80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

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Chris Snowden

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80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 11:32 pm

Well, moviegoers had plenty of plum pictures to choose from in March 1933. Here are all feature films released in the USA that month, for which a specific release date is known.

John Gilbert's streak of bad luck continued, with his latest release left in the dust of Warners' smash hit 42nd Street. Do you suppose anyone at Sony is eager to put the fawning Mussolini Speaks on DVD? That one might be a bit of a marketing challenge. On the other hand, I'll bet plenty of us would like to see an official release of Sailor's Luck, one of the spiciest and most enjoyable Pre-Codes.

03.01.33..... Breed of the Border..... Mono..... Bob Steele, Marion Byron
03.01.33..... There Goes the Bride..... Ind..... Owen Nares, Jessie Matthews
03.01.33..... What Price Decency?..... Ind..... Dorothy Burgess, Alan Hale
03.03.33..... The Big Cage..... Univ..... Clyde Beatty, Anita Page
03.03.33..... The Great Jasper..... RKO..... Richard Dix, Edna May Oliver
03.03.33..... Humanity..... Fox..... Ralph Morgan, Boots Mallory
03.03.33..... A Lady’s Profession..... Par..... Alison Skipworth, Roland Young
03.03.33..... Silent Men ..... Col..... Tim McCoy, Florence Britton
03.04.33..... Girl Missing..... WB..... Glenda Farrell, Ben Lyon
03.04.33..... Parole Girl ..... Col..... Mae Clarke, Ralph Bellamy
03.05.33..... Phantom Thunderbolt..... WW..... Ken Maynard, Frances Lee
03.10.33..... Fast Workers..... MGM..... John Gilbert, Robert Armstrong
03.10.33..... King of the Jungle..... Par..... Buster Crabbe, Frances Dee
03.10.33..... Mussolini Speaks..... Col..... Documentary
03.10.33..... Sailor’s Luck..... Fox..... James Dunn, Sally Eilers
03.10.33..... Scarlet River..... RKO..... Tom Keene, Dorothy Wilson
03.11.33..... 42nd Street..... WB..... Warren Baxter, Bebe Daniels
03.11.33..... The Man They Couldn’t Arrest..... Ind..... Hugh Wakefield, Gordon Harker
03.11.33..... Perfect Understanding..... UA..... Gloria Swanson, Laurence Olivier
03.15.33..... The Eleventh Commandment..... Alld..... Marian Marsh, Theodore Von Eltz
03.15.33..... Love is Like That..... Chstr..... Bradley Page, Judith Vosselli
03.15.33..... The Phantom Broadcast..... Mono .....Ralph Forbes, Vivienne Osborne
03.16.33..... Destination Unknown..... Univ..... Pat O’Brien, Ralph Bellamy
03.16.33..... Rustlers’ Roundup..... Univ..... Tom Mix, Diane Sinclair
03.17.33..... Our Betters..... RKO..... Constance Bennett, Violet Kemble-Cooper
03.17.33..... Strictly Personal ..... Par..... Marjorie Rambeau, Dorothy Jordan
03.17.33..... After the Ball..... Fox..... Esther Ralston, Basil Rathbone
03.18.33..... The Constant Woman..... WW..... Conrad Nagel, Leila Hyams
03.18.33..... Grand Slam..... 1stN..... Paul Lukas, Loretta Young
03.18.33..... The Telegraph Trail..... WB..... John Wayne, Frank McHugh
03.23.33..... The Cohens and Kellys in Trouble..... Univ George Sidney, Charlie Murray
03.24.33..... The California Trail..... Col..... Buck Jones, Helen Mack
03.24.33..... Man Hunt..... RKO..... Junior Durkin, Charlotte Henry
03.24.33..... Pick-Up..... Par..... Sylvia Sidney, George Raft
03.24.33..... Pleasure Cruise..... Fox..... Genevieve Tobin, Roland Young
03.24.33..... Rasputin and the Empress..... MGM..... John Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore
03.25.33..... The Keyhole..... WB..... Kay Francis, George Brent
03.29.33..... Below the Sea..... Col..... Ralph Bellamy, Fay Wray
03.31.33..... Bondage..... Fox..... Dorothy Jordan, Alexander Kirkland
03.31.33..... Christopher Strong..... RKO..... Katharine Hepburn, Colin Clive
03.31.33..... Gabriel Over the White House..... MGM..... Walter Huston, Karen Morley
03.31.33..... Murders in the Zoo..... Par..... Charlie Ruggles, Lionel Atwill
03.31.33..... Sucker Money..... states..... Misha Auer, Phyllis Barrington
-------------------------------------
Chris Snowden
https://televisiondiary.wordpress.com
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Jack Theakston

