Tuesday, 16 January 2018

NIGHT WORLD (1932) Directed by Hobart Henley.

I watched this because I'll watch anything with Boris Karloff in at least once. What a pleasant surprise it was. The story is set in a night club during one evening and tells the story of various members of management, customers, staff and showgirls. Being pre-code the film is fairly risqué in its dialogue, costumes and visuals (check out the two dummies on the stage behind the chorus girls) and the film even features an obviously gay character. There is an interesting and ultimately tragic subplot involving the Afro-American doorman (Clarence Muse). Lew Ayres is a young man trying to come to terms with the murder of his father by his mother (played by Hedda Hopper) who is befriended by chorus girl, Mae Clarke (revealing a very naturalistic acting style). George Raft is a lecherous gambler. Boris Karloff has a prominent role as club owner Happy MacDonald trying to cope with a cheating wife and some threatening bootleggers. Karloff was fresh from FRANKENSTEIN and the film doesn't miss the chance to include a "Frankenstein" joke, although, oddly, it doesn't involve Karloff. All in all a very satisfying little movie, which with a 58 minute running time leaves one little time to get bored. Oh, Yes, there is also an early musical number choreographed by Busby Berkeley. Rating ***

Pre-code goodies

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