1931-1940

Alessandro Blasetti – Terra madre (1931)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

PLOT SYNOPSIS
After many years in the city, the Duke Marco, accompanied by his lover Daisy and by a cohort of frivolous and condescending friends, pays a visit to the country estate in which he grew up, and that he now owns after his father’s death. The Duke slowly comes to acknowledge how deeply connected he feels towards the ancestral land and its humble people, but he is torn between his duties as a landowner and the whims of Daisy, who pushes him to sell the estate to an unscrupulous businessman. To complicate matters, the Duke gets increasingly fond of Emilia, the young and outspoken daughter of the head farmer. Read More »

William Hamilton & Edward Killy – Murder on a Bridle Path (1936)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

From TCM:
When the body of Violet Feverel, who had taken her horse for an evening ride, is discovered in Central Park, Inspector Oscar Piper of the New York police arrives at the crime scene and is joined by his friend, amateur detective and schoolteacher Hildegarde Withers. After Hildegarde locates Violet’s horse and bloodied saddle, Oscar concludes that she was murdered and begins to question suspects, including Latigo Wells, the manager of Violet’s stable. Confronted by Oscar’s suspicions, Wells reveals that Violet had quarreled with Eddie Fry, her sister Barbara Foley’s boyfriend, just before the murder. Hildegarde then finds out from High Pockets, a stable employee, that Violet also had quarreled with Wells just before her death. At Violet’s apartment, Oscar and Hildegarde discover Eddie and Barbara hastily packing and question them. The young couple, who had become engaged in spite of Violet’s objections, defend their innocence and cast suspicion on Don Gregg, Violet’s ex-husband, whom Violet had jailed for nonpayment of alimony. Read More »

Cecil B. DeMille – The Sign of the Cross (1932)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
A tale of the fall of Rome at the hand of the half-mad Emperor Nero, who sets fires throughout the city, blaming the Christians and sentencing them to death. The selfish Empress takes revenge when the object of her desire spurns her for the love of a Christian woman. Read More »

Clarence Brown – Sadie McKee (1934)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

IMDB:
The life of Sadie McKee takes many twists and turns. She starts as the daughter of the cook for the well off Alderson family. Lawyer Michael Alderson likes Sadie but she runs off to New York City with boyfriend Tommy to get married. Before they get married, Tommy takes up with show girl Dolly and deserts her. Sadie stays in New York and becomes involved with Michael’s boss, millionaire Brennan. She marries the chronically alcoholic Brennan for his money. Michael views her as a golddigger at first, but then sees her help Brennan beat his alcoholism. Sadie leaves Brennan to try and find Tommy when she hears that her old flame is in trouble. Little does she know just how much trouble. Read More »

Sadao Yamanaka – Ninjô kami fûsen aka Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

A poor, masterless Samurai who depends on the paper balloons his wife makes to feed his family becomes tempted by a criminal opportunity.

Widely regarded as Yamanaka’s greatest achievement, Humanity & Paper Balloons was, tragically, his last film and only one of three that survive today. Read More »

Sadao Yamanaka – Tange Sazen yowa: Hyakuman ryo no tsubo AKA Tange Sazen and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo (1935)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Tange Sazen is the story of a one eyed one armed swordsman his nagging wife and an orpan who upsets their routine while clutching a ceramic pot worth one million ryo. We know the value of that pot, but none of the film’s characters know that which sets into motion some great sight gags and wonderful bits of action. First conceived as a series of films in 1927 this film has not been seen since 1935, and the wait has been certainly worth it. Gorgeous scenery, fabulous costumes, quick comic pacing and enough action to keep you interested this film hopefully is the first of a new series. Clear English subtitles allow the viewer to be caught up in the daily lives of this family, and the constant bickering of the wife who is not sure about the orphan, and that pot. A subtle comic masterpiece! Read More »

Ralph Murphy – The Notorious Sophie Lang (1934)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

After an extended stay in England, Sophie Lang returns to America. She is beautiful, sophisticated–and a notorious jewel thief. A New York police detective who’s been trying to nail her finally comes up with what seems a foolproof scheme–to catch her off guard by having her fall for a handsome and suave jewel thief who happens to be in the U.S. traveling under an assumed name Read More »