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Old 05-14-2019, 08:49 PM   #301
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: The Satellite of Love
It Happened One Night (1934)

Directed By: Frank Capra
Written By: Robert Riskin
Starring: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
Length: 105 min.
Genre: Romantic Comedy

1935 Oscar Winner - Best Writing, Adaptation - Robert Riskin
1935 Oscar Winner - Best Actress - Claudette Colbert
1935 Oscar Winner - Best Actor - Clark Gable
1935 Oscar Winner - Best Director, Frank Capra
1935 Oscar Winner - Best Picture

One of 3 movies to win all of the Oscars that make up "The Big Five", Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Writing (either of them) and Best Picture. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Silence of the Lambs are the other 2.

Claudette Colbert plays a rich woman, Ellen Andrews, who has eloped with a man against her father's wishes. She's in Florida and her new husband is in New York. She escapes her father and sets off on a road trip (by bus) to get to NY. Her father hires detectives to find her and bring her back (apparently a thing a father could do in the 1930s was kidnap his adult daughter).

Peter Warne (Clark Gable) is a journalist who has just been fired from his paper. He hops on a bus to New York to speak to his former employer in person. He meets Ellen on the bus and they don't get off to a good start, but he quickly figures out who she is. He'll help her avoid attention and get to New York for exclusive rights to her story.

What follows is a series of misadventures that see the couple suffer set back after set back, and along the way, wouldn't you know it, they fall in love.

Fairly standard rom-com. The basic beats have been there since the early films of Harold Lloyd and they're unchanged here. They hate each other, they love each other, they miscommunicate and then a chase-style scene.

I know you all know how I feel about rom-coms by now, but this one did have its moments. And it was very well acted. There was a scene where they are hitchhiking. The cars constantly pass him but one stops once she shows her leg. This scene might be one of the most parodied and referenced scenes in cinema history. And I thought the scene where they act like an arguing married couple to throw off a few detectives was very funny. But overall, underwhelming for an Oscar winner.

This film came out at just the right time. Its release date was February 22, 1934, and some of the scenes here were a bit scandalous. The Motion Picture Production Code, aka "Hays Code", would go in full effect by the middle of 1934. I doubt this movie would have passed the test with all of the scenes of a man with a married woman in a room together.

My Rating: 6/10
IMDB User Rating: 8.1/10 (84k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 98% Critics (55-1), 93% of Audience (4.2 / 5 ; 33k votes)
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:18 PM   #302
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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock
Written By: Charles Bennett, D. B. Wyndham-Lewis
Starring: Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Peter Lorre, Nova Pilbeam, Frank Vosper
Length: 75 min.
Genre: Crime Drama

The daughter of a couple on a trip to Switzerland is kidnapped when her parents come into possession of information concerning a planned international crime. He father doesn't talk to the police, on the orders of the kidnappers, but tries to find his daughter on his own.

It's hard to judge a movie like this on its own merits, considering many aspects of it has been parodied for longer than I've been alive. There were a few Calculon style dramatic pauses that I'm sure were dramatic back in 1934, but now are just comically bad.

Trying to put things like that aside, I thought the movie was good-ish. It was fast paced, but made a few leaps in logic to keep the pace up, and I thought it was well acted. It still feels like during this time, Hitchcock still hadn't quite become "Alfred Hitchcock". If I watched this movie without knowing who the director was, I would never have guest Hitchcock. It was just indistinguishable from many of the other movies I've seen. I might even say that Hitchcock at this stage of his career was simply mimicking other directors and hadn't yet begone to try to find his own style.

Overall it was a decent, well acted crime thriller, but had a feeling of blandness to it.

My Rating: 6/10
IMDB User Rating: 6.9/10 (15k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 88% Critics (28-4), 67% of Audience (3.5 / 5 ; 8k votes)
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:21 PM   #303
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Quick programming note, I'm cutting Man of Aran from the list. I've tried a few times to watch it, but I can't understand what they are saying and there are no subtitles. I think it's a combination of their thick Irish accents and poor audio quality.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:03 PM   #304
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The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934)

Directed By: Paul Czinner
Written By: Marjorie Deans, Arthur Wimperis
Starring: Elisabeth Bergner, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Flora Robson
Length: 94 min.
Genre: Historical Drama

The story of how Princess Sophie Auguste Frederika of Anhalt-Zerbst became Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia.

