Bogie56

Your Favourite Performances from 1930 to present are...

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The Venice Film Festival of 1934 gave the Best Actor Award to Wallace Beery for Viva Villa! and the Best Actress Award to Katharine Hepburn for Little Women (1933).

 
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The Venice Film Festival of 1934 gave the Best Actor Award to Wallace Beery for Viva Villa! and the Best Actress Award to Katharine Hepburn for Little Women (1933).

 

Viva Villa is far and away my favourite Wallace Beery performance in my favourite Wallace Beery film. It's a shame that Lee Tracy was a bad boy and got himself removed from the production. It might have been an even stronger film with him. Stu Erwin is okay as his replacement but Tracy's acerbic machine gun delivery of dialogue has always been a special joy for me.

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I see that kingrat and Lawrence have both listed Harry Bauer's performance in Les Miserables as one of the best of 1934. I congratulate both of you for having the fortitude to sit through such an incredibly long film (with sub titles yet!). I have never viewed it for precisely those reasons.

 

I'm not a fan of sub titled films, in general, because I feel that I miss so much of the visuals by having to keep reading the bottom of the screen. If that makes me a cultural boor when it comes to foreign films, so be it. Of course, I have sat through a number of sub titled films, but the length of that particular production would be a severe test of my endurance, even if I did see it in installments.

 

It's understandable. It took me a few years to get used to subtitled films. Now when I watch them, I find that I pay more attention to them than I do to English-language films, since I have to concentrate on reading and watching at the same time. It may be one reason so many foreign films have made an impression on me in the last several years.

 

And it's also very, VERY important that the subtitles are well written and presented appropriately on screen. That can make a world of difference.

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Viva Villa is far and away my favourite Wallace Beery performance in my favourite Wallace Beery film. It's a shame that Lee Tracy was a bad boy and got himself removed from the production. It might have been an even stronger film with him. Stu Erwin is okay as his replacement but Tracy's acerbic machine gun delivery of dialogue has always been a special joy for me.

 

Lee Tracy was my father's favourite actor.  Apparently he liked his fast dialogue delivery.  Maybe it seemed exotic to a Brit.  When my mother told me this I hadn't seen a single Lee Tracy film.  So many of the pre codes were just never on television until TCM came along.

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I need to watch Viva Villa! again. I've just seen it once, and it was many years ago. At the time, I thought it was kind of silly, and Beery was deeply into his hammy mannerisms. I see a lot of people rate it highly, though, so maybe my opinion will have changed by now.

 

One of my relatives was part of the U.S. Army Expeditionary Force sent to try and capture Pancho Villa in 1916. I have a picture of him in uniform down in Mexico.

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Yes, I am mentioning the same films often, but they are my favourites, so............................................................................................

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Blore in The Gay Divorcee

Walter Connolly in It Happened One Night

Walter Connolly in Twentieth Century

Alan Hale in It Happened One Night

Edward Everett Horton in The Gay Divorcee

Roscoe Karns in It Happened One Night

Roscoe Karns in Twentieth Century

Edward Ellis in The Thin Man

William Henry in The Thin Man

Herbert Marshall in Riptide

Nat Pendleton in The Thin Man

William Powell in Manhattan Melodrama

Caesar Romero in The Thin Man

 

 

 

 

 

WINNER: NAT PENDLETON IN THE THIN MAN

 

 

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Lee Tracy was my father's favourite actor.  Apparently he liked his fast dialogue delivery.  Maybe it seemed exotic to a Brit.  When my mother told me this I hadn't seen a single Lee Tracy film.  So many of the pre codes were just never on television until TCM came along.

 

It's thanks to TCM that I have become a Lee Tracy fan myself. Most of his films from his pre code period have come on here. Prior to getting TCM I think that Doctor X was the only Tracy film I had seen. Now I can't get enough of him.

 

I wonder if your Dad remembered Tracy from having seen him at the show as a kid. I have to wonder how much exposure he had to the actor on television in the pre-TCM days.

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS FOR 1934:

 

 

 

Edna Best in The Man Who Knew Too Much

Alice Brady in The Gay Divorcee

Minna Gombell for The Thin Man

Helen Jerome Eddy in Riptide

Myrna Loy in Manhattan Melodrama

Natallie Moorhead in The Thin Man

Lilyan Tashman for Riptide

 

 

 

WINNER:  MYRNA LOY IN MANHATTAN MELODRAMA

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I FORGOT TO LIST WARD BOND IN  IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT.

 

 

 

Pretend that I did list him  in the supporting actor category nominees.

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I need to watch Viva Villa! again. I've just seen it once, and it was many years ago. At the time, I thought it was kind of silly, and Beery was deeply into his hammy mannerisms. I see a lot of people rate it highly, though, so maybe my opinion will have changed by now.

 

One of my relatives was part of the U.S. Army Expeditionary Force sent to try and capture Pancho Villa in 1916. I have a picture of him in uniform down in Mexico.

