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1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

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1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 24, 2008 5:55 pm

47
Der blaue angel (The blue angel)
(Josef Von Sternberg, 1930)




For director Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich it all began with The Blue Angel, one of the masterpieces of Germany's Weimar cinema. This landmark film thrust the sultry and unrestrained Dietrich on an unsuspecting international film audience. She plays the prototypical role of Lola, the singer who tempts repressed professor Emil Jannings (the king of expressionist actors) into complete submission night after night at the Blue Angel nightclub. The film perfectly captures the masochism and degradation of the Weimar Republic, just before the rise of Adolf Hitler. And yet the moral confusion exhibited by Jannings is really due to his own torment. Dietrich is merely an instrument of his innermost desires, standing on stage in top hat, stockings, and bare thighs singing "Falling in Love Again."



Última edición por JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 10:47 pm, editado 3 veces

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 24, 2008 5:57 pm

48
L'age d'or (The golden age) (Luis Buñuel, 1930)




L'Age D'or is one of the supreme surrealist films, but it's actually surprisingly accessible for Bunuel. In fact, one of his most accessible. That's not to say that you don't have to work a little, but far, far less that you would for, say, Brakhage or even some Fellini.
The film actually works on several levels, many of which offer Bunuel's often biting commentary on various aspects of life, including the blind acceptance of organized religion (for which the film was banned by the Catholic church for decades, and Bunuel was excommunicated), love and sex, human tolerance, class distinction (short but brilliant), and more. To be honest, to describe the various areas of the film is to pretty much ruin it for anyone who's never seen it. It's really best going in totally unexpectant. Again, though, remember that it's not going to unfold in a logical pattern, and will likely require a few watchings to catch it all. It's just that kind of film. In addition, the things that were absolutely appalling then may not be so much so today, or at least not to the same degree.
Still, it's a genuine work of genius, done for far, far, far many more reasons than just to stir things up. (And hopefully Amazon won't pull my review again because I dared to offer a contradicting opinion to someone else)
Absolutely a must-see for serious film-lovers, and probably a must-own, too. It's a serious work of art and nothing about it -- nothing -- is random. Oh... to clarify one thing: Yes, the film opens with a French documentary on scorpions. But as the narrator notes, the scorpion's tail has five segments, the last one containing the sting. L'Age D'or also has five segments; and the last one most definitely contains the sting.



Última edición por JM el Mar Oct 06, 2009 8:19 pm, editado 4 veces

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 24, 2008 5:58 pm

49
Zemlya (Earth) (Alexander Dovzhenko, 1930)




Some Soviet films from the 1920s occasionally feel like work, but not this one. By general consensus, Earth is among the most exalted of all silent films. Alexander Dovzhenko drew upon memories of his rural Ukrainian childhood for this lyrical ode to peasants (in true Soviet fashion, they are radicalized by the arrival of a new tractor). What is so remarkable about the film is not merely the visual poetry, but Dovzhenko's earthy (there is no other word for it) appreciation for the human being: a grandfather pauses in his dying to gobble up a ripe pear, farmers urinate into the radiator of the overheated tractor, a child happily munches on a melon after a tragic death. Dovzhenko embraces it all, and his image of a man dancing alone on a moonlit road is one of the cinema's great expressions of simple joy. This is a true masterwork.



Última edición por JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 4:26 pm, editado 3 veces

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 24, 2008 6:00 pm

50
Little Caesar (Mervyn LeRoy, 1931)




Little Caesar is a 1931 crime film made during the Pre-Code era which tells the story of a man who works his way up the ranks of the mob until he reaches its upper heights. It stars Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Glenda Farrell. The movie was adapted by Francis Edward Faragoh, Robert N. Lee, Robert Lord and Darryl F. Zanuck (uncredited) from the novel by William R. Burnett. It was directed by Mervyn LeRoy.
The story centers around small-time crook Caesar Enrico Bandello (aka "Rico", played by Edward G. Robinson) and friend Joe Massara (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.). Both men head for Chicago to find their fortune. Joe, who wants to be a dancer, is more interested in fame and women and eventually meets Olga (Glenda Farrell). Rico joins the gang of Sam Vettori (Stanley Fields) and quickly gains control of the group. He then proceeds to push his way to the top. Rico becomes worried that his friend, Joe Massara, will betray him. He threatens Joe that he must forget about Olga and tries to bring him back into a life of crime. Rico is then shaken from his throne when Joe Massara betrays him to the cops. Hurt though he may be, Rico cannot bring himself to kill his former best friend.



