The Golden Age of Hollywood

I was going to call this discussion - "What is your favourite Warren William film"? There are

just so many!!! I really like "Skyscraper Souls" (1932). It is a wonderful film - I am really

suprised how little known it seems to be. At 96 minutes (and in my copy there was 10

minutes cut) so I would have thought it would have been a major film. Warren William stars

as a completely ruthless owner of an office block (looking eerily like the Chrysler Building)

who is juggling a wife (Hedda Hopper), a mistress (Veree Teasdale, who next to W.W. gives

the best performance in the film, in my opinion) and mistress in the making (Maureen

O"Sullivan ). He has a couple of scenes where he is talking to his associates - where he

is explaining his vision and another where he is mocking their downfall. Those scenes

are the highlight of the film for me and really prove what a wonderful actor Mr. William was.

Another film I like that was made about 12 years after the code was "Strange Illusion" -

he co-stars with Sally Eilers, about an unrepentant killer - he is excellent in that one as well.

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I think I have all of WW's pre-codes. The weak one is Beauty and the Boss. The most hilarious is Goodbye Again.
Most of the others are about a chararacter that flirts with financial danger and wins--until the end.
His Lone Wolf series which was post-code for Columbia, lack the energy of his pre-codes, mostly for Warners.
"Beauty and the Boss" - could you imagine anyone else in his
role and making it a success!!! Probably the most "politically
incorrect" film I have ever seen and I like it!!!

haha i LOVE beauty and the boss! NO one else could have played that part like WW did!

i have a lovely vintage lobby card for that film and also i aspire to one day build a replica of WW's magnificent desk which actually appears in 3 other WB films from the same period!

heres some links where i talk about it:

http://artmovieswoodandwhatnot.blogspot.com/search/label/THE%20DESK

http://artmovieswoodandwhatnot.blogspot.com/2012/02/warren-william-...

You have a terrific site. I put it on my favourites. And what a

beautiful desk, being completely unobservant as I am, I have

seen a few of those films and of course never noticed THE DESK

haha!! I knew Warners were cheapskates but I could imagine

them thinking "get me a script where we can use that desk!!"

There's never really been another star like him. He was quite unique--not Gable, not Grant, both of whom became parodies of themselves. Much like William Powell, he put his stamp on every role in a way that I guess you had to be there to appreciate. He could certainly hold his own against any bad-girl I've ever seen him up against.
Warren William was a great actor. When "talkies ' were the coming thing, the studios went after stage actors, because of their voice "range". Because they had to project their voices so the that they could be heard in the balconies, Warren William was an accomplished leading actor of the Broadway stage actor. Robert Montgomery was another stage actor that was brought out to Hollywood from the Broadway stage. The first of many pictures that I seen Warren William in was "Imitatation of Life".
Warren William must have made 100 movies for Warners! From 1931 to 1935, he was in just about every one of them.
Of all the Warren William films, my least favorite is Dark Horse. I like all other of his Warner's films. Not too
keen on his Columbia work.
I have just bought "The Mind Reader" - I bought it because
Constance Cummings was in it but I saw that WW is in it
also. It looks good - have you seen this one Mike and what do
you think about it?
I have just seen where "Warren William : Magnificent Scoundrel of Pre-Code
Hollywood" by John Stangeland, published by McFarland Press is due to be
released in September 2010. I don't know anything about it - you can order
a copy over at Midnight Palace and Amazon has it displayed for $45. A
little bit expensive for me but just thought I would put this in the Warren
William discussion.
Just happened along this post and wanted to say "thanks" for mentioning the book! It took over three years of research, but it is finally done. I hope all the Warren William fans out there will enjoy it. To join in the conversation, I'm picking my favorite WW pre-code to be Employees' Entrance - he's never been meaner or more compelling, plus he's in almost every scene, unlike Skyscraper Souls where he's more or less part of the ensemble. In the post-code, even though the movie is not very good, I love him in Go West, Young Man - it's a very low-key comedy performance and he steals the show from Mae West. If anyone is interested in more info on Warren, you can follow my profile for a link to the facebook page for the book...
His Perry Mason makes you forget Raymond Burr's TV version altogether.

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