Anna Christie (1930)

Anna Christie Movie Review

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Anna Christie Movie Review

Anna Christie is a 1930 Pre-Code drama film directed by Clarence Brown and starring Greta Garbo and Marie Dressler. It is a flawed, but good movie.

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Give me a whisky, ginger ale on the side.

And don’t be stingy, baby

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Anna Christie Movie Review

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Greta Garbo – an actress who continues to have different effects on me. Sometimes I love her and sometimes I find her performances over-the-top. This is unfortunately the latter case. As her first talkie, the film was definitely very popular mostly because audiences wanted to hear her speak for the first time. And her transition was rough. She is lovely as usual and very memorable here, but more often than not, her delivery was overly theatrical and suited more for silent movies.

Marie Dressler, on the other hand, is a total revelation for me. This is the first time I’m seeing her in a movie and I fell in love with her immediately. She steals every scene she is in and is much better than both Garbo and George F. Marion who also delivered a middling performance. Her performance is very down to earth and realistic and she gave life to such a funny character whom I really liked.

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Anna Christie Movie Review

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She is an interesting character as she is a former prostitute and now a drunk. It is obviously a Pre-Code movie as it shows deglamorized, ruined people which was refreshing to see. Her banter with Chris is absolutely fantastic and so funny whereas her relationship with Anna is sweet and I wanted more scenes from her.

But Anna is also a memorable protagonist and I really liked her building relationship with her father. Charles Bickford is okay in the role, but I could have gone with no Matt Burke here as the addition of a love interest was just not all that necessary as we already had a pretty strong, rich drama just with these three people.

Anna Christie is very weakly directed by Clarence Brown and the film looks static for the majority of its running time. But I do not fault the director and the cinematographer all too much because this was typical for the early year of sound films. A much bigger problem is the second half which just wasn’t as investing as the first half was albeit it does have a great scene where Anna confesses about her troubled past. She is a strong female character for sure.

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Anna Christie Movie Review

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The dialogue is very good and it is probably the highlight of the entire film. Its first act with just the prolonged conversations between its characters was mesmerizing and the highlights are those scenes as well as Garbo’s arrival which was quite unforgettable.

Marie Dressler is a revelation in Anna Christie as she is so funny and she steals every scene she’s in whereas Greta Garbo is memorable, but her transition from silent movies to talkies was frankly a bit rough as her performance here is too theatrical. The movie itself is much less interesting in its second half, but much funnier and more memorable in the first half. It has its moving scenes and very well developed characters but a static approach leading to a good, but flawed film.

My Rating – 4

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Earth (1930)

Earth Movie Review

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Earth Movie Review

Earth is a Russian film directed by Alexander Dovzhenko about the process of collectivization.

The plot and theme of the film is interesting but it is unfortunately very poorly executed mostly because it is rather contrived both in its beginning and its ending. It just starts and it just ends. Its running time is incredibly short and it should have been longer but it doesn’t matter because this short movie also managed to be incredibly tedious and not engaging or thought-provoking at all which given its great subject matter is such a shame.

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Earth Movie Review

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The characters are the biggest problem for Earth. They are all underdeveloped and emotionally distant never letting you connect to them or know them on any level. Also the movie has technical aspects which are pretty standard and even mediocre at times. The score is solid as is the acting and the cinematography is really good, but the editing is not remarkable and the directing should have been better. There is some striking imagery here but it is lost in the film’s cold and very weak approach which never lets you connect, it never uses its plot in any meaningful way and it never quite explains what is going on at any moment leaving you to try to figure out for yourself.

This is one of the most overrated and weakest Soviet films of the period, a movie so frustratingly problematic and flawed that it really started to get on my nerves. It has some striking and powerful moments similar to ‘Battleship Potemkin’ but unlike that masterpiece, it never achieves that status because as a whole it is quite poor and failing to reach its potential.

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Earth Movie Review

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With problematic editing, troublesome directing, awfully short running time, tedious and unrealized story, Earth is one of the most overrated as well as the most frustrating Soviet films. It has a solid score, great cinematography and fine acting, but everything else is underused, it fails to make use of its promising subject matter and it is overall an incredibly flawed and boring movie which fails miserably when compared to other Classic Soviet films of the era.

