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.


THE MIDNIGHT STORY
1957, Universal, 89 min, USA, Dir: Joe Pevney

A San Francisco motorcycle cop (Tony Curtis) becomes obsessed with solving the murder of his mentor, a popular North Beach priest. Not allowed to follow his suspicions, he chucks his badge and becomes an undercover vigilante. The prime suspect, a popular Italian patriarch (Gilbert Roland), ends up loving him like his own son. But is he guilty of murder? The San Francisco locations are accentuated by atmospheric black-and-white Cinemascope.


BULLFIGHTER AND THE LADY
1951, Paramount, 124 min, USA, Dir: Budd Boetticher

Beautiful, doom-laden story of a brash American (Robert Stack) entering the traditional world of Mexican toreros; Gilbert Roland is stunning as Stack’s older mentor. The first of Boetticher’s great bullfighting films. With Joy Page, Katy Jurado.


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