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 1:28 pm

I know there are a few Cinephiles out there that herald 1933 as one of the "great years," but when you see line-ups like this with so many duds, you realize that it's the same ratio of good to bad, but that the good ones are REALLY great.
J. Theakston
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Rob

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 2:53 pm

Well, fer Chrissake Jack, not every picture can reach the lofty heights of PHANTOM THUNDERBOLT.

Rob
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entredeuxguerres

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 2:57 pm

Oh, my...who'd have imagined such a lovely, innocent, sweetheart as Dorothy Jordan was involved with Bondage.
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Richard Finegan

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostFri Mar 01, 2013 3:26 am

Chris Snowden wrote:Well, moviegoers had plenty of plum pictures to choose from in March 1933.
...I'll bet plenty of us would like to see an official release of Sailor's Luck, one of the spiciest and most enjoyable Pre-Codes.



I saw that one at The Film Forum, NY on July 26, 2011...and yes it's pretty spicy!
(Anyone know of any "collector's copies" floating around anywhere?)
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moviepas

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostSat Mar 02, 2013 1:07 am

Looking at that list for March 1933, I believe I have a mere 6 of them in my collection including the delightful There Goes the Bride with Jessie Matthews. Now for a list marking which ones actually exist or are known to exist somewhere.
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Wm. Charles Morrow

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostSat Mar 02, 2013 7:33 am

Richard Finegan wrote:
Chris Snowden wrote: ...I'll bet plenty of us would like to see an official release of Sailor's Luck, one of the spiciest and most enjoyable Pre-Codes.



I saw that one at The Film Forum, NY on July 26, 2011...and yes it's pretty spicy!
(Anyone know of any "collector's copies" floating around anywhere?)


I don't know about any copies of Sailors Luck for sale, but wanted to mention that they'll be showing it at Film Forum again this coming Tuesday, March 5th, as part of their ongoing series devoted to movies from '33. It's playing with The Bowery, which ought to make for a terrific double feature.
-- Charlie Morrow
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momsne

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostSat Mar 02, 2013 9:20 am

According to the IMDb, "Sailor's Luck" was "shot in 1932, not released until 1933." The year 1932, not 1933, gets my vote for the peak year of pre-Code Hollywood movie production. As a matter of opinion, my vote is that 1932 should be the Golden Year for Hollywood, not 1939.

The Film Forum showed on February 26 the movie "20,000 Years in Sing Sing" as one of the movies in its 4 week long screenings of 1933 movies. This movie opened in New York on December 24, 1932, so, in the words of Maxwell Smart, the Film Forum "missed it by that much." Close enough, anyway.
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Wm. Charles Morrow

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostSat Mar 02, 2013 9:41 am

In his remarks introducing several 1933 Vitaphone shorts the other night, Ron Hutchinson made a point of saying that some of the films we were about to see were actually produced in '32, but released the following year. I'm glad they didn't split hairs about it, and restrict the playlist to films that premiered after January 1st, or to those produced after that date.

