Beauty may have killed the beast, but it did not silence “The Transmitter”. In fact, RKO Pictures became one of the most famous picture-makers during Hollywood’s Golden Age. RKO formed in 1928 after a successful merger was engineered in order to create a credible market for sound pictures. Warner Bros. might have been credited for pioneering sound technology, but the men at RKO were sure they could muster up some quality films. Little did they know they’d create two of the greatest films in cinematic history.
This year RKO Pictures is celebrating its 80th anniversary and every Wednesday in the month of October Turner Classic Movies will be showcasing the films made famous by the revered studio. Little known films like King Kong (1933) and Citizen Kane (1941) can be seen alongside 1939’s Gunga Din and Hitchcock’s classic 1946 thriller, Notorious (1946).
Movie lovers will also have the opportunity to catch five of the six “lost” pre-code RKO pictures TCM acquired the copyright to in 2006 – the uncensored version of Double Harness (1933), with William Powell and Ann Harding; Rafter Romance (1933), a light comedy with Ginger Rogers; One Man’s Journey (1933), a brisk drama starring Lionel Barrymore and Joel McCrea; the William Wellman directed Stingaree (1934), a whimsical Western adventure musical with Irene Dunne (in her first major singing role) and the handsome Richard Dix; and A Man to Remember (1938), with Anne Shirley – and all films will be presented fully restored on new 35mm prints.