Tag Archives: 1930s

The Great Ziegfeld (1936) Robert Z. Leonard

The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
At the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, sideshow barker Flo Ziegfeld turns the tables on his more successful neighbor Billings, and steals his girlfriend to boot. This pattern is repeated throughout their lives, as Ziegfeld makes and loses many fortunes putting on ever bigger, more spectacular shows (sections of which appear in the film). French revue star Anna Held becomes his first wife, but it’s not easy being married to the man who “glorified the American girl.”

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The Star Witness (1931) William A. Wellman

The Star Witness (1931)
The Leeds family is thrown right in the middle of a war between the cops and gangland when they are the only witnesses to two murders committed by gang kingpin Maxey Campos. Initially positive in their identification of the murderer, their attitudes change when young Donny Leeds is kidnapped by Campos’ boys. No amount of threatening with perjury by D.A. Whitlock can get them to tell the truth – except for cantankerous old Grandpa, civil war veteran, who berates his family for failing to do their civic duty, whatever the cost. Though having his doubts as to the credibility of his star witness, Whitlock is nevertheless taken aback when he learns Grandpa has disappeared just before he is to testify.

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A Bill of Divorcement (1932) George Cukor

A Bill of Divorcement (1932)
After spending fifteen years in an asylum, Hilary Fairfield escapes from the institution after regaining his sanity. He finds that things at home are different than when he left them. His wife has divorced him and is already planning her next marriage, and his daughter has grown up throughout the years and is planning to marry as well.

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Gambling Lady (1934) Archie Mayo

Gambling Lady (1934)
A businesslike syndicate runs all the gambling joints in town; least profitable is honest Mike Lee’s. Under pressure to allow cheating, Mike “walks out,” leaving tough-minded daughter Lady Lee to earn a living the only way she knows. She soon becomes a success gambling among the rich, but, falling out with the syndicate, she considers the marriage proposal of blueblood Garry Madison. Can such a match work despite snobbery and old associations?

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Hell Harbor (1930) Henry King

Hell Harbor 1930
Anita Morgan, a descendant of the famous pirate Henry Morgan, is living a carefree and careless life on an island in the Carribean, but had much rather be living the same life In Havava. When she learns that her father, in exchange for money, has promised her hand in marriage to one of his swarthy friends, she is more convinced that Havava is the place to be. When an American comes to the island to buy some pearls, she falls in love with him. and when she discovers he is to be tricked out of his money and killed, she makes plans to save him…and go to Havana with him.

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Jenny (1936) Marcel Carné

Jenny (1936)
When her fiancé breaks off their engagement, Danielle leaves London and returns to her mother, Jenny, in Paris. With her business partner Benoît, Jenny runs what appears to be a respectable nightclub – it is in fact a place where wealthy men can buy the favours of attractive young women. Oblivious to her mother’s professional and personal life, Danielle meets a handsome young man named Lucien, and falls in love with him – not realising that he is Jenny’s lover…

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Heidi (1937) Allan Dwan

Heidi (1937)
Eight-year-old Heidi is orphaned and her selfish maternal Aunt Dete takes her to the mountains to live with Adolph Kramer, her grumpy, old, outcast, survivalist paternal grandfather. Heidi brings her grandfather back into mountain society through her angelic ways, sheer love, and adorable personality. When Aunt Dete steals Heidi away to be the companion of a rich man’s invalid daughter, the grandfather is enraged and sets out to get her back. Back in Frankfurt, loved and adored by everyone she touches except the villainous housekeeper, Fraulein Rottenmeier, she thrives but is inwardly very sad and lonely. No matter what anyone tells her, Heidi, with faith, hope, and the stubbornness she inherited from her grandfather, knows that some day she will be reunited with the him and the beloved people of the mountain’s little village.

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Dr. Socrates (1935) William Dieterle

Dr. Socrates (1935)
Bookish Dr. Cardwell is not very popular with the people of the small town of Big Bend, who prefer the charismatic Dr. Ginder. Cardwell has few paying patients and cannot even pay his grocery bill. One night he is visited by Red Bastian, a notorious outlaw in need of some quick medical attention. Bastian takes a liking to Cardwell and gives him a hundred-dollar bill as payment, which the doctor uses to square things with the grocer. Before their next bank robbery, Bastian’s gang picks up a pretty hitchhiker. She manages to escape during the shootout, but is wounded. Dr. Cardwell takes care of her at his home and grows fond of the girl, named Jo. All of Big Bend is in a tizzy about Red Bastian, with many folks believing that Jo is his moll. Cardwell is blindfolded and brought to Bastian’s hideout to check on his wound, but the doctor is able to deduce the location. Meanwhile, the G-men tracking the gang have traced the stolen hundred-dollar bill back to Dr. Cardwell.

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Little Women (1933) George Cukor

Little Women (1933)
Little Women is a “coming of age” drama tracing the lives of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. During the American Civil War, the girls father is away serving as a minister to the troops. The family, headed by thier beloved Marmee, must struggle to make ends meet, with the help of their kind and wealthy neighbor, Mr. Laurence, and his high spirited grandson Laurie.

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