This was a banner year for me in movie-watching. I’ve seen 35 films made in 1933. Could ‘pre-code’ have anything to do with it? Naaaaaaaaaaaaah.
BABY FACE – ( Alfred E. Green )
Ya gotta give it to Babs. She probably put the nail in the pre-code coffin. But what a way to go. She sleeps her way to the top, destroying men along every rung of that latter. What a sight to behold – Barbara Stanwyck. She is making quite the name for herself in a big way in the 1930’s. She’s one of the ones to watch.
BOMBSHELL – ( Victor Fleming )
My favorite Harlow movie. She’s harassed and pulled in all directions supporting everyone from her agent to her leeching family and assistants. She plays the comedy for all its worth. Fleming directs a three-ring circus.
KING KONG – ( Merian C. Cooper )
How can you feel sorry for a giant ape who has fallen in love with Fay Wray? Easy. He’s got heart and soul and is worth ten men. ‘Twas beauty killed the beast. I can almost imagine my father as a six year old boy, sitting in this audience, watching Kong terrorize Manhattan. It’s thrilling. This STILL works from the state of the art frame by frame animation to the story! Lay everything on the foundation of the story. How can you not feel sorry for Kong. He was in love.
QUEEN CHRISTINA – ( Rouben Mamoulian )
Don’t be discomfitted by the androgyny. You know her. It’s Garbo. It’s only Garbo. Garbo as the queen of Sweden. As she should be. Queen.
THE SILVER CORD – ( John Cromwell )
A boy’s best friend is his mother. But Holy Momma’s Boy, it goes too far in this battle for Joel McCrea. In this corner – Laura Hope Crews, the domineering mother who uses guilt and victimhood to keep her sons tied to her. And in this corner, Irene Dunne. Strong, independent, supportive. A wife who can give her husband what a Mother can’t. The movie’s unsettling. Frankly, I was shocked…shocked!
WHEN LADIES MEET – ( Harry Beaumont )
I think this is one of the great screen pairings. ( They previously appeared in “Animal Kingdom” ). Loy and Harding find they have more in common than they realize, when Loy meets her lover’s wife ( Harding. ) I liked their friendship. I love it when two smart sophisticated women meet and talk and become friends. Yeah yeah, ultimately they’re fighting over a man, but basically…they were forging a friendship. I like that.
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Honorable Mention: I’m working my way towards Claudette Colbert, and this movie goes a long way to that end. I know…the key to her screen persona lies in the 1930’s. And I have to say my friend is right. In TORCH SINGER one she’s sassy, playing a torch singer who’s also a radio performer and is also looking for the daughter she gave up for adoption. It’s a good one and I’ll write more about it in a future post.
( H O M E )