Tag Archives: 1930s

Es war eine rauschende Ballnacht / It Was a Gay Ballnight (1939) Carl Froelich, Zarah Leander, Aribert Wäscher, Hans Stüwe, Drama

es-war-eine-rauschende-ballnacht-1939
1865. Katharina goes to a ball in Moscow. There she meets again Tchaikowsky, her first and only love. The young, who is now married to wealthy Michael Iwanowitsch Murakin, a man she does not love, has not forgotten Piotr Illich, the (not yet) famous composer. Both are still in love with each other but Piotr is engaged to Nastassia, a dancer, while for her part Katharina cannot leave her husband. Tchaikowky’s first love then decides to sacrifice her happiness to the success of the composer, sponsoring him in secret. Something Piotr will learn only years after. When Katharina finds herself free at last it is too late: Tchaikowsky is dying of cholera and she only has time to close his eyes.

Read More »

Nuits de feu (1937) Marcel L’Herbier, Gaby Morlay, Victor Francen, George Rigaud, Drama

nights-of-fire
Le procureur Andreiv requiert sévèrement contre un criminel qui a tué l’amant qui le trompait. Andreiv prétend que dans cette infortune le mari devait disparaître. Or, voici qu’une situation semblable se réalise au foyer du procureur. Il découvre l’amour que se portent mutuellement un jeune avocat, Serge Rastoff, et sa femme, Lisa. Après une discussion, le procureur disparaît au bord de la Neva. On repêche son corps défiguré, et une lettre d’Andreiv indique son intention de disparaître. On conclut au suicide. Mais un jaloux substitut, sur certains indices, accuse Serge et Lisa d’avoir tué le procureur. Ils comparaissent aux Assises et vont être condamnés lorsque Andreiv reparaît. Il s’est engagé dans l’armée. Son témoignage innocente Lisa et Serge, et il repart aux tranchées chercher la mort dans le combat.

Read More »

Behold My Wife (1934) Mitchell Leisen, Sylvia Sidney, Gene Raymond, Laura Hope Crews, Drama

Behold My Wife (1934)
After Michael Carter’s fiancée commits suicide, Michael vows to seek revenge on his wealthy family, who sabotaged their marriage. He drives across the country angrily, and lands up at a saloon, where he is shot by an Indian, Pete. Pete’s girlfriend, Tonita nurses Michael’s wound and falls in love with him. Michael realizes this, proposes marriage to Tonita – a perfect revenge for his prejudice family. They marry and he takes her to New York, in full Indian dress hoping to embarrass the family. The press and society mock the Carters – to Michael’s delight. Tonita’s confused as to why Michael doesn’t want to consummate their marriage. At a coming out party for Tonita, set up by Diana (Michael’s sister), Tonita’s a big hit. Michael becomes angry for his family has “won”. Tonita realizes the true reason for their marriage, and finds comfort with Bob, Diana’s lover. Diana catches Tonita and Bob together and kills Bob, but, Tonita takes the blame and is arrested, for this is the perfect …

Read More »

L’aventurier / The Adventurer (1934) Marcel L’Herbier, Victor Francen, Blanche Montel, Henri Rollan, Drama

L'aventurier AKA The Adventurer (1934)
Étienne Ranson is the black sheep of his family. Having made his fortune in Tunisia, he returns to France and receives a cool reception from his uncle, Achille Guéroy, the owner of a glove factory in Grenoble. Guéroy is astounded when his nephew returns the money he had lent him and immediately looks at Étienne in a new light when it becomes apparent that he is now a very wealthy man. However, when Ranson is arrested for his involvement in a bloody riot in Tunisia, the family is quick to disown him again. When the charges against him are dropped, Ranson returns to Grenoble and intervenes to end a strike at the factory. Ranson then learns that his cousin Jacques has lost the company’s entire cash reserves through high-risk speculation. Aware that the Guéroys face ruin and dishonour, Ranson agrees to bail them out, on one condition: that he can marry his adopted cousin Geneviève. But she is already engaged to another man…

Read More »

Darò un milione / I’ll Give a Million (1935) Mario Camerini, Vittorio De Sica, Assia Noris, Luigi Almirante, Comedy

Daro un milione (1935)
Daro un Milione was another felicitous collaboration between director Mario Camerini and his favorite star Vittorio de Sica. The story gets under way when a cynical millionaire announces that he intends to disguise himself as a hobo and given a million lire to anyone who treats him nicely. As a result, every bum in Rome is given the royal treatment on the off-chance that they’re the millionaire. While the tramps revel in this sudden wave of good fortune, the real millionaire finds true love with a pretty circus performer who knows nothing about the “I’ll Give a Million” campaign.

Read More »

Murder in the Fleet (1935) Edward Sedgwick, Robert Taylor, Jean Parker, Ted Healy, Mystery, Comedy, Drama

Murder in the Fleet (1935)
Having gained considerable audience attention for his appearance in the 1935 “Crime Does Not Pay” 2-reeler Buried Loot, new MGM contractee Robert Taylor was awarded with his first starring feature, the modestly budgeted Murder in the Fleet. Taylor is cast as Lt. Tom Randolph, one of several naval officers confined to his ship when a murder occurs. The victim was in the process of delivering the components for a new electrical flight-control device, thus everyone concerned is suspected of being a killer, or a foreign agent, or both. Several more murders occur before Lt. Randolph takes matters in his own hands and tracks down the culprit. The supporting cast is a film-buff’s dream, including such favorites as Mischa Auer, Tom Dugan and Ward Bond in minor roles.

Read More »

Hitori Musuko / Le Fils Unique (1936) Yasujirô Ozu, Chôko Iida, Shin’ichi Himori, Masao Hayama, Comedy, Drama

Hitori Musuko aka Le Fils Unique 1936
The film starts in the rural town of Shinshu in 1923. A widow, Tsune (O-Tsune) Nonomiya (Choko Iida), works hard at a silk production factory to provide for her only son, Ryosuke. When Ryosuke’s teacher Okubo (Chishu Ryu) persuades her to let her son continue to study beyond elementary school, she decides to support her son’s education even until college. Her son promises to become a great man…

Read More »

The Drum / Drums (1938) Zoltan Korda, Sabu, Raymond Massey, Roger Livesey, Adventure, War

Drums (1938)
The Drum is an opulent Technicolor “British India” epic, based on a story by A.E.W. Mason (of Four Feathers fame). Teenaged actor Sabu stars as a young East Indian prince educated in England. By rights, his loyalties should lie with his countrymen, but in typical “Sun Never Sets” fashion most of the other Indian characters are as evil and untrustworthy as Prince Guhl (Raymond Massey). Guhl plans a revolt against the British, intending to wipe out the Royal troops as the English officers enjoy the hospitality of Guhl’s spacious palace. It’s up to Sabu to warn the troops of Guhl’s treachery by means of tapping out a message on the drum of the title. In the US, The Drum was released as Drums, on the theory (according to film historian Alan Barbour) that Americans must have more of everything.

Read More »