Última edición por JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 9:38 pm, editado 7 veces

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 24, 2008 6:00 pm

51
All quiet in the western front (Lewis Milestone, 1930)




If a classic movie can be measured by the number of indelible images it burns into the collective imagination, then All Quiet on the Western Front's status is undisputed. Since its release in 1930 (and Oscar win for best picture), this film's saga of German boys avidly signing up for World War I battle--and then learning the truth of war--has been acclaimed for its intensity, artistry, and grown-up approach. Director Lewis Milestone's technical expertise is already stunning in the great opening sequence, as a professor exhorts his students to volunteer for the glory of the Fatherland while troops march past the windows. Erich Maria Remarque's novel is faithfully followed, but Milestone's superbly composed frames make it physical: the first battle scene, with the camera prowling the trenches as they fill with death and chaos, was surely the Saving Private Ryan of its day. The cast is strong, with little-known Lew Ayres finding stardom in the lead (Ayres became a pacifist and conscientious objector during World War II; although he served in battle as a medic, the stance harmed his career). Those indelible images are clear enough to cut glass: Ayres' lonely look back at the disappearing troop truck; the blinded soldier who runs into enemy fire at night; the fine pair of boots wasted on a boy with an amputated leg; and the final, devastating seconds, arguably the defining cinematic image of war in the 20th century.



Última edición por JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 10:43 pm, editado 4 veces

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 06, 2009 7:02 pm

52
A nous la liberté (Freedom for us) (René Clair, 1931)




One of the all-time great comedy classics, René Clair's À Nous la Liberté is a skillful satire of the industrial revolution and the blind quest for wealth. Deftly integrating his signature musical-comedy technique with pointed social criticism, Clair tells the story of an escaped convict who becomes a wealthy industrialist. Unfortunately his past returns to upset his carefully laid plans. Featuring lighthearted wit, tremendous visual innovation, and masterful manipulation of sound, À Nous la Liberté is both a potent indictment of mechanized modern society and an uproarious comic delight.


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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 06, 2009 7:04 pm

53
Le million (The million) (René Clair, 1931)




Welcome back one of the treasures of international cinema. In 1929-30, when Hollywood was stymied by the arrival of talkies, a Frenchman named René Clair set about reinventing the movies for the world of sound. Rather than enslave his camera--and imagination--to a microphone in a potted palm, Clair embraced sound as a liberating new dimension of the motion picture. His effervescent comedy-musical-romance Le Million doesn't just feature a witty commingling of dialogue and song--it's a jeu d'esprit in which every movement, every cut, every sound effect (or absence thereof) contributes to a lilting rhythm.
The plot is precisely as airy and as farcically complicated as it needs to be. Suffice it to say that there's this threadbare jacket with a winning lottery ticket in the pocket. It becomes separated from its starving-artist owner and leads him and numerous others a merry chase over the roofs of Paris, through the urban underworld, and onto the very stage of the Opera. You'll wonder more than once whether the Marx Brothers were taking notes.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 06, 2009 7:12 pm

54
Tabu (F.W. Murnau, 1931)




Conceived by two master filmmakers, but essentially made by only one, Tabu is the last great silent film (released four years into the talkie era). Few classics have had a more fraught history, starting with the dicey notion of combining the radically different approaches of documentarist Robert Flaherty and supernaturalist F.W. Murnau. After selecting the South Seas locations, collaborating on the story, and doing some preliminary photography, Flaherty withdrew, leaving Murnau to realize this tale of forbidden love and implacable retribution in an earthly paradise. The results, ravishing to behold, complete a spiritual trilogy begun with Nosferatu (1921-22) and Sunrise (1927), Murnau's other films of young couples drawn asunder by phantoms. Floyd Crosby won an Academy Award® for his cinematography. The director himself was killed in a car wreck just before his film was released. All the more tragic that Murnau's original, uncut version was never seen till Milestone Film & Video's restoration in 1990.


