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Your Favourite Performances from 1930 to present are...


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To return the favor, on your list, Bogie, I would most recommend You Only Live Once.

 

Yes, but, unlike Tovarich, it's not a "fun" film. It's one of the "society drove me to crime" films that had a spate of popularity at the time, with the studios influenced by FDR's New Deal philosophy.

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Yes, but, unlike Tovarich, it's not a "fun" film. It's one of the "society drove me to crime" films that had a spate of popularity at the time, with the studios influenced by FDR's New Deal philosophy.

 

It's supposedly loosely based on Bonnie & Clyde, and was the basis for the later They Live By Night and Thieves Like Us.

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The following are the 1937 films mentioned that I haven't seen:

 

Gueule d'Armour

Pepe le Moko

Jericho

Madam X

Fight for Your Lady

Pearls of the Crown

Victoria the Great

I Met Him in Paris

Internes Can't Take Money

Bride Wore Red

Storm in a Teacup

 

And it's been a while since I saw the following:

 

Easy Living

Broadway Melody of 1938

One Hundred Men and a Girl

Personal Property

Damsel in Distress

Grand Illusion

It's Love I'm After

Big City

Under the Red Robe

Confession

Great Garrick

You Can't Have Everything

Quality Street

Tovarich

Wells Fargo

Emperor's Candlesticks

 

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Pepe Le Moko (1937) would be my top recommendation of the films that you have not yet seen, Tom.  I watched it again not long ago and followed it with the Boyer remake, Algiers (1938) which I also like.

It is interesting to see that Algiers is one of those literally shot-for-shot remakes.  They even used all of the backgrounds and master shots from Pepe too.

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Pepe Le Moko (1937) would be my top recommendation of the films that you have not yet seen, Tom.  I watched it again not long ago and followed it with the Boyer remake, Algiers (1938) which I also like.

It is interesting to see that Algiers is one of those literally shot-for-shot remakes.  They even used all of the backgrounds and master shots from Pepe too.

 

 

I know the remake well.  It was Boyer's performance and image that was the basis of Pepe Lew Pew. 

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I mentioned earlier that this is not a strong year for me, such as it is a couple of my favorite films of this year are the musicals A Damsel in Distress and You Can't Have Everything. I find both of these films enormously entertaining, but I should also say that I much prefer Hollywood musicals as they were in the pre-war years than as they would become in the technicolor thereafter.

 

Ironically, You Can't Have Everything actually does in fact have everything. You can check me on that, but I think I'm right. You got your songs from Alice Faye, Louis Prima; the great violinist Dave Rubinoff... Tony Martin shows up, whether we like it or not. And many musical comedy numbers from everyone's most hated comedy team, the Ritz brothers! Use your own discretion. I love this film, even if the Ritzos do make fun of Helen Morgan... Oh! I should tell you about the plot, which is immaterial but also unnecessarily funny for this kind of film, (the kind that only needs excuses for songs.)  Alice Faye's character is an unsuccessful playwright who loathes light musical comedies (like the one she's in.) She has written a dramatic story of lovers freezing to death in the antarctic and unwittingly pitches it to Don Ameche, the most successful musical comedy producer in town. Cue: rest of movie.

 

A Damsel in Distress is Fred Astaire's first starring film without Ginger Rogers, but don't worry, he has George Burns and Gracie Allen instead. The three of them in a story written by P.G. Wodehouse, with songs by the Gershwins. Holy crap, this movie has everything, too! My favorite moment in the film occurs when the hopelessly stuck-up Reginald Gardiner succumbs to his repressed passion for singing opera and has to excuse himself from the household while he lets loose. This might actually be my favorite Fred Astaire movie. It's so oddball.

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Bogie, it's interesting to hear that ALGIERS is a shot-by-shot remake. I've seen it, and enjoyed Boyer and Lamarr, and would like to see PEPE LE MOKO, since I'm a fan of Jean Gabin. His GUEULE D'AMOUR (LADY KILLER) was shown during the Jean Gabin day for Summer Under the Stars. Gabin is a happy-go-lucky soldier, quite a lady's man, until he meets the wrong woman (the lovely Mireille Balin). The director is the gifted but not well known Jean Gremillon.

 

HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT changes genres almost as often as it changes scenes, from screwball comedy to domestic drama to ocean liners hitting icebergs, but Charles Boyer and Jean Arthur make an appealing couple no matter what strange turns the script takes.

 

IT'S LOVE I'M AFTER gives Bette Davis and Leslie Howard the chance to play comedy. They play actors (actors with big egos, if you can believe that), Olivia De Havilland is a rich fan with a crush on Howard, Eric Blore is Howard's valet, and Bonita Granville is a sassy and nosy girl.

