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Old 05-29-2018, 11:02 PM   #251
sabotai
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: The Satellite of Love
Working List(s) for 1933.

"Must Watch" Movies
Cavalcade
King Kong
The Private Life of Henry VIII
Morning Glory
Lady for a Day
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
Gold Diggers of 1933
Dinner at Eight
Footlight Parade
Duck Soup
42nd Street
Man's Castle

That's 12. Let me know if there are any movies you guys think of as "must watch" that I missed or think that a movie on my "maybe" list below should get promoted to "must watch". I've spent a good portion of today looking up movies and where to watch them. I'm having trouble tracking down a streaming option for "Lady for a Day", so that one might not make the cut.

"Maybe Watch" Movies
Queen Christina
Secrets (Mary Pickford's last movie so good chance it gets promoted)
Le Tete d'un Homme
Bomshell
Little Women
Alice in Wonderland
The Kennel Murder Case

Japanese Movies
Every-Night Dreams (Naruse)
Apart From You (Naruse)
Passing Fancy (Ozu)
Woman of Tokyo (Ozu)
Dragnet Girl (Ozu)
Japanese Girls at the Harbor (Shimizu)

These are the Japanese movies on FilmStruck and I plan to watch all 6, but again, if any of them are literally silent movies (no music), they'll get the ax. It might seem overkill to watch all of them, but I have non-this-Dynasty reasons for wanting to get a very thorough education on Japanese film history (as a wanna-be writer, trying to get as much exposure to non-Western story telling that I can to hopefully improve my own story telling abilities)
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:43 AM   #252
Brian Swartz
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This is pretty much fantastic. That is all.
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:54 AM   #253
Izulde
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabotai View Post
It might seem overkill to watch all of them, but I have non-this-Dynasty reasons for wanting to get a very thorough education on Japanese film history (as a wanna-be writer, trying to get as much exposure to non-Western story telling that I can to hopefully improve my own story telling abilities)

Which non-Western writers do you read?
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:33 PM   #254
sabotai
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Originally Posted by Izulde View Post
Which non-Western writers do you read?

... uhhhh...that's another area I need to work on. Not many yet. I read "The Three Body Problem" by Liu Cixin earlier this year. That's the most recent.

I have Haruki Murakami's books on my "to read" list, as well as some of the classics of Japanese literature. I've still yet to read any of the Russian (if we're not counting Russian writers as "Western") classics that have been on my bookshelves for years.

So yeah, if you got any suggestions for non-Western literature, I'm all ears.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:33 PM   #255
sabotai
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Originally Posted by Brian Swartz View Post
This is pretty much fantastic. That is all.

Thank you!
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:52 PM   #256
Izulde
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Originally Posted by sabotai View Post
... uhhhh...that's another area I need to work on. Not many yet. I read "The Three Body Problem" by Liu Cixin earlier this year. That's the most recent.

I have Haruki Murakami's books on my "to read" list, as well as some of the classics of Japanese literature. I've still yet to read any of the Russian (if we're not counting Russian writers as "Western") classics that have been on my bookshelves for years.

So yeah, if you got any suggestions for non-Western literature, I'm all ears.

Arg. Damn work logged me out and ate my post. I'll come back to this when I'm at home where I'm perma-logged in.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:19 PM   #257
larrymcg421
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Great stuff. I loved I Am a Fugitive on a Chain Gang. FWIW, my top 10 for 1932 is:

1932

Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch)
I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (Mervyn LeRoy)
American Madness (Frank Capra)
Freaks (Tod Browning)
Me and My Gal (Raoul Walsh)
One Way Passage (Tay Garnett)
The Old Dark House (James Whale)
One Hour With You (Ernst Lubitsch)
I Was Born, But.... (Yasujiro Ozu)
Shanghai Express (Josef Von Sternberg)

Your 1933 to watch list is terrific. I would recommend adding, if they are available:

Counsellor at Law - Solid legal drama with John Barrymore
Queen Christina - On your maybe list. I think it's worth watching.
A Man's Castle - Spencer Tracy is terrific in this.
Design for Living - Great romantic comedy.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:36 PM   #258
sabotai
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Okay, so he's the 'final' list. Can't find Counsellor at Law or Design for Living on a streaming service, and I can't find Lady for a Day on one either, so I'll bump Queen Christina up. I'm also going to include Secrets. It's Mary Pickford's last movie. I feel I gotta have it in. Also, all 6 Japanese movies have sound (music). So hurrah! Lots of Japanese movies this year.

Movie List for 1933

Cavalcade - Oscar Winner Best Picture
Drama, directed by Frank Lloyd. Starring Diana Wynyrd and Clive Brook

Passing Fancy - Kinema Junpo Award for Best Film
Drama, directed by Ozu Yasujirō. Starring Sakamoto Takeshi, Fushimi Nobuko, Obinata Den

The Private Life of Henry VIII - Oscar Winner Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Picture Nominee
Bio-Pic, directed by Alexander Korda, Starring Charles Laughton, Robert Donat, Merle Oberon

Morning Glory - Oscar Winner Best Actress in a Leading Role
Drama, directed by Lowell Sherman. Starring Katherine Hepburn, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Adolphe Menjou

42nd Street - Oscar Nominee for Best Picture
Musical, directed by Lloyd Bacon. Starring Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent

King Kong
Monster Movie, directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. Starring Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot and Robert Armstrong

Queen Christina
Bio-Pic, directed by Rouben Mamoulian. Starring Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
Crime, directed by Fritz Lang. Starring Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Otto Wernicke

Gold Diggers of 1933
Musical Comedy, directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Starring Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon

Dinner at Eight
Comedic Drama, directed by George Cukor. Starring Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery

Footlight Parade
Musical, directed by Lloyd Bacon. Starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keller

Duck Soup
Comdey, directed by Leo McCarey. Starring The Marx Brothers

Man's Castle
Drama, directed by Frank Borzage. Starring Spencer Tracy, Loretta Young

Secrets
Western, directed by Frank Borzage. Starring Mary Pickford, Leslie Howard, C. Aubrey Smith

Every-Night Dreams
Drama, directed by Naruse Mikio. Starring Kurishima Sumiko, Saitō Tatsuo, Yoshikuwa Mitsuko

Apart From You
Drama, directed by Naruse Mikio. Starring Yoshikuwa Mitsuko, Isono Akio, Mizukubo Sumiko

Woman of Tokyo
Drama, directed by Ozu Yasujirō. Starring Okada Yoshiko, Egawa Ureo

Dragnet Girl
Gangster/Crime, directed by Ozu Yasujirō. Starring Tanaka Kinuyo, Oka Joji, Mizukubo Sumiko

Japanese Girls at the Harbor
Drama, directed by Shimizu Hiroshi. Starring Oikawa Michiko, Inoue Yukiko, Egawa Ureo
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:45 PM   #259
sabotai
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42nd Street (1933)



Directed By: Lloyd Bacon, Busby Berkely
Written By: Rian James, James Seymour
Starring: Warner Baxter, Ruby Keeler, Bebe Daniels, Dick Powell, George Brent
Length: 89 min.
Genre: Musical / Backstage Musical
Based On: The Novel "42nd Street" by Bradford Ropes

Oscar Nominee for Best Picture


We start off 1933 with the movie that's credited for starting off the musical craze of the 1930s as well as saving the Warner Bros. studio from bankruptcy.

