Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I got so excited about the two Joan Blondell films screening at Elliot Lavine's "Hollywood Before the Code: Nasty-Ass Films For a Nasty-Ass World!" (March 2-8, 2012), that I neglected to note that Lavine's opening night doublebill includes not only Three on a Match, starring Blondell and Ann Dvorak, but, another 1932 Dvorak vehicle: Howard Hawks' Scarface (featuring Paul Muni), which will be shown in a B&W 35mm Studio Archive Print.

Scarface, Lavine writes: "This blistering pre-code gangster saga towers over the rest—an unnerving portrait of a brutally evil and immoral man (patterned very loosely after Al Capone) obsessed with the power that crime and other perversions have carved out for him. Blissfully violent and sexually profane, Scarface sears itself onto your unsuspecting brain like few other films can."

Of Ann Dvorak, film historian Matthew Kennedy has already bemoaned her status as "shamefully neglected." Opening night at "Hollywood Before the Code: Nasty-Ass Films For a Nasty-Ass World!" redresses that neglect. Here's a couple of lovely publicity shots of Dvorak from
Scarface. You would think from her experience in Three on a Match that Dvorak would have learned that cigarette smoking can be hazardous to your health; but, I guess during pre-Code the Surgeon General was merely a gleam in his father's eye?

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