My Rating – 3

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Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Only Angels Have Wings Movie Review

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Only Angels Have Wings Movie Review

Only Angels Have Wings is a 1939 adventure drama film directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant, Jean Arthur and Rita Hayworth. It is a good, but not a great film.

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I know, I know, you’d never ask any woman to do anything

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Only Angels Have Wings Movie Review

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I liked this film, but just not as much as I hoped I would. It had the potential for greatness, but it just never materialized and I guess Howard Hawks is to blame as his direction isn’t great and I have honestly never been a huge fan of his and this film is a testament to that.

It is adventurous, very intriguing in setting, interesting and quite charming and romantic at times, but it mostly never finds the right balance as it tries to be a romance, an adventure, a drama and even a tragedy and thus it never establishes a proper tone. I liked it the most as a romantic drama because the relationship between Arthur and Grant’s characters is so good.

Rita Hayworth is good in her first major role that jumpstarted her career, but it is Jean Arthur who is very sympathetic as usual and Cary Grant who are the standouts. Cary Grant is one of my favorite actors and here he gave one of his best performances ever as he is so good as this macho, old-fashioned, sexist man and his humor and bravado are great. The scenes between the two were priceless with the ending being particularly sweet and memorable.

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Only Angels Have Wings Movie Review

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Only Angels Have Wings has excellent cinematography and special effects and those aviation sequences were stellar and splendid, especially for its time. The film has a good atmosphere and it features a setting and subject matter rarely touched upon in Hollywood which led to a rather authentic film. The dialogue is also very good. But the supporting characters are all very forgettable and overly abundant for sure and the film is just never as engaging as it should have been leading to what is arguably a good film, but a huge waste of potential as it easily could have been one of the greats.

Only Angels Have Wings features one of the best ever performances from Cary Grant whose humor and bravado are evident here plus Jean Arthur is as likable per usual and the two share a very interesting romance. The film is also interesting in location and subject matter, but just never as engaging as it should have been with too many forgettable supporting characters and a mix of genres that doesn’t fully work.

My Rating – 4

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Island of Lost Souls (1932)

Island of Lost Souls Movie Review……………………………………

Island of Lost Souls Movie Review

Island of Lost Souls is a 1932 Pre-Code science fiction horror film starring Charles Laughton. It is a very intriguing film that isn’t as great as it should have been.

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Mr. Parker, do you know what it means to feel like God?

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Island of Lost Souls Movie Review……………………………………

Based on the famous H. G. Wells novel, it is about an obsessed scientist who is secretly conducting experiments on animals on a remote island. He imagines that he is God as he makes humans out of animals with mixed results. I agree with Wells in that the film relied too much on horror thrills and not enough on science fiction themes and message. Those are still there, but not emphasized as much. The story is so fascinating and dark that it’s a shame that the movie never quite reached its fullest potential.

So this is obviously a Pre-Code movie and it just might be the sickest and most perverse Hollywood film of the thirties. And that is not just because it’s a horror film and as it features half-human, half-animal creatures, but because it also has a lot of nudity and it deals with the subject of bestiality. It is one hell of a crazy movie and that is why it sticks with you. It’s original and different.

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Island of Lost Souls Movie Review

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So Island of Lost Souls has its thrills and the element of surprise and it is almost a sensational picture as you cannot believe what you’re seeing even after 80 years. It certainly benefits from having this famous and risqué source material as a script. But the film is never as horrifying as it should have been, at least it wasn’t to me. Do not get me wrong, it is very atmospheric and well made, but just not as scary as ‘Freaks’ was from the same year.

The biggest problem are its characters and acting. Charles Laughton is a great actor but this just isn’t one of his best performances. I don’t know if it was him or the director, but some of the choices were weird and he was at times great, but at times too campy and that same sentiment can be applied to the whole movie which is at times too silly and campy with its costumes. Some costumes are great for its time, but others are not and you can definitely see that it’s a man in a costume.

But I still loved Laughton’s Dr. Moreau as he’s such a fascinating, powerful villain. The main character is boring and Richard Arlen is so bad in the main role. Really his performance is very off-putting here. But Lota is a memorable and tragic character and I really liked her story and I wished to have seen more from her.