The production of a new musical called "Pretty Lady" is starting up and Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter) is hired to direct it. Peggy Sawyer (Ruby Keeler) is new in town and dreams of making it in the city. With the help of two actresses, she makes it onto the production. The show's juvenile lead, Billy Lawyer (Dick Powell), takes an interest in Peggy right from the moment she accidentally walked in on him changing.

The show's star, Dorothy Brock (Bebe Danials) spends her time giving the old financial backer of the show some attention, but is secretly involved with Pat Denning (George Brent). When Marsh notices this, he contacts some mobster friends of his to rough up Pat. Following this episode, Pat and Dorothy break off their relationship and Pat leaves for Philadelphia. During this time, however, Pat had also been showing interest in Peggy Sawyer.

Rehearsals for the show go on and on. The show looks and feels like it's going to be a dud. As the show nears opening night, the director drops a bomb on his cast...they're going to open in Philadelphia, which apparently is a fucking terrible thing. And then the night before opening, Dorothy breaks her ankle. Peggy is recruited to fill in. The movie ends on a few musical numbers, and Peggy is an instant star.

It's not something I'd consider "Best Picture", but it was an okay movie. I'm not someone who typically goes for musicals. My biggest complaint is that the musical scenes in musicals tend to go on for way too long (and I usually don't like the music to begin with). But, I'm sure people who are fans of musicals love that, so I'm not exactly the target audience for these. Having said that, I thought it was a decent movie.

This movie does appear on a few of the AFI's lists from the mid 2000s. They ranked it the 13th best musical in 2006, ranked the song "42nd Street" as the 97th best song, and gave the line "Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!" 87th on its list of 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes.

My Rating: 6/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.6/10 (9k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 95% of Critics (21-1), 74% of Audience (3.6 / 5 ; 7k votes)
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:04 PM   #260
sabotai
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The Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)



Directed By: Mervyn LeRoy, Busby Berkely
Written By: Erwin S. Gelsey, James Seymour
Starring: Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell
Length: 96 min.
Genre: Musical Comedy
Based On: The Play "The Gold Diggers" which ran from 1919 to 1920


More of a comedy than 42nd Street, a lot of the humor in this movie is very out-dated. But, I still found some of it funny.

The movie is about a group of women trying to make it big in theater. They get word that a producer they've worked with before is putting on a new show. It'll be about the working man and the depression. The only problem is he has no funding.

A man who lives across the alley is a piano player and singer, and is dating one of the girls. He's trying to make it with his music, and the producer hears him playing. The producer loves the music and wants him to write the songs. And sing! But, the young man declines to sing in the show, but will create the music. And after hearing about the producer needing money, claims he can get it. No one believes him, and the next day he's late, but he does show up with the money. The gang suspects foul play.

Turns out, the young starving artist is actually wealthy, and that comes to light after the show when the young songwriter had to participate in the musical. The songwriter's rich older brother and his even older associate demand that the relationship be called off.

Comedy twist, they make this demand to the wrong girl. Hilarity ensues as the younger brother tells the girls to keep stringing the older brother and older associate along. They do, but people start catching feelings. The movie ends with a super mega happy ending.

I actually enjoyed this movie, despite the really outdated comedy. The first several scenes are the most brutal when it comes to that, but once the film hits its stride, when the older brother comes into it, it becomes quite humorous.

This musical is where the song "We're in the Money" comes from, and I'm sure just reading that title put the song in your head. You're welcome.

My Rating: 7/10
IMDB User Rating: 8.0/10 (6k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% of Critics (10-0), 86% of Audience (4 / 5 ; 2k votes)
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:17 PM   #261
sabotai
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Footlight Parade (1933)



Directed By: Lloyd Bacon, Busby Berkeley
Written By: Manuel Seff, James Seymour
Starring: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell
Length: 102 min.
Genre: Musical Comedy


This is a talking picture about how a musical director deals with how the talking pictures are destroying musical theater.

Chester Kent (James Cagney) gets an idea on how to 'mass produce' prologues, short live musicals put on before the movie begins. He works constantly and his partners are hiding the profits. On top of that, their main rival keeps stealing his ideas.

Nan (Joan Blondell), his secretary, is in love with him. But when Kent meets her roommate, he falls for the roommate. Nan didn't hold back the insults at her throughout the movie either. "As long as there are sidewalks, you'll have a job." = how I know this is a pre-Code movie.

Once again Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell play supporting characters who end up falling in love.

The business is on the verge of collapse, but they have one last chance. They need to impress an owner of a chain of theaters to buy their prologues with 3 performances in one night. Kent locks everyone in the practice theater to prevent leaks and they practice night and day.

Nan finds out about the partners stealing from her boss, so she blackmails them to help Kent out of a bind (his ex-wife who isn't technically an ex-wfie showed up demanding money). But then she turns around and tells Kent about his partners stealing form him, and he does not take the news well. And Nan's roommate who Kent fell for? Yeah, she was just in it for the money and Kent eventually realized that. He storms out in the middle of practices, but returns soon after as he's struck by inspiration. The exhausting practices become even more exhausting until the night of the performances.

And that's when, if you're not a fan of musicals, this film comes to a total screeching halt. Up until this point, the movie wasn't really a musical at all. Some brief singing here and there, but no musical numbers at all. I was rather enjoying the movie. A lot.

The last half hour or so was nothing but 3 back-to-back-to-back long ass musical numbers. It certainly didn't help that the first one called "Honeymoon Hotel" was by far the worst of three IMO. That started this half-marathon of musical performances off on a bad foot. The second, "By the Waterfall" was okay. The third, called "Shanghai Lil", features Cagney singing as his character went on instead of the main singer who refused to perform because he was too drunk.

So really, this was a 70 minute long movie with 30 minutes of musical performances at the end. Other than successfully impressing the theater owner at the end, absolutely nothing of narrative importance happens in the last 30 minutes. The first 70 minutes were great, the last 30 was a total drag.

The movie was a massive success though. Without the revenue generated by 42nd Street, The Gold Diggers of 1933 and Footlight Parade, there wouldn't be a Warner Bros. today.

My Rating: 6/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.7/10 (3k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% of Critics (9-0), 83% of Audience (3.9 / 5 ; 1k votes)
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:32 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by sabotai View Post
This musical is where the song "We're in the Money" comes from, and I'm sure just reading that title put the song in your head. You're welcome.


Oh god damn you!
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Old 06-30-2018, 09:28 PM   #263
sabotai
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港の日本娘 (1933)
Minato no Nihon musume
English Title: Japanese Girls at the Harbour




Directed By: Shimizu Hiroshi
Written By: Mitsuru Suyama, Toma Kitabayashi (story)
Starring: Oikawa Michiko, Yukiko Inoue, Ranko Sawa, Ureo Egawa
Length: 72 min.
Genre: Drama


The story centers around, as the title indicates, a group of girls in the harbor city of Yokohama. Sunako and Dora are students at a Catholic girls school who are best friends. They always walk together to and from school. They're always going to be close in each other's lives.

The third girl, Yoko Sheridan is a more...let's say...experienced girl. And all three have caught the attention of a young man name Henry. Between Sunako and Dora, Sunako is more successful at gaining his attention, and Dora, while hurt at first, refuses to let a boy come between her and her friend. Yoko Sheridan, on the other hand, is ruthless in her attempts to win Henry.

This drives Sunako crazy. She can't accept it. While Henry is with Yoko Sheridan late one night at the church, Sunako shows up and shoots her. Sunako flees.

