SILVER SERIES: Two 1930s Joan Bennett Titles Slated for March

Two rarely seen late 30s Joan Bennett films will be making their DVD debuts this March: Vogues of 1938 (1937) and Trade Winds (1938).

Set against the background of Fifth Avenue fashion, the part-musical, part-comedy and all-romance Vogues of 1938 co-stars Warner Baxter and features Helen Vinson, Mischa Auer and Alan Mowbray.

A dramatic mystery, with a good amount of comedy and romance mixed in, Trade Winds boast a top-line cast alongside Bennett with Fredric March co-starring and Ann Sothern, Ralph Bellamy and Thomas Mitchell in support.

More on the films below.

About the Silver Series line:

Knowing so many unseen and longed-for classics sit in studio vaults and other archives collecting dust, ClassicFlix established the Silver Series line to shine the light of day on such lesser-known titles by making them available in affordable, no-frill editions.

For the first time on DVD, the romantic mystery-drama Trade Winds is now available from ClassicFlix!

Believing that caddish millionaire Thomas Bruhme, II (Sidney Blackmer) is responsible for the suicide of her sister, socialite Kay Kerrigan (Joan Bennett) fatally shoots him and is soon forced to take it on the lam. To avoid capture, she fakes her own demise and immediately makes tracks for the South Seas.

Hearing reports that Kerrigan may actually be alive, Police Commissioner Blackton (Thomas Mitchell) calls on former detective-turned P.I. Sam Wye (Fredric March), along with the watchful eye of Detective Ben Blodgett (Ralph Bellamy), to track her down—with both men assisted in the hunt by Wye's gal Friday Jean Livingstone (Ann Sothern). Anxious to collect the $100,000 bounty on Kay's head, complications soon develop for Sam when he falls head-over-heels in love with the woman he's supposed to bring to justice.

Early in her motion picture career, actress Joan Bennett was a natural blonde...but she darkened her tresses for Trade Winds (1938), as her Kay Kerrigan character is forced to disguise her appearance while on the run. Bennett loved the new look so much that she kept it for the rest of her career, playing “bad girls"" in classics like The Woman in the Window (1944) and Scarlet Street (1945).

Directed by Tay Garnett and scripted by the legendary Dorothy Parker (along with Alan Campbell and Frank R. Adams), Trade Winds is part romantic comedy and part dramatic-mystery, with its travelogue aspects courtesy of cinematographers Rudolph Maté and James B. Shacklelford, as well as Garnett’s own home movies. Featured players include Robert Elliott, Joyce Compton, Richard Tucker and Linda Winters (who later changed her name to Dorothy Comingore).

For the first time on home video comes an engaging Technicolor musical comedy with a romance set against the background of Fifth Avenue fashion!

Debutante Wendy Van Klettering (Joan Bennett) is being forced into a loveless marriage to wealthy Henry Morgan (Alan Mowbray) for the purpose of restoring the family’s sagging financial outlook. But on the "big day", she jilts Morgan and escapes the media mob with a little help from fashion designer George Curson (Warner Baxter).

Owner of the prestigiously stylish House of Curzon, George has "designs" of his own on Wendy and hires her to model, gambling that her "runaway bride" notoriety will give his establishment a much-needed publicity boost. Romance soon starts to blossom between George and Wendy, particularly once George's wife Mary (Helen Vinson) neglects him because she's set her sights on a stage career.

There's plenty of music and screwball fun in producer Walter Wanger's Vogues of 1938, a frothy, tuneful concoction that was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Art Direction (Alexander Toluboff) and Best Original Song (Sammy Fain-Lew Brown's standard "That Old Feeling").

Directed by Irving Cummings from a screenplay penned by Bella and Samuel Spewack, Wanger assembled a top-notch cast for Vogues including Mischa Auer, Jerome Cowan, Alma Kruger, Marjorie Gateson, Hedda Hopper and Penny Singleton (later known to millions as "Blondie" and still being billed as "Dorothy McNulty").