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Island of Lost Souls Movie Review……………………………………

The film is too fast paced with the transitions not being smooth. It is certainly too short. But that also may be its advantage as it thus felt quick, precise and even urgent in its tone. The short running time is a two-way street here. Overall, Island of Lost Souls fascinated me and it truly is a bizarre, unforgettable experience, but it ended up being just good and never as great as the material demanded.

Island of Lost Souls is a truly bizarre, very risqué Pre-Code horror film that deals with themes such as bestiality and the entire storyline is crazy and it provides an unforgettable experience. The acting is troublesome as Charles Laughton isn’t as great as he usually was here and Richard Arlen is quire mediocre, but Laughton’s villain is still great and the film is very entertaining and though too short, it also felt urgent in its tone and dangerous in its atmosphere. It is a fascinating film, but just not as great as it should have been.

My Rating – 4

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King Kong (1933)

King Kong Movie Review…………………………………………………..

King Kong Movie Review

King Kong is a 1933 fantasy adventure film which is one of the finest blockbusters of all time.
This is such a classic movie. I first watched it about six years ago and after seeing it now for the second time, I fully stand by my original 5-star rating as it truly is as flawless as blockbusters can be. A marvelous movie by all accounts.
The story and the overall jungle setting of the film along with the dinosaur creatures is obviously influenced by ‘The Lost World’ which is such a good silent adventure flick. But King Kong managed to make even better, full use of such a premise and I honestly think that it is mostly immaculately executed.

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It was beauty killed the beast

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King Kong Movie Review…………………………………………………..
I loved the first act which is a perfect build up to the action, so well done and engaging. This is a monster movie done right as it introduces you to its characters in a natural manner and those characters are not ridiculously underdeveloped but are quite memorable.
Robert Armstrong is amusing as this highly business-oriented director of exotic movies. He is likable, yet realistic. I respected the movie for showcasing how box office was important even during the 30s and that Hollywood is just one giant business. He got some of the funniest lines as well.
Fay Wray is quite memorable as one of the screen’s first scream queens. She was stereotypical and too hopeless, but this role needed such a weak female character so that wasn’t a big problem for me. Bruce Cabot is immensely funny as this overly misogynistic redneck and I really liked their relationship.
But King Kong is the name of the movie and he is undoubtedly the true star here. That Beauty and the Beast dynamic was quite interesting and I really liked his behavior and that he seemed genuinely clever at times. His death is definitely felt and is the most emotional scene in the film.

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King Kong Movie Review………………………………………….
So I loved that ending and that famous quote is unforgettable to this day. The entire Empire State Building sequence is thrilling, beautifully executed and realistic. That scene is one for the ages. But the second act is probably my favorite as the jungle scenes were a lot of fun and the movie shines the most in the adventure department. It is wrongly classified as horror when in reality it is an adventure film with fantasy elements and what a glorious, old-fashioned adventure it is.
The action is so well executed and quite believable. The reason why I consider it as a full-on blockbuster despite its age is that it has quite a lot of action in it plus it is a giante spectacle that truly needs to be seen on the big screen and I am so glad that I did that.
King Kong features quite possibly the best special effects of any 1930s film. The stop-motion work done by Willis O’Brien truly is one of the finest of all time. The Pteranodon looked real, the Tyrannosaurus and the Brontosaurus both looked phenomenal and of course Kong himself is marvelous. His jerky movements only further brough the necessary realism as that large a creature would be really slow. But his face and fur are absolutely fantastic. This movie looked spectacular for its time, but it still looks pretty good even by today’s VFX standards.

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King Kong Movie Review…………………………………………………..
The film’s humor surprised me as it is pretty good and I laughed a couple of times. The dialogue is simple, yet extremely memorable and the editing is so deft that the movie flies by, but is never rushed too. The score is pretty good and fitting to the action as well. It truly is a wonderful experience.
With simply amazing special effects, memorable characters, excellent humor, highly recognizable dialogue and superb imagery, King Kong truly is an undisputed classic which has aged like fine wine and is phenomenally entertaining to this day. It is such a wonderful adventure which features quite a lot of unforgettable sequences, great action scenes and such a memorable ending leading to one of the best blockbusters of all time.

