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

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

Mensaje  JM el Miér Oct 07, 2009 8:24 pm

72
Footlight parade (Lloyd Bacon, 1933)




James Cagney is of course best known for his sympathetic, even lovable, gangster in such films as Public Enemy and White Heat (well, he is not quite so lovable in the latter). What is less well known is that he shone in a variety of other kinds of roles during his long career, up to and including Shakespeare's Bottom.
One of the genres in which Cagney was most successful was the movie musical. Later in his career, he was even able to combine his talents by playing gangsters in musicals such as Love Me or Leave Me and Never Steal Anything Small. Probably the best of his musicals, though, was 1933's Footlight Parade. As Chester Kent, producer of live musical prologues to films during the early days of the "talkies," he dances and sings, and in typical Cagney fashion also gives the impression of being in at least five places at once. This despite having to contend with a dishonest competitor, a couple of even more dishonest colleagues, a grasping ex-wife, a nervous director ready to have a breakdown at every turn, and constantly increasing demands on his time.
Cagney is more than ably assisted by a superb supporting cast: Joan Blondell as the (of course) hard-boiled secretary who is secretly in love with him, Ruby Keeler as the shy office assistant who blossoms when returning to the stage, Dick Powell as the romantic leading tenor of the prologues, Frank McHugh in a sterling performance as the flamboyant yet thoroughly masculine director, and Claire Dodd as Blondell's scheming sister who sets her sights on Cagney. Such a fine cast assures that the energy level of the film never flags.
However, the real raison d'etre of Footlight Parade are the four big Busby Berkeley musical numbers: "Sittin' on a Backyard Fence" which appears in rehearsal halfway through the film, and the three prologues, "Honeymoon Hotel," "By a Waterfall" and "Shanghai Lil," which paradoxically appear at the end of it. Ruby Keeler, a great dancer, a little less talented as a singer, appears in all four of the numbers, and Dick Powell in the first three. Cagney steps into "Shanghai Lil" at the last second, replacing a frightened and drunken leading man, and so of course we are in for the fistfight that is a feature of almost every film Cagney ever made. The four musical numbers are all delightful, and I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite from among the four; probably whichever one I am watching at the moment.


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 8:28 pm

73
Gold diggers of 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy, 1933)




So Ned Sparks promises chorus girls Aline MacMahon, Ruby Keeler, Joan Blondell, and Ginger Rogers in this wonderful pre-Code movie about mounting a successful Broadway show during the height of the Great Depression. This is really two shows in one: The first concerns the aforementioned mounting of the show, with music and lyrics by likeable but mysterious Dick Powell, Ruby's new boyfriend. The second, and my favorite of the two, is how Dick's older brother and legal guardian, banker Warren William, arrives in town to pay off Dick's girlfriend. Trouble is, when he and friend Guy Kibbee arrive at the showgirls' apartment, they mistakenly believe Joan Blondell is the squeeze. This is where she and Aline decide to take the two swells for all their worth, like any self-respecting golddigger would have to. Expert comedic scenes follow as the two big businessmen are putty in the hands of the chorusgirls. This is the first time I ever saw Warren William, and when he puts the moves on Joan Blondell, I knew I had to find more movies with him. Losing his Boston reserve through too many drinks, he tells her he loves her, holding her with such passion as he kisses her that all her resistance melts away--this is the sexiest celluloid kiss I've ever seen. He's just incredible. And all this is in addition to Harry Warren's great score, including the naughty "Pettin' in the Park" , megahit "We're in the Money", romantic "Shadow Waltz", and the grand finale piece, "Remember My Forgotten Man", a paen to the fate of the WWI vets now on breadlines and living a Depression tramp's life. Consider "Golddiggers of 1933" as a time capsule back to the Great Depression's frothiest comedies--open and enjoy!


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 8:34 pm

74
She done him wrong (Lowell Sherman, 1933)




She Done Him Wrong is a Pre-Code 1933 Paramount Pictures comedy/romance motion picture starring Mae West and Cary Grant. Others in the cast include Owen Moore, Gilbert Roland, Noah Beery, Sr., and Rochelle Hudson.
The film was directed by Lowell Sherman and produced by William LeBaron. The script was adapted by Harvey F. Thew and John Bright from the successful Broadway play Diamond Lil (1928) by Mae West. Original music was composed by Ralph Rainger, John Leipold and Stephan Pasternacki. Charles Lang was responsible for the cinematography, while the costumes were designed by Edith Head.
The movie is famous for West's many double entendres and quips, including her seductive, "I always did like a man in a uniform. That one fits you grand. Why don't you come up sometime and see me? I'm home every evening."
She Done Him Wrong was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. At 66 minutes, it is the shortest film ever to be so honored.
Blonde Venus, starring Marlene Dietrich and Cary Grant, predates She Done Him Wrong by a year even though Mae West always claimed to have discovered Cary Grant for her film, elaborating that up until then Grant had only made "some tests with starlets."
In 1996, She Done Him Wrong was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".


