MY FAVORITE FILMS OF 1936

We’re getting to the middle of the 30’s now. Hollywood knows what it’s doing.

( And maybe I’m getting a little more comfortable with the era having about  twenty-two films under my belt ). A lot of hits came out this year. We’ve got Nick & Nora again in “After the Thin Man” and Flynn doing his thing in “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” You’ve got opulence a la M-G-M with their “The Great Ziegfeld” and special effects extraordinare with “San Francisco.” And if you want to go as low as you can go…the cautious tale of Reefer Madness” was on the plate for 1936 audiences. ( Best to watch this WHILE smoking a reefer, but you didn’t hear that from me, okay? ) One of these films makes my favorite film of 1936. Which one do YOU think it’ll be? No no, not that one…the other one.

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CAMILLE  –  (  George Cukor  )

CAMILLE
                                                Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor

I’ve got to go full-frame with this baby because Garbo is magnificent in this. For MY money, this is Garbo’s finest performance. NEVER the happy housewife, huh? Here, she has one last chance to find true love. But love means sacrifice and she’s crushed under the wieght of it. All I can say is

    G.A.R.B.O. 

      G.A.R.B.O. 

           G.A.R.B.O..

She should have won an Academy Award for this performance. She crushes it!

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DODSWORTH  –  (  William Wyler  )

DODSWORTH ( II )
               Walter Huston and Mary Astor

A marriage diverges on separate paths, when a husband and wife travel to Europe. All three leads are wonderful ( Walter Huston, Mary Astor and Ruth Chatterton ) and their journeys very interesting. I think Huston is one of the most natural actors of the decade.

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DRACULA’S DAUGHTER  –  (  Lambert Hillyer  )

DRACULA's DAUGHTER
                       Gloria Holden

Have I mentioned I like horror movies?? Yeah. The title says it all, but the Countess is not happy with her blood-sucking legacy. Gloria Holden in her signature role. She’s beautiful. She’s deadly. I love her. If you think this is just a horror movie, you’d be wrong. See it.

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LIBELED LADY – (  Jack Conway  )

LIBELED LADY ( I )
Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow and William Powell

A newspaper sends its best reporter to wine and dine a socialite who is suing their paper for libel. Well, that’s the bare-bones of the plot. Now you have to see it for yourself to laugh your butt off.

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THE WALKING DEAD  –  (  Michael Curtiz  )

WALKING DEAD
Marguerite Churchill, Edmund Gwenn and Karloff

A man framed for murder is sentenced to the electric chair. When he’s brought back to life by a scientist, he gets revenge on the men who sent him to die…without lifting a finger.

“The Lord our God is a jealous god.”

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WIFE vs. SECRETARY – (  Clarence Brown  )

WIFE vs. SECRETARY
                  Loy, Gable and Harlow

Gable’s been in a couple of triangles already. He was caught between Harlow and Astor and Harlow and Roz. It happens again, although this time it’s alllllll a misunderstanding. We’ve got Harlow as the best secretary a boss’d ever have. And we have Myrna Loy as the best wife a man could ever have. When tongues go wagging, and marrieds don’t communicate, this is what happens. I really like Harlow in this role. Not comedic or loud and brash, and with her Oomph toned down, my reverie veered into what Harlow might be like in the 40’s. < Sigh! > What might have been. Harlow has only a year to live.

( H O M E )

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