My Rating – 5

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Design for Living (1933)

Design for Living Movie Review………………………………………

Design for Living Movie Review

Design for Living is a 1933 screwball comedy directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Fredric March, Gary Cooper and Miriam Hopkins. It is a good, but not great movie.

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It’s true we had a gentleman’s agreement,

but unfortunately, I am no gentleman

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Design for Living Movie Review………………………………………
These three great actors play romantic lovers. Hopkins is in love with both of them and cannot decide so the three arrange to live together with hilarious results. First of all, this is obviously a Pre-Code movie and it is actually one of the bravest and boldest old films that I have ever seen. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
I myself do not have a high opinion of polygamy, but I still respect the movie for not just portraying such an issue, but also for giving us an ending where the three end up together. That was unexpected and incredibly bold, even for this day and age. Actually, I have never seen a movie deal with this subject matter before, old or recent, which is why I was fascinated by this film quite a bit.
Design for Living features all three of these actors at the peak of their careers and it truly shows. I love Gary Cooper and he is one of my favorite actors, but he was the weakest of the three as his character is too brute. He definitely played against type and gave a pretty good performance for that matter, but others were better. Fredric March is more memorable and certainly funnier and he delivered a strong performance. But this is beyond any doubt Miriam Hopkins’ vehicle as she killed it here and stole the show from these two great actors.

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Design for Living Movie Review………………………………………
She was perfect for this role and she is marvelous as Gilda Farrell, one of the most feminist characters in all of classic movies. As for Edward Everett Horton, he was typecasted here and I’ve seen him in this exact role so many times already.
Now let’s talk about the flaws. Design for Living is a pretty popular movie and it deals with a very different subject than usual. That is why I expected great things from it. But alas, the film is never great as it settled for being just good. Pretty good actually, but that is disappointing as this great material needed a much better execution.
I blame Ernst Lubitsch for that. His direction isn’t as polished as usual and he made many obvious mistakes. One is the pacing as the movie is too slow for a comedy. Another is the humor. Yes, sadly the humor is pretty weak for screwball comedy standards. It made me laugh a couple of times, but that was mostly in the first act as the other two are almost devoid of true laughs. Don’t get me wrong, the film has many highly amusing scenes and the dialogue and script are both stellar, but it is rarely as hilarious as I’d come to expect from this great subgenre.

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Design for Living Movie Review………………………………………
I loved the ending. That was my favorite scene. And I loved the beginning. That opening was very sensual and different in its silent, almost poetic approach. I also really liked all of the scenes between all three of them which is why I found the scenes with Horton’s character te be frustrating and overly extended. The movie somehow loses its steam in the third act and that was immensely unfortunate.
Design for Living is a frustrating movie because it is never great as it deserved to have been, but instead ended up being just good. All three of its great actors did a good job with Miriam Hopkins stealing the show completely. I loved the dialogue and the dynamic between these three and some scenes such as the opening and ending are unforgettable. But even though the film is bold in its ending and very brave and commendable for dealing with the subject of polygamy, it never made perfect use of it, the pacing is totally off and, for high screwball comedy standards, it is mostly devoid of true laughs.

My Rating – 4

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Blonde Venus (1932)

Blonde Venus Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Blonde Venus Movie Review

Blonde Venus is a 1932 Pre-Code drama film directed by Joseph von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall and Cary Grant. It is such an underrated film.  

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My name’s Taxi Belle Hooper.

Taxi for short.

Do you charge for the first mile?

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Blonde Venus Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

It is crazy how this movie is hugely underappreciated. Mordaunt Hall himself trashed it in his original 1932 review and most of the reviews I checked out were mostly quite negative. But to me it is honestly one of the director’s best films as it still possesses that visual quality to it and strong sensuality, but it also has a strong story, characters and especially emotion. It is a full package which I just adored.

Dietrich plays Helen, a woman who goes to great lengths to secure the money for her husband’s operation from a serious disease. But when her husband comes back and finds out about her affair, he banishes her and she takes her son and runs away until eventually giving in to the police.