 

Great to have a family photo like that, Lawrence. Raoul Walsh, before becoming a major director, accompanied Villa in a film project (The Life of Villa, I believe it was called) that is since lost, unfortunately. Villa participated in it himself. His ego was such that he liked the idea of a film being made about him as a "hero".

 

You might take another look at Viva Villa sometime. Yes, there's some typical Beery in his performance but I always thought the actor was at his most effective when he played a character who had a mean side to him. And there is definitely a dark, ruthless side to his characterization in this film, and less of the usual schmaltzy sentiment.

 

Do you remember his sadistic vengeance on one particular character when he buries him in sand, his head exposed to be eaten alive by ants? You don't see it, of course, but you do hear the screams.

 

vivavilla1.jpg

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Just in case anyone does not happen to know this already, Clark Gable's way of eating a carrot in It Happened One Night was the inspiration for Bug's Bunny.

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It's thanks to TCM that I have become a Lee Tracy fan myself. Most of his films from his pre code period have come on here. Prior to getting TCM I think that Doctor X was the only Tracy film I had seen. Now I can't get enough of him.

 

I wonder if your Dad remembered Tracy from having seen him at the show as a kid. I have to wonder how much exposure he had to the actor on television in the pre-TCM days.

 

Well, my dad passed away in 1964 so I can safely say he became a fan of Lee Tracy watching him as a teen at the cinema in Edinburgh.  They probably loved the American exoticness of his style.

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1934 Favorites

 
Best Actor
 
Fred Astaire (The Gay Divorcee)
Leslie Howard (Of Human Bondage)
Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi (The Black Cat)
Douglass Montgomery (Little Man, What Now?)
Conrad Veidt (Jew Suss — the English 1934 version, not to be confused with the German/Nazi 1940 version)
 
Best Actress
 
Bette Davis (Of Human Bondage)
Claudette Colbert (Imitation of Life)
Gracie Fields (Sing As We Go)
Myrna Loy (The Thin Man)
Margaret Sullavan (Little Man, What Now?)
 
Best Supporting Actor
 
Henry Brandon (Babes in Toyland)
Walter Connolly (Twentieth Century)
Etienne Girardot (Twentieth Century)
Cedric Hardwicke (Jew Suss)
Francis L. Sullivan (Great Expectations)
 
Best Supporting Actress
 
Louise Beavers (Imitation of Life)
Jan Duggan (The Old-Fashioned Way) 
Margaret Lindsay (Fog Over Frisco)
Fredi Washington (Imitation of Life)
Helen Westley (Anne of Green Gables)
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For Tom and others who may have shied away from the 1934 LES MISERABLES, directed by Raymond Bernard and lasting about four hours or so, I'll note that Harry Baur is a large, tall man, a very physical actor, and the film has plenty of action, so you're not just reading subtitles all the time. Raymond Bernard is a very good director, and the familiarity of the story helps, too. For those of you who are fans of THE WAGES OF FEAR, Charles Vanel (Yves Montand's driving companion) plays Inspector Javert.

 

It is conceived as a trilogy, perhaps inspired by the FANNY trilogy, and watching each of the three acts at a separate sitting is a convenient way to take it in. I prefer it to Richard Boleslawski's 1935 Hollywood version, although that is well worth seeing too, with Fredric March as Jean Valjean and Charles Laughton as Inspector Javert. 

 

Because Swithin has mentioned that he was a friend of Miriam Margolyes, who plays Granny Mingott in Scorsese's THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, I'll note that she is even better than Helen Westley, who has plenty of fun with the role in the 1934 version.

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I hadn't remembered that STAMBOUL QUEST was a 1934 film. Myrna Loy is sexy and fun, and George Brent is much less wooden than usual, possibly because of Myrna. I should have included this performance of Myrna's in the Best Actress list. 1934 was a fabulous year for her, with THE THIN MAN and MANHATTAN MELODRAMA. No more secondary roles as a Eurasian villainess.

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Stamboul Quest is a Myrna Loy film I haven't seen!

 

Must see all of Myrna Loy........................................................

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I hadn't remembered that STAMBOUL QUEST was a 1934 film. Myrna Loy is sexy and fun, and George Brent is much less wooden than usual, possibly because of Myrna. I should have included this performance of Myrna's in the Best Actress list. 1934 was a fabulous year for her, with THE THIN MAN and MANHATTAN MELODRAMA. No more secondary roles as a Eurasian villainess.

 

Somewhere I read that director W. S. Van Dyke, who directed Manhattan Melodrama, is said to have been so impressed by the chemistry between Loy and Powell in that film that it led to Myrna being cast opposite Powell soon afterward in The Thin Man. In that respect, with super stardom then ahead of her, you could say that 1934 was the most important film of her career.

 

Of course, Manhattan Melodrama is also famous as the film that John Dillinger went to see (accompanied by "the lady in red" who, I believe, was actually NOT dressed in red in spite of the legend) the night that he was shot to death by the FBI outside the Biograph Theatre in Chicago. Loy is said to have been Dillinger's favourite actress.

