This February, MFA Film presents an exciting collection of racy B-movies from the 1930s and 40s, digitally restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. These lurid, low-budget curiosities were produced outside of the major studio system by off-brand independent studios, most of which were located off Gower Street in Los Angeles, often referred to as “Gower Gulch.” Despite their exceedingly low budgets, tight shooting schedules, cheesy sets, and over-the-top acting, the so-called “poverty row” films had a surprising degree of freedom to tackle controversial subject matter that the majors would not have touched, from excessive gore to plastic surgery to venereal disease. Get ready for a wild ride to the seedy side of Hollywood.

This series is an abridged version of a major Museum of Modern Art retrospective of poverty row films preserved at UCLA. Each feature is preceded by era-appropriate newsreels and cartoons.


In This Series

Film

The Vampire Bat
February 1, 2019
5:00 pm6:30 pm

Directed by Frank R. Strayer (USA, 1933, 65 min.). Digital.

Film

Damaged Lives
February 2, 2019
12:00 pm1:25 pm

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer (USA, 1933, 61 min.). Digital.

Film

The Sin of Nora Moran
February 6, 2019
3:30 pm5:00 pm

Directed by Phil Goldstone (USA, 1933, 65 min.). Digital.

Film

False Faces
February 6, 2019
5:30 pm7:15 pm

Directed by Lowell Sherman (USA, 1932, 81 min.). Digital.

Film

Damaged Lives
February 7, 2019
4:00 pm5:25 pm

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer (USA, 1933, 61 min.). Digital.

Film

The Vampire Bat
February 7, 2019
6:00 pm7:30 pm

Directed by Frank R. Strayer (USA, 1933, 65 min.). Digital.

Film

The Sin of Nora Moran
February 15, 2019
6:00 pm7:30 pm

Directed by Phil Goldstone (USA, 1933, 65 min.). Digital.

Film

Mamba
February 17, 2019
1:00 pm2:45 pm

Directed by Albert S. Rogell (USA, 1930, 78 min.). Digital.

Film

Strange Illusion
February 20, 2019
5:30 pm7:20 pm

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer (USA, 1945, 87 min.). Digital.

Film

Mamba
February 20, 2019
8:00 pm9:45 pm

Directed by Albert S. Rogell (USA, 1930, 78 min.). Digital.

Film

Strange Illusion
February 21, 2019
8:00 pm9:40 pm

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer (USA, 1945, 87 min.). Digital.

Film

False Faces
February 27, 2019
8:00 pm9:45 pm

Directed by Lowell Sherman (USA, 1932, 81 min.). Digital.