The movie starts with Grand Duke Peter declaring he doesn't wish to be married and storms off as Princess Sophie (soon to be named Catherine) is walking to meet him. After she arrives and finds the Grand Duke has run off, Sophie also runs off, declaring she will not marry him either. Wouldn't you know it, the two run into each other having no idea who the other is. She wins him over, he finds out who she is and then he leads her back where they came from and announces he will marry her.

The Grand Duke turns out to be one easily manipulated and insecure man. On his wedding night, someone makes an offhand comment about Sophie using her "womanly charms" on him. This causes him to cheat on Sophie on their wedding night. And then he continues to spend his time drinking and whoring.

She eventually does win Peter over for a time (because she keeps loving him despite him being a total chad), but when Empress Elizabeth dies, Peter takes full control and begins a public affair which ends in Peter going out of his way to humiliate Catherine. In the end, Catherine seizes the throne in a coup d'Útat.

I didn't like this one. A lot of times, Catherine came off as naive. Other times, just downright stupid. I know it's hard to have historical dramas be free of contemporary morality, but it was pretty thick in this one.

There was one scene that felt incredibly anachronistic. When Empress Elizabeth dies, Grand Duke Peter takes over, even though it's pretty much an open secret that Catherine had been running the empire for some time now. Peter takes control and tells Catherine (paraphrasing but the last line is word-for-word) "We're drawing up new laws for government. There will be no more women in positions of power. You'll be back in the kitchen where you belong!"

Back in the kitchen? Since when the hell is an empress, whether the head of state or married to the head of state, ever 'in the kitchen'? It just felt like such an absurd thing to say.

It's also incredibly fast paced as it's trying to get to every major moment in Catherine's rise. Obviously, not very historically accurate, and I didn't think it was particularly well acted either. And no creativity at all in the camera (I know, I've become a film snob). Not a good movie.

My Rating: 4/10
IMDB User Rating: 6.5/10 (510 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A Critics, 53% of Audience (3.4 / 5 ; 41 votes)
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:17 PM   #305
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The Gay Divorcee (1934)

Directed By: Mark Sandrich
Written By: George Marion Jr., Dorothy Yost
Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
Length: 107 min.
Genre: Musical Comedy

Ginger Rogers plays a woman looking to divorce her husband. He has been refusing, so she sets up a plan to have him catch her with another man, hired by her and her aunt. Fred Astaire runs into her at the airport and becomes enamored with her, and the two keep running into each other, though she keeps rejecting him as she's set on her plan.

I'm sure Fred Astaire was wildly talented at what he did, it's just...I don't get tap dancing. I'm sure it takes a lot of talent, but it doesn't look like it does.So all of the song and dance numbers with him blending ballroom dancing with tap dancing didn't do anything for me.

It did have a few laugh out loud moments, but those were few and far between. Astaire and Rodgers do have a lot of on screen chemistry. The back and forth in their dialog flows, but the plot was bare and the dancing was, well, tap. And I don't get tap.

My Rating: 5/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.5/10 (6k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% Critics (12-0), 82% of Audience (4 / 5 ; 3.3k votes)

Last edited by sabotai : 08-12-2019 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:50 PM   #306
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Ok, long break over. Got caught up watching the MCU movies. I had been putting off watching them because I wanted to watch them all after they came out. Plus some shows I wanted to watch. I'm actually mostly through my list, just haven't written up the reviews.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:13 PM   #307
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The Thin Man (1934)

Directed By: W. S. Van Dyke
Written By: Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich
Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan
Length: 93 min.
Genre: Comedy
Based On: "The Thin Man" novel written by Dashiell Hammett

Nick Charles (William Powell) is a retired detective who spends his days and nights partying with his wealthy young wife Nora (Myrna Loy). He gets pulled out of retirement by Dorothy Wynant (Maureen O'Sullivan). Her father was an old client of Nick's and he has gone missing.

I found the movie very funny. The comedy in it doesn't feel dated at all. Nick and Nora are constantly, usually drunkenly, going at each other playfully. Much of the plot has become so cliche that it's impossible not to see the twists coming, but the comedy of Nick and Nora keeps the movie entertaining.

I would advise not watching the trailer beforehand, though. That was horribly dated and quite painful.