 

image-venue-biograph-01.jpg

 

July, 1934: the woman in the middle of the front row has a newspaper with the headline, "Dillinger Slain."

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Yes, that is the movie Tom, and that is why the movie made so much money.  Overall, it is not a noteworthy film in terms of its quality, but it is the first film of 16 movies starring Myrna Loy and William Powell, of which only 6 of them were about Nick and Nora.

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I have an enormous list of 1934 films that have been mentioned that I have not seen.   Anyway, here are my choices of the 47 films I've seen from 1934 for…

 

Best Supporting Actress of 1934

 

1.  FAY WRAY (Angela), The Affairs of Cellini

2.  BINNIE BARNES (Rosita, “a Maid, pure and simple"), The Private Life of Don Juan

3.  GINA MALO (Pepitta, ‘another dancer of equal temperament’), The Private Life of Don Juan

4.  NELLY CORRADI (Anne Dariot), La Signora Di Tutti

5.  HELEN WESTLEY (Marilla Cuthbert), Anne of Green Gables

 

6.  FLORA ROBSON (Empress Elisabeth of Russia), Catherine the Great

7.  LOUISE DRESSER (Polly Harum), David Harum

8.  DIANA NAPIER (Countess Vorontzova), Catherine the Great

9.  HELEN VINSON (Margaret Higgins Brooks), Broadway Bill

10. ATHENE SEYLER (Theresa, ‘the The Innkeeper’, a Middle Aged Lady of youthful sentiment), The Private Life of Don          Juan

 

and...

 

MARY CLARE (“Mother”), The Clairvoyant/The Evil Mind

FRANCES DEE (Sally Athelny), Of Human Bondage

JANE BAXTER (Christine Shaw), The Clairvoyant/The Evil Mind

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Because Swithin has mentioned that he was a friend of Miriam Margolyes, who plays Granny Mingott in Scorsese's THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, I'll note that she is even better than Helen Westley, who has plenty of fun with the role in the 1934 version.

 

The Age of Innocence (1993) was a real eye-opener for me, when I saw it on TCM a few years ago. One of a handful of truly perfect movies. But I do like the 1934 version -- not a great dramatization of the book, but with two of my favorites -- Irene Dunne and Helen Westley, who does a great job in every movie she was ever in.  Westley (as I've noted before) is from Brooklyn, and I assume came from a venerable Brooklyn family, as she has two Brooklyn street names in her real name: Henrietta Remsen Meserole Manney.

 

I was happy to see Athene Seyler on Bogie's list. I've never seen The Private Life of Don Juan but look forward to it. I always enjoy Athene Seyler's performances.

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I have a huge list of 1934 movies I haven't seen according to movies listed in this thread too, Bogie.  And yet, I know I've seen over 100 movies from this year, perhaps 150 movies.  Some that you mention I have never even heard of before.

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I have a huge list of 1934 movies I haven't seen according to movies listed in this thread too, Bogie.  And yet, I know I've seen over 100 movies from this year, perhaps 150 movies.  Some that you mention I have never even heard of before.

Do you keep lists of what you've seen?

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Do you keep lists of what you've seen?

I'm a lifelong list maker.  I make lists of lots of things and then file them away.  I don't have to do that as much since the internet exists but yeah, I do.  Sometimes I get mixed up by movies having the same title that are a different version of the same movie.

 

I have had several Agatha Christie books, for example, which I have thought I was reading for the first time - I've read the all now, of course- only to find that I had already read them under another title because England and USA had separate titles and Canada has access to both.

 

Some movies I know I have seen before years ago on VHS but that I do not remember details.

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I was happy to see Athene Seyler on Bogie's list. I've never seen The Private Life of Don Juan but look forward to it. I always enjoy Athene Seyler's performances.

 

I also want to commend Bogie for his selection of Athene Seyler in Private Life of Don Juan. It's a performance that I would have included on my own list of supporting actresses for 1934 if I had thought of it. Seyler's scenes as a middle aged woman ready to settle for a middle aged Don Juan (in spite of the affront to his ego) are among the most amusing in the film, I think.

 

From everything that I've read about Douglas Fairbanks, he was a man who hated the aging process (having a number of affairs along the way to perhaps prove to himself that he still had "it"). Yet, here he was in his final film playing the role of a "great lover" seeming a little foolish as he reached his middle years yet still trying to cling to a reputation that he could no longer live up to. I find it unexpected and refreshing that Fairbanks put his ego aside enough to allow his character to be the butt of the joke here. His Don Juan in this film is, in some respects, surprisingly naive when it comes to the opposite sex.

 

I find it interesting to compare Fairbanks's wistful, slightly sad portrait of an aging Don to those of John Barrymore (virile, at one point in his version even something of a stalker, the toughest of the Don Juans) and Errol Flynn (cynical, growing a little tired of the chase, but surprisingly vulnerable for "the right woman" should she appear). All three films are well worth viewing.

 

7084510491_79aeff8919.jpg

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