Nominees that didn’t make it:
12. Broadway Melody of 1936-at least it’s not the original
11. Naughty Marietta-this title is a lie
10. Lives of a Bengal Lancer-only for the people who liked Saving Private Ryan’s ending
9. David Copperfield-has some good beats but far too long and tedious
For Twitter length reviews click here
34. The Big Road
Enjoyably weird and tinny.
Favorite Moment: First number.
33. Man on the Flying Trapeze
Watch the song from It Happened One Night instead.
Favorite Moment: Ending.
So long, and features some awful comic relief, but the Fred/Ginger numbers are great as usual.
Favorite Moment: Final number.
31. Werewolf of London
A worthwhile curio that has dated but still can be fun.
Favorite Moment: The transformation.
Sets are gorgeous, although the script is fucking bonkers.
Favorite Moment: The aging.
29. Barbary Coast
Script’s batshit but enjoyable. Visuals are good.
Favorite Moment: First sight of the water.
28. Peter Ibbetson
Incredibly boring until…
Favorite Moment: The dreams.
27. Downfall of Osen
Much like Naruse/Ozu, Mizoguchi needed sound, but this looks prettier and is more mobile.
Favorite Moment: Train shots.
26. Crime and Punishment
Looks pretty as always, but I missed Marlene.
Favorite Moment: Jewelry theft.
25. Magnificent Obsession
I get the sense that the Sirk is better, again.
Favorite Moment: Final bedside scene.
24. Mark of the Vampire
Favorite Moment: Opening.
23. Sylvia Scarlett
Takes its subject seriously, but it’s also pure nonsense.
Favorite Moment: The kiss between two women.
22. Anna Karenina
Like Von Sternberg but with Garbo as the lead and less command of the editing/cast.
Favorite Moment: Opening banquet.
21. Three Sisters With Maiden Hearts
Naruse finally gets sound and his films become an easier sit by a long shot, with Hayashi in particular getting a great performance out of it.
Favorite Moment: The fight over self-sacrifice.
20. Ruggles of Red Gap
Fun, but not hysterical. Laughton had better work this year, too.
Favorite Moment: The gamble.
19. Girl in the Rumor
An underrated Naruse, although it only hits hard in the end.
Favorite Moment: Ending.
18. Les Miserables
Not a good Hugo adaptation, but a lot of fun as a two hander between Valjean/Javert thanks to March and Laughton.
Favorite Moment: Opening trial.
17. Midsummer Night’s Dream
Looks gorgeous but can only carry itself for so long, particularly with a rather blah cast.
Favorite Moment: Anything involving fairies running through the trees.
16. The Man Who Knew Too Much
Haven’t gotten around to the remake yet but I find it hard to believe that this material is a truly great Hitchcock. Lorre’s great though.
Favorite Moment: Royal Albert Hall.
15. Mutiny on the Bounty
Has true greatness buried underneath all the issues associated with Frank Lloyd. Gable and Laughton impress, and so do the Tahiti sequences.
Favorite Moment: Cheese fight.
14. The Good Fairy
Very loud, but very amusing thanks to Sullavan.
Favorite Moment: The lies at the table.
13. Hands Across the Table
Swoony and funny, albeit slight.
Favorite Moment: Sun lamp.
12. Night at the Opera
Higher highs and lower lows than Duck Soup.
Favorite Moment: Margaret Dumont’s opening seduction.
11. Mad Love
Cuz baby now we got mad love, you know it used to be bad blood (from corpse’s hands)…
Favorite Moment: The big reveal of the face.
For my Top 10 of 1935 click here.
BEST ACTING (Finalists in bold)
Nominees that didn’t make it (Actor):
5. Paul Muni, Black Fury-what a stupid write-in
Nominees that didn’t make it (Actress):
6. Merle Oberon, Dark Angel-bland love interest nom
5. Miriam Hopkins, Becky Sharp-a big old ham
4. Claudette Colbert, Private Worlds-mildly interesting but she can do SO much better
Fred Astaire, Top Hat
Colin Clive, Bride of Frankenstein
Robert Donat, 39 Steps
Errol Flynn, Captain Blood
Clark Gable, Mutiny on the Bounty-ferocious desperation in contrast to Laughton
Boris Karloff, Bride of Frankenstein
Charles Laughton, Mutiny on the Bounty-sulky, cruel, petty, righteous
Peter Lorre, Crime and Punishment
Peter Lorre, Mad Love
Fred MacMurray, Hands Across the Table
Fredric March, Les Miserables
Victor McLagen, The Informer-definitely overcooked but it’s needed in this hellish sea of fog
Takeshi Sakamoto, Inn in Tokyo
Franchot Tone, Mutiny on the Bounty-a solid straight man
Elisabeth Bergner, Escape Me Never-strangely good at complicated emotions
Madeleine Carroll, 39 Steps
Bette Davis, Dangerous-a bit too broad but feels real
Olivia De Havilland, Captain Blood
Marlene Dietrich, Devil is a Woman
Greta Garbo, Anna Karenina
Katherine Hepburn, Alice Adams-deftly captures all her weird class issues and brings out those in others, too
Chitose Hiyashi, Three Sisters With Maiden Hearts
Carole Lombard, Hands Across the Table
Ginger Rogers, Top Hat
Margaret Sullavan, Good Fairy
Lionel Atwill, Captain Blood
Edward Brophy, Mad Love
WC Fields, David Copperfield
O.P. Heggie, Bride of Frankenstein
Charles Laughton, Les Miserables
Peter Lorre, Man Who Knew Too Much
Basil Rathbone, Captain Blood
Paul Robeson, Sanders of the River
Fred Stone, Alice Adams
Ernest Thesiger, Bride of Frankenstein
Margaret Dumont, Night at the Opera
Choko Iida, Inn in Tokyo
Kiyozo, Sagen Tanze and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo
Elsa Lanchester, Bride of Frankenstein
Hattie McDaniel, Alice Adams
Una O’Connor, Bride of Frankenstein
Ann Shoemaker, Alice Adams
Alison Skipworth, Devil is a Woman