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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 06, 2009 7:22 pm

55
Dracula (Todd Browning, 1931)




When Universal Pictures picked up the movie rights to a Broadway adaptation of Dracula, they felt secure in handing the property over to the sinister team of actor Lon Chaney and director Tod Browning. But Chaney died of cancer, and Universal hired the Hungarian who had scored a success in the stage play: Béla Lugosi. The resulting film launched both Lugosi's baroque career and the horror-movie cycle of the 1930s. It gets off to an atmospheric start, as we meet Count Dracula in his shadowy castle in Transylvania, superbly captured by the great cinematographer Karl Freund. Eventually Dracula and his blood-sucking devotee (Dwight Frye, in one of the cinema's truly mad performances) meet their match in a vampire-hunter called Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan). If the later sections of the film are undeniably stage bound and a tad creaky, Dracula nevertheless casts a spell, thanks to Lugosi's creepily lugubrious manner and the eerie silences of Browning's directing style. (After a mood-enhancing snippet of Swan Lake under the opening titles, there is no music in the film.) Frankenstein, which was released a few months later, confirmed the horror craze, and Universal has been making money (and countless spin-off projects) from its twin titans of terror ever since. Certainly the role left a lasting impression on the increasingly addled and drug-addicted Lugosi, who was never quite able to distance himself from the part that made him a star. He was buried, at his request, in his black vampire cape.


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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 06, 2009 7:26 pm

56
Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)




"It's alive! Alive!" shouts Colin Clive's triumphant Dr. Frankenstein as electricity buzzes over the hulking body of a revived corpse. "In the name of God now I know what it's like to be God!" For years unheard, this line has been restored, along with the legendary scene of the childlike monster tossing a little girl into a lake, in James Whale's Frankenstein, one of the most famous and influential horror movies ever made. Coming off the tremendous success of Dracula, Universal assigned sophomore director Whale to helm an adaptation of Mary Shelley's famous novel with Bela Lugosi as the monster. When Lugosi declined the role, Whale cast the largely unknown character actor Boris Karloff and together with makeup designer Jack Pierce they created the most memorable monster in movie history: a towering, lumbering creature with sunken eyes, a flat head, and a jagged scar running down his forehead. Whale and Karloff made this mute, misunderstood brute, who has the brain of a madman (the most obvious of the many liberties taken with Shelley's story), the most pitiable freak of nature to stumble across the screen. Clive's Dr. Frankenstein is intense and twitchy and Dwight Frye set the standard for mad-scientist sidekicks as the wild-eyed hunchback assistant. Whale's later films, notably the spooky spoof The Old Dark House and the deliriously stylized sequel The Bride of Frankenstein, display a surer cinematic hand than seen here and add a subversive twist of black comedy, but given the restraints of early sound films, Whale breaks the film free from static stillness and adorns it with striking design and expressionist flourishes.


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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 06, 2009 7:34 pm

57
City lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931)




City Lights is a film to pick for the time capsule, a film that best represents the many aspects of director-writer-star Charlie Chaplin at the peak of his powers: Chaplin the actor, the sentimentalist, the knockabout clown, the ballet dancer, the athlete, the lover, the tragedian, the fool. It's all contained in Chaplin's simple story of a tramp who falls in love with a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill). Chaplin elevates the Victorian contrivances of the plot to something glorious with his inventive use of pantomime and his sure grasp of how the Tramp relates to the audience. In 1931, it was a gamble for Chaplin to stick with silence after talking pictures had killed off the art form that had made him famous, but audiences flocked to City Lights anyway. (Chaplin would not make his first full talking picture until 1940's The Great Dictator.) After all the superb comic sequences, the film culminates with one of the most moving scenes in the history of cinema, a luminous and heartbreaking fade-out that lifts the picture onto another plane. (Woody Allen paid homage to the scene at the end of Manhattan.) This is why the term "Chaplinesque" became a part of the language.


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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 06, 2009 7:37 pm

58
The public enemy (William A. Wellman, 1931)




Director William Wellman (Wings), a World War I veteran who turned his experiences in battle into an insistence on unpretentious violence in his films, made Public Enemy a particularly brutal account of the rise and fall of a monstrous gangster (James Cagney). Cagney delivers one of the most famous performances in film history as the snarling crook who--in one of the film's most famous scenes--smashes a grapefruit into the face of Mae Clarke. The film's a bit dated, but its action scenes still pack an unusual wallop.

