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"Secret Sinners" - Pre-Code Chorus Girl Romantic Adventure
released on October 20, 1933
The Actors: Jack Mulhall (Jeff Gilbert), Sue Carol (Sue Marsh), Nick Stuart (Jimmy Stafford), Cecilia Parker (Margie Dodd), Natalie Moorhead (Mrs. Gilbert), Armand Kaliz (Armand Blum), Bert Roach (out of work actor), Gertrude Short (Sue's chorus girl friend Ida), Eddie Kane (stage manager Mr. Edwards), William Humphrey (the music publisher), Tom Ricketts (stage doorman 'Pop'), Paul Ellis (Travers the gigolo), Lillian Leighton (Mrs. Simmons), Phillips Smalley (lawyer Marsh), Lee Zahler (Lee Zahler, orchestra leader), Harry Barris (himself, pianist/composer Harry Barris), The Three Harmonettes (themselves, radio singers), Alexander Pollard (Gilbert's valet Moffett), Arthur Thalasso (unknown)
The Chorus Girl and the Farmer's Daughter
This love story was filmed as the Hays censors were beginning their work, but it was obviously not screened or approved by the censors, because there is way too much skin in the follies dancing scenes, and way too much witty dialogue about the lack of clothing that chorus girls Sue and Margie wear at work. Sue is a chorus girl who is not embarrassed about performing with very little of her body covered, and Margie is an Iowa farmer’s daughter who has come to New York to become a famous Broadway actress. Margie cannot find work and is cleaning rooms at a boarding house for actors and Sue helps her get a job in the chorus of the Follies. Sue is in love with a young songwriter, and Margie will meet a millionaire who falls in love with her . . . . Of course, the millionaire’s wife will cause them some grief . . . . But not more than they can handle. Enough about the story, I’ve just gotta dish some Hollywood gossip . . . . You don’t mind do ya?
Well, first off, the perky and pretty brunette Sue, who has such good chemistry with her young songwriter boyfriend, is Sue Carol, the real-life wife of Nick Stuart, the fellow playing her boyfriend in the story. . . . No wonder they have such great chemistry! But wait . . . . That chemistry will not last . . . They will get divorced for some reason and Sue will fall in love with another actor . . . . Sue Carol was born Evelyn Jean Lederer, and her mother’s name was Caroline, and when she started acting in movies she used the name Sue Carol. Well, a few years after she and Nick Stuart split up, she fell in love once again. On March 15, 1942 she married legendary actor Alan Ladd and they lived happily until his death many years later.
The other chorus girl in this story is Cecilia Parker, who you will remember not for her sexy chorus girl roles, but for her mid-west feel-good family stories. Four years after this movie, in 1937, Cecilia got a role in a movie called A Family Affair, where she played the older sister to Mickey Rooney in the first story about Judge Hardy and his son Andy Hardy. She would play Andy’s older sister in most of the sixteen movies about Andy Hardy . . . . Except the one episode that entered public domain early and you can watch here: Love Laughs at Andy Hardy.
One more bit of trivia about the actors . . . When Jimmy buys the music publishing house he meets real-life composer/pianist Harry Barris, who would write songs that have been performed in movies ever since. Harry Barris died in 1962, but his music lives on to this day. His song ‘I Surrender Dear’ was featured in the 2005 movie The Notorious Bettie Page, and before that his music was used in the 1999 blockbuster The Green Mile . . . . And I could go on with movie after movie going all the way back to this one. . . . . But it is now time to pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show. . . . Oh, I almost forgot . . . . One more thing that you might miss if I don't tell you to watch for it . . . For a good hoot, when we first meet Cecilia Parker as the scrub woman in the boarding house, watch the landlady closely as she delivers fresh towels to each room . . . Keep an eye on the towels :-)
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2014 was an exciting year for me, and I want to say thank you to every visitor that enjoys these old movies as much as I do. Four years ago I found myself with the knowledge to create nice web pages, along with a stack of old public domain movies that I owned and enjoyed. I decided to share them with the world . . . I thought that the 150 or so movies that I had collected were all the public domain movies in existence, but soon discovered more, and with good research and the help of the internet I am still discovering lost classics to share. Thanks to the amazing people at the New Dream Network I am able to share more than 2,000 almost forgotten classics, with many more sitting on my shelf waiting their turn to be added to this web site.
The question that I am asked most often is whether these movies are really public domain, or am I sharing movies that are still copyrighted and owned by movie studios and independent producers. Some folk believe that I am clever enough to share movies still owned by studios and independent producers without them knowing, but that would not be 'clever' . . . . merely 'stupid.' The first month that I started this web site I uploaded the stack of movies that I had on hand that I believed were public domain. Within days, when only a handful of visitors found my site, a movie studio contacted me and let me know that a couple of their copyrighted movies were among my uploads. I quickly apologized and removed them, and I started learning how to research copyright office records instead of taking the word of movie bloggers. To guarantee that I don't make a mistake, and encourage any studio or producer to correct any mistake that I might make, I do not hide the files with cryptic file names like movie pirates do, and I do not host the movies in a small offshore nation to prevent movie studios from finding either me or the movies. Every movie is named and dated and very easy for motion picture studios to search for and find . . . . . And believe me, they are constantly watching. You may have only discovered this web site recently, but all of the movie studios watch my listings very closely, and have since the very early days. Our legal system makes it very easy for movie studio lawyers to quickly shut down an offending web site, and I am a very cautious person who wants to be around for a while, and have no interest in abusing the rights of others. I am also very easy to find . . . . I am a very public person with my face on every page of the web site, and a contact link on every page of the web site, and if you look at the 'meet Jimbo' page you can even easily discover my cell phone number by following the link to my personal pages. The movies that have been here for five years now are still here because they have no current legal owner.
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