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LawrenceA

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The way you feel about CAMILLE is the way I feel about NINOTCHKA. I never found it very good, and then when everyone else was on the Garbo Laughs bandwagon, I gave it another try. I still didn't care much for it. In fact, I like her follow-up comedy, the much-maligned TWO-FACED WOMAN better than NINOTCHKA.

 

But overall, Garbo is hit-or-miss for me.

 

Her performances are pretty much the same film after film, although I still like her. I probably saw NINOTCHKA at an impressionable enough age... before some of her others... so it is still viewed with "rose colored glasses". I overlook the flaws easily. Also it has that "Wilder touch" since he worked on the screenplay and is a nice precursor to his Paramount hits (with a recurring pattern of ladies being stuffy in the first half of the picture before loosening up... or going crazy... in the second half a.k.a. Jean Arthur, Gloria Swanson, Audrey Hepburn, etc.). Also her facial reactions over the champagne get me every time. Maybe because CAMILLE was hyped so much in outtakes before I sat through the whole thing, it lost its glitter for me.

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Garbo on the BIG screen is something else again.

 

Even in a movie WITHIN a movie. Yeah... I foolishly sat through ANNIE in a theater in 1982 and thought the CAMILLE scenes looked the most impressive.

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Her performances are pretty much the same film after film, although I still like her. 

I don't mind her in some of her films, but yeah, she seems like a one-trick pony after awhile. So does Wallace Beery with all that ham he serves up. The studio should have thrown them together as improbable lovers in some type of comedy. That would have forced them, playing off each other, to come up with a new trick or two.

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The Golem (1936) is by that very good French director, Julien Duvivier and has a great performance by Harry Baur.   I'm tracking down a number of Baur's films.  Check out his bio on the imdb.  Quite a life and death which may have been at the hands of the Gestapo.  He was known as the French Emil Jannings because of his 'large' performances.  His Les Miserables trilogy (1934) is only recently out on Blu Ray.  He would be a great choice for a SUTS spotlight.

 

Our Relations (1936) is my favourite Laurel & Hardy film.  Two sets of mis-matched twins provide lots of fun.

 

I watched the Criterion Eclipse release of Raymond Bernard films that included WOODEN CROSSES and LES MISERABLES with Harry Baur...I went in knowing nothing, trusting in Criterion's reputation. I enjoyed both...they nearly made my top ten.

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I watched the Criterion Eclipse release of Raymond Bernard films that included WOODEN CROSSES and LES MISERABLES with Harry Baur...I went in knowing nothing, trusting in Criterion's reputation. I enjoyed both...they nearly made my top ten.

I've been meaning to watch the Harry Baur version of LES MIS...but it's so long that I need a free weekend afternoon for it. :)

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1936

 

1. Modern Times

2. The Devil-Doll

3. Sabotage

4. Libeled Lady

5. My Man Godfrey

6. The Prisoner of Shark Island

7. Robin Hood of El Dorado

8. The Petrified Forest

9. Love Before Breakfast

10. Fury

11. The Trail of the Lonesome Pine

12. Big Brown Eyes

13. Secret Agent

14. Come and Get It

15. Mary of Scotland

16. The Ex-Mrs. Bradford

17. The Road to Glory

18. Riffraff

19. Camille

20. The Charge of the Light Brigade

21. The Invisible Ray

22. Dracula's Daughter

23. San Francisco

24. Follow the Fleet

25. Swing Time

26. Bullets or Ballots

27. The Princess Comes Across

28. Satan Met a Lady

29. Ladies in Love

30. Charlie Chan at the Race Track

31. Cesar

32. The Walking Dead

33. Desire

34. Charlie Chan's Secret

35. Charlie Chan at the Opera

36. The General Died at Dawn

37. After the Thin Man

38. The Texas Rangers

39. These Three

40. Adventure in Manhattan

41. Shadow of Chinatown

42. Anthony Adverse

43. The Gorgeous Hussy

44. Cain and Mabel

45. The Unguarded Hour

46. Under Two Flags

47. Suzy

48. The Plainsman

49. Petticoat Fever

50. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

51. Dodsworth

52. Theodora Goes Wild

53. Wedding Present

54. Charlie Chan at the Circus

55. Small Town Girl

56. Lloyd's of London

57. More Than a Secretary

58. Love on the Run

59. The Plough and the Stars

60. The Mandarin Mystery

61. The Garden of Allah

62. Romeo and Juliet

63. Wife vs. Secretary

64. The Amazing Adventure

65. Born to Dance

66. The Great Ziegfeld

67. Winds of the Wasteland

68. A Woman Rebels

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1937 - 74 films seen

 

