1931-1940

Alfred E. Green – The Duke of West Point (1938)

Plot:

Louis Hayward plays an arrogant Cambridge student who emigrates to America and enrolls at the West Point. Hayward’s cocky attitude earns him the enmity of his fellow students and the derisive nickname “the Duke”. Those viewers familiar with college pictures will know as early as the opening titles that Hayward is down deep a swell guy. He proves this by helping impoverished plebe Richard Carlson pay his college costs and winning a crucial hockey game against a Canadian team. 20-year-old leading lady Joan Fontaine fits right in as the beautiful target of Hayward’s attentions.

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Georg Wilhelm Pabst – Kameradschaft AKA Comradeship (1931)


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Valliant effort to use a mining catastrophe as a vehicle to pronounce this director’s distaste for war. The audience not only learns a great deal about early mining rescue procedures but, we learn that Europeans at the interval between WWI and WWII, had concerning pacifists(for lack of a better term). The speeches given by both representatives of each country at the end of the film, are inspiring given the time. Although the revised edition, through the transfer technology of early foreign films, “cuts-off characters heads” at times, this film holds it’s own in many different aspects. Character analysis, lighting techniques, historical content and a scenario that has tested and inspired many a writer and filmmaker.

Pabst went on to Direct and put to screen Weil & Brecht’s “Three Penny Opera”, starring the original star, Lotte Lenya.
Author: (jrichmon@arts.ucla.edu) from United States Read More »

Vladimir Petrov – Pyotr pervyy II AKA Peter the First [Part 2] (1938)


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DVDRip from print restored by Mosfilm in 1965 according to the credits, it still looks grey. After having read the descriptions below I found it be easy to follow the film without subtitles, the acting, the mise en scène and the cinematography are excellent. There is very little music though, two or three church choruses and folk songs, bits of post romantic orchestral music here and there. And, as been said below, no obvious propaganda. Read More »

Vladimir Petrov – Pyotr pervyy I AKA Peter the First [Part 1] (1937)


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Quote:PYOTR PERVY I AND II 1937-1938

Also known as “Peter I, Parts I and II,” and “The Conquests of Peter the Great, Parts I and II.” Soviet Union, 1937 (Part I) and 1938 (Part II). Black and white; Russian language; Running time: 96 minutes (Part I), 96 minutes (Part II). Directed by Vladimir Petrov. Screenplay by Vladimir Petrov, based on a book by Alexei Tolstoy. Starring Nikolai Simonov as Peter I, Nikolai Cherkasov as Tsesarevich Alexei, Alla Tarasova as Empress Catherine I, and Mikhail Zharov as Alexander Menshikov. Read More »

Ewald André Dupont – Cape Forlorn AKA The Love Storm (1931)



William Kell, the keeper of a lighthouse a lonely stretch of coastline in New Zealand, marries cabaret dancer Eileen. His young wife, however, goes on to have an affair with Henry Cass, the handsome assistant. Later on she begins to flirt with a stranger from a wreckage. A chain of events is set in motion…

Also filmed by Dupont in German (Menschen im Käfig) and French (Le cap perdu) versions with different casts. Read More »

Hans H. Zerlett – Zwei Frauen (1938)



Here’s a film so rare and forgotten, it isn’t even listed the German Lexikon des Internationalen Films, so it’s unlikely that it ran anywhere after the war. The overly bright but quite good copy of unknown provenience has Dutch and French subtitles burned in.
The story is about a theater star (Olga Tschechowa) who finds herself suddenly a mother again after her daughter (Irene von Meyendorff) who lived with her father for 16 years got thrown out by him because she wants also to become an actress. Naturally the mother isn’t too pleased because she fears to be recognized as a mother losing some star appeal, so they present themselves as aunt and niece. However the young girl soon proves to be a competitor in love and career … Read More »

John Ford – Pilgrimage (1933)


Synopsis:
The story of an Arkansas farm woman and her son. When the son expresses his desire to marry a girl who comes from a family that the mother thinks is trash, she enrolls him in the army.

Review:
In this sentimental film directed by John Ford a mother disapproves of her son’s marriage and gets him drafted; he is killed in the war, and she comes to realize her error.

In Three Cedars, Arkansas Hannah Jessop (Henrietta Crosman) works in the field with her son Jim (Norman Foster). She reads to him from the Bible about the dangers of an evil woman, and he says he wants to enlist. Jim meets Mary Saunders (Marian Nixon) at night, putting her drunk father to bed and hiding his jug in the hayloft. Mary asks Jim not to enlist. Jim tells his mother he wants to earn wages so that he can marry. Hannah tells Mary to stay away from Jim and gets Jim put in the army. Jim gets off a troop train and kisses Mary, who tells him she is going to have a baby. He tries to stay to marry her, but he is forced back on the train. Jim fights in the trenches. In a rain storm Mary’s father asks Hannah to help deliver Mary’s baby. A telegram to Hannah reports that Jim was killed. She pieces together a torn photo of him. Read More »