Ceremony Year (1934)

Movies Came Out In (1933)


Cavalcade – I just watched this movie recently and rather enjoyed it.  It’s simply a story of an English family in 1899, and their trials and tribulations spanning several decades (ending in 1933).  They endure wars, deaths, drinking problems, marriages, births, etc…. It’s just a well told and acted story/plot and makes for enjoyable viewing.

42nd Street – I just watched and this film was what I’d expect given the time frame.  Basically, it’s a depression era film where a producer has to put on a broadway show to save his skin, and there’s some complications with the cast (leading lady breaks her ankle, young naive starlet has to step up, etc…).  The final 30 minutes of the film are devoted to 3 or 4 musical numbers, making the film pretty short (time-wise) on plot.  All in all, I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.  If you’re into musicals or 30’s films, then you might enjoy it more than I did.

A Farewell to Arms – Watched on Prime recently, read the book in high school.  Wish I had watched the movie back then, so I knew the book would be boring ahead of time.  The film is so dated, in many ways.  Having seen Gary Cooper in several films now, he sort of has one acting style (kind of like Jimmy Stewart) and it’s not that impressive in my opinion.  But maybe for 1933 it was cat’s meow, but I found the whole movie pretty corny.

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang – I watched recently, and this was a really good movie, especially considering it’s age.  The plot is well thought out (war hero comes back, gets wrongly convicted of a crime, has to do hard time, escapes, starts a new life, gets caught, gets conned, escapes again, etc…) and really keeps your attention.  I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and could see where it could be remade for today’s audiences.

Lady for a Day – I watched recently and thought this film was extremely corny.  The plot is a NYC street peddler old lady (Apple Annie) has tricked her daughter (in Spain) that she’s well-to-do in a swanky hotel.  The daughter is coming to NYC, and a gangster nicknamed “The Dude” helps Apple Annie get a makeover to trick the daughter, her fiancé, and her future in-laws.  The movie was incredibly cheesy, didn’t give much of an explanation as to why The Dude would bend over backwards to help a street lady and the involvement of police and press just added to the cheese.  Skip this movie, in my opinion.

Little Women – I have never read the novel, so watching this film for the first time was my initial exposure to the “plot” of the novel.  The only thing I knew about Little Women was from Friends and the Simpsons, previously.  The film basically follows the lives of 4 young women growing up in 19th century America, with Katharine Hepburn starring as one of the main characters, Jo.  The film was “ok”.  For all the accolades I’ve heard in the past about the book, I’m assuming this movie didn’t do it justice.  I wouldn’t watch again, personally.

The Private Life of Henry VIII – The king marries 5 more times after divorcing his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.  The film is pretty short, but it’s incredibly corny.  No sense of realism for the time period, and a bit campy like the original Batman TV series in a way.  I’d steer clear from this film unless you want a very lame portrayal of King Henry VIII.

She Done Him Wrong – Just watched, and this is the first movie I’ve ever seen with Mae West (“Why don’t you come up and see me sometime, big boy?”).  And all the parodies/imitations I’ve seen in my life, were pretty spot on (Barbra Streisand and The Simpsons, as just 2 examples).  The movie really wasn’t any good.  It stars a very young Cary Grant who turns out to be an undercover federal agent.  The movie is set in the 1890’s and revolves around the diamond-grubbing West (LuLu) and breaking the law.  I really didn’t enjoy like this movie and was thankful it was only about 100 minutes long.

Smilin’ Through – Watched on TCM, and I thought it was just “ok”. I’m sure for 1933, the graphics of an apparition were pretty cool, but many of the scene cuts were so awkward/bizarre.  The movie starred Norma Shearer, who I think was in just about every movie in the 30’s based on my viewing, and Fredric March, who I had just seen in “The Best Years Of Our Lives”, and both actors were in “The Barretts of Wimpole Street” together, as the leading roles.  Both actors played the older dead ghosts as well (though uncredited).  I wouldn’t recommend watching, I don’t think it was that good.

State Fair – Rented on Amazon Video because I couldn’t find it anywhere else.  The plot is fairly simple: An Iowan family spends a week at the state fair, and finds excitement, love and heartbreak.  I have to say, this film is a snoozer.  It’s relatively short, so it has that going for it.  But it’s incredibly dated and not interesting in the least.

Brian’s Winner:

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang



Ceremony Year (1934) – Movies Came Out In (1933)