 

EASY LIVING: A poor girl riding on a double decker bus suddenly finds a fur coat falling into her lap. How's that for a great start for a screwball comedy? Edward Arnold is the married millionaire who bought the coat, Jean Arthur is the girl, and everyone assumes she is his mistress. Mayhem, hilarity, and an appropriate young man for Jean all follow.

 

THE BRIDE WORE RED: I won't call this a must-see, but Joan Crawford fans will probably relish this romantic comedy. Joan's a poor girl (the script can only hint that she's been selling her favors), but she gets the chance to play a rich girl at a mountain resort in the Alps where she hopes to snag a rich husband. She meets Franchot Tone, but he only works there and is not at all rich. Adrian outdoes himself with Joan's costumes, leaving the boundaries of good taste far behind.

 

 

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Bogie, it's interesting to hear that ALGIERS is a shot-by-shot remake. I've seen it, and enjoyed Boyer and Lamarr, and would like to see PEPE LE MOKO, since I'm a fan of Jean Gabin. His GUEULE D'AMOUR (LADY KILLER) was shown during the Jean Gabin day for Summer Under the Stars. Gabin is a happy-go-lucky soldier, quite a lady's man, until he meets the wrong woman (the lovely Mireille Balin). The director is the gifted but not well known Jean Gremillon.

 

HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT changes genres almost as often as it changes scenes, from screwball comedy to domestic drama to ocean liners hitting icebergs, but Charles Boyer and Jean Arthur make an appealing couple no matter what strange turns the script takes.

 

 

 

Thankfully I have copies of most of the titles I have yet to see waiting for me when there is time.  Including the TCM broadcast of Guele D'Amour.  History Is Made at Night is another story.  I think that is one of those titles that TCM doesn't play in Canada.  I may have a really poor copy from the internet?

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Ironically, You Can't Have Everything actually does in fact have everything.

 

Kay, your recommendation of You Can't Have Everything leads me to do my own recommendation of another 1937 Fox musical comedy (which also features Alice Faye and the Ritz Brothers among its cast), On the Avenue.

 

This is a lively affair, with its musical numbers by the great Irving Berlin, in top form here. Top billed in the film is Dick Powell, on loan from Warners, as the musical comedy star of a Broadway hit which, among other things, has a number in it satirizing the richest family in New York City. That introduces leading lady Madeleine Carroll as the daughter of that family, her character ridiculed in the stage presentation.

 

The film has a couple of highlight musical numbers, one of them when a brassily dressed Alice Faye sings and kicks up her heels to "Slumming on Park Avenue," her rendition immediately lampooned by the Ritz Brothers (yes, I know, an acquired taste, though I find them fitfully amusing in this film), with Harry Ritz in drag rolling his eyes, and doing some eccentric dancing with his brothers.

 

The film has elements of screwball comedy, particularly when it portrays a wealthy family of eccentrics (this the year after My Man Godfrey). George Barbier, as the pompous head of the family, always seems to have a collection of great danes jumping on him. At one point he emerges from a room in which he was trapped with the dogs, to have a good portion of his clothes ripped from his body. At this point Alan Mowbray, playing the pompous Arctic explorer boyfriend of his daughter, points at a half stripped Barbier to inform him that his tie is crooked.

 

One of the real comedy highlights of the film occurs when Powell and Carroll, on a late night date, stop by a small diner run by a wonderful Billy Gilbert behind the counter. Gilbert proceeds to mangle the English language quite thoroughly as he lists the food he has available for the two "high society types" dropping by and mingling with the hoi polloi.

 

Soon afterward, in a beautifully photographed set piece, Powell is warbling "You're Laughing At Me" to Carroll in a uniquely crime free Central Park in the middle of the night. Of Berlin's numerous songs heard in this film, the biggest hit would be "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," wonderfully sung on stage by Powell and Faye.

 

By the way, Faye, third billed in this film and on the cusp of stardom, is most appealing in this musical. Aside from her considerable musical talents, the lady brings a warmth and sympathy to her role (her part isn't developed enough to let her give a characterization, of course, but the actress is clearly winning anyway). Bigger roles were just around the corner for her at Fox.

 

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Kay, your recommendation of You Can't Have Everything leads me to do my own recommendation of another 1937 Fox musical comedy (which also features Alice Faye and the Ritz Brothers among its cast), On the Avenue.[...]

 

Thanks for recommending it. I've never seen it, but I have seen very few movies featuring Alice Faye or the Ritzes. I'm keen to see more from both parties. That sounds like one I'd get a kick from.

