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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 09, 2013 10:31PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Bea, here is your thread to post some info about the movies you watch in the coming year (2013). We had to archive the other thread because it is too large.

We have to ask that you follow the format absolutely and no clips, trailers full length documentaries attached.

You are on number 85 for this year.

This is the format we use: (not optional and there are no links to any personal reviews)

We put in the Month and then we number all of the movies consecutively: - we try to add the cover, Finish Date:, Rating:, then do a short review. I have included a sample.


1. Secretariat

Secretariat The Making of a Champion by William Nack by William Nack OR IMAGE FROM MOVIE TRAILER

Rating: A

Finished: January 2011


Loved this film.

Penny Chenery Tweedy and colleagues guide her long-shot but precocious stallion to set, in 1973, the unbeaten record for winning the Triple Crown.

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Bea | 1830 comments JANUARY 2013

1. The Animal Kingdom (1932, dir. Griffith)
Rating: B-
Finished: January 1, 2013
Review: Sophisticated pre-Code fare about a publisher (Leslie Howard) who has lived for years with an artist (Ann Harding) that has been not only a lover but a kindred spirit and close friend. When the bloom is off the rose, he decides to marry an alluring socialite (Myrna Loy). Based on a Philip Barry play and accordingly quite stagey. The theme is adult even for modern times. What exactly is a woman who uses her sexual favors to get what she wants? What if she also happens to be a wife?

Ann Harding, Leslie Howard, and Myrna Loy - Publicity Still The Animal Kingdom

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Bea | 1830 comments 2. Shanghai Express (1932, dir. von Sternberg)
Rating: B+
Finished: January 2, 2013
Review: It took more than one man to change her name to Shanghai Lily! Excellent movie in which we follow the various passengers on an exciting and dangerous train journey from Peking to Shanghai during the Chinese Civil War. The notorious Shanghai Lily (Marlene Dietrich) meets former lover Capt. Harvey (Colin Brook) on the train and must regain his trust. Some of the other passengers include a mysterious Eurasian (Werner Oland), a beautiful Chinese shady lady (Anna May Wong), and an American gambler (Eugene Pallette). I really enjoyed this one.

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Bea | 1830 comments 3. Boudu Saved from Drowning ("Boudu sauvé des eaux") (1932, dir. Renoir)
Rating: B+
Finished: January 3, 2013
Review: A tramp (Michel Simon) is attempting suicide in the Seine when a romantic bookseller comes to his rescue and kindly offers him bed and board with his family. The tramp proceeds to create anarchy of every kind in the bourgeois household. Although I don't find a lot of humor in destruction, there is enough comedy of manners to make this an enjoyable watch and the film making is masterful.

This was remade as Down and Out in Beverly Hills.

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Bea | 1830 comments 4. Taxi! (1932, dir. Del Ruth)
Rating: B-
Finished: January 4, 2014
Review: An attempt to cash in on Cagney's success in the previous year's The Public Enemy with another tough-guy role, this time as an embattled taxi driver. Unfortunately, Cagney seems to spend more time pushing around his girl friend and later wife, played by Loretta Young, than he does the bad guys. The most fun to be had in this movie is seeing Cagney speak Yiddish and do his first on-screen dancing in a fox trot contest with an uncredited George Raft. (Cagney loses!)

message 6: by Bea (last edited Mar 10, 2013 08:04AM) (new)

Bea | 1830 comments 5. The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932, dir. Brabin and Vidor)
Rating: B
Finished: January 4, 2014
Review: Dr. Fu Manchu (Boris Karloff) schemes to get his hands on the mask and sword of Genghis Kahn. Once these are in his possession, he will be able to call on untold millions of Asians, kill all white men, take their women, and rule the world! The British Secret Service sends a team of scientists on a desperate quest to beat Fu to the goods.

This movie is just a ton of camp fun which I cannot recommend highly enough. It is full of creepy torture, juicy dialogue, and an unforgettable performance by Myrna Loy as Fu's sadistic, nymphomaniac daughter.

