Friday, June 23, 2017

Skyscraper Souls: Warren William and the Working Girl

Warren William: Villain, City Dweller.
Actor Warren William (1894 – 1948) has been called the "king of pre-code" Hollywood.  At the age of 26, he first appeared on Broadway, enjoying a successful run on the New York stage before going West under contract with Warner Bros.

In films, William was best known for playing a ruthless tycoon, a man who seeks money and power; a man who disposes of women easily and heartlessly, the kind of character who "made life his plaything,"  in the words of a trailer for his 1934 film, Bedside.

Many of his films portray New York City in the 1930s; a portrayal that offers a rather biased view of the metropolis: the city was a jungle, a trap, a den of immorality that dazzles and seems to promise everything, but ultimately only destroys.