1930s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Rapt etc

#1176 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:14 am

Deleted- Bad hair day

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Timec
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1177 Post by Timec » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:17 am

Gregory wrote:Is it too late to do a couple of "desperately seekings"? So many people discussed and voted for Gueule d'Amour and Rapt that I figure they must be relatively easy to access -- yet I've not been able to do so. I'd appreciate any help.
If you're in the US and have access to TCM, next Thursday the 18th they'll be showing "Gueule d'Amour" along with some other French films from the 30s and 50s.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1178 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:29 am

Timec wrote:
Gregory wrote:Is it too late to do a couple of "desperately seekings"? So many people discussed and voted for Gueule d'Amour and Rapt that I figure they must be relatively easy to access -- yet I've not been able to do so. I'd appreciate any help.
If you're in the US and have access to TCM, next Thursday the 18th they'll be showing "Gueule d'Amour" along with some other French films from the 30s and 50s.
After the recent mini Gremillon series in NY and now this surely there must be something on the DVD horizon? Isn't there?....MoC say no so it's gotta be down to Criterion or are there any other likely players?

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knives
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1179 Post by knives » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:49 pm

I think Criterion owns the right to several Gremillon's, but it should be remembered that the showing of this movie is part of a Gabin retrospective TCM is throwing.

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Gregory
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1180 Post by Gregory » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:01 pm

Timec wrote:
Gregory wrote:Is it too late to do a couple of "desperately seekings"? So many people discussed and voted for Gueule d'Amour and Rapt that I figure they must be relatively easy to access -- yet I've not been able to do so. I'd appreciate any help.
If you're in the US and have access to TCM, next Thursday the 18th they'll be showing "Gueule d'Amour" along with some other French films from the 30s and 50s.
I don't have access to TCM, but yeah, I was salivating over some of the films on those lists. Someday...

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1181 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:01 pm

Gregory wrote:Is it too late to do a couple of "desperately seekings"? So many people discussed and voted for Gueule d'Amour and Rapt that I figure they must be relatively easy to access -- yet I've not been able to do so. I'd appreciate any help.
I provided you with a means of access... and you let it go unused and expire!

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Gregory
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1182 Post by Gregory » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:31 pm

Oh, shame on me! I did try using it but ran into a problem getting it to work. I'm usually of the technically challenged sort. Anyway, I'm active again now, so we'll see...

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Tommaso
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1183 Post by Tommaso » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:48 pm

Hope you'll make it; there are some nice things for the 40s listmaking in store for sure ;)

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lubitsch
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1184 Post by lubitsch » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:32 pm

I think this round has been unusually harsh on the slightly more stolid Hollywood classics which I appreciate very much, however there are a few stunners here. Borzage sank in a vote split, but nobody had any love for Farewell to Arms? It's a pretty daring film, admittedly not all that well cast, but the ending alone is quite grand. Curtiz also underperformed, no vote for Captain Blood and Robin Hood, a joyous, stylish actioner placed rather low. Another fun film that apparently attracted no vote whatsoever is Gunga Din which I remember as a pretty much nonstop action film unusual for its era. Seeing The Informer without votes is somehow the last nail in the coffin of this past classic, but William Wyler also sank a bit low. Sure his films have the vices of prestige pictures, but Dodsworth surely could have done better and Wuthering Heights got no vote at all??? Why instead an anonymous, innocuous film like The Good Fairy is attracting all the attention also escapes me especially in a decade that produced many sharper and wittier comedies. Some lesser classic directors like Stahl or Vidor also surely took a beating here, Back Street e.g. surely is quite a good film with unusual long takes.
And does nobody here like Laurel & Hardy? Seriously these two put very much effort in brilliantly timed routines far more so than the sloppy approach of the Marx brothers who throw twenty gags every minute at the viewer and hope that enough hit so you won't notice the absence of any comedic structure.

