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.


RIFFRAFF
1947, Warner Bros., 80 min, Dir: Ted Tetzlaff

Former Hitchcock lenser Ted Tetzlaff (THE WINDOW) expertly helms this slam-bang murder mystery about international intrigue, a missing map and murder. Pat O’Brien and Anne Jeffreys volley the snappy dialogue back and forth while the sinister bulk of Walter Slezak ominously hovers. The RKO lot effectively doubles as Central America with Percy Kilbride as a wiseacre Panama City hack driver. Don’t miss the astounding opening sequence!


LAUGHTER IN HELL
1933, Universal, 70 min, USA, Dir: Edward L. Cahn

Irish mine worker Barney Slaney (Pat O'Brien) finds his wife in bed with another man and kills them both; when he decides to do the right thing by turning himself in, his troubles really begin. Barney is sentenced to life in prison, and it turns out that the brother of the man he killed is in charge of his chain gang. Barney quickly realizes that his life is going to be a living hell...unless he can find a way to turn the tables on his oppressor. Once thought lost, this controversial pre-Code gem is one of the great social realist films of the early 1930s.


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