In ancient Bagdad, the young prince Ahmad (John Justin) is betrayed, deposed, and imprisoned by his vizier Jaffar (Conrad Veidt), an evil and calculating man who is also a master of the Black Arts. But Ahmad is saved from prison, and certain execution, by Abu (Sabu), a young thief who has made his way in life by stealing whatever he needs. Together they escape from Bagdad and make their way to the port city of Basra, where they hope to sign to sail with the renowned sailor Sinbad. But Ahmad chances to catch a glimpse of the daughter (June Duprez) of the Sultan (Miles Malleson, who also co-wrote the screenplay), and falls hopelessly in love with her. Read More »
Ludwig Berger & Michael Powell & Tim Whelan & Alexander Korda & Zoltan Korda & William Cameron Menzies – The Thief of Bagdad (1940)1931-1940AdventureAlexander KordaFantasyLudwig BergerMichael PowellTim WhelanUnited KingdomWilliam Cameron MenziesZoltan Korda
European tourists on holiday in Morocco are threatened by a native sorcerer who predicts five of them will die, one by one, before the full moon.Read More »
Aged penniless actors are living in a old people’s home. They always talk about their past glory or failures. One day Raphael Saint-Clair comes; he has been a famous actor and had a lot of love affairs. Passions come back, and jealousies… A bitter film about aging, failure and the entertainment.Read More »
Ayako becomes the mistress of her boss so she can pay her father’s debt and prevent him from going to prison for embezzlement.Read More »
Tatsunosuke Takashima1931-1940ClassicsDramaJapanKenji Mizoguchi
A bit like The Downfall of Osen (Orizuru Osen, 1935), this film centers on a woman who’s a cat’s paw for a gang involved in shady dealings. Okichi, played by Yamada Isuzu, is pulling scams for the sake of her lover. But she falls out with the gang and takes pity on one of the young men whom she victimizes.
I can’t comment on the film after only one viewing, and the fact that Mizoguchi is credited after Takashima suggests that he may have had little input. Still, it’s another tale of a woman who sacrifices herself for more or less unworthy men. Miss Okichi also has some typically Mizoguchian scenes that dwell on chiaroscuro melancholy. Much of the film takes place at night, and this strategy reinforces the somber atmosphere. There are some remarkably opaque long shots and one moment that includes Okichi turning toward the camera in a sort of plaintive challenge.Read More »
1931-1940ClassicsComedyNorman Z. McLeodScrewball ComedyUSA
Thorne Smith is a name one hardly ever hears these days, and that’s a shame. In the 1920s and early ’30s, he was the popular author of a genre-defining series of novels in which mortal men broke out of their humdrum lives to embark on comic-erotic, supernaturally tinged adventures in the company of an exciting woman (or women). The most popular of these, Topper, was filmed in 1937, three years after Smith’s death. (Smith’s novel The Passionate Witch also became the basis for a classic film comedy, I Married a Witch (1942), and later the TV series Bewitched.)Read More »
Political turmoil convulses 19th-century Russia, as Razumov, a young student preparing for a career in the czarist bureaucracy, unwittingly becomes embroiled in the assassination of a public official.
Based on Joseph Conrad’s novel.Read More »
The story of the student who sells his shadow for money and power only to find that the shadow reappears at certain moments and brings disaster upon him, should be well known from the original and the first remake. Robison however, introduces some new twists and angles to the story which should not be told here.Read More »
1931-1940DramaFernand RiversFranceSacha Guitry
Some episodes in Pasteur’s life: the selflessness of the researcher when war is declared, Pastor rejected by members of the Academy of Medicine, Pasteur treats a child with rabies, Pasteur as a patient receives his doctor who asks him to stop his research, Pasteur celebrated at the Sorbonne by luminaries from around the world …Read More »