The ending is where the movie shines and it is certainly my favourite sequence. The two spouses reunite over her singing a lullaby to their son as the song reminds them of how they met and what a strong pair they are. That was such a beautiful sequence that may be too happy and standard to some, but I found it to have a great message as I think she particularly belonged home with her husband and child and I would feel the same way if she was a man. I am trying to say that the film isn’t sexist at all. And I loved the beginning and how important that scene was for the whole film thematically.

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Blonde Venus Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Marlene Dietrich stuns in Blonde Venus and she actually gives one of her finest performances in this wonderful vehicle for her. Her acting is great, her facial expressions are superb and of course she is absolutely gorgeous and again we see her every feature emphasized to great effect thanks to some superb camera work. The cinematography here is amazing and is an essential part of the entire film.

Her character is great, human and complex and I also liked Ned and Nick. Nick has that typical rich villain thing going for him, but he still helped Helen a lot so I wouldn’t call him a villain at all. But Cary Grant unfortunately did not get much to do in this movie and this is basically one giant supporting performance, but this was only the beginning of his career and he was still charismatic and memorable. Herbert Marshall, on the other hand, was almost as great as Marlene was. He has always been a very good actor, but I just never witnessed such strong acting from him that he delivered here in spades. The last sequence in particular features superlative subtle, emotional work from him.

The movie is very sensual not only owing to its gorgeous cinematography, but also thanks to its two leads who are very nice to look at. They are such a charming, wonderful couple whom I just adored. As for the musical numbers, I guess they were fine and certainly quite racy and provocative as this is so obviously a Pre-Code picture, but they took too much running time in my opinion and slowed the movie down significantly.

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Blonde Venus Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Blonde Venus definitely has a weaker first half and takes its time to get there, but when it gets there, it somehow becomes the total opposite and this time rushed in pacing. So yes, the editing is all over the place here and that was the biggest hurdle the film never overcame. But other than that, it features a great script; it serves as a good message film, a great acting vehicle and a great proof of Sternberg’s strong directorial style.

Blonde Venus has too many musical numbers plus the editing is all over the place, but the film is very sensual owing to such a terrific cinematography and its two charming leads. But it is one of Joseph von Sternberg’s best films because it isn’t just style over substance as it also features a strong script, very good character development, great performances from Herbert Marshall and Marlene Dietrich in two of their best roles and such an indescribably beautiful, perfect conclusion.

My Rating – 4.5

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Mädchen in Uniform (1931)

Mädchen in Uniform Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

Mädchen in Uniform Movie Review

Mädchen in Uniform is a 1931 German drama film directed by Leontine Sagan. It is truly a one of a kind film that is one of the most memorable and different movies from this period.

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What you call sin, I call the great spirit of love,

which takes a thousand forms

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Mädchen in Uniform Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

I really respected this movie and it just fascinated me with its many intriguing aspects. So it is a love story between a teacher and a student and it is thus one of the first lesbian films ever. That is of course revolutionary. But the film is also interesting for revolving around female boarding school and having no male characters whatsoever. And to me the most interesting thing is its attack on Nazism. The teachers are obviously overly strict and harsh and I thought that parallel was really well accomplished and certainly ahead of its time.

I liked the characters quite a bit, all memorable and realistic. The relationship at the center of it is strong and there are a couple of sweet, romantic moments to be had here. But it was still a bit creepy to me personally as the age difference is vast and Manuela is basically a child at the ege of fourteen. That made the movie provocative even for this time in my opinion. But having in mind when it was made, I guess 14 wasn’t considered that young for that time period. I liked the headmistress, her final moment was revelatory and so powerful in its subtleness. And of course the girls are all great and I loved how they wanted to help Manuela.

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Mädchen in Uniform Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

Mädchen in Uniform is a very well acted with all around excellent performances and very well directed feature. One of the things that impressed was its use of sound which is quite professional and advanced for the time when the sound just arrived and most filmmakers struggled with it. The dialogue also impressed me as it was grounded in nature and always more subtle than on the nose which it easily could have been with its provocative plot.

The only thing that bothered me here is its running time which is just way too short. I guess that some scenes are probably lost as it seemed like it watching the version I’ve watched, but still the film felt way too rushed and abrupt. Had it been longer, it would have been much more effective as this way it ended up somewhat hurting the character development in particular.