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 9:20 pm

75
Duck soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)




For those who love the Marx Brothers (Animal Crackers, A Night at the Opera), that this movie is side-slappingly funny is a given. For those new to the Marx Brothers, this is the perfect introduction to Groucho, Chico, and Harpo (and even Zeppo), three of the funniest men to ever grace the screen. Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) is the dictator of the small nation Freedonia. The country is a disaster, in financial disrepair, and the wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) is its benefactor and the object of Firefly's shrewd affection. When the leader of the neighboring Sylvania decides he's in love with Mrs. Teasdale, Firefly declares war. The movie, from 1933, is tremendously satirical, a play on politics and war. (As Firefly says to a hapless young solider, "You're a brave man. Go and break through the lines. And remember, while you're out there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we'll be in be in here thinking what a sucker you are.") Full of witty lines, great sight gags, and even some snazzy song numbers ("Freedonia's Going to War" is the hilarious declaration of battle), this is surely one of the best--if not the best--the Marx Brothers have to offer.


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 9:23 pm

76
Queen Christina (Rouben Mamoulian,1933)




Arguably Greta Garbo's best MGM movie--depending how you feel about Camille and Ninotchka--this tale of the 17th-century Swedish monarch who preferred men's togs to gowns plays the most provocative games with the great star's ambisexual personality. At her request, Rouben Mamoulian directed (all three Garbo's-best-movie candidates were done by the best directors she worked with: Mamoulian, George Cukor, and Ernst Lubitsch). Two sequences are legendary: Christina memorizing the room at a snowbound inn where she has first experienced love; and the long, concluding closeup of a queen become ship's-figurehead--as blank as a tabula rasa, and filled with all the meaning and emotion seven decades of audiences have chosen to see there. Those scenes are anthology pieces, but unlike most Garbo pictures, the whole movie is intelligently scripted and sustained. With Lewis Stone, C. Aubrey Smith, and John Gilbert--Garbo's premier silent-era costar--making a tentative comeback as her love interest.


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 9:26 pm

77
Las Hurdes: Tierra sin pan (Land without bread)
(Luis Buñuel, 1933)




Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin Pan (1932), (English language: Land Without Bread or Unpromised Land) is a 27-minute-long documentary film directed by Luis Buñuel and co-produced by Buñuel and Ramon Acin. The narration was written by Buñuel, Rafael Sanchez Ventura, and Pierre Unik, with cinematography by Eli Lotar.
The film focuses on the Las Hurdes region of Spain, the mountainous area around the town La Alberca, and the intense poverty of its occupants. Buñuel, who made the film after reading the ethnographic study Las Jurdes: étude de géographie humaine (1927) by Maurice Legendre, took a Surrealist approach to the notion of the anthropological expedition. The result was a travelogue in which the narrator’s extreme (indeed, exaggerated) descriptions of human misery of Las Hurdes contrasts with his flat and disinterested manner.
Although some film scholars describe it as a documentary, Land Without Bread is actually an early (some might say prescient) parody of the barely invented genre of documentary filmmaking, according to anthropologist Jeffrey Ruoff[1].
The film was originally silent, though Buñuel himself narrated when it was first shown. A French narration by actor Abel Jacquin was added in Paris in 1935. Buñuel used extracts of Johannes Brahms's Symphony No. 4 for the music.
Buñuel slaughtered at least two animals to make Las Hurdes. He ordered an ailing donkey to be covered with honey so he could film it being stung to death by bees. Similarly, his crew shot a mountain goat and threw its carcass from a cliff for another sequence.
The film was banned in Spain from 1933 to 1936.
There is a Spanish-language dubbed version spoken by Francisco Rabal


