“Angel” (1937) tells the story of the typical love triangle between a wife, her husband and her lover. Marlene Dietrich excels in this role, and Herbert Marshall is effective, too, as her husband, but Melvyn Douglas is simply unconvincing as the lover. I would have chosen Douglas as the husband, instead. Though his acting is usually good (see “Ninotchka”, for instance), Douglas is not particularly suitable for the “great lover” parts. He is somehow aloof and aristocratic as Marshall, but to me, Marshall is physically more appealing. Dietrich simply steals the show, and she wears some magnificent costumes, too. The film, directed by Ernst Lubitsch in his incomparable style, is very realistic to the lifestyle of high class people in the 30s. Beautiful, young, sophisticated wives married to boring aristocrats, diplomats or businessmen, and trying to live their life as mistresses – some of them having a child or none with their respective husbands. Dietrich manages to play very well the role of the unfulfilled wife and desirable woman, sometimes assuming false or double identity to find moments of happiness and sentimental fulfillment. Even if the film is not particularly original (there have been lots of films in the 1930s on the problem of love triangles; see also “Bella Donna”, an extremely rare British production from 1934, starring Conrad Veidt, Mary Ellis and John Stuart), it does have the glamour of the Hollywoodian productions between the two World Wars. So, I recommend “Angel” (Dietrich’s character’s pseudonym) to the fans of Marlene Dietrich and to all those who love good, old, black-and-white productions.
A nice comedy directed by William Wellman and produced by Selznick International Pictures, “Nothing Sacred” tells the story of a young woman who is supposedly poisoned with radium at her workplace. The press creates an entire campaign on her behalf, only later to be discovered that everything was a charade that was orchestrated by an influent journalist. “Nothing Sacred” isn’t the only film that depicts the great power of control and manipulation of the media, other newspaper Hollywood productions, such as “The Front Page”, “His Girl Friday”, “It Started One Night”, “Platinum Blonde”, “Bombshell”, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, “Mr Deeds Goes to Town”, “Meet John Doe” and the masterpiece “Citizen Kane” reflecting the same idea. You will enjoy “Nothing Sacred” because of the stellar performances of Carole Lombard (an excellent comedienne) and Fredric March (one of the most renowned actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood), but also because it is made in the typical style of David O. Selznick, a very accomplished producer. I highly recommend you to watch this delightful comedy, even more because it was made in Technicolor and you will get to see Carole Lombard in full splendor in color!
One of the most delightful screwball comedies of the 1930s, “The Awful Truth” brings to our attention the lovely couple Cary Grant-Irene Dunne, who appeared together in yet other two great films, “Penny Serenade” and “My Favourite Wife”. The story of “The Awful Truth” involves a difficult relationship of two young married people, Lucy and Jerry Warriner. Despite the fact that both of them seek for another partner and decide to get a divorce, in the end they realise that they still have a lot in common and that they can’t live without each other. To our amusement, there is another key-character in this comedy, and that is Mr. Smith, played by Skippy, the dog best-known as Asta in “The Thin Man” series. The film was directed by Leo McCarey, who excelled at directing comedies and dramas, such as “Love Affair” and its remake, “An Affair to Remember”. You will get to admire Irene Dunne in some nice musical numbers, as she possessed a splendid soprano voice. “The Awful Truth” earned an Oscar for Best Director and other five nominations, for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Writing, Screenplay, and Best Film Editing. I highly recommend you to watch this beautiful creation of Hollywood of the 1930s, as you will certainly have a very enjoyable time!
This film impressed me so much from the very first time I watched it! I find it breathtakingly beautiful and romantic — even if at times it seemed to me much too optimistic. “History Is Made at Night” is a combination between “Casablanca”, “An Affair to Remember” and “Titanic”. It woulnd’t surprise me at all if the directors of those respective films were inspired by this superb production starring Charles Boyer, Jean Arthur and Colin Clive. The plot is so complex and unpredictable, and there are so many twists and turns in the script, that one could hardly stay calm while watching the film.”History Is Made at Night” was highly successful, even if it wasn’t even nominated to an Oscar – and I can’t understand why, because the screenplay was excellent and quite inspiring to other productions over the years. Charles Boyer and Jean Arthur are perfect together, and I think they make one of the loveliest cinema couples of the 1930s. This is trully a romantic drama, and that is why you will get to see a love triangle between an extremely possessive and wealthy ex-husband, a beautiful model and a headwaiter (despite the fact that Boyer seems to me too aristocratic to be just a waiter). It surprised me a little the choice of Colin Clive in the role of the jealous and passionate husband. Even if he was effective, Clive is best-known for his roles in horror films, like “Frankenstein”. This was also one of his last motion pictures, before he died from pneumonia in 1937, at the age of 37. Clive was a great loss to the American cinema, and his face and acting reminded me of Paul Muni. But returning to the present film, I would say that “History Is Made at Night” combines so swiftly different genres, from romance to comedy and drama. You will be having a very emotional time while watching it, and you will find it very similar to “Titanic”, not just because of the characters, but also because of the scenes in the last 20 minutes of the film. Still, I will reveal to you only the fact that it will be a happy ending, even if, I must admit, I would have preferred a realistic ending, just like in “Casablanca” or “The Journey”.
This review was published on IMDb and it was revised by me.
