Tag Archives: 1930s

George Marshall – Towed in a Hole (1932)

Although they are successful fishmongers, Stan convinces Ollie that they should become fishermen too – but making a boat seaworthy is not an easy task. Read More »

Bertolt Brecht & Carl Koch – Mann ist Mann AKA A Man’s a Man AKA Man Equals Man (1931)

Stage play directed by Berthold Brecht, filmed by Carl Koch, about a civilian who is press-ganged into a machine-gunner’s squadron and transformed into the perfect soldier.

Man is Man, a tragi-comedy written in 1927, a work of Brecht’s youth that marks his entry into epic theatre. How can Man manage to adapt to all the different roles that the industrial society of the 20th Century demands, in an apparently intransigent call for change ? Galy Gay is this unorthodox hero who starts out as a messenger and becomes an active soldier under nauseating pressure from dubious soldiers. French critic Bernard Dort noted that the construction and dismantling of Widow Begbick’s refreshments carriage in this play take place at the same time as the transformation of Galy Gay into Jeramiah Jip. The mobility of the location, theatrically points to the instability of the characters in the epic form. Thomas Ostermeier seized upon the theme of deconstruction, and has his actors play furiously with the different states of reality. Read More »

Murray Roth – Harold Teen (1934)

Harold Teen a recent high school graduate, writes a column for the local newspaper. He is in love with Lillums Lovewell, a high school senior. Harold is continually making mistakes to the despair of his editor. After he spends all his money buying a bottle of perfume as a graduation present for Lillums, Harold’s car is repossessed and he is so distracted that he walks by a newsworthy accident without noticing. Then at the prom, Lillums and Harold quarrel about his bad dancing. Harold sends away for correspondence dancing lessons and partially redeems himself with his boss by interviewing Mr. Snatcher, the new head of the bank. Harold takes Lillums canoeing, but makes her angry again, and they upset the canoe. Read More »

Yasushi Sasaki – Shin josei mondo AKA New Woman Question and Answer (1939)

Jie (Michiko Kuwano) attended a women’s university with the financial support of her geisha sister Oha (Hiroko Kawasaki) and became a lawyer. The aim. Michiko (Kuniko Miyake), one of the seven best friends from the same women’s college, is getting married. The man she’s marrying is her sister’s lover.

This is a women’s film featuring three Shochiku actresses from the pre-war era. Kuwano = intellectual and modern, Kawasaki = old-fashioned and unhappy, Miyake = high society and maternity. The cast has been imagined in a way that is very much like Shochiku. And then, in true Shochiku fashion, at the end of a series of misfortunes, we see the film as if nothing had ever happened before. A happy ending that let it all go by the wayside. It’s a very Shochiku film. Read More »

Max Ophüls – Sans lendemain AKA There’s No Tomorrow AKA Without Tomorrow (1939)

The story of a once-respectable woman who re-encounters her first love, now a successful doctor. Reduced to nude-dancing in a sleazy dive, with a son to support, Evelyne (Edwige Feuillère) borrows money at an outrageous interest rate in order to create a facade of respectability–and, it goes without saying, Georges falls in love with her all over again. But how can Evelyne maintain her bourgeois value and save son and “father” from the consequences of her fall? Read More »

Maurice Cam – Métropolitain (1939)

Alors qu’il est dans le métro, Pierre Garnaux pense être témoin du meurtre d’une femme. Celui-ci alerte alors la police. Il s’agissait en réalité de l’illusioniste Zolti qui répétait une scène avec Viviane, son assistante et fiancée. L’intrusion de Pierre va alors bouleverser l’équilibre du couple. Read More »

John G. Blystone – Too Busy to Work (1932)

Plot: A depression-era tramp named Jubilo goes looking for the wife that left him. While on his journey, he meets an assortment of characters. Read More »