My Rating: 7/10
IMDB User Rating: 8.0/10 (24k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 97% Critics (37-1), 94% of Audience (4.4 / 5 ; 13k votes)
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:15 PM   #308
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The novel is great too - one of my favorites of Hammett's. The same humor and sheer enjoyable nature of Nick and Nora's relationship are in the book. I keep meaning to catch the film adaptation.
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
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Old 01-30-2020, 10:04 PM   #309
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Of Human Bondage (1934)

Directed By: John Cromwell
Written By: Lester Cohen, Ann Coleman
Starring: Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Frances Dee
Length: 83 min.
Genre: Drama
Based on: 1915 novel "Of Human Bondage" by W. Somerset Maugham

The only reason to watch this movie is to see Bette Davis and work towards your "Bette Davis Collection" Achievement. There isn't much to see here.

Philip Carey (Leslie Howard) is born with a club-foot, and he's a wanna-be artist. A teacher tells him he has no artistic talent so he returns to London to study medicine. Okay, so he might turn out to be a sympathetic character. Disabled and told he sucks at his passion. Let's see how he deals with adversity.

He meets a woman named Mildred (Bette Davis) and does everything he can to win her over. She's a bit of a player, she tolerates Carey's advances while also tolerating the advances of other men. And so it goes throughout the movie. They sorta get together, but then she rejects him. She falls on hard times, he takes her back. She rejects him again, but comes running back when things go sour. He takes her back again, she ends up rejecting him again. So often this happens, along with a few other dumbass decisions our hero makes, that I just can't feel sympathy for his character at all by the midpoint of the movie. I'm now actively rooting against him, hoping he ends up miserable.

Bette Davis absolutely nails her character. Months later, I can still hear her "I don't mind" line in my head. I can see why voters for the Oscars had a write-in campaign on her behalf. But I can also see why the Academy overlooked the movie, because besides her performance, this was a stinker. I didn't think any of the other performances were particularly good and the story was more annoying than anything else.

Everything about this movie, besides Davis, was bad.

My Rating: 4/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.2/10 (5k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 83% Critics (10-2), 69% of Audience (3.7 / 5 ; 2k votes)
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:45 PM   #310
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The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)

Directed By: Sidney Franklin
Written By: David Ogden Stewart, Ernest Vajda, Claudine West
Starring: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton
Length: 110 min.
Genre: Drama
Based on: 1930 play "The Barretts of Wimpole Street" by Rudolf Besier

1935 Oscar Nominee for Best Picture
1935 Oscar Nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Norma Shearer)

Very easy to tell that this was based on a play. There were only 2-3 sets for the entire movie.

The movie centers around Elizabeth (Norma Shearer). She is bedridden with some illness that she has suffered from for a long time. She refuses to leave the room or even get out of bed most of the time, even though her family and doctor try to encourage her to do so. All except for her overbearing father, who seems to want he illness to go indefinitely as he keeps ignoring the doctor's orders, always telling people to leave her room so she can rest, etc.

And so goes the drama of the film. Father tries to keep the house quiet and Elizabeth confined and alone. The rest of the family encourage her to leave or have visitors. With Elizabeth in the middle of it. She becomes more willing to walk and leave her room. She even tries to begin a relationship and Father tries to torpedo that as well.

And that's basically the movie. Well acted and well written, I thought. But just an okay, generic very-wealthy-family drama movie. Nothing about it really stood out and it wasn't memorable.

My Rating: 5/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.0/10 (1.4k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 78% Critics (7-2), 72% of Audience (3.7 / 5 ; 328 votes)
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Old 02-06-2020, 04:27 PM   #311
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The Cat's Paw (1934)

Directed By: Sam Taylor
Written By: Sam Taylor
Starring: Harold Lloyd, Una Merkel, George Barbier
Length: 102 min.
Genre: Comedy
Based on: 1933 novel "The Cat's Paw" by Clarence Budington Kelland

Ezekial Cobb (Harold Lloyd) grows up the child of missionaries in China, and when he comes of age, he heads back to the United States to find a bride. Immediately after arriving in America, he gets roped into a scheme to run for office by a few unscrupulous politician types. He's supposed to lose.

Surprise, he wins, and surprise, he takes his job seriously, completely ruining the scheme from the bad guys. As for finding a bride, Lloyd's character falls in love with the first woman he comes across.

Much like the last Lloyd comedy, this just felt like it was missing something. I didn't find it all that funny, though I did find the story a bit more interesting than Movie Crazy. Just an alright movie, nothing stood out. The politics were a bit weird, though. Lloyd's character is exceptionally authoritarian, and his solution to the conflict in the final climax turns that authoritarianism to 11. But his opponents are truly corrupt and bad people, so I guess it's okay. I mean, I get it, it's a comedy, who cares. It was just a bit weird is all.

