Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 23
The 1935 Warner Bros. feature Dr. Socrates, about a doctor running away from his demons by setting up shop in a small town, is only moderately entertaining but is notable for a couple of reasons. First off, it reunited Ann Dvorak with her Scarface co-star Paul Muni. This second pairing isn’t anywhere near as incendiary as the first, where they had played siblings with an uncomfortably intense affection for each other. However, it’s great to see Ann acting opposite as capable an actor as Muni, and there does seem to be a genuine affection between the two which comes off onscreen.
The other reason Dr. Socrates is worth a viewing is because it contains something Ann rarely received during her tenure at Warner Bros. – a well shot close-up. Most of Ann’s Warner films were quickie programmers that were shot in as little as two weeks, so there was no time to be bothered with such nonsense as setting up for close-ups. Dr. Socrates is a higher budget film than many of Ann’s other assignments and it shows with something as simple as a well lit, beautifully shot close-up. There is one close-up of Ann that really stands out in Dr. Socrates, and that’s enough to make me want to own a good copy.
Likelihood of an Official DVD Release: I am not 100% sure, but I would guess this 1935 Warner Bros. release is still part of the catalog that belongs to Warner Bros. The Warner Archive has been churning films out for almost four years now, so maybe this one is on the horizon.