1932 and '33 are my favorite movie years -- where talkies are concerned, anyway. I couldn't pick one over the other. Happily, we don't have to!
-- Charlie Morrow
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entredeuxguerres

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostSat Mar 02, 2013 12:15 pm

FAR more relevant for comparisons between films than an arbitrary release date is production date, or really, since unusual delays in editing & other post-production work are possible, the date shooting actually concluded. Especially true with pictures set in contemporary times, in which characters make references to contemporary events, celebrities, politics, other films, etc. I find I can usually date '20s & '30s pictures to within a yr or two by skirt length alone.
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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostMon Mar 04, 2013 11:08 am

Tom Mix rode off into the sunset in his last series western, Rustlers' Roundup. The man had more of a consistent following, not only in 1933, but for years before and afterwards, than any other star presented by that month's crop of films. So much for all of those other "A" star squawkers.
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dr.giraud

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostMon Mar 04, 2013 1:04 pm

Has anyone seen STRICTLY PERSONAL? I haven't, but have a lobby card with Marjorie Rambeau and Eddie Quillan.
dr. giraud
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entredeuxguerres

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostMon Mar 04, 2013 4:02 pm

dr.giraud wrote:Has anyone seen STRICTLY PERSONAL? I haven't, but have a lobby card with Marjorie Rambeau and Eddie Quillan.


Eddie Quillan...you need know more?
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Jack Theakston

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostMon Mar 04, 2013 6:58 pm

FAR more relevant for comparisons between films than an arbitrary release date is production date, or really, since unusual delays in editing & other post-production work are possible, the date shooting actually concluded. Especially true with pictures set in contemporary times, in which characters make references to contemporary events, celebrities, politics, other films, etc. I find I can usually date '20s & '30s pictures to within a yr or two by skirt length alone.


From a perspective of content, although equally important is the one of when the general public saw it. One must figure several months after the NY or LA playdates to get a sense of when the film in question had its effect on those who saw it.

Also, one must keep in mind that the movie season started in September, and the placement of the film's release on the calender in conjunction to the season had some impact.
J. Theakston
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mndean

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostTue Mar 05, 2013 11:25 am

Jack Theakston wrote:
FAR more relevant for comparisons between films than an arbitrary release date is production date, or really, since unusual delays in editing & other post-production work are possible, the date shooting actually concluded. Especially true with pictures set in contemporary times, in which characters make references to contemporary events, celebrities, politics, other films, etc. I find I can usually date '20s & '30s pictures to within a yr or two by skirt length alone.


From a perspective of content, although equally important is the one of when the general public saw it. One must figure several months after the NY or LA playdates to get a sense of when the film in question had its effect on those who saw it.

Also, one must keep in mind that the movie season started in September, and the placement of the film's release on the calender in conjunction to the season had some impact.


I've found from contemporaneous newspaper reports some films played here much earlier (over a month) than their stated release date. They weren't announced as previews in the paper, either. Not sure what to make of that.
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earlytalkiebuffRob

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostMon Feb 20, 2017 2:16 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote:
dr.giraud wrote:Has anyone seen STRICTLY PERSONAL? I haven't, but have a lobby card with Marjorie Rambeau and Eddie Quillan.


Eddie Quillan...you need know more?


It's on YT, and in a roughish copy, but well worth a look.
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The Blackbird

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostTue Feb 21, 2017 5:56 am

It's just a shame nobody in 1933 had any money to go to the movies with....
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Harlett O'Dowd

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostTue Feb 21, 2017 10:09 am

The Blackbird wrote:It's just a shame nobody in 1933 had any money to go to the movies with....


At least bankers had some time off that month
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Jack Theakston

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Re: 80 Years Ago This Month: March 1933

PostTue Feb 21, 2017 11:01 pm

mndean wrote:I've found from contemporaneous newspaper reports some films played here much earlier (over a month) than their stated release date. They weren't announced as previews in the paper, either. Not sure what to make of that.


That usually means that the studio felt they had a dog and tried to recover costs before they did the major city playdates, where reviews would sink them. GLORIFYING THE AMERICAN GIRL is a classic example of this.
J. Theakston
"You get more out of life when you go out to a movie!"

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