On a plus side, I found Una Merkel great in her role. The few laughs this film got from me came from her.

Lloyd only has a few more films left. Judging by the IMDB ratings, it's not looking like he goes out on any high notes.

My Rating: 5/10
IMDB User Rating: 6.7/10 (1k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A Critics (3-0), 50% of Audience (3.2 / 5 ; 120 votes)
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Old 02-12-2020, 05:16 PM   #312
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限りなき舗道 | Street Without End (1934)

Directed By: Naruse Mikio
Written By: Ikedo Jitsuz˘, Kitamura Komatsu
Starring: Shinobu Setsuko, Isono Akio, Yamanouchi Kikaru
Length: 89 min.
Genre: Family Drama

Again with the being hit by a car. Weird how this is a plot point in so many Japanese movies.

Sugiko, a waitress, gets engaged to her boyfriend, even though her bf's family wants him to marry someone else. On her way to meet him, Sugiko is hit by a car. She goes to the hospital, but her bf has no idea. She was hit by a wealthy man, and bf gets a glipse of her in the backseat of his car as they drive by him. He goes to her apartment the next day and Sugiko's roommate says she didn't come home last night.

Well so he gives up and heads back home apparently.

Sugiko is then courted by the man who hit her (well, his driver hit her) and gets married. She was also recruited to be an actress, but her friend got the job instead. No hard feelings, Sugiko is happy for her.

After Sugiko marries the wealthy man, she finds both mother-in-law and sister-in-law very unhappy. Mother-in-law scolds her for being too nice to the servants, and sister-in-law wanted her brother to marry her friend.

Halfway through this movie, there was even a title card that broke the 4th wall and explicitly stated one of the themes of the movie. That Japan's society is clinging to outdated feudal ideas.

I really enjoyed this movie. A lot of characters and moving parts within the plot. Most family dramas just stick with one main conflict and ride it for an hour and a half. This had a good number of conflicts surrounding multiple characters which made the movie's plot progress at a good pace.

Like with most Naruse movies, the camera is moving a lot more than is typical for silent movies. Almost the exact opposite of Ozu, but I enjoy both styles. Naruse's silent movie career goes out on a high note. Not quite as good IMO as Apart From You, but still good. Naruse starts making movies with sound next year, but for some reason, The Criterion Channel doesn't have any sound movies from him until 1951. Looks like I'll have to do some searching.

My Rating: 7/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.0/10 (270 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A Critics (0-0), 50% of Audience (14 votes)

In terms of the number of IMDB and RT votes, I wonder if this is my most obscure movie so far.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:00 PM   #313
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Here Comes the Navy (1934)

Directed By: Lloyd Bacon
Written By: Earl Baldwin, Ben Markson
Starring: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Gloria Stuart
Length: 87 min.
Genre: Comedy

James Cagney joins the navy! ... in order to get a second fight with some dude who took his gal.

So we open up with Chesty O'Conner (James Cagney) getting into a verbal pissing contest with a navy officer who is walking by the construction site where Chesty is working. Later that night, that officer, Biff Martin (Pat O'Brien) runs into Cagney's date for a ball and is smitten right away. So Martin and Chesty fight it out. Chesty becomes distracted and Martin lays him out with a punch.

Chesty needs to even the score, and the only to do that is to JOIN THE NAVY! So he does. Lucky for him, after training, he gets assigned to Martin's ship. Chesty also ends up dating Martin's sister, and the main source of conflict from that point is Martin getting in the way of their relationship, and Chesty's desire to run away from the Navy because he hates it.

The movie was fine. The pacing was really good. The two main conflicts for the main character is something a lot of movies don't get right. An external conflict (Chesty vs. Martin) and an internal conflict (Chesty hates being in the navy), both of which threatens his relationship with Martin's sister really keeps the pace up. When a movies just focuses on an external conflict, the pacing usually drags because you can only go so far for so long on one source of conflict. And without internal conflict, characters just come off as one-dimensional cardboard cutouts, no matter how many external conflicts the screenwriter puts in for his characters.

But overall, not funny, and all of the characters were annoying. Very watchable, though, for most of it, but the 3rd act just completely fell apart for me, and the ending was just awful. My biggest laugh was not with the film, but at the film during the ending.