Cut to years later. Sunako has moved around from city to city, and eventually makes her way back to Yokohama, reluctantly at first. With her is Miura, a painter who follows Sunako around like a puppy dog. Sunako, a nice girl before all this, has become a dancing girl. She works in bars, dances with men...probably other things the movie never shows. She acts happy around others, but she's hit rock bottom.

Back in Yokohama, Henry runs into Sunako. Henry had married Dora. Now that Sunako is back, Dora is intent on trying to be friends again. Henry seems to regain his interest in Sunako. The rest of the movie is the back and forth as they try and try not to be in each other's lives. Henry starts hitting the bottle hard, Dora is at the end of her rope with him. Sunako finds Henry in a bar, takes him back to Dora, and leaves for good. She leaves, accompanied by Miura, on a ship leaving Yokohama.

A bittersweet ending with Sunako leaving behind most of the people in her life, but determined to improve her life.

I really enjoyed the story, and the movie overall. I feel like I'm becoming a broken record, but again, here I am, pointing out creative use of the camera and editing and how much I enjoyed it. Maybe I should have become a cinematographer...

My Rating: 7/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.0/10 (460 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A Critics, 67% of Audience (3.6 / 5 ; 100 votes)
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:21 PM   #264
sabotai
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Dinner at Eight (1933)



Directed By: George Cukor
Written By: Frances Marion, Herman J. Mankiewicz
Starring: Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow, Lionel Barrymore, Billie Burke
Length: 113 min.
Genre: Drama


See, I thought the actress who played Glinda, the Good Witch of the North(Billie Burke), in The Wizard of Oz talked that way because the Good Witch was supposed to majestic ... nope, that's just how see talks.

Oliver (Lionel Barrymore) is the head of a shipping company that's falling on hard times. Every one is, it is the Great Depression after all. He wants Dan Packard (Wallace Beery) to buy some stock to help the company out, but he says he'll consider it but doesn't commit. Meanwhile, Oliver's wife, Glinda the Good Witch of the North, decides to throw a dinner party and invites the top of their social ladder.

The movie is mostly about the intertwined social connections of the guests for the dinner party. There's Kitty (Jean Harlow) who is Dan Packard's wife, but is having an affair with a doctor who is also invited to the dinner party. Oliver and Glinda's daughter is secretly involved with Larry Renault (John Barrymore), a movie star - also invited to the party. Carlotta Vance (Marie Dressler) is a former stage star who currently lives in Europe but is in town for financial reasons and is a former love interest for Oliver's - and the interest doesn't seem to have faded by the way he interacts with her.

And so it's one whole mess. Most of the characters are once wealthy people who have fallen on bad times. I can see how it appealed to the masses for its time. A bunch of once wealthy people trying to continue to live like they're wealthy, usually ending in a terrible consequence. Larry Renault can't take not being on top so much that he kills himself.

Overall, the movie didn't do much for me.

My Rating: 5/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.8/10 (6k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% Critics (17-0), 74% of Audience (3.7 / 5 ; 2k votes)
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:46 PM   #265
sabotai
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King Kong (1933)



Directed By: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Written By: James Creelman, Ruth Rose
Starring: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot
Length: 100 min.
Genre: Monster Movie


A filmmaker is looking for a young actress for his upcoming movie, but he has a reputation for going to far off places to film and this time, he won't even tell anyone where he's going. No one will agree to the gig. He ends up finding a down on her luck woman and offers her the role. On the way to the unknown location, the ship's first mate falls in love with her. We're not really shown any of that.

The movie up until they get to the island was excruciatingly boring, poorly written, poorly acted.

Then they get to the island, the natives kidnap the 'golden woman' and give her to King Kong. The movie finally begins. The filmmaker and the ship's crew run into the jungle after Kong to rescue her. Lots of fight scene with Kong vs. other massive monsters ensue. When the crew catches up to Kong, they don't stand a chance. He playfully shakes them of a fallen tree and down into a crevasse to their deaths. Only the filmmaker and first mate survive.

The filmmaker runs back to the ship to get more men and supplies. The first mate continues to follow Kong, waiting for his chance. A few more monster fights later, he manages to save her and they run back to the village. Kong chases and, eventually, the crew manages to knock out Kong with a gas bomb.

They take Kong back to New York, put him on display and he escapes. He finds his golden woman, takes her up a skyscraper where he's shot down.

I've seen several of the remakes and psuedo-remakes over the years, but not the original. I though the entire 2005 version was brutally boring, so I went in thinking I wasn't going to like this one. I did, though. It was, once they got to the island, an enjoyable monster movie. The dialog was cheesy and the acting wooden, but nice visual effects on the fight scenes and Kong's rampage.

My Rating: 7/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.9/10 (71k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 98% Critics (55-1), 86% of Audience (3.7 / 5 ; 89k votes)
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:33 PM   #266
sabotai
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Queen Christina (1933)



Directed By: Rouben Mamoulian
Written By: Ben Hecht
Starring: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith
Length: 97 min.
Genre: Drama / Romance


King Gustav dies on the battlefield during the 30 Years War in 1632, and Christina is named queen at the age of six. Fast forward a few decades, and Queen Christina (Greta Garbo) welcomes home her cousin and battlefield hero Karl. He's also the latest possible candidate to marry Queen Christina. She deflects that while carrying on a secret love affair with Count Magnus (Ian Keith).

She takes off one day to go horseback riding in normal clothes. She has a few run ins with a group of Spaniards headed by Antonio (John Gilbert). He mistakes her for a man due to her clothes...you know, despite the fact that she looks like Greta fucking Garbo. They end up sharing a room for the night, Antonio finds out about her being a woman, and they fall in love.

Antonio is in the country to present the Queen with an offer a marriage to the Spanish King. At the inn, Antonio finds out the person he's run into a few times was a woman. It's not until he shows up in the capital that he finds out she's the Queen. The Queen doesn't accept the offer, but the Spanish envoy stays as guest of Christina and so the love affair continues.

Magnus gets the people to turn on Christina. "Why are the Spanish still here!?" they say. In the end, the Spanish envoy is forced to leave. Christina then abdicates the throne to her cousin Karl and leaves the country. She intended to leave with Antonio, but he got himself killed when he dueled Magnus and lost. And so she leaves alone headed for Spain.

It was a decent romantic historic drama. The ending was pure fiction, though. The real Queen Christina did abdicate, but she went to Rome and converted to Catholicism. Antonio is based on a real person, and there were rumors of their involvement, but he wasn't killed in Sweden and continued to serve Spain to the 1670s.

This was one of the last moves for John Gilbert. He goes on to act in The Captain Hates the Sea (1934), but that would be it. Years of alcoholism took its toll on Gilbert's health. In December 1935, he would suffer a heart attack and then a second heart attack a month later would be fatal. He was 36 years old when he died.


My Rating: 6/10

IMDB User Rating: 7.8/10 (6k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 89% Critics (17-2), 84% of Audience (3.9 / 5 ; 3k votes)
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:01 PM   #267
sabotai
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Man's Castle (1933)



Directed By: Frank Borzage
Written By: Jo Swerling
Starring: Spencer Tracy, Loretta Young
Length: 75 min.
Genre: Drama / Romance
Based On: The play "Man's Castle" by Lawrence Hazard


Dinner at Eight was a look at how the rich were handling the Great Depression, Man's Castle is a look at the poor.

