Overall | Sex Madness (1938) | The Wild and Wicked (1956) | Damaged Lives (1933) | Gambling with Souls (1936) | Test Tube Babies (1948) | Child Bride (1938)

Horny-Sexploitation Films from the 30's to the 50's (1933)

Horny-Sexploitation Films from the 30's to the 50's (1933) (NTSC)

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Released 22-Oct-2010

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Overall Package

     The six film, three DVD collection Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s is a box set of films from the 1930s to 1950s around sexual topics such as venereal disease, prostitution and artificial insemination. Also included are some short educational films from the same period. Some certainly qualify under the tag “sexploitation” with scantily clad women on show that have little, or no, connection to the plot of the film. Others are more educational films, without the sexploitation tag. From Gryphon, for a RRP of $19.95, the films are a diverse group which taken together provide a fascinating window into how sexual topics were portrayed in films during those three decades.

     All of the films are unrestored. The video in each is lacking in detail with copious artefacts; audio is also poor, ranging from adequate, to bad. None, however, is so bad as to be unwatchable, and the presentation sometimes adds to the charm of watching at films considerably older than most readers of this site, and maybe even their parents!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Sex Madness (1938) | The Wild and Wicked (1956) | Damaged Lives (1933) | Gambling with Souls (1936) | Test Tube Babies (1948) | Child Bride (1938)

Sex Madness (1938)

Sex Madness (1938) (NTSC)

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Due Out for Sale 22-Oct-2010

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Cult Short Film
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1938
Running Time 51:51 (Case: 57)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Dwain Esper
Studio
Distributor
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Vivian McGill
Rose Tapley
Al Rigali
Mark Daniels
Linda Lee Hill
Ruth Edell
Charles Olcott
Ed Redding
Pat Lawrence
Allen Tower
Richard Bengali
W. Blake
Frank Howsen
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $19.95 Music None Given


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 mono (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, it is 1938!
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Under the guise of educating the public about the perils of sexual promiscuity, such as sexually transmitted diseases, unmarried mothers, prostitution and homosexuality, filmmakers from the 30s to the 50s sought to get away with raising otherwise forbidden issues in a titillating way, “sexploitation”, as long as there was a message and moral at the end. Gryphon have released a 6 film, 3 DVD collection entitled Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s, which is a fascinating look at how sexual issues were portrayed in films during those three decades.

     However, the first film in the set, 1938’s Sex Madness is definitely not titillating, and anyone expecting a lascivious treat will be disappointed. Sex Madness, directed by Dwain Esper whose credits included How to Undress in Front of your Husband (1937), Marihuana (1936) and The Seventh Commandment (1932) – tagline: "The bitter truth about the younger generation”, here presents what is basically an extended public service announcement that is only marginally a dramatic film.

     Sex Madness (aka Human Wreckage), begins with a text warning that syphilis is “a menace more dangerous than the worst criminal”; it counsels that syphilis can cause a range of illnesses, the death of marriages and deformed babies, and at various times throughout the film distinguished looking men declare such statistics as 1 out of 10 Americans suffer from a “social disease”.

       The plot, such as it is, follows Millicent (Vivian McGill), a young country girl who wins a beauty contest and heads to the big city leaving loving boyfriend Wendel (Stanley Barton) behind. Things don’t work out and effected by drink one night she sleeps with a man and contracts syphilis. Although ill, she later gets work in a burlesque show where she meets the vivacious Sheila (Linda Lee Hill). Acknowledging her disease, Millicent consults a doctor and embarks upon a long series of cures before she is well enough to return to her home, where she secretly continues her treatment with another doctor. When at last she believes herself cured she is able to marry Wendel, but the local doctor was a quack: Millicent is not cured, which has disastrous consequences later for her new born baby and her husband. In a second plotline, promiscuous Sheila and her boyfriend Tom (Pat Lawrence) – his father a notable campaigner for sex education for the young – attend a “swingers” party after which Tom contracts syphilis from Sheila and has to tell his father.

     The interest in Sex Madness is really about how the material is presented, and what it doesn’t say. The dialogue is often declamatory, the acting wooden, the plotlines merely a device upon which to hang the message; that sex outside of marriage destroys lives and is against God’s will. This message is never subtle, and is frequently reinforced by passages from Wagner such as Siegfried’s Journey to the Rhine from Gotterdammerung, itself as foreboding a piece of music as you could hear. The only one slightly risqué segment is a burlesque show with scantily clad (for the 1930s) dancers on stage. The film suggests that such shows lead to lesbianism, promiscuity and even an assault on a child, so it is obviously a condemnation. Missing from the film is the more modern message about safe sex – condoms are never mentioned. The only safe sex, for this piece, is sex within marriage.

     Sex Madness is a curiosity; a sex education film from 1938 with a very blunt message. It is not particularly well made, but it is an interesting look at 1930s morality (at least in film terms), and the dangers, and impact, of sexually transmitted diseases, not a subject seen too often on the big screen!

