I hope no Ann Dvorak fans actually rely on me to alert them when her movies are airing, because they would have missed yesterday’s screening of A Life of Her Own on Turner Classic Movies. In my defense, I am six months pregnant and seem to be forgetting a lot of things lately, though eve I am surprised that Ann-D could slip my mind.
I have discusses this film on a couple of different posts:
It’s worth pointing out once again that this small role (I think she has less than ten minutes of screen time) is one of her most memorable, and I stand by my belief that this is the one film she should have gotten an Oscar nomination for.
I am deeply embarrassed to have dropped the ball on this one, and have already put safeguards in place for when Murder in the Clouds airs in May.
The Warner Archive continues its monthly drain on my bank account by releasing three more films with Ann-D in them.
First up are Lord Byron of Broadway and Chasing Rainbows, two films from Ann’s days as an M-G-M chorus girl. Unlike last month’s release, Love in the Rough, where Ann’s one scene was cut out, I know at least some of her musical numbers are intact in both of these. However, I believe Chasing Rainbows may be missing some two-color Technicolor scenes that Ann appeared in. This now brings the Warner Archive’s total to seven of Ann’s twenty or so uncredited films at M-G-M. I would love to see them release a collection of shorts, since she’s in at least eight of those.
Next up is Midnight Alibi, a 1934 Warner Bros/First National release starring Richard Barthelmess. I commented on this film in a previous post a while back. Midnight Alibi is typical of the thankless roles Ann was playing in the mid-1930s, but it’s one that I have been able to sit through a few times, which is not the case with many of her Warner films. This is the second of Ann’s 1930s titles to be released through the Warner Archive, along with The Strange Love of Molly Louvain. My one gripe is that Helen Chandler is featured on the decorative box art with Barthelmess instead of Ann.
Between these DVD releases and the increased Ann sightings on Turner Classic Movies, 2010 has already been a solid year for the Divine Miz-D.
Housewife is going to air on Turner Classic Movies on Monday, March 15th at 10:45am PST.
I finally got around to watching Love in Rough (M-G-M, 1930) last night, which I ordered from the Warner Archive a couple of weeks back. When I say “watched it,” I actually mean I fast-forwarded through the film looking for scenes with an uncredited Ann Dvorak in the background. Much to my disappointment, she was no where to be found.
I have a few stills from the movie confirming she was indeed on set, but it looks like she didn’t make the final cut, at least not in the print available through the Warner Archive.
The film opens up on a six typists in a department store office who can be seen at the top of the above photo. They chant something in unison, which seems to be the opening of a musical number and then the camera starts to pan down. On the Warner Archive print, there is a weird cut and we find Robert Montgomery and Benny Rubin standing in the room depicted in these photos. They are not surrounded by young ladies, but instead are alone and commenting on how they should get back to work, which seems to indicate they have just finished up the missing musical.
I am not sure if Ann’s scene is something that had been excised from the film upon its initial release, or if it just disappeared from this print somewhere along the line. It’s quite possible I am the only person who ordered this film for the express purpose of seeing Ann Dvorak, but just in case there are any other nuts like me out there, consider yourself alerted.
So This is College on the other hand, also released through the Warner Archive last month, features plenty of front and center Ann who was only 17 when this starting shooting in April of 1929. She doesn’t appear to be wearing much make-up, is a bit awkward, and a far-cry from the beauty she would emerge as a couple of years later.
The Warner Archive has now released five of the films from Ann’s pre-credit M-G-M days. Let’s hope more releases are around the corner.
Heat Lightning is going to air on Turner Classic Movies on Saturday, March 13th at 10:45pm PST.
Girls of the Road is going to air on Turner Classic Movies on Saturday, March 6th at 1:15am PST