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Bea | 1830 comments 6. Life Begins (1932, dir. Flood and Nugent)
Rating: B-
Finished: January 5, 2012
Review: Vignettes of life on the maternity ward. The principal story concerns a young prison inmate (a blonde Loretta Young) who has come to give birth and her husband (Eric Linden). With Glenda Farrell as a reluctant mother of twins and Aline MacMahon as the sympathetic head nurse. The pre-Code conditions allowed the film to be more realistic than the same story would be later but it's still on the melodramatic side. It's shocking to modern sensibilities to see X-rays being routinely given to the expectant mothers and Glenda Farrell drinking up a storm!

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Bea | 1830 comments 7. One Hour with You (1932, dir. Lubitsch and Cukor)
Rating: B-
Finished: January 5, 2013
Review: Andre (Maurice Chevalier) and Colette (Jeanette MacDonald) are still madly in love after three years of marriage. But Colette's best friend Mitzi (Genevieve Tobin) sets her cap for Andre, aided by her husband (Roland Young) who wants a divorce and all hell breaks loose. With Charlie Ruggles as Andre's best friend, who has a yen for Colette. There is nothing wrong with this movie and it certainly has the Lubitsch touch in spades. The songs are also quite nice. I just personally had a hard time finding the infidelity premise all that funny.

"Isn't he cute?"

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Bea | 1830 comments 8. No Man of Her Own (1932, dir. Ruggles)
Rating: B-
Finished: January 6, 2013
Review: Clark Gable plays a card shark who has to lay low in a small town to avoid the vice squad. There he meets the librarian (Carole Lombard) and marries her, more or less on impulse. This light romance is the only time Gable and Lombard appeared together in a movie, years before they fell in love. I thought their screen chemistry was excellent. Lombard still needed to work a bit on her comic timing.

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Bea | 1830 comments 9. Rain (1932, dir. Milestone)
Rating: B
Finished: January 7, 2013
Review: A varied group of passengers is stranded on a South Sea island when the ship has an outbreak of cholera. A preacher (Walter Huston) takes it upon himself to save or drive out Sadie Thompson (Joan Crawford), a prostitute in their midst. This is based on a stage play and it shows, though the director does a heroic job in maintaining visual interest. The performances are impressive. Huston in particular made me want to smack him, which was exactly what was called for by the script.

[image error]

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Bea | 1830 comments 10. Polly of the Circus (1932, dir. Santell)
Rating: B-
Finished: January 8, 2013
Review: Polly (Marion Davies) falls during her trapeze act and is taken to the home of the local minister (Clark Gable) to recover. During her convalescence they fall in love, but can a cleric and a circus performer sucessfully wed? With C. Aubrey Smith as a disapproving bishop. Pleasant enough romantic comedy. Davies acquits herself well.

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Bea | 1830 comments 11. White Zombie (1932, dir. Halperin)
Rating: B-
Finished: January 8, 2013
Review: Low budget independent film noted for being the first zombie movie, though these zombies do not feed on human flesh but are more or less slaves. A plantation owner falls for a woman who is sailing to Haiti to be married. Once they return to the island, he enlists the help of an evil sugar mill owner (Bela Lugosi) to make her his own. The owner does this by making her a zombie like all the workers at his mill. Fairly effective. Lugosi's performance is very like that in Dracula, with the hypnotic stare.

message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you for the adds and the format.

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Bea | 1830 comments 12. The Blood of a Poet ("Le sang d'un poète") (1932, dir. Cocteau)
Rating: C??
Finished: January 9, 2013
Finished: I am not really qualified to rate or review this surrealist film, which I did not understand or particularly like.

12 b. Jean Cocteau: Autobiography of an Unknown ("Jean Cocteau: Autoportrait d'un inconnu") (1985, dir. Cozarinsky)
Rating: B+
Finished: January 9, 2013
Review: On the other hand, I really enjoyed this documentary on Cocteau's amazing life. The film is narrated by Cocteau and discusses his work with the Ballets Russes, famous friends including Picasso, Satie, Chanel, etc., poetry, films, and murals. The narration is beautifully poetic. The documentary can be found on the Criterion Collection DVD of The Blood of a Poet.

