1927/28 in Review


Nominees that didn’t make it:
3. The Racket-you’ve seen this movie before, trust me, and it wasn’t all that good

For Twitter length reviews click here

25. Easy Virtue
Hitchcock and Truffaut didn’t really discuss this in their talks and I don’t blame them.
Favorite Moment: Stretching out in bed.
24. The End of St. Petersburg
Sort of like a Sergei Eisenstein film without the heart or humor or craziness, but it still makes an impact in how it takes on the values of the time in a more straightforward way.
Favorite Moment: The final cigarette.
23. Underworld
Von Sternberg’s visual talents are still on display, but the plot is so rigged with melodrama that it lacks a bite.
Favorite Moment: The pursuit at the end.
22. Love of Jeanne Ney
Very silly plot but the cast, particularly the supporting men, really sell it. So does the direction.
Favorite Moment: The kiss on the eye.
21. The Italian Straw Hat
Feels a bit rigged and draws out the gags but still an enjoyable romp through the rich man’s world.
Favorite Moment: The event inspiring the alternate title “Horse ate the Hat.”
20. Bed and Sofa
A quietly revolutionary film in how it deals with feminism and things that seem pretty damn taboo for the 20s, but I wish it was a short or at least more content filled.
Favorite Moment: Anything with the cat.
19. Downhill
Far too long but manages some good “sense of doom” tricks and manages to make a standard victim narrative bearable.
Favorite Moment: At the principal’s desk.
18. Zvenigora
Sometimes when you see an incoherent movie, it’s terrible. Sometimes when you see an incoherent movie, it’s brilliant. And then there’s this.
Favorite Moment: “The revolution is in danger.”
17. Street Angel
I wish the film had committed to one aesthetic or the other, and it’s Gaynor’s weakest hour in terms of her 3 cited performances, but it’s still very lovely.
Favorite Moment: The reunion.
16. Speedy
I wish we’d stayed on Coney Island in the 20s for the entire runtime, watching the deranged antics of that crab and that dog and those crazy rides. The car stuff is pretty disappointing in retrospect.
Favorite Moment: The crab.
15. Seashell and the Clergyman
The plain images are pretty, the distorted ones do nothing for me.
Favorite Moment: Ending.
14. Steamboat Bill Jr.
Outside of the wall joke, most of the laughs feel minor, but that’s okay.
Favorite Moment: The wall joke.
13. The Lodger
Hitchcock does…himself, with a blonde getting stalked by a murderer and all that mob mentality jazz.
Favorite Moment: The opening murder.
12. The Cat and the Canary
You know exactly what you’re getting when you step into a black and white haunted house film and that’s what you get. Shame the script and cast are lacking.
Favorite Moment: The moth leaves the vault.

For my Top 15 of 1927/28 click here.

BEST ACTING (Finalists in bold)
Nominees that didn’t make it (Actor):
N/A. Richard Barthelmess, The Noose-hey MoMA, release it
N/A. Emil Jannings, Way of All Flesh-lost film, fragment seems okay though
3. Richard Barthelmess, The Patent Leather Kid-boring leading man

Nominees that didn’t make it (Actress):
5. Louise Dresser, A Ship Comes In-such a boring, vaguely demeaning role

Richard Arlen, Wings
Charlie Chaplin, The Circus-meaner than usual but it works for him
Albert Dieudonne, Napoleon
Charles Farrell, 7th Heaven
Charles Farrell, Street Angel
Emil Jannings, The Last Command-overly theatrical wobbliness that works perfectly
Harold Lloyd, Speedy
James Murray, The Crowd
George O’Brien, Sunrise
Charles Rogers, Wings
Glenn Tryon, Lonesome
Conrad Veidt, Man Who Laughs

Eleanor Boardman, The Crowd
Janet Gaynor, 7th Heaven-an ideal romantic heroine
Janet Gaynor, Street Angel-same as 7th Heaven but with more quirks
Janet Gaynor, Sunrise-every woman, but a living human too
Edith Jehanne, Love of Jeanne Ney
Barbara Kent, Lonesome
Gloria Swanson, Sadie Thompson-slowly curdling bad girl

Alfred Abel, Metropolis
Sig Arno, Love of Jeanne Ney
Lionel Barrymore, Sadie Thompson
Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Metropolis
Adolf E. Licho, Love of Jeanne Ney
Tully Marshall, Cat and the Canary
William Powell, The Last Command
Bert Roach, The Crowd

Olga Baklanova, The Last Command
Clara Bow, Wings
Evelyn Brent, Last Command
Gladys Brockwell, 7th Heaven
Brigitte Helm, Metropolis
Margaret Livingston, Sunrise
Molly O’Day, Patent Leather Kid


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