Tag Archives: Frances Dee

Rouben Mamoulian & Lowell Sherman – Becky Sharp (1935)

Synopsis:
Set against the background of the Battle of Waterloo, Becky Sharp is the story of Vanity Fair by Thackeray. Becky and Amelia are girls at school together, but Becky is from a “show biz” family, or in other words, very low class. Becky manages to insinuate herself in Amelia’s family and gets to know all their friends. From this possibly auspicious- beginning, she manages to ruin her own life, becoming sick, broke, and lonely, and also ruins the lives of many other “loved ones”. In the movie we get to see the class distinctions in England at the time, and get a sense of what it was like for the English military at the time of the Napoleonic wars. Read More »

Josef von Sternberg – An American Tragedy (1931)

Synopsis:
Having just reached adulthood, Clyde Griffiths has always lamented his lot in life, he the only son of poor missionaries. He has gotten a peripheral view of society life, to which he aspires, in his work as a bellhop at an upscale hotel. If being truthful to himself, he would admit that he lacks moral strength, he often taking the easiest but perhaps not the most ethical path to protect himself. Forced to move from place to place out of circumstance, he ends up in Lycurgus, New York working at the Samuel Griffiths Collar and Shirt factory, Samuel Griffiths his paternal uncle. Not knowing his uncle or his family, Clyde only wants a chance to get ahead, not expecting anything else from his wealthy relations. After an apprenticeship, Clyde ends up as the foreman in the stamping department. Read More »

Henry Hathaway – Souls at Sea (1937)

Gary Cooper and George Raft play a couple of seafaring buddies in this moral adventure
saga set during the 1840s, when the slave-trade had been outlawed by the British
Empire but was still a reality on the high seas. In its depiction of the friendship between
two men, one of questionable character, the film bears some similarities to Hathaway’s
Spawn of the North, made the following year. Read More »