 

I do like the Ritz brothers, they always manage to supply me with plenty of cheap, guilty laughs, (okay, not that guilty.) Alice Faye puts far more than necessary into her fluff roles and made the self-righteous heroine of You Can't Have Everything into a character I liked as a person, and one who actually came across as a dignified feminist all the while the other characters are making fun of her for it, (in a terribly undignified way, I might add.) I may have found it more gratifying than the film makers originally intended- hah.

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Here are the 1937 titles I haven't seen:

 

The Bride Wore Red

Confession

A Damsel in Distress

Double Wedding

Easy Living

Elephant Boy

The Emperor's Candlesticks

Every Day's a Holiday

Fight for Your Lady

The Great Garrick

Green Light

Gueule D'amour

Heidi

High, Wide and Handsome

History Is Made at Night

I Met Him in Paris

Internes Can't Take Money

It's Love I'm After

King Solomon's Mines

Knight Without Armour

The Last of Mrs. Cheney

Madam X

Maytime

The Pearls of the Crown

The Perfect Specimen

Personal Property

The Prince and the Pauper

Quality Street

Shall We Dance

The Soldier and the Lady

Storm in a Teacup

They Won't Forget

The Toast of New York

Tovarich

True Confession

Way Out West

Wee Willie Winkie

Wells Fargo

You Can't Have Everything

 

 

I have taped, but have not watched:

 

Fire Over England

Souls at Sea

The Prince and the Pauper and The Perfect Specimen both star Errol Flynn.  In The Prince and the Pauper, the real stars are Billy and Bobby Mauch as the title roles of "Prince" and "Pauper," Flynn is more of a supporting player, however he's excellent in his role.  Claude Rains and Alan Hale also provide good support.  I believe that this is the only film in which Flynn and Hale duel as enemies.  I know they have a little duel in The Adventures of Robin Hood, but that is all in jest.  

 

The Perfect Specimen stars Errol Flynn and Joan Blondell.  It is unfortunately unavailable because it's hung up in some copyright drama with the estate of the author who wrote The Perfect Specimen book.  I've heard the Lux Radio version of the film multiple times and I actually managed to watch a bootleg copy of this movie a little while ago.  It followed the radio show almost exactly.  I especially loved Mae Robson's cranky grandma character.  She was hilarious. 

 

Double Wedding is a William Powell/Myrna Loy film.  Powell plays a starving artist and often drinks a disgusting combination of beer and a raw egg.  Loy's character is a little more hoity toity than usual.  I really like this movie but it does have a strange sort of aura around it.  This is the film that Powell and Loy were making when Powell's fiancee and Loy's friend, Jean Harlow unexpectedly died.  They apparently took a break from filming for a while and then came back to the film.

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Thanks for recommending it. I've never seen it, but I have seen very few movies featuring Alice Faye or the Ritzes. I'm keen to see more from both parties. That sounds like one I'd get a kick from.

 

 

 

I hope you do have the opportunity to see On the Avenue sometime, Kay (it is available on DVD from Fox). It's definitely a fun film.

 

MILD SPOILER ALERT: This is a bit of a plot giveaway, so forgive me. Throughout the film Alice Faye casts the occasional doe eyed look at Dick Powell who thinks of her just as a pal and only concentrates upon the beauteous Madeleine Carroll. Faye brings a little vulnerability to her role that probably wasn't even in the script with those looks of unrequited love that she gives Powell.

 

Well, the film, being an escapist fantasy musical comedy from Golden Era Hollywood, has a happy ending for everyone, of course, with Powell matched up with Carroll. But what to do with Faye, so she also has a happy ending? In the final seconds of the film Faye whispers her phone number into the ear of walrus featured, overweight, aged millionaire George Barbier, with smiles on both their faces. I found the crudity of Faye's "happy ending" as she is now a show biz girl with a sugar daddy a bit unexpected. Her character doesn't have love but she does, at least, have money.

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The Perfect Specimen stars Errol Flynn and Joan Blondell.  It is unfortunately unavailable because it's hung up in some copyright drama with the estate of the author who wrote The Perfect Specimen book.  I've heard the Lux Radio version of the film multiple times and I actually managed to watch a bootleg copy of this movie a little while ago.  It followed the radio show almost exactly.  I especially loved Mae Robson's cranky grandma character.  She was hilarious. 

 

 

 

You can only find bootleg copies of The Perfect Specimen around today. Ironically, this was one of the very first Flynn films shown by TCM when the channel premiered in 1994.