Some stuff I personally think fell under the radar: Anna Sten. Yes, she's the star that flopped and neither Vidor's Wedding Night nor Mamoulian's We live again ever attracted much attention, but they are beautiful, unusually intelligent films. Both films are out on DVD from MGM and worth a pick. Van Dyke's Eskimo was mentioned here once, it's really a studio film like no other and rounds off nicely the director's earlier paeans to native people. It's really an interesting part of classical Hollywood but Van Dyke is always written off as One-Take Woody who shot the Thin Man in twenty or so days. Mervyn LeRoy's They won't forget is really a very, very powerful drama showing the mechanisms of power and media in a far more sophisticated way than e.g. Five Star Final despite having been made under the code. Without stars it never attracted much attention, but please take a look. William Dieterle's finest biopic is one of his least known, Juarez. more so than his other more stolid efforts in this genre this achieves genuinely tragic heights due to the more complex political situation the film is showing. Michael Curtiz made a totally unknown film Daughters Courageous, I'm not the first one to think it his best 30s film. Get past the idea of having to endure the cuteness of the Lane sisters and you'll discover a profound meditation on stable family life vs. restlessness with no easy way out for all concerned. Finally Dorothy Arzner's Craig's Wife allows a subversive double reading where a housewife really devotes herself to her man to the nth degree.

For the other countries I had mostly written what I think is good. With France I'm shocked to see the low score for Raymond Bernard's film double. The set was praised as a great rediscovery, the films are emotionally and visually powerful, so what went wrong? Ophüls' Werther apparently made nobody's list, but it's really a well done film. Julien Duvivier's Fin du Jour is also a very bitter tragedy where his misogynism for once doesn't hurt the film, great pity that there's no DVD around, an Eclipse set with Carnet de Bal and Belle Equipe would be a splendid idea.
As for Tapiovaara I actually prefer Juha, and I'm disappointed that Ivens' Nieuwe gronden/New Earth didn't attract any votes. It's such a lively film with all the swirling water and then later the dry, empty landscapes. For Czechoslovakia I drop once again the suggestion for the tragic melodrama Tonka sibenice and Carl Junghans realist stunner Such is Life. Why Flaherty's Man of Aran lost so badly I can't fathom and the British docus could have fared better IMHO, Song of Ceylon is an orphan, others could have placed higher. But generally I think shorts and docus underperformed a bit. As for the German films I'm happy that enough users pushed a lesser known quintet into the lesser third of the list, I think Hochbaum could have done it with even two films. Why Blue Angel sank that low, I can't quite understand. It has a reasonably engrossing and emblematic story, the clash of two very different star actors, an elaborate sound and visual design and Dietrich is still a lively girl from Berlin not yet an icon. I'd like to hint again at Riefenstahl's Blue Light which is a very well shot film. I don't quite get it while the mountain films which are very unique for this era have such a modest reception even though they are out on English friendly DVDs.

As for the winner, I remain unimpressed with Regle du Jeu. The film is modestly funning, dramatically not very engrossing, has an endless exposition and is moderately well played by an ensemble of types. There's some staging in depth which can be quite hectic and annoying though. The legend how this film was booed off the screen because it's such a sharp satire is most certainly not true, there's no bitterness or aggressivity, it's all a gentle play a la Marivaux which is nice but nothing to thrill me particularily.

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knives
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1185 Post by knives » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:26 pm

Farwell was actually on my list until the very end when I just had to knock it off.

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Tommaso
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1186 Post by Tommaso » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:18 am

