Thursday, December 13, 2012

God's Gift to Women now on DVD

Warner Archive has given the 1931 Louise Brooks film, God's Gift to Women, its first ever commercial release. This Michael Curtiz directed film (Robin Hood, Casablanca) is a 72-minute  pre-code farce starring Frank Fay, Laura LaPlante and Joan Blondell. Brooks has only a supporting role, but makes an impression. It was one of three films the actress made in 1931, and is probably the best of the her American sound films. That's the good news.

Now here is the not so good news. Like the other films released by Warner Archive, his item is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. This title has been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available and has not been remastered or restored for this DVD/Digital Download release. It is expected to play back in DVD Video "play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives.

The Warner Archive descriptive text reads: "One kiss could kill him! Frank Fay, Joan Blondell and Louise Brooks sparkle in a pre-Code bedroom farce about a debonair heart patient who dares not pucker up for the girl he loves."

“If you want to live, you must follow the tranquil existence of an oyster,” the eminent cardiologist warns his terrified patient. “No excitement and no women. One kiss and you die!” Mon Dieu! No kissing? That’s the kiss of death for ladies’ man Toto Duryea. And especially now, when he’s found the woman who has won his heart forever. Too bad that heart is one sick ticker. Vaudeville and stage star Frank Fay portrays Toto in this jaunty pre-Code bedroom farce set in Paris and directed by the legendary Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, Life With Father). Vivacious kewpie doll Joan Blondell and flapper femme fatale Louise Brooks are among former lovers who rush to Toto’s bedside eager to provide comfort. But he rejects them all for a hard-to-get American beauty (Laura LaPlante) whose lips have touched his only once. And oh how he longs to repeat the experience. Will Toto give his life for one more heavenly smooch?  

God's Gift to Women can be purchased through Warner Archive or Amazon.com The Warner Archive webpage also has a three minute clip from the film (not the trailer) which has the character (played by Charles Winninger) mention he is from Rochester (NY? - Brooks' future home) while his French friend lets slip the phrase "a sweetheart in every port."

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