Tag Archives: Marjorie Rambeau

Thinking Aloud About Film: Her Man (Tay Garnett, 1930)

A ‘pre-Code’ film set in Havana, probably so lots of drinking could take place during Prohibition,  and based on the Frankie and Johnny song about a prostitute who falls in love with a sailor and kills her pimp(see below). The roving camera in HER MAN challenges many of the pre-conceptions of cinema at the beginning of the sound period. Costs of the Havana footage were split with W. S. Van Dyke’s CUBAN LOVE SONG, with Havana street-scenes of the period remaining a major attraction. In the podcast we discuss the mobile camera, the subject-matter in relation to the Code, how music is mainly restricted to the diegetic, the opening titles, the connection of the comic gags to Garnett’s training with Hal Roach, and the performances of Phillips Holmes, Helen Twelvetrees and Marjorie Rambeau. Many thanks to the Film Foundation for once more offering an opportunity to see such a great restoration.

The podcast may be listened to here:

The podcast can also be listened to on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/2zWZ7Egdy6xPCwHPHlOOaT

and on itunes here: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/first-impressions-thinking-aloud-about-film/id1548559546


An interesting article on how the film ‘cracks the Code’: https://www.film-foundation.org/her-man

The article Richard references  is from Film International and may be read here:

The Fim Foundation’s support materials may be seen here:

The New York Times article José mentions may be read here

This Louis Armstrong singing the song:

A version of the film may be seen here:

José Arroyo