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Mädchen in Uniform Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………

Mädchen in Uniform has a bunch of memorable lines and scenes in it. To me the first act is somewhat inferior, but the rest two are great and there lie a lot of great scenes. Of course the final sequence is just amazing, so well executed and I just loved its meaningful, emotional conclusion. But the arrival of the princess was also really well done and Manuela’s confession was great as that scene was powerful and so dramatic in style. The whole movie is great and a further proof of how excellent German cinema was in the twenties and early thirties. It is easy to see why it got banned as it is revolutionary even for this age and I respected it all the more for it. Such a fascinating, unique film.

Mädchen in Uniform certainly has too short running time, but it is otherwise such a great movie. It remains provocative and intriguing even today as its subject matter and its many themes are fascinating, different and ultimately so well explored. The film is superbly made across the board, but its dramatic as well as subtle approach is terrific, the strong emotion is evident and there are many unforgettable scenes here leading to one of the best German films of the thirties and definitely one of the most interesting and authentic movies from this period.

My Rating – 4.5

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Heidi (1937)

Heidi Movie Review…………………………………………………………..

Heidi Movie Review

Heidi is a 1937 family drama film starring Shirley Temple. It is a very disappointing, at times even annoying adaptation.

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Well, I’ve always had a sheet and coverlet,

but if there aren’t any,

I could sleep under the hay

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Heidi Movie Review…………………………………………………………..

I am a big fan of the book which is why this film adaptation disappointed me immensely. It couldn’t even be considered an adaptation, that’s how much they changed and ruined the source material. Whereas the book is all about the Alps, religion and of course the various benefits of the country, this film is all about Frankfurt and Fraulein Rottenmeier. So ridiculous.

The core of the movie is the relationship between Heidi and her grandfather and that was great. That is the only aspect of it that stayed true to the original and even accentuated their love a bit more which was wonderful to witness. But there is no Peter here whatsoever which is just super frustrating and of course the message is all wrong. They missed the point of the novel entirely. The book showcases the strengths and health benefits of living in the country and Clara heals just as she spends some time in the Alps, but here she heals in the house due to the help from Heidi. I do not understand how could the filmmakers be this clueless. It really bothered me.

Let’s talk about the characters. I really liked Heidi. She isn’t whom I imagined in the book, but Shirley Temple is so wonderful that she elevated the role. I realized watching her why she was so popular during the thirties. Not only is she cute, but so charismatic and obviously talented too. Jean Hersholt also did a really good job and the role was great.

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Heidi Movie Review…………………………………………………………..

But all of the other characters are all wrong. Clara is actually better developed than in the book, if a bit too old. But Detie is ridiculously villainous and of course Fraulein Rottenmeier is just silly. She was too over-the-book in the book itself, but here she was written as a straight off villain! She is so evil and so horrible that she became a cartoon character. And an overemphasis on her is what killed this movie. Andrews the butler is solid and sometimes even funny, but all of the other characters are underutilized.

Heidi is actually very well filmed. I really liked the sets, they looked wonderful. Both the village and the mountain looked great which is why the decision to feature more of Frankfurt felt so disappointing. It is well edited and well acted and all around very well made. The humor is interestingly quite solid and some of the moments between the girls were quite charming and heartwarming.

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Heidi Movie Review…………………………………………………………..

They just missed the book’s point which is why it frustrated me. But if you watch it separately from the book (as you basically should as most of it is just way too different to even be considered as an adaptation), it is actually solid and much better than when you compare it. I do understand what they were trying to do as they wanted a shorter, well structured movie, but it still ended up being childish instead of childlike and that is a major difference. The book is sweet and meaningful, but the movie, no matter how well made, is overly cartoony, simplistic and just plain silly at times. I do not hate this movie as it serves its purpose, but as an adaptation, it failed miserably and left me wishing for much more.

The 1937 adaptation of Heidi is incredibly disappointing. Yes, it is very well made, sometimes charming and humorous and Shirley Temple is lovable and she gave a respectable performance, but this movie failed on almost every level as an adaptation because they focused on all the wrong things, they entirely missed the point of the novel and some aspects felt either silly or just downright cartoony.