I guess the quantity of great films (and of great unknown films) prevented many people from voting for some films because they thought these films would get their votes anyway. In my case this especially goes for Laurel & Hardy, whom I love very much, but it would have been hard to pick one film above all the others here. I had trouble enough deciding on the one Astaire/Rogers film that finally made my list.
lubitsch wrote:For the other countries I had mostly written what I think is good. With France I'm shocked to see the low score for Raymond Bernard's film double. The set was praised as a great rediscovery, the films are emotionally and visually powerful, so what went wrong? Ophüls' Werther apparently made nobody's list, but it's really a well done film. Julien Duvivier's Fin du Jour is also a very bitter tragedy where his misogynism for once doesn't hurt the film, great pity that there's no DVD around, an Eclipse set with Carnet de Bal and Belle Equipe would be a splendid idea.
Agreed on all points. I also wonder what kept me away from voting for Bernard, apart from having already a substantial number of French films on my list. In this respect, I'm pretty surprised to see the huge drop of Cocteau's Le sang d'un poéte here, as it's such a seminal film that still keeps its fascination after a many, many viewings.
lubitsch wrote:Why Flaherty's Man of Aran lost so badly I can't fathom and the British docus could have fared better IMHO, Song of Ceylon is an orphan, others could have placed higher. But generally I think shorts and docus underperformed a bit.
With Flaherty it was probably another case of not wanting to vote for such an old chestnut; also, Man of Aran, great as it is, pales a little once you've seen The Edge of the World. I can't say I was particularly overwhelmed by Song of Ceylon. In terms of such (semi-) documentaries, I find films like Henri de la Falaise's Legong and especially Victor von Plessen's astonishing Die Kopfjäger von Borneo more gripping. Not to speak of Fejös' Man och kvinna, which needs a little promotion for the 40s list.

As to the German films, I think the same that happened to Man of Aran happened to Der blaue Engel, which is a masterpiece of course, but if you already have three other Sternbergs on your list you're not necessarily going to vote for this film, especially if you want to push some lesser known German films at the same time.
lubitsch wrote: I'd like to hint again at Riefenstahl's Blue Light which is a very well shot film. I don't quite get it while the mountain films which are very unique for this era have such a modest reception even though they are out on English friendly DVDs.
Das blaue Licht is visually very impressive, but as soon as some of the thankfully sparse dialogue comes up, it really makes me cringe. The mountain films in general didn't fare very well, as you say, but again there has been little promotion for them, and I don't know about too many English friendly dvds of them (apart from Stürme über dem Mont Blanc and Das Blaue Licht indeed). I must have been the only person here, though, who voted for a Trenker film, Der verlorene Sohn. Not just a mountain film, but also in its middle section (set in New York) an astonishing proto-neorealist film. But Trenker in general is too little known outside the German-speaking countries, and even there his early films are not necessarily taken as seriously as they should. Which basically has to do with Trenker's late-life TV appearances as a slightly comical story teller and 'mountain grandpa'. Thus, apart from Der verlorene Sohn, I would also recommend that people seek out Condottieri, which while being certainly some kind of propaganda film for Italian fascism, is visually striking and shows how one could transpose the imagery of Riefenstahl's Triumph into a renaissance context. Not that this is particularly desirable, but it works very well.

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the preacher
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1187 Post by the preacher » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:31 am

I agree with almost everything Lubitsch has said (I even voted for some of those he mentions, haha). For women directors, Riefenstahl's The Blue Light was one of my last discards and totally forgot Dorothy Arzner's Christopher Strong (which I prefer to Craig's Wife).

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swo17
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1188 Post by swo17 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:38 am

One thing to bear in mind is that even just one list has a lot of influence on the overall one. Another vote for a film that just barely missed the top 100 could have moved it up as much as 30 places. Toward the bottom of the also-rans, another vote could have moved a film by up to 70 places. If you don't vote, you can't be that surprised if the final tally doesn't resemble your opinions. And if you don't hear people talking about a certain film, and don't bring it up yourself, you can't be that surprised if it doesn't garner many votes. 50 spots is really not that many, barely enough to contain all the films that you personally love, let alone all the ones that you respect or consider important.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1189 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:06 pm

There were five people who voted for Laurel and Hardy's The Music Box, with me among them- I actually watched and enjoyed a fair amount of their material, but that one seemed the height of their precision, both in timing and building jokes from a minimum of elements.

I voted for the Marx bros over anything of L&H's, though- I like the sloppiness, I like the sheer volume of jokes, and I love the pace with which their delivered- things didn't get that fast again for decades.