The Public Enemy Trailer - See At www.FlickByFlick.com

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 06, 2009 7:42 pm

59
M (Fritz Lang, 1931)




Peter Lorre made film history with his startling performance as a psychotic murderer of children. Too elusive for the Berlin police, the killer is sought and marked by underworld criminals who are feeling the official fallout for his crimes. This riveting, 1931 German drama by Fritz Lang--an early talkie--unfolds against a breathtakingly expressionistic backdrop of shadows and clutter, an atmosphere of predestination that seems to be closing in on Lorre's terrified villain. M is an important piece of cinema's past along with a number of Lang's early German works, including Metropolis and Spies. (Lang eventually brought his influence directly to the American cinema in such films as Fury, They Clash by Night, and The Big Heat.) M shouldn't be missed.


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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 06, 2009 8:03 pm

60
La chienne (The bitch) (Jean Renoir, 1931)




La Chienne, is a 1931 French film by director Jean Renoir. It is the second sound film by the director and the twelfth of his career. The English translation of the title is "The Bitch", although the movie was never released under this title.
Maurice (Michel Simon) is a married cashier who meets Lulu (Janie Marèse), a streetwalker. Their chance meeting results in Maurice falling in love with Lulu. She, however, is in love with her boyfriend-pimp, Dédé (Georges Flamant). Together, Dédé and Lulu plot ways to get Maurice to give cash to Lulu, mostly at the behest of Dédé.


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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 06, 2009 8:07 pm

61
Vampyr (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1931)




In this chilling, atmospheric German film from 1932, director Carl Theodor Dreyer favors style over story, offering a minimal plot that draws only partially from established vampire folklore. Instead, Dreyer emphasizes an utterly dreamlike visual approach, using trick photography (double exposures, etc.) and a fog-like effect created by allowing additional light to leak onto the exposed film. The result is an unsettling film that seems to spring literally from the subconscious, freely adapted from the Victorian short story Carmilla by noted horror author Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, about a young man who discovers the presence of a female vampire in a mysterious European castle. There's more to the story, of course, but it's the ghostly, otherworldly tone of the film that lingers powerfully in the memory. Dreyer maintains this eerie mood by suggesting horror and impending doom as opposed to any overt displays of terrifying imagery. Watching Vampyr is like being placed under a hypnotic trance, where the rules of everyday reality no longer apply. As a splendid bonus, the DVD includes The Mascot, a delightful 26-minute animated film from 1934. Created by pioneering animator Wladyslaw Starewicz, this clever film--in which a menagerie of toys and dolls springs to life--serves as an impressive precursor to the popular Wallace & Gromit films of the 1990s.


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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Mar Oct 06, 2009 8:11 pm


62
Love me tonight (Rouben Mamoulian, 1932)




The best movie musical you've never heard of is Love Me Tonight, a deliciously clever 1932 Rodgers and Hart romp. The film opens with a tour de force, as the rhythmic sounds of a Paris morning morph into music and we meet a humble tailor (Maurice Chevalier) whose future looks bright. At least he thinks so. And then the great song "Isn't It Romantic?" kicks in, introduced by Chevalier but immediately handed off to client, cab driver, and a series of tune-carriers who finally bring the catchy melody to a dreamy princess (Jeannette MacDonald). It's probably the giddiest sequence in a very fun film, and "Isn't It Romantic?" would continue popping up in Paramount movies for years (Billy Wilder was especially partial to it). The humble tailor must travel to the princess's chateau to collect a bill from family playboy Charlie Ruggles, which puts Chevalier in pleasant proximity to MacDonald and saucy Myrna Loy. It also brings forth more Rodgers and Hart goodies: the classic "Lover" (a great romantic waltz played here as a lark), "Mimi," and the title song. Rouben Mamoulian directed, in the full stride of his early-sound creativity (this was just after his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), using a variety of effects that look positively New Wave. Chevalier and MacDonald are a delight together (by all means see them in The Love Parade and One Hour with You, too), and Charlie Butterworth has some glorious moments as a prospective MacDonald suitor. Also worth the price of admission: the spectacle of crusty character actor C. Aubrey Smith singing.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 1:27 pm

