The Great Ziegfeld - (1936) - Bit of a grower this one. Starts off quite slow but gets carried by a charismatic performance by William Powell. The stage performances then are amazing and the story very engaging. 4.5/5
Mutiny on the Bounty - (1935) - I like a real history film and especially an 18th century one so this film was always going to be enjoyable for me. That said, it's pretty average. Nothing really bad about it but nothing outstanding either. 3/5
After last night, I'm down to 5 films left, now. Getting into challenging territory - one of last nights films I had to buy a Korean export to watch. Getting really old stuff now, into pre code films.
It Happened One Night - (1934) - Doing this challenge I'm getting a new appreciation for Clark Gable. It feels like it was impossible to make a good, Oscar winning film in the 30s without him. This is a great screwball comedy, road trip film. Only critisism is Claudette Colbert's sudden, overnight transformation from being snooty and stuck up to friendly and up for a laugh for no apparent reason. 4.5/5
Cavalcade - (1933) - Has the dubious honour of being Adolph Hitler's favourite film. A sort of upstairs/ downstairs film following a family through world events and family drama from the turn of the 20th century to the 1930s. It really lacks any decent acting, flowing story or depth. Unintentionally hilarious in a Mr Cholmondley Warner way, (I wonder if Harry Enfield based that on this?) especially Diana Wynyard's constant cross eyed gurning at the camera for effect. 2/5
Back on this, a triple bill and vastly different opinions, tonight -
Grand Hotel - (1932) - Most famous for Greta Garbo's "I want to be alone" quote. Bit confusing to start with but quite slow in a more of a play than a film way. That works out pretty well as you get into the characters and the actors. The biggest holes are "why is old John Barrymore such a jedi mind warrior to everyone and there is zero chemistry between the romantic connections in this. Some fine acting though. 3.5/5
Cimarron -(1931) - Glad I watched this with my Native American wife. Her grandparents who brought her up on a reserve were forced into dreadful residential schools and they still enjoyed a bit of John Wayne stuff, just before anyone accuses her of being too sensitive. The white saviour to Natives while ignoring Natives, other than them speaking in broken English, thanking the whites for teaching them English, was dreadful, especially with the direct racism directed at them by some of the heroes. The disgusting portrayal of a little black kid slave (just for laughs) and ignored when he died saving the heroes baby was revolting. This film is revolting and has aged badly. In its defence, the set and cinematography was brilliant. Even the acting was terrible though. The main star couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag. 1/5
All Quiet on the Western Front - (1930) - One of the best war films ever made and I don't even mean for its time. A hard hitting, brutal and non propaganda look at WWI and how it affected real people with the twist it being done from the German side. An incredible film! 5/5
That's the 1930s done. After an incredible 40s, the 30s were a bit disappointing. Unsurprisingly, All Quiet on the Western Front wins my vote for best Oscar Winning film of the 30s.
2 films left! Can't believe I am finally this close to the end. It's really exciting. Next time I post a review I will probably be finished. I plan to post a photo of myself with all these DVDs at the end.
Sorry! Could only do the one film tonight. Next review will definitely be the money shot!
The Broadway Melody - (1929)- the only film that has a sort of lost part. A part of it was filmed in colour but got lost so we only have the black and white version to go on. On top of that, it isn't available on European region DVD. My wife somehow managed to get a universal DVD copy for me, for our 5th anniversary, she is a wonderful woman! Unfortunately this film isn't great. A few bits of good story, some of the acting is ok 2.5/5
Wings(1928) - Pretty ok. Some of the cinematography was decent. Unintentionally hilarious at points, especially the guy that kept flexing wish USA tat and going on about a guy being "Irisher" 3.5/5
It actually feels like an amazing accomplishment! This is over 90 films I have been through. I would like to keep this going. Ask me anything, however stupid it might sound about this challenge! I will be more than happy to answer you.
As promised a couple of photos of my collection and me with it...