Your Guide to Classic Movie Theater Filmgoing!
Look What's Coming!
Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in April 1932. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.
Rising Paramount Studios star Claudette Colbert made two stops at the Michigan, in The Wiser Sex and Misleading Lady. Patrons who saw George Arliss in The Man Who Played God also heard a live performance by the University of Michigan Glee Club. The ad for the movie Play Girl (starring Loretta Young) asked, "Could the Sin that Wrecked Our Marriage Save My Baby's Life?" Ernst Lubitsch directed Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald in One Hour with You. Spencer Tracy ("Screen's New Comedy Sensation") appeared in Sky Devils.
The Saturday morning children's programming at the Michigan on April 2, 1932 included the movie Alice in Wonderland, along with Charley Chase in The Nickel Nurser, the comedy Hollywood Luck, and a Flip the Frog cartoon. "...it would seem that parents may feel assured it [Alice in Wonderland] is just the sort of thing for which they have been calling," wrote Allison Ind in the April 1, 1932 Ann Arbor Daily News. "The picture completely passed the local school committee censorship board and has its unqualified approval."
Hollywood families were a big part of the Redford schedule. Joan Bennett starred with Spencer Tracy in the drama She Wanted a Millionaire, while sister Constance played a Lady with a Past. Brothers John and Lionel Barrymore headlined the mystery Arsène Lupin, with Jack Dempsey and Laurel & Hardy movies also on the bill. Detroit area families enjoyed the Big Children's Party on Saturday, April 9, which included a circus on the Redford stage and the feature Behind the Mask (starring Jack Holt).
Other top Redford attractions included the adventure Hell Divers (Wallace Beery and Clark Gable) and Shanghai Express, which was star Marlene Dietrich's "biggest American success with a gross of over $3 million" (David Shipman, The Great Movie Stars). Patrons didn't wait until the next day to see Tomorrow and Tomorrow (Ruth Chatterton and Paul Lukas) or After Tomorrow (Charles Farrell). The bargain evening price of 15 cents from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m. gave patrons relief from the Great Depression with comedies like Business and Pleasure (Will Rogers) and Fireman, Save My Child (Joe E. Brown).
The United Artists theater in Detroit hosted the openings of Tarzan the Ape Man (April 2) and Scarface (April 22). About Scarface, movie critic Ella H. McCormick of The Detroit Free Press wrote (on April 22, 1932), "Judged as a motion picture production, and not as a social preachment, it is acted with a high degree of talent, is keenly and effectively directed, splendidly photographed and produced with every regard for the utmost in realism."
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Web site copyright © 2014 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.
Launched November 25, 2005.
Last updated July 21, 2014.
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