Warner Archive Anniversary: Debbie Reynolds, Joan Blondell

Warner Archive: Debbie Reynolds, Joan Blondell, Ursula Andress (image: Nuns Greer Garson and Debbie Reynolds, and priest Ricardo Montalban celebrate the Warner Archive's fourth anniversary – or was it Greer Garson's birthday? – on the Singing Nun set) The Warner Archive, currently offering 1,500 DVDs and Blu-rays, turned four years old in March. New releases celebrating the Big Four include movies featuring Debbie Reynolds, Jane […]

Joan Blondell Bio: Warner Bros. Movies & Real Life Love Triangle + Condom Censorship

Joan Blondell biography. Joan Blondell. Those who have heard the name will most likely picture either a blowsy, older woman playing the worldwise but warm-hearted saloon owner in the late 1960s television series Here Come the Brides, or a lively, fast-talking, no-nonsense, and unconventionally sexy gold digger in numerous Pre-Code Warner Bros. comedies and musicals of the early 1930s. Matthew Kennedy's Joan Blondell: A Life […]

Joan Blondell Movies: 'Dames' & 'Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?'

Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, Dames Joan Blondell has always been a favorite of mine, much like fellow wisecracking 1930s Warner Bros. players Aline MacMahon and Glenda Farrell. The fact that Blondell never became a top star says more about audiences – who preferred, say, Shirley Temple and Mickey Rooney – than about Blondell's screen presence and acting abilities. As part of its “Summer Under the […]

Sex and the Single Girl: The Escapades of Busby Berkeley

Carmen Miranda in The Gang's All Here “Sex and the Single Girl: The Escapades of Busby Berkeley” is a mini-retrospective currently being presented by the UCLA Film & Television Archive at the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood. Busby Berkeley went from directing stiff military parades to directing spiffy civilian babes in numerous musicals of the 1930s and 1940s, most notably at the (almost) no-holds-barred early […]

Forbidden Hollywood: Racy Pre-Code Movies

The new documentary Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood and five Pre-Code films will be shown on Turner Classic Movies on Monday, March 3 (more details below). The five racy Pre-Coders are: The Divorcee (1930), A Free Soul (1931), Night Nurse (1931), Three on a Match (1932), and Female (1933). Those are films made before religious zealots, abetted by frightened studio […]