Subject: Lupe Velez and Wallace Ford on sale for limited time




TODAY'S SPECIAL

Mad About Money (1938)
Starring Lupe Velez and Wallace Ford

Beautiful print and will play in all DVD players.
Director: Melville W. Brown
Writers: John E. Harding (story), John Meehan (screenplay)

Stars: Ben Lyon, Lupe Velez, Wallace Ford, Jean Colin, Harry Langdon, Mary Cole, Cyril Raymond, Ronald Ward

Songs include:

Little Lost Tune
Written by James Dyrenforth and Kenneth Leslie-Smith
Sung by Jean Colin

Perpetual Motion
Written by James Dyrenforth and Kenneth Leslie-Smith
Sung by Lupe Velez

Oh So Beautiful
Written by James Dyrenforth and Kenneth Leslie-Smith
Sung by Ben Lyon

Dustin' the Stars
Written by James Dyrenforth and Kenneth Leslie-Smith
Sung by Jean Colin
Originally filmed in an unidentified color process, results were so unsatisfactory (described in Variety film review 25 May 1938), that the film was released in black and white.
A fine cast stuck in a musical with production numbers so ineptly directed one wonders if a monkey wandering by was responsible. It also comes across as a faded relic from some bizarro planet, which is actually one of its unintended attractions. The highlight is a wacked-out space jaunt with an eye-rolling moon face and tapsters on stars. The dance ensembles are good. Lupe Velez and Harry Langdon do what they can to keep things lively.
The slim story focuses on Velez's attempt to fool the public into thinking she's the heiress to a cattle ranch and her involvement in a movie producer's attempts to raise money for his next film. It's all light-hearted and innocuous, but once those big musical numbers come on, it becomes absolutely amazing to watch. Velez comes off at first a bit more gentle than her usual "Mexican Spitfire" character, but has a few explosive moments that are quite funny. She also proves herself to be a very talented dancer, something she did a few times in those RKO programmers which soon followed this brief foray into British cinema.
Langdon is just as fascinating in 1938 as he was in the mid-1920s. But he has nothing to do. It appears he improvised what little time the writers and director gave him. And I have to give him credit; with nothing going for him, he is spellbinding to watch--for those few seconds here and there when he appears...
Order this rarely-seen and hard-to-find classic today for the low price of $5.99.
New Additions At Zeus:
The Scarlet Letter (1936)

Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Henry B. Walthall

Based on the classic American novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, this silent period drama was put together by star Lillian Gish, who was forced by Louis B. Mayer to assure religious groups that the still-controversial material would not offend their sensibilities. Gish plays heroine Hester Prynne, who becomes the object of affection for Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale (Lars Hanson) in 17th century colonial Massachusetts. Hester is in a loveless marriage to Roger Prynne (Henry B. Walthall), who has not followed her to the colonies. After a trip home to England, Dimmesdale returns to discover that Hester has given birth to his daughter, Pearl, and has been branded with a scarlet letter "A" (for adultery) that she is forced to wear visibly on her person at all times. Hester forces the tortured Dimmesdale to keep the secret of Pearl's paternity, and the sudden appearance of Roger, who was shipwrecked and kidnapped by natives, further complicates matters.
Ben-Hur (1959)

Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd

This 1959 version of Lew Wallace's best-selling novel, which had already seen screen versions in 1907 and 1926, went on to win 11 Academy Awards. Adapted by Karl Tunberg and a raft of uncredited writers including Gore Vidal and Maxwell Anderson, the film once more recounts the tale of Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston), who lives in Judea with his family during the time that Jesus Christ was becoming known for his "radical" teachings. Ben-Hur's childhood friend Messala (Stephen Boyd) is now an ambitious Roman tribune; when Ben-Hur refuses to help Messala round up local dissidents on behalf of the emperor, Messala pounces on the first opportunity to exact revenge on his onetime friend. Tried on a trumped-up charge of attempting to kill the provincial governor (whose head was accidentally hit by a falling tile), Ben-Hur is condemned to the Roman galleys, while his mother (Martha Scott) and sister (Cathy O'Donnell) are imprisoned. But during a sea battle, Ben-Hur saves the life of commander Quintus Arrius (Jack Hawkins), who, in gratitude, adopts Ben-Hur as his son and gives him full control over his stable of racing horses. Ben-Hur never gives up trying to find his family or exact revenge on Messala. At crucial junctures in his life, he also crosses the path of Jesus, and each time he benefits from it. The highlight of the film's 212 minutes is its now-legendary chariot race, staged largely by stunt expert Yakima Canutt. Ben-Hur's Oscar haul included Best Picture, Best Director for the legendary William Wyler, Best Actor for Heston, and Best Supporting Actor for Welsh actor Hugh Griffith as an Arab sheik.
Romeo And Juliet (1968)

