Tag Archives: 1930s

Juan Bustillo Oro & Fernando de Fuentes – El compadre Mendoza AKA Godfather Mendoza (1934)

Synopsis:
During Mexican Revolution, Rosalio Mendoza (Del Diestro) survives by making and winning favors from both factions, the governmental forces and Zapata’s Army. His hacienda welcomes everybody, and Mendoza is considered a good friend of his guests. Eventually, the situation becomes unsustainable and he has to take sides. Betrayal and deception overcome and Mendoza’s dark side surfaces. Read More »

Nyrki Tapiovaara – Varastettu kuolema AKA Stolen Death [Director’s Cut] (1938)

A thriller set in turn-of-the-century Helsinki, Stolen Death uses elements of German expressionism to tell the story of Finnish resistance fighters smuggling arms to overthrow the Tsarist occupiers of Finland. Tapiovaara stresses the divided loyalties of the Finnish bourgeoisie, torn between preserving their privileged economic position and taking a risky stand for an independent Finland. Read More »

Sam Wood & William Wyler – Raffles (1939)

Synopsis:
Man about town and First Class cricketer A.J. Raffles keeps himself solvent with daring robberies. Meeting Gwen from his schooldays and falling in love all over again, he spends the weekend with her parents, Lord and Lady Melrose. A necklace presents an irresistible temptation, but also in attendance is Scotland Yard’s finest, finally on the trail. Read More »

Mitchell Leisen – Murder at the Vanities (1934)

Quote:
While musical revue “The Vanities” captivates audience on its opening night, a murder investigation secretly takes place backstage. a lavish backstage extravaganza that’s half musical and half who-dunnit. As the mystery is downright silly, the appeal is all in the attempts at comedy and the staging of a half-dozen song and dance numbers. Read More »

Géza von Bolváry – Der Herr auf Bestellung (1930)

Quote:
“Der Herr auf Bestellung – the gentleman who can be booked” has the Weimar dream team of Walter Reisch as scriptwriter, Geza von Bolvary as director and most importantly, the incomparable Willi Forst as main actor.

This ‘musical burlesque’ tells about a stylish young gentleman (Willi Forst) who works as a so-called ‘Festredner’; an untranslatable term, it indicates a person who makes speeches at important events like marriages etc. for people who don’t feel able to do it themselves. Willi lends his voice to a speech-impaired professor (Paul Hörbiger), but the baroness (Trude Lieske) who falls in love with Hörbiger only does so because of Willi’s voice, and you can guess that this leads to all sorts of complications… Read More »

Géza von Bolváry – Das Lied ist aus AKA The Song Is Over (1930)

Quote:
I don’t hesitate to call “Das Lied ist aus” one of the great masterpieces of early German cinema. It is one of the best and most stylish of all the Weimar musical sound films, and it’s unusual for its strongly melancholic undertone and unhappy ending. It can also be regarded as one of the defining films for the team of actor Willi Forst, director Geza von Bolváry and scriptwriter Walter Reisch. Forst fully established his screen persona here: the witty, elegant, but also fragile and thoughtful gentleman, although he was a much too versatile actor to be pinned-down to such keywords. Forst is paired here with the equally stunning Liane Haid, very charming and womanly, and the chemistry these two have has rarely been achieved again in later films with Forst (but check out “Der Prinz von Arkadien” with the same team!). Read More »

Aleksander Ford & Jerzy Zarzycki – Ludzie Wisly AKA The People of the Vistula (1938)

The history of watermen living on barges and floating on the Vistula. Anna has a deep affection petty thief who steals from her father in order to buy her Berlinka. Matyjaska a poor woman who has a damaged boat – it must get money from her former husband, and therefore resorts to blackmail. Soon fate will combine these two women. Read More »