Sunday 17 May 2020


The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1929 - b/w)/The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937 - b/w) - Routine melodramas, the latter with William Powell, Joan Crawford and Nigel Bruce.

The Letter (1929 - b/w) - Herbert Marshall does rehearsing in this shonky early sound version of the Bette Davis chestnut.

Holiday (1930 - b/w) - Routine rom-com with Mary Astor. Remade with Grant and Hepburn, with Edward Everett Horton in his old role.

Our Blushing Brides (1930 - b/w) - Joan Crawford chases after Robert Montgomery and gloats over her purse. See also the more comedic No More Ladies (1935 - b/w).

Men Without Women (1932 - b/w) - Routine submariner.

Lillom (1930 - b/w) - Borzage fantasy. Forgettable.

Bought (1931 - b/w) - Routine Constance Bennett vehicle.

Inspiration (1931 - b/w) - Routine Garbo vehicle.

The Guardsman (1931 - b/w) - This vehicle for Lunt and Fontanne feels like a  operetta without songs, and with good reason, it was the basis for the Chocolate Soldier.

The Bachelor Father (1931 - b/w) - Routine comedy with C Aubrey Smith, Marion Davies and Ray Milland.

Private Lives (1931 - b/w) - Stiff Americanisation of Coward.

Possessed (1931 - b/w) - Joan Crawford cries. Usual women's picture. Not the last film with that title to star Joanie.

A Free Soul (1931 - b/w) - Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard in a routine pre-code melodrama.

The Animal Kingdom (1932 - b/w) - Routine melodrama with Leslie Howard and Myrna Loy. See also The Wet Parade (1932 - b/w).

The Man Who Played God (1932 - b/w) - Routine George Arliss.

The Mouthpiece (1932 - b/w) - How did people find Warren William attractive? A great character face, sure but...

Me and My Gal (1932 - b/w) - Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett gangster programmer. See also Quick Millions (1931 - b/w) and Now I'll Tell (1934 - b/w).

Blondie of the Follies (1932 - b/w) - Routine backstage drama with Marion Davies.

As You Desire Me (1932 - b/w) - Routine vehicle for Garbo.

Cabin in the Cotton (1932 - b/w) - Routine Southern drama with Bette Davis.

Polly of the Circus (1932 - b/w) - Routine Marion Davies vehicle, with Clark Gable.

Life Begins (1932 - b/w) - Routine maternity melodrama.

Berkeley Square (1933 - b/w) - The old time travel wepeie chestnut with Heather Angel and Leslie Howard.

The Power and the Glory (1933 - b/w) - Routine boardroom soap with Spencer Tracy.

The Life of Jimmy Dolan (1933 - b/w) - Rote boxing/crime drama with Douglas Fairbanks and Mickey Rooney, and John Wayne.

Double Harness (1933 - b/w) - Rote William Powell vehicle.

Morning Glory (1933 - b/w) - Routine Katharine Hepburn weepie.

Hello Sister (1933 - b/w) - Rote romance, a Zasu Pitts vehicle before she quickly turned middle-aged. By Von Stroheim and Raoul Walsh.

Hold Your Man (1933 - b/w) - Rote Harlow/Gable romantic drama.

Perfect Understanding (1933 - b/w) - Gloria Swanson romances Olivier in England.

Ann Vickers (1933 - b/w) - Routine melodrama with Irene Dunne, Walter Huston and Bruce Cabot.

Hard to Handle (1933 - b/w) - Routine comedy with James Cagney, wasted even though he wanted to be a comic not a tough guy.

Professional Sweetheart (1933 - b/w) - Routine Ginger Rogers vehicle.

Long Lost Father (1934 - b/w) - Ropey vehicle for John Barrymore.

Viva Villa (1934 - b/w) - Wallace Beery is about as Hispanic as Paul Shane in this.

Change of Heart (1934 - b/w) - Janet Gaynor melo.

The Girl from Missouri (1934 - b/w) -Routine Jean Harlow vehicle.
See also Libeled Lady (1936 - b/w), which adds Spencer Tracy, Loy and Powell, and Personal Property (1937 - b/w) with Robert Taylor.

The Fountain (1934 - b/w) - Routine RKO melodrama with Ann Harding. See also The Life of Vergie Winters (1934 - b/w).

Chained (1934 - b/w) - Routine vehicle for Clark Gable/Joan Crawford. See also Forsaking All Others (1934 - b/w).

The Gay Bride (1934 - b/w) - Stop sniggering at the title of this Carole Lombard vehicle. Not worth it.

Caravan (1934 - b/w) - Ruritanian folly with Charles Boyer.

Babbitt (1934 - b/w) - Routine  political scomedy with Guy Kibbee.

Men in White (1934 - b/w) - Clark Gable's a doctor. So is Jean Hersholt. Myrna Loy is in love. Blah blah blah.

The Painted Veil (1934 - b/w) - Routine oriental exotica with Greta Garbo.

Vanessa  - Her Love Story (1935 - b/w) - Silly faux-British romance that killed Helen Hayes' screen career for thirty five years. See also Another Language (1933 - b/w).

Bonnie Scotland (1935 - b/w) - Actually, it's Laurel and Hardy carrying on up the Khyber.

Alice Adams (1935 - b/w) - Routine Katharine Hepburn vehicle.

Alibi Ike (1935 - b/w) Joe E. Brown baseball nonsense.

Front Page Woman (1935 - b/w)/Girl from 10th Avenue (1935 - b/w) - Routine Bette Davis vehicles.