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lubitsch
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1190 Post by lubitsch » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:41 pm

swo17 wrote:One thing to bear in mind is that even just one list has a lot of influence on the overall one. Another vote for a film that just barely missed the top 100 could have moved it up as much as 30 places. Toward the bottom of the also-rans, another vote could have moved a film by up to 70 places. If you don't vote, you can't be that surprised if the final tally doesn't resemble your opinions. And if you don't hear people talking about a certain film, and don't bring it up yourself, you can't be that surprised if it doesn't garner many votes. 50 spots is really not that many, barely enough to contain all the films that you personally love, let alone all the ones that you respect or consider important.
It wasn't meant as a complaint, I was just surprised about the general opinion in some cases. It's not about if a film would have climbed a bit here or not ended up an orphan there if I had voted, it's just the fact that absolutely nobody out of 30+ lists votes for certain films which I find interesting. And in some cases I'm admittedly disappointed as with Raymond Bernard where there can be no lack of promotion and awareness. I feel a bit guilty that I didn't highlight a few Hollywood films. Naturally on balance I still think that two, three lists less of certain members would have produced a better final result but there's no point in discussing that again.
It's a better list than the last one where you still could really feel that the lack of available films for certain countries or genres pushes some films as "representative examples". With a larger number of films to choose from films like Alexander Nevsky inevitably decline. I wonder to which degree the freshness of certain releases has an influence, maybe the Bernard set being 4 years old slipped back in mind while e.g. the double release of Make way for Tomorrow from Criterion and MoC in 2010 is fresh in everybody's mind. Anyway thanks to DVD and internet communities we're in a far more fortunate position than the generations before us, I myself wouldn't have dreamt 10 years ago that I could weigh Naruse's 30s output against Tapiovaara's films.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1191 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:39 pm

Since there were WAY more than 100 indispensable (and uniquely precious) films made in the 1930s, any list of 50 or 100 (or probably even 200) is going to be unsatisfactory in one way or another. It is a wonder how many more films are available now than 10 years ago -- but sad how many promising sounding possible treasures are still totally inaccessible (especially for those of us who are for non-torrenters). ;~}

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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1192 Post by nsps » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:24 am

Murdoch wrote:Also disappointed not a single Len Lye film made the list.
D'oh! I was just looking over the responses (the lists weren't up the first time I looked so I was just skimming) and realized I left A COLOR BOX off my list. :( Oh well, I'll have to tie a ribbon around my finger so I don't forget it again in five years.

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Lighthouse
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1193 Post by Lighthouse » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:39 am

I'm surprised about the downfall of L'age d'or. How comes?
I also think that Carne should be much higher with all of his films.

And from the Hollywood guys I also think that Michael Curtiz is a bit underrepresented.

The Blue Angel on the other side is another surprise, but one I can understand. The film clearly suffers from the typical early sound films problems and often goes on much too long. It is only kind of a vulgar version of Der letzte Mann, and I prefer all 6 of the other Von Sternberg/ Dietrich collaborations.

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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1194 Post by A » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:05 pm

Too bad I didn't have internet access and time during the final days of voting, and couldn't send in my list. Nevertheless from looking at the final list, I would have sent in more than a dozen orphans anyway, and pushed my No. 1 into the also-ran category. So as I don't think my 50 votes would have done much good to my favorites, I'm not really saddened by my unfortunate exclusion.

Looking at the final results, there's lots and lots to be discovered, and th also-rans and orphans sound more exciting to me than the final 100. But that's something to be expected from a collaborative effort.

As I'll keep the whole list for reference and search purposes, I think it still needs to be pointed out once again, that as much as the situation seems to have gottn better regarding the availability of films from the 30s, many more deserving films are still commercially (and also via internet surces) unavailable. So there's still a lot to be done.

