Film of the week: Illicit (1931). From IMDB:
The film is interesting because it’s early Stanwyck, but also because of the independent woman angle which soon will fade from view with the ushering in of the code. Once the ’40s hit, the independent woman became an uptight career woman wearing a tailored suit, her hair up, and sporting a stern attitude. Young, carefree non-virgins became a thing of the past. But these precode films are what helped mold the strong images of Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Barbara Stanwyck…
Barbara Stanwyck is superb in this: young, playful, beautiful, extraordinarily strong and very sensual. She gives a very modern performance that wouldn’t have been out of place 60 or 70 years later. The ending is a bit of a cop-out, but I imagine that the studios insisted on it; it doesn’t spoil the film.
And why now? Well, on a whim, I programmed my DVR to record it a couple of months ago, but I didn’t get around to watching it until last night. Check it out.