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Turan's picks: 'Untamed' Joan Crawford, 'Dangerous' Bette Davis

May 9, 2012 |  3:50 pm

The busy folks at the Warner Archives Collection have focused recently on the female stars of the 1930s (and even a bit earlier), and several new releases fill out their slate nicely.

The oldest film in the group is the home video premiere of 1929's "Untamed," Joan Crawford's first significant role in a talking picture. Crawford -- playing Bingo, described as a "jungle-raised oil heiress" (you don't see many of those anymore) -- gets to sing a duet of "That Wonderful Something Is Love" with co-star Robert Montgomery.

Also prominent is Bette Davis, represented here with her 1935 "Dangerous," in which she plays a driven actress eager for a comeback. Her work was good enough to win her that year's Oscar for best actress.

More of a group effort is 1932's "Thirteen Women," a melodrama starring Myrna Loy and Irene Dunne that sounds like a wild time all around. No Oscars for anyone here.

Most interesting of the Warner DVDs are two devoted to actress Dorothy Mackaill, who retired early from films and was subsequently long forgotten. Warners is offering two Mackaill films on one disc -- "Bright Lights" and "The Reckless Hour" -- and is putting her most famous film, "Safe in Hell," on another.

Warner Archive Collection DVDs are manufactured on demand. To order, visit www.WarnerArchive.com.

RELATED:

Swashbucklers from the '30s, '40s

Universal's 100th anniversary: classic films

'Casablanca' and 'A Trip to the Moon' on DVD

-- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic


 
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