 

1. GRAND ILLUSION

2. THE AWFUL TRUTH

3. STAGE DOOR

4. CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS

5. THE GOOD EARTH

6. A DAY AT THE RACES

7. TOPPER

8. THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA

9. MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW

10. DEAD END

 

Runner-ups: LOST HORIZON, IN OLD CHICAGO, MARKED WOMAN, NIGHT MUST FALL, and KID GALAHAD

 

 

Not a spectacular year, to be honest. I liked every movie on the list, obviously, but none rank as my absolute favorites, with the possible exception of GRAND ILLUSION.

 

Time to make a confession: I'm not a huge fan of animation. As with musicals, I respect the artistry involved, the time and energy it takes to complete one, and some have excellent writing as well. But I've never been able to click with the vast majority of animated films, even as a kid. There are a couple of Pixar films I considered for later lists, but I finally decided to not include any animation. I bring this up since SNOW WHITE is often on ten best of '37 lists. Naturally, just because I feel this way, and have decided to omit the few animated films I may have considered, does not mean you shouldn't have them on your list. I'm not trying to change anybody's mind about where their particular tastes lie. If you like it, you like it, and more power to you! For me, the purpose of list sharing is to compare and contrast, and learn about titles you may have missed. It's not to declare who's choices are superior. These should be ten favorites, not necessarily the empirical ten best, since in art no such thing can or should exist. Art is only as good as it moves you, and that's an individual experience.

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For 1937 - 66 films seen

 

1.  Grand Illusion

2.  The Prisoner of Zenda

3.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

4.  Captains Courageous

5.  The Awful Truth

6.  Stage Door

7.  Dead End

8.  The Life of Emile Zola

9.  Lost Horizon

10. Knight Without Armor

 

Here are some from my runner up list: Pepe Le Moko, The Emperor's Candlesticks, Tovarich, King Solomon's Mines, Elephant Boy, Easy Living, A Day at the Races and The Edge of the World.

 

This time I have seen all of the films on your list, Lawrence.

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My current choices for performances for 1937 are:

 

Best Actor

 

Cary Grant, The Awful Truth

 

Best Actress

 

Irene Dunne, The Awful Truth

 

Best Supporting Actor

 

Humphrey Bogart, Dead End

 

Best Supporting Actress

 

Claire Trevor, Dead End

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My list:

 

1. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

2. TOPPER

3. STAGE DOOR

4. DEAD END

5. THE AWFUL TRUTH

6. THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER

7. CONQUEST

8. HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT

9. THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA

10. MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW and THE HURRICANE (tie)

 

Honorable Mentions: ELEPHANT BOY; THE LAST GANGSTER; SARATOGA; EVER SINCE EVE; THEY WON'T FORGET; and WELLS FARGO. 

 

I think the best performers of 1937 were: Cary Grant; Charles Boyer; Jean Harlow; Claude Rains; Paul Muni; and Sylvia Sidney.

 

Okay-- we're up to 1937 today. I was two days ahead when I posted this one recently. :)

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For 1937 - 66 films seen

 

1.  Grand Illusion

2.  The Prisoner of Zenda

3.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

4.  Captains Courageous

5.  The Awful Truth

6.  Stage Door

7.  Dead End

8.  The Life of Emile Zola

9.  Lost Horizon

10. Knight Without Armor

 

Here are some from my runner up list: Pepe Le Moke, The Emperor's Candlesticks, Tovarich, King Solomon's Mines, Elephant Boy, Easy Living, A Day at the Races and The Edge of the World.

 

This time I have seen all of the films on your list, Lawrence.

KNIGHT WITHOUT ARMOR, THE EMPEROR'S CANDLESTICKS, TOVARICH, ELEPHANT BOY, EASY LIVING, and THE EDGE OF THE WORLD are all unseen by me, all unknown except for ELEPHANT BOY.

 

THE PRISONER OF ZENDA was nearly a runner-up for me.

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I just looked up the ones I didn't know...surprised I didn't know EDGE OF THE WORLD, since I'm a big fan of Michael Powell's work. The photo I saw from EDGE had Niall MacGinnis...I've never seen him that young.

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I just looked up the ones I didn't know...surprised I didn't know EDGE OF THE WORLD, since I'm a big fan of Michael Powell's work. The photo I saw from EDGE had Niall MacGinnis...I've never seen him that young.

