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"If you butt into our game on your own, you're liable to be sniffin' the lily," warns brutal bootlegger Big John to gentleman hijacker John Hawkes. Unfazed by this threat, the ex-college football star and his gun-toting crew of modern-day pirates set sail on the yacht "Corsair" planning to heist the gangster's precious cargo of liquor. After exposing and killing one of Hawkes' spies, the ruthless racketeer crafts a scheme to dynamite his cocky competitor out of business. Long unseen and sadly unheralded, Roland West's Corsair is a rediscovered crime gem that deserves as much acclaim as its 1931 underworld rivals The Public Enemy and Little Caesar. This thriller also offers a rare chance to see ravishing Thelma Todd (under her "Alison Loyd" pseudonym) in a non-comic role as the sexy daughter of an unscrupulous Wall Street baron. In his final film as director, Roland West supervised an impressive array of Hollywood talent: comic actors Frank McHugh and Ned Sparks, film editor Hal C. Kern (whose Selznick credits include Gone with the Wind and Rebecca), set designer Richard Day (Dead End and On the Waterfront), and composer Alfred Newman (Gunga Din, The Seven Year Itch, Foreign Correspondent, Gentlemen's Agreement). Unfortunately, West's considerable filmmaking innovations have been obscured by his questionable role in the tragic December 16, 1935 death of movie star companion Thelma Todd. Director and star had met during a 1930 Catalina Island yacht cruise, and portions of Corsair were filmed nearby.

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ALP5236 Corsair DVD (1931/Thelma Todd) $5.99