BECK index

Movie Mirrors Guide

by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Introduction
Movie Mirrors Index
Movie Mirrors Index by Year (with ratings):
1913-1926 1927-1929
1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959

Sanderson Beck’s List of the Greatest Movies of All Time
Sanderson Beck’s List of the Greatest Movies in Alphabetical Order

b = black and white, c = color
En = Beck's entertainment value, Ed = Beck's educational value


Abraham Lincoln (1930 b 87') En: 5, Ed: 7
Director D. W. Griffith's first sound film written by poet Stephen Vincent Benet portrays the Lincoln legend from the log cabin to his assassination.
Despite poor sound quality this generally accurate biography captures Lincoln's humor, psychological complexity, and dedication to the political union of the United States.

Absolute Quiet (1936 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 5
A governor, a reporter, and actors are detained by two murderers at his adversary's ranch after a plane crash.
Ex-Vaudevilleans turning to crime symbolizes the change in entertainment to violent melodrama such as this one during the Depression. Politicians and actors are also revealed with their shortcomings.

Ace of Aces (1933 b 77') En: 5, Ed: 6
A sculptor, reluctant to join the war, becomes an ace flyer.
This strongly anti-war drama shows how a sensitive artist, who sees war as mass hysteria, is goaded into joining by his fiancé's patriotism. He is then transformed into the best of the war killers, though he eventually realizes that he has lost an important part of himself.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The (1939 b 91')_Ed: 7, Ed: 7
This version changes the ending of Mark Twain's classic novel about an independent boy, who runs off with a slave.
The melodramatic ending reflects the real danger of lynchings still existing in the South in the 1930s, and Twain's story expresses the natural tendency of many boys to rebel.

Adventures of Marco Polo, The (1938 b 104') En: 6, Ed: 6
Marco Polo travels to China, falls in love with Kublai