Critic’s Choice: UCLA Film & Television Archive revives Poverty Row pictures with ‘Down & Dirty in Gower Gulch’

Film Critic

The B pictures of Poverty Row made up in energy and sass what they lacked in prestige during the decades they were made by low-rent studios that clustered around Gower Street in Hollywood; and the UCLA Film & Television Archive is not only paying tribute with the series “Down & Dirty in Gower Gulch,” but presenting it near where they originated at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood.

The series begins with the 1933 horror gem “The Vampire Bat” as part of a fundraising gala Oct. 27, and then continues at regular prices for three Saturday nights in November and two in December.

Highlights include “The Sin of Nora Moran” (1933), a one-of-a-kind item featuring an opium-induced dream state which intertwines past and present, Nov. 3; “False Faces” (1932) Nov. 10), about a shameless fraud who practices plastic surgery without knowing anything about it, Nov. 10; and the strange “Mamba” (1930), set in Africa and shot in evocative two-color Technicolor, Dec. 1.



“Down & Dirty in Gower Gulch,” UCLA Film & Television Archive, Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave., Hollywood. Oct. 27-Dec. 8.