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lubitsch
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1195 Post by lubitsch » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:07 pm

A wrote: As I'll keep the whole list for reference and search purposes, I think it still needs to be pointed out once again, that as much as the situation seems to have gottn better regarding the availability of films from the 30s, many more deserving films are still commercially (and also via internet surces) unavailable. So there's still a lot to be done.
Which also may have something to do with the fact that silents now enjoy quite a bit of attention with festivals, scores written and conducted and DVD editions. It's another world which is quite strange but also interesting. The early 30s are another matter. These are just very old films as all know them but in black and white and often with a less than stellar sound, there's no real niche for them. Hollywood films mostly get along quite well thanks to the power of the studios, but the European and the Japanese stuff falls through the cracks. Some kind of early sounf film festival would be a cool idea.

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lubitsch
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1196 Post by lubitsch » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:00 pm

In 2006 Transit and the Goethe Instituts released a box of 10 sound films which never was sold through retailers and seems to have been destined for culture work in the Goethe Instituts mainly, I mentioned it in my viewing guide. Some boxes popped up on ebay, but that's about it. Now the box seems to be available on some retailers at a very reasonable price. See http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/SESSIONID/b04cf ... um/9686294" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; or http://lesen.de/movie/detail/-/art/Deut ... um/9686294" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Of the films obviously M and Blue Angel will be in most classic film buff collections. La Habanera, Titanic and Münchhausen also had international releases from Kino International, however the other five films didn't. Ophüls Lachende Erben is a very minor film, but Der Kongreß tanzt, Viktor and Viktoria, Die Drei von der Tankstelle are three major examples of the early sound operetta/comedy tradition and Der Kaiser von Kalifornien is one of the major films of Luis Trenker.
At 40 Euro this is pretty cheap and you can put in Käutner's Unter den Brücken, the best German 40s film, in the same order http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/SESSIONID/b04cf ... um/1310719" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; it also has English subs.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1197 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:54 pm

(I suppose I could post this in the musicals thread, but this is the one I actually participated in and feel relevant to.) I caught up (a bit late, admittedly) with a couple further Astaire and Rogers vehicles on Christmas day, as Boston's Brattle theater was doing a Ginger Rogers retrospective. Of the two I saw, Top Hat and Shall We Dance, it's my understanding that the former is more highly critically respected, and amongst the most respected Astaire and Rogers vehicles generally- but I enjoyed the latter much more (though neither reached as high as The Gay Divorcee for me.)

The consistent thing, of course, is that the lead couple are absolutely electric when they dance together- and I think one of the major reasons I enjoy these and don't enjoy most romantic comedies is that an apparently supernatural ability to dance perfectly in sync, spontaneously, seems like a much more solid reason for a couple to get together than most presented by other movies. Astaire's particular love of movement stays very much consistent, too, and is the strongest part of Top Hat- his impish little stomp in the gentleman's club was a wonderful touch, and all the business with Rogers hearing him dance and being secretly charmed was marvelous. And, of course, I can't get enough of Edward Everett Horton.

It's hard to put a finger on why Top Hat didn't work as well for me. It was certainly still fun, and had a great character I hadn't seen before in Madge Hardwick. It was partially that the plot obstacles seemed particularly idiotic- I mean, seriously, the big complication could have been resolved at any time with perhaps five seconds conversation- without ever being heightened enough to be farcical. I normally enjoy the various contretemps our leads are put through in their quest for what they secretly want, but here it was just frustrating, particularly as it threatened to stop them actually dancing together, which the plot in these movies should never be allowed to do. Rogers getting married to Erik Rhodes in particular seemed like a rather desperate last second way to delay the resolution a bit more- and the resolution, when it came, was equally half assed.

Shall We Dance, on the other hand, had a plot that touched occasionally on real human feelings, while simultaneously having complications that seemed much funnier in of themselves- the picture with the Ginger doll was particularly absurd. I wondered throughout if there the movie's overall question of everybody asking whether screen Rogers and screen Astaire were in love was a response of some kind to similar gossip in their real lives- and here, it is the joy of dance itself that seems to resolve the plot in favor of them staying together. I liked a lot of the business here, too: the varied beats with the little dog walking place on the ship, Astaire's fake Russian playacting, Horton and Rogers' manager getting drunk together- the comedy of it seemed pretty uniformly strong.

