Friday, February 12, 2016

Aitkin Age column: A Warren William film binge part 1

My latest column for the Aitkin Independent Age is about that town's most famous native, the "King of Pre-Code" movie star, Warren William.
Everyone hereabouts should know about Warren William, the ’20s-’40s movie star from Aitkin. If you don’t, just ask about him at the Aitkin County Historical Society’s Depot Museum; they have lots of good material, which can also be seen yearly at their cabin at the County Fair.

Warren William was born Warren Krech in Aitkin in 1894. His father actually owned the Aitkin Age. He fought in World War I, married, and went to Broadway and then Hollywood. He starred in movies alongside Bette Davis, Claudette Colbert and others. He died in 1948. Now he’s known as the “King of Pre-Code,” meaning the height of his career was before the enforcement in 1934 of the Motion Picture Production Code, which restricted the content of films tremendously and one might say oppressively – it went so far as to say no crime could be shown as going unpunished and no clergyman could ever be the target of a joke. Many of William’s best roles being before this code, it fits that he often played immoral yet dashing scoundrels.

My family has sought out Warren William movies for a while now and I recently binged on his work available on Netflix DVD. Allow me to share some mini-reviews that I hope will encourage you to watch some of these yourself.
Read the rest here.

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