Detail from Jean Cocteau wall painting of chapel at Villefranche

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Bea | 1830 comments 13. The Blue Light ("Das blaue Licht") (1932, dir. Riefenstahl)
Rating: B-
Finished: January 10, 2013
Review: This is the legend of Junta, a mountain girl, told in one long flashback. Junta (Leni Riefenstahl) is persecuted by the villagers in the Italian alps because she alone can scale the peak where the blue light shines on full-moon nights while the village boys all fall to their deaths. Thus, Junta is forced to wander dressed in revealing rags until she is befriended by a German mountaineer. This movie is very beautiful but strange.

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Bea | 1830 comments 14. The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933, dir. Korda)
Rating: B+
Finished: January 11, 2013
Review: The first time I saw this movie was in drama class many moons ago when I was in high school. I can still vividly recall the scene when Charles Laughton's Henry plays cards with Elsa Lanchester's Anne of Cleves. I enjoyed that just as much this time, possibly more. This is a very fun movie and a performance that shows off Laughton's range from comedy to pathos.

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Bea | 1830 comments 15. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse ("Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse")(1933, dir. Lang)
Rating: A-
Finished: January 11, 2013
Review: Criminal mastermind Dr. Mabuse has been confined in an insane asylum for the last decade. Of late, he has turned to scrawling über-terrorist tracts while otherwise maintaining complete catatonia. It is beginning to seem like the only thing standing in the way of a reign of crime is our old friend Commissioner Lohmann from M.

I love the atmosphere of dread Lang creates in this movie and the wonderful performance by Otto Wernicke as Lohmann. Hitler banned the film and you can certainly see why folks might see a similarily between Dr. Mabuse's organization and his own.

[image error]

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Bea | 1830 comments 16. Duck Soup (1933, dir. McCarey)
Rating: B+
Finished: January 12, 2013
Review: Groucho is drafted by Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont returns!) to lead Fredonia and he leads it straight into war with neighboring Sylvania. Chico and Harpo spy for the other sides. This is the one with the mirror gag and the multiple Grouchos. It is the most chaotic outing yet. I laughed but I missed Harpo and Chico performing on their instruments.

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Bea | 1830 comments 17. Life of Pi (2012, dir. Lee)
Rating: A-
Finished: January 14, 2013
Review: Film adaptation of the bestselling novel about, among many other things, the adventures of a devout Indian youth cast adrift at sea for months in the company of a Bengal tiger.

I would not have dreamed that any film could be made of the novel much less one as good as this one. The special effects are utterly amazing. The whole thing is bathed in a kind of magical realist glow such that even when the effecs are not strictly realistic they fit in with the fantastical atmosphere of the piece. I'm not big on CGI but this had me mezmerized. I'm even kind of sorry I didn't see it in 3-D. The actor, a newcomer, who plays the principal Pi character is outstanding.

I was a big fan of the book and I thought that the film posed all the philosophical questions raised there really well so it's not just an effects picture. Highly recommended.

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Bea | 1830 comments 18. The Impossible (2012, dir. Bayona)
Rating: B+
Finished: January 15, 2013
Review: Based on the true story of a family of five who were on vacation at a resort in Thailand when the 2004 tsunami struck. The mother was seriously injured and the family members were separated. The story of how they survived is very moving and the performance by Naomi Watts, who has been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, is superb.

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Bea | 1830 comments 19. Argo (2012, dir. Affleck)
Rating: B+
Finished: January 20, 2013
Review: Based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats who hid out at the Canadian ambassador's residence in Tehran during the Iranian hostage crisis. The diplomats were disguised as the film crew of a fake movie called "Argo". I thought this was a nice combination of fast-paced suspense and witty dialogue. John Goodman and Alan Arkin are excellent as the Hollywood insiders.

message 22: by Bea (last edited Mar 10, 2013 08:21AM) (new)

Bea | 1830 comments 20. King Kong (1933, dir. Cooper and Schoedsack)
Rating: B+
Finished: January 21, 2013
Review: A showman journeys to a mysterious island to film what lurks within. This is the granddaddy of all special effects films and is still pretty amazing for its time. It is hard to imagine how much work must have gone into the elaborate stop-motion animation, matte paintings, and projections needed to make this work. It is impressive that we end up feeling pity for what is, after all, a rubber puppet covered with rabbit fur. The Max Steiner music, one of Hollywood's first purpose-written full-length film scores, adds to the suspense.

