100 Favorite Films To Recommend Part 2: The 1930s

Luis A. Mendez

Luis A. Mendez

Published Author Of Both Fiction And Non-Fiction - Dealing In Fantastical Tales, Film Criticism, And US/UK Psephology

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar rexknobus says:

    Great list and analysis. I’m looking forward to the decades to come. That’s a very interesting still from “King Kong.” Ms. Wray doesn’t look so good in pants…Report

  2. Thanks for doing this series. All the films in the last installment, and most of the ones in this installment, I haven’t seen. I suspect I’ll have more to comment on in the coming decades.Report

  3. Yay, Snow White! My favorite Disney movie, and one of my favorite movies ever.

    I’d give a shout out to Stagecoach in 1939 as well. Such a great year for film.Report

  4. A great decade for films:

    The best Marx Brothers movies: Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, Duck Soup from 1930-1933.

    Screwball comedies: Bringing Up Baby (1938), My Man Godfrey (1938), The Awful Truth (1937), and The Thin Man (1934), a screwball murder mystery.

    And, on the darker side, the still powerful anti-war film All Quiet on the Western Front (1930).Report

  5. “You Can’t Take It With You” is a great film based on a a very funny play of the same name, by George F. Kaufman and Moss Hart. Their other great plays were:

    Once in a Lifetime, about how in the early days of talkies, no one had any idea what they were doing. (The scenes in Singing in the Rain about trying to make a sound film and everything imaginable going wrong owe a lot to it.)

    The Man Who Came to Dinner. If you’ve ever seen a TV comedy episode about an obnoxious houseguest getting hurt, not being able to be moved, and completely taking over the house from their sickbed, this is where that plot came from.Report

    • Avatar rexknobus in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      “My Man Godfrey” is regular viewing here. The dog leash joke while walking Asta never fails to crack me up in “The Thin Man.” (“screwball murder mystery” Thanks for that !). “The Man Who Came To Dinner” is another perennial movie fave, with a softer Bette Davis and an over-the-top Durante doing Harpo. Wow.

      And had to skip a line to go to “All Quiet On the Western Front.” That last image of the soldiers marching away, some of them looking back at you, is perhaps the most devastating thing I’ve ever seen in a film.

      All the titles you mentioned should be in everyone’s library. Thanks for the memories! (Oh yeah, another 30s moment…)

      One call-out to an amazingly under-appreciated 30s work of genius: “Come And Get It.” Edward Arnold at his best; Walter Brennan Academy Award; Frances Farmer in two roles. For some reason it doesn’t get much love, but don’t miss it.

      Oh boy, here come the 40s and Preston Sturges!Report

  6. Avatar Kolohe says:

    If anything, the criticism of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington would be the same as that the West Wing gets, naive wish fufillment. (A criticism I don’t generally agree with)Report

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