The Law of Contact

Reaching for the Moon (December 29, 1930)

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Reaching for the Moon
 

Released on December 29, 1930: (running time 66 minutes) A saucy temptress on her way to get married has one last fling with a successful stock trader.

Produced by Joseph M. Schenck and Douglas Fairbanks

Directed by Edmund Goulding

The Actors: Douglas Fairbanks (Larry Day), Bebe Daniels (Vivien Benton), Edward Everett Horton (Roger, the valet), Claud Allister (Sir Horace Partington Chelmsford), Jack Mulhall (Jimmy Carrington), Walter Walker (James Benton), June MacCloy (Kitty, aero girl with long earrings), Helen Jerome Eddy (Larry's secretary), Bing Crosby (Bing), James Conaty (office worker), Marcelle Corday (Vivian's maid), Emmett Corrigan (Timothy Grovener, bank president), Adrienne D'Ambricourt (Vivian's maid), Jay Eaton (ship's party guest listening to singer), Bill Elliott (ship's party guest), Bud Geary (flier), Alphonse Martell (warden), Toshia Mori (coat girl), Edmund Mortimer (ship's party guest), William H. O'Brien (servant telling Larry that London is calling), Dennis O'Keefe (ship's party guest), Kate Price (heavy woman), Ronald R. Rondell (ship's baggage steward), Larry Steers (flier), Phil Tead (reporter from the Morning Echo looking for aero girls), Luana Walters (unknown), Lloyd Whitlock (associate), Florence Wix (outraged mother at ship's party)

 
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Beg Pardon, Sir, Do You Ever Dream of Girls?

Many fans of the first motion pictures search for and enjoy pre-code movies. In 1915 the U.S. Supreme Court determined that American freedom of speech did not extend to the new-fangled moving pictures. Movies could be legally censored in any way at all, with no legal recourse. Will Hayes headed up a censoring board that would tell every motion picture producer exactly what could and could not be said or seen in a movie. Kisses could not be a millisecond longer than three seconds. Words like ‘hell’ were replaced with the word ‘blazes.’

These rules and many more were not strictly enforced until June of 1934, so movies made before that could have some words or actions that would not be permitted later. Well, after watching many ‘pre-code’ movies with a hint of double entendre words and actions, I’ve got to tell you that this movie breaks all the molds, and would have been outrageous even fifty years later! A very young Bing Crosby sings a song that Bebe Daniels joins in that virtually drips with naughty intentions. But enough about the adult humor, I must tell you about the missing minutes.

This movie was originally much longer than the surviving prints, and there is one missing gap that needs to be explained. Douglas Fairbanks is a wildly successful Wall Street stock trader, and the Great Depression is about to begin. Bebe Daniels is a wealthy girl who likes to have a good time with men, and when she sees Douglas Fairbanks, she decides to have some fun with him.

Bebe Daniels’ character is engaged to a British Lord, and is leaving on a steamship headed for South Hampton, but she will do her best to lure Douglas Fairbanks into falling for her before boarding the ship with her fiancĂ©. For the lady, this is just a game she plays with men, giving them plenty of lustful teasing that will lure her target into falling madly in love with her. Just a bit of fun before leaving for England, that’s all she wants. She will visit his office and ask to speak with him for just five minutes.

Those five minutes in his office do not exist on film any longer, but she succeeds in tempting him to chase her, and they arrange to have dinner together in his Manhattan suite. The busy bachelor with no time for romance is suddenly starry-eyed at the prospect of having his very first relationship with a beautiful woman. That missing piece of film must have been really hot.

The successful stock trader is very puritan in his ways. No steak for dinner, but rather a bowl of Kellogg’s corn flakes with warm milk. He has never touched a drop of alcohol in his life, and has never kissed a girl, except for his mother. All of this will change as the saucy heiress tempts the bashful bachelor into a cornball comedy pre-code affair to remember. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn drizzled with warm melted butter and enjoy the show.

Bebe Daniels
Bebe Daniels
Bebe Daniels
Bebe Daniels
Bebe Daniels
Bebe Daniels
Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
Claud Allister and Phil Tead
Claud Allister and Phil Tead
Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks and Edward Everett Horton
Douglas Fairbanks and Edward Everett Horton
Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks and Claud Allister
Douglas Fairbanks and Claud Allister
Douglas Fairbanks and Bebe Daniels
Douglas Fairbanks and Bebe Daniels
Edward Everett Horton and Claud Allister
Edward Everett Horton and Claud Allister
Edward Everett Horton and Douglas Fairbanks
Edward Everett Horton and Douglas Fairbanks
Edward Everett Horton
Edward Everett Horton
Edward Everett Horton
Edward Everett Horton
Emmett Corrigan
Emmett Corrigan
Helen Jerome Eddy and Bebe Daniels
Helen Jerome Eddy and Bebe Daniels
June MacCloy and Jack Mulhall
June MacCloy and Jack Mulhall
Helen Jerome Eddy and Jack Mulhall
Helen Jerome Eddy and Jack Mulhall
Jack Mulhall and Bebe Daniels
Jack Mulhall and Bebe Daniels
Jack Mulhall, Bebe Daniels and June MacCloy
Jack Mulhall, Bebe Daniels and June MacCloy
Jack Mulhall and Bebe Daniels
Jack Mulhall and Bebe Daniels