Death Takes a Holiday (1934); Murder at the Vanities (1934)

Death Takes a Holiday (1934)
November 18, 2012 - 7:00 pm

Preservation funded by Canadian Club Classic

Death Takes a Holiday (1934)

Directed by Mitchell Leisen

Feeling misunderstood, Death, played by Frederic March, takes human form for a weekend to learn why mortals fear him and cling so desperately to their physical existence. When he finds himself drawn to an ethereal woman, he learns of love and comes to a deeper understanding of life. Leisen brings a haunting, atmospheric romanticism to a film that’s part philosophical allegory, part surrealist fable.

Paramount Productions, Inc. Producer: E. Lloyd Sheldon. Screenwriter: Maxwell Anderson, Gladys Lehman. Based on a play by Alberto Casella. Cinematographer: Charles Lang. Cast: Fredric March, Evelyn Venable, Guy Standing, Katharine Alexander, Gail Patrick.

35mm, b/w, 79 min. 

Preservation funded by Hugh M. Hefner

Murder at the Vanities (1934)

Directed by Mitchell Leisen

Leisen keeps things lively in this pre-Code backstage musical mystery in which a hardboiled police inspector investigates a murder at a theater while the show goes on. Songs include “The Rape of the Rhapsody,” featuring Duke Ellington and his orchestra, and a number “(Sweet) Marihuana,” that was cut from the film before its release but which survived in the elements copied for UCLA’s preservation.

Paramount Pictures. Screenwriter: Carey Wilson, Joseph Gollomb, Sam Hellman. Based on the musical play by Earl Carroll and Rufus King. Cinematographer: Leo Tover. Cast: Carl Brisson, Victor McLaglen, Jack Oakie, Kitty Carlisle, Duke Ellington.

35mm, b/w, 89 min.