Bill (Spencer Tracy) and Trina (Loretta Young) meet on a bench in a park. He's well dressed and she hasn't eaten for days. He takes her to a restaurant but at the end of their meal, he tells the manager he will not pay for he has no money. After getting kicked out, Bill informs Trina that the reason he looks so well dressed is because his suit is an advertisement. The words "Gilsey House Coffee" lights up on his shirt.

Bill lets Trina live with him in a shanty town where he's been staying. He doesn't like to be tied down to a place, but Trina falls in love with him and that drives the main romantic conflict. Once things get real, Bill has a desire to take off. And things keep getting more real until eventually Trina gets pregnant.

That's it for Bill. He decides to take off, but only after he leaves a good amount of money behind for Trina. He takes his neighbor Bragg up on his plan to rob the safe at a toy factory where Bragg works. The plan goes wrong, Bill ends up not only shot, but double crossed by Bragg who sets off the alarm. Bragg, you see, wants Trina for himself.

Bill escapes and Bragg is shot dead by Flossie, a friend of Bill and Trina's, to keep him from going to the police. Bill and Trina leave the city together.

I liked the movie a lot. There was one major issue I had with it, though. Bill is a thoroughly unlikable character. He basically treats Trina like shit, but she still falls for him. In at least 90% of their interactions, if he's not putting her down, he's threatening to smack her around. But hey, at least he didn't rape her.

But larry was right, overall this movie was far and away better than that trainwreck garbage of a movie A Farewell To Arms. This actually had character arcs, subplots, good acting and consistent and well timed pacing. I just could not stand the main character.

I'm also wondering if I just hate Spencer Tracy. Just the way he talked in the movie was annoying, and I hated him in 20,000 Years in Sing-Sing as well.

My Rating: 7/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.4/10 (1k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A Critics (4-0), 76% of Audience (3.9 / 5 ; 245 votes)
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:48 PM   #268
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東京の女 (1933)
Tokyo no Onna
English Title: Woman of Tokyo




Directed By: Ozu Yasujirō
Written By: Noda Kōgo
Starring: Okada Yoshiko, Egawa Ureo
Length: 45 min.
Genre: Family Drama


A short movie Ozu made in between shooting Dragnet Girl and Passing Fancy.

Ryoichi (Egawa Ureo) is a student and he lives with his older sister Chikako (Okada Yoshiko). She works two jobs, one in an office and the other helping a professor, in order to pay for her brother's education.

But the police show up at her work and start asking her employer questions. Turns out Chikako's night job isn't what she says. It quickly gets to Ryoichi's girlfriend who then tells Ryoichi. Ryoichi confronts his sister who confesses that she lives an immoral life to pay for his schooling. Ryoichi commits suicide. Chikako and Ryoichi's girlfriend mourn and deflect attempts by reporters to get a scoop.

This movie was very heavy handed in its theme. It can definitely be described as "preachy". Some of Ozu's signature low angle shots during transitions, but overall, just an average movie.

My Rating: 5/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.2/10 (639 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A Critics, 92% of Audience (3.8 / 5 ; 34 votes)
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:14 PM   #269
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非常線の女 (1933)
Hijōsen no Onna
English Title: Dragnet Girl




Directed By: Ozu Yasujirō
Written By: Ikeda Tadao
Starring: Tanaka Kinuyo, Oka Joji, Mizukubo Sumiko
Length: 100 min.
Genre: Crime/Family Drama


Joji (Oka Joji) is the leader of a small band of gangsters. Hiroshi wants to join his gang, but Hiroshi's sister, Kazuko (Mizukubo Sumiko) asks him to reject her brother so he'll go straight. Joji takes an interest in Kazuko, which causes his current girlfriend, Tokiko (Tanaka Kinuyo) to become insanely jealous. So much so that she nearly kills Kazuko.

But then crazy jumps all the way to other side and Tokiko tries to act all domestic and begs Joji to give up his life of crime. There's a problem. Hiroshi has gotten himself into a lot of trouble. Joji and Tokiko pull one last job to help him.

The job is done and Hiroshi is saved, but the cops are on Joji and Tokiko before they could escape, largely to Tokiko's desire to just turn themselves in, pay for their crimes, and then go straight. Joji keeps trying to flee, Tokiko keeps trying to get him to turn himself in. When he finally decides to just leave her behind, she shoots him. The cops find them and arrest them.

This was another heavy handed movie. The ending went on for way too long and it was quite preachy as well. I like the way Ozu shoots his movies. The camera lingers on characters in an effective and dramatic way. But, overall, this was just another average film.

My Rating: 5/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.1/10 (512 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:34 PM   #270
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Unfortunately, I didn't get to Secrets before it was taken off of Filmstruck and I can't find it anywhere else. So it looks like Mary Pickford's final movie is getting chopped off the list.

That leaves: Cavalcade, Passing Fancy, The Private Life of Henry VIII, Morning Glory, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, Duck Soup, Every-Night Dreams, and Apart From You

Eight more to go. I didn't intend for 1933 to last this long. In fact, a few weeks ago I was meaning to have a few movie marathons to get through the year and onto 1934 around the beginning of August....but then Rimworld happened.
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Old 08-26-2018, 12:09 PM   #271
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Morning Glory (1933)



Directed By: Lowell Sherman
Written By: Howard J. Green
Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. , Adolphe Menjou
Length: 74 min.
Genre: Drama
Based On: The play "Morning Glory" by Zo Akins

1934 Oscar Winner - Best Actress in a Leading Role, Katharine Hepburn


A young, naive and ambitious girl from a small town named Eva Lovelace (Katharine Hepburn) tries to make it on Broadway.

The movie starts off at the office of Easton's theater. Eva Lovelace is there to talk to Easton about his upcoming play. Louis Easton (Adolphe Menjou) is the owner of the theater and is the one making all the decisions. Joseph Sheridan (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) is a playwright who is writing Easton's newest comedy. Rita Vernon is Easton's main star. She is played by Mary Duncan, last seen on this journey in the movie City Girl (1930) and won't be seen again as this was her last movie. And finally, Robert Hedges, played by C. Aubrey Smith, is an old actor who is there to speak to Easton about a small role in his upcoming play.

So the first sequence introduces everyone and ends with Eva finally getting her chance to talk to Easton. He tells her they have nothing for her but to keep in touch.

Montage.

The next scene sees Robert Hedges finding Eva at a diner. He had agreed to tutor her on her acting and this scene, apparently, takes place several months after the first. He takes her to a dinner party hosted by Easton. When they arrive, she apologizes for not not doing well in that role her gave her.

What?

And so the movie goes on like this. It becomes clear after looking up information on this movie that this was a terrible case of sticking too closely to the source material. There are two main jumps in time (shown badly as montages), the one following the first scene, and the one following the dinner party. After both jumps, they spend a considerable amount of time bringing the audience up to speed on what happened. It's a movie, not a stage play, just film what happened! This movie skips over all of the character development.

Even besides that issue, the movie was pretty bad. Everything besides the acting was terrible. The only possible reason to watch this would be to see Hepburn, Fairbanks Jr. and Menjou do their best with terrible material. And even then, not the best performances I've seen from them.

My Rating: 3/10
IMDB User Rating: 6.6/10 (2k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 67% Critics (6-3), 46% of Audience (3.3 / 5 ; 827 votes)
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:36 PM   #272
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The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933)



Directed By: Alexander Korda
Written By: Lajos Br, Arthur Wimperis
Starring: Charles Laughton, Binnie Barnes, Robert Donat
Length: 97 min.
Genre: Comedic Drama


Skipping Catherine of Aragon, this movie was about Henry and his wives. It begins with the execution of Anne Boleyn and Henry's marriage to Jane Seymour. She dies in childbirth and Henry eventually agrees to marry again, this time to Anne of Cleves.

