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Friday, March 14, 2008

Good Night Nurse

posted by on March 14 at 13:16 PM

Warner Home Video released on DVD this week a second volume of the “Forbidden Hollywood Collection”. These are all films made in the early 1930’s before the Production Code of 1934 was foisted on Hollywood by censorious religious pigs.

I recommend “Night Nurse”, starring Barbara Stanwcyk and directed by William Wellman (“The Public Enemy”). It’s a weird and grimy little film with a somewhat bizarre plot, but with great performances by Stanwyck, Joan Blondell, and Clark Gable (who’s tricked out in a very fetishey, very hot Chauffeur’s uniform). Stanwyck gets clocked in the jaw at one point and hits the floor! Ka-bang! Worth seeing!


In “Divorcee” from 1930, it’s all urban ennui and upper middle-class fucking. After divorcing a very studly, square-jawed Chester Morris, Norma Shearer swanks around Manhattan in a variety of freakishly gorgeous Art Deco costumes, sleeping with everything that moves, drinking too much, and trying not to look cross-eyed.


I feel her pain.

I caught “Divorcee” on TCM not long ago, and it truly blew my mind (the weed helped). High contrast, jazzy black and white settings, and splendid, sophisticated costumes make this a design fag’s dream. I always find Norma Shearer a bit too uppish and self-satisfied, but when she gazes off midrange looking troubled and brave you can always study her jewelry.

Three other films are included in the set— “Three on a Match” 1932 directed by Mervyn Leroy, Clarence Brown’s”Free Soul” from 1931, and Michael Curtiz’ “Female” from 1933.

RSS icon Comments


*LeRoy, and OMG, The Bad Seed is one of the best films of the 50's.

Sadly, I no longer have cable. No TCM for me. Sniff. Props on this post, though.

Posted by Mr. Poe | March 14, 2008 1:23 PM

The Bad Seed caused me to have many nightmares when I was a little girl.
But the Wizard Of Oz scared me to death too so I guess I'm no great judge of scary movies.

Posted by mj | March 14, 2008 1:31 PM

i was thinkin about 'the bad seed' during that earlier post that it's mark mitchell posted of the woman in the couture.. i was hearing patty mccormick's voice in my head saying ' gimme those shoes.. gimme those SHOES ! '

Posted by reverend dr dj riz | March 14, 2008 1:37 PM

1)I'm not a Ted Turner fan, but he has one helluva classic movies channel.
2)Norma Shearer is both wonderful AND awful...maybe it's the eye thing.
3)The Bad Seed ROCKS! And the DVD is great 'cause you get commentary from the Bad Seed herself, Patty McCormack and ultimate fan Charles Busch.
4)The Wizard of Oz IS scary. I would say they should have given the best supporting actress Oscar to Margaret Hamilton that year, but there's about 10 actresses in The Women who deserve it as well...PLUS, Hattie McDaniel is pretty fucking amazing in GWTW and manages to make a stereotype come to life.

Finally. A Freaky Friday post I can relate to...all that talk about water bottles, parking and traffic was starting to get to me...

Posted by michael strangeways | March 14, 2008 1:38 PM

I *love* Norma Shearer - I've always found the squint kind of human and charming in such a beautiful face. The costumes are by Adrian. They used to call the white satin sheaths he designed for Norma Shearer 'Norma's nightgowns' - she wore one in most of her films once he started doing her costuming, and always (visibly) without underwear.

Posted by Liz | March 14, 2008 1:46 PM

Dave Kehr's review of it is the best thing he's written in weeks.

Posted by annie | March 14, 2008 1:46 PM

Going home, watching Divorcee and mixing up some martinis sounds sooooo good right now...only four more hours of work left.

Posted by madamecrow | March 14, 2008 1:47 PM

You should post all the damn time.

Posted by Michigan Matt (soon to be Baltimatt) | March 14, 2008 1:55 PM

I'm still waiting for UPS to deliver my copy. The TCM Documentary is worth the price alone.

Posted by elswinger | March 14, 2008 1:56 PM


Posted by Carollani | March 14, 2008 2:04 PM

Three on a Match is brutally awesome.

Posted by Kim Hayden | March 14, 2008 2:12 PM

Carollani, you have a Hannah Montana sticker on your Razr...please don't force me to use the tired line involving the "Canadian" kettle...

and gay is the new black.

Posted by michael strangeways | March 14, 2008 2:16 PM

Female with Ruth Chatterton is fascinating too.

Posted by Jason | March 14, 2008 2:20 PM

Hollywood fun fact: Lionel Barrymore, better known as mean Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life," won an Oscar for his intense overacting as the lawyer in "A Free Soul."

Posted by Slip Mahoney | March 14, 2008 3:41 PM

@12 - no, black is the new gay.

Gay was the new black last week.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 14, 2008 4:14 PM

I thought bitch was the new black.

Posted by elswinger | March 14, 2008 6:13 PM

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