1937 in Review

1937
BEST PICTURE

Nominees that didn’t make it:
10. Captains Courageous-some people like this sort of thing, they are mad
9. Life of Emile Zola-biopics are fun!
8. 100 Men and a Girl-blah, Deanna Durbin
7. In Old Chicago-harmlessly dumb
6. The Good Earth-looks gorgeous, if only the racist casting would stop talking

For Twitter length reviews click here

42. Quality Street
Hilariously dumb and light.
Favorite Moment: The hat.
41. To New Shores
The Blue Angel with the humiliation dragged out.
Favorite Moment: The final song.
40. Straits of Love and Hate
Needs a restoration, but it also doesn’t have the sheer rage of Sisters of the Gion.
Favorite Moment: Ending.
39. Forget Love for Now
Well made, but standard.
Favorite Moment: The lonely solitary dance.
38. They Won’t Forget
Mildly amusing and interesting in its unintentional anti-Semitism.
Favorite Moment: The women gossiping outside the crime scene.
37. Wife! Be Like a Rose
Movie! Be Like an Ozu!
Favorite Moment: Ending.
36. Virginity
Talent was clearly involved even though the sexual mores are deeply out of date.
Favorite Moment: Ending.
35. Drole De Drame
Funny, although the middle isn’t very exciting. Rosay great as per usual.
Favorite Moment: Ending.
34. Prisoner of Zenda
Witty and stupid, like a diet 39 Steps.
Favorite Moment: Final fight.
33. Dance Program
Innovative structure goes on for too long and to diminishing returns.
Favorite Moment: The opening.
32. Young and Innocent
Diet 39 Steps, an excuse for…
Favorite Moment: The revealing shot.
31. The Hurricane
Big, dumb, and pretty.
Favorite Moment: The titular moment.
30. Topper
Stupidly funny in its morbidness. Billie Burke the star.
Favorite Moment: Burke going off on one of her rants about proper behavior.
29. The Bride Wore Red
Deeply outdated ideas on class, but Crawford is excellent and Arzner’s camera is well-handled.
Favorite Moment: The bird’s nest.
28. Wee Willie Winkie
Awwww, Shirley Temple! Awwww, John Ford’s racism!
Favorite Moment: The ball.
27. The Great Garrick
Whale’s humor remains sharp even if the scenario is a thin one.
Favorite Moment: Inn takeover.
26. Way Out West
The closest L/H have come to really being hilarious.
Favorite Moment: Horse through the window.
25. Confession
Impossible to judge, since it’s apparently a shot for shot remake on May’s end. Just…do what you did in Asphalt, Joe?
Favorite Moment: The song and shooting.
24. Easy Living
Don’t look at this too hard from a class perspective, but it’s funny and frothy.
Favorite Moment: The “well developed” nonsense at the table.
23. Day at the Races
Most Marx Brothers films did a much worse job at sewing in a romance, but they also didn’t have blackface.
Favorite Moment: Hand washing/arm flapping/etc.
22. Shall We Dance
The third best Fred/Ginger movie.
Favorite Moment: Roller skate dance.
21. Lost Horizon
Like Bitter Tea with unnecessary sugar added.
Favorite Moment: Toast to Shangri-La.

For my Top 20 of 1937 click here.

BEST ACTING (Finalists in bold)
Nominees that didn’t make it (Actor):
5. Spencer Tracy, Captains Courageous-awfully condescending for a fisherman (also, racist)
4. Paul Muni, Life of Emile Zola-about as good as his biopic work ever got
3. Charles Boyer, Conquest-History is Made at Night was right there

Nominees that didn’t make it (Actress):
None, good job Academy!

Nominees that didn’t make it (S. Actor):
5. H.B. Warner, Lost Horizon-racist and awful
4. Joseph Schildkraut, Life of Emile Zola-not bad in his brief time, I guess
3. Thomas Mitchell, The Hurricane-warmup for Stagecoach

Nominees that didn’t make it (S. Actress):
None, good job Academy! (Getting all ten female nominees reasonably right is unusual, but compared to the men it’s reasonable.)


ACTOR

Edward Arnold, Easy Living
Humphrey Bogart, Dead End
Charles Boyer, History is Made at Night
Ronald Colman, Lost Horizon
Melvyn Douglas, Angel
Henry Fonda, You Only Live Once
Jean Gabin, Lady Killer
Jean Gabin, Pepe Le Moko
Cary Grant, Awful Truth
Chojuro Kawarasaki, Humanity and Paper Balloons
Fredric March, Nothing Sacred
Fredric March, Star is Born-not quite Mason, but still remarkable as the Garland equivalent
Herbert Marshall, Angel
Robert Montgomery, Night Must Fall-charming, nasty, and fits right into the mood
Victor Moore, Make Way For Tomorrow
Kan’emon Nakamura, Humanity and Paper Balloons

ACTRESS
Jean Arthur, Easy Living
Jean Arthur, History is Made at Night
Mirielle Balin, Lady Killer
Beulah Bondi, Make Way for Tomorrow
Joan Crawford, Bride Wore Red
Marlene Dietrich, Angel
Irene Dunne, Awful Truth-shifts through every register hilariously
Kay Francis, Confession
Greta Garbo, Camille-her melodramatic nature in peak form
Janet Gaynor, Star is Born-no Garland, but sells the simple farm girl arc very well
Katharine Hepburn, Stage Door
Carole Lombard, Nothing Sacred
Luise Rainer, Good Earth-finds simplicity in a racist casting so good job
Ginger Rogers, Stage Door
Francoise Rosay, Drole de Drame
Sylvia Sidney, Dead End
Sylvia Sidney, You Only Live Once
Barbara Stanwyck, Stella Dallas-tough yet squishy

S. ACTOR
Ralph Bellamy, Awful Truth-the ultimate straight man in terms of getting his own jokes
Colin Clive, History is Made at Night
Zhao Dan, Street Angel
Carl Esmond, Liebelei
Billy Halop, Dead End
William Gargan, You Only Live Once
Lucas Gridoux, Pepe Le Moko
Rene Lefevre, Lady Killer
Barton MacLane, You Only Live Once
Joel McCrea, Dead End
Adolphe Menjou, Stage Door
Ray Milland, Easy Living
Roland Young, Topper-cute and harmless, albeit category frauded and not great

S. ACTRESS
Eve Arden, Stage Door
Fay Bainter, Make Way for Tomorrow
Alice Brady, In Old Chicago-having fun yelling SALOON and the like
Jane Bryan, Confession
Billie Burke, Topper
Constance Collier, Stage Door
Marguerite Deval, Lady Killer
Margaret Hamilton, You Only Live Once
Andrea Leeds, Stage Door-so obviously doomed that it hurts when she does the deed
Marjorie Main, Dead End
Barbara O’Neil, Stella Dallas
Barbara Read, Make Way for Tomorrow
May Robson, Star is Born
Anne Shirley, Stella Dallas-a bit shrill but when she goes sad, it hurts
Claire Trevor, Dead End-one scene wonder
May Whitty, Night Must Fall-a bit much, but fits right into the shadowy mood

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