Tag Archives: 1930s

Pierre Chenal – Crime et châtiment aka Crime and Punishment (1935)

Pierre Blanchar plays the murderer Raskolnikov, and Harry Baur is the police inspector on his trail…

Quote:
Crime et châtiment is one of the overlooked masterpieces of 1930s French cinema, an early and almost faultless adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s celebrated 1866 novel Crime and Punishment. One of the reasons for the film’s comparative obscurity is that it was released in the same year as Josef von Sternberg’s better known American adaptation which starred Peter Lorre and Edward Arnold. The French version appears to have been heavily influenced by an earlier silent adaptation Raskolnikow (1923) from the renowned German filmmaker Robert Wiene, whose best-known work – Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari (1920) – is powerfully evoked in this film’s staging of the pivotal murder scene. Read More »

Veit Harlan – Verwehte Spuren AKA Covered Tracks (1938)

Séraphine and her mother arrive in Paris to visit the 1867 World Exhibition. In an overcrowded city they must be accommodated in separate hotels. During the night the mother, who wasn’t feeling very well, gets suddenly worse. When next morning Séraphine goes to meet her every trace of her presence has disappeared and everybody denies having ever met her. The bewildered young woman must find someone who believes her. Read More »

Hiroshi Shimizu – Nanatsu no umi: Kohen Teiso-hen AKA Seven Seas: Frigidity Chapter (1932)

“Seven Seas, the first of Shimizu’s great silent films of the 30s, was scripted by Kogo Noda, Ozu’s close associate, from a novel by Itsuma Maki (a pen name of the noted writer, Umitaro Hasegawa). The film is a lengthy work interweaving characters from different backgrounds and social strata in a narrative centered around the experiences of its heroine, Yumie Sone. Over two hours long, Seven Seas was released theatrically in two parts, with the first part entitled “Virginity Chapter” coming out in December 1931, while the second part, “Frigidity Chapter,” followed in March 1932. Read More »

Sidney Franklin – The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)

Plot Synopsis from allmovie.com by Mark Deming
Based on a successful stage drama, this historical romance stars Norma Shearer as Elizabeth Barrett, an invalid largely confined to her bed. Elizabeth has little company beyond her dog and her obsessively protective father, Edward Moulton Barrett (Charles Laughton). Her one great passion and means of emotional escape is writing poetry, to which she devotes a large part of her days. She makes the acquaintance of fellow poet Robert Browning (Fredric March), who pays her a visit. They respect each others’ literary abilities and become romantically attracted to each other. Robert asks for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage, but Edward refuses to allow it. Elizabeth must battle her father for the right to live her own life, but eventually she is able to wed Robert and bring herself back to health. Director Sidney A. Franklin also helmed a remake of The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1957); it was his last film. Read More »

Robert Florey – Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

Synopsis:
In 19th Century Paris, the maniacal Dr. Mirakle abducts young women and injects them with ape blood in an attempt to prove ape-human kinship. He constantly meets failure as the abducted women die. Medical student Pierre Dupin discovers what Mirakle is doing too late to prevent the abduction of his girlfriend Camille. Now he desperately tries to enlist the help of the police to get her back. Read More »

Géza von Bolváry – Ein Tango für Dich (1930)

This is Willi Forst’s second collaboration with director Géza von Bolvary, made shortly after the far better known “Zwei Herzen im Dreivierteltakt” (in which he didn’t have first billing, though). Again, the script is by Walter Reisch and the music is by Robert Stolz.

In “Ein Tango für Dich”, Forst plays Jimmy Bolt, who is working as a singer and dancer (and occcasionally as a waiter) at a varieté. The man may be talented, but he’s not exactly a big success, and things get complicated when a young orphan girl (Fee Malten) falls in love with the voice of another singer (Oskar Karlweis) but then mistakes Bolt for him… Read More »

Yvan Noé – Mademoiselle Mozart (1936)

This French musical comedy was based on the stage play Mademoiselle Mozart, written by Yvan Noe, who also co-directed the screen version. Danielle Darrieux plays Denise, the owner of a music shop that is facing closure. Wealthy young Maxime (Pierre Mingand) falls in love with Denise but knows full well that she despises rich folks and would refuse to accept his charity. Thus, Maxime arranges to secretly buy the store then takes a job with the establishment as a humble sheet-music salesman. When Denise finds out that her new employee is actually her boss, she is furious, but rest assured that Love Will Find a Way. The lovely Danielle Darrieux is permitted to sing on several occasions, which she does enthusiastically if not altogether expertly. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Read More »