Romance

George Cukor – Two-Faced Woman (1941)

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Plot Synopsis by Paul Brenner
Attempting to Americanize Greta Garbo to appeal to American audiences (since most of the foreign markets for Hollywood product had been cut off due to World War II), M.G.M.’s Two-Faced Woman succeeded in making Garbo angry enough to announce her retirement from the screen. Two-Faced Woman was Garbo’s final screen appearance, as the legendary actress slipped into a reclusive existence that lasted until her death. This George Cukor romantic comedy casts Garbo as ski instructor Karin Borg Blake. She gives lessons to wealthy American playboy Larry Blake (Melvyn Douglas), and the two fall in love and marry even though Larry has a girlfriend named Griselda Vaughn (Constance Bennett) waiting for him back in New York. Returning to New York, Karin fears that Griselda will win Larry back. In an effort to foil Larry’s imagined dalliance, Karin poses as her own twin sister, Katherine, hoping to get Larry to fall in love with her instead of Griselda. Larry is onto the scheme and plays along with her, pretending to fall in love with Katherine. But this infuriates Karin, who can’t believe that her husband would fall in love with her sister, and she storms back to her ski resort..
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Josef von Sternberg – Shanghai Express (1932)

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Quote:
An intoxicating mix of adventure, romance, and pre-Code salaciousness, Shanghai Express marks the commercial peak of an iconic collaboration. Marlene Dietrich is at her wicked best as Shanghai Lily, a courtesan whose reputation brings a hint of scandal to a three-day train ride through war-torn China. On board, she is surrounded by a motley crew of foreigners and lowlifes, including a fellow fallen woman (Anna May Wong), an old flame (Clive Brook), and a rebel leader wanted by the authorities (Warner Oland). As tensions come to a boil, director Josef von Sternberg delivers one breathtaking image after another, enveloping his star in a decadent profusion of feathers, furs, and cigarette smoke. The result is a triumph of studio filmmaking and a testament to the mythic power of Hollywood glamour. Read More »

Jacques Feyder – Le grand jeu AKA The Great Game AKA The Full Deck (1934)

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Synopsis:
Pierre (Pierre Richard-Willm), a young lawyer, has enormous debts due to his mistress Florence (Marie Bell), and her whims of luxury life. Pierre has gone too far and put the family firm in jeopardy. They ask him to expatriate. To avoid scandal, Pierre joins the Foreign Legion. In Morocco, near the desert, Pierre goes with his comrades of the Legion to a bar-restaurant-brothel, owned by a shady character, Mr. Clement (Charles Vanel). Clement lives more or less with Ms.Blanche (Françoise Rosay) who is a fortune teller with cards, as a hobby. But Clement is also after his girls now and then. Pierre is still obsessed with Florence but he meets Irma (Marie Bell), one of Clement’s girls, who is the double of Florence except for hair color. Irma has had an accident and has lost part of her memory at a certain point of her recent past, and Pierre slowly persuades himself she is Florence, but cannot remember it. Advised by Ms.Blanche, Irma finally accepts to act as if she was Florence because she is falling in love with Pierre. Near the end of his contract with the Legion, Pierre receives news from France. He has inherited a fortune. He asks Irma to come to France with him, and they make plans. But Clement tries to rape Irma and Pierre has to kill him. Read More »

Michel Gondry – La science des rêves Version B AKA The Science of Sleep [Version B] (2006)

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Quote:
A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is love-struck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world.

Quote:
Michel Gondry assembles alternate version of his The Science of Sleep
from cut scenes and B-roll footage. Read More »

Charles Vidor – Gilda [+Extras] (1946)

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I warned you once. You didn’t
listen. Now you’re through.
– Through with what?
– The casino. You’re fired.

You are mistaken. I will be here
after you are gone, Mr. Peasant.

Plot Synopsis
In Argentina, Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) wins money at dice and is held up; but Ballin Mundson (George Macready) rescues him with a sword-cane and recommends a gambling club. Johnny goes there and wins at blackjack. Ballin is the owner and tells him to leave, but Johnny hits back at his thug Casey (Joe Sawyer) and asks for a job. People celebrate the end of the war, and Ballin puts Johnny in charge while he is away… Read More »

Colin Nutley – Under Solen aka Under the Sun (1998)

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Quote:
Under The Sun is a wonderful Swedish film about a lonely farmer, his slightly shady best friend and the beautiful, but mysterious, woman who steps into their lives.

The movie, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film in the 2000 edition of the Oscars (Spain’s All About My Mother took home the prize), is a gorgeously shot love story and character study that’s as sweet as honey.
[…] Ostensibly, the plot sounds a little pulpy, almost noirish, but that’s the furthest thing from the reality. While this is a story about love, friendship and trust, it’s also about growing up — Olof is a 40-year-old virgin who can’t read or write, and the ad is his attempt to finally meet a woman. Read More »

Augusto Genina – Frou-Frou (1955)

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PLOT:
With the help of four protectors, a young Parisian flower girl becomes a famous cabaret singer. She marries one, a Russian prince, but then has other loves until a suicidal painter gives her a daughter. To her she devotes all.
Lavish and pleasant ride, in color and cinemascope, through thirty years of French life of the Belle Époque.
Last film by A. Genina (1892-1957). Read More »