Year in Film: 1931

Five Star Final

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Some friends and I got together with the purpose of watching some ‘30s films, and when discussing what to watch, there was a unanimous vote to watch something with Edward G. Robinson. Robinson, then as well as today, is best known for his gangster roles, but he is also great as a man with trouble […]


Read Inspiration

In an effort to try to get to as many classic films I have yet to see, I have a long queue of ‘30s films, most of which I know nothing about, beyond the leading lady. Inspiration was such a film, and I only knew that starred Greta Garbo. Although I am clearly obsessed with […]

Monkey Business

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After completing their first two films—The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers—in Paramount’s studio Astoria Studios in Queens, the The Marx Brothers packed up and moved to California at the end of 1930, bringing along their recently widowed father. Born into the soot and grim of late 19th-century New York, the Brothers eagerly embraced the Southern Californian […]

The Front Page

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Having seen His Girl Friday a nearly uncountable number of times, I have always been curious to see the original film that it was based on. Howard Hawks famously changed the role of Hildy Johnson from a man to a woman, perfectly casting Rosalind Russell. Walter Burns and Hildy were those transformed from the best […]

The Maltese Falcon

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Friends and I have been meeting now and then to take in as many ’30s films in one setting as we can. Most of what we are able to come up with are things I have seen countless times before, such as Grand Hotel. But occasionally we all have the great pleasure of watching something […]

The Miracle Woman

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Continuing with my Frank Capra obsession, I dug up The Miracle Woman. The story of a simple, good-hearted person getting caught up in a whirlwind of power, fortune and corruption, and throwing it all away for the sake of their principals is certainly nothing new in the Capra canon, but what is interesting here is […]

The Public Enemy

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We are all so used to hearing people do bad impersonations of James Cagney that it is all too easy to dismiss him as a one-trick pony who did nothing but talk tough with a slight lisp and a vibrato in his cadence. In The Public Enemy, the film that made Cagney a star, he […]

Random Quote

“Three years ago I came to Florida without a nickel in my pocket. Now I've got a nickel in my pocket.”
-Hammer (Groucho Marx)
from The Cocoanuts