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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Warren William Deals Raw Again


The Match King (1932) Based On Fact and Fancy

More serious than usual for precode Warren William because this time he commits murder, and there's a suicide ending, which always leaves bitter taste. Still, there's fun along the way, WW lording over the worldwide matchstick business. Someone had to do it, I guess, The Match King based, or at least distorted, from fact. Best thing about these programmers is brevity; most of us bothering to turn on the set have at least 70 minutes to give it. Interest is tweaked for Lili Damita getting mid-way prominence as paramour to William, their courtship overdrawn story-wise, but a lure because it's Damita. Any Warren William cad had limits, as we prefer victims who have abuse or betrayal coming; when he scams sympathetic sorts, we feel guilty for pleasure in it. Warners was adroit at disguising sloppy with speed, William staying enough on the move so we don't discern how little sense The Match King makes. He could make business success look simple as exercise of bravado. I wonder if anyone used his example and achieved tycoon status. At least William put spring back in step for a few Depression-troddens. The Match King is part of Warner Archive's Volume Ten of the Forbidden Hollywood series.

Greenbriar is guest for Nitrateville's first podcast, hosted by forum founder Mike Gebert. Topic is The Art Of Selling Movies. Go and hear it HERE.

4 Comments:

Blogger Kevin K. said...

Yes, he makes it seem really easy, to the point where I wondered why somebody doesn't try it now. But Damita got way too much screentime for my taste.

10:12 AM  
Blogger rnigma said...

William's character was based on Ivar Kreuger, and it was hinted (I forget where or by whom) that Damita's character was supposed to be Garbo. I saw this in my teens when a nearby TV station went to 24-hour operation (in the mid-70s), showing vintage Warner movies and cartoons in the wee hours.
Another of those films I caught around the same time was "Three on a Match"- which had Ripley-style comic strips in its scene transitions. One of those claimed that the "three on a match" superstition was started by Kreuger to sell more matches.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Dave K said...

Just a quick note to say I caught you on Mike Gebert's new podcast and I think you guys got NITRATEVILLE off with a bang. Great interview. Oh, and the new book is terrific, had to order up a second copy right away for my brother!

1:16 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Very happy to know you liked the book, Dave, and thanks for the kind words.

Mike has some terrific guests coming up for his Nitrateville podcasts. These will a great addition to his site.

2:52 PM  

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