It is was fun watching this so close to my viewing of Life of Pi with its CGI tiger and lovingly rendered individual hairs of fur.

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Bea | 1830 comments 20. The Invisible Man (1933, dir. Whale)
Rating: B+
Finished: January 22, 2013
Review: A chemist succeeds in achieving invisibility but goes mad in the process. Claude Rains makes an unforgettable US film debut as the title character with his resonant voice. James Whale again shows his deft hand at mixing wit with violence and doing justice to both. I could live without Una O'Connor's hysterics but what would these movies be without them?

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Bea | 1830 comments 21. Design for Living (1933, dir. Lubitsch)
Rating: A
Finished: January 23, 2013
Review: Expatriates in Paris play house when a commercial artist (Miriam Hopkins) falls for both a playwright (Fredric March) and a painter (Gary Cooper) in this absolutely delightful pre-Code farce. The Ben Hecht screenplay sparkles as bright as the acting and direction. I'm very glad I've finally seen this one.

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Bea | 1830 comments 22. Baby Face (1933, dir. Green)
Rating: B+
Finished: January 24, 2013
Review: Lily (Barbara Stanwyck), a bar maid from the wrong side of the tracks, takes some advice from Nietsche and ruthlessly exploits her sex appeal to get to the top, wrecking the lives of numerous men in the process. This has all the attributes of a pre-Code winner and then some. The DVD included both the pre-release cut and the theatrical release. The film was too strong even in the pre-Code days! Many of Lily's more sordid conquests were excised and the German friend who turned her on to Nietsche becomes a kindly old moralist in the theatrical release. Stanwyck is fabulous in this role which provided some early practice for Phyllis Dietrichson. Recommended.

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Bea | 1830 comments 23. Lady for a Day (1933, dir. Capra)
Rating: B+
Finished: January 24, 2013
Review: Urban fairy tale based on a Damon Runyon story about an apple seller who needs to convince her daughter that she is in high society. With May Robson in an Oscar-nominated performance as Apple Annie, Warren William as the gambler who helps her, Guy Kibbee as her "huband", and Glenda Farrell as a nightclub owner along with tons of other familiar faces. Despite a little schmaltz, this is one of my favorite Capra movies. Robson is just wonderful.

This was remade, less successfully I think, in 1961 as A Pocketful of Miracles with Bette Davis and Glenn Ford.

Ned Sparks, Warren William, and May Robson

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Bea | 1830 comments 24. She Done Him Wrong (1933, dir. Sherman)
Rating: B
Finished: January 25, 2013
Review: Fun, fun comedy based on Mae West's Broadway hit "Diamond Lil" and an early role for Cary Grant as one of her many admirers. It's hard to fathom why this was so shocking in its day. There are plenty of double entendres but it's just bawdy good fun. This is the one where she asks Grant to "Come up sometime and see me."

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Bea | 1830 comments 25. The Kennel Murder Case (1933, dir. Curtiz)
Rating: C+
Finished: January 25, 2013
Review: Locked room mystery starring William Powell as Philo Vance. With Mary Astor as one of the suspects and Eugene Pallette as Police Detective Heath. A workmanlike movie and a pleasant enough way to spend an hour.

William Powell, Eugene Pallette, Jack La Rue, and Helen Vinson

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Bea | 1830 comments 26. The Ghoul (1933, dir. Hunter)
Rating: C+
Finished: January 27, 2013
Review: British potboiler about an Egyptologist (Boris Karloff) who has aquired a jewel called the "Eternal Light" that he believes will give him immortality in the next world. On his death bed he gives his servant (Ernest Thesinger - with Scottish accent and club foot) instructions on his burial and vows to return to murder any who defy his wishes. Of course, the servant promptly robs the corpse and the jewel, which is also immensely valuable, becomes the target of many greedy thieves as well as the legitimate heirs. Also with Cedric Hardwick as a conviving solicitor and Ralph Richardson as a clergyman. The cinematographer was Günther Kramf who shot many German expressionist films including Nosferatu and Pandora's Box and the art director was the renowned Alfred Junge (Picadilly, Black Narcissus).

