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Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 3 (1930-1995)

Cast: James Cagney, Barbara Stanwyck, Mary Astor, more...
Director: William Wellman, William Wellman
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: Classics, Drama, Romance, Classic Romance, Classic Drama, Pre-Code, Precode, Documentary, Film

Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 3: Frisco Jenny/ Midnight Mary (Disc 2 of 4) (1930)
Frisco Jenny (1932)
Along with his films about men in dire straits, Wellman helmed a string of so-called womens pictures like this one. Ruth Chatterton plays the title role of Frisco Jenny, a woman orphaned by the 1906 earthquake who becomes the madam of a prosperous brothel. She puts her son up for adoption, and as he rises to prominence as district attorney he becomes dedicated to closing down such houses. When her associate proposes killing the DA, she kills the associate and must face execution.

Midnight Mary (1933)
Often referred to by film buffs as the only Warner Bros. movie ever made by MGM, this crime melodrama (based on a story by Anita Loos) was so much in the Warner mode, that Metro borrowed the services of Wellman, Loretta Young, and many others to bring it to the screen. Young plays a young woman on trial for murder, whose story is told in flashback, as she awaits her verdict. Mary Martin (yes, thats the characters name!) recalls how her life of desperate poverty led to involvement with gangsters. When she meets a young lawyer in a brothel, scion of a wealthy and prestigious family, he helps her turn around her life. But her past catches up with her, and she chooses to face the consequences rather than cause him scandal. With a screenplay by the writers of the pivotal Warner Bros. pre-code gems, Baby Face andFemale (Gene Markey and Kathryn Scola), Midnight Mary ranks among Wellmans best films of the era.

Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 3: Heroes for Sale / Wild Boys of the Road (Disc 3 of 4) (1930)
Heroes for Sale (1933)
Heroes for Sale, filmed with raw, gritty immediacy by the no-nonsense Wellman, covers all the Depression-era bases, and puts the spotlight on the plight of veterans. This is the hard-hitting story of Tom Holmes (Richard Barthelmess), an unsung war hero left wounded and addicted to morphine whose struggles make him an American Everyman, a tough hero for a tough time. 75 years after it was first released, Heroes For Sale retains its unrelenting power to shock and deeply move all who see it.

Wild Boys of the Road (1933)
One of Wellmans most personal and expressive films, Wild Boys of the Road has achieved legendary status in recent years as one of the most provocative screen representations of its time. Its the depression, and Tommy Gordon's mother has been out of work for months. Things get worse in the neighborhood when his pal Eddie's father loses his job. Not to burden their parents, the two high school sophomores decide to hop the freights and look for work. This socially conscience message film helped draw attention to wandering youths cut adrift by hard times. Frankie Darro, whose acting career stretched from the 1920s into the 70s, portrays Eddie. And the actress posing as a boy in the film is played by Dorothy Coonan, who became the real life Mrs. William Wellman.

Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 3: Other Men's Women/ The Purchase Price (Disc 1 of 4) (1930)
Other Men's Women (1931)
This is the story of a love triangle between two burly railroad men and the one woman they both desire (Mary Astor). Jack (Regis Toomey), Lilys husband, is an engineer and is more solid and reliable, while Bill (Grant Withers) is a carefree ladies' man with an irresponsible streak. Also featured in secondary roles in this melodrama are James Cagney and Joan Blondell as a wisecracking waitress. Directed with his signature virile style, Wellman balances scenes of fraying domesticity with vigorous vignettes of tough railroad life.

The Purchase Price (1932)
This film is a brisk Wellman mix of comedy and melodrama about torch singer Joan Gordon (Barbara Stanwyck), who tiring of her relationship with small-time hood Eddie Fields (Lyle Talbot), flees to North Dakota and becomes the mail-order bride of down-to-earth farmer Jim Gilson (George Brent). Their wedded bliss is threatened by Gilson's own stubbornness, a lecherous neighbor and the reappearance of Fields.

Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 3: Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick / The Men Who Made the Movies (Disc 4 of 4) (1995)
Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1995)
William Wellman Jr. served as Executive Producer for this award-winning, critically-acclaimed documentary portrait of his famous father, ably explaining why the elder Wellman earned the nickname of Wild Bill. Narrated by Alec Baldwin, the engrossing documentary is highlighted by a plethora of rare film clips from Wellmans impressive screen career, as well as insightful and provocative reflections of Wellman the man, as well as Wellman the director, from such luminaries as Sidney Poitier, Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, Gregory Peck, Richard Widmark and James Garner.

Through the use of newly photographed and rare archival footage, Wellman Jr. traces his dads life from his birth in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1896, through his distinguished World War I career as a flier (which later got him the job of directing the classic silent film Wings), his start as a mail boy at Goldwyn, his rise to director in the 20's, his five marriages and stormy career through the 30's to late 50's, with a total filmography of more than 80 films.

The Men Who Made the Movies (William Wellman) (2007)
Originally produced in 1973 for his ground-breaking PBS miniseries The Men Who Made The Movies, filmmaker Richard Schickel revisits the subject of William Wellman, and explores the career and the legend of the Oscar®-winning screenwriter-director of the original A Star Is Born (1937). Updated in 2007, this revised program is narrated by Sydney Pollack, and is primarily constructed around interviews Schickel conducted with Wellman for the original series. Wellmans wry sense of humor in the interviews is in full glory here, as he recalls his World War I service as an aviator, where he first earned the moniker of Wild Bill, a nickname that persisted in Hollywood due to his "larger-than-life" personality and lifestyle. A leap-year baby born in 1896 on the 29th of February to a stockbroker father in Brookline, Massachusetts, Wellman was the great-great-great grandson of Francis Lewis, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. His mother, the former Cecilia McCarthy, was born in Ireland. Despite an upper-middle class upbringing, the young Wellman was a hell-raiser. He excelled as an athlete and particularly enjoyed playing ice hockey, but he also enjoyed less savory pastimes, like joy-riding in stolen cars at night.

GreenCine Member Ratings

Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 3: Frisco Jenny/ Midnight Mary (Disc 2 of 4) (1930)
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6.71 (7 votes)
Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 3: Heroes for Sale / Wild Boys of the Road (Disc 3 of 4) (1930)
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6.60 (5 votes)
Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 3: Other Men's Women/ The Purchase Price (Disc 1 of 4) (1930)
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5.60 (5 votes)
Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Vol. 3: Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick / The Men Who Made the Movies (Disc 4 of 4) (1995)
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7.67 (3 votes)

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