1931-1940

Lewis Seiler – You Can’t Get Away with Murder (1939)

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Synopsis:
Humphrey Bogart plays mobster Frank Wilson, the heavy headlining this crime thriller that sprung from the pen of Sing-Sing’s warden himself! Based on the play “Chalked Out” by Warden Lewis E. Lawes and Jonathan Finn, You Can’t Get Away With Murder tells the grim tale of a young punk taken in by the glamorous gangster life, only to find himself sent away to the federal pen with a man’s fate resting in his hands and a murderer dogging his every step. Young Johnnie Stone (original “Dead End Kid” Billy Halop) hooks up with hoodlum Wilson only to help Wilson frame his sister’s (Gale Page) straight and narrow fiancé Fred (Harvey Stephens) for Murder One. All three men soon find themselves sent to the “Big House” – two serving a stretch for robbery, the third for Death Row. Can Johnnie come clean in time to save Fred, with Frank watching his every move? Read More »

Jean Epstein – Chanson d’Armor (1934)

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Synopsis:
Ballad-type drama-documentary spoken in the Breton language and set in a Breton fishing community, telling of the impossible love between a fisherman and the lady of the manor. Read More »

Jean Epstein – Les berceaux (1931)

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Here is the text for the poem by Sully Prudhomme that the song is based on:

Le long du Quai, les grands vaisseaux,
Que la houle incline en silence,
Ne prennent pas garde aux berceaux,
Que la main des femmes balance.

Mais viendra le jour des adieux,
Car il faut que les femmes pleurent,
Et que les hommes curieux
Tentent les horizons qui leurrent!
Read More »

Henry Koster – Das häßliche Mädchen AKA The Ugly Girl (1933)

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Quote:
“Das hässliche Mädchen” (The ugly girl) of the title is young Lotte (Dolly Haas), who is hired as a secretary by an insurance company precisely for her supposed ugliness, as the director (Otto Wallburg) hopes to avoid amorous affairs in his company this way. But as these things go, not only does one of his employees, Fritz (Max Hansen), fall for her, but unsurprisngly the ugly duckling soon transforms into a lovely lady. Fritz realises a little too late that he’s in love with Lotte, however, and meanwhile establishes an affair with the company director’s girlfriend. And obviously, this leads to all sorts of problems and funny situations… Read More »

Rowland V. Lee – Zoo in Budapest (1933)

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Brief Synopsis from TCM:
Zani is an unusual young man who has spent his entire life in a zoo in Budapest. His only true friends are the zoo’s animals. When Zani meets Eve, a young orphan girl, they fall in love. To be together Eve must somehow escape from her strict orphan school. When she does she and Zani must hide overnight in the zoo – where everyone is looking to find them. Read More »

Marcel Carné – Le Jour se lève aka Daybreak (1939)

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Le Jour se lève (or Daybreak) is a 1939 French film directed by Marcel Carné and written by Jacques Prévert, based on a story by Jacques Viot. It is considered one of the principal examples of the French film movement known as poetic realism.

In 1952, it was included in the first Sight and Sound top ten greatest films list.

Synopsis:
After committing a murder, a man locks himself in his apartment and recollects the events the led him to the killing. Read More »

Paul Sloane – Down to Their Last Yacht aka Hawaiian Nights (1934)

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Review by mark.waltz at IMDb:

Quote:
A campy shipboard musical

A family of bluebloods made destitute by the depression are scammed into leasing out their yacht and posing as crew to tacky “new money”, one of whom is their former cook. The scam turns out to be a plot by the gruff captain (Ned Sparks, the Walter Matthau of his day) to shipwreck them on a desert island run by a madcap queen (Mary Boland) and escape with their money. Of course, things go afoul as the queen has plans of her own. Read More »