-climbing saga restores censored scenes not seen since 1933. "Even the cut version is a jaw-dropper; with its full five minutes of sleaze restored, it has to be seen to be not quite believed."-N.Y. Times
Introduced by Michael Mashon. Stanwyck and Joan Blondell expose Hippocratic hypocrisy-and plenty of skin-in this medical melodrama, also featuring Clark Gable as the heavy.
Financier Warren William presides over a hundred-story skyscraper, ruthlessly manipulating money and lives, in this vertical version of Grand Hotel. Winsome Maureen O'Sullivan is among William's victims.
When things get too hot back East, N.Y. mobster James Cagney heads for L.A., where his criminal talents find a perfect expression in the studio system. "A sly satire of Hollywood and the gangster genre."-Time Out
"Mae West is at the peak of her insinuatingly wisecracking form as a carnival chanteuse and lion tamer....If West had never said anything else except 'Beulah, peel me a grape,' she would still rank as one of the immortals of American language."-Village Voice
Jean Harlow mocks her own sexpot persona, playing a movie star relentlessly harassed by unscrupulous publicist Lee Tracy, in this smart Hollywood satire packed with snappy dialogue and studio in-jokes.
Scripted by Anita Loos, this comedy-melodrama has Harlow sleeping her way up the social ladder with an amoral audacity that's still astonishing. "Harlow at her most hilariously wanton."-Village Voice
Trucking company chief Ruth Chatterton makes special demands of her handsome male employees in this brisk, entertaining twist on the old businesswoman-tamed-by-love story.
Aline MacMahon, a mannish mechanic at a desolate motor camp, receives an unwelcome reminder of her romantic past in this tense ensemble drama that prefigures The Petrified Forest. Also starring Ann Dvorak.
Tod Browning's "highly unusual attraction" teeters between empathy and exploitation. With its cast of outcasts, seamy sideshow setting, and bizarre revenge plot, it "remains one of the most disturbing films ever made."-N.Y. Times
Rouben Mamoulian's visually virtuosic adaptation fully develops the erotic implications of Stevenson's story, with Fredric March as the good Doctor and monstrous Mr., and Miriam Hopkins the willing victim.
Wife and mistress reverse roles in this sophisticated comedy starring Leslie Howard, Myrna Loy, and Ann Harding.
Bail bondsman George Bancroft navigates between crooks and cops in a fast-moving crime thriller.
Sparks fly between Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett in Raoul Walsh's rough-and-ready waterfront comedy.
Lee Tracy delivers his greatest performance as a wisecracking, Walter Winchell-like gossip columnist in this breathless satire, also featuring Dick Powell as a comically insipid crooner. "Quick and breezy and very likable."-Pauline Kael
Jewel thieves Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins take millionaire Kay Francis for a ride, with romantic complications, in Ernst Lubitsch's exquisite gem of a comedy. "A nearly perfect film."-New Yorker
Lubitsch's audacious adaptation of Noel Coward's play wickedly installs American expats Miriam Hopkins, Gary Cooper, and Fredric March in a Parisian garret, where they're hard pressed to keep their minds on their art.