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April Looking Back: 1931 1932 1943 1956 1957 1963 1981 1982

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Live acoustic guitar accents the 1934 Japanese silent film A Story of Floating Weeds at the DFT April 18.
The National Theatre in London broadcasts the dramatic War Horse at the Michigan on April 23.

Laugh your head off at Three Stooges comedies from the 1930s and 1940s at the Redford on April 25 and 26.

 

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Looking Back

February 1932

Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in February 1932. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.

For more information about these theaters, see Cinema Treasures or Water Winter Wonderland.


"Frank Capra, Director of Hits, wins new laurels by megaphoning the greatest love story every filmed," read a Feb. 10, 1932 ad in The Ann Arbor Daily News for Forbidden, starring Barbara Stanwyck. Both the Michigan and Redford showed this movie, which "really put Stanwyck on top," wrote David Shipman in The Great Movie Stars: The Golden Years.

The month at the Michigan got off to a great start, with a held-over week-long run of Mata Hari, starring Greta Garbo and Ramon Novarro. This film later moved across town to the Wuerth. Other stars that lit up the Michigan's silver screen were Robert Montgomery (Lovers Courageous); Marie Dressler (Emma); James Cagney (Taxi!); Joan Blondell (The Greeks Had a Word for Them); William Powell (High Pressure); and Constance Bennett (Lady with a Past).

Also in Ann Arbor, a month-long experiment with German language films at the Whitney (Main and Ann) ended, after the screening of such films as Zwei Menschen, Die vom Rummelplatz, and Der Weg zur Schande. "The bulk of the support came from (University of Michigan) faculty individuals and some students," wrote Allison Ind in The Ann Arbor Daily News (Feb. 23, 1932). "For this type of trade, the location of the theater is disadvantageous."

The Redford presented some of the biggest hits of 1931, including Private Lives (Norma Shearer and Robert Montgomery); The Champ (Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper); and Delicious (Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell). The newest film entertainment at the Redford was a Feb. 26-27 double bill of The Rainbow Trail (George O'Brien) and File 113 (Lew Cody). Another crowdpleaser was Ladies of the Big House (Sylvia Sidney), one of several movies to appear on Sundays with vaudeville acts.

At the Wilson Theater (now the Music Hall), the stage play The Band Wagon starred Fred and Adele Astaire, along with Frank (The Wizard of Oz) Morgan. The Shubert showed a Talkie version of the 1925 silent movie The Big Parade.


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This web site is not affiliated with the Detroit Film Theatre, the Michigan Theater, or the Redford Theatre.

Web site copyright © 2014 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.

Launched November 25, 2005.

Last updated March 31, 2014.

Graphics courtesy of the Absolute Web Graphics Archive and Christmas Graphics Plus.

Videos courtesy of YouTube, Turner Classic Movies, and the Internet Archive.