Rewind (Second Look) A Look Back at 1933 in Film

A Look Back at 1933 in Film
*- Films I’ve talked about.
*King Kong – Such a triumph of early film. A great action adventure movie. See my post for more info

The Invisible Man– While not my favorite Universal “monster”, I enjoy this film. Give a lot of credit to the people in the film for finding ways to make a man “invisible” for this movie. Very clever and I liked it.

*Duck Soup–  Another popular Marx Brothers film. This one is about a bankrupt nation declaring war essentially over the love of the lovely Mrs. Teasdale

Little Women – A coming of age film starring the great Katherine Hepburn. I had a difficult time connecting with these four sisters growing up in the time of the Civil War.  However, I recommend giving it a chance just to see Hepburn act. She was truly an amazing woman.

42nd Street– A Comedy/Musical about a standby replacing a star during a producers final Broadway show.  I don’t really care for musicals (unless they are dark and twisted).

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse – A Crime/Horror film by the great director, Fritz Lang. About a series of criminal activity somehow connected to a lunatic doctor in an asylum for nearly a decade.

Dinner at Eight – A drama much like Grand Hotel (1932).Both movies feature John Barrymore and have stories about the wealthy elite having drama in their lives. If you thoroughly enjoyed Grand Hotel, then I suggest you watch Dinner at Eight. It’s very similar. If you can’t get into or relate to these characters, but like the idea. Try one of the more recent hotel movies likes The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011).

Gold Diggers of 1933– A Comedy/Drama/Musical about a millionaire turned composer rescuing unemployed Broadway actors with his new play. Again, this movie being of the musical variety. I couldn’t get into as much as I hoped. I respect the movie, I think the ideas and story put forward are neat.

I’m No Angel– Another Comedy/Musical starring Mae West and Cary Grant. I’m  a big fan of Cary Grant, but I don’t really get into this movie. I blame the music. When a movie starts to drag and put me to sleep. I turn it off. This movie has some good acting, but if you don’t like old school musicals, this isn’t for you.

Counsellor at Law – Drama starring John Barrymore. About a successful lawyer who finds out his wife cheated on him. His troubled past starts to affect his present and he must deal with it.  This was a very interesting film. It feels more dated than other movies of the 1930’s however.

Design for Living – Another Ernst Lubitsch film based on a Noel Coward play and starring Friedrich March, Gary Cooper, and Miriam Hopkins. I found this movie progressive and beyond its time. About two men after one woman who can’t decide which one she loves. She decides that they should live together in a friendly relationship to see which is a better fit for her.  This film was banned by the Legion of Decency (Totally want to nickname the Legion of Doom.) because of all the talk of sexual relations and living arrangements. (Back then the thought of a man and woman having anything less than the most wholesome of love including sharing a bed was thought to bring Armageddon apparently. Also, no toilets allowed because a toilet would be too offensive for some.) I respect the film and appreciate it trying to break down barriers so early.

The Eagle and the Hawk– Another film about World War 1 where two pilots in the Royal Air Force face mental and physical anguish from the events during the war. I look at this film as essentially All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), except this one stars Cary Grant and Friedrich March.

Baby Face– An interesting movie about a beautiful young woman who uses her body and sexuality to attain a higher rank in society. However, she begins to question if all her actions were worth it and if that higher rank also meant she was happy. A thought-provoking Drama/Romance starring Barbara Stanwyck

Wild Boys of the Road– A film about The Depression (so you know it‘s hilarious) about two teenage boys setting out on a road trip trying to provide for their families only to find that life on the road is even harder than what they expected.

The Private Life of Henry VIII– A mildly accurate depiction of Henry VIII and his pursuit of a male aire to the throne and the horrible things he did to try and achieve this. I generally don’t care for Biopics especially if they are wildly embellished for entertainment value.

Lady for a Day– A Comedy directed by the great Frank Capra. About a gangster trying to make a lower class merchant into a “lady”. Some may find it quite offensive nowadays. There is this clear upper vs. lower class struggle within it. If you ever needed proof that movies were made for the social elite of the 1930’s, this was it.

Queen Christina – Starring the great Greta Garbo. This movie is part Biopic/Historical and part Drama about the popular Sweedish royalty and the drama which ensues when Christina falls in love with a Spanish envoy. It’s about here decision to either take the throne or follow her heart.


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