     Sex Madness is included in the 6 film, 3 DVD collection Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s, a box set from Gryphon. The films are: Sex Madness (1938) and The Wild & Wicked (1956) on disc 1 with the additional short film Boys Beware (1961), Damaged Lives (1933) and Gambling with Souls (1936) plus the short film How Much Affection (1957) on disc 2 and Test Tube Babies (1948) and Child Bride (1938) with the short film What Makes a Good Party (1950) on disc 3.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Sex Madness is presented in a ratio of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. The original ratio was 1.37:1 and certainly at times the cropping is obvious as characters talking are partially out of the frame.

     There are continuous marks through the film, including vertical scratches (such as at 17:42), both positive and negative artefacts, hairs and reel change markers. This is a very soft print, with detail lacking so that at times people are quite indistinct. Blacks are really various shades of gray and shadow detail non-existent; contrast and brightness varied quite considerably and there are also copious examples of macro blocking, (pause the film between 8:22-:32 or any sequence in the burlesque show for an example), plus a couple of missing frames.

     There are no subtitles.

     The summary? This is a 70 year old unrestored print, and it looks it! However, it is by no means unwatchable and I have seen worse prints of films made more recently than 1938. Note that the scores given have been adjusted, as it is not valid to compare this print with those of modern films.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English Linear PCM track at 1536 Kbps. It comes with a constant hiss, a few crackles and the occasional drop out and pop. Dialogue is mostly OK, if never totally clear due to the hiss, and in one section starting around 33:30 the conversation between Millicent and Wendel is very difficult to make out. Effects are predictably flat, dull and tinny. There is obviously no surround or sub woofer use.

     There is no-one credited for the score, which does use pieces from Richard Wagner and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.

     I did not notice any lip synchronization issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are no extras as such, but on the same disc as Sex Madness and The Wild & Wicked is the short film (10:11) Boys Beware (1961). This is an educational film produced with the co-operation of the Inglewood Police Department and Inglewood School District warning boys about the dangers of “sick” homosexuals. It uses a number of case studies to illustrate the predatory behaviour of these “mentally ill” men who prey on unwary boys. Black and white, which does turn slightly yellow at 3:14, with some small artefacts. Sound tinny, but hiss free.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Sex Madness is available in Region 0 US in a “Madness Trilogy” with Reefer Madness (1935); and Cocaine Fiends (1936). The video and audio seem similar.

     I cannot find any record on sales sites of the equivalent of the Horny box set package in any other region.

Summary

     Sex Madness is a curiosity; a sex education film from 1938 with a very blunt message. It is not particularly well made, but it is an interesting look at a 1930s (film) viewpoint on the dangers, and impact, of sexually transmitted diseases, not a subject seen too often on the big screen!

     The video is not as bad as one could expect from a 70 year old unrestored black and white, non-mainstream film, the audio is rather worse off.

     Sex Madness is included in the 6 film, 3 DVD collection Horny, a box set of sexploitation tales from the 1930s to 1950s from Gryphon for a RRP of $19.95. The films taken together are a fascinating window on how sexual issues were portrayed in films during those three decades.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Sex Madness (1938) | The Wild and Wicked (1956) | Damaged Lives (1933) | Gambling with Souls (1936) | Test Tube Babies (1948) | Child Bride (1938)

The Wild and Wicked (1956)

The Wild and Wicked (1956) (NTSC)

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Due Out for Sale 22-Oct-2010

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Cult Short Film
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1956
Running Time 57:58 (Case: 60)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By W. Merle Connell
Studio
Distributor
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Joy Reynolds
Geri Moffatt
Marko Perri
Norman Wright
Case Amaray-Opaque-Dual
RPI $19.95 Music Will Price


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 mono (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Education or exploitation? Under the guise of educating the public about the perils of sexual promiscuity, such as sexually transmitted diseases, unmarried mothers, prostitution and homosexuality, filmmakers from the 30s to the 50s sought to get away with raising otherwise forbidden topics in a titillating way, “sexploitation”, as long as there was a message and moral at the end. Gryphon have released a 6 film, 3 DVD collection entitled Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s, which is a fascinating look at how sexual issues were portrayed in films during those three decades.

     In The Wild and Wicked (aka Flesh Merchant) Nancy (Joy Reynolds) is a country girl fresh off the bus in Hollywood, looking for fun and the bright lights. She visits her sister Paula (Lisa Rack) and admires Paula’s apartment and mink but Paula warns Nancy about the perils of the city and wants to put her back onto a bus to return home. But Nancy wants none of it; she takes a card she finds in Paula’s apartment and goes to an “art” school under the control of Bernie Sokol (Norman Wright) where she agrees to pose nude. As a result, Nancy is offered a job at “The Colony”, an exclusive gentleman’s club run by the aggressive Vito Perini (Marko Perri) where Nancy is roomed with Easy (Geri Moffatt), an older woman loosing her looks. At first Nancy is naive, slapping the face of her first customer when he wants her to pose nude in the woods for him, but she soon gets into the swing of things, enjoying the gifts, the alcohol and the attention. When Easy disappears another girl is brought to the club: it is Paula, who has been in Sokol’s employ all along. She is aghast at finding Nancy already there enjoying the wicked life and matters quickly come to a head.