With this outstanding pedigree one might expect a far better film than is delivered. While the production values are outstanding, all the twist and turns inserted in the plot do not prevent this from dragging badly. The horror is diluted by misguided "comic relief" and some timidity in following through on menace by the Karloff character.

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Bea | 1830 comments 27. Every-Night Dreams (AKA "Each Night I Dream", "Nightfly Dreams" "Yogoto no yume") (1933, dir. Naruse)
Rating: B+
Finished: January 28, 2013
Review: Bleak Japanese silent drama about a young single mother in Depression-era Tokyo who is supporting her son by working as a bar hostess. Her chronically unemployed ex-husband returns and she tries to cheer him from his defeatism. Not a good time but the acting is wonderful and Naruse makes you feel for everyone involved.

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Bea | 1830 comments 28. His Private Secretary (1933, dir. Whitman)
Rating: C-
Finished: January 28, 2013
Review: Utterly predictable and lackluster romatic "comedy" starring John Wayne as an initially spoiled playboy and Evalyn Knapp as the girl who straightens him out. I'm sure this poverty row production would have disappeared by now if it had not featured John Wayne.

As a footnote, this was the very first picture produced by Sam Katzman, who went on to give us 247 other B movies, including such '50's classics as Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.

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Bea | 1830 comments 29. 42nd Street (1933, dir. Bacon)
Rating: A-
Finished: January 29, 2013
Review: 1930's backstage musical bliss. With Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, Ginger Rogers, Una Merkle, Guy Kibbee, Ned Sparks and a bevy of Busby Berkeley beauties.

The part of this movie that always kills me is when Ginger Rogers tells Warner Baxter that she isn't right to take over for the injured Bebe Daniels but that Ruby Keeler is because Ruby is such a great dancer! Such irony ...

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Bea | 1830 comments 30. Queen Christina (1933, dir. Mamoulian)
Rating: B
Finished: January 30, 2013
Review: Biopic about the Swedish queen (Greta Garbo) who gave up her kingdom in exchange for her independence and, at least here, the love of a Spaniard (John Gilbert). With C. Aubrey Smith as her faithful servant, Lewis Stone as a pompous courtier, and Roland Young as a jilted suitor.

I remember really disliking this the first time I saw it. The dialogue and all the acting, including especially Garbo's, seemed really wooden to me. For some reason, this time it was much better. After an unpromising start, the interplay between Garbo and Gilbert captured me and I enjoyed the rest of the film.

Cameraman, Rouben Mamoulian, Greta Garbo, and John Gilbert on the set

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Bea | 1830 comments 31. Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933, dir. LeRoy)
Rating: A
Finished: January 31, 2013
Review: This movie had me when Ginger Rogers started singing in Pig Latin and never let me go! This is chock full of the most madly inventive numbers ever put to film, including Billy Barty as a mischievious infant and the cops on roller skates in "Petting in the Park", the neon violins in "The Shadow Waltz", and the starkly powerful "My Forgotten Man." My personal favorite of the Busby Berkeley musicals and I love them all. With most of the cast of 42nd Street plus Warren William, Joan Blondell, and Aline MacMahon.

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Bea | 1830 comments 32. Dinner at Eight (1933, dir. Cukor)
Rating: A-
Finished: January 31, 2013
Review: Mrs. Jordan (Billie Burke) plans a formal dinner in honor of English aristocrats but nothing works out as planned. It's the depression and everybody has a secret, usually financial. This was MGM's all-star follow-up to the previous year's Grand Hotel. I just love this one. All the actors, including both the Barrymores, do themselves proud but my very favorite is Jean Harlow. The cast includes John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow, Lee Tracy, and Edmund Lowe, and Madge Evans.

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Bea | 1830 comments FEBRUARY

32. Footlight Parade (1933, dir. Bacon)
Rating: B+
Finished: February 1, 2013
Review: A musical comedy director (James Cagney) bends to the times and switches to producting live "prologues" for motion pictures. The third of at least three mind-blowing Busby Berkeley musicals in 1933. With the usual Warner Brothers musical stock company plus Frank McHugh and Hugh Herbert.

[image error]
Art Deco to the max!