Until this point, the movie to me was really flat. Not funny nor dramatic. Just very boring. But then Anne of Cleves comes on the scene and she is pretty funny. She intentionally makes ugly faces to repulse Henry for she never wanted to marry him. Nor him her. It was a political marriage forced on both.

The scene with Henry and Anne playing cards on their wedding night was easily the best scene of the movie. Quite funny with Anne making her faces and beating Henry over and over. In the end, Henry says he can't stay married to such a woman, and she negotiates a settlement for annulment right there with him.

Then Henry marries Katherine Howard, who is carrying on an affair with one of Henry's courtiers, Thomas Culpeper. They are eventually found out and executed.

Henry finally marries Catherine Parr, who essentially mothers him.

A popular movie with high ratings, it was just an average movie overall. It gets off to such a slow, boring start, hits paydirt with the Henry - Anne of Cleves scenes, and then settles into an okay, average movie the rest of the way.

My Rating: 6/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.2/10 (3k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% Critics (14-0), 75% of Audience (3.5 / 5 ; 1k votes)
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Old 09-20-2018, 09:38 PM   #273
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君と別れて (1933)
Kimi to wakarete
English Title: Apart From You




Directed By: Naruse Mikio
Written By: Naruse Mikio
Starring: Yoshikawa Mitsuko, Isono Akio, Mizukubo Sumiko
Length: 61 min.
Genre: Drama


Yoshikawa Mitsuko plays Kikue, an aging geisha with a son, Yoshio (Isono Akio), who is ashamed for his mother's profession. Terugiku (Sumiko Mizukubo) is a younger geisha who is close with Kikue.

Yoshio is hanging with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble. Kikue tries to get through to him, but he keeps getting more and more into trouble. Terugiku takes Yoshio to visit her family. There, she reveals that she hates being a geisha, doesn't want her sister to be a geisha and ends up in a terrible fight with her family.

After seeing how hard being a geisha has been for Terugiku, and realizing his mother was making the same sacrifice for him, Yoshio agrees to leave the gang. They don't let him off easy and a fight ensues. Terugiku tries to intervene and ends up getting stabbed. She recovers, but moves away to save her sister while Yoshio stays behind to take care of his mother.

I really liked this movie. The acting was superb. Just the right amount of emoting for silent film, but it never goes over the top., thanks in part to lots of close ups. The reveal that Terugiku hated being a geisha (with hints of it dropped before hand), and the blow up with her family, effectively added a whole layer of drama to the story.

Naruse also fine tuned his zoom-in technique. In No Blood Relation it would often lose focus, but it held on to it in this movie, even though I did think he did it a few too many times.

As of now, I'd rate this my favorite Japanese silent movie.

My Rating: 8/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.2/10 (386 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A Critics, 100% of Audience (4.1 / 5 ; 22 votes)
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:07 PM   #274
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出来ごころ (1933)
Dekigokoro
English Title: Passing Fancy




Directed By: Ozu Yasujirō
Written By: Ikeda Tadao, Yasujirō Ozu (under his alias James Maki)
Starring: Sakamoto Takeshi, Fushimi Nobuko, Obinata Den, Iida Chouko, Kozo Takkan
Length: 101 min.
Genre: Drama

1934 Kinema Junp Awards: Winner for Best Film


Kihachi (Sakamoto Takeshi) works at a brewery with his friend Jiro (Obinata Den), and is a single parent to his son, Tomio (Kozo Takkan). The movie starts, as Ozu's films often do, with a comedic scene. This one involves the three at a rōkyoku theater. An empy wallet gets passed around as person after person sees it, looks inside, finds it empty and then tosses it away. Eh, this was a miss for me.

The plot begins soon after as they and find a young woman, Harue (Fushimi Nobuko) begging. Kihachi takes a liking to her, while Jiro does not. Kihachi sets her up at his friend's restaurant. Kihachi makes several attempts to get Harue to notice him, but she tells him that she sees him like an uncle. Eventually Otome, the restaurant owner, asks Kihachi to help her set Harue up with Jiro. Kihachi agrees. But Jiro, who has been nothing but an asshole towards Harue, rejects the idea. And keeps being cold towards Harue.

After Kihachi's son becomes very sick, Jiro has a sudden change of heart, but he borrows money to give to Kihachi to pay his medical bills. To pay back the money, he decides to go to Hokkaido for higher paying work. Kihachi stops him and takes his place, leaving his son in the care of Otome. On the boat to Hokkaido just as it leaves, Kihachi realizes he's making a mistake in leaving his son, jumps off the boat and swims back to shore. The end.

The really liked most of the movie, but it got off to weak start and I thought the last Act, Jiro's sudden change and Kahichi running off to Hokkaido, felt like a non-organic way to build drama at the end.

I really like Takeshi's performance as Kihachi. He was a regular in Ozu's movies. He played Kennosuke's boss in I Was Born, But... and he played the old employee that Okajima stands up for in Tokyo Chorus. Over the next two years, he'll play a character named Kihachi in 2 more Ozu movies, but it's not really a trilogy. It seems the actor and the character name is the same, but the story, family situation, etc. are all different.

My Rating: 7/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.5/10 (1k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A Critics, 72% of Audience (3.7 / 5 ; 145 votes)
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:30 PM   #275
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Well this sucks.


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Old 10-30-2018, 06:44 PM   #276
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Okay, so, this royally sucks. Filmstruck quickly became my second favorite streaming service, behind Netlix, and it's soon to be gone.

I'm still going to do this dynasty, because I enjoy the gimmick of watching these movies in chronological-ish order and writing up short reviews, but it's going to be on hold a bit.

I've got 'til Novermber 29th, when Filmstruck shuts the power off, to watch as many movies as I can. From what little random sampling I've done, the biggest loses with be the films of the Japanese directors. All but the most popular of Ozu and Naruse's films can't be rented or bought anywhere digitally, and few more can be found on DVD or Blu-Ray, and those are in expensive box sets.

So for the next month, I'll be binge watching as many films from Ozu, Naruse, Kurosawa and all of the rest of the Japanese directors that I can.
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:41 PM   #277
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Your dynasty was the very first thing I thought of when I read about FilmStruck being discontinued. I was really disappointed when I read it and was like "Damn. I wonder how this is going to affect sabotai's dynasty."
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:43 PM   #278
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My first thought was "Well I guess my dynasty is dead again."

But it might not be that bad. The Filmstruck library of The Criterion Collection are two separate things. More than half, and maybe as much as 75%, of the movies I watched on Filmstruck were from the Criterion Collection. Hopefully they find a new home soon.
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Old 11-16-2018, 06:36 PM   #279
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Looks like Criterion will be starting up their own streaming service, launching in Spring of 2019.

New, Independent Criterion Channel to Launch Spring 2019 | The Current | The Criterion Collection
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:36 PM   #280
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That's really awesome, although I imagine it won't be available in Australia with our stupid digital licensing issues. Love checking in on this thread from time to time, and you are slowly inching towards my favourite era of classic movies (post WW2 Japan), so I hope it continues.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:36 PM   #281
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So where were we...
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:18 PM   #282
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Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933)
English Title: The Testament of Dr. Mabuse




Directed By: Fritz Lang
Written By: Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou
Starring: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Otto Wernicke, Oscar Beregi Sr., Gustav Diessl
Length: 124 min.
Genre: Crime Drama

Dr. Mabuse seems to have found a way to run his criminal organization for the mental hospital he's locked up in. Inspector Karl Lohmann (same character as in M, but I don't believe that was ever referenced) is on the case.

