1936 in Review


Nominees that didn’t make it:
10. Story of Louis Pasteur-another biopic, another day
9. Romeo and Juliet-watch your grandparents do Shakespeare
8. Three Smart Girls-opera is three times as stupid
7. Anthony Adverse-what even happens in this?
6. A Tale of Two Cities-Dickens is boring
5. Great Ziegfeld-veers between great musical numbers and terrible dialogue

For Twitter length reviews click here

45. Things to Come
The effects are way better than this script deserves.
Favorite Moment: The first look at the world.
44. Mayerling
Very pretty and very staid.
Favorite Moment: Ending.
43. After the Thin Man
Diluted version of the original great, but still has plenty of wit to go around.
Favorite Moment: “Come on, let’s get something to eat. I’m thirsty.”
42. Ceiling Zero
Only Ceilings Have Wings (except more boring)
Favorite Moment: The crash.
41. Secret Agent
Hitchcock was just not in a good mode for this, I assume?
Favorite Moment: The church.
40. Osaka Elegy
Mizoguchi feels like he is revving up to make something far more viciously angry.
Favorite Moment: Ending.
39. The Final Accord
If only Sirk had color film…and more experience.
Favorite Moment: Ending.
38. The General Died at Dawn
Watch this on mute (especially with the sound issues) and enjoy the pretty pictures.
Favorite Moment: The exteriors.
37. Dracula’s Daughter
What an incredibly strange movie this is.
Favorite Moment: The weird layered conversation about Dracula being the father.
36. Follow the Fleet
Fred and Ginger go low-key…and get half the plot, for some reason? No one cares about the side couple in this.
Favorite Moment: Opening number.
35. Road to Glory
Plagiarises from Wooden Crosses and has two awful performances from Barrymore and Lang, but Warner Baxter is shockingly good.
Favorite Moment: Opening.
34. Petrified Forest
As Bogart gets better, the script gets worse.
Favorite Moment: Ending.
33. Sabotage
The only Hitchcock movie that needed a meta layer (Vertigo doesn’t count).
Favorite Moment: The film cans clip just because of Inglorious Basterds.
32. Priest of Darkness
Shaggy dog version of Sazen Tange that doesn’t really go anywhere but is plenty amusing.
Favorite Moment: The snow.
31. Swing Time
Fred does blackface, but Ginger is on top of her game.
Favorite Moment: A Fine Romance.
30. Desire
Borzage! Cooper! Dietrich! Lubitsch!…and they’re all half-assing it a bit.
Favorite Moment: First meeting.
29. Show Boat
Shame about the blackface and Whale not hitting his old heights, but still a lot of fun with great songs.
Favorite Moment: Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man.
28. Redes
One of those movies that gets the photography so right that everything else that is lacking is forgiven (editing and acting issues in particular).
Favorite Moment: The boats go out.
27. Theodora Goes Wild
Dunne is amazing, the rest is bizarrely stupid, particularly the ending.
Favorite Moment: The opening scandal.
26. Toni
Minor, sweet Renoir. Peaks kind of early.
Favorite Moment: Bug falls down shirt.
25. Come and Get It
A mishmash of Hawks and Wyler where you can’t really tell who did what. Brennan an occasionally moving annoyance, but McCrea/Arnold and especially Farmer do great.
Favorite Moment: Candy making.
24. San Francisco
A very good stupid disaster movie thanks to the ticking clock structure, but that also undoes it a bit.
Favorite Moment: The earthquake.
23. The Man Who Could Work Miracles
Does H.G. Wells so much better than Things to Come and might look better to boot.
Favorite Moment: The palace building.
22. The Lower Depths
Renoir’s staging remains strong, but the class message strikes me as a little muddled and the characters talk like they want to get through the plot quickly.
Favorite Moment: The accordionist wakes everyone up.
21. These Three
Despite the homophobic censorship, this is still pretty interesting thanks to all the supporting actressing going on.
Favorite Moment: Mary lies to her grandmother.

For my Top 20 of 1936 click here.

BEST ACTING (Finalists in bold)
Nominees that didn’t make it (Actor):
5. Paul Muni, Story of Louis Pasteur-bland biopic nonsense
4. Spencer Tracy, San Francisco-um, he’s a lead!?

Nominees that didn’t make it (Actress):
5. Norma Shearer, Romeo and Juliet-way too old and dull
4. Luise Rainer, Great Ziegfeld-coasts on an accent

Nominees that didn’t make it (S. Actor):
5. Akim Tamiroff, General Died at Dawn-ah, racism
4. Basil Rathbone, Romeo and Juliet-why is Tybalt being portrayed like this
3. Walter Brennan, Come and Get It-that Swedish accent, yeesh
2. Stuart Erwin, Pigskin Parade-caricatures are apparently fun

Nominees that didn’t make it (S. Actress):
5. Gale Sondergaard, Anthony Adverse-as vampy as Musidora
4. Beulah Bondi, Gorgeous Hussy-too many tics

Edward Arnold, Come and Get It
Harry Baur, Les Miserables
Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times
Gary Cooper, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town-delightfully befuddled
Clark Gable, San Francisco
Walter Huston, Dodsworth-rightfully angry but inappropriate about it
William Powell, My Man Godfrey-diamond in the rough
Spencer Tracy, Fury

Sylvia Bataille, Day in the Country
Ruth Chatterton, Dodsworth
Irene Dunne, Theodora Goes Wild-gracious under fire and funny too
Frances Farmer, Come and Get It
Gladys George, Valiant is the Word for Carrie-dodges sentimentalist traps
Paulette Goddard, Modern Times
Jean Harlow, Libeled Lady
Choko Iita, Only Son
Carole Lombard, My Man Godfrey-filthy and insane
Myrna Loy, After the Thin Man
Isa Miranda, Everybody’s Woman
Ginger Rogers, Swing Time
Francoise Rosay, Carnival in Flanders
Yoko Umemura, Sisters of the Gion
Isuzu Yamada, Sisters of the Gion

Mischa Auer, My Man Godfrey-hammy but fun
Warner Baxter, Road to Glory
Humphrey Bogart, Petrified Forest
Louis Jouvet, Lower Depths
Paul Lukas, Dodsworth
Joel McCrea, Come and Get It
William Powell, Libeled Lady
Charles Vanel, Les Miserables

Mary Astor, Dodsworth
Alice Brady, My Man Godfrey
Catherine Doucet, These Three
Florelle, Les Miserables
Bonita Granville, These Three
Marcia Mae Jones, These Three
Alma Kruger, These Three
Myrna Loy, Libeled Lady
Hattie McDaniel, Show Boat
Marguerite Moreno, Les Miserables
Rafaela Ottiano, Devil-Doll
Maria Ouspenskaya, Dodsworth-a very memorable scene, to be sure
Gail Patrick, My Man Godfrey


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s