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Bea | 1830 comments 33. Passing Fancy ("Dekigokoro")(1933, dir. Ozu)
Rating: B+
Finished: February 1, 2013
Review: A layabout single father and his handsome younger friend happen upon a homeless young woman and arrange a place for her to stay. The father falls for her but she is more interested in the friend. A bittersweet story mostly centering on the bond between the father and his son. This all takes place in the slums of Tokyo. This took a while to get going but once it did it brought tears to my eyes. Some beautiful Ozu touches like the fireworks near the end.

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Bea | 1830 comments 34. The Patriots (AKA "Outskirts", "Okraina") (1933, dir. Barnet)
Rating: B
Finished: February 2, 2013
Review: Early Soviet sound film relating Russian history from 1914-1917 from the perspective of villagers. You know you're in for something different when the first words spoken are by a horse! This covers such events as a strike (most village men seem to be shoemakers), World War I both on the home front and in the trenches, and the final victory of the Revolution. However, Barnet is interested in the personal and the everyday and there is quite a bit of humor in the film. I liked it.

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Bea | 1830 comments 35. Japanese Girls at the Harbor ("Minato no nihon musume) (1933, dir. Shimizu)
Rating: B+
Finished: February 2, 2013
Review: The harbor is Yokohama. Dora and Sunako are inseparable friends until Sunako loses her heart to Henry. Henry, however, turns out to be bad news and Sunako's jealousy of his philandering has consequences that force her to leave town and turn to a life of prostitution. For me, the plot was incidental to the absolutely poetic outdoor shots of Yokohama. This was the first film I've seen by Shimizu and I'm glad I have more in my future.

[image error]

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Bea | 1830 comments 36. The Emperor Jones (1933, dir. Murphy)
Rating: B
Finished: February 3, 2013
Review: Film adaptation of the Eugene O'Neill play starring Paul Robeson as the title character. A pullman porter gets involved with the wrong crowd and accidentally kills a man. He escapes from jail to a Carribean island where he manages to make himself Emperor. Robeson does a good job portraying a man who personifies hubris and, of course, especially shines when he sings.

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Bea | 1830 comments 37. Zero for Conduct ("Zero de conduite") (1933, dir. Vigo)
Rating: A-
Finished: February 4, 2013
Review: Four boys mount a revolution at a boarding school. This is highly inventive short film is full of youthful anarchic energy and some surrealist touches. Boris Kaufman, the cinematographer behind Man with a Movie Camera, provides the striking images. Highly recommended.

Per Wikipedia: Zero for Conduct was first shown on 7 April 1933, and was subsequently banned in France until 15 February 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 them from going out on Sundays.

Though the film was not immediately popular, it has proven to be enduringly influential. François Truffaut paid homage to Zero for Conduct in his 1959 film The 400 Blows. The anarchic classroom and recess scenes in Truffaut's film borrow from Vigo's film, as does a classic scene in which a mischievous group of schoolboys are led through the streets by one of their schoolmasters. Director Lindsay Anderson has acknowledged that his own film if.... was inspired by Zero for Conduct.

message 42: by Bea (last edited Mar 10, 2013 08:42AM) (new)

Bea | 1830 comments 38. Counsellor at Law (1933, dir. Wyler)
Rating: B+
Finished: February 6, 2013
Review: John Barrymore plays a top New York lawyer who had his beginnings as a young immigrant and worked hard to get where he is. The lawyer is crazy about his high society WASP wife. Everything falls apart when he is threatened with disbarrment. With Bebe Daniels as his devoted secretary, Doris Kenyon as the wife, and Melvyn Douglas as a louse.

This may rank as my most dramatic revision of opinion of a film ever. I absolutely hated this movie the first time around and I have no idea why. It is excellent, with law office zingers flying about as fast as in The Front Page, and the performances are outstanding. This is truly the best performance I have witnessed by John Barrymore.

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Bea | 1830 comments 39. I'm No Angel (1933, dir. Ruggles)
Rating: B
Finished: February 6, 2013
Review: Another fun showcase for Mae West's one-liners. In this one, Mae hits the big time in a circus and falls for a tall, dark, and handsome millionare, played by the gorgeous young Cary Grant.