I'm starting to think that I must just not like Fritz Lang movies for whatever reason. Well, I like them, but I don't hold them up as much as others. Of course I thought Metropolis was a masterpiece, but I went back over my old reviews to see how I scored Lang's other movies. Spies (1928) 5/10, Woman in the Moon (1929) 6/10, M (1931) 6/10. And here's another crime drama that I liked, but didn't think it was noteworthy.

And that's what really disappointed me about this movie. It had it's twists and turns. It had a big reveal. It should have been a movie that I really enjoyed. There was nothing wrong with the plot, but I just wasn't drawn in at all. In my review for "Woman in the Moon", I said "It wouldn't be a Fritz Lang movie if it didn't last forever". This movie probably could have lost a good 15 minutes. Then the pacing might have felt right. Many scenes in this movie felt like they dragged on a good minute more than they needed to.

There were some good shots and effects, though. I particularly liked the way one assassination scene was shot. Overall though, I did like the plot, the acting, but I thought the pacing was way too slow. And, something else. I can't quite put my finger on it, but just like the M, I just simply could not get into the movie.

My Rating: 6/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.9/10 (10k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 89% Critics (16-2), 90% of Audience (4.0 / 5 ; 5k votes)

Last edited by sabotai : 01-13-2019 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:06 AM   #283
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Cavalcade (1933)



Directed By: Frank Lloyd
Written By: Frank Lloyd, Winfield R. Sheehan
Starring: Diana Wynyard, Clive Brook, Una O'Connor, Herbert Mundin
Length: 112 min.
Genre: Family Drama
Based On: The play "Cavalcade" (1931) by Nol Coward

1934 Oscar Nominee - Best Actress in a Leading Role, Diana Wynyard
1934 Oscar Winner - Best Art Direction, William S. Darling
1934 Oscar Winner - Best Director, Frank Lloyd
1934 Oscar Winner - Best Picture


Wow, look at all them oscars.....it's a shame the movie sucked.

The story of two London families, told over the span of 30+ years. This movie puts characters from the same family into some of history's biggest moments, and in the end, a lot of them have died. A movie with a lot of death in it. Once again, a movie I should have enjoyed...

The movie starts off on a positive note in a way. The two main families are the Marryots, the well-to-do family, and the Bridges, Alfred Bridges is the Marryots's butler and his wife also works for them. Robert Marryot and Alfred Bridges head off to fight in the Second Boer War. And good news, they both come back alive.

A few years later, Alfred is owner of a pub and a stinkin' drunk. His daughter, Fanny, is around 8 or 9 now, and she loves to dance. In one of his drunken outbursts, Fanny runs out of the house and sees people dancing in the streets. She joins them. Alfred also runs out, and gets hit by a horse drawn carriage and is killed. His daughter dancing not far from his dead body, blissfully unaware.

Okay, that got my attention.

And then it all goes to hell.

Let me ask you this. If a title card came up showing the date "April 14, 1912" and the scene you see is of two people on a large boat....where would you think this scene was taking place? Yeah, I would have said The Love Boat too, but apparently that's not it, because as the scene ends, the characters move away to reveal .... a life preserver with the name "TITANIC" on it! (*dramatic music*)

Okay, that's a minor complaint, but by the time we got to that scene the movie was losing me again. And then World War 1 happens. And wouldn't you know it, one of the main characters dies on one of the last days of the war. Right after he had fallen in love, no less. One son dies on the Titanic on his honeymoon, the other in the last week of the Great War. What crappy luck this family has.

Every character talks very dramatically with their very dramatic lines. In all seriousness, that's one of the biggest issues with this movie. Every line is very dramatic, and it's delivered very dramatically. Times certainly have changed in what we view as good and bad acting. The shoehorning of people into major historic events could be forgiven, or even a plus if done right, but it was clumsily done here. And there really wasn't much a of a plot to speak of. Stuff happened...but it didn't feel like it told a cohesive story. More like bits of story here and there.

If it weren't for Crash, I'd say this was the worst Best Picture winner ever. It'll have to settle for second place (for now).

My Rating: 3/10
IMDB User Rating: 6.0/10 (3.8k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 61% of Critics (14-9), 26% of Audience (2.9 / 5 ; 1k votes)
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:01 PM   #284
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Duck Soup (1933)



Directed By: Leo McCarey
Written By: Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby
Starring: The Four Marx Brothers, Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhern, Raquel Torres, Edgar Kennedy
Length: 68 min.
Genre: Comedy


Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) is made leader of a small country called Freedonia at the insistance (never explained why) of Mrs. Teasdale, who bails out the country financially. The leader of neighboring Sylvania wants to annex Freedonia, so he sends two not so bright spies played by Chico and Harpo Marx.

The usual antics in a Marx Brothers movie occur. Groucho is an endless series of one-liners and puns. Chico does his tough guy with an italian accent act, and silent Harpo has his props and gags. As with the previous Marx Brothers movies, Harpo was the only one that got a few laughs out of me...but only a few.

Obviously, being around 80 years later, a lot of Groucho's jokes were really obvious. I did learn that Futurama's "Robonia" for the episode where Bender pretends to be a fembot was a reference to this movie. The name is a play on it, and the anthem of Robonia was set to the same music as Freedonia's. There was also a "mirror" scene where Groucho and Harpo dressed as Groucho mimic each other. After looking it up, seems like Chaplin was the first to do in the movies it in 1916. But it seems like it was a routine in comedy plays going back to the late 1890s. Good thing I looked it up, I was about to give the movie credit for something. But they did do a funny "mirror" routine.

In the end, there's a battle between Freedonia and Sylvania, and even though Freedonia gets their ass kicked, the ambassador of Sylvania (who is their leading general too?) surrenders after getting stuck in a doorway and getting pelted with oranges.

Both critics and audience on Rotten Tomatoes is over 90% and it has an 8.0 on IMDB. Looks like I'm in the minority of this one. After 3 Marx Brothers movies, I guess I'm just not a fan of their's.

Zeppo was in the movie too.

My Rating: 5/10
IMDB User Rating: 8.0/10 (51k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% of Critics (44-3), 91% of Audience (4.1 / 5 ; 36k votes)
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:29 PM   #285
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夜ごとの夢 (1933)
Yogoto no yume
English Title: Every-Night Dreams




Directed By: Naruse Mikio
Written By: Naruse Mikio
Starring: Kurishima Sumiko, Saitō Tatsuo, Yoshikawa Mitsuko
Length: 64 min.
Genre: Drama


This one was a bummer.

Omitsu (Kurishima Sumiko) works at a bar to support her son, Fumio. Her estranged husband, Mizuhara (Saitō Tatsuo) shows up one day wanting to see his son and convinces Omitsu to take him back. He also insists on providing for the family, however, he can't get work. He's frequently ill and is frail. He's not able to do manual labor.

Fumio gets hit by a car (seriously, almost every movie from Japan has someone getting hit by a car) and is hospitalized. Now the family is in real dire straits. Mizuhara breaks and resorts to robbery to get some money. Omitsu begs him to turn himself in. Instead, he leaves her the money and leaves.

