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Your Favourite Performances from 1929 to present are...


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That's another one I shall just have to see again.  So many movies ...

 

At the end of Anthony Adverse, Angela has morphed into Mlle. Georges, an opera singer. The real Mlle. Georges (1787-1867) was one of the most famous French actresses of her time, who had an affair with Napoleon (and possibly with the Duke of Wellington, too). In the film All This, and Heaven Too, Bette Davis and Charles Boyer take the children to see Mlle. Georges.

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Best Supporting Actress of 1936

 

1) Jessie Ralph-- After the Thin Man

2) Spring Byington-- Theodora Goes Wild

3) Elisabeth Risdon-- Theodora Goes Wild

4) Elissa Landi-- After the Thin Man

5) Alison Skipworth-- The Princess Comes Across

 

Honorable Mention

 

Alice Brady - - My Man Godfrey

Gail Patrick - - My Man Godfrey

 

 

Best Supporting Actor of 1936

 

1) Humphrey Bogart - - Petrified Forest

2) James Stewart--After the Thin Man

3) Eugene Pallette-- My Man Godfrey

3) Thomas Mitchell--Theodora Goes Wild

4) Mischa Auer - - My Man Godfrey

5) Robert Young-- Secret Agent & Peter Lorre - - Secret Agent

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1936--Best Actor: winner has asterisks by their name(s)

 

Spencer Tracy in Fury

 

William Powell in Libeled Lady

 

Humphrey Bogart in The Petrified Forest

 

William Powell in My Man Godfrey**

 

Peter Lorre in Secret Agent

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Best work by a entire cast--Showboat

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NEXT UP FOR ME IS 1936 BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

 

 

No order.  Winner listed afterward:

 

 

Humphrey Bogart in The Petrified Forest

Eric Blore in Swing Time

Joseph Calleia in After the Thin Man

Buddy Ebson in Born to Dance

Paul Fix in After the Thin Man

Peter lorre in Secret Agent

Victor Moore in Swing Time

Alan Mowbrey in My Man Godfrey

David Niven in Dodsworth

Eugene Palelle in My Man Godfrey

Paul Robeson in Show Boat

James Stewart in After the Thin Man

George Zucco in After the Thin Man

 

 

 

 

 

WINNER:

 

JAMES STEWART IN AFTER THE THIN MAN

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A while ago I was loitering on Ralph Richardson's IMDb page and noticed a thread on Things to Come, with someone asking about RR's part in the film. A favorite of mine. His tyrannical, bombastic warlord in this film made me a fan of his as fast as I've ever become a fan of anyone. I would jump to recommend it, but when I clicked on this thread the first response made me laugh. I can't resist quoting a segment of it:

 

"...Richardson's performance is unimpressive - there's no opportunity for subtlety here, so he just hams it up royally. He seems not to be taking the thing seriously - perhaps the only reasonable response to such a silly script. In doing so, he comes away with his reputation intact, despite having delivered a performance that I found disappointing to watch..."

 

Hammish acting is a polarizing thing. Richardson's performance is a bit over-the-top, certainly, but I find it so perfectly pitched that it's practically nuanced in it's ostentatiousness. Perhaps it's because the film was directed by Menzies, who allegedly was not very good with actors, that Richardson is so totally unrestrained. Well, I think RR cooks a very fine ham- his delivery of every syllable is hilarious; but to phrase it more grandiosely, as an actor I'd say Richardson is big enough fit into even the most oversized performance.

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Best Supporting Actor of 1936

 

Basil Rathbone  Romeo & Juliet

Ralph Richardson  Things to Come **

Paul Robeson  Show Boat

Lionel Stander  Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Akim Tamiroff  The General Died at Dawn

 

 

Kay said it well enough.

 

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The Venice Film Festival of 1936 gave the Best Actor Award to Paul Muni for The Story of Louis Pasteur.  The Best Actress Award went to Annabella for the French film, Veille d’Armes aka Sacrifice of Honor which she starred with Victor Francen.  Veille d’Armes was actually released in 1935.

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While I know that this thread is devoted to best performances of a given year, please forgive me as I take a moment to pay special tribute to what I consider to be the most photographically beautiful film of 1936, THE GARDEN OF ALLAH.

 

The story, about a Trappist monk leaving a monastery and meeting a woman of mystery in an exotic desert setting, is a chestnut which may make you laugh. But visually this Selznick International Production is a stunner, with on location photography in Buttercup, California and Yuma, Arizona that brought cinematographers W. Howard Greene and Harold Rosson a special Oscar.

