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WARNER ARCHIVE: Keaton, Kyser & Pre-Code Double Features

02/22/2012 | by David Greenstreet

Not yet posted over at WBShop, we've got the scoop on what's ahead for Warner's Archive collection.

Buster Keaton at MGM will feature three early sound Keaton comedies (likely on 2 discs): Parlor, Bedroom and Bath (1931) and Speak Easily (1932), which have had numerous releases from public domain companies, and The Passionate Plumber (1932), which makes its DVD debut. Artwork below.

The other three releases are double features:

Swing Fever (1943) / Playmates (1941)
For one generation, he needs no introduction. For the next, he's the greatest Pop star they've never heard of. Regardless of where you fall, let's all make time to get reacquainted with the master of mirth and music, Kay Kyser.

Bandleader Kyser rose to the top thanks to his talented band (including the legendary Ish Kabibble) and his trademark "Ol' Professor" persona, through which Kay quizzed and enthralled audiences on stage, studio and screen. 

Swing Fever (1943, 79 min.)
Swing Fever finds Kay using music and hypnosis to turn a chump into a champ. Featuring Lena Horne, the Merrill Abbott Dancers and Ava Gardner.

Playmates (1941, 96 min.)
Playmates sees Kyser and John Barrymore playing themselves in a reality-twisting showbiz parody. Washed up thespian Barrymore agrees to turn bumpkin Kyser into a Shakespearean actor in exchange for a radio contract. The whole affair culminates in a swing version of Romeo and Juliet. The always wonderful Lupe Velez adds spice and song.

Bright Lights (1930) / The Reckless Hour (1931)
Once nearly forgotten, now dearly rediscovered, Dorothy Mackaill's work is in the midst of a well deserved renaissance, and we are pleased to present a pair of films that will only add luster to her legend.

Bright Lights (1930, 69 min.)
Unforgettable film director Michael Curtiz puts Dorothy through her paces in Bright Lights, the tale of a hoofer who hulas her way from sleazy dives to the Great White Way, only to end up facing murder charges when her past comes back to haunt her. Mackaill ably struts her ex-Ziegfeld stuff, singing and dancing alongside Noah Berry and Frank Fay. A.K.A. Adventures in Africa).

The Reckless Hour (1931, 71 min.)
Dorothy's The Office Wife co-star, blondacious Joan Blondell, once again slips into the role of younger sib, supporting her in this tale of stolen virtue. Shop model Margaret (Mackaill) catches the eye of wealthy, dapper young Allen (Walter Byron). Unfortunately the primrose path Margaret sees in her future is lined with the broken rocks of her virtue...

The Crash (1932) / Registered Nurse (1934)
Ruth Chatterton and Bebe Daniels, two of the greatest leading ladies of the Pre-Code era, are the main attraction in this riches to rags "working woman" double bill.

The Crash (1932, 58 min.)
Storied director William Dieterle takes the reins in the first picture, directing newlyweds Ruth Chatterton and George Brent. The pair play a married couple who broker wifely favors for inside stock tips. When the market crashes, both must learn a new way to live. And love.

Registered Nurse (1934, 63 min.)
Registered Nurse finds Bebe Daniels leaving society dreams behind after her husband cracks up. Returning to the working world, 'Ben' (Daniels) tries to stay loyal to her mentally ill husband while fending off advances and her own temptations working the "night watch." With Lyle Talbot, Sidney Toler and Beulah Bondi. Directed by Robert Florey.


All will be available here at ClassicFlix on April 10th. These new DVDs add to the total of over 800 Warner Archive titles exclusively available for rent at ClassicFlix.com.

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