Safe in Hell
Director: William A. Wellman Run Time: 73 min. Format: 35mm Rating: NR Release Year: 1931
Starring: Dorothy Mackaill, Donald Cook, Ralf Harolde, Victor Varconi, Ivan F. Simpson
Co-hosted by filmmaker/programmer Caroline Golum
In this wild pre-code from director William A. Wellman, Gilda (Dorothy Mackaill) flees to an island after thinking she has killed a former client when she knocks him out with a bottle and accidentally sets the place ablaze. The island is a haven for criminals, and Gilda is intent on behaving for the sake of her sailor fiancé who has forgiven her of all past indiscretions. But when boredom creeps in she joins the reprobates for smokes and drinks, all the while dodging their advances. Sleazy Mr. Bruno, a corrupt local lawman, proves harder to deflect, so when he corners her with an ultimatum, she makes a bold choice.
35mm print courtesy Library of Congress