1930's

  • L'Age d'Or (1930) &
  • City Lights (1931)
    • Lucas "Somehow, I imagine Chaplin got a great amount of joy from filling the first few minutes of his first talkie with gibberish."
    • Jules "But it his simple, undaunted sincerity in his loyalty to these two that lifts the spirit of the film above the sidewalks the Tramp strolls in his daily wanderings, never more than half a frame away from his next adventure."
  • M (1931) $
  • King Kong (1933)
    • Lucas "It's obvious that Kong is a model and that he's knocking down model buildings, but the effects are done with such a sense of artistry that we get the full effect of the real thing."
  • Baby Face (1933)
    • Lucas "They may have all the money, but she has all the power, and with power the rest comes naturally."
    • Matt "The "lesson" we are given at the end, we accept only because it seems to be the only satisfactory ending ready to hand, although it is not particularly believable."
  • L'Atalante (1934) $
  • It's A Gift (1934)
    • Jules "it's not the thoroughly engrossing piece you'd think it would have to be to get on the list."
    • Lucas "I assume the sum total of all these annoyances is supposed to equal comedy, but it turns out to just be annoying."
  • Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
    • Lucas "We're here to see Karloff's Monster lurch and grunt and beat people up, and that's what we get."
  • Swing Time (1936)
    • Lucas "For a musical, Swing Time doesn't contribute a whole lot to the American songbook."
    • Jules "Never underestimate the power of nagging your sweetheart over some missing kisses by breaking into song in the midst of winter's white delight."
  • Dodsworth (1936)
    • Lucas "a drama about adults and geared toward adults that doesn't pander to a lowest common denominator or insult the intelligence of its audience."
    • Jules "should really lie off the beaten path of American cinematic history and, in a way, it does."
  • The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936)
  • Camille (1936)
    • Jules "There aren't many movies made these days in which lead actresses can take such lattitude."
    • Lucas "Even for a period drama, the film has not aged all that well, but the story is a timeless one that cuts through the drivel and strikes a resounding chord"
  • Modern Times (1936) $
    • Jules "Teetering on the threshold of the ribald, his visual antics possess warmth, depicting the poor blue-collar worker as the salt of the earth."
  • La Grande illusion (1937) $
    • Lucas "isn't about war at all, but instead is about humanity's ability to connect with each other despite their numerous differences"
    • Jules "time spent with people, looking at and interacting with and appreciating, will always overrule spending time away in a charade as grand or illusory as war"
  • The Awful Truth (1937)
    • Matt "You don't get this sort of story anymore except in bad sitcoms, but even in 1937, they weren't even trying to be original."
    • Lucas "If there ever was a love/hate relationship, this would serve as the template."
    • Jules "What's so mind-boggling about a comedy like this is that you're never really sure what's going on, it doesn't really matter that you aren't, and yet surprises and delights abound where usually a loose plot would unravel, get stale, and lose you."
  • Olympia, Parts I and II (1938)
    • Jules "lean, effective use of spectator shots makes for brilliantly understated social commentary on the time and the event itself."
  • Ninotchka (1939)
    • Lucas "The film is capitalist propaganda of the most effective kind, and makes no apologies for that fact."
    • Matt "Instead, the blows that land against the Soviet Union strike me as way too light-hearted."
    • Jules "[Douglas] and Garbo complement each other enough to make the love scenes appealing and the humor still riotous. The overall effect's very nice."
  • Zangiku monogatari (1939) $
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) &
  • Gone With The Wind (1939) &
    • Jules "It speaks to their own belittlement, the darkness that they have been kept in by men who felt ignorance would be the best way to run a household."
  • Stagecoach (1939) &

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