 

This was the fourth film, according to Wiki, to be shot in three strip Technicolor, and some shots in this film, particularly those of the desert, still have my mouth dropping open in awe.

 

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As lovely as the above shots are, I couldn't, unfortunately, find an image to post here of what I consider to be the most breath taking image in the film - that of a caravan of camels disappearing over a gigantic desert dune at sunset. Max Steiner's lovely musical score is perfect accompaniment in this scene.

 

There's an anecdote that Marlene Dietrich once told which I will now paraphrase, since I couldn't find the exact quote.

 

About ten years or so after this film was made Dietrich complained to a photographer on a film that were working on together about her appearance on screen, commenting that he had made her look beautiful before in The Garden of Allah.

 

"But Miss Dietrich," the cinematographer replied, "I was a much younger man then."

 

"That," Dietrich said in her anecdote, "was tact."

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Here are my choices of the 79 films I've seen from 1936 for…

 

Best Supporting Actor of 1936

 

1.  WALTER BRENNAN (Swan Bostrom), Come and Get It

2.  HUMPHREY BOGART (Duke Mantee), The Petrified Forest

3.  EUGENE PALLETTE (Alexander Bullock), My Man Godfrey

4.  LIONEL STANDAR (Cornelius Cobb), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

5.  JOHN BARRYMORE (Mercutio), Romeo and Juliet

 

6.  FRANK MORGAN (Jack Billings), The Great Ziegfeld

7.  BASIL RATHBONE (Tybalt), Romeo and Juliet

8.  MISCHA AUER (Carlo), My Man Godfrey

9.  JOEL MCCREA (Richard Glasgow), Come and Get It

10. ROGER LIVESEY (the beggar, "King Saul"), Rembrandt

 

and ...

 

JOHN HALLIDAY (Carlos Margoli), Desire

C. AUBREY SMITH (Lord Capulet), Romeo and Juliet

PAUL HARVEY (Mr. Chisholm), The Petrified Forest

SPENCER TRACY (Father Tim Mullin), San Francisco

WALTER BRENNAN ("Buggs" Meyers), Fury

JOSEPH CALLEIA (Dancer), After the Thin Man

JOSEPH CAWTHORNE (Florenz Ziegfeld, Sr.), The Great Ziegfeld

A.E. MATTHEWS (Mr. Skeates), Men Are Not Gods

AKIM TAMIROFF (General Yang), The General Died at Dawn

PAUL ROBESON (Joe), Show Boat

ERNEST COSSARD (Sidney), The Great Ziegfeld

ALAN MOWBRAY (Tommy Gray), My Man Godfrey

LOUIS JOUVET (“the Baron”), The Lower Depths

ANDY DEVINE (Peter), Romeo and Juliet

EDWARD CHAPMAN (Major Grigsby), The Man Who Could Work Miracles

ROGER KARL (Chancellor Lang), The Golem

DAVID NIVEN (Capt. Clyde Lockert), Dodsworth

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1936, Best Actress(es):  Winner(s) are starred

 

Greta Garbo in Camille**

 

Rosalind Russell in Craig's Wife

 

Jean Harlow in Libeled Lady

 

Carole Lombard in My Man Godfrey

 

Irene Dunne in Theodora Goes Wild

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Best Supporting Actor(s):

 

James Stewart in Born To Dance

 

Henry Daniell in Camille**

 

Boris Karloff in Charlie Chan at the Opera

 

Basil Rathbone in Romeo and Juliet

 

Akim Tamiroff in The General Dies at Dawn

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Best Supporting Actress(es):

 

Genevieve Tobin in The Petrified Forest

 

Luise Rainer in The Great Ziegfeld

 

Edna Mae Oliver in Romeo and Juliet****

 

Bonita Granville in These Three

 

Gale Sondergaard in Anthony Adverse****

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Best Actress of 1936

 

Jean Arthur  Mr. Deeds Goes to Town **

Gladys George  Valiant Is the Word for Carrie

Gloria Holden  Dracula's Daughter

Myrna Loy  Wife vs Secretary

Sylvia Sidney  Sabotage

Take a guess at which two of these I have not seen...