     The Wild and Wicked is directed by M. Merle Connell, whose credits included Test Tube Babies (1948 - also in this box set), Untamed Women (1952) and Not Tonight Henry (1960), one of the earliest colour near nudie films. Despite its limitations, The Wild and Wicked is interesting enough as a piece of 1950’s risqué filmmaking. It has only a couple of flimsy sets, Joy Reynolds is limited but pretty and pert, and the film features copious swimsuit clad women, a flash of female nudity, a strip scene on a chair (that shows nothing), a car chase, a shoot out with Police and a moral, all in just under 60 minutes! It does also include some grating Italian caricatures and the moral is not subtle. Despite Nancy enjoying the wild and wicked life, in the character of the fading Easy, and Paula’s disillusionment with her sordid life, the message is pretty clear: Paula laments that she has “no laughter, no living, no life” and longs for a life back home with a husband and kids. In the climax Paula roundly condemns both the “gentlemen” and the other girls at the club before the fade to black as the Police arrive to shut down The Colony.

     The Wild and Wicked is an interesting piece of 1950’s risqué film in the guise of a warning about the evils of prostitution. In featuring flimsy sets, swimsuit clad women, a flash of female nudity, and a strip scene on a chair, the film plays with what it is possible to show and tell in the 1950’s, and of course in the end the pimps are caught and the moral delivered. Still, this one definitely falls under the heading of sexploitation and one wonders if Nancy, having been shown having such a good time, will settle back down into domesticity and give up her wicked ways!

     The Wild and Wicked is included in the 6 film, 3 DVD collection Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s, a box set from Gryphon. The films are: Sex Madness (1938) and The Wild and Wicked (1956) on disc 1 with the additional short film Boys Beware (1961), Damaged Lives (1933) and Gambling with Souls (1936) plus the short film How Much Affection (1957) on disc 2 and Test Tube Babies (1948) and Child Bride (1938) with the short film What Makes a Good Party (1950) on disc 3.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     The Wild & Wicked is presented in a ratio of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. The original ratio was 1.37:1 and certainly at times the cropping is obvious.

     There are numerous scratches throughout the print, and both positive and negative artefacts, aliasing on blind slats and reel change markers. This is a very soft print, with detail very much lacking so that at times people are quite indistinct; all those girls in swimsuits can hardly be hazier! Blacks are really various shades of gray and shadow detail indifferent; contrast and brightness varied quite considerably and at times the film took on different hues. There are also a lot of examples of macro blocking, and a couple of missing frames.

     The layer change occurred at 47:25, resulting in a slight pause.

     There are no subtitles.

     The summary? This is a 50 year old unrestored print, and it looks it with contrast and clarity the greatest drawback. However, it is by no means unwatchable although it is hardly better than films in this box set that are 20 years older. Note that the scores given have been adjusted, as it is not valid to compare this print with those of modern films.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English Linear PCM track at 1536 Kbps. It comes with a hiss, especially noticeable in places without music, a few crackles and the occasional drop out and pop. Dialogue is mostly OK, effects are predictably flat, dull and tinny. There is no surround or sub woofer use.

     The score is by Will Price. It is not overdone but sometimes come over quite sharply.

     I did not notice any lip synchronization issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are no extras as such, but on the same disc as Sex Madness and The Wild and Wicked is the short film (10:11) Boys Beware (1961). This is an educational film produced with the co-operation of the Inglewood Police Department and Inglewood School District warning boys about the dangers of “sick” homosexuals. It uses a number of case studies to illustrate the predatory behaviour of these “mentally ill” men who prey on unaware boys. Black and white, which does turn slightly yellow at 3:14, with some small artefacts. Sound tinny, but hiss free.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     I cannot find a record on sales sites of The Wild and Wicked being available. I have read a report of a US Region 1 release where the distributor “augmented” the film by nudie inserts, hardly a recommendation. Our release seems to be the film as originally presented.

     I cannot find any equivalent of the Horny box set package in any other region.

Summary

     The Wild and Wicked features flimsy sets, swimsuit clad women, a flash of female nudity, a strip scene on a chair, a car chase, a shoot out with Police and a moral, all in less then 60 minutes. This one definitely falls under sexploitation!

     The video and audio are as one would expect from a 50 year old unrestored black and white, non-mainstream film.

     The Wild & Wicked is included in the 6 film, 3 DVD collection Horny, a box set of sexploitation tales from the 1930s to 1950s from Gryphon for a RRP of $19.95. The films taken together are a fascinating window on how sexual topics were portrayed in films during those three decades.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, November 28, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Sex Madness (1938) | The Wild and Wicked (1956) | Damaged Lives (1933) | Gambling with Souls (1936) | Test Tube Babies (1948) | Child Bride (1938)

Damaged Lives (1933)

Damaged Lives (1933) (NTSC)

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Released 22-Oct-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Cult Short Film
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1933
Running Time 52:33 (Case: 61)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Edgar G. Ulmer
Studio
Distributor
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Diane Sinclair
Lyman Williams
Harry Myers
Marceline Day
Jason Robards Sr.
Charlotte Merriam
Murray Kinnell
George Irving
Cecilia Parker
Almeda Fowler
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI $19.95 Music None Given


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 mono (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, it is 1933 after all
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Under the guise of educating the public about the perils of sexual promiscuity, such as sexually transmitted diseases, unmarried mothers, prostitution and homosexuality, filmmakers from the 30s to the 50s sought to get away with raising otherwise forbidden topics in a titillating way, “sexploitation”, as long as there was a message and moral at the end. Gryphon have released a 6 film, 3 DVD collection entitled Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s, which is a fascinating look at how sexual issues were portrayed in films during those three decades.