 

I'm still hoping to see Powell's last film, The Return to the Edge of the World (1978) some day.

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Time to make a confession: I'm not a huge fan of animation. As with musicals, I respect the artistry involved, the time and energy it takes to complete one, and some have excellent writing as well. But I've never been able to click with the vast majority of animated films, even as a kid. There are a couple of Pixar films I considered for later lists, but I finally decided to not include any animation. I bring this up since SNOW WHITE is often on ten best of '37 lists. Naturally, just because I feel this way, and have decided to omit the few animated films I may have considered, does not mean you shouldn't have them on your list. I'm not trying to change anybody's mind about where their particular tastes lie. If you like it, you like it, and more power to you! For me, the purpose of list sharing is to compare and contrast, and learn about titles you may have missed. It's not to declare who's choices are superior. These should be ten favorites, not necessarily the empirical ten best, since in art no such thing can or should exist. Art is only as good as it moves you, and that's an individual experience.

 

 

I tend to favor animated SHORTS more than FEATURES since there is often more innovation in 6 to 30 minutes than an hour or more. There is less of a need to "adapt" to a structured storyline with happy ending included. An animated feature must compete with a live action feature, but shorts are blessed with an "anything goes" creativity.

 

Many Disney features are excellent in their production values, but you can't watch them back to back. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS and SLEEPING BEAUTY are too much alike in "plot": gal must hide in woods but an evil queen/fairy still finds her and puts her into a slumber... then she wakes up to "love's first kiss". However, provided there is some "distance" between viewings, I do enjoy both for unique reasons. The former was made before we had THE WIZARD OF OZ and a great many other "like" fantasies in Technicolor, so there is a sense of awe that I share with the "vintage" movie goers of 1937-38. The latter showcases the aging Disney studio of the "stylized" 1950s, particularly the Middle Ages tapestry inspired backgrounds of Eyvind Earle. Also Marc Davis and Eric Cleworth's impressive "angular" work with Maleficent and her transformation into a dragon.

 

SNOW WHITE was, of course, not the only animated feature in 1937. Ladislas Starevich's TALE OF A FOX was shown in Berlin eight months earlier, although the bulk of the production was done in France between 1928 and 1931 and Starevich had to shelve it until a proper soundtrack was added (first in German, later in the originally intended French). I actually favor FOX over SNOW WHITE. You can find his feature on youtube. My DVD copy is a region 2 "converted" to region 1 that I got on ebay years ago.

 

While the ex-Russian Starevich was making his stop-motion stuff in France, Aleksandr Ptushko was cranking similar goods for the Mosfilm studio. A few were even done in color (despite the Soviet Union lacking the same facilities as Burbank's Technicolor Inc.), although major restoration work was needed done to make a 1937 print look THIS good.

 

http://animator.ru/db/?ver=eng&p=show_film&fid=2491

 

 

 

 

 

Now...

 

Just in case this is TOO Disnesque for your tastes, here is another 1937 cartoon that is as UN-Disney like as they get: Len Lye's TRADE TATTOO excerpted (not complete).

 

 

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I haven't had the chance to post about 1936.

 

I love the movie Anthony Adverse. It may be my favorite movie and has been since I saw it as a kid, on Channel 4 (NBC) in NY. In those pre-video days, I once wrote to Channel 4, asking if they could run the film before Christmas, as a sort of present. They did!

 

The movie has epic sweep, a great story, numerous locales, a huge number of great actors in large and small roles, sex, religion, aristocrats, peasants, grand opera, and, thrown in for good measure at the end, Napoleon Bonaparte, who is having an affair with the eponymous character's wife. 

 

It also has Erich Wolfgang Korngold's greatest (Oscar-winning) score. In its chapter on Korngold in the excellent book American Film Music: Major Composer, Techniques, Trends 1915-1990, the chapter on Korngold is devoted almost exclusively to a scene-by-scene analysis: "The overall excellence of Korngold's work is, perhaps, best seen through an extended analysis of Anthony Adverse, a score that stands out as highly complex for Hollywood..."

 

The book offers a painstaking and fascinating analysis of sequences in the film and the music and leitmotifs that accompany them: "Musical Configurations in Anthony Adverse." The book spends 23 pages on its analysis of Korngold's score for Anthony Adverse.