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS FOR 1936 IS NEXT FOR ME:

 

 

No Order and winner listed afterward:

 

 

Mary Astor in Dodsworth

Alice Brady in May Man Godfrey

Spring Byington in Dodsworth

Gail Patrick in My Man Godfrey

Elsa Lanchester in Rembrandt

Myrna Loy in The Great Ziegfeld

Lilli Palmer in Secret Agent

Jessie Ralph in After the Thin Man

Louise Rainer in The Great Ziegfeld

 

 

 

WINNER:

 

JESSIE RALPH IN AFTER THE THIN MAN

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Lawrence, please tell us about VALIANT IS THE WORD FOR CARRIE. You gotta love the title, if nothing else. It inspired the Three Stooges to do a short film called VIOLENT IS THE WORD FOR CURLY.

 

It's a fairly silly melodrama, but George is terrific in it. I just recently saw it for the first time, and I did a write-up for it in the "I Just Watched" thread. George plays a woman of ill repute who is chased out of her small town by disapproving townfolk. She makes good in the big city, but secretly returns to adopt two small children and take them back to the big city. She raises them well, and after a jump forward several years, she is a successful business owner. The kids run into trouble though, and she may have to sacrifice everything to put things right. It was meant to be a real 3-hanky tearjerker, but like I said, it's pretty silly, and the children are annoying, both the kid versions and the adults. The source novel was a bestseller at the time, too, and I'm fairly certain a lot more salacious plot points were left out thanks to the code.

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1936 Movies-- Not Award Winners but too good to miss

 

The following films are good examples of their genre for 1936 - - but they just happen to be some of my personal favorites that I wholeheartedly recommend for your viewing pleasure.

 

Poor Little Rich Girl-- Irving Cummings-- 20th Century Fox-- Musical

**Best Juvenile Performance of 1936 - - Shirley Temple

A musical that is a drama with comedic edges that shows the range of Shirley Temple when the cuteness is held in control.

 

Dracula's Daughter-- Lambert Hillyer-- Universal-- Horror

Gloria Holden's take on the female vampire is unique and unforgettable but unfortunately was considered to be controversial and did not become a fixture at Universal.

 

The Charge of the Light Brigade-- Michael Curtiz--Warner Brothers-- Adventure/War/Period Piece

No Gunga Din here, but who could resist Errol Flynn and his cinematic brother Patrick Knowles fighting over Olivia de Havilland from India to the Crimea?

 

Love before Breakfast-- Walter Lang - - Paramount - - Srewball

And I can say Carole Lombard was the actress of 1936. This romantic comedy is as good as anything she ever did. It's a perfect example of how she can control a movie. Nothing over the top absolutely entertaining. With Cesar "Butch" Romero playing her farcical fiance in one of his best roles. This movie is what the thirties is all about for me.

 

**Most Auspicious Debut - - Judy Garland singing her heart out at the finale of Pigskin Parade. She didn't just stop the show she was the the music part of the show. Patsy Kelly, Patsy Kelly-- I just like to say her name, she really carried the rest of the show.

 

?? Most inauspicious New Leading Man-- John Gielgud in Secret Agent

Have to say that everybody in this movie had sterling performances but Gielgud, who later became the Hamlet of his generation and a great Screen Actor. However,with this movie he wasn't quite there yet.

 

** Itsy Bitsy Actress Award of 1936 goes to Mayo Methot in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town ( I've been looking around for years to find something positive to say about this woman. She had a hard life.)

 

** Itsy Bitsy Actor Award of 1936 goes to a fan favorite Franklin "Pangy" Pangborn in My Man Godfrey. An actor who never disappoints.

 

** The Acting Award to a Nonhuman of 1936 goes to Asta in After the Thin Man, a fine actor who steals every scene that he is in.

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Princess;

 

I still haven't seen Change of the Light Brigade although  it has been on my to-see list for a long time.  I love watching David Niven and Errol Flynn together.

 

I love your category name "Isty Bitsy"

 

Carole Lombard was an excellent actress in every way and I adore what I've seen of her career and I am always looking for new to me movies of her career.  A poignant film of hers considering her ultimate fate is Vigil in the Night

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1936

 

Winners in BOLD

 

BEST ACTOR :

 

William Powell, Libeled Lady

Errol Flynn, The Charge of the Light Brigade

Charles Chaplin, Modern Times

Gary Cooper, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

 

BEST ACTRESS:

 

Jean Harlow, Libeled Lady

Carole Lombard, My Man Godfrey

Jean Arthur, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Irene Dunne, Theodora Goes Wild

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

 