     Damaged Lives (aka The Shocking Truth)- tagline “His life of debauchery brought a disease to his wife” is directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, whose 30 year Hollywood career included The Man from Planet X (1951), The Naked Venus (1959) and The Amazing Transparent Man (1960), here presents a cautionary tale about promiscuity and venereal disease.

     Donald (Lyman Williams) is a rising executive in the family shipping company with a pretty fiancée Joan (Diane Sinclair) who one night attends a business function with Nat Franklin (Harry Myers). Nat brings along his girlfriend Elise (Charlotte Merriam) but Nat has a roving eye and leaves the function with another woman. Thrown together Don and Elise find a mutual attraction; they make a night of it at various clubs and speakeasies before spending the night together in her apartment. The next day, a guilt stricken Don confesses to Joan – she forgives him and they immediately go out and get married.

     Some time later a hysterical Elise demands to see Don. She has discovered she has contracted venereal disease from Nat, and wants to warn Don that he could also be infected. Don is disbelieving, but blood tests disclose that he not only has the disease, he has passed it on to Joan who is now pregnant. At a clinic run by Dr. Leonard (Murray Kinnell) Don is confronted with the effects of the disease, the illnesses, sores, rashes, mental illnesses and birth defects. Yet while the disease may have been detected in Don and Joan at an early stage, and is thus treatable, the psychological scares it will leave upon the couple and their marriage may last forever.

     In 1933 Damaged Lives was advertised as “shocking”, “scandalous” and “sinful”, and certainly the scenes at the clinic are quite pointed and severe in their depiction of the ravages of syphilis; this is clearly the message of the film and it is presented in a far more dramatic way than, for example, in the later Sex Madness (1938 - also in this box set). This is not to say the acting is good, its not, and some of the dialogue is very explanatory rather than dramatic. But as a look at the values of the 1930’s society, at least in filmmaking terms, it is fascinating. For example, venereal disease was still a taboo topic, and, in fact, the word syphilis is never actually mentioned in the film. As well, the tagline of “his debauchery brought disease to his wife” is true, but only to a point. For in truth Don was not having an extramarital affair – that would indeed be shocking and presumably lose him any of the audience’s sympathy. He was, in fact, not married at the time, so has some chance of redemption. I would think that if one character in the film is debauched, it would be Nat, who we never see get his comeuppance, although Elise certainly does. But the moral that sexual promiscuity leads to venereal disease, illness, deformity, birth defects and damaged relationships and marriages is plain enough, although the film does end on a note of confidence.

     Damaged Lives is included in the 6 film, 3 DVD collection Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s, a box set from Gryphon. The films are: Sex Madness (1938) and The Wild & Wicked (1956) on disc 1 with the additional short film Boys Beware (1961), Damaged Lives (1933) and Gambling with Souls (1936) plus the short film How Much Affection (1957) on disc 2 and Test Tube Babies (1948) and Child Bride (1938) with the short film What Makes a Good Party (1950) on disc 3.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     Damaged Lives is presented in a ratio of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. The original ratio was 1.37:1 and at times the cropping is obvious.

     There are continuous marks through the film, including an almost continuous vertical scratch, frequent positive and negative artefacts (most are small but occasionally, such as at 18:27, they are larger), hairs and reel change markers. This is a very, very soft print, with detail lacking so that at times people are quite indistinct; at 45:12 there is almost no detail at all. Blacks are various shades of gray and shadow detail non-existent; contrast and brightness varied quite considerably and there are also copious examples of macro blocking, (see 27:01 for example), plus a couple of missing frames.

     At 2:59 what seems to be a logo appears in the lower right of the screen.

     There are no subtitles.

     The summary? This is an almost 80 year old unrestored print, and it looks it! However, it is by no means the worst example I have seen, including some more recent films (some of them in this box set), and it is never unwatchable. Note that the scores given have been adjusted, as it is not valid to compare this print with those of modern films.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English Linear PCM track at 1536 Kbps. It comes with a constant low hiss, but it is not as loud as some of the other films in the box set, plus the odd crackle. Dialogue varied, depending on who was talking; for example some sentences spoken by Diane Sinclair were very hard to hear. Effects are predictably flat, dull and tinny. There is obviously no surround or sub woofer use.

     There is no-one credited for the score, which uses stock pieces sparingly.

     I did not notice any lip synchronization issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are no extras as such, but on the same disc as Damaged Lives and Gambling with Souls is the short film (19:47) How Much Affection? (1957).

     This short film is part of the “Marriage and Family Living Series” from McGraw-Hill, cautioning teenagers against “wrong behaviour”: that is, sex before marriage, and extolling they exercise “judgment rather than emotion” as too much affection leads to unwanted pregnancies and your life ruined forever. Better to wait. Quaint, and the clean cut boys and the girls’ party frocks are a treat! Black and white; frequent marks including a vertical scratch over the titles, murky shadow detail and the analogue tape origins are apparent. A slight hiss throughout the audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     I cannot find a record on sales sites of Damaged Lives being available elsewhere.

