1930s

  • Lloyd Bacon – Racket Busters (1938)

    1931-1940CrimeDramaLloyd BaconUSA
    Racket Busters (1938)
    Racket Busters (1938)

    Manhattan gangster Pete Martin enters the trucking business in an effort to control the produce market. When he catches popular trucker Danny Jordan robbing the gang’s office to provide for his pregnant wife Nora, Martin forces Jordan to join him. As the other truckers come around Martin appears to have wonRead More »

  • Phil Rosen – It Could Happen to You (1937)

    Phil Rosen1931-1940ActionAdventureUSA
    It Could Happen to You (1937)
    It Could Happen to You (1937)

    (1937, Republic) Alan Baxter, Andrea Leads, Owen Davis, Astrid Allwyn. Captivating story of two brothers, one good, one bad. The good one becomes a lawyer while the bad one resorts to crime and ultimately…Read More »

  • Stuart Heisler – Straight from the Shoulder (1936)

    Stuart Heisler1931-1940CrimeDramaUSA
    Straight from the Shoulder (1936)
    Straight from the Shoulder (1936)

    Curt Hayden (Ralph Bellamy), a witness from the mob, is hidden away in a remote mountain cabin for his own safety. Accompanying Hayden is his young son Johnny (David Holt), who resents his father for planning to remarry. But Johnny loyally rushes to his dad’s defense when a pair of gunmen invade the cabin during Hayden’s absence. As the assassins await Hayden’s return, Johnny concocts a deucedly clever scheme to disarm them. This tension-laden climax is the best part of the picture, which otherwise is a traditional crime melodrama with romantic undertones. Plot Synopsis by Hal EricksonRead More »

  • Josef von Sternberg – Sergeant Madden (1939)

    1931-1940CrimeDramaJosef von SternbergUSA
    Sergeant Madden (1939)
    Sergeant Madden (1939)

    A highly respected Irish cop is pleased when his son follows him onto the force. Unfortunately, the son is more interested in rewards than in upholding the law. When he shoots a child caught stealing, the others frame him and he is sent to prison where his attitude becomes even worse than before.Read More »

  • Franciszka Themerson & Stefan Themerson – Europa (1931)

    1931-1940ExperimentalFranciszka ThemersonPolandShort FilmStefan Themerson
    Europa (1931)
    Europa (1931)

    Europa is a 12-minute anti-fascist film made in 1931 in Warsaw, Poland by surrealists Stefan and Franciszka Themerson. The film is based on Anatol Stern’s 1925 futurist poem Europa. It uses collages and photograms, and articulates the sense of horror and moral decline its makers were witnessing. The film, while long thought to have been lost, is considered an avant-garde masterpiece.Read More »

  • Jean Renoir – Clo-Cloche AKA A Bum Deal (1935)

    1931-1940FranceJean RenoirShort Film
    Clo Cloche (1935)
    Clo Cloche (1935)

    In 1932, Michel Simon plays in “Boudu sauvé des eaux” under the direction of Jean Renoir.
    Three years later, he was again invited to don the clothes of the famous tramp on the sets of Boulogne.
    But it’s to shoot a film for advertising …Read More »

  • Charles Vidor – Blind Alley (1939)

    Charles Vidor1931-1940Film NoirUSA
    Blind Alley (1939)
    Blind Alley (1939)

    One of the very first Hollywood films that could be described as a noir, this brisk psychological thriller stars Chester Morris as an inmate who escapes from prison and hides out in the home of a famed psychiatrist (Ralph Bellamy). As the hostage doctor begins analyzing his captor and dredges up the secrets of his troubled past, the tables gradually turn. With its striking cinematography by Lucien Ballard and Freudian themes, BLIND ALLEY is an intriguing early expression of film noir.Read More »

  • Jean Vigo – L’Atalante (1934)

    Jean Vigo1931-1940DramaFranceRomance
    L'Atalante (1934)
    L’Atalante (1934)

    In Jean Vigo’s hands, an unassuming tale of conjugal love becomes an achingly romantic reverie of desire and hope. Jean (Jean Dasté), a barge captain, marries Juliette (Dita Parlo), an innocent country girl, and the two climb aboard Jean’s boat, the L’Atalante—otherwise populated by an earthy first mate (Michel Simon) and a multitude of mangy cats—and embark on their new life together. Both a surprisingly erotic idyll and a clear-eyed meditation on love, L’Atalante, Vigo’s only feature-length work, is a film like no other.Read More »

  • Frank Capra – You Can’t Take It With You (1938) (HD)

    1931-1940ComedyFrank CapraRomanceUSA
    You Can't Take It With You (1938) (HD)
    You Can’t Take It With You (1938) (HD)

    The son of a snobbish Wall Street banker becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family not realizing that his father is trying to force her family from their home for a real estate development.Read More »

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