As we show yet another picture of the UCLA campus in the midst of a rare Los Angeles snowfall on Jan. 15, 1932 (if you missed the earlier entry on this freakish event, check it out at http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/#67549), we thought we'd alert you to a happening at the Westwood campus in a few weeks -- and if you're a Carole Lombard fan in the L.A. metro area, a snowfall might be your only excuse for not going.
It's part of a series from UCLA called "Universal Preservation: Pre-Code Films From the Universal and Paramount Libraries." (Universal now owns most pre-1948 Paramount product.) From Feb. 1-23, over three weekends, 12 fairly obscure films from 1929 to 1933 that have been restored by Universal's preservation department. New 35mm safety prints have been struck from nitrate prints and other elements, some directly from UCLA's own archive.
Lombard's entry in the series comes fairly early, on Saturday, Feb. 2. It's her 1933 potboiler "White Woman," in many ways the campiest film she ever made. For proof, look at these publicity stills from the film, featuring Lombard with co-star Charles Laughton:
The UCLA description of the film includes this sentence. "Banished from Malay nightclubs for 'arousing' the natives, torch singer Carole Lombard absconds with a sadistic plantation owner (Charles Laughton) who takes turns tyrannizing his new wife and his pet monkey." (I believe this is the film where a monkey mauled Lombard's arm, causing her to be hospitalized for a few days.)
In "White Woman," you see Lombard singing, even though she actually isn't. (For an explanation, see http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/11870.html.) You also see Laughton, who could be a good actor when he wanted to, serve up plenty of spiced ham (something he unfortunately also showed a lot of in his only other film with Carole, "They Knew What They Wanted" in 1940).
The cast also features Charles Bickford and a Paramount player named Kent Taylor, who's virtually forgotten now but had some success in the '30s. (Two young men from Cleveland used the first names of Taylor and another actor -- one you should know -- to give their comic superhero creation, a fellow named Superman, his alter ego.) Here are Lombard, Laughton and Taylor, just daring you to go see this movie:
Screenings will take place at the Billy Wilder Theater in the Hammer Museum on campus. The series features six double features, with tickets for each session selling for $10. To order online, go to https://secure.cinema.ucla.edu/onlineboxoffice/
Friday, Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m.
"City Streets" (1931) -- Directed by Rouben Mamoulian, starring Gary Cooper, Sylvia Sidney, Paul Lukas. A Prohibition crime drama, based on a Dashiell Hammett story.
"The Miracle Man" (1932) -- Based on a play by, of all people, George M. Cohan, this stars Sylvia Sidney and Chester Morris as a pair of con artists who exploit a faith healer. Boris Karloff has a supporting role.
Saturday, Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m.
"Hot Saturday" (1932) -- Stars Nancy Carroll, soon on her way down, and Cary Grant, soon on his way up, as a bank teller and wealthy bachelor, respectively, and the problems that ensue when she spends a night at his hideaway.
"White Woman" (1933).
Saturday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m.
"Close Harmony" (1929) -- Nancy Carroll plays a song and dance girl at a New York movie house who tries to assist her jazz musician boyfriend by breaking up the show's star comedy duo...by seducing both members. Also stars Charles "Buddy" Rogers and Jack Oakie.
"Manslaughter" (1930) -- A good early vehicle for Claudette Colbert, pardon the pun; she portrays a spoiled flapper whose reckless driving kills a police officer. She's jailed by a district attorney (Fredric March) who secretly loves her.
Sunday, Feb. 17, 7 p.m.
"Murder By The Clock" (1931) -- Lilyan Tashman, among the most stylish stars of her time, plays a niece of a wealthy matriach who dupes her lover into a plot to get her inheritance early.
"The Cheat" (1931) -- There were desperate housewives long before Wisteria Lane, and here the great Tallulah Bankhead portrays one of them. She's gambled away $10,000, but gets it back from a local art collector. However, he has a price.
Friday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.
"Street Of Chance" (1930) -- William Powell stars as a gambler who tries to save his younger brother from following in his footsteps. Co-stars Kay Francis and a young Jean Arthur.
"Okay, America!" (1932) -- This film and the two on Feb. 23 are Universal products, showing there were more than monsters at Carl Laemmle's studio. This stars Lew Ayres ("All Quiet On The Western Front") as a ruthless gossip columnist who gets involved in all sorts of adventures when he covers a kidnapping. With Maureen O'Sullivan and Edward Arnold.
Saturday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.
"Nice Women" (1931) -- A girl (Frances Dee) is pressured by her parents to marry his father's much older millionaire boss instead of the sweetheart she loves. Co-starring Alan Mowbray.
"Impatient Maiden" (1931) -- In recent years, Mae Clarke's reputation as an actress has been restored thanks to greater exposure of the likes of the original "Waterloo Bridge." Here's another starring turn for her, as she plays a secretary who's skeptical about marriage until she meets a doctor (Lew Ayres, long before he played Dr. Kildare). Co-starring Una Markel and Andy Devine, and directed by James Whale as his followup to "Frankenstein"!