Jazz Hound!


Gold-digger Phyllis Haver embraces her “jazz hound” lover Don Alvarado in D.W. Griffith’s atypical BATTLE OF THE SEXES, which Fiona and I enjoyed in Kirkcaldy on Sunday as part of the Fife Jazz Festival with a live score by Jane Gardner. Enjoyed it so much it becomes the basis for this week’s edition of The Forgotten, over at The Notebook.


6 Responses to “Jazz Hound!”

  1. For some reason, I combined the tags for Phyllis Haver and Battle of the Sexes into a movie called “Sex Haver!”. It would be the ultimate Pre-Code film.

  2. The Proclaimers did their best to popularoze the fine Scottish verb “to haver” in their song 100 Miles. It means to blether or rant, roughly speaking.

  3. La Faustin Says:

    SEX HAVERS OF 1933 … it was supposed to be a series, then came the Code.

    This sounds too wonderful, I’m obtaining forthwith. Have you seen Griffith’s LADY OF THE PAVEMENTS (1929)? Lupe Velez and Jetta Goudal, with the same story as LES DAMES DU BOIS DE BOULOGNE. Bonus Franklin Pangborn.

  4. I have not! Sounds delightful.

  5. On reading your column I realized I saw this on TCM. There’s a bit when Haver is in the middle of a room and a Keystone-fake mouse runs straight to her and up her leg. At that moment I was suddenly wondering whether the whole film was in fact a comedy, perhaps a parody of something specific.

    Always annoyed by endings where the Bad Girl nobly exits to die or drift towards ruin or whatever, clearing the path for the Good Girl. This is usually a cheap way to avoid the hero being unsympathetic. If it’s clear the bad girl can and will take care of herself, probably just as happily, we tolerate the hero (or another character) showing her the door.

    If she’s full of unrighteous outrage, all the better. Outrage can be played for comedy.

  6. The mouse is real, but its behaviour is not — I wonder how they got it so keen on Phyllis.

    It’s tonally quite weird — everything involving Haver is played as comedy, including Hersholt’s adultery, but as soon as he gets home we’re in a drama. When the characters’ paths cross, we get pools of melodrama in a comic night club. Unusual.

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