Warner Archive has gone deep into its vaults for a collection of rarely seen 1931 pre-code comedies and musicals arriving Tuesday on DVD.
The musical “Her Majesty, Love” is the final film Broadway musical legend Marilyn Miller (“Sally,” “Sunny”) made in Hollywood, as well as W.C. Fields’ first talkie. “Fifty Million Frenchmen,” starring the comedy team of Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson, is based on a successful Cole Porter Broadway musical. But you won’t hear any Porter tunes. The songs were excised because movie audiences were growing weary of musicals.
The same fate befell “Gold Dust Gertie” with Winnie Lightner and Olsen and Johnson. It also was filmed as a musical comedy only to have all of its numbers slashed before its release. Though U.S. audiences had tired of the genre, these films were music to the ears of international audiences, and “Frenchmen” and “Gertie” were released in their original versions overseas.