THE DEATH KISS (1932)

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Jess McGrath

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THE DEATH KISS (1932)

PostMon Nov 27, 2017 9:02 am

Over the weekend, I watched the Kino BluRay of THE DEATH KISS and was quite impressed. It was a nice mix of comedy and mystery, with a good cast and an entertaining story along the way.

Two questions popped into mind after seeing this:

1. How is/was Tiffany viewed among minor / Poverty Row studios? They seemed to produce a number of well-regarded pictures (this one, MAMBA, DRUMS OF JEOPARDY, etc.)

2. THE DEATH KISS included hand-coloring in a few sequences, which really did catch the eye and was a nice touch. Are there any other examples of hand-coloring being used in talkie-era pictures? Have seen it often in silents but can't recall seeing it in this era.
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busby1959

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Re: THE DEATH KISS (1932)

PostMon Nov 27, 2017 12:22 pm

In A CONNECTICUT YANKEE (1931) there's a scene where Myrna Loy kisses Will Rogers, and his blushing was hand colored.
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Jack Theakston

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Re: THE DEATH KISS (1932)

PostTue Nov 28, 2017 1:41 pm

The same guy who did the hand-coloring on THE DEATH KISS was Gustav Brock, a Dutch miniature watercolorist who figured out how to apply the skill to films in the late '10s. In the silent era, he did work on pictures such as FOOLISH WIVES, THE NAVIGATOR, WHAT PRICE GLORY?, and KING OF KINGS. In the sound era, he continued to doing print such as THE VAMPIRE BAT, HERE COMES THE NAVY, LITTLE WOMEN, MOONLIGHT AND PRETZELS and others.

The Tiffany studios was where DEATH KISS was filmed, but were produced by K.B.S., run by Samuel Bischoff, and distributed by Sono-Art. Tiffany's silent output was consistent, but nothing special. When John Stahl took the studio over in 1927, they went on an aggressive prestige schedule, all in sound, some in Technicolor (such as their musical shorts series and, of course, MAMBA). Stahl left Tiffany after the studio took a bad hit between a couple of bad releases and the stock market crash, and the studios basically became a rental facility to independent producers during 1931 and eventually became the Talisman studios, where Monogram set up shop.
J. Theakston
"You get more out of life when you go out to a movie!"
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DKomp

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Re: THE DEATH KISS (1932)

PostMon Dec 04, 2017 8:58 pm

After catching Death Kiss on TCM, I picked up the 1932 novel by Madelon St. Dennis that inspired the film. There is very little correlation between the two works, aside from a filmed murder. I quite enjoyed the novel, which is set in NYC rather than Hollywood, because it was very pulpy and a bit weird. Nice book jacket too.

https://www.yesterdaysgallery.com/pages/books/28466/madelon-st-dennis/the-death-kiss
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Jay Salsberg

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Re: THE DEATH KISS (1932)

PostWed Dec 06, 2017 9:58 am

When John Stahl was running the company (1927-1930), Tiffany was making a concerted attempt to become a major studio. MIDSTREAM, THE LOST ZEPPELIN, MAMBA, and (best of all) JOURNEY'S END were all noteworthy productions. But the company couldn't weather the Crash of '29. Stahl abandoned ship for Universal, and within two years Tiffany was no more.
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FrankFay

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Re: THE DEATH KISS (1932)

PostFri Dec 08, 2017 2:17 am

Tiffany faced a stiff lawsuit from Tiffany & Co. jewelers, particularly after using advertising taglines like "ANOTHER GEM FROM TIFFANY'S". This didn't close the studio, but it didn't do them any good
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Scott Eckhardt

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Re: THE DEATH KISS (1932)

PostFri Dec 08, 2017 9:38 am

I believe Mae Murray unsuccessfully tried to sue Tiffany after her disastrous talkie debut in PEACOCK ALLEY. While she didn't win, the publicity couldn't have done the studio much good.
Last edited by Scott Eckhardt on Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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busby1959

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Re: THE DEATH KISS (1932)

PostFri Dec 08, 2017 11:29 am

Scott Eckhardt wrote:I believe Mae Murray unsuccessfully tried to sue Tiffany after her disatrous talkie debut in PEACOCK ALLEY. While she didn't win, the publicity couldn't have done the studio much good.


I'm inclined to believe that - it just sounds soooo Mae Murray.

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