     I cannot find any equivalent of the Horny box set package in any other region.

Summary

    Damaged Lives was advertised as “shocking”, “scandalous” and “sinful”. As a look at the values of the 1930’s society, it is fascinating.

     The video and audio are not as bad as one could expect from an almost 80 year old unrestored black and white, non-mainstream film.

     Damaged Lives is included in the 6 film, 3 DVD collection Horny, a box set of sexploitation tales from the 1930s to 1950s from Gryphon for a RRP of $19.95. The films taken together are a fascinating window on how sexual topics were portrayed in films during those three decades.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Sex Madness (1938) | The Wild and Wicked (1956) | Damaged Lives (1933) | Gambling with Souls (1936) | Test Tube Babies (1948) | Child Bride (1938)

Gambling with Souls (1936)

Gambling with Souls (1936) (NTSC)

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Released 22-Oct-2010

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Cult Short Film
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1936
Running Time 68:09 (Case: 70)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Elmer Clifton
Studio
Distributor
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Martha Chapin
Wheeler Oakman
Bryant Washburn
Gay Sheridan
Vera Steadman
Edward Keane
Robert Frazer
Gaston Glass
Florence Dudley
Eddie Laughton
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI $19.95 Music None Given


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 mono (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Under the guise of educating the public about the perils of sexual promiscuity, such as sexually transmitted diseases, unmarried mothers, prostitution and homosexuality, filmmakers from the 30s to the 50s sought to get away with raising otherwise forbidden topics in a titillating way, “sexploitation”, as long as there was a message and moral at the end. Gryphon have released a 6 film, 3 DVD collection entitled Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s, which is a fascinating look at how sexual topics were portrayed in films during those three decades.

     Gambling with Souls is directed by Elmer Clifton, who directed over 90 films in a career spanning over four decades including Assassin of Youth (1937) (about the perils of marihuana), The Whispering Skull (1944) and the Republic Pictures serial Captain America (1944). In Gambling with Souls - “an authentic expose of New York’s white slave racket” according to the publicity - he directs a cautionary tale that certainly has its “sexploitation” elements.

     Gambling with Souls begins dramatically with a Police raid upon a gambling and prostitution club. There are some shots, and breaking down a door the Police find a dead body on the floor and an attractive blonde with a smoking gun in her hand. She turns out to be Mrs. Mae Miller (Martha Chapin) and the body is that of club owner “Lucky” Wilder (Wheeler Oakman). In the office of the D.A. (Ed Keene) we get to hear her sad story.

     Mae is happily married to Doctor John Miller (Robert Frazer) but yearns for a few more of the good things in life, such as new dresses, than his struggling medical practice can provide. Encouraged by her “friend” Molly Murdock (Vera Steadman) she attends the gambling club run by “Lucky” Wilder, where she initially wins at roulette and embarks upon a good time and a spending spree. But Molly is secretly in the employ of Wilder and her job is to lure naïve woman into debt. Within a few visits Mae is heavily in debt to Wilder and is forced into prostitution as the only means of paying off the money she owes. Feeling dirty and degraded, she cannot tell her husband and falls ever deeper into Wilder’s clutches. Then one night she is aghast to see that Molly and Wilder have a new victim; Mae’s innocent younger sister Carolyn (Gay Sheridan). And when Carolyn dies from a botched abortion (although the cause is not actually named in the film), Mae decides to take her revenge.

     Gambling with Souls is a taut little melodrama, with a strong message about the parasites who prey on naïve young women and lure them into prostitution. Martha Chapin, who only appeared in three films, is certainly beautiful and looks good undressed, and if her acting is not great she is not alone there. The film does come under the “sexploitation” category: there are a number of shots of the scantily dancers in the club, the camera lingering upon their legs and behinds, a few scenes of women in their underwear, and we have Chapin undressing to her underwear on a couple of occasions. This would be quite risqué in 1936, and there is evidence that it may have been originally even a bit more risqué: at 24:30 there seems to be a few frames missing as she walks across the room removing clothes. The film is also interesting for what can be shown of seduction in 1936: in one sequence we get shadows on a wall, clothes thrown into camera shot and a dreamy look in the actress’ eyes! This is an interesting film and quite a fascinating look at 1930s sexploitation filmmaking.

     Gambling with Souls is included in the 6 film, 3 DVD collection Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s, a box set from Gryphon. The films are: Sex Madness (1938) and The Wild and Wicked (1956) on disc 1 with the additional short film Boys Beware (1961), Damaged Lives (1933) and Gambling with Souls (1936) plus the short film How Much Affection (1957) on disc 2 and Test Tube Babies (1948) and Child Bride (1938) with the short film What Makes a Good Party (1950) on disc 3.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Gambling with Souls is presented in a ratio of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. The original ratio was 1.37:1.

     This is a very, very soft print, with detail very much lacking so that at times people are just a haze (pause around 8:18, for example). Blacks are really various shades of gray and shadow detail basically non-existent; contrast and brightness varied quite considerably and at times the film took on different hues. There are numerous dirt marks and scratches throughout the print; most are reasonably small but some bigger ones, such as at 19:43 are quite noticeable. The print also has reel change markers and a lot of macro blocking (pause on the dancers at 11:22) plus some missing frames.

