Max Ophüls – Divine (1935)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
Ludivine Jarisse is a young woman who lives a contented but unexciting life in the country. One day, she is visited by Roberte, an old friend who has made a career for herself as an actress at a Paris music hall, L’Empyrée. Roberte intends to take a break and invites her friend to take her place. Ludivine readily accepts, and soon becomes a musical hall diva under the name Divine, although she is at first reluctant to expose herself in the revealing costumes she is given. One of her colleagues attempts to take advantage of her naivety, but when she resists, he implicates her in a drugs trafficking affair. Divine remains untainted by all this vice and falls in love with an honest milkman, Antonin. He offers to marry her and she is finally able to leave the music hall to start a new life, back in the country. Continue reading

Anthony Asquith – French Without Tears (1940)

http://cdn1.iofferphoto.com/img/item/168/005/615/5wxQBXpvV1k34KZ.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

IMDB review:
This amiable Ratigan Farce is based on Ratigans’ own experiences in a French tuition school in Normandy.It was brought to the stage in London featuring Rex Harrison,Trevor Howard,Kay Hammond and Roland Culver.It was purchased by Paramount initially as a vehicle for Marlene Dietrich!However they decided that the featured actors,Culver apart,were not sufficient box office and replaced them.Whilst Ray Milland is quite enjoyable as the main lead one can only conjecture what the film could have been if Harrison had reprised his role for the screen.I saw the original 86 minute version at the Museum of London in 1983.I have just seen the American version which is some 20 minutes shorter.I cannot remember what is missing.A number of matters of interest.Mantovanni is featured in the party scene.The release of this film coincided with the outbreak of war,when all places of entertainment were closed.The director was “Puffin”Asquith,the son of the World war 1 PM.His mother used her influence with cabinet Ministers to get the cinemas reopened,according to the biography of David Lean.Lean was the editor on this film.Cinemas reopened 3 days later and the film was a success at the box office. Continue reading

Thorold Dickinson – The High Command (1938)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
‘A high-ranking general is stationed in West Africa, but when a new doctor arrives at his post he is forced to face his dark past. The doctor is an old acquaintance and holds a deadly secret about the general, a secret that could destroy him forever. That is until the doctor is found murdered and the sinister world of the general begins to unravel.’
– Optimum Releasing Continue reading

Thorold Dickinson – The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

IMDb user:
There are several reasons to relish this curio. It was an apprentice work by Thorold Dickinson, the Hitchcock assistant and cutter who would shoot “Gaslight” and “The Queen of Spades” before becoming Britain’s first professor of film. It is one of the earliest sports movies to feature real sportsmen – acting very woodenly, as befits stiff-upper-lip soccer stars. It is anchored by a mischievously eccentric performance by Leslie Banks, who a few years later was to be the magnificent Chorus of Olivier’s “Henry V”. Continue reading

Willi Forst – Maskerade AKA Masquerade in Vienna (1934)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Review:
“Maskerade” is the second film directed by Willi Forst. While the ‘Vienna film’ had been popular since the early 1930s not least due to Forst’s work as an actor and singer, it was “Maskerade” that brought the genre to a probably never surpassed high point.

The plot, set in Vienna around 1900, seems to be feather-weight at first sight. When a nude drawing of a society lady, made by the artist Heideneck (Adolf Wohlbrück), gets into the newspaper by accident, a near scandal is caused. Heideneck saves his neck by randomly giving the name of an unknown girl as the drawing’s model. However, a romance soon develops between the artist and the girl (Paula Wessely), which causes the jealousy of Heideneck’s former girlfriend Anita (Olga Tschechowa)… Continue reading

James Whale – Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Sequel to 1931’s Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and stars Boris Karloff as The Monster, Elsa Lanchester in the dual role of his mate and Mary Shelley, Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein and Ernest Thesiger as Doctor Septimus Pretorius.

The film follows on immediately from the events of the earlier film, and is rooted in a subplot of the original Mary Shelley novel, Frankenstein (1818). In the film, a chastened Henry Frankenstein abandons his plans to create life, only to be tempted and finally coerced by the Monster, encouraged by Henry’s old mentor Dr. Pretorius, into constructing a mate for him. Continue reading