Saturday, December 01, 2018

Dec 1 - Mascot of the Month Warren William

Warren William is the mascot of December. No real reason except I am going through some old movie things and I saw him again.

I love Warren William.

He is often known as the "King of Pre-Code Cads" for playing a series of sexual voracious and sometimes heartless men in pre-code movies.

After the production code was put in place he transitioned to a lot of Detective roles where he was though to be the poor man's Barrymore.

This is where I first discovered him. He played Perry Mason in four excellent movies in the 1930s. Now, if your idea of Perry Mason is Raymond Burr at his heaviest, you have really missed out. My weird Aunt Smitty loved the Perry Mason books - which were much racier than anything ever put on TV. The characters seem only marginally related.
Warren as Perry Mason in the Case of the Lucky Legs - the best is The Case of the Howling Dog.

He also played Philo Vance a few times and the "Lone Wolf" 9 times. Kind of a Nick Charles without Nora.

He fought in France during WW1 before working on stage in the 1920s, then moving to Los Angeles and movies in 1932.

In Satan Meet A Lady  he was the Sam Spade role to Bette Davis' femme fatale in a rip off of The Maltese Falcon. Maybe more a remake (before the Bogart one), but it is super obvious.
He worked very regularly through the 1930s and early 1940s.

He was from Minnesota and his wife was 17 years his elder, but they stayed married through-out his life. He died young in 1948 (at 53) of cancer.
Warren and Helen, his wife.
With Mae West

In Gold-diggers on 1933

As The Lone Wolf

He and his wife lived int he Hollywood hills, near where Ed and I had our house. They raised Wire Haired Fox Terriers, probably back before they were crazy (which started with The Thin Man).