My Rating – 3

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My Man Godfrey (1936)

 My Man Godfrey Movie Review………………………………………………………….

My Man Godfrey Movie Review

My Man Godfrey is a 1936 screwball comedy film directed by Gregory La Cava and starring William Powell and Carole Lombard. It is definitely one of the finest screwball comedies.

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Godfrey loves me! He put me in the shower!

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 My Man Godfrey Movie Review………………………………………………………….

The story is about a socialite who hires a homeless man to be her family’s butler. She eventually falls in love with him, much to his dismay. The script here is so stellar and just perfect. Not only do you have a very entertaining and funny story populated with highly likable or amusing characters, but you still have a satire on class relations and truly its social commentary is not only smart and funny, but relevant to this day, thus only further adding to its timeless quality.

My Man Godfrey features absolutely amazing character development, truly an example of how to properly develop characters in a film. Almost all of them are likable, memorable and even funny plus they all felt like genuine human beings and I’ve felt in the end that I’ve just met them. Everyone gets a moment to shine.

Godfrey is fantastic and he carries this entire movie, the same goes for Irene and the two are such a charming couple. I loved his seriousness and elegance and how it clashed well with her childlike and energetic personality. Cornelia is quite memorable as this cold and manipulative brat and their father is very likable. And of course the mother is such a hilarious personality and she made me laugh the most. I liked Molly quite a bit as she’s so sweet to everyone, but only Carlo is the weak link as I felt that he was unnecessary for this movie and that is the only flaw I can find here, but a minor one nevertheless.

The acting is just marvelous with everyone delivering a terrific performance. Alice Brady steals every scene she’s in with a comedic gold of a performance and Gail Patrick is beautiful and memorable. Carole Lombard delivered her finest performance of her career in Godfrey as she’s just a force to be reckoned with. But to me William Powell is the most outstanding of the bunch as he’s one of my favorite comedy actors. Here his seriousness clashed well with the craziness of the others and his facial expressions are just priceless.

My Man Godfrey features probably the best humor of any 1930s films and that is in and of itself a major accolade. Everyone made me laugh and most especially Brady, Lombard and Powell’s characters. So good. The humor is so strong, yet also smart and sophisticated propelled by such a great dialogue. The facial expressions of Godfrey and over-the-top antics from the crazy family were the highlights. Such a memorable and hilarious crew of characters.

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 My Man Godfrey Movie Review………………………………………………………….

My Man Godfrey is brilliantly made as there isn’t a single flaw in it in terms of the execution. The direction from Gregory La Cava is simply great, the acting is exceptional and the editing is stellar. Truly nothing felt rushed nor prolonged. It lasts for just the right amount of time and is always absolutely compelling to watch.

The script is so good, but it is the dialogue that is one of the standouts. It is as brisk and as sophisticated and biting as you would expect form a 30s screwball comedy which is why it thoroughly succeeds in this genre and why it’s one of its finest representatives. It is also one of the very best that 1936 has to offer and shame on Academy for not nominating it for Best Picture.

Speaking of the Academy, it was nominated for six Oscars. I do not agree at all with the nod to Mischa Auer as his character is the weakest link as I’ve said above, but I thoroughly agree with other nominations with Powell, Lombard and Brady’s performances all being deserving of the nomination. The same goes for the director and the script, but it is ridiculous that it didn’t win any and it just goes to show how clueless they often were during this decade.

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 My Man Godfrey Movie Review………………………………………………………….

The tone is great as it shifts to dramatic and serious at just the right times. The themes and message are evident and of course the film looks good and works perfectly as a chamber drama and a theatrical one as it revolves almost entirely in one house and it makes use of that setting so well. And I have to say that the movie is so charming and so romantic as its romance is so well developed and so wonderful. I loved the ending where she chased him and made him marry her. Hilarious and beautiful.

With such a stellar script, sophisticated and hilarious dialogue, phenomenal humor as the movie consistently made me laugh and such outstanding performances from Alice Brady, Carole Lombard and William Powell, My Man Godfrey is an undisputed classic and one of the finest screwball comedies that is always funny and charming, yet smart and so polished technically too. It features characters that are all memorable, likable and funny and the film is almost flawless in execution and just brilliant.

My Rating – 5

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