Movies Came Out In (1934)
It Happened One Night – Watched this on TCM and enjoyed it quite a bit. Clearly dated being 80+ years old, but still pretty decent story. The acting was pretty good, corny at times but overall easy to watch. I could easily see this movie being remade for today’s audiences and updated for modern times. In fact, the story/plot has definitely been “borrowed” a few times (rich girl runs away, meets guy, falls in love, misunderstanding happens, all works out in the end).
The Barretts of Wimpole Street – Watched on TCM, and found this to be a really boring movie. It basically was a play, since the scenery barely left their house. The father was completely overbearing and a jerk, ok ok, we got it. The daughter was supposed to be an invalid, but was literally walking around, up & down stairs, etc… Pretty lame plot for a love story and I was glad when the movie ended.
Cleopatra – Just watched recently, and this film is just beyond corny. You know the plot, but the acting and portrayals of the historic figures is actually comical. At one point the Egyptians are doing a song/dance routine for the Romans, but the music playing is something that you’d hear in a 1930’s vaudeville act. This movie is dated and shows it’s age, as all the of the scenes (war scenes and what not) are pretty cheesy. Skip this film and watch the 1963 edition instead.
Flirtation Walk – Watched on TCM, and really hated this film/musical. It’s a movie, but incorporates a musical (being performed at West Point) into a large portion of the film. The plot involves a love story in the army that starts in Hawaii and ends in West Point (with the general’s daughter). But the acting stinks, the plot is just lame, and the musical numbers are boring.
The Gay Divorcee – Watched on TCM, first film that I’ve seen Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in, and I have to admit that I enjoyed it. Some really catchy tunes, and fantastic dancing. Very witty dialog, but a somewhat transparent plot however still enjoyable. In fact, the plot’s “misunderstanding” is pretty much the basis of many comedies that come after it.
Here Comes the Navy – Rented on Amazon Video because I couldn’t find it anywhere else. James Cagney stars a bullheaded fool that joins the Navy to get even with an officer that “did him wrong” in a street “fight”. Cagney falls in love with the officer’s sister, and chaos ensues. Ultimately, Cagney who is a screw up for most of the movie, becomes a hero on the battleship and recognized for his heroics by….the President. Stupid movie, stupid plot, cornball acting is a compliment. Really not sure how anyone found this entertaining, 1934 or not.
The House of Rothschild – This film was also hard to find, but after a lot of searching I was able to find a decent copy. Set during the Napoleonic wars/era, a Jewish family (Rothschilds) build a powerful banking system throughout Europe, and have to deal with anti-Semitism in society. It was interesting (disheartening) to see the suffering of the Jewish people in France well before WW2, which is where most people think of things like Jewish ghettos, curfews, discrimination, etc…. The story as a whole (the Rothschilds’ banking clan saving Europe from Napoleon and the eldest son goes on to be the richest man in the world) isn’t exactly riveting, but the underlying story lines were compelling enough for me such that it kept my interest.
Imitation of Life – I watched this recently and really enjoyed it. The plot is a widower with a young daughter takes in a black maid (who has a light-skinned daughter of her own), the 2 start a successful pancake business together and face success & hardships throughout the years, including having to deal with issues of race. The acting was good, the story was compelling and held my interests. I would definitely recommend watching this movie if you ever have the opportunity.
One Night of Love – Rented on Amazon Video because I couldn’t find it anywhere else. This movie was just awful. If you do not like opera singing then this movie was doubly awful. So, I thought it was doubly awful. The plot is very basic, a female American opera singer goes to Italy, hoping to hit it big, has several love interests including her vocal coach, and misunderstanding happen. Really transparent plot, acting was sub-par, story boring, and all in all just a lousy film to watch.
The Thin Man – Watched on TCM. The TCM host said it was a comedy full of intrigue and double entendres, and I guess for the period (1934) perhaps it was. But honestly they felt more like single entendres. It was a decent movie, decent plot. The acting was a bit on the corny side, but I loved the dog, Asta!!! She was so cute.
Viva Villa! – This was a difficult film to find, I finally found the DVD on Amazon. The plot is a fictional biography of Pancho Villa, who was a prominent figure in the Mexican Revolution. The movie wasn’t that good, to be honest. The acting was sub-par and because the story is fictionalized it makes you wonder “What’s the point?”. Overall, I’d recommend skipping this film.
The White Parade – Plot: The title represents the hopeful, ambitious students at a hospital training school and is primarily a story of the stern discipline and laborious physical and mental toil they endure in order to become nurses and join the White Parade.
This movie seems impossible to get/view anywhere. I cannot find it and thus have been unable to watch it. #MissingMovie
From what I’ve seen: It Happened One Night
Ceremony Year (1935) – Movies Came Out In (1934)