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Safe in Hell  /  Party Husband

Safe in Hell
January 3, 2020 - 7:30 pm

Dorothy Mackaill x 2!

Safe in Hell  (1931)

Gilda (Dorothy Mackaill) is a New Orleans sex worker, who, after clocking her first pimp with a bottle and setting his apartment ablaze, flees to a Caribbean isle where booze is legal and criminals live without recourse. All fairly standard, racy pre-Code fare; what sets it apart from others is the innovative camerawork from director William Wellman, as well as Nina Mae McKinney and Clarence Muse, two African American actors who embody sympathetic, dynamic characters.

Preserved by the Library of Congress.

35mm, b/w, 73 min. Director: William A. Wellman. Screenwriter: Houston Branch. Cast: Dorothy Mackaill, Donald Cook, Ralf Harold.

Party Husband  (1931)

In this early talkie, former Ziegfield Girl Dorothy Mackaill lands herself in an open, thoroughly modern marriage with Jay (James Rennie), much to the dissuasion of their traditional families and agog friends. While the couple remains cavalierly convinced by this modern way of love, their inability to communicate—what this picture asserts really matters in a relationship—lands the pair in a series of flagrant, destructive affairs. 

Preserved by the Library of Congress.

35mm, b/w, 74 min. Director: Clarence Badger. Screenwriter: Charles Kenyon (adaptation). Cast: Dorothy Mackaill, James Rennie, Dorothy Peterson.