The next morning his body is found. He had committed suicide by drowning himself. Omitsu tells her son that he must grow up to be strong...which I guess was the moral of the story?

Technically, it was Naruse at the same level as Apart From You. His zoom ins were better, it featured his typical frequent cuts and style. But man, the story was just depressing. Which would be fine, but it was essentially 60 minutes of watching a guy get repeatedly kicked while he was down. At first, you're thinking "what the hell is she doing taking that dead beat back", but then you see him get humiliated for 60 minutes before killing himself. Not really a plot there nor any real character development. Just see a guy get beat while he's down and now he's dead.

My Rating: 5/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.1/10 (380 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A Critics, 88% of Audience (3.9 / 5 ; 27 votes)
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:34 PM   #286
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And that does it, finally, for 1933. I'll post some final thoughts on the year soon and get to work on the list for 1934.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:38 PM   #287
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The Movies of 1933, Ranked

1. Apart From You
2. The Gold Diggers of 1933
3. Japanese Girls at the Harbour
4. Passing Fancy
5. King Kong
6. Man's Castle
7. Footlight Parade
8. Queen Christina
9. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
10. The Private Life of Henry VIII
11. 42nd Street
12. Duck Soup
13. Dragnet Girl
14. Woman of Tokyo
15. Every-Night Dreams
16. Dinner At Eight
17. Morning Glory
18. Cavalcade

Overall, a good amount of good movies (five 7's) but only one in the "great" (8+) category, Apart From You.

In fact, I would have hated the 1934 Academy Awards. Cavalcade was the night's big winner, and I hated that movie. Katherine Hepburn won for Morning Glory, the second worse movie of the year. Charles Laughton won for The Private Life of Henry VIII, an okay movie. A Farewell To Arms gets 2 awards, booo!

The 1934 Oscars was the last year the period for awards was split between to calendar years. For the first few, it went from Summer of one year to the next. For the 1934 Oscars, it went from August 1st, 1932 to December 31, 1933. After this one, it would all be in just one calendar year, making my job of picking which movies to watch a lot easier.

3 Japanese movies in the top 5, but the other three fall way down the rankings. The ones near the bottom are there because they felt preachy, and had either uninteresting or somewhat non-existant plots. But when they got it right, they got it really right.

And so ends 1933.

Criterion says they are on schedule for a Spring launch of their online service. Luckily, I did manage to watch a few 1934 movies before Filmstruck was murdered.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:43 PM   #288
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And for funsies, let's look at the rankings for the best movies of the decade so far.

Top Movies of the 1930s (only rated 8 and higher)

1. Apart From You
2. All Quiet on the Western Front
3. I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
4. The Public Enemy
5. Hell's Angels
6. City Lights
7. Vampyr
8. Wooden Crosses

Not that the rankings mean much here. All of these movies were rated 8. No 9s or 10s yet.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:22 AM   #289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabotai View Post


I'm starting to think that I must just not like Fritz Lang movies for whatever reason. Well, I like them, but I don't hold them up as much as others.

Random thread read gets random question: is that a function of the cast? Or casting maybe?

(Literally no clue off the top of my head, every movie he did could have the same cast for all I know, but it seemed like a reasonable possibility to throw out there)
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:45 PM   #290
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Maybe, there i some cast crossover, but not a lot.

I've thought about it more, and I think it comes down to cinematography. If you're going to make a "it's long and not much happens" movie, I need some good visuals to go along with it. The Revenant and There Will Be Blood are possibly 1a and 1b for me over the last 10+ years. Both are long, not much happens, but greatly acted and just visually a work of art. Metropolis was a work of art as well. The rest of Lang's movies are long, not much happens, and don't look like they have much more production budget than the Marx Brothers movies I've seen. (Of course, this being the early 30s, the state of Germany's economy at the time could be the biggest factor it that.)
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:33 PM   #291
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Your thoughts on Lang are interesting because I have the exact opposite opinion of his films. And I enjoy them so much precisely because his films move so fast. He always seems to have a powerful, driving narrative.

Also, I thought the cinematography in his other films, while not matching the amazing levels of Metropolis, is still pretty incredible. I'm thinking of the long, silent sequence in M where the underworld tracks down Peter Lorre's character. That's just far beyond what most other directors were capable of at that time.

Anyways, I didn't mean this as an attack. Just thought it was interesting that we saw things so differently.

I also loved Duck Soup. It's my favorite of the Marx Bros films, mainly for the political satire, but I definitely agree that Cavalcade was a snoozer.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:43 PM   #292
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I didn't take it as an attack. We're just talking about art here. I don't take people disagreeing with me about movies personally.

Also, I lied about moving on to 1934 just yet. I noticed there's a good number of silent movies on Amazon Prime now. Most I've seen, but some I didn't, and since Japan is moving into sound pictures in 1934, I figured I'd take a break and watch (and review) some of these silent movies I missed my first time through before leaving behind silent cinema (mostly) for good.

Here's a short list of the silent movies
A whole bunch of shorts starring The Keystone Kops, Fatty Arbuckle and Mabel Normand
Several Buster Keaton Shorts
The Prisoner of Zenda (1922)
The Extra Girl (1923) - Mabel Normand comedy
The Eagle (1925) - Rudolph Valentino
Cobra (1925) - Rudolph Valentino
Joyless Street (1927) - Garbo's debut
College (1927) - Buster Keaton
The Beloved Rogue (1927) - John Barrymore
The Iron Mask (1929) - Douglas Fairbanks

Last edited by sabotai : 01-22-2019 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:10 AM   #293
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabotai View Post
I didn't take it as an attack. We're just talking about art here. I don't take people disagreeing with me about movies personally.

Also, I lied about moving on to 1934 just yet. I noticed there's a good number of silent movies on Amazon Prime now. Most I've seen, but some I didn't, and since Japan is moving into sound pictures in 1934, I figured I'd take a break and watch (and review) some of these silent movies I missed my first time through before leaving behind silent cinema (mostly) for good.

Here's a short list of the silent movies
A whole bunch of shorts starring The Keystone Kops, Fatty Arbuckle and Mabel Normand
Several Buster Keaton Shorts
The Prisoner of Zenda (1922)
The Extra Girl (1923) - Mabel Normand comedy
The Eagle (1925) - Rudolph Valentino
Cobra (1925) - Rudolph Valentino
Joyless Street (1927) - Garbo's debut
College (1927) - Buster Keaton
The Beloved Rogue (1927) - John Barrymore
The Iron Mask (1929) - Douglas Fairbanks

Of this list I have only seen The Iron Mask and College. I loved one of those and hated the other.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:19 PM   #294
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The Criterion Channel is now live, so I guess I can start this back up. Filmstruck had to ability to browse by year, country, etc. which helped a lot in narrowing down what movies to watch. CC doesn't. Just a search and a bunch of lists. Oh well, just means a bit more work in creating a list of movies to watch.

And the app so far is fairly buggy, but I expected that on day 1.

I didn't get around to watching most of the silent moves on Amazon. Just haven't been in a movie watching mood much lately. I did watch a few of the Fatty Arbuckle and Mabel Normand shorts, and they were bad. Not because the short itself was bad, but because whoever put them on Amazon slapped on some generic comedy soundtrack that didn't match what was going on in the short. On top of it, it wasn't just music. It really did sound like some comedy music radio show or something. It was odd to put that against a silent short, and completely ruined it for me.

