Big City Blues (Warner Bros.) (1932)

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CURRENT PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN Review “Big City Blues,” Strong, Vivid Drama from Life There is a refreshing novelty about ‘‘Big City Blues,’’ the Warner Bros. picture which opened at the Theatre last evening, that assures an enjoyable even ing’s entertainment for everyone who. witnesses it, It the and of most vivid is one intimate dramas. of <a great city that has yet reached It is a story truly the sereen. GUY KIBBEE = jy keeping with out Necks consistently fine Cut 15¢e Mat de : a pictures that Warner Bros. alone have been sery ing up for the pleasure of movie audiences. ‘Big City Blues’’ is a swiftly unfolding chronicle of New York as the big town reveals itself to a lad from Indiana and a girl from the Mohawk Valley, thrown together by chance and caught in a mesh of adventure and romance that the roaring metro polis weaves around them. Joan Blondell is the little girl from Oneida, N. Y. and Eric Linden is InJoan has been trying her luek Bud Reeves from Hoopersville, diana. Broadway choruses for only that afterno “ream of ‘ttington. But tney) a-towners’ at heart, who «4 to each other by that comule, the moment they meet. Things move fast and furiously afthat, under the glib and fourflushing management of Bud Reeves’ ter smart-cracking cousin Gibby. Before Bud’s first night on Broadway is over, he’s been the unwitting accessory to the death of a girl at a wild party, his newly acquired little friend from up-state has disappeared and Bud himself is a frantie fugitive from the police. What happens after that when you see ‘‘Big City Blues’’— is worth waiting to find out as you must. e Joan Blondell plays Vida, the chorus-girl with just the right mixture to make her both real and lovable. Eric of sweetness and sophistication Linden will awaken vivid memories in the mind of everyone who remembers his or her first visit to a big city. Walter Catlett is a package of firecracker laughs as the country boy’s city cousin. Ned Sparks contributes one of his typically droll characterizations as a bored globe-trotter. Guy Kibbee as an inebriated hotel detective is a delight, and Thomas Jackson as a Central Office sleuth is perfect. ; \ A host of other colorful big city types are portrayed with unusual ability by Inez Courtney, Humphrey Bogart, Lyle Talbot, Evalyn Knapp, Jobyna Howland, Josephine Dunn, Tommy Dugan, Sheila Terry and Gloria Shea. Mervyn LeRoy’s direction of the picture does full justice to the shifting panorama of the New York scene, blending dramatic and comedy values with a balanced nicety of touch and fast tempo. If you’re looking for something refreshingly different in entertainment, ‘*Big City Blues’’ at the Theatre week. is your best bet for this Page Four Six | Opening Day Story Lovers of ‘‘Crowd Roars”’ Now in “Big City Blues” The teaming of Joan Blondell and Eric Linden in ‘‘Big City Blues,”’ the Warner Bros.’ production which IS;OPRnInP-LOdaye ab cre Theatre, is a gratifying sequel to the acclaim with which these two versatile young players were received when they appeared together for the first time in “(The Cagney. Crowd Roars,’’ with James Such enthusiastie attention was bestowed by critics all over the country on Erie Linden, as the ambitious kid brother of Joan Blondell, as the boy’s sweet James Cagney, and heart, that Warner Bros. immediately made preparations to bring them together again. ‘¢Big City Blues,’’ it was felt, offered both Blondell and Linden even wider scope for their talents than the previous picture had given them. Fundamentally, ‘Big City Blues’’ is the story of the whirl the story of wind adventures of a boy and girl from the country thrown together in the maelstrom of New York. Through the stormy, terrifying experiences of the three days that follow their meeting, everything that happens to them only deepens the in terest of Bud and Vida in each other. A east of experienced Broadway players surrounds Miss Blondell, the star. Among these, besides Eric Lin a Walter Catlett, Lyle Talbot, | z hee, Inez Courtney, J obyna | gart, Evalyn Knapp, Thomas cackson, Sheila Terry, Grant Mitchell and Clarence Muse. Mervyn LeRoy, director of ‘‘ Kittle Caesar,’’ ‘‘Five Star Final,’’ ‘‘Two Seconds’’ and other sensational successes, directed the picture from the original drama by Ward Morehouse. Lillian Hayward and Morehouse adapted the play to the screen. I st day of run 14 Featured Players Used In “Big City Blues” Cast Some idea of the magnitude of ‘Big City Blues,’’ the Warner Bros. production, now starring Joan BlonWOt eat Ges ct eee ce eee Theatre, may be gained from the fact that its east list includes no less than seven of the studio’s featured contract players, and seven more headliners borrowed from other studios. Joan Blondell heads the cast, while Evalyn Knapp also has an important role. Three new actresses, recently taken to Hollywood from New York successes, make their first screen appearances at this time, although they are also working separately in other productions. They are Gloria Shea, Betty Gillette and Sheila Terry — names to bear in mind. They may be among the stars of the future. Guv Kibbee and Lyle Talbot complete the list of contract artists. Playing opposite Miss Blondell in the sensational drama of life on Broadway is youthful Erie Linden, whose work in ‘‘The Crowd Roars’’ and ‘‘Are These Our Children?’’ will live long in the memories of theatregoers. Josephine Dunn and Inez Courtney are among their party-playmates, and such personages as that famous comedienne, Jobyna Howland, Walter Catlett, Grant Mitchell and Humphrey Bogart complete the featured cast list that still has many others almost equally well known in smaller supporting roles. Mervyn LeRoy, noted for ‘‘Little Caesar,’’? ‘‘Five Star Final’’ and ‘“Two Seconds,’’ directed. The story was by Ward Morehouse. e ai day of run “Big City Blues’’ Shows Swanky N. Y. Night Club 66557? The important part in the hectic, swirling Club, which plays an action of ‘‘Big City Blues’’? now at the Blondell starred, is a faithful replica ee eee Se Theatre, with Joan of the sumptuous spots in which New York and other metropolises revel after dark. Unlike the flashy, clubs of five years ago, the 1932 va garnish night riety of ‘‘club’’ is the last word in dignified, exclusive elegance. No expense is spared in the equipment and decoration of them. Resorts after which the ‘655’? Club in Warner Bros.’ ‘‘ Big City Blues’’ is patterned, represent, in some cases, an outlay of more than $450,000 in costly tapestries, oil rugs, marbles, paintings and furniture. The service is equal to that of the best hotels in the world. The cuisine is beyond reproach. The wines and liquors are imported from Europe and are guaranteed by the management to be genuine. On the second floor of the palatial duplex apartment, which houses this nocturnal enterprise, is a Monte Carlo in miniature. Now and then a ‘‘elub’’ is raided and put out of business—for the time being, at least, and at its old locale. But after a brief eclipse by the law, its operators managé to unfold their wares in another spot and send the word, by subterranean channel to their patrons, that they are ready: to en optoyy—+ham oa haf ——— eae ea SUPPOTtM gcc. City Blues’’ is Hric country-boy adrift in New York. The as the high-powered cast is marked by the presence of such expert players as Walter Catlett, Jobyna Howland, Inez Courtney, Lyle Talbot, Ned Sparks, Humphrey Bogart, Thomas Jackson, Grant Mitchell, Guy Kibbee and Edward McWade. Warner Brothers director, who has to ‘Five Pressure, ’’ Mervyn LeRoy, ace his credit such successes as Star sh inal 2 =—"Chigh ““Tittle Caesar,’?’?’ and ‘‘Two Seconds,’’ is responsible for the direction. °Drd day of run Joan Blondell Pitched for Boy’s Baseball Team Of all the stars in Hollywood, Joan Blondell probably is the only girl who ever had a regular berth on a boys’ baseball team as pitcher. She admits she wasn’t so hot as a hurler, but she could slam the old apple with such vim and vivacity that she was known in the San Diego school league as ‘Home Run’’ Blondell. **Big City Blues,’’ a Warner Bros. picture, now een ee Theatre. In this high-speed metropolitan drama which shows what may happen to Joan is the star of playing at the a small town girl and boy caught in the whirl of the city, Miss Blondell has as her leading man Erie Linden, who was so effective opposite her in ‘¢The Crowd Roars.’’ Others in the east are Walter Catlett, Guy Kibbee,. Lyle Talbot, Inez Courtney, Evalyn Knapp, Jobyna Howland, Josephine Dunn, Sheila Terry, Gloria Shea, Betty Gillette, Humphrey Bogart and Clarence Muse. The play was written by Ward Morehouse, New York columnist, and adapted by him and Lillian Hayward. Mervyn LeRoy, of **Little Caesar’’ and ‘‘ Five Star Final’’ fame, directed. Ain day of run Mervyn LeRoy Directed Warner’s “Big City Blues”’ The ‘‘ace director’? of Hollywood, who began his career as a self-supporting person by selling newspapers on the streets of San Francisco when he was not yet in his teens, has now turned his attention to New York. of newest picture is Mervyn LeRoy, course, is the director, and _ his ‘Big City Blues,’’? a Warner Bros. CUITCH Lat UNG ri: Theatre, with Joan Blondell as star. Before beginning the picture, houwever, LeRoy and a camera crew made a trip to New York and spent several days in the swarming purlieus where the scenes of ‘‘ Big City Blues’’ ““shots’’ were made for use as backgrounds. are laid. Special camera But even if he had never laid eyes upon the towers of Manhattan there were plenty of people on the set at the studio who could serve as expert checkers on local color. Prominent in the all-Broadway cast supporting Miss Blondell are Eric Linden, as leading man; Walter Catlett, Grant Mitchell, Guy Kibbee, Lyle Talbot, Ned Sparks, Evalyn Humphrey Bogart, Clarence Muse, Knapp, Inez Courtney, Jobyna Howland, Josephine Dunn, Sheila Terry, Betty Gillette and Gloria Shea. ‘“Big City Blues’? seems to be another instance of LeRoy’s fondness for breaking new paths for himself as a director. He has a strong pre judice against repeating himself and getting in a rut. ‘‘Little Caesar’? is generally credited with having started the >-on~ of ~ ‘nastes nietures: but 49 rolling, made no more QA arse | stead he took up the problem of tab loid journalism and directed ‘‘ Five Star Final.’’ Then, apparently for the sake of contrast, he supervised Joe E. Brown’s humorous activities in ‘‘Local Boy Makes Good,’’ after which came ‘‘High Pressure,’’ welcomed as a picture that presented a practically new William Powell to the movie-going public. And with ‘‘High Pressure’’ off his hands, LeRoy was borrowed from Warner Bros. by another company to direct ‘‘Tonight or Never’’ for Gloria Swanson. Since then he has done ‘‘ Heart of New York,’’. ‘‘Two Seconds,’’ with Edward G. Robinson, and ‘‘Big City Blues,’’ a turbulent drama of the metropolis with a small town boy and girl as the pawns. It was written by Ward Morehouse and adapted by the author and Lillian Hayward. D th day of run Joan Blondell a Natural Bet for “Big City Blues”’ Child of Manhattan that she is, Joan Blondell was a ‘‘natural’’ for the starring role of ‘‘Big City Blues,’’ the First National production which comes to the Joan was born in New York City, which is the locale of the picture, but since then has had only one birthday anniversary there. Daughter of troupers, she has traveled all over the world and, for the last two years, has been one of the fastest rising younger stars in Hollywood. Her latest pictures include ‘‘ Blonde Crazy,’’ ‘The Crowd Roars,’’ *“Union Depot,’’ ‘‘The Famous Ferguson Case’’ and ‘‘ Miss Pinkerton.’’ In ‘‘Big City Blues,’’ Eric Linden, her opposite in ‘‘The Crowd Roars,’’ again is her leading man, with a cast that includes Grant Mitchell, Guy Kibbee, Walter Catlett, Lyle Talbot, Ned Sparks, Thomas Jackson, Jobyna Howland, Inez Courtney, Evalyn Knapp, Sheila Terry and Gloria Shea. The theme of the play, by Ward Morehouse, deals with a small town boy and girl caught in the whirl of metropolitan whoopee. b 7 v Special Biographical News Stories Plant these stories as build-up for both stars and picture. Two are advance and two are cur rent. Use whenever possible. Walter Catlett Has Had Brilliant Stage Career Walter Catlett, who romps roisteringly through Warner Bros.’ ‘‘ Big City Blues,’’ now starring Joan Blondel -at-the3 es Theatre, had the distinction of helping to open two of Los Angeles’ legitimate theatres during the course of his stage career. Catlett was a member of the theatrical troupe that presented the first production in the old Auditorium Theatre. It was the ‘‘Chimes of Normandie.’’ As a kid in knickerboekers, he was a member of the company that opened the Mason Opera house with the production of one of Palmer Cox’s ‘‘Brownie’’ musical shows. He has had a brilliant career on Broadway as a comedy star in scores of productions, including ‘‘Sally’’ and ‘“Lady, Be Good,’’ before he moved to Hollywood. In ‘‘ Big City Blues,’’ a melodramatic romance of the metropolis, he plays the wise-cracking city cousin of Eric Linden, the country boy. Eric Linden at Home in Role in “‘Big City Blues”’ In ‘‘Big’ City Blues,’’ the First National pieture starring Joan Blondell, which comes to the BOA Ur Gl .ccscstcees e , the ideal leading man is found in Erie Linden. The play deals with the exnerienes of a youth in New Yor" : was born there abe he was a happy opposite Miss sters are peraiccn.., Big City. Eric is about the most sensational juvenile lead in pictures just now, having skyrocketed to starring importance in his first picture, ‘‘Are These Our Children?’’ ‘*The Crowd Roars,’’ in which he appeared opposite Miss Blondell, added to his fame. Born of a theatrical family, his father being an actor, young Linden has spent most of his life in and around the theatre. He scored with the Theatre Guild before turning to Hollywood a little less than a year ago. Guy Kibbee’s Lucky Break That Made Him an Actor The chance to be an actor came out of a clear sky to Guy Kibbee, who appears in support of Joan Blondell in ‘‘Big City Blues,’’ now at the Ment re See ore Theatre. He had served as the sixteen year-old property man of a barnstorming stock company in the south for an entire season, waiting patiently for an opportunity to play a part. One night the juvenile leading man of the company went on a spree. Kibbee volunteered to take his place and did so well that he was made a permanent member of the troupe. The show was ‘‘ The Convict’s Daughter.’’ Grant Mitchell a Lawyer Before He Turned Actor Grant Mitchell, who plays the role of the station agent in the Warner Bros.’ production, ‘‘ Big City Blues,’’ starring Joan Blondell, coming to the Bek eeree eA Teo ms Theatre, studied law and was an attorney for three years before he deserted the bar for the stage. He made his debut on Broadway with Richard Mansfield. Among his own starring successes were ‘‘ The Tailor-Made Man,’’ ‘‘Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford’? and ‘‘It Pays to Advertise.’’ Mitehell’s recent picture career includes ‘‘The Star Witness,’’ ‘‘The Famous Ferguson Case’’ and ‘‘A Suecessful Calamity,’’ George Arliss’ latest production.