If you're really into US History, one reason to watch the movie would be to see the USS Arizona and USS Macon. The film had much of it shot on the USS Arizona (sunk at Pearl Harbor) and the USS Macon (an airship that crashed off the coast of California in 1935) was featured in the film's climax.

My Rating: 4/10
IMDB User Rating: 6.3/10 (748 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 80% Critics (4-1), 44% of Audience (279 votes)
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:04 PM   #314
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Almost a year since I started 1934. I only have 3 more movies to watch (2 new ones and 1 to rewatch because it's been over a year since I've seen it).

A Mother Should Be Loved is being axed. Turns out the first part and the ending are lost, so what's available is only part of the movie.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:51 PM   #315
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The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

Directed By: Harold Young
Starring: Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon, Raymond Massey
Length: 94 min.
Genre: Adventure Drama
Based On: The 1908 Novel written by Baroness Orczy

At the height of the Terror during the French Revolution, a British aristocrat starts sneaking the French aristocracy out of the nation.

The movie starts off with the Scarlett Pimpernel getting the family of a French lord out of the country. It's a very Robin Hood like sequence, at least that's what it sorta reminded me off as I watch this in 2020.

And then we get like an hour of court gossip and politics. Everyone is asking who the Scarlett Pimpernel could be. We know who it is, but no one suspects him because he's flamboyant and portrays himself to be a pampered troublemaker. He's supposed to be charming and witty, but he's mostly just annoying.

A man named Chauvelin is appointed the new ambassador and Robespierre tells him to find out who the Scarlett Pimpernel is. And he is the worst 'detective' I've ever seen on screen. Entirely witless and the only way he finds out any information is by blackmailing people to help him. And then he entirely screws up with the information he's given.

So the movie starts off with an action sequence, we get a bunch of court gossip, a half hour of a cat and mouse game with a cat we know is way too stupid to catch the mouse, and then a sequence with SPOILERS the Scarlett Pimpernel winning.

It started decently, ended predictably but it was done okay, and the middle 80% was incredibly boring and the humor fell completely flat for me.

My Rating: 4/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.4/10 (3k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 88% Critics (7-1), 74% of Audience (3k votes)
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Old 04-04-2020, 09:19 PM   #316
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神女 | The Goddess (1934)

Directed By: Wu Yonggang
Written By: Wu Yonggang
Starring: Ruan Lingyu, Zhang Zhizhi
Length: 73 min.
Genre: Silent Drama

A young woman works as a prostitute to support herself and her infant child. One night while running from the police, she hides inside the home of a man who turns out to be a crime boss. He forces her to work for him. She runs away, but he finds her and brings her back to Shanghai.

Fast forward a few years. She finds a place to hide away money so she can pay to send her child to school. Rumors about what she does as a job spread around and the parents of the other kids send letters to the principal demanding the kid be expelled. The principal refuses after meeting with the mother, but the school board want to expel the child anyway so the principal resigns.

The crime boss finds her stash and she goes to confront him. During their argument, she hits him in the head with a bottle and kills him. She's arrested and sentenced to 12 years. The principal tells her that he'll take her son in and educate him himself.

The was Wu Yonggang's first feature film and it was a big hit in China. Raun Lingyu was already a big star and this film kept her popularity going. At the 2005 Shanghai Critic Awards, this movie was named among the Top 22 movies of Chinese cinema.

As for my opinion, I thought is was a good silent movie. The 73 minute run time kept the pacing tight. The camera work and cinematography were uninteresting, though. Pretty much just the standard shots. Not much camera movement, every angle was a simple straight on shot. A few shots purposefully out of focus to express delirium, a few double-exposure effects, but overall just a simple silent movie with a solid plot and characters.

My Rating: 6/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.7/10 (1.7k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% Critics (5-0), 89% of Audience (515 votes)
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:32 PM   #317
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浮草物語 | A Story of Floating Weeds (1934)

Directed By: Ozu Yasujirō
Written By: Ikeda Tadao, Ozu Yasujirō
Starring: Sakamoto Takeshi, Iida Ch˘ko, Mitsui K˘ji, Yagumo Emiko
Length: 86 min.
Genre: Silent Drama

1935 Kinema Junpo Winner: Best Film

Kahichi is the leader of a traveling troupe of actors, and they are making a stop in a village that is home to a former lover, Otsune, and their son, Shinkichi. To spare the son the shame of having a traveling actor as a father, they tell him that he is his uncle. The troupe gets stuck at the village for an extended period of time due to poor weather.

