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Archive for the ‘1930s’ Category

This month’s banner comes from Rouben Mamoulian’s Love Me Tonight, one of my favorite recent discoveries.  (You may recognize Maurice Chevalier, at the peak of his goofy-Parisian-romantic-lead string of roles.)  I’ll post more about it later, but for now I’ll entice you with the opening scene from the film.  Watch it, and you’ll realize that Bjork has nothing on Mamoulian’s inventive use of natural sound as the basis for a song’s rhythm.

1932 is the inaugural year for what I hope will become a long-lived “Year of the Month” project.  Lots to explore in 1932, as cinema keeps nudging its way out of the silents and into sound, always a bit hesitant to leave the silent film aesthetic behind.  Some of the best films of the year, like Carl Theodore Dreyer’sVampyr, could be best described as ‘nearly-silent’.  At the same time, films like Love Me Tonight push and pull sound in surprising directions.

This month, I’ll visit some blind spots in my own film viewing, including:

  • the original Scarface (directed by Howard Hawks)
  • Boudu Saved from Drowning (directed by Jean Renoir), the inspiration for 1986’s Down and Out in Beverly Hills
  • The Old Dark House, another horror film directed by James Whale, best known for Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein
  • The Marx Brothers’ Horse Feathers

I’ll also take a look at 1932’s box office champs and award winners.  Did they deserve the attention?  Stay tuned to find out.

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