Tuesday, June 27, 2017

5 Off My Head: Siri Says 1934

After a couple weeks spent in the safe confines of the 1970s (has anyone ever described 70s Cinema as a "safe space" before?) where I had seen plenty of movies and could offer up a hefty dose of opinion, this morning Siri, when asked to choose a number between 1 and 100, decided to make it slightly tougher on me and take us back to the 1930s - The Movies of 1934 specifically. That said 1934 isn't a year in film I'm completely unfamiliar with - I managed to choose a respectable Top 5 of movies I very much like with a lovely batch of runners-up too.

But I had to cut short my "Never seen" list because I kind of don't even know where to begin with all that - there are lots and lots that I have not seen! So if y'all want to tell me what I am definitely missing out on in the comments, please I beg you go to town. And until then I give you...

My 5 Favorite Movies of 1934

(dir. Jean Vigo)
-- released on April 24 1934 --

(dir. WS Van Dyke )
-- released on May 25th 1934 --

(dir. Edgar G Ulmer)
-- released on May 7th 1934 --

(dir. Frank Capra)
-- released on February 22nd 1934 --

(dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
-- released on December 4th 1934 --


Runners-up: Imitation of Life (dir. Stahl), Death Takes a Holiday (dir. Mitchell Leisen), 20th Century (dir. Hawks), Of Human Bondage (dir. Cromwell), The Gay Divorcee (dir. Mark Sandrich)

Never seen: A Lost Lady (dir. Green)
Chained (dir. Clarence Brown)

What are you favorite movies of 1934?


Pierce said...

• Babes in Toyland
• The Barretts of Wimpole Street
• Belle of the 90s
• Bright Eyes
• Dames
• Death Takes a Holiday
• Imitation of Life
• It Happened One Night
• It’s a Gift
• Little Miss Marker
• Of Human Bondage
• The Old-Fashioned Way
• The Painted Veil
• Sadie McKee
• The Scarlet Empress
• Thirty-Day Day Princess
• 20th Century

Strepsi said...

1) It Happened One Night has got to top the list. Not only for Clark Gable making the undershirt erotic, but because Frank Capra is sooooo underrated. People remember his sentimentality, but it's not cheesy – there is real social satire and commentary and an empathy for the economically downtrodden in his movies.

2) Babes In Toyland because Laurel and Hardy are becoming underremembered.

3) Of Human Bondage - Bette Davis on fire

4) The Thin Man - the template for every sophisticated couple since

5) The Gay Divorcee

and The Black Cat I have never seen... Must watch!

Anonymous said...

1. It Happened One Night
2. Twentieth Century
3. The Thin Man
4. The Scarlet Empress
5. The Count of Monte Christo
6. L'Atalante
7. Of Human Bondage
8. Imitation of Life
9. The Lost Patrol
10. The Man Who Knew Too Much

joel65913 said...

Like all your choices though I wasn't as enthralled with L'Atalante as I'd hoped. I think it was too built up for me before watching which never helps.

Lots of good films this year though a top 5 is rather easy.

My top 5:
The Thin Man-William Powell and Myrna Loy will never be matched for breezy camaraderie.
It Happened One Night
The Pursuit of Happiness-Delightful, far too obscure Revolutionary War comedy of Hessian soldier Francis Lederer falling for farm maid Joan Bennett.
The Scarlet Empress
The Gay Divorcee

Other worthwhile films:

The Count of Monte Cristo
Six of a Kind
Bright Eyes-One of Shirley Temple's best with a perfectly odious Jane Withers.
Twentieth Century
Les Misérables
The Scarlet Pimpernel
Imitation of Life-Nowhere near as involving as the Lana Turner version but a decent film.
Murder at the Vanities-An odd musical with Kitty Carlisle but it does contain the wild pre-code number "Sweet Marijuana"
Of Human Bondage
Cleopatra-Claudette Colbert had quite a year. She has a great time in this.
Fog Over Frisco-When Bette Davis isn't on screen, she's supporting, it's a routine programmer but when she is she jolts the film alive as a hedonistic playgirl headed for destruction.
Tarzan and His Mate
The Painted Veil-It's interesting to watch this Garbo version, the Naomi Watts take and the Eleanor Parker 50's The Seventh Sin-all tell the same basic story but focus on different aspects. All are good films.
Death Takes a Holiday
The Richest Girl in the World
Chained-Any Gable/Crawford pairing is worth seeing at least once but this is one of their better ones.
Forsaking All Others-But this is even better than Chained if lighter giving Gable a chance to once again show his adroitness at comedy plus a very young Rosalind Russell just starting out.
Jimmy the Gent
Belle of the Nineties
Twenty Million Sweethearts
The Man with Two Faces
Now I'll Tell
Little Man, What Now?
The Man Who Reclaimed His Head
She Loves Me Not
Lady by Choice
Blind Date
Side Streets