63
Boudu sauvé des eaux (Boudu saved from drowning)
(Jean Renoir, 1932)




Long before there were hippies, there was, sublimely, Boudu. In 1932 director Jean Renoir and French star Michel Simon, fresh from their early-sound triumph La Chienne, decided to re-team in adapting a stage farce about a derelict rescued from the river by a bookseller and groomed for bourgeois society. The bookseller's idea proves to be disastrous, though working through all the possibilities for disruption and catastrophe is a slow-gathering and hilarious process. Simon always seemed as much force of nature as mere actor, and his and Renoir's inspiration is to make Boudu the vagabond not a satyr or opportunist or noble savage or de facto sociopolitical anarchist, but simply an oversized manchild with no more guile or conscious agenda than the shaggy dog whose sudden defection led him to throw himself into the Seine. If his insistence on leaving a downy-soft bed to sleep in the hall happens to block the door to the maid's room, where his benefactor Lestingois is wont to sneak after the wife's asleep, well, Boudu doesn't really plan it that way. And if he leaves a wet lugie between the pages of a first-edition Balzac, well, they asked him not to spit on the floor, after all!
We can see that the original farce (by René Fauchois) was probably pretty funny to begin with, but Renoir makes of it much, much more. Boudu Saved from Drowning--arguably the first French New Wave film, nearly 30 years before there was a New Wave--is one of those cardinal works in which we can see, and experience anew, a great filmmaker inventing the cinema. Without jettisoning the formal qualities of the theatrical farce, Renoir opens his film to light, fresh air, and the teeming multifariousness of Parisian street life; the denizens of the city become unwitting extras in the movie as Boudu first shambles, then prances, among them. The deep-focus camerawork is exhilarating, but even the gregarious roughness of the production feels right, indeed essential. "I believe that perfection is even dangerous," Renoir remarked of his own movie. "If a film is perfect, the public has nothing to add.... The audience should always be trying to finish a picture, ... fill in the holes which we didn't fill." Collaborating on Boudu is a glorious experience.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 1:32 pm

64
I am a fugitive from a chain gang (Mervyn LeRoy, 1932)




I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang is one of the toughest and most uncompromising movies to ever come out of Hollywood. Paul Muni stars as a regular Joe, just back from World War I, who is unjustly convicted of a crime and sentenced to 10 years of bruisingly unfair treatment on a chain gang. Even a successful escape can't shake the spectre of the chains, nor the amazingly fatalistic twists the screenplay has in store. This picture could only have been made at Warner Bros., where social-justice movies flourished in the 1930s and criticism of judicial systems and prisons was sanctioned. Muni's weird acting style (he was recently off Scarface) somehow fits the film's furious tone, and director Mervyn LeRoy--as in his earlier Little Caesar--was dexterous enough to build the action to an unforgettable ending. It's a film that filters the American Dream through Depression realities and noirish pessimism (with a streak of pre-Code sexual frankness--note the one-night "friend" Muni makes the night of his escape). This one holds up, folks; it's a stunner.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 1:37 pm

65
Trouble in paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)




Trouble in Paradise is the supreme example of "the Lubitsch touch," that mastery of comic timing, diamond-cutter precision, and Continental sophistication that made Ernst Lubitsch a household name and the real star of every movie he directed. A pair of prodigiously talented, utterly charming scoundrels (Herbert Marshall, Miriam Hopkins) become personal assistants to an aristocratic Parisian widow (Kay Francis). Their target is her fortune, but she's such an elegant lady, and so agreeably smitten with her new right-hand man, that he's tempted to pursue a secondary objective. Marshall, Hopkins, and Francis aren't remembered as major stars, but in this enchanted moment they are sublime. Likewise the peerlessly pixilated Edward Everett Horton and Charlie Ruggles as the widow's stuffed-shirt suitors. Trouble in Paradise is one of the best comedies ever made. There's not a line, word, or pause that doesn't belong exactly where it is, when it is, as it is.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 1:40 pm