It gets out that Kahichi has been spending all of spare time at one home, so one of his actresses (and implied current lover), Otaka, heads there with another actress, Otoki. Otaka learns that Shinkichi is Kahichi's son, and gets Otoki to seduce Shinkichi. That backfires in that the two fall in love. And when Kahichi finds out, he was not happy.

There was a subplot in the movie concerning one of Kahichi's actors and his son, showing what life is like for a son who is taken on the road by his traveling actor father. It was an effective way of demonstrating what it was Kahichi was trying to avoid by leaving his son behind.

This was one of the best silent movies I've seen. Just about everything about the movie was very well done, and this was the first movie from Ozu where I felt like he had really developed his style, and the first movie from him where this idea that he was a master of scene composition really shows.

All of the actors did a great job as well. No over-acting that is common with silent movies. And of course, I have to say it, multiple layers of conflict kept the tension up and the story moving at a good pace.

We'll be getting one more silent movie from Ozu (An Inn in Tokyo - 1935) before he moves on to sound in 1936.

My Rating: 9/10
IMDB User Rating: 7.8/10 (2.7k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A Critics, 83% of Audience (407 votes)
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:53 PM   #318
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1934 Rankings

1. A Story of Floating Weeds
2. The Thin Man
3. Street Without End
4. The Man Who Knew Too Much
5. It Happened One Night
6. The Goddess
7. Babes in Toyland
8. The Gay Divorcee
9. The Barretts of Wimpole Street
10. The Cat's Paw
11. Here Comes the Navy
12. The Scarlet Pimpernel
13. Of Human Bondage
14. The Rise of Catherine the Great

Overall, an okay year for the movies.

The Good - A Story of Floating Weeds was the best movie I've seen since 1928, when both Speedy and Steamboat Bill Jr got 9s from me. The Thin Man was great and I really enjoyed Street Without End.

The Bad - But it was a drop off from there. the 4th best movie in 1934 gets just a 6 from me, and half of the movies I watched got a 5 or worse.

The Silver Lining - But the worse grade I gave out for the year was a 4. None of the movies from this year were nearly as bad as Cavalcade (1933) or A Farewell to Arms (1932). So 1934 had one of the best silent movies every made, a really funny comedy, another really good silent movie and a whole bunch of movies that were just between "meh" to "it was...good, I guess".

Last edited by sabotai : 04-15-2020 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 04-17-2020, 02:09 PM   #319
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The Pool to choose from for 1935.

Here is a long list of movies that I could watch for 1935. Here's the list be category (movies that are bold will definitely make the cut)

Oscar Nominees for Best Picture
Mutiny on the Bounty (Winner)
Alice Adams
Broadway Melody of 1936
Captain Blood
David Copperfield
The Informer
The Lives of Bengal Lancer
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Les MisÚrables
Naughty Merietta
Ruggles of Red Gap
Top Hat

Other Oscar Winners
Dangerous (Bette Davis - Best Actress)
The Scoundrel (Best Original Story)
The Gold Diggers of 1935 (Best Song)
The Dark Angel (Best Art Direction)

Available on Criterion Channel (and IMDB voters give it a 7.0 or higher)
The 39 Steps
If You Could Only Cook
The Whole Town's Talking
Carnival in Flanders
And Inn in Tokyo

Japanese Movies (that I found on Youtube)
Sazen Tange and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo (Yamanaka Sadao)
Wife! Be Like a Rose! (Naruse Mikio)
Maria no Oyuki (Mizoguchi Kenji)
Poppy (Mizoguchi Kenji)
A Girl in the Rumour (Naruse Mikio)
Saakasu Goningumi (Naruse Mikio)
The Actress and the Poet (Naruse Mikio)

Other Foreign Movies
New Women (China)
National Customs (China)
The New Gulliver (Russia)
Triumph of the Will (Nazi Germany)

Other (here because of genre or top grossing)
China Seas
Anna Karenina
A Tale of Two Cities
Bride of Frankenstein
A Night at the Opera
Werewolf of London
The Irish in Us
Crime and Punishment
The Little Colonel
G Men

...and I have to stop somewhere so that'll be it, unless someone thinks I really should add another movie. There are 40+ here with 9 that have pre-made the cut. Some or all of the Japanese and the rest of the foreign movies will unofficially "make the cut" only because I plan on watching them all anyway outside of this dynasty. If I don't get to them before the year is done, I'll move on "officially".
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:29 PM   #320
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Movie List for 1935

