Tag Archives: 1930s

Here’s to Romance (1935) Alfred E. Green, Nino Martini, Genevieve Tobin, Anita Louise, Comedy, Musical

Here's to Romance (1935)
International singing sensation Nino Martini made his American film debut in the Jesse L. Lasky production Here’s to Romance. His career bankrolled by the beneficent opera diva Mme. Schumann-Heink (playing herself), singer Nino Donelli (Martini) hits the big time, and as a bonus falls in love with his leading lady Lydia Lubov (Anita Louise). For a while, however, their romance is nearly loused up by wealthy, self-centered art patrons Kathleen and Emery Gerard (Genevieve Tobin and Reginald Denny). Also complicating matters is amorous ballerina Rosa (Maria Gambarelli), but she leaves the scene after turning down both Nino and Emery. Often listed as a 20th Century-Fox release, Here’s to Romance was actually one of the last Fox releases before the merger with 20th Century.
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Side Streets (1934) Alfred E. Green, Aline MacMahon, Paul Kelly, Ann Dvorak, Drama

Side Streets (1934)
In this melodrama set in San Francisco, a businesswoman gives a job to an unemployed, homeless sailor. Later she becomes his wife. They are happy for a while, but then one day a woman shows up and claims that the sailor fathered her child. The couple adopts the child, but then the wife’s sister tries to steal the sailor, who had been known to wander a bit. But the sailor has found himself in fatherhood and has decided to remain true blue to his wife and son.
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Daybreak (1931) Jacques Feyder, Ramon Novarro, Helen Chandler, Jean Hersholt, Action, Drama

Daybreak (1931)
A man who unthinkingly sullied the honor of a virtuous girl now must deal with his own ethical downfall in this drama. Willi Kasder (Ramon Novarro) is a lieutenant in the Austrian Army who one night picks up an innocent young woman named Laura Taub (Helen Chandler). Willi shares several drinks with the naive Laura and takes advantage of her; the next morning, she discovers to her horror that he left money for her and has no intention of seeing her again. Emotionally shattered, Laura soon becomes the mistress of Herr Schnabel (Jean Hersholt), a wealthy but corrupt gentleman with a taste for gambling. Willi begins gaming with Schnabel and soon falls deeply in debt; eventually Schabel gives Willi two options: pay the money you owe or kill yourself. Willi tries to find a way out of his dilemma while also hoping to free Laura from the corrupt lifestyle into which he led her.
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Frankenstein (1931) James Whale, Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Frankenstein (1931)
This iconic horror film follows the obsessed scientist Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) as he attempts to create life by assembling a creature from body parts of the deceased. Aided by his loyal misshapen assistant, Fritz (Dwight Frye), Frankenstein succeeds in animating his monster (Boris Karloff), but, confused and traumatized, it escapes into the countryside and begins to wreak havoc. Frankenstein searches for the elusive being, and eventually must confront his tormented creation.
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Another Language (1933) Edward H. Griffith, Helen Hayes, Robert Montgomery, Louise Closser Hale, Drama

Another Language (1933)
Given the usual pedestal upon which mothers were placed by MGM head Louis Mayer, it’s all the more amazing that Mayer gave the go-ahead for Another Language. Louise Closser Hale plays a domineering matriarch who controls the lives of her grown, married sons, using a fabricated heart condition to keep them in line. Helen Hayes marries youngest son Robert Montgomery, only to sit by in mute horror as Mother exerts her authority over her timorous offspring at a weekly family get-together. At the end, only Hayes and Montgomery’s nephew John Beal have the courage to break the apron strings, but not without the formidable opposition of Monster Mom. Based on the Broadway play by Rose Franken, Another Language represented the screen debut of Margaret Hamilton, recreating the supporting role she’d played on stage.
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A Shot in the Dark (1935) Charles Lamont, Charles Starrett, Robert Warwick, Edward Van Sloan, Mystery, Thriller

A Shot in the Dark (1935)
In A Shot in the Dark, a popular title, a mystery death and college hijinks are the ingredients in this pleasant little whodunit from Chesterfield. Charles Starrett stars as Ken Harris, a college football hero whose roommate, Byron Coates (James Bush), is found dead outside their dormitory, a murder camouflaged as a suicide. Suspicion briefly centers on Byron’s look-alike half-brother (also Bush) but he, too, is found slain. Assisted by Byron’s sister Jean (Marian Shilling), an occasionally confounded Ken manages to get to the bottom of the alarming goings-on and unmask the murderer.
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Born to Dance (1936) Roy Del Ruth, Eleanor Powell, James Stewart, Virginia Bruce, Musical, Comedy

Born to Dance (1936)
Sailor Ted meets at the Lonely Hearts Club of his friend Gunny’s wife, Jenny, a girl, Nora Paige, and falls in love. Nora wants to become a dancer on Broadway. Ted rescues the Pekinese of Lucy James, a Broadway star during a public relations campaign on his submarine. Lucy falls in love with Ted, and Ted is ordered by his Captain to meet her in a night club, in spite of the fact that he has a date with Nora. Nora, who lives with Jenny and her and Gunny’s daughter, doesn’t want to hear anything from Ted, after she spotted a picture of Ted and Lucy in the morning paper. Lucy convinces her manager Dinehart to stop the press campaign and tells him that she would leave the production, if another photo or article of her and Ted is published. Nora has become her understudy, and she begins to think her behaviour to Ted over. Suddenly she is fired after Dinehart told her to dance a number Lucy James called undanceable. But when Ted is told the whole story, he knows what to do.
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The Front Page (1931) Lewis Milestone, dolphe Menjou, Pat O’Brien, Mary Brian, Comedy

The Front Page (1931)
Hildy Johnson, newspaper reporter, is engaged to Peggy Grant and planning to move to New York for a higher paying advertising job. The court press room is full of lame reporters who invent stories as much as write them. All are waiting to cover the hanging of Earl Williams. When Williams escapes from the inept Sheriff, Hildy seizes the opportunity by using his $260 honeymoon money to payoff an insider and get the scoop on the escape. However, Walter Burns, the Post’s editor, is slow to repay Hildy back, hoping that he will stay on the story. Getting a major scoop looks possible when Hildy stumbles onto the bewildered escapee and hides him in a roll-top desk in the press room. Burns shows up to help. Can they keep Williams’ whereabouts secret long enough to get the scoop, especially with the Sheriff and other reporters hovering around?
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