Bonita Granville, These Three

Penny Singleton, After the Thin Man

Gail Patrick, My Man Godfrey

Paulette Goddard, Modern Times

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

 

Walter Connelly, Libeled Lady

James Stewart, After the Thin Man

Humphrey Bogart, The Petrified Forest

Eugene Pallette, My Man Godfrey 

 

BEST PICTURE:

 

These Three

Libeled Lady

My Man Godfrey

After the Thin Man

Modern Times

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

The Petrified Forest

 

WORST DECISION MADE:

 

Olivia de Havilliand choosing Patric Knowles over Errol Flynn in The Charge of the Light Brigade

 

FUNNIEST FILM TAGLINES:

 

Reefer Madness

 

"Drug Crazed Abandon"

"Women Cry For it, Men Die for It." 

"The Sweet Pill That Makes Life Better!" 

"Adults Only!" 

 

FUNNIEST FILM PROLOGUE:

 

Reefer Madness

 

(copied and pasted from imdb)

 

"The motion picture you are about to witness may startle you. It would not have been possible, otherwise, to sufficiently emphasize the frightful toll of the new drug menace which is destroying the youth of America in alarmingly-increasing numbers. Marihuana is that drug - a violent narcotic - an unspeakable scourge - The Real Public Enemy Number One! Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations - space expands - time slows down, almost stands still ....fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances - followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions... leading finally to acts of shocking violence... ending often in incurable insanity. In picturing its soul-destroying effects no attempt was made to equivocate. The scenes and incidents, while fictionalized for the purposes of this story, are based upon actual research into the results of Marihuana addiction. If their stark reality will make you think, will make you aware that something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace, then the picture will not have failed in its purpose.... Because the dread Marihuana may be reaching forth next for your son or daughter....or yours....or YOURS!"

 

FILM MOST IN NEED OF A DEATH SCENE:

 

San Francisco, some earthquake debris needs to fall on Jeannette MacDonald and put a stop to that horrible singing.  If MacDonald's character couldn't be wiped out by a falling wall or something, then Clark Gable should have belted her in the mouth!

 

MOST UNEXPECTED SINGING SCENE:

 

Cary Grant in Suzy

 

FILM THAT NEEDS TO AIR ON TCM AGAIN SO I CAN SEE THE BEGINNING:

 

Theodora Goes Wild

 

BEST DANCE SCENE:

 

Eleanor Powell, "Swingin, the Jinx Away," Born to Dance

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I can't remember anymore what the movie was that I was watching after watching Dial M For Murder even though I wrote about it in I Just Watched, but it had Jeanette Macdonald in it playing a real life opera singer opposite Lew Ayres and it was definitely OPERA singing.  I enjoyed the movie, but I was not really paying attention to the plot.  I am a fan of Nelson Eddy, but yes, I have to agree that I would have liked J.M. to be killed off in San Francisco.

 

There's a film noir title that should have been made:

 

To Be Killed Off in San Francisco

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The Crystal Ball Award(s) goes to:

I will endeavour to mention those actors who are nominated or winners of awards a year or years following the release of their film.  This will happen a lot with foreign films in Los Angeles and American films playing in European festivals.

I see in my crystal ball that …

Greta Garbo in Camille (1936) will be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar in 1937.  And she will top that by winning the New York Film Critics Best Actress Award for 1937.

 
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The Charge of the Light Brigade-- Michael Curtiz--Warner Brothers-- Adventure/War/Period Piece

No Gunga Din here, but who could resist Errol Flynn and his cinematic brother Patrick Knowles fighting over Olivia de Havilland from India to the Crimea?

 

Charge of the Light Brigade is definitely one of my favourite films of 1936. Aside from the charm and magnetic screen presence of Flynn, director Mike Curtiz is in peak form with this production, as well. Combined with second unit director Breezy Eason, the final charge sequence (ignoring, if you can, the controversy surrounding it involving the treatment of the horses) is an action classic, a hoof pounding, canon blasting piece of cinematic glory. Max Steiner's rousing musical score adds tremendously to the excitement of this sequence, his music gradually picking up in tempo in perfect syncronization with the horses on screen as they increase their pace in preparation for the charge.

 

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Special Oscar awarded a year later when all fathead critics have other movie(s) to attack:

 

Gutsiest Performer of The Year--Jean Harlow in "Reckless" (1935).  She took on a role where she had to sing and dance, having no real talent for either, and managed the feat with style, wit, and  sass.  A fine performance by an under-appreciated actress.

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