Mutiny on the Bounty - Oscar Winner for Best Picture
Adventure, directed by Frank Lloyd, starring Charles Laughton, Clark Gable and Franchot Tone

Wife! Be Like a Rose! - Kinema Junpo Award for Best Picture
(Japan) Drama, directed by Naruse Mikio, starring Chiba Sachiko, Hanabusa Yuriko, It˘ Toshiko

The Informer - Oscar Nominee for Best Picture , Winner Best Director, Winner Best Actor, Winner Best Screenplay
Crime Drama, directed by John Ford, starring Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel and Preston Foster

Captain Blood - Oscar Nominee for Best Picture
Adventure, directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland and Lionel Atwill

Alice Adams - Oscar Nominee for Best Picture
Romantic Comedy, directed by George Stevens, starring Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray and Fred Stone

David Copperfield - Oscar Nominee Best Picture
Historical Drama, directed by George Cukor, starring Freddie Bartholomew, Frank Lawton and Edna May Oliver

Les MisÚrables - Oscar Nominee Best Picture
Drama, directed by Richard Boleslawski, starring Fredric March, Charles Laughton and Cedric Hardwicke

Top Hat - Oscar Nominee Best Picture
Musical Comedy, directed by Mark Sandrich, starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Edward Everett Horton

The 39 Steps - NYFCC Award Nominee Best Director
(UK) Film-Noir Thriller, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll and Lucie Mannheim

China Seas
Action Drama, directed by Tay Garnett, starring Clark Gable, Jean Harlow and Wallace Beery

A Tale of Two Cities - Oscar Nominee Best Picture (at the 9th Academy Wards in 1937)
Historical Drama, directed by Jack Conway, starring Ronald Colman, Elizabeth Allan and Edna May Oliver
- The movie premiered in NYC on Dec 25th, 1935. I guess it was released just passed the deadline for the 8th Academy Awards

An Inn in Tokyo
(Japan) Drama, directed by Ozu Yasujir˘, starring Sakamoto Takeshi, Okada Yoshiko and Iida Ch˘ko

Sazen Tange and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo
(Japan) Comedy, directed by Yamanaka Sadao, starring ďk˘chi Denjir˘, Kiyozo and Sawamura Kunitar˘

Bride of Frankenstein
Horror, directed by James Whale, starring Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester and Colin Clive

A Night at the Opera
Comedy, directed by Sam Wood, starring the Marx Brothers (minus Zeppo but who cares)

New Women
(China) Drama, directed by Cai Chusheng, starring Ruan Lingyu, Wang Naidong amd Zheng Junli

The New Gulliver
(Russia) Animated Comedy, directed by Aleksandr Ptushko, starring Vladimir Konstantinov, Ivan Yudin and Ivan Bobrov

Triumph of the Will
(Nazi Germany) Nazi Propaganda, directed by Leni Riefenstahl, starring Adolf Hitler, Hermann G÷ring and Max Amann

And the list of "If I Fell Like It before 1936" movies
Gold Diggers of 1935
G Men
Anna Karenina
The Whole Town's Talking
Maria no Oyuki (Mizoguchi Kenji)
Poppy (Mizoguchi Kenji)
A Girl in the Rumour (Naruse Mikio)
Saakasu Goningumi (Naruse Mikio)
The Actress and the Poet (Naruse Mikio)

Last edited by sabotai : 04-20-2020 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:46 AM   #321
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I love that this dynasty is still going on

Houston Hippopotami, III.3: 20th Anniversary Thread - All former HT players are encouraged to check it out!

Janos: "Only America could produce an imbecile of your caliber!"
Freakazoid: "That's because we make lots of things better than other people!"

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Old 04-23-2020, 02:08 PM   #322
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This is a fantastic dynasty!
Up the Posh!
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:57 PM   #323
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Captain Blood (1935)

Directed By: Michael Curtiz
Written By: Casey Robinson
Starring: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill
Length: 119 min.
Genre: Adventure
Based On: The 1922 Novel "Captain Blood" written by Rafael Sabatini

1936 Oscar Nominee - Best Picture
1936 Oscar Nominee - Best Director
1936 Oscar Nominee - Best Writing, Screenplay

Peter Blood (Errol Flynn) is a doctor who makes the fateful decision to treat the wounds of some men who happened to have rebelled against the crown of England. Peter tries to plea to the court that he was merely doing his job as a doctor, but the judge cares not. He's sentenced to death, but the crown sees a chance for profit and commutes the sentence of all men not yet hanged to be sold into indentured servitude. He gets sent to Port Royal to serve a term of 10 years working for the highest bidder.