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 9:47 pm

78
King Kong (Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933)




"Now you see it. You're amazed. You can't believe it. Your eyes open wider. It's horrible, but you can't look away. There's no chance for you. No escape. You're helpless, helpless. There's just one chance, if you can scream. Throw your arms across your eyes and scream, scream for your life!" And scream Fay Wray does most famously in this monster classic, one of the greatest adventure films of all time, which even in an era of computer-generated wizardry remains a marvel of stop-motion animation. Robert Armstrong stars as famed adventurer Carl Denham, who is leading a "crazy voyage" to a mysterious, uncharted island to photograph "something monstrous ... neither beast nor man." Also aboard is waif Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) and Bruce Cabot as big lug John Driscoll, the ship's first mate. King Kong's first half-hour is steady going, with engagingly corny dialogue ("Some big, hard-boiled egg gets a look at a pretty face and bang, he cracks up and goes sappy") and ominous portent that sets the stage for the horror to come. Once our heroes reach Skull Island, the movie comes to roaring, chest-thumping, T. rex-slamming, snake-throttling, pterodactyl-tearing, native-stomping life. King Kong was ranked by the American Film Institute as among the 50 best films of the 20th century. Kong making his last stand atop the Empire State Building is one of the movies' most indelible and iconic images.


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 9:53 pm

79
The bitter tea of General Yen (Frank Capra, 1933)




The Bitter Tea of General Yen is a pre-Code 1933 film, directed by Frank Capra and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Nils Asther.
The film was the first to play at the Radio City Music Hall upon its opening in January, 1933.
General Yen was a box office failure upon its release and has since been overshadowed by Capra's later efforts. In recent years, the film has grown in critical acclaim however. In 2000, the film was chosen by British film critic Derek Malcolm as one of the hundred best films in The Century of Films.
Megan Davis (Barbara Stanwyck) comes to China to marry a missionary (Gavin Gordon) and help in his work. During the Chinese Civil War, Davis and her fiancee enter the war zone to rescue orphans. They become separated at a railway station, and Davis is rescued/kidnapped by warlord General Yen (Nils Asther).


Watch The Bitter Tea Of General Yen (1933, Frank Capra) in Action & Adventure  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

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 10:10 pm

80
Sons of the desert (William A. Seiter, 1933)




Sons of the Desert is a 1933 film starring Laurel and Hardy, and directed by William A. Seiter. It was first released in the United States on December 29, 1933 and is regarded as one of Laurel and Hardy's greatest films. In the UK the film was originally released under the title Fraternally Yours.
The plot of this film is a partial re-working of an earlier Laurel & Hardy film, 1928's "We Faw Down".
The film begins at a meeting of the Sons of the Desert, a fraternal lodge of which both Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are members. The organisation will be holding its annual convention in Chicago and all members have to take an oath to attend. Stan is reluctant to take the oath as he is worried that his wife will not let him go to the convention. Oliver reassures him, only to find that his wife will not let him go as they had already arranged a mountain trip together (which Oliver had forgotten about).


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 10:14 pm

81
It's a gift (Norman Z. McLeod, 1934)




It's a Gift is a 1934 comedy film starring W. C. Fields.
Considered by many to be Fields' best and funniest film, it concerns the trials and tribulations of a grocery store owner as he battles a shrewish wife, an incompetent assistant, and assorted annoying children, customers, and salesmen.
Lesser known than some of Fields' later works such as "The Bank Dick," the film is perhaps the best example of the recurring theme of the Everyman battling against his domestic entrapment. Film buffs, historians, and critics have often cited its numerous memorable comic moments. It is one of several Paramount Pictures in which Fields contended with child actor Baby LeRoy.


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 10:18 pm

82
Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the will)
(Leni Riefenstahl, 1934)




Triumph of the Will is one of the most important films ever made. Not because it documents evil--more watchable examples are being made today. And not as a historical example of blind propaganda--those (much shorter) movies are merely laughable now. No, Riefenstahl's masterpiece--and it is a masterpiece, politics aside--combines the strengths of documentary and propaganda into a single, overwhelmingly powerful visual force.
Riefenstahl was hired by the Reich to create an eternal record of the 1934 rally at Nuremberg, and that's exactly what she does. You might not become a Nazi after watching her film, but you will understand too clearly how Germany fell under Hitler's spell. The early crowd scenes remind one of nothing so much as Beatles concert footage (if only their fans were so well behaved!).
Like the fascists it monumentalizes, Triumph of the Will overlooks its own weaknesses--at nearly two hours, the speeches tend to drone on, and the repeated visual motifs are a little over-hypnotic, especially for modern viewers. But the occasional iconic vista (banners lining the streets of Nuremberg, Hitler parting a sea of 200,000 party members standing at attention) will electrify anyone into wakefulness.


