CALL HER SAVAGE
1932, 20th Century Fox, 88 min, USA, Dir: John Francis Dillon

If there is one film that deserves to be called “the most pre-Code film of them all,” it is John Francis Dillon’s CALL HER SAVAGE. In 1932, the Fox Film Corporation was desperate for a hit, so it brought Clara Bow (“The It Girl”) out of retirement and adapted a sensational novel for her, violating every rule of the 1930 Production Code. One reviewer called the film “a flashy, trashy, tasteless and unpleasant exhibit” but conceded that “not even the most captious can deny its superficial appeal.” With showy support from stunning Thelma Todd and lounge lizard Monroe Owsley, Clara Bow burns up the screen in one outrageous episode after another.


MONKEY BUSINESS
1931, Universal, 77 min, USA, Dir: Norman Z. McLeod

The Marx Brothers’ first original screenplay - by S.J. Perelman and an uncredited Ben Hecht, among others - is perhaps their most bizarre (and the only one in which they have no character names). They’re stowaways on an ocean liner, wreaking havoc and getting mixed up with rival gangsters as well as Thelma Todd. Includes the famous scene where all four try to get through customs by pretending to be Maurice Chevalier.


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