 

I agree that it's an amiable affair, and noteworthy for its supporting cast of seasoned comedy players (aside from Ms Robson, it also has Allen Jenkins and Edward Everett Horton. Unfortunately, Hugh Herbert is also in there somewhere - well, you can't have everything, to borrow the title of a Fox musical that Kay likes).

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Many thanks for all the recommendations for musicals. They really sound like fun. 1937 was an amazing year for songs. INSIDE OSCAR has a list of some of the songs not nominated, as well as the five that were. I'm not familiar with two of the nominated songs, "Remember Me" from MR. DODD TAKES THE AIR and "Whispers in the Dark" from ARTISTS AND MODELS, but these are the ones I do know:

 

"Sweet Leilani" from WAIKIKI WEDDING (winner)

"That Old Feeling" from VOGUES OF 1938 (nominee)

"They Can't Take That Away From Me" from SHALL WE DANCE (nominee)

"A Foggy Day" from A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS

"The Folks Who Live on the Hill" from HIGH, WIDE, AND HANDSOME

"Hooray for Hollywood" from HONEYMOON HOTEL

"I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" from ON THE AVENUE

"In the Still of the Night" from ROSALIE

"Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" from SHALL WE DANCE

"Nice Work If You Can Get It" from A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS

"September in the Rain" from MELODY FOR TWO

"Someday My Prince Will Come" from SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

"They All Laughed" from SHALL WE DANCE

"Too Marvelous for Words" from READY, WILLING, AND ABLE

"Whistle While You Work" from SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

 

Cole Porter's "In the Still of the Night" is not to be confused with the 1950s song of the same name.

 

My favorite would probably have to be "They Can't Take That Away from Me," but then there's "September in the Rain" and "A Foggy Day" and . . . .

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Looking ahead at 1938, I went back over my prewritten list to add any additional titles, since I'm not sticking to the 5 titles only rule. And I really didn't find much of anything to add. '38 wasn't my most memorable year for performances. Hopefully you guys/gals will have some worth checking out.

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You can only find bootleg copies of The Perfect Specimen around today. Ironically, this was one of the very first Flynn films shown by TCM when the channel premiered in 1994.

 

I agree that it's an amiable affair, and noteworthy for its supporting cast of seasoned comedy players (aside from Ms Robson, it also has Allen Jenkins and Edward Everett Horton. Unfortunately, Hugh Herbert is also in there somewhere - well, you can't have everything, to borrow the title of a Fox musical that Kay likes).

 

I caught The Perfect Specimen in England a couple of years ago. I will have to look for it again.  It may have been on the BBC.  The other likely channel would have been TCM!

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I caught The Perfect Specimen in England a couple of years ago. I will have to look for it again.  It may have been on the BBC.  The other likely channel would have been TCM!

 

According to MovieCollectorOH's exhaustive research, The Perfect Specimen has not aired on TCM. Take that as you will.

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According to MovieCollectorOH's exhaustive research, The Perfect Specimen has not aired on TCM. Take that as you will.

 

According to MovieCollector his retrospective list is only really reliable from 2001 onward, if you are going by that list. He only has a scattering of schedule's before that time, so there's a lot that could have slipped past off the record.

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Wow, there were SO many wonderful films in 1937.  I first wanted to post on this thread last night but I couldn't list all the movies I wanted to on my smartphone (would take too long...)

 

In no order, here are my favorites (I also have all of these on DVD):

 

The Awful Truth

A Day at the Races

Easy Living

History is Made at Night

Internes Can't Take Money (this film has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread.  I can't recommend it enough.  I know, I have a Stanwyck bias, but I really do like this movie and there are some truly emotional moments in it.)

It's Love I'm After

King Solomon's Mines

Nothing Sacred

Stella Dallas (Oscar nomination)

True Confession

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Wow, there were SO many wonderful films in 1937.  I first wanted to post on this thread last night but I couldn't list all the movies I wanted to on my smartphone (would take too long...)

 

In no order, here are my favorites (I also have all of these on DVD):

 

The Awful Truth

A Day at the Races

Easy Living

History is Made at Night

Internes Can't Take Money (this film has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread.  I can't recommend it enough.  I know, I have a Stanwyck bias, but I really do like this movie and there are some truly emotional moments in it.)

It's Love I'm After

King Solomon's Mines

Nothing Sacred

Stella Dallas (Oscar nomination)

True Confession

 

I have a Hitchcock bias so I have my own special category "Favourite Performance in a Hitchcock movie, male or female."

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According to MovieCollectorOH's exhaustive research, The Perfect Specimen has not aired on TCM. Take that as you will.

 

TCM in England is a different animal entirely.  They show commercials during the films for one thing and repeat repeat repeat the same movies all week long.

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