66
Scarface (Howard Hawks, 1932)




Howard Hawks's Scarface was one of the first "talkies" to reclaim the fluidity of the late-silent masterpieces, while also tapping into a feral new energy that came with talking smart and moving smarter on the motion picture screen. Outgunning such contemporaries as Little Caesar and The Public Enemy--in terms of both its ferocious death-dealing and dynamic style--the movie was interfered with by censors and kept out of circulation for decades thanks to its eccentric producer, Howard Hughes. It remains the gold standard among classic gangster pictures. Paul Muni's portrayal of Al Capone surrogate Tony Camonte etched a screen original: a merciless assassin who's not only reflexively criminal but pre-civilized, almost pre-evolutionary, a simian shadow ready to rub out the world if he can't have it for his own. This is still one of the greatest, darkest, most deeply exciting films American cinema has produced. Those demonically ubiquitous X's--starting with that titular scar gouged into Tony's cheek--rival "Rosebud" for resonance.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 3:53 pm

67
Shanghai Express (Josef Von Sternberg, 1932)




Shanghai Express is an American 1932 film directed by Josef von Sternberg. The pre-Code picture stars Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong, and Warner Oland. It was written by Jules Furthman, based on a story by Harry Hervey. It was the fourth of seven teamings of Sternberg and Dietrich.
The film is memorable for its stylistic black-and-white chiaroscuro cinematography. Even though Lee Garmes was awarded the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, according to Dietrich, it was Sternberg who was responsible for most of it.
In 1931, China is embroiled in a civil war. Friends of British Captain Donald 'Doc' Harvey (Clive Brook) envy him because the fabulously notorious Shanghai Lily is also a passenger on the express train from Peiping to Shanghai. When the name means nothing to him, they inform him that she is a "coaster" or "woman who lives by her wits along the China coast", in other words a courtesan.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 3:56 pm

68
Freaks (Todd Browning, 1932)




Tod Browning, who directed Bela Lugosi in the original Dracula, stepped into even eerier territory with this 1932 story of betrayal and retribution in the circus. Evil trapeze artist Olga Baclanova seduces and marries a midget in the circus sideshow, hoping to inherit his wealth. But in doing so, she has crossed the wrong folks: the tightly knit group of nature's aberrations, who stick together like family--and who set out to avenge their little pal. Browning brought in some of the most famous sideshow attractions of the era, include Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton and Johnny Eck the Legless Boy, as well as Zip and Pip, microcephalics whose appearance in this film inspired cartoonist Bill Griffith to create his comic strip, "Zippy the Pinhead." So disturbing that it was banned for 30 years in Great Britain.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 4:07 pm

69
Me and my gal (Raoul Walsh, 1932)




Me and My Gal is a 1932 American motion picture drama and romantic comedy made by the Fox Film Corporation. It was directed by Raoul Walsh and starred Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett.
It tells the story of young policeman Danny Dolan who falls in love with waterfront cafe waitress Helen Riley.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 4:13 pm

70
Zero de conduite (Zero for conduct) (Jean Vigo, 1933)




Zéro de conduite (English: Zero for Conduct) is a 1933 film by French film director Jean Vigo. It was first shown on April 7, 1933. It was subsequently banned in France until February 15, 1946.
The film draws extensively on Vigo's boarding school experiences to depict a repressive and bureaucratised educational establishment in which surreal acts of rebellion occur, reflecting Vigo's anarchist view of childhood. The title refers to a mark the boys would get which prevented from going out on Sundays. It also shows the influence of Alfred Jarry's play Ubu Roi.
Though the film was not immediately popular, it has proven to be enduringly influential. François Truffaut paid homage to Zéro de conduite in his 1959 film The 400 Blows by copying, practically shot-for-shot, the scene in which a line of schoolboys jogging through Paris loses its members one by one to the attractions of the city. Lindsay Anderson's film If.... in its whole is a less whimsical reimagining of Zéro.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

Mensaje  JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 8:14 pm

71
42nd Street (Lloyd Bacon, 1933)




Set during the depression, this is the granddaddy of backstage musicals in which the understudy finally gets a chance to shine. It may seem a little cliché now, but in 1933 this was hot stuff. All that behind-the-scenes atmosphere feels very genuine, and the script is more acerbic than you might expect.
A sickly Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter) puts his all into what may be his last show, only to face a disaster when leading lady Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels) sprains her ankle. Thank heavens for ingenue Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler), who steps in at the last minute. The vivacious soundtrack includes "Shuffle off to Buffalo," and the still-catchy title tune. Best of all are those extravagant, kaleidoscopic dance numbers by Busby Berkeley, then in his prime.

42nd Street

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part II: 1930-1934

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