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The Sin of Nora Moran

USA 1933. Dir: Phil Goldstone. 65 min. DCP

A head-spinning highlight of our Poverty Row series, this lurid melodrama has a feverish and surprisingly complex narrative structure that allegedly influenced Citizen Kane! The film relates the tawdry, told-in-flashback tale of fallen woman Nora (Zita Johann), a circus performer who becomes the lover of an ambitious politician, then winds up on death row for a murder she didn’t commit. The movie may be best known for its risqué theatrical poster, featuring art by Alberto Vargas, later famous for his “Vargas Girls” pin-ups for Esquire and Playboy. “Has the cracked logic of a dream, with subjectivity and chronology shifting underfoot ... One of the most formally daring films to come out of Hollywood in the early sound era” (Imogen Sara Smith, Film Comment). “Haunting, hallucinatory, artistic, exploitive — this may be the best B-film of the 1930s” (UCLA).

— preceded by —

Hearst Metrotone News, Vol. 4, No. 269 (1933) • Short newsreel. 9 min.
Balloon Land (1935) • Iwerks Studio ComiColor Cartoons short. Dir: Ub Iwerks. 7 min.