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 10:21 pm

83
L'Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)




The story is so simple, it hardly exists: a young girl marries a mate aboard a river barge named L'Atalante; she grows bored and frustrated with the dull life that results; when the barge docks in Paris, she runs away, only to discover that she misses her husband. But the power of L'Atalante isn't in its story--it's in the way the camera captures the world in rich, dreamy images, steeping the audience in a viewpoint both innocent and stark. The simplest things are also implacable and confusing. The characters' personalities, and the ways they conflict, have the deep frustrations of real life, and not the easily resolved plot points of most romances. The culmination will leave you aching with happiness and lingering sorrow. Director Jean Vigo--who died of lung disease after completing the film--had an astonishing ability to make the real world translucent; cinematographer Boris Kaufman said, "He used everything around him: the sun, the moon, snow, night. Instead of fighting unfavorable conditions, he made them play a part." This film is a masterpiece, comparable to Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali or the movies of Robert Bresson in its ability to be simultaneously effortless and devastatingly complex.


Watch L'Atalante - extrait in Entertainment Videos | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

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 10:24 pm

84
The black cat (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1934)




The Black Cat is a 1934 horror film that became Universal Pictures' biggest box office hit of the year. It was the first of six movies to pair actors Béla Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Edgar G. Ulmer both wrote the screenplay and directed the film. The extreme art deco sets, women's corpses on display, and depiction of devil worship rites remain striking today. The classical music soundtrack, compiled by Heinz Eric Roemheld, is unusual for its time, because there is an almost continuous background score throughout the entire film.


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 10:26 pm

85
Judge Priest (John Ford, 1934)




Judge Priest — the second of Will Rogers’ three collaborations with director John Ford — is considered by many to be the best of the bunch. As the long-time judge in a small southern town (circa 1890), Rogers’ Judge Priest — like his Doctor Bull — is perhaps a bit too complacent in his status, taking for granted that his well-meaning nature will prevent nay-sayers from complaining about either his decisions or his laid-back demeanor. From the very beginning of the film, we learn that Priest is the type of judge who would rather read a newspaper than listen to pompous lawyers grandstanding in his courtroom, and who feels no compunction at all about going fishing with an accused thief (Stepin Fetchit) who was on trial in front of him not half-an-hour earlier. His insistence on helping his love-struck nephew (Brown) romance a fatherless young woman (Louise) against his snooty sister’s protestations is further proof that “Judge Priest” (a strategically chosen name, no doubt) is able to see beyond the petty constraints of social prejudices.


JM

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

Mensaje  JM el Jue Oct 08, 2009 12:29 am

86
It happened one night (Frank Capra, 1934)




Director Frank Capra (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) took home every Oscar in the book (well, okay, all the major ones) for this seminal 1934 comedy starring Clark Gable as a hard-bitten reporter who stays close to a runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert) rather than lose a good story. Funny and sexy, the film is full of memorable scenes often referred to in other films, such as the "walls of Jericho" (a mere bedcover hung on a line down the middle of a room so opposite-sex roommates can get undressed), and Colbert's famous flash of thigh to stop a speeding car in its tracks. Capra's brisk, urbane brand of wit was a perfect complement to his populist faith in the common man (in this case, Gable's character), and that inspired combination makes this film both a spirited entertainment and an uplifting experience.


It Happened One Night - Columbia Best Pictures Collection!!! - Watch a funny movie here

JM

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

Mensaje  JM el Jue Oct 08, 2009 12:33 am

87
The thin man (W.S. Van Dyke, 1934)




The intoxicating chemistry and repartee between the oft-teamed William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles--America's favorite soused detectives--is fully 100-proof in the marvelously witty Thin Man movies. You simply won't find more delightful movie company than Nick and Nora. The title, of course, refers not to Nicky the dick, but to the mysteriously missing scientist he and his lovely partner set out to find. Powell and Loy deliver their sparkling dialog with giddy enthusiasm (and occasionally slurred speech) in this rapid-fire, three-martini suspense comedy directed by famously speedy W.S. Van Dyke and adapted from the novel by Dashiell Hammett. The success of The Thin Man spawned a litter of sequels, including After the Thin Man (featuring a young James Stewart), Another Thin Man (in which a baby is added to the Charles family), Shadow of the Thin Man, The Thin Man Goes Home, and Song of the Thin Man.


JM

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

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