Ann Dvorak (August 2, 1911 – December 10, 1979) was the only child of two vaudevillians. Her father, Edwin McKim worked as a director for the Lubin Studios, and her mother, Anna Lehr, a star of many silent movies. Her parents divorced when Ann was four, and she and her mother moved to Hollywood.
As a child, she performed in several films. She began working for MGM in the late 1920s as a dance instructor and began to perform on film as a chorus girl. Her friend Joan Crawford introduced her to Howard Hughes, who helped her become a dramatic actress. She was a success in such pre-Code films as:
Scarface (1932). The story begins when, Louis Costillo, the last of the big gang leaders is taken out, his former bodyguard Tony Camonte, is arrested. Costillo's body is never found, so the police have to release him, although.. they believe Johnny Lovo, paid Tony, to kill Louis. Tony, begins taking over the town and he becomes a threat to all the other bosses until they work for him. Meanwhile, Tony's sister finds it difficult to escape from her overprotective brother. Tony, world ends in major confrontation.
Video: Full Movie.
Three on a Match (1932). Pre-Code drama. Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak and Bette Davis, play three friends whose lives take them down different paths. Blondell, as the bad girl turned actress, steals the film with her humor. Dvorak, as the rich girl with the husband and child, her path is a self destructive one. Davis, plays the poor secretary.
Love Is a Racket (1932). The story is about writer Jimmy, who writes the 'Up and Down Broadway' column for the New York Globe, and he is in love with Mary. But Mary, wants to be a "Big Star" on Broadway. However, she has been writing bad checks, and when Jimmy tries to help make arrangements for her to make good on them, he finds that they were paid in full by Shaw. Now Shaw, wants Mary to show her appreciation, which means trouble for everyone.
Please click here to read Love Is A Racket movie review.
Sky Devils (1932). Wilkie and Mitchell, trying to dodge the draft, stow away on a ship which takes them smack into the war zone. While AWOL, the rivals for Mary's affections accidentally destroy an ammunition dump.
Known for her style and elegance, she was a popular leading lady during the 1930s, and performed in numerous contemporary romances and melodramas. A dispute over her pay which led to her finishing out her contract and then working as a freelancer, but the quality of her scripts declined sharply.
"I don't want to go back to Hollywood if I can help it. I want to go back to the stage. The trouble with Hollywood is everybody is crazy for money. The producers are trying to make pictures cheaper and faster. They do not realize the public is becoming more critical, and can see the cheapness."
The Case of the Stuttering Bishop (1937). A Bishop from Australia comes to Perry, to ask him to take a case of a woman wrongly accused of manslaughter. The case would involve the wealthy Mr. Brownley and his granddaughter, who may be an imposter. Soon after, the Bishop is killed in his hotel room. When, he leaves on a boat and Perry meets, Ida Gilbert. Later that night, Brownley is shot by a woman who drops Ida's gun. Ida is arrested for the murder of Mr. Brownley and Perry gets involved.
Abilene Town(1946). After the Civil War, the towns people of Abilene, Kansas, has drawn a line down the center of the town where the homesteaders and the cattlemen have come to a very uneasy truce. Trouble begins when the new homesteaders lay down their stakes on the cattleman's side of town.