     At 49:27 what appeared to be a logo appeared in the bottom right hand corner of the frame.

     There are no subtitles.

     The summary? This is a 75 year old unrestored print, and it looks it. It is by no means unwatchable, and the artefacts are not too excessive, it is just very hazy. Note that the scores given have been adjusted, as it is not valid to compare this print with those of modern films.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English Linear PCM track at 1536 Kbps. It comes with a constant loud hiss and the occasional drop out. Dialogue on occasion was difficult to understand; turning up the volume only turned up the hiss. Effects are predictably dull and tinny. There is no surround or sub woofer use.

     There is no-one credited with the score, and in truth there was almost no music in the film anyway.

     I did not notice any lip synchronization issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are no extras as such, but on the same disc as Damaged Lives and Gambling with Souls is the short film (19:47) How Much Affection (1961).

     This short film is part of the “Marriage and Family Living Series” from McGraw-Hill, cautioning teenagers against “wrong behaviour”: that is, sex before marriage, and extolling they exercise “judgment rather than emotion” as too much affection leads to unwanted pregnancies and your life ruined forever. Better to wait. Quaint, and the clean cut boys and the girls’ party frocks are a treat! Black and white; frequent marks including a vertical scratch over the titles, murky shadow detail and the analogue tape origins are apparent. A slight hiss throughout the audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     I cannot find a record on sales sites of Gambling with Souls being available in other regions.

     I cannot find any equivalent of the Horny box set package in any other region.

Summary

     Gambling with Souls is a taut little melodrama, with a strong message about the parasites who prey on naïve young women. The film does fall under the sexploitation category: there are a number of shots of the scantily dancers, a few scenes of women in their underwear, and the attractive lead actress undresses to her underwear on a couple of occasions. Quite titillating for 1936.

     The video and audio are as one would expect from a 75 year old unrestored black and white, non-mainstream film.

     Gambling with Souls is included in the 6 film, 3 DVD collection Horny, a box set of sexploitation tales from the 1930s to 1950s from Gryphon for a RRP of $19.95. The films taken together are a fascinating window on how sexual topics were portrayed in films during those three decades.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, December 02, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Sex Madness (1938) | The Wild and Wicked (1956) | Damaged Lives (1933) | Gambling with Souls (1936) | Test Tube Babies (1948) | Child Bride (1938)

Test Tube Babies (1948)

Test Tube Babies (1948) (NTSC)

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Released 22-Oct-2010

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Cult Short Film
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1948
Running Time 52:59 (Case: 70)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By W. Merle Connell
Studio
Distributor
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Dorothy Duke
William Thomason
Timothy Farrell
Peggy Roach
John Michael
Mary Lou Reckow
Stacey Alexander
Georgie Barton
Zona Siggins
Guy Gordon
Bebe Berto
Gine Franklin
Helen Cogan
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI $19.95 Music None Given


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 mono (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Under the guise of educating the public about the perils of sexual promiscuity, such as sexually transmitted diseases, unmarried mothers, prostitution and homosexuality, filmmakers from the 30s to the 50s sought to get away with raising otherwise forbidden topics in a titillating way, “sexploitation”, as long as there was a message and moral at the end. Gryphon have released a 6 film, 3 DVD collection entitled Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s, which is a fascinating look at how sexual topics were portrayed in films during those three decades.

     In 1948 Test Tube Babies raised the issue of artificial insemination at a time when it was considered unnatural and scandalous. The advertising for the film included the tags “witness the unnatural” and “fast times left them sterile” and the film was directed by M. Merle Connell, whose credits included The Wild and Wicked (1956) (also included in this box set), Untamed Women (1952) and Not Tonight Henry (1960), one of the earliest colour near nudie films which suggests that Test Tube Babies could be an expose of wild living and sexual promiscuity. What we get, however, is an educational film that extols the safety of artificial insemination and it’s important role in saving marriages, plus an almost unrelated story that is an excuse to show some female flesh.

     Test Tube Babies commences with a couple of static text screens praising those medical pioneers who, in the face of man-made prejudices performed miracles, even altering the course of nature itself. It is stated that a child born through artificial insemination is free from all taint of heredity and “astonishing as it may sound” the baby even resembles the parents. Then a text crawl up the screen basically states that “motherhood is the only link necessary to sustain their love”. After this introduction we are introduced to a young couple in a montage of scenes. Cathy (Dorothy Duke) and George (William Thomason) are very much in love and get married. A year later Cathy is disenchanted with the hours George is working and wants a baby, and both are critical of the party lifestyle of their unmarried friend Frank (John Michael). After a party in their house gets a bit rough, Cathy and George decide they need a baby to save their relationship and they go to a doctor to try to find out why they have been unable to conceive. It turns out that George is sterile and after the doctor, at great length, explains the whys and wherefores of artificial insemination, they go ahead and Cathy has babies. The end.