I also watched College, a 1927 Buster Keaton comedy. A good comedy. I'd give it a solid 7/10. Not among my favorite Buster Keaton comedies, but it was a fun movie...except it did have one scene that has not aged well and made it very awkward for awhile...

But that's part of the dilemma with rating a really old movie. On one hand "It was a different time, and if someone wasn't outright racist, they were at least incredibly ignorant. It was 1927 after all and we can't hold them to a standard set nearly 100 years later." .....vs.... "Jesus fucking Christ, sab, , it's Buster Keaton in blackface swinging his arms exaggeratedly, obviously imitating a monkey, as he pretends to be a 'colored waiter'. That's not okay and you can't possibly give a movie with such a racist portrayal of black people a good rating! WTF!"

Without that scene, it's a 7/10 movie. With it...ugh, yeah, that scene is really bad.

Anyway...

Time to get back to 1934 I suppose. I'll get to those silent movies as I move along.
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:08 PM   #295
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Saw this bumped and was interested in your thoughts on The Criterion Channel....Sounds like it's probably worth the trial to see what's there.
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Old 04-09-2019, 04:45 PM   #296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabotai View Post

I also watched College, a 1927 Buster Keaton comedy. A good comedy. I'd give it a solid 7/10. Not among my favorite Buster Keaton comedies, but it was a fun movie...except it did have one scene that has not aged well and made it very awkward for awhile...

But that's part of the dilemma with rating a really old movie. On one hand "It was a different time, and if someone wasn't outright racist, they were at least incredibly ignorant. It was 1927 after all and we can't hold them to a standard set nearly 100 years later." .....vs.... "Jesus fucking Christ, sab, , it's Buster Keaton in blackface swinging his arms exaggeratedly, obviously imitating a monkey, as he pretends to be a 'colored waiter'. That's not okay and you can't possibly give a movie with such a racist portrayal of black people a good rating! WTF!"

Without that scene, it's a 7/10 movie. With it...ugh, yeah, that scene is really bad.

Glad to see this get bumped!

Aside from the controversy, I liked College much less than you did, mainly because it felt like a mediocre copy of Harold Lloyd's The Freshman.

As for the controversy, I'd end up on the latter part of that debate. That scene is ridiculously racist. It doesn't matter what people might've thought in 1927. It offends me now and that makes it a worse movie.

Also, I'd argue that not everyone was okay with stuff like that in 1927. Just like there were protests of Birth of a Nation in 1919, there were certainly people who were offended by that scene in 1927. So I think you can hold the movie accountable even using many people's 1927 standards.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:59 PM   #297
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So late last night, I thought of something. I put "1934" into the search on the Criterion Channel, and I got all of the movies they have for that year. I'm actually surprised that worked.

Here's the tentative list of movies for 1934. It's a lot but some will be cut.

from the Criterion Channel
Street Without End - Director: Naruse Mikio
The Cat's Paw - Harold Lloyd comedy
Evergreen
On demande une brute - French Short
Man of Aran - Docufiction
The Return of Bulldog Drummond
The Private Life of Don Juan
The Rise of Catherine the Great - Starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Elizabeth Bergner
The Scarlet Pimpernel
A Mother Should be Loved - Director: Ozu Yasujiro
A Story of Floating Weeds - Director: Ozu Yasujiro
The Man Who Knew Too Much - Director: Alfred Hitchcock
L'Atalante

Amazon Prime
Of Human Bondage - Starring Bette Davis
Babes In Toyland - Laurel and Hardy
Judge Priest - Will Rogers comedy

Amazon or VUDU (to Rent)
It Happened One Night - Oscar winner for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress
The Barretts of Wimpole Street - Best Picture nominee
The Thin Man - several nominations
The Black Cat - horror starring Karloff and Lugosi
The Gay Divorcee - Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, several Oscar nominations
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:01 AM   #298
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Movie List for 1934

It Happened One Night - Oscar Winner Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress
Romantic Comedy, directed by Frank Capra, starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert

A Story of Floating Weeds - Kinema Junpo Winner Best Film
(Japan) Family Drama, directed by Ozu Yasujiro, starring Sakamoto Takeshi, Iida Chouko, Yagumo Rieko

The Barretts of Wimpole Street - Oscar Nominee Best Picture
Romantic Drama, directed by Sidney Franklin, starring Norma Sheater and Fredric March

The Thin Man - Oscar Nominee Best Picture
Comedy, directed by W.S. Van Dyke, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy

The Gay Divorcee - Oscar Nominee Best Picture
Musical, directed by Mark Sandrich, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Here Comes the Navy - Oscar Nominee Best Picture
Comedy, directed by Lloyd Bacon, starring James Cagney and Pat O'Brien

Of Human Bondage - Oscar Nominee Best Actress (write-in, not official)
Drama, directed by John Cromwell, starring Bette Davis and Leslie Howard

Babes In Toyland
Comedy, directed by Gus Meins and Charley Rogers, starring Laurel and Hardy

Street Without End
(Japan) Drama, directed by Naruse Mikio, starring Shinobu Setsuko, Isono Akio, Yamanouchi Hikaru

A Mother Should be Loved
(Japan) Drama, directed by Ozu Yasujiro, starring Iwata Yukichi, Yashikawa Mitsuko, Ohinata Den

The Cat's Paw
Comedy, directed by Sam Taylor, starring Harold Lloyd and Una Merkel

Man of Aran
(Ireland) Docufiction, directed by Robert J. Flaherty, starring Colman King and Maggie Dirrane

The Rise of Catherine the Great
(UK) Biopic, directed by Paul Czinner, starring Elisabeth Berger and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

The Scarlet Pimpernel
(UK) Adventure Drama, directed by Harold Young, starring Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon

The Man Who Knew Too Much
(UK) Thriller, directed by Alfred Hitchock, starring Leslie Banks and Edna Best

The Godess
(China) Drama, directed by Wu Yonggang, starring Ruan Lingyu and Zhang Zhizhi
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:06 AM   #299
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I loved the Thin Man movies...lots of humor especially with their over the top drinking...
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:09 PM   #300
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Babes in Toyland (1934)



Directed By: Gus Meins, Charles Rogers
Written By: Frank Butler, Nick Grinde
Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlotte Henry, Felix Knight
Length: 77 min.
Genre: Comedy


It's Babes in Toyland starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee.

Stannie and Ollie live in a shoe with Mother Peep and her daughter, Bo Peep. The mortgage is due and the evil Silas Barnaby wants his money. Mother Peep can't afford it, but Barnaby says he'll rip up the mortgage if Bo Peep marries him. Ollie promises that he and Stannie can get the money.

What follows is Ollie and Stannie in a series of gags of them failing to get the money and scheming to get Mother Peep out of the mortgage. The 'Laurel and Hardy' parts of the movie were hilarious. I loved their shorts when I was a kid but I've never seen a full length movie of their's.

The problem is the rest of the movie. Just plain and boring. The music was boring. The movie would cut away from Laurel and Hardy for extended periods of time, mainly for the musical numbers and the love subplot between Bo Peep and Tom-Tom. I've never seen Babes in Toyland (did when I was a kid, but don't remember), so I have no idea how it measures up to the standard musical Babes in Toyland.

When the movie was over, it didn't make me want to watch more Laurel and Hardy movies. Just watch their shorts again. Still, the Laurel and Hardy half of the movie was great.

My Rating: 6/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.3/10 (5.5k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% Critics (15-0), 78% of Audience (3.6 / 5 ; 4.6k votes)
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