Shall We Dance also seemed more successful as a musical. It helped too that I like the Gershwins' music better than Irving Berlin's, but it also had more routines that stick in mind- the roller skating one in particular, but also Astaire's happy escape to the below-decks for a disreputable tap session, the surprisingly moving performance of "They Can't Take That Away From Me", and the terrifying finale with the Rogers simulacra and jelly-backed ballet dancer- it was pretty marvelous overall.

As I said, I liked both movies, but I'm not sure I understand the general consensus on Top Hat as a particularly strong one.
Last edited by matrixschmatrix on Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cold Bishop
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1198 Post by Cold Bishop » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:15 pm

I mentioned this in the Musical thread, but Top Hat pretty much nosedives after "Cheek to Cheek", which is a problem it shares (and inherited) from The Gay Divorcee, from whom they replicated the structure. It isn't just the lack of a strong musical number for finish ("The Piccollino" is not very good): I think the entire farcical, convoluted nature of the second half just rubs up very roughly against the effortless, naturalistic charm of the first half. The way Astaire goes about wooing Ginger Rogers, the way the numbers are integrated, not to mention the numbers themselves, are really just perfect. Then it all dissipates for a bedroom farce, based off a rather silly misunderstanding, and it becomes mostly a showcase for Erik Rhodes's ree-deek-ulous accent (the man missed his true calling as a Charlie Chaplin impersonator).

For me, the laurels for Top Hat rests on those first two-thirds, which are just a dream. It would take until Swing Time for Astaire and co. to finally figure out to play to all their own strengths. It could be worse, however: it could be Roberta.

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zedz
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1199 Post by zedz » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:23 pm

Well, I love Top Hat, despite the relative weakness of 'The Piccollino'. I simply think it's the funniest of the Astaire / Rogers films, and I adore the transcendently ridiculous Deco Venice of the closing section.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: 1930s List Discussion and Suggestions

#1200 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:26 pm

Cold Bishop wrote:I mentioned this in the Musical thread, but Top Hat pretty much nosedives after "Cheek to Cheek", which is a problem it shares (and inherited) from The Gay Divorcee, from whom they replicated the structure. It isn't just the lack of a strong musical number for finish ("The Piccollino" is not very good): I think the entire farcical, convoluted nature of the second half just rubs up very roughly against the effortless, naturalistic charm of the first half. The way Astaire goes about wooing Ginger Rogers, the way the numbers are integrated, not to mention the numbers themselves, are really just perfect. Then it all dissipates for a bedroom farce, based off a rather silly misunderstanding, and it becomes mostly a showcase for Erik Rhodes's ree-deek-ulous accent (the man missed his true calling as a Charlie Chaplin impersonator).

For me, the laurels for Top Hat rests on those first two-thirds, which are just a dream. It would take until Swing Time for Astaire and co. to finally figure out to play to all their own strengths. It could be worse, however: it could be Roberta.
I think you may be right and that I may be judging Top Hat too much on the later parts and not enough on the first half or so, which is certainly where most of my favorite elements were (apart from the Madge Hardwick). Swing Time's the only one I haven't seen on the DVD fourpack I have, so I'll have to give that a watch next.

Could you elaborate about Roberta at all? I'm a newcomer to this whole area of film so I'm as interested to hear which ones I should avoid as which I should look for.
zedz wrote:Well, I love Top Hat, despite the relative weakness of 'The Piccollino'. I simply think it's the funniest of the Astaire / Rogers films, and I adore the transcendently ridiculous Deco Venice of the closing section.
Oh my god, that set was completely insane. I mean, the entire movie is wealth pornography, but it's hard to imagine Depression audiences not bum-rushing the stage in protest of the sheer decadence of that set.

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