Movies Came Out In (1932)
Grand Hotel – I watched on TCM, and thought it was pretty decent. It’s obviously dated considering it’s almost 90 years old, but the story was pretty decent. Interesting stories about guests staying at the hotel, I could see this movie being remade for modern day and being successful. It was corny/cheesy at times, but not terribly annoyingly so.
Arrowsmith – This film wasn’t that good. I couldn’t recommend watching this movie. The acting is just so-so, but the plot (a doctor finds a vaccine for the plague, and has to determine who gets it and who doesn’t, and his wife complicates matters) just isn’t that interesting. The movie also seems “sloppy” with no clear direction. It took me quite a while to figure out what exactly was the point of the movie.
Bad Girl – This film was just average. It had a few very funny/sarcastic dialog scenes, but not a ton. The story was just so-so (a sarcastic man falls for a sarcastic woman, and they have a baby but have communication problems). It honestly just wasn’t very interesting. Even if it was modernized (like in a today setting), I don’t think the story would be very compelling.
The Champ – Just watched recently, and this movie was pretty silly. It’s about an alcoholic washed-up boxer that tries to prove he’s a fit father for his son (about 10 years old). The silliest part is that the mother apparently gave up the boy when he was a toddler, then a chance meeting happens between mother and son. The boy has an incredibly weird name (Dink), the mother doesn’t even make the connection that it’s her son, until much later on when she sees her ex-husband with Dink. Really ridiculous. Somewhat transparent and predictable plot and the acting was really apropos for the period (like watching an episode of The Little Rascals). Would not recommend watching.
Five Star Final – Rented on Amazon Video because I couldn’t find it anywhere else. An editor of a newspaper goes against his journalistic ethics to resurrect a decades old murder case and the end results are tragic, to say the least. This was a good film. Edward G. Robinson stars as the journalist, and is been known (to current generations) as the inspiration for the voice of Chief Wiggum on the Simpsons. The plot is very good and actually relevant for today’s media. This story could be retold in a modern setting but instead of the newspaper business, it’d be a topical medium like Twitter or Instagram perhaps. I enjoyed watching this film quite a bit.
One Hour with You – Another film starring Maurice Chevalier (see below), which is a bit of a rom-com-musical. The plot involves a not-so-happily married couple trying to get in between a happily married couple. A silly film but still enjoyable in my opinion. Nothing earth shattering or surprising about it, but not bad for a 1930’s rom-com.
Shanghai Express – Watched on TCM, and I didn’t think it was that bad, given the age. But the plot (a woman encounters a former lover on a long & dangerous train ride to Shanghai) was pretty intriguing until the end, when it just wrapped up in a happy corny bow.
The Smiling Lieutenant – Watched recently, and this film is basically a romantic comedy with a lot of singing in it. It’s almost a musical, but not quite in my opinion. Maurice Chevalier does his typical acting and singing, and he’s pretty funny in it. The plot is basically an amorous lieutenant is forced to marry a socially awkward princess due to a snafu, though he tries to keep his violin-playing girlfriend on the side. It’s a pretty short film and does have some funny moments. I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it, but I did find it somewhat enjoyable.
Ceremony Year (1933) – Movies Came Out In (1932)