     Test Tube Babies may provide important information about artificial insemination and counter 1948 prejudices, but it is a poor piece of filmmaking. Despite the scandalous suggestion that fast living left them sterile, in the case of George this is just not true; the film is quite clear that he is as clean living and untainted by scandal as anyone could be, and that he is sterile through no fault of his own. The sub-plot with Frank’s playboy ways and the party (although sub-plot is still putting it too high) is a different film entirely that disappears as soon as Cathy and George consult the doctor for the first time. Indeed, the party is just an excuse to show some female flesh, including a strip tease and a cat fight between two women over Frank that results in a lot of leg and panties being shown during the tussle. Indeed, in various parts of the film there is a bit of female body on show in various stages of undress, including a quick flash of female nudity. All this belongs in another film, and I suppose their inclusion here, and the scandalous taglines, are to get the punters into the theatre so that the message about A.I. can be delivered! It would be interesting to know if the film was funded in any way by the Artificial Insemination Association of America (if that body exists)! At the end this message appears on screen: “We hope this story has convinced you that a fruitless marriage, caused by the lack of children, can be saved”. Enough said.

     Test Tube Babies is included in the 6 film, 3 DVD collection Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s, a box set from Gryphon. The films are: Sex Madness (1938) and The Wild and Wicked (1956) on disc 1 with the additional short film Boys Beware (1961), Damaged Lives (1933) and Gambling with Souls (1936) plus the short film How Much Affection (1957) on disc 2 and Test Tube Babies (1948) and Child Bride (1938) with the short film What Makes a Good Party (1950) on disc 3.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     Test Tube Babies is presented in a ratio of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. The original ratio was 1.37:1.

     This is a very soft print, with detail very much lacking. Faces, except in close up, are indistinct and at times people almost disappear; pause at 4:42 and try to see George in the shadow of the porch. Blacks are various shades of gray and, not surprisingly, shadow detail is non-existent. Contrast and brightness varied quite considerably, there is macro blocking and missing frames. The blinds at 35:51 jump all over the place, for example. There are also numerous scratches throughout the print, and both positive and negative artefacts, and for the last 15 minutes or so a large and persistent black mark appeared in the centre of the frame. The Mill Creek Logo appears in the bottom right hand of the frame at 5:54, 18:48, 31:00 and 45:24.

     There are no subtitles.

     The summary? This is a 60 year old unrestored print, and it looks it. All the prints in this box set have issues, but this is probably worse than the films 10 years older. Nevertheless, note that the scores given have been adjusted, as it is not valid to compare this print with those of modern films.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English Linear PCM track at 1536 Kbps. It comes with a persistent hiss, a few drop outs, crackles and pops and is quite scratchy. Dialogue is sometimes unclear, effects are dull and tinny. There is no surround or sub woofer use.

     The score is not credited. It seems to use stock music sparingly.

     There were occasional lip synchronization issues but nothing too distracting.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are no extras as such, but on the same disc as Test Tube Babies and Child Bride is the short film (10:32) What Makes a Good Party (1950). This is an instructional film produced with the collaboration of the Head, Homemaking Education Department, Mississippi State College, and it really shows an innocent time of well dressed boys and girls, party games and not a hint of alcohol! The key apparently to a good party is planning. Black and white, with numerous small artefacts and obvious analogue tape origins, a slight hiss on the audio and some lip sync issues.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     I cannot find a record on sales sites of Test Tube Babies being available in other regions.

     I cannot find any equivalent of the Horny box set package in any other region.

Summary

     Test Tube Babies may provide important information and counter 1948 prejudices about artificial insemination, but it is a poor piece of filmmaking. The sub-plot is a different film entirely and seems just an excuse to show some female flesh.

     The video and audio are poor, worse than some films in this box set that are over 10 years older.

     Test Tube Babies is included in the 6 film, 3 DVD collection Horny, a box set of sexploitation tales from the 1930s to 1950s from Gryphon for a RRP of $19.95. The films taken together are a fascinating window on how sexual topics were portrayed in films during those three decades.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Sex Madness (1938) | The Wild and Wicked (1956) | Damaged Lives (1933) | Gambling with Souls (1936) | Test Tube Babies (1948) | Child Bride (1938)

Child Bride (1938)

Child Bride (1938) (NTSC)

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Released 22-Oct-2010

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Cult Short Film
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1938
Running Time 59:29 (Case: 62)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Harry Revier
Studio
Distributor
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Shirley Mills
Bob Bollinger
Warner Richmond
Diana Durrell
Dorothy Carrol
George Humphreys
Frank Martin
George Morrell
Angelo Rossitto
Al Bannon
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI $19.95 Music Felix Mills


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 mono (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Under the guise of educating the public about the perils of sexual promiscuity, such as sexually transmitted diseases, unmarried mothers, prostitution and homosexuality, filmmakers from the 30s to the 50s sought to get away with raising otherwise forbidden topics in a titillating way, “sexploitation”, as long as there was a message and moral at the end. Gryphon have released a 6 film, 3 DVD collection entitled Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s, which is a fascinating look at how sexual topics were portrayed in films during those three decades.

     Child Bride (aka Child Bride of the Ozarks) was written and directed by Harry Revier, who directed 28 titles in his career including the serial Lost City in 1935. The star Shirley Mills was 12 years old when it was made; she had few other roles but she did play in John Ford’s acclaimed The Grapes of Wrath in 1940 with Henry Fonda.