Stars: Leonard Whiting, Olivia Hussey, John McEnery

Director Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was touted at the time of its release (successfully, if the box-office receipts are any indication), as something of a "youth trip" movie. This is because Zeffirelli broke the long-standing tradition of casting over-aged, sometimes grey-haired players in the title roles. Seventeen-year-old Leonard Whiting plays Romeo, with 15-year-old Olivia Hussey as Juliet. The youthfulness and inexperience of the leading players works beautifully in the more passionate sequences (some of these breaking further ground by being played in the nude). Among the younger players are Michael York as Tybalt and John McEnery as Mercutio. The duel between Romeo and Tybalt starts out as a harmless, frat-boy exchange of insults, then escalates into tragedy before any of the participants are fully aware of what has happened. Photographed by Pasqualino DeSantis on various locations in Italy, Romeo and Juliet was one of the most profitable film adaptations of Shakespeare ever produced. Its most lasting legacy is its popular main theme music, composed by Nino Rota.
The Bad Sister (1931)

Stars: Conrad Nagel, Sidney Fox, Bette Davis

A naive, wealthy small-town girl, bored with her routine life, falls for a dashing con artist who has come looking for fresh marks to swindle. He soon charms her into faking her prominent father's name on a letter of endorsement, which he presents to the other local merchants. They willingly give him all sorts of goodies and he prepares his escape, but not before conning the girl into becoming his wife. After their wedding night in a sleazy hotel, he abandons her. Fortunately, by the story's end, she is able to reassemble her shattered life and find happiness.
Bending All The Rules (2002)

Stars: Bradley Cooper, Colleen Porch, David Gail

A free-spirited photographer juggles two handsome suitors while attempting to land her first gallery exhibition in this romantic comedy starring Bradley Cooper (The Hangover). Gorgeous Kenna (Colleen Porch) isn't the kind of girl who likes to make committments. When she lands her first gallery show, she vows not to get distracted by romance. But just as handsome DJ Jeff (Cooper) makes a play for her affections, high powered businessman Martin (David Gail) starts to turn on the charm, too. Later, as the romantic battle of wills heats up, the footloose shutterbug faces a difficult decision.

Beau Ideal (1931)

Stars: Frank McCormick, Ralph Forbes, Lester Vail

Hoping to benefit from the popularity of the 1927 silent version of P.C. Wren's Beau Geste, RKO Radio reunited the earlier film's star Ralph Forbes and director Herbert Brenon for 1931's Beau Ideal, again adapted from a Wren novel. Something of a sequel to Beau Geste, the story concerns the efforts by Foreign Legionnaire Otis Madison (Lester Vail) to locate his childhood chum John Geste (Forbes). The two men are reunited in the Arabian desert, where Geste is doing penance in a stockade reserved for discredited Legionnaires. With Otis's help, Geste redeems himself by squashing a native uprising fomented by a duplicitous Emir (George Regas). Ultimately, our hero returns to England and the arms of heroine Loretta Young -- but not before a close call with a slinky seductress (Leni Stengel), appropriately nicknamed "The Angel of Death." Beau Ideal was a flop to the tune of $330,000, and as a result the exploits of the Geste family would not again be dramatized for the screen until the 1939 remake of Beau Geste.
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