Tag Archives: 1930s

Fric-Frac (1939) Maurice Lehmann, Fernandel, Michel Simon, Arletty, Comedy

fric-frac-1939
Marcel works as assistant to a jeweller whose bossy daughter Renée keeps hitting on him. When he meets lovely Loulou and her lazy friend Jo, he is fascinated by the girl and somehow attracted by their world : Loulou and Jo are crooks. As Marcel naively tries to bring some morality in their lives, the pair turn him into an unwilling accomplice in the robbery of his boss’s jewels.

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The White Angel (1936) William Dieterle, Kay Francis, Ian Hunter, Donald Woods, Biography, Drama

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Briefly breaking away from her high-gloss modern soap operas, Kay Francis stars as Florence Nightingale in this reverent Warner Bros. biopic. The screenplay concentrates on Nightingale’s humanitarian activities during the Crimean War of 1854-55. Defiant in the face of military bureaucracy and the male hierarchy, she organizes a volunteer group of nurses to tend to the military wounded, and also works tirelessly to update and improve the primitive, almost barbaric medical conditions of the Victorian Era.

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Lucky Night (1939) Norman Taurog, Myrna Loy, Robert Taylor, Joseph Allen, Drama, Comedy

Lucky Night (1939)
An heiress gets a crash course in the simple life when she marries a penniless man in this comedy. Calvin Jordan (Henry O’Neill) is the prosperous owner of a successful steel mill, and the apple of his eye is his daughter Cora (Myrna Loy). Cora stands to inherit Calvin’s firm, and he’s taken it upon himself to find a good husband for her. However, free-spirited Cora doesn’t think much of her father’s skills as a matchmaker, and makes it clear she’s going to marry whomever she pleases.

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Sundown Trail (1931) Robert F. Hill, Tom Keene, Marion Shilling, Nick Stuart, Romance, Western

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Dorothy, and her big city lawyer boyfriend, return to the Lazy ‘B’ ranch to read her late father’s will. For Dorothy to inherit everything, she must stay on the ranch for 5 years. If she does not, everything goes to Buck, who is the manager. She does not like Buck, so she makes a deal with the wrong people for cattle and then the outlaws go to the ranch to get the $10,000 from her. But Buck is on the job.

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The Phantom of Paris (1931) John S. Robertson, John Gilbert, Leila Hyams, Lewis Stone, Drama, Thriller

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Bibi is a world class escape artist, but he cannot escape the false murder charge that is placed on him. Max has killed Bourrelier before he was removed from the will so that he will be rich when he marries Cecile. Together with Vera, they put the blame on Bibi, who is a romantic rival to Max, and he is sentenced to death. But Bibi escapes before his execution and hides in Herman’s secret cellar. When he learns that Max is dying, Bibi goes to his house for his confession, but Max dies before it is told to anyone else. So Bibi, has just one chance, and he goes to Dr. Gorin who will make him look like Max so that he can clear his name and put the blame where it belongs – on Max, even in death.

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Sally, Irene and Mary (1938) William A. Seiter, Alice Faye, Tony Martin, Fred Allen, Comedy, Music, Romance

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Three manicurists hope to become entertainers through the auspices of their wisecracking agent (Fred Allen). Sally (Alice Faye) is the smart one, Irene (Joan Davis) the funny one, and Mary (Marjorie Weaver) the cute-and-innocent one. The girls secure work in a Greenwich village nitery, where Sally falls for star singer Tony Martin. The threesome’s career becomes stalled until Mary inherits an old ferry boat, which she converts into a floating nightclub. Among the highlights of Sally Irene and Mary is a jitterbug number by Joan Davis and supporting appearances by Jimmy Durante and Gypsy Rose Lee (billed under her real name, Louise Hovick). The film was based on a non-musical play by Eddie Dowling and Cyril Rood, previously filmed in 1925.

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50 Million Frenchmen (1931) Lloyd Bacon, Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson, William Gaxton, Comedy, Romance

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Independently wealthy American Jack Forbes has just arrived in Paris. Because of his wealth, he can have any woman on his arms. Currently that role is filled by Marcelle Dubrey, but Jack ditches her when he spots the woman of his dreams. When Jack tells his equally wealthy friend Michael Cummins that he will marry that mystery woman, Michael, upon learning that that woman is Lu Lu Carroll who he too has been trying to court, bets Jack $50,000 that he can’t give up all his money and get engaged to her within two weeks. Jack accepts the bet as Mike strips him of his money. Jack has to try and meet and woo her all without doing anything with her that requires money, all the while trying to hide the fact that he has no money as he tries to earn some using whatever limited job skills he has at hand. Meanwhile, Mike hires a couple of American detectives, Simon Johanssen and Peter Swanson, to tail Jack to ensure that he keeps to the rules of the bet, but also to thwart Jack’s attempts with Lu Lu at any turn. What Mike is unaware of is that they are poor schmucks who are rather inept at being detectives. The combination of all their issues gets the collective into one misadventure after another as the two weeks wears on.

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The Man Who Played God (1932) John G. Adolfi, George Arliss, Bette Davis, Violet Heming, Drama, Romance

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Montgomery Royle is a famed pianist whose student, the much younger Grace Blair, believes herself to be in love with him. When an explosion destroys Royle’s hearing, he is bitter at the loss of his art and profession. His sister Florence persuades him to learn lip-reading as a way to break out of the isolation of deafness. Royle discovers a new meaning to his life when he uses his new lip-reading knowledge to help others. But the new skill has serious ramifications for his relationship with Grace.

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