Ah, Wilderness (1935 - b/w) - Routine rural comedy-drama, based on a Eugene O'Neill play, with Wallace Beery.

Living on Velvet (1935 - b/w) - Rote Kay Francis melo.
See also The Marriage Playground (1929 - b/w) and the rote shipbound melo One Way Passage (1932 - b/w).

One More Spring (1935 - b/w) - Janet Gaynor does more Oirish mush.

Biography of a Bachelor Girl (1935 - b/w) - Routine 30s women's picture with Ann Harding and Robert Montgomery.

The Perfect Gentleman (1935 - b/w) Amiable music hall farce starring the mismatched duo of the Wizard of Oz and Stan Butler's mum (Cicely Courtneidge, not Doris Hare).

See also the not-dissimilar Robert Donat vehicle Perfect Strangers (1935 - b/w).

The Bride Walks Out (1936 - b/w) - Routine Stanwyck romcom. See also Baby Face (1933 - b/w), Breakfast for Two (1937 - b/w) and His Brother's Wife (1936 - b/w) and Always Goodbye (1938 - b/w), a more serious Barbara.

The Voice of Bugle Ann (1936 - b/w) - Maureen O'Sullivan/Lionel Barrymore culchie homespun wisdom.

The Plough and the Stars (1936 - b/w) - John Ford Oirish cack. Barbara Stanwyck was more convincing in the Thorn Birds. The Dublin sets aren't that bad.

Cain and Mabel (1936 - b/w) - Gable/Marion Davies musical tosh.

Petticoat Fever (1936 - b/w) - Charisma vacuum Robert Montgomery and Myrna Loy go to the Arctic.

Piccadilly Jim (1936 - b/w) - Based on a Wodehouse saga, this Robert Montgomery vehicle is a weird American idea of British comics, so I suppose it has its charms. Wodehouse had background writing Punch.

The Man Who Found Himself (1936 - b/w) - Rote aviation saga with Joan Fontaine.

The Perfect Specimen (1937 - b/w) - Errol Flynn does romcom with Joan Blondell, who looks a bit like Teri Garr here (her costar in Won Ton Ton).

Pick a Star (1937 - b/w) - Feature-length musical ad for Hal Roach studios.

Love is News (1937 - b/w) - Rote romcom with Loretta Young, Tyrone Power and Don Ameche

The Bride Wore Red (1937 - b/w) - Joan Crawford miscast as Cinderella.

Green Light (1937 - b/w) - Routine Frank Borzage melodrama with Errol Flynn and Anita Louise.
Not to be confused with the stereotyped but rather beautiful-at-times black biblical saga of Green Pastures (1936 - b/w).

The Go-Getter (1937 - b/w) - Routine romcom by Busby Berkeley, with Anita Louise and George Brent.

Call It A Day (1937 - b/w) - Faux-British comedy with Olivia de Havilland.

Mannequin (1937 - b/w) - Routine Joan Crawford melo.

The Affairs of Annabel (1938 - b/w) - Goofy B with Lucille Ball.

Of Human Hearts (1938 - b/w) - It took me a while to realise this James Stewart Civil War farm saga was a western. The snow helped disguise it.

Mother Carey's Chickens (1938 - b/w) - Family poultry.

Having Wonderful Time (1938 - b/w) - Timid rural resort comedy with Ginger Rogers, Douglas Fairbanks Jnr, and befitting a Catskills trip, Eve Arden, Lucille Ball, Red Skelton...

Boy Meets Girl (1938 - b/w) - Routine 30s comedy.

Man-Proof (1938 - b/w) - Routine Myrna Loy comedy.

Fools for Scandal (1938 - b/w) - Routine Carole Lombard and French star Fernand Gravey.

Lady of the Tropics (1939 - b/w) - Routine exotica with Hedy Lamarr.

Miracle on Main Street (1939 - b/w) - Cheapo RKO Christmas schmaltz.

Angels Wash their Faces (1939 - b/w) - Ronald Reagan cleans up the Dead End Kids. As dreary as that sounds.

In Name Only (1939 - b/w)  - Routine Carole Lombard vehicle.

Lucky Night (1939 - b/w) -Rote romcom with Myrna Loy supported by Robert Taylor.

The Philadelphia Story (1940 - b/w) - Was sure I'd seen this before, but it's so influential that I just felt it.

The Monster and the Girl (1941 - b/w) - Routine gorillathon.

I Married An Angel (1942 - b/w) - Your typical Nelson and Jeanette musical.

Unpublished Story (1942 - b/w) - Routine British blitz drama with Richard Greene and Valerie Hobson.

Lady Takes A Chance (1943 - b/w) - Routine Jean Arthur vehicle AND John Wayne western. Yawn.

Of Human Bondage (1946 - b/w) - Stale adap with Paul Henreid sounding almost English, and Eleanor Parker's extraordinary Cockney accent.

Never Take No for an Answer (1951 - b/w) - Ralph "Danger Man" Smart does the story of the boy who brings his donkey to the Vatican.

The Benny Goodman Story (1956 ) - Rote biopic with Steve Allen, lots of Variety and Hollywood Reporter headlines spinning.

Jet Over The Atlantic (1959 - b/w) - Shonky B-air disaster.

The Money Trap (1965 - b/w) - Routine 60s b/w crime film with Glenn Ford, Elke Sommer, Rita Hayworth and Ricardo Montalban.

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