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Convention City- Maybe Still Out There?

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Convention City- Maybe Still Out There?

Postby Lzcutter » October 30th, 2011, 5:35 pm

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Convention City, a sparkling pre-code with an all-star cast that includes Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, Mary Astor and Adolph Menjou, has long been considered a "lost" film, a victim of the enforcement of the Production Code.

For years the story attached to it is that Jack Warner had all prints of the film pulled rather than have to deal with recutting the film to make it conform to the Production Code. Further, the story goes, Warner had all the prints and negative destroyed.

The Vitaphone Project has found evidence that the long-held story may not be accurate and may, indeed, be a myth.

They are currently looking for copies of the film and have found some interesting information that points in the direction that a print of the film may still exist, perhaps in a foreign archive.

For more information, you can read the interesting story about the Vitaphone Project's efforts to find the film here:

http://www.jazzage1920s.com/conventionc ... oncity.php

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Re: Convention City- Maybe Still Out There?

Postby CoffeeDan » April 3rd, 2018, 6:55 pm

While searching my Liberty magazine files for reviews of James Cagney films, I came across this review of CONVENTION CITY by "Beverly Hills" from the February 3, 1934 issue, which offers a tantalizing peek at this deliberately misplaced film:

* * (out of four) CONVENTION CITY

With no disrespect intended for Warner Brothers' stable of actors, it might be a good notion to farm a few of them out to other companies in the near future. They have been used together so many times that when you see Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Guy Kibbee, and Frank McHugh cavorting in the convention halls and the hotel rooms of a town which, at a shrewd guess, might have been meant to represent Atlantic City, it is a little hard to overcome the expectation that the chorus of GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 is hiding under the board walk, ready to appear for an old-fashioned Warner Brothers first-night finale.

Aside from this slightly academic defect, CONVENTION CITY is a first-rate comedy, smartly written, neatly directed, and accented by an observant sarcasm in sequences like the one in which a drunk staggers into a large room full of people and oratorically urges that "our merchandise be placed in slot machines on every corner, in case of emergency" before he finds out that he is addressing the wrong convention.

The story is mainly about the president of a rubber company (Grant Mitchell) and three of his hirelings (Adolphe Menjou, Dick Powell, and Guy Kibbee) who hope to be chosen for the job of general manager. Kibbee fails to get it because -- as usually happens when Kibbee gets friendly with a blonde -- Joan Blondell inveigles him into a situation which turns out to be embarrassing when his wife appears. Menjou, a much slicker operator, gets into difficulties of the same sort, and the job finally goes to a befuddled drunk who has had the good fortune to catch Grant Mitchell on the point of paying a visit to a lady exterminator ("Exterminating Done at All Hours, Day and Night").

The picture contains one song which deserves to be remembered -- a paean to the president of the J. B. Honeywell Rubber Company, called "Oh, Honeywell," and sung to the air of "My Maryland."


FWIW: The headline for this article, which also includes reviews of QUEEN CHRISTINA and GOING HOLLYWOOD, reads thusly: "ROYALTY, RADIO, REUNION: Garbo Plays Queen Christina, Mr. Crosby Croons to Miss Davies, and That Gay Warner Gang Gets Together Again."

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Re: Convention City- Maybe Still Out There?

Postby moira finnie » April 4th, 2018, 9:53 pm

Oh, Dan! Thanks for taking the time to share that swell review. Liberty magazine didn't seem to be too outraged by the film's raciness, did they? I would love to hear "Oh, Honeywell" sung by Frank McHugh.
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Re: Convention City- Maybe Still Out There?

Postby CoffeeDan » April 6th, 2018, 2:02 pm

Moira, InTheBalcony.com recently featured a Blu-ray release of CONVENTION CITY in its list of April 2018 new releases. Of course, it was an April Fool's joke, but check out the box art at the bottom of the page! We can dream, can't we?

Also, watch for a new article on the film by the Vitaphone Project's own Ron Hutchison! Ron says it should be posted on Classic Movie Hub around the middle of this month.


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