Hollywood's Best: The 30s

"In good films, there is always a directness
that entirely frees us from the itch to interpret."
-- Susan Sontag

All Quiet on the Western Front
Lew Ayres stars in this moving film about German boys' experiences as soldiers. Adapted from Erich Maria Remarque's great novel. Screenplay by Lewis Milestone, Maxwell Anderson, Del Andrews, and George Abbott. Won Oscars for Best Picture and Director.

Angels with Dirty Faces
Story of two pals; James Cagney becomes a gangster, and Pat O'Brien becomes a priest. The Dead End Kids worship the bad guy. A terrific cast and movie. Based on Rowland Brown's story. He won the Oscar for Original Story.

The Citadel
From the A. J. Cronin best-selling novel about doctors' struggles with their consciences. Nominated for an Oscar for their screenplay were Ian Dalrymple, Elizabeth Hill, and Frank Wead.

Dodsworth
From the Sinclair Lewis novel, this is the story of a businessman-hero who is a dreamer and his culture-mad wife who longs to be enriched by life in Europe. Starring Walter Huston as the hero, Ruth Chatterton as the wife, and Mary Astor as the women who appreciates Dodsworth's true value. Sidney Howard was nominated for a Screenplay Oscar.

The Great Ziegfeld
William Powell plays Ziegfeld and his two wives are Myrna Loy and Luise Rainer. Fanny Brice appears. William Anthony McGuire was nominated for an Oscar for Original Story.

The Informer
Victor McLaglen as Gypo Nolan, the Dublin drunk who turns stool pigeon and betrays his friend to the police for a reward. The film is based on a Liam O'Flaherty novel. The Screenplay Oscar winner was Dudley Nichols.

Manhattan Melodrama
A melodrama about boyhood friends from the slums who grow up on opposite sides of the law. Clark Gable plays Blackie; also in it are Myrna Loy and William Powell. Original Story Oscar went to Arthur Caesar.

Mutiny on the Bounty
A rousing 18th-century sea adventure adapted from books by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. The cast includes Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh, Clark Gable as Fletcher Christian, and Franchot Tone. Oscar nominees for Screenplay were Jules Furthman, Talbot Jennings, and Carey Wilson.

Ninotchka
Garbo laughs. Melchior Lengyel was nominated for an Oscar for Original Story.

Pygmalion
A professor of phonetics wagers he can change a Cockney girl into a princess. Starring Leslie Howard. From Shaw's play. The Oscar winners for the screenplay were George Bernard Shaw, Ian Dalrymple, Cecil Lewis, and W.P. Lipscomb.

The Thin Man
Based on a Dashiell Hammett detective novel, this is a murder mystery and a sophisticated screwball comedy. Starring William Powell as Nick Charles and Myrna Loy as Nora Charles. Oscar nominees for adaptation were Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett.

Three Smart Girls
A family movie about three sisters who swing into action when they see their divorced mother's tears when she learns that her husband is about to marry a blonde gold-digger. Deanna Durbin debuts. Nominated for an Original Story Oscar was Adele Commandini.

Wuthering Heights
Based on Emily Bronte's classic story of passion, hatred, and revenge. With Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. Screenplay Oscar nominees were Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.

Young Mr. Lincoln
Henry Fonda stars in Lincoln's early years. Oscar Original Story nominee was Lamar Trotti.


A Front Row Seat

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