VIRTUE
1932, Sony Repertory, 68 min, USA, Dir: Edward Buzzell

“Yesterday a lady with a past – today the wife of the man she loved!” In her debut for Columbia, Carole Lombard stars as Mae, a New York streetwalker hoping to turn a corner in her life when she meets cab driver Jimmy (Pat O'Brien). After a rocky start, the two marry, but Mae’s former associates get her wrapped up in a murder charge. Robert Riskin’s screenplay lends this pre-Code drama both snappy dialogue and well-drawn characters.


LADIES OF LEISURE
1930, Sony Repertory, 99 min, USA, Dir: Frank Capra

This pre-Code romance captures both director Frank Capra and star Barbara Stanwyck on the cusp of fame. Wealthy, aspiring painter Ralph Graves falls in love with a model (Stanwyck), but her past leads the artist’s parents to suspect she’s a gold-digging party girl. With Lowell Sherman and Marie Prevost.


PLATINUM BLONDE
1931, Sony Repertory, 89 min, USA, Dir: Frank Capra

The newspaper business inspired some of the best screwball comedies, this early gem from director Frank Capra among them. Workaday reporter Robert Williams catches the eye of idly rich Jean Harlow when he writes a story about her playboy brother. Can their marriage survive the difference in social class? Not if fellow journalist Loretta Young has anything to do with it! If the film’s title is forever associated with Harlow, the real revelation is Williams’ sparkling performance (which was also his last; he died days after PLATINUM BLONDE premiered).


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