Side note: One of my ancestors came to America the same way. In 1715, he was on the wrong side of a rebellion in Scotland (started in Scotland, ended in northern England) and was sent to Maryland as an indentured servant for a term of 7 years. Anyway, back to the story.

Arabella Bishop (Olivia de Havilland), the daughter of Colonel Bishop (Lionel Atwill) buys Peter Blood for 10 pounds. He isn't nearly as grateful as she thinks he should be, so she sends him to work on her father's land. And so begins their romantic subplot.

Peter gains favor with the governor by treating his gout and this annoys Col. Bishop. Peter makes the decision to escape. He has a relatively easy life since gaining the governor's favor, though, but many of the people he's come to care about do not. Plus, even if he has it easy, who wants to live life as someone else's property. So he hatches a plan to escape along with several others.

Well, the plan fails. He was to be at the docks by midnight, but Col. Bishop, tired of Peter's attitude, He has Peter tied up and is about to kill him. So how is Peter going to get out of this. Will Arabella show up and save him? Will he survive this beating, and plan a new escape?

No. Pirate ex machina happens. The Port is attacked at that very moment, and Spanish pirates storm the city. Peter and his friends make it to the dock, but their ship has been sunk. They manage to get aboard the Spanish pirate ship and take it over. And so begins their lives as pirates!

Later in the film, Captain Blood is able to turn the tables on miss Arabella Bishop. She is taken hostage by Blood's partner Captain Levasseur. Blood buys Arabella from Captain Levasseur, but he is not happy with the arrangement and the men duel, with Captain Blood killing Captain Levasseur. Now it is Arabella's turn to be ungrateful after being bought.

The movie was a huge success. The budget was between $1m and $1.2m, and made back twice as much. It was nominated for Best Picture and helped launch Errol Flynn to stardom. This was his first big role in a Hollywood movie, but it certainly wouldn't be his last, nor will it be his last with Olivia de Havilland.

One thing about this movie really bugged me. We watch Peter Blood plan and set in motion his plan to escape. But it all fails, and they escape anyway. I hate when the actions of the characters are inconsequential to the plot. Had Peter not planned any escape at all, they still would have escaped! If their prep had somehow helped the pirates take the city, then that would have worked. But for 30 minutes of the film, the character's actions did not matter at all.

(It's one thing if the theme of the movie is fatalism, if the movie is trying to make a philosophical point about human behavior and human actions. But this movie is not. It's an adventure story. The actions of the characters should matter, and they shouldn't be saved by whatever-ex-machina).

That aside, I did enjoy the movie overall. It struck a nice balance of action and drama, the duel scene was well done and the main actors were all great. The romantic subplot was cheesy and rushed, but what romantic subplot isn't. But I was disappointed. It was supposed to be a pirate adventure, but it was that for only half the movie. I would have liked it if they got to the piracy a good deal sooner, especially since their 30 minute Act 2 was, in the end, pointless.

I was also impressed by how accurate the film was in some aspects of pirate life. For example, Captain Blood and his crew, immediately after taking the Spanish ship, write up a document detailing how everyone will be compensated, along with a list of monetary compensation for losing their limbs. (400 for a right arm, 300 for a left arm, etc.). That actually did happen on pirate ships.

And later in the film, while sailing they mention how they had every flag of every nation on board. Pirate ships weren't run by idiots. They didn't fly a pirate flag while sailing in the open water. Pirate ships would fly a nation's flag, then raise their pirate flag when they got too close for the ship to run. They did this because 99 times out of 100 the ship they were 'attacking' would then immediately surrender without a fight. It was actually rare for pirates to have to fight to take a ship, mainly because they wouldn't try to take a ship they knew could actually put up a fight.

Overall, a bit disappointing that was nonetheless a decently fun adventure, but features a major writing pet peeve of mine, so it gets a full point deduction for that.

My Rating: 5 / 10
IMDB User Rating: 7.7/10 (12.3k votes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% Critics (25-0), 89% of Audience (8k votes)
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:57 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by sterlingice View Post
I love that this dynasty is still going on

Me too!

Originally Posted by ntndeacon View Post
This is a fantastic dynasty!

I agree.
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