Three Faces East (1930 film)

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Three Faces East
Three Faces East 1930.jpg
theatrical releaseposter
Directed by Roy Del Ruth
Produced by Daryl Zanuck
Written byArthur Caesar
Oliver H. P. Garrett
Based onThree Faces East (play)
by Anthony Paul Kelly
Starring Constance Bennett
Music byPaul Lamkoff
Cinematography Barney McGill
Edited by William Holmes
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Release date
  • July 26, 1930 (1930-07-26)(US premiere)
Running time
71 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Three Faces East is a 1930 American Pre-Code film directed by Roy Del Ruth and starring Constance Bennett and Erich von Stroheim. Produced by Daryl Zanuck and released by Warner Brothers it is based on a 1918 Broadway play about World War I spies, Three Faces East. [1] It was filmed as a silent in 1926. [2] A later remake starred Boris Karloff and Margaret Lindsay in British Intelligence .

Pre-Code Hollywood US cinema before the introduction of the Motion Picture Production Code

Pre-Code Hollywood refers to the brief era in the American film industry between the widespread adoption of sound in pictures in 1929 and the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code censorship guidelines, popularly known as the "Hays Code", in mid-1934. Although the Code was adopted in 1930, oversight was poor, and it did not become rigorously enforced until July 1, 1934, with the establishment of the Production Code Administration (PCA). Before that date, movie content was restricted more by local laws, negotiations between the Studio Relations Committee (SRC) and the major studios, and popular opinion, than by strict adherence to the Hays Code, which was often ignored by Hollywood filmmakers.

Roy Del Ruth was an American film director.

Constance Bennett American actress

Constance Campbell Bennett, was an American stage, film, radio and television actress. She was a major Hollywood star during the 1920s and 1930s and for a time during the early 1930s, she was the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, as well as one of the most popular. Bennett frequently played society women, focusing on melodramas in the early 1930s and then taking more comedic roles in the late 1930s and 1940s. She is best known today for her leading roles in What Price Hollywood? (1932), Bed of Roses (1933), Topper (1937), Topper Takes a Trip (1938), and had a prominent supporting role in Greta Garbo's last film, Two-Faced Woman (1941).

Contents

Plot

The story takes place during World War I. The action opens on a French battlefield. After meeting with German spy Schiller Blacher (Erich von Stroheim), Z-1 (Constance Bennett) is sent on a mission to England. The action then moves into the London home of Sir Winston Chamberlain (William Holden- no relation to the 1950s star of the same name). Sir Winston does not know that his supposedly faithful butler, Vardar, is actually Blacher. When Z-1, as Frances Hawtree, arrives at the home, Vardar, who is in love with her, believes her to be a loyal German agent, but things turn out otherwise when she prevents him from sending a stolen code back to Germany and thus reveals her true allegiance.

Cast

Erich von Stroheim Austrian actor and director

Erich Oswald Hans Carl Maria von Stroheim was an Austrian-American director, actor and producer, most noted as a film star and avant garde, visionary director of the silent era. His masterpiece adaptation of Frank Norris's McTeague titled Greed is considered one of the finest and most important films ever made. After clashes with Hollywood studio bosses over budget and workers' rights issues, Stroheim was banned for life as a director and subsequently became a well-respected character actor, particularly in French cinema. For his early innovations as a director, Stroheim is still celebrated as one of the first of the auteur directors. He helped introduce more sophisticated plots and noirish sexual and psychological undercurrents into cinema. He died in 1957 in France of prostate cancer at the age of 71. Beloved by Parisian neo-Surrealists known as Letterists, he was honored by Letterist Maurice Lemaitre with a 70-minute 1979 film entitled "Erich von Stroheim."

Anthony Bushell English actor

Anthony Arnatt Bushell was an English film actor and director, who appeared in 56 films between 1929 and 1961. He played Colonel Breen in the BBC serial Quatermass and the Pit (1958–59), and also appeared in and directed various British TV series such as Danger Man.

William Courtenay (actor) American Broadway star and film actor

William Courtenay was a noted Broadway star and later film actor. He was born William Hancock Kelly. At age 19 in 1894, before his Broadway career took off, Courtenay appeared in Alexander Black's slide show Miss Jerry. This was a sort of alternative entertainment to a new device by Thomas Edison called a Kinetoscope ala moving pictures.

Preservation

The film survived complete. It was transferred into a 16mm film by Associated Artists Productions in 1956-1958 and shown on television. A 16mm copy is housed at the Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research. [3] Another print exists at the Library of Congress. [4]

Associated Artists Productions

Associated Artists Productions, Inc. (a.a.p.) was a distributor of theatrical feature films and short subjects for television. Through acquisitions, Associated Artists Productions' assets were purchased by United Artists, with its library eventually passing to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1981, following its purchase of United Artists and then Turner Entertainment Co., following its purchase of the pre-1986 assets of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and select United Artists assets. Turner Entertainment is now part of WarnerMedia. Though a short lived company, Associated Artists Productions lived a legacy of being best known as the copyright owner of the Popeye, and the color pre-1948 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of shorts by Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. respectively, as their logos and trademarks were present at the beginning of each shorts 16mm Eastmancolor prints syndicated for television in the 1960s.

Library of Congress (de facto) national library of the United States of America

The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. The library's functions are overseen by the librarian of Congress, and its buildings are maintained by the architect of the Capitol. The Library of Congress claims to be the largest library in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."

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References

  1. Three Faces East as produced on Broadway at the Cohan and Harris Theatre and the Longacre Theatre respectively, beginning August 13, 1918, 335 performances, imdb.com; accessed August 10, 2015.
  2. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 by The American Film Institute, copyright 1971
  3. [https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/wcftr/title.asp?film_id=35410 Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research; Feature Film Database:Three Faces East]..Retrieved July 19,2018
  4. Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, by The American film Institute, c. 1978
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