     Child Bride, despite the tagline “ a throbbing drama of shackled youth”, is not about youthful lust at all, rather the opposite. Instead, Child Bride is a film with a social message, campaigning against the custom, still then legal in some states of the U.S., of men marrying girls as young as twelve years old. The film starts with a disclaimer, and a message that could not be plainer:

we aim neither to ridicule nor defend their mode of living . . . and if our story will help to abolish Child Marriage – it will have served its purpose”.

     Pre-teen Jennie (Shirley Mills) lives with her father Ira (George Humphreys) and mother Flora (Dorothy Carrol) in a cabin in the backwoods of Thunderhead Mountain. She plays innocently with her friend Freddie (Bob Bollinger) and attends school where Ilene Carol (Diana Durrell), herself a girl from the area who was fortunate enough to leave and get an education, has returned to be the town’s teacher. Ilene campaigns against the practice, prevalent in the mountain community, of men taking girls as young as 12 as brides and her actions alienate some of the men in the community, including brutal bully Jake Bolby (Warner Richmond). One night Jake and his cronies abduct Ilene and take her into the woods where she is saved in the nick of time by Ira. Although a decent man, Ira has his own problems, including drink, and one rainy night Jake sees his chance to get even. When Ira returns home drunk and fights with Flora, Jake stabs him to death and places the blame on Flora. The price for his silence is taking Jennie in marriage. Powerless to resist, Flora agrees, although other forces are in play that may just be able to prevent another child bride being taken.

     Child Bride is a melodrama with a message; or rather, a message with a melodrama. While the film has some tense sequences, such as the abduction of the teacher that is well handled, plus a thread of humour, the plotting of the story is all over the place. For example, Freddie’s father Mike is shot early in the film, and vows revenge, but this goes no-where. Part way through Ira, who has been portrayed as a decent man, turns violent and unsympathetic in an instant. The role of the school teacher, so much a catalyst for the early sequences, pretty much disappears towards the end. It is as if the admirable campaign against child brides and the resolution of the main story line are pretty much unrelated. Yet, and despite the dialogue and acting being very stilted and melodramatic, this is an interesting film with an important message.

     Child Bride is included in the 6 film, 3 DVD collection Horny – Sexplotation Films from the 30’s to the 50’s, a box set from Gryphon. The films are: Sex Madness (1938) and The Wild and Wicked (1956) on disc 1 with the additional short film Boys Beware (1961), Damaged Lives (1933) and Gambling with Souls (1936) plus the short film How Much Affection (1957) on disc 2 and Test Tube Babies (1948) and Child Bride (1938) with the short film What Makes a Good Party (1950) on disc 3.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     Child Bride is presented in a ratio of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. The original ratio was 1.37:1 and certainly at times the cropping is apparent.

     This is a soft print, however, and perhaps surprisingly, it has the best detail of any film in this box set. This is not to say that the print is sharp, it’s not and there is considerable variation, but sequences such as the rainstorm (37:25) are not too bad at all. Shadow detail is still mostly indistinct, but at least you mostly can see what is happening during the night abduction of the teacher. Blacks are also better than usual, although they still have problems and are sometimes quite mottled in appearance. Contrast and brightness varied, there is macro blocking and missing frames. There are also numerous scratches throughout the print, and both positive and negative artefacts, although most are not too bad. The Mill Creek Logo appears in the bottom right hand of the frame at 23:51, 37:25 and 53:15.

     There are no subtitles.

     The summary? This is an over 70 year old unrestored print. It certainly does have issues with softness and artefacts, but is still the best print in this box set, better than films 10 and 20 years younger. Note that the scores given have been adjusted, as it is not valid to compare this print with those of modern films.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English Linear PCM track at 1536 Kbps. It comes with a hiss, especially noticeable in places without music, a few crackles and the occasional drop out. Mostly it is acceptable except for the very loud crackle that persists for about 20 seconds around 22:27. Dialogue is mostly OK, effects such as the rain storm, while flat, are not too bad for a film of this age There is no surround or sub woofer use.

     The score is uncredited. It is quite melodramatic and suits the film, resisting the temptation to use “hill-billy” music.

     I did not notice any lip synchronization issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are no extras as such, but on the same disc as Test Tube Babies and Child Bride is the short film (10:32) What Makes a Good Party (1950). This is an instructional film produced with the collaboration of the Head, Homemaking Education Department, Mississippi State College, and it really shows an innocent time of well dressed boys and girls, party games and not a hint of alcohol! The key apparently to a good party is planning. Black and white, with numerous small artefacts and obvious analogue tape origins, a slight hiss on the audio and some lip sync issues.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     I cannot find a record on sales sites of Child Bride being available in other regions.

     I cannot find any equivalent of the Horny box set package in any other region.

Summary

     Child Bride is a melodrama with a social message, campaigning against the custom, still then legal in some states of the U.S., of men marrying brides as young as twelve years old. Despite the dialogue and acting being stilted and melodramatic, this is an interesting film with an important message.

     The video has issues with softness and artefacts, but is still the best print in this box set, better than films 10 and 20 years younger. The audio is as one would expect from an over 70 year old unrestored non-mainstream film.

     Child Bride is included in the 6 film, 3 DVD collection Horny, a box set of sexploitation tales from the 1930s to 1950s from Gryphon for a RRP of $19.95. The films taken together are a fascinating window on how sexual topics were portrayed in films during those three decades.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE