GREEN HELL is a project on which, apparently quite a lot went wrong & as such it is perversely fascinating.
But good God why didn’t Whale or star/producer Douglas Fairbanks Jr eliminate from the get-go such obviously insane bits of scripting as when one character (Alan Hale, I think) checks out an unconcious man & declares, “It’s only a coma.”
Possibly the best thing Whale did after finally breaking with Universal was THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK – also shown on TCM from time to time.
I would recommend fans of pre-code to check out The Miracle at Morgan’s Creek which is basically Sturges having fun with the code.
Harry, I can’t disagree with you on the script, but I have a perverse fascination with films that put a group of characters in a forbidding setting and sets them against one another and the elements. Whether it be in a jungle like Four Frightened People and Death in the Garden, desert like Lost Patrol or Flight of the Phoenix, or even the open sea like Lifeboat or Abandon Ship_. (Although, oddly enough, I found the play No Exit to be a little bit too literal in its handling of a similar theme to get behind in the same way.)
I also have a thing for “failed” films by important directors like Hitchcock’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Lynch’s Dune as I find they tend to reveal more about the director’s concerns and interests than many of their outwardly more accomplished works, so Green Hell was a natural fit for me in a way that surely wouldn’t be the case for most people.
Plus, with that cast, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Vincent Price, Alan Hale, Joan Bennett, Mala, and John Howard, wait, John Howard? Huh, forget that last one, but add the great George Sanders, singing no less, it was a sure win for me.
On the page I found that clip, it looks like someone has posted the entire movie on youtube so I might have to watch it again now since it’s been 20 years or so since I saw it last and I kinda want to see if I still like it as much as I did, although there is a competing urge to not rewatch it and hold the pleasant memory in case it doesn’t…
there’s nothing like it.
How about the most pornographic/violent/discriminatory films made in pre-code hollywood? That would be interesting…
Pre Code cinema PRODUCED WITHOUT A DOUBT THE MOST FASCINATING FILMS! I just saw a GREAT one, that aired yesterday on TCM. It has become one of my favorite MOVIES! Its called Skyscraper Souls, and the movie has more balls in that the shit made today! I fucking loved it!
“Jazz up your lingerie!” :D Pre-code era is definetly most awesome of them all, it feels almost dirty to watch some pre-codes when you’ve gotten used to cute innocence of silent era and late 30’s. My favorite is probably (very hard-to-find) Letty Lynton which is otherwise quite average (average = awesome when talking about 30’s…) romance plot that’s mostly a Crawford star vechile (cool dress) but the final 10 minutes… wow.
Skyscraper Souls has O’Sullivan… must.. see
i own a set on laserdisc entitled THE FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD COLLECTION which includes BLESSED EVENT (‘32), SKYSCRAPER SOULS (’32), THREE ON A MATCH (‘32), EMPLOYEE’S ENTRANCE (‘33), FEMALE (’33) and LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT (‘33)… it’s even got some original trailers… SKYSCRAPER SOULS became an instant favorite, the first time i watched it… it is available on vhs & dvd (i don’t think blu-ray), and even on http://www.watchthisfree.com/ , if you can’t wait for TCM’s next broadcast… but by all means, see it!
The pre-code Betty Boop cartoons are great. Check out “Betty Boop’s Big Boss” where she sings “Don’t take my boop-oop-a-doop away…”
Also, if no one’s mentioned Mae West yet, see I’M NO ANGEL, SHE DONE HIM WRONG and BELLE OF THE NINETIES. She’s the one who almost singlehandedly brought the Code down upon us because of hinterlands outrage at her films.
Also, SCARLET EMPRESS (1934) by von Sternberg, starring Marlene Dietrich as Catherine the Great, is pretty wild, with some amazing nude and violent imagery.
Also, the pre-code edit of SIGN OF THE CROSS (1932) by Cecil B . DeMille has some great stuff in it. It ran on AMC quite a few years ago.
And let’s not forget Howard Hawks’ SCARFACE (1932)
What s sick laseridsc Spartacula, your name reminds me of a film I havent even SEEN but none the less read about. The film is Brian De Palma’s Home Movies which has Kirk Douglas and he teaches a course on Spartanaics, which is basically a survival class. Have you seen Home Movies? That’s not EVEN on DVD but only on Laserdisc or VHS. IT NEEDS A PROPER DVD release..Does anyone know about the Skyscraper Souls DVD? Is it good,bad or Ugly?
i wasn’t aware of De Palma’s HOME MOVIES (‘80), gotta’ look in to it, as i do practically everything that has to do with Spartacus… i’m thinking of selling off a good portion of my laserdisc collection; just keeping the specials, boxsets, Criterion’s, autographed copies and those that haven’t turned into dvd’s… quite a few of them never will because the estates of those that held the rights but passed on, aren’t willing to… if you’ve any interest, this’ll take you to my online catalog of LD’s…
i like that Vic Pardo name-dropped BETTY BOOP… i think i’ll compile a list of her Pre-Code antics; i have a ton of them… thanks Vic
Spartacula as a film man to another film man I would urge you not to sell your laserdiscs and to keep them! But I will take a look just to see your collection but TRY to hold on to them, hand them down to your kids.
Also really look into Home Movies, I think youll get a kick out of Kirk Douglas in the movie, I havent even seen it but I read an interview with De Palma and Kirk enjoyed the role a lot and it was a breath of fresh air for him,like you have never seen him before.
The Betty Boops aren’t available on DVD either… And I don’t think I’ve ever seen cartoons shown in cinema so that leaves only youtube or dl’ing, sigh. The ones I’ve seen on TV or youtube were hilarious though.
MAX S – i have two Betty Boop sets on laserdisc: Betty Boop #1: 60th Anniversary Special Edition (with 13 classics from 1931-1937), and Betty Boop: The Definitive Collection #2: Limited Edition to 1500 (with 409 minutes) that the seal hasn’t even been broken… there’s quite a few remastered, vintage collections available on dvd and you can find her in some compilations… check out my list of BANNED AND CENSORED ‘TOONS IN AMERICA at http://mubi.com/lists/12900 … BE HUMAN (’36) and HA HA HA! (’34) are on there for viewing.
There were some very good VHS collections of early Betty Boop cartoons in legit editions from Republic Home Video. I have those on my shelf and can watch them anytime I want.
@SPARTACULA Dude your Laserdisc collection it’s just insane.
No love for Rouben Mamoulian’s DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, I guess. A remarkable movie, with some pretty damn frank sexuality going on. Well worth seeking out.
I watched Skyscraper Souls and it was very enjoyable indeed, even though I don’t think I loved it as much as you guys (bit too ‘dark’, I prefer the light-hearted “naughty”-type of pre-codes), but I join the praise choir…
My next pre-code adventure will be Whales Waterloo Bridge (http://mubi.com/films/15989).
Maybe doublebill with some other Whale… has someone seen more of his drama/romance movies and could recommend something? I’ve seen Show Boat