Vivien Leigh and Conrad Veidt – what an interesting and unusual pairing, just like having fire and ice in love! In my opinion, “Dark Journey”, a London Film production of Alexander Korda, is Vivien’s greatest pre-GWTW movie. The script is full of memorable lines, but there are also some great romantic moments between the actors. The combination between Vivien and Conrad is just like having fire and ice in love. It’s a palpable, strong, glacial romanticism. Conrad said once: “The one thing I look for everywhere is beauty. I find it everywhere, and in almost every person. A lovely painting, a good book, or music moves me. It has a life of its own.” In my favorite scene from the movie, which is the kissing scene, you could see that even after the kiss, Conrad is still holding Vivien in his arms, admiring for a few more seconds her beautiful, perfect, feminine, heart-shaped face, with those two big emerald eyes and the sweet, little lips. He is visibly enchanted by Vivien’s unique beauty, as she is telling him “Now, I want you to take me away from my friends and the business, from everyone but you”; and he tells her “That’s my dream”. This is a lovely, unforgettable scene, in which Vivien and the apparently implacable Conrad Veidt make together a wonderful couple of lovers, despite the differences between them. I would recommend to any fan of the two great actors to watch this spy and romantic film, directed by Victor Saville. It would be even nicer if they put back the deleted scenes. The original movie is at least 15 minutes longer than the actual version, of 75 minutes. For example, there was a scene where Karl (Veidt) is trying to seduce Madeleine (Leigh) at the first dinner party they meet. This moment is remembered in a totally different scene, which takes place, the following day, at Madeleine’s shop. There is a famous photo from that deleted scene with Conrad and Vivien smiling at each other and clinking two glasses of wine. And this is just one of the many deleted and important sequences from the film. But, the latest DVD version is 79 minutes in length, because it contains more sequences. I was very happy when I bought it, not only because I found some extra-sequences, but also because the quality of the picture and sound was far superior to all the versions I had seen, so far, of this extraordinary movie, which, I must say, is among my favourites.
I uploaded the entire film here, on my Conrad Veidt YouTube Channel. Enjoy!
Unul dintre cele mai importante și mai ample filme realizate vreodată de studiourile MGM, „Ogorul”/The Good Earth (1937) a fost dedicat post-mortem marelui producător Irving Thalberg. Acesta a fost un proiect ambițios al său, însă el nu a mai apucat să îl și vadă pe marele ecran, murind la doar 37 de ani de pneumonie. Filmul este cu adevărat excepțional, iar din punct de vedere tehnic este remarcabil pentru acei ani. Scena invaziei lăcustelor este superb ilustrată și poate fi asemănată cu asaltul păsărilor din filmul „Păsările” al lui Hitchcock, realizat 26 de ani mai târziu. Un mare avantaj al filmului „Ogorul” îl constituie prezența, în rolurile principale, a excepționalilor actori Paul Muni („Omul cu 1000 de fețe”, un fel de substitut al genialului Lon Chaney) și Luise Rainer, câștigătoare a două premii Oscar, pentru pelicula de față și pentru „Marele Ziegfeld”, devenind prima actriţă din istorie care a câştigat două Oscaruri consecutive. „Ogorul” a mai primit un Oscar pentru cea mai bună cinematografie și a fost nominalizat la categoriile cea mai bună regie (Sidney Franklin), cel mai bun montaj și cel mai bun film. Ecranizare a romanului omonim din 1931 al lui Pearl S. Buck, filmul prezintă într-o manieră cât se poate de realistă povestea unei familii de fermieri care se confruntă cu necazurile vieții și cu problemele sociale și economice din China primei jumătăți a secolului al XX-lea, printre scenele ilustrate numărându-se și revolta boxerilor. „Ogorul” este genul de film care te impresionează profund de la prima și până la ultima scenă; la fel ca și „The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”, el reprezintă o veritabilă lecție de viață transpusă pe marele ecran. Este un film profund, ce trebuie urmărit cu grijă și în liniște, întrucât mesajul său puternic străbate granițele spațiului și ale timpului. Este povestea tristă a unei femei ce sacrifică totul – inclusiv respectul de sine – pentru a fi o soție și o mamă bună. Înainte de toate, însă, este povestea unui fermier sărac și ambițios, care progresează treptat și sigur – uneori uitând de unde a plecat. Nerecunoștința lui va fi aspru pedepsită de divinitate, mai ales în momentul în care, din gelozie, își alungă unul din fii de acasă, bănuindu-l că ar avea o relație cu a doua sa soție (el trăind o vreme cu două soții – soția îmbătrânită înainte de vreme, sacrificată ca un animal de pradă, îmbolnăvită de viața grea, și soția tânără și frumoasă, o dansatoare lipsită de pudoare și ahtiată după banii fermierului devenit un afacerist prosper). Urmăriți „Ogorul” și reflectați asupra mesajului acestui film ce este valabil nu doar pentru societatea chineză, dar și pentru lumea în care trăim.
Navigând pe site-ul tumblr, mi-am dat seama că cel mai bun mod de a promova un actor sau un film este folosind imaginile de tip GIF. Sunt spectaculoase, dinamice și cât se poate de eficiente. Fanii actorilor Conrad Veidt și Vivien Leigh le-au dedicat o multitudine de asemenea imagini, printre care și un set frumos din Dark Journey, admirat de multe persoane. Mai multe animații similare puteți găsi și aici.