MANHATTAN MELODRAMA
1934, Warner Bros., 93 min, USA, Dir: W.S. Van Dyke, George Cukor (uncredited)

Hard gambler and racketeer Edward "Blackie" Gallagher (Clark Gable) and bookish district attorney and would-be governor Jim Wade (William Powell) have been lifelong friends, brought together by their both being orphans. When Blackie's girlfriend, Eleanor (Myrna Loy), leaves him for the more sensible Jim, there are no ill feelings between the friends, but when Blackie kills the D.A. running opposite Jim for the election of governor, Jim must face the most difficult case of his career: convicting his best friend of murder. The first of 14 onscreen pairings between Loy and Powell, and made in the same year as their most famous film, THE THIN MAN. Look for Mickey Rooney in one of his earliest roles, playing Blackie as a child. MANHATTAN MELODRAMA has become infamous as the last film seen by gangster John Dillinger before he was gunned down leaving Chicago's Biograph Theater.


THE GREAT ZIEGFELD
1936, Warner Bros., 176 min, USA, Dir: Robert Z. Leonard

In this epic, spectacular fictionalized biography of Florenz “Flo” Ziegfeld (William Powell) with original music by Walter Donaldson and Irving Berlin, we follow the rise and fall of an irrepressibly ambitious businessman as he relentlessly cultivates stars and ultimately creates the glamorous, leggy Ziegfeld Follies. With breathlessly lavish production numbers that define the grandeur of the 1930s MGM musical, THE GREAT ZIEGFELD must be seen on the big screen! With Luise Rainer, Myrna Loy, Fanny Brice, Virginia Bruce and Ray Bolger.


THE THIN MAN
1934, Warner Bros., 93 min, USA, Dir: W.S. Van Dyke

Adapting the Dashiell Hammett novel, W.S. Van Dyke helms the first and best in what was to become one of MGM’s most successful franchises of the 1930s. William Powell and Myrna Loy are transcendentally flighty as the carefree rich couple Nick and Nora Charles - a wise-cracking, hard-drinking detective and his heiress wife, a gal who aspires to fight crime, too (along with their terrier, Asta). Their partying lifestyle is interrupted when friend Dorothy Wynant (Maureen O’Sullivan) asks them to help find her father, an inventor who has been missing for three months. Set over Yuletide in New York City, the pair piece together clues while barhopping and hitting holiday cocktail parties (which always seem to be crawling with Nick’s former shady underworld acquaintances). Watch for hungover Nick shooting ornaments off the tree on Christmas morning! Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.


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