Saturday, November 7, 2009

Too Early For Flappers, Jack?

I believe I promised that if any part of the Joan Crawford Flapper Trilogy showed up on the internet, I'd let you know about it. The first leg of the trilogy, Our Dancing Daughters ("leg" being the operative word, as you will see), is back up on YouTube. I present part one here for your no doubt temporary viewing pleasure and provide links to the other eight parts which might otherwise be a bit difficult to track down.

Our Dancing Daughters was the first movie written specifically for Joan Crawford and it made her a star. It's the story of a rich, wild girl (Crawford) with an addiction to short dresses and the Charleston who loses the love of her life to an even richer, wilder girl (Anita Page, also in a star-making role), all while soaking up Jazz and bootleg booze in fabulous art Deco palaces that could only have existed on the set of an MGM movie. None of this is meant to be taken seriously—just another Hollywood studio clucking its tongue at girls gone wild even as it exploited the phenomenon to rake in box office bucks.

What's not to like?

Hopefully one day Turner Classic Movies in association with Warner Brothers will issue the entire trilogy in one tasty DVD package. Until then it remains unavailable in any format. Pity.

By the way, Our Dancing Daughters is one of those odd silent-sound hybrids of the very early sound era. Made not long after The Jazz Singer, the film has a soundtrack, including several prominently featured songs, but no dialogue, only title cards. I actually find this approach preferable to early talkies such as The Broadway Melody where, for example, Anita Page's dialogue competes with the rustling of her own dress.

Fortunately, sound technology improved rapidly over the course of a year.

Anyway, here it is: Our Dancing Daughters. I hope you get as much of a kick (turn-turn-kick-turn) out of it as I do.

Additional parts: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Note: For those of you who prefer not to watch your movies in bite-size nuggets on a screen the size of your thumb, Our Dancing Daughters is scheduled to air on TCM on February 12, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. EST. I've already marked my calendar; be sure to mark yours.


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

I’m going to the Yacht Club! See you at dawn!

What a great, great find. I never would have seen this but for you, Myth (and of course Katie-bar-the-door, who makes it all possible) :-)

Mythical Monkey said...

Praise Katie from whom all blessings flow!

By the way, the blonde who plays the boozed-up tart who ruins Joan Crawford's life is Anita Page who I have raved about periodically on this blog. When she made this movie, she was actually a seventeen year old teetotaling virgin. Prohibition in 1928 was still the law of the land and she professed later to having no idea what she was doing when she played drunk at the end. I don't know if a trained actor such as Mister Muleboy would be impressed by her performance, but I think she's a whole lot of fun.