Bad Movies · Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: The Canary Murder Case (1929)

The website Harry’s Stuff describes 1929’s The Canary Murder Case as “the film that destroyed the career of Louise Brooks.”  The author goes on to note: “Depending on which view you take, it is either a manifestation of a ruthless Hollywood money machine crushing a great talent that it was too ignorant to recognize, or the self-destruction of an actress… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: The Canary Murder Case (1929)

Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Night World (1932)

The best way to describe the pre-Code motion picture Night World (1932) is that it’s “Grand Hotel in a speakeasy.”  That speakeasy is owned and operated by ‘Happy’ MacDonald (Boris Karloff), a charmingly sinister host with clear ties to unsavory underworld elements.  His wife Jill (Dorothy Revier) is having a little clandestine what-have-you with Klauss (Russell Hopton), the man choreographing the… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Night World (1932)

Classic Movies

“…on the dotted line!”

To the Fisher family, he’s known as “The Show Off.”  Every clan has or knows someone like Aubrey Piper (Ford Sterling), a brash, obnoxious individual with a braying laugh that sets on edge the teeth of any poor soul unfortunate to be within earshot.  Aubrey is only a thirty-dollar-a-week clerk in the offices of the Pennsylvania Railroad—but… Continue reading “…on the dotted line!”

Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Give Out, Sisters (1942)

Professor Chester Woof (Charles Butterworth) was only interested in learning the conga…and yet, he was somehow persuaded to purchase the dance school, courtesy of a fast-talking sharpie named Gribble (Walter Catlett).  That school is now swimming in a pool of red ink, but its financial salvation might come in the form of a student (and Western… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Give Out, Sisters (1942)

Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Strictly in the Groove (1942)

The first thing I wondered out loud during the opening scenes of Strictly in the Groove (1942): “What the hell is Ozzie Nelson still doing in college?”  (The second question I asked was “Where is Mrs. Nelson (Harriet Hilliard)?”  Maybe she was picking up David and Ricky at school.)  Because the plot of this Universal B-musical finds Oz still matriculating in the… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Strictly in the Groove (1942)

Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: Seven Footprints to Satan (1929)

Wealthy young man-about-town James Kirkham (Creighton Hale) may not have the hypnotic power to cloud men’s minds so that they cannot see him…but he’s loaded with dough all the same, and he’s yearning to go to Africa for some “adventure.”  His Uncle Joe (DeWitt Jennings) isn’t particularly sold on the jaunt to the Dark Continent, while… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: Seven Footprints to Satan (1929)

Classic Movies

Grey Market Cinema: The Undead (1957)

In my formative movie nut years, one of the activities that I looked forward to the most was when the ‘rents did a little stepping out at Saturday night dances at the country club (yes, we belonged to a country club—believe me, it wasn’t as hoity-toity as it sounds since there wasn’t anything else going… Continue reading Grey Market Cinema: The Undead (1957)