Movie No. 13- “Rebecca” (Best Picture- 1940)

25 Feb

1940’s! I’ve made it through yet another decade of film, although it doesn’t feel like it, as this movie is back to Black and White. And to my first Hitchcock film, ever.

(Yes, it’s true- I guess I’ve lived a sheltered life).

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Movie No.12- “Gone With The Wind” (Best Picture- 1939)

21 Feb

Holy Technicolour, Batman!

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Movie No.11- “You Can’t Take It With You” (Best Picture- 1938)

13 Feb

Oh Reading Week, you wonderful, wonderful phenomenon. For once, I am able to blog as frequently as I want…yes!

Anyways, here is one more film I had never heard of before. It is based off of a comedic, Pulitzer Prize-winning play that ran for a total of 837 performances on Broadway (that number seems fairly big… but that’s kind of small time for Broadway).  Continue reading

Movie No.10- “The Life of Emile Zola” (Best Picture- 1937)

12 Feb

So, I’m not going to lie, I had never heard of Emile Zola before this film.

Thanks to IMDB and Wikipedia, I learned that he was a famous French author (played in this film by Paul Muni) at the end of the 19th century. As shown in this movie, he shared a musty attic loft with French painter Paul Cézanne (who, incidentally, I also hadn’t heard of before). (If you’re wondering, he was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter who both Matisse and Picasso called “the father of us all”).  My university education has pretty much ignored all aspects of Art History and High Literature. Once again, the cinematic world compensates 🙂 Continue reading

Movie No.9- “The Great Ziegfeld” (Best Picture- 1936)

4 Feb

OK- Wow. University has officially taken its toll on my free time. After many many many days of having “write in blog” on my to do list (which, day after day, was left un-crossed off), here I am.

After a busy week, there is nothing quite like sitting down to a (somewhat mindless) Musical film. I had no idea that this was a musical flick until I started, so it was a pretty great surprise. Also, Ziegfeld is quite hard to remember. For some reason, every time I told someone about this film, googled it, or thought about, I automatically thought Ziegfried (Final Fantasy, anyone?), Zietgeist, and other Zie- varities. Continue reading

Movie No.8- “Mutiny on the Bounty” (Best Picture- 1935)

15 Jan

Ahoy Mateys! I couldn’t resist putting that movie poster up at the top. I am such a sucker for old time movie posters. That is one style I really wish they would still have in use today. Continue reading

Movie No.7- “It Happened One Night” (Best Picture- 1934)

8 Jan

I’ve been pretty excited about getting to this film. For once, I had definitely heard of it, heard of it’s headlining actor (Clark Gable!), and heard of the director (Frank Capra). Nice.

Anyways, I probably shouldn’t congratulate myself too quickly, as I quickly learned that this was the first film ever to win all five top Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor [Gable], Best Actress[Claudette Colbert] and Best Screenplay). So, this should be one solid movie by all accounts. According to Wikipedia, this wouldn’t happen again until “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (’75) and then “The Silence of the Lambs” (’91) Continue reading

Movie No.6- “Cavalcade” (Best Picture- 1933)

4 Jan

"Picture of the Generation"? That is a pretty big claim to live up to.

You know things are bad with a movie when you can’t pronounce or understand its title. Thanks to a quick Wikipedia session, I learned that a cavalcade is ” a procession or parade on horseback, or a mass trail ride by a company of riders. The focus is participation rather than display…often with costumes.”

Wow, I hadn’t even started the movie and already I felt smarter. Awesome. I’m also getting quite dependent on the intro explanatory slides of these old movies. Continue reading

Movie No.5- “Grand Hotel” (Best Picture-1932)

28 Dec

Here come the big guns.

Grand Hotel marks the first time that Hollywood would assemble an all-star cast to draw people to a movie. It stars Joan Crawford (I admit, this is the only one of the “all-stars” whose name I recognized), Lionel Barrymore, John Barrymore (any relation to Drew Barrymore?), and Greta Garbo.

This movie was great. It tells the story of a group of very different people, all staying in Berlin’s most expensive, posh hotel- the Grand Hotel- where, in the words of the movie’s Doctor, “People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.” Continue reading

Movie No.4- “Cimarron” (Best Picture- 1931)

19 Dec

What a bad ass. He is totally the Early James Bond

I have to admit, I have very little experience with Western movies. Or with anything Western, really. Other than a trip to the Calgary stampede this summer, which is a far cry from what I associate with the old-school “west”. Continue reading