Friday, July 22, 2011

Pre-Code: The Man with Two Faces (1934).

The Man with Two Faces (1934). Directed by Archie Mayo, the film stars Edward G. Robinson, Mary Astor, Ricardo Cortez, Louis Calhern and Mae Clarke. The story was adapted by Tom Reed and Niven Busch from the play The Dark Tower by George S. Kaufman and Alexander Woollcott. The Man with Two Faces was actress Margaret Dale's last movie, and only talkie.

The story begins when Jessica Wells, a talented actress, is returning to the stage after a three-year absence. Her family and friends are shocked when Vance, her long-lost husband with a criminal past, shows up. He immediately takes over Jessica life.

Vance, soon learns that his wife holds half the rights to the play in which she will be performing, which now might turn out to be a disaster in her present state.

Damon Wells, wants to help his sister's comeback acting as her coach. He and Jessica's manager realize that they must get rid of Vance, so Damon pretends to be French theatrical producer Jules Chautard, and lures Vance, to a hotel room believing that he will be paid for Jessica's half-interest in the play, but is murdered. Damon covers his tracks, but accidentally leaves behind a few clues. Will Sergeant William Curtis, use the clues to crack the case?

When, EDWARD G. ROBINSON, goes under cover you will not recognize him. Not one of my favorite MARY ASTOR performance, but still entertaining. MAE CLARKE, has a more spirited role as girlfriend of Robinson. I enjoyed the Pre-Code ending.

Mae Clarke (August 16, 1910 – April 29, 1992) . She started her professional career as a dancer sharing a room with Barbara Stanwyck and starred in many films for Universal Studios, including the film, The Front Page (1931) and the first sound version of Frankenstein (1931) with Boris Karloff. Clarke played the role of Henry Frankenstein's fiancee Elizabeth in Frankenstein, who was attacked by the Monster on her wedding day. The Public Enemy, released that same year, contained featured one of cinema's most famous scenes, in which James Cagney pushed a half grapefruit into Clarke's face, then went out and picked up Jean Harlow.

She performed as Myra Deauville, in the 1931 Pre-Code version of Waterloo Bridge. In the film, she plays a young American woman who is forced into a life of prostitution in World War I London.

She also appeared in the modest pre-code film, Night World (1932), with Lew Ayres, Boris Karloff, and Hedda Hopper.

By the mid-1930s, Clarke was no longer a leading lady and was only featured in small or bit parts through to the 1960s.


  1. Love that last picture - great hairstyle!

  2. Eddie is amazing in this movie. I'll bet he had a ball!

  3. Irene, and I love the dress.

    Caftan Woman, i agree... I do not think Eddie, can give a bad performance.


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