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1937

 

1. You Only Live Once

2. Make Way for Tomorrow

3. The Awful Truth

4. Young and Innocent

5. The Hurricane

6. Night Must Fall

7. Stage Door

8. Grand Illusion

9. Wee Willie Winkie

10. A Day at the Races

11. Kid Galahad

12. Easy Living

13. The Last of Mrs. Cheyney

14. The Great O'Malley

15. Charlie Chan on Broadway

16. They Won't Forget

17. Black Legion

18. Charlie Chan at the Olympics

19. Souls at Sea

20. Double Wedding

21. Breakfast for Two

22. Love from a Stranger

23. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

24. The Life of Emile Zola

25. The Prisoner of Zenda

26. Personal Property

27. Dead End

28. They Gave Him a Gun

29. History Is Made at Night

30. Dark Journey

31. It Happened in Hollywood

32. The Emperor's Candlesticks

33. Second Honeymoon

34. Marked Woman

35. Confession

36. Saratoga

37. I Met Him in Paris

38. Mannequin

39. Maid of Salem

40. The Last Gangster

41. The Adventurous Blonde

42. Smart Blonde

43. Sea Devils

44. Swing High, Swing Low

45. Knight Without Armour

46. Madame X

47. A Damsel in Distress

48. Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo

49. True Confession

50. West of Shanghai

51. Quality Street

52. Topper

53. A Star Is Born

54. Shall We Dance

55. San Quentin

56. Nothing Sacred

57. Lost Horizon

58. Storm in a Teacup

59. The Wrong Road

60. Night Key

61. Born to the West

62. Fly Away Baby

63. Fire Over England

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Frank, I'm glad you liked YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE. I enjoyed that one as well. In fact, I would have had it at least as a runner-up if I hadn't overlooked it when compiling my list.

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I haven't had the chance to post about 1936.

 

I love the movie Anthony Adverse. 

I feel it is overlong and really cries out for Technicolor and CinemaScope. It's like it was made twenty years too soon. 

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Screen%2Bshot%2B2015-12-18%2Bat%2B5.25.3

 

My list:

1. EN KVINNAS ANSIKTE
2. PYGMALION

3. MARIE ANTOINETTE
4. THE LADY VANISHES
5. A MAN TO REMEMBER

6. THREE COMRADES
7. THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD

8. BLUEBEARD'S EIGHTH WIFE
9. LA BETE HUMAINE
10. PORT OF SHADOWS and BOYS TOWN (tie)

Honorable Mentions: HOLIDAY; JEZEBEL; ROOM SERVICE; SIDEWALKS OF LONDON; ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES; and MY LUCKY STAR. 

 

I think the best performers of 1938 were: Ingrid Bergman; Spencer Tracy; Norma Shearer; Wendy Hiller; and Errol Flynn.

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I noticed that few people mentioned THE GOOD EARTH for '37.

 

The politically incorrect, exaggerated stereotypes ruin it for me, though I love Luise Rainer's performance as O-lan.

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I feel it is overlong and really cries out for Technicolor and CinemaScope. It's like it was made twenty years too soon. 

 

Actually, I wish it were longer. The book (which I haven't read) is even longer and takes Anthony to America. I think the 1930s had a great way with long, episodic novels, and that I wouldn't have liked the film as much had it been made much later. 

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Actually, I wish it were longer. The book (which I haven't read) is even longer and takes Anthony to America. I think the 1930s had a great way with long, episodic novels, and that I wouldn't have liked the film as much had it been made much later. 

Sounds like it would have worked as a PBS miniseries. I still think it's too long as a movie. Some epic stories are quite lengthy, like GONE WITH THE WIND, but they move forward. This film feels painfully slow to me, and I don't know why. Maybe it's a problem with the way some of the sequences are edited (or not edited down, as the case may be).

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Sounds like it would have worked as a PBS miniseries. I still think it's too long as a movie. Some epic stories are quite lengthy, like GONE WITH THE WIND, but they move forward. This film feels painfully slow to me, and I don't know why. Maybe it's a problem with the way some of the sequences are edited (or not edited down, as the case may be).

 

Actually, I find GWTW to be a big bore, except in a few spots. It shows, I think that may be due to the hodgepodge of styles caused by too many directors having a hand. I don't mind slow -- a few of my favorite films -- Anthony Adverse, The Dead, The Group -- are films that have been eschewed here because they are "slow," or because "nothing happens," though of course plenty happens in AA. 

 

I saw a stage production of an Ibsen play a few years ago -- it's called Emperor and Galilean and is about Julian the Apostate. It's a nine-hour play and was edited down to 3 1/2 hours. I loved it but wished it hadn't been cut. It got mixed reviews, although one critic called it an "unendurable bore." It starred Andrew Scott and Ian McDiarmud (of Star Wars fame).

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