... and they call me Sister Honkey-Tonk

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Bea | 1830 comments 40. The Little Giant (1933, dir. Del Ruth)
Rating: B-
Finished: February 8, 2013
Review: When Roosevelt is elected, beer baron/gangster Bugsy Ahern (Edward G. Robinson) figures Prohibition is on its last legs. So he retires and takes his ill-gotten gains to Santa Barbara, where he aspires to enter high society. He soon discovers that all the racketeers don't carry guns. With Helen Vinson as a society girl with larceny in her heart and Mary Astor as the other kind. This is an OK entertainment but not nearly as funny as I had hoped.

[image error]

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Bea | 1830 comments 41. Little Women (1933, dir. Cukor)
Rating: A-
Finished: February 9, 2013
Review: Film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's timeless classic. I don't know what it is about this story that chokes me up so but I think I cry at every version. This is a particularly good one. Katharine Hepburn was born to play Jo.

message 46: by Bea (last edited Mar 10, 2013 08:47AM) (new)

Bea | 1830 comments 42. Ship of Monsters ("La nave de los monstruos") (1960, dir. Gonzalez)
Rating: ?? Uniqueness factor: A Production values: C-
Finished: February 10, 2013
Review: In the beginning there was the atom (picture) and the galaxy (picture of planet earth). All the men on Venus have died off. Two Venusian women are sent on a mission around the universe to collect and bring back the most beautiful males to bring back to Venus, where one will be selected for breeding. The women travel around the Universe in bathing suits and high heels. The males they have collected so far are non-humanoids. When they arrive on Earth, they meet singing cowboy Laureano and find him the most beautiful of all. Plans go awry when the ladies fight over custody of the cowboy and one of them, not being actually from Venus but from a Vampire planet, decides to side with the monsters and stay on Earth, so she can be Queen!

Decided to take a break from the classics to watch this Mexican original which simply must be seen to be believed. It was pretty darn enjoyable in a perverse way.

Unholy alliance between monster and Beta (vampire planet woman)

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Bea | 1830 comments 43. Midnight Mary (1933, dir. Wellman)
Rating: B-
Finished: February 12, 2013
Review: Mary (Loretta Young) is on trial for murder and the movie is one long flashback as she reflects on how she got where she is. Basically, the lass started out playing on a garbage dump and got a lot of bad breaks that led her to become a gangster's (Ricardo Cortez) moll. She tries to go straight after she meets a rich young man, Tom (Franchot Tone), during a casino hold-up. With Una Merkel as Mary's best friend/fellow moll and Andy Devine as Tom's best friend. This one could have used a less cliched script but the performances are nice, and Young is certainly beautiful and wears lovely gowns.

Loretta Young and Una Merkle

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Bea | 1830 comments 44. International House (1933, dir.Sutherland)
Rating: B
Finished: February 13, 2013
Review: Musical and comic showcase built around the convergence of characters at a Chinese hotel to bid on a new technology ... television. Featuring, among others, W.C. Fields, Burns and Allen, Bela Lugosi, Rudy Vallee, Sterling Hayden, Francis Pangborne, and Cab Calloway. My favorite bits were by fields and Cab Calloway's fantastic rendition of "Reefer Man".

The DVD I watched also contained a good documentary on Fields. Sad to witness another life blighted by alcoholism.

message 49: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1830 comments 45. Picture Snatcher (1933, dir. Bacon)
Rating: B+
Finished: February 14, 2013
Review: When mob boss Danny Kean (James Cagney) is released from prison, he decides to go straight and gets a job as a photographer for a sleezy tabloid. He finds that his gangster skills serve him well as he tries to get stories. With Ralph Bellamy as the City Editor, Patricia Ellis as Danny's girl, and Robert Emmett O'Connor as her policeman father.

This movie just kept getting better and better and Cagney was on top of his game. I really enjoyed it.

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message 50: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1830 comments 46. Apart from You (AKA "After Our Separation"; "Kimi to wakarete") (1933, dir. Naruse)
Rating: B+
Finished: February 14, 2013
Review: An aging geisha continues working so that she can give her son an education. The son is ashamed of his mother and has joined a gang instead of going to school. The mother's young co-worker is working to support her family (headed by a drunken father) and will do anything to save her younger sister from her own fate. The son and the co-worker form a bond that brings mother and son back together. This silent film is a very sensitively done character study. I liked it a lot.

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