The Film Detective announced this past week that five new film restorations are on tap for delivery to the home entertainment marketplace on May 9.
Up first is director Ralph Staub’s 1936 romantic musical Sitting on the Moon. This Republic Pictures production teamed would-be composer Roger Pryor (Belle of the Nineties, The Return of Jimmy Valentine) with songstress Grace Bradley (Six of a Kind, The Cat’s-Paw, Too Much Harmony, etc. … a star in her own right, she walked away from her Paramount contract to manage the career of her husband, William “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd) in a romantic tale that involves a jealous song-writing partner (played by William Newell) who recruits a blond floosy (Joyce Compton) to break up the romance between Pryor and Bradley.
Misunderstandings follow, songs follow and a happy resolution is at hand by the end credits … Sitting on the Moon is a breezy little number that is well worth a look.
Up next is the 1915 silent film from Cecil B. DeMille titled The Cheat, which is noted for being the film that launched the screen career of Sessue Hayakawa (he would also star in the 1937 French-language sound remake). His co-star is Fannie Ward, who was married to Jack Dean, who plays her husband in the film (talk about a small world).
The plot casts Ward’s character as a socialite who embezzles a considerable sum from a charity (to buy fancy things for herself) and to avoid discovery she turns to a wealthy ivory merchant (Hayakawa) to bail her out. It does not end well for all involved.
Rounding out the May 9 film restoration selections are Beware (1946, starring recording artist Louis Jordan), Dixiana (1930, early sound film starring Bebe Daniels and Everett Marshall, with the comedy team of Wheeler and Woolsey) and Streamline Express (1935, an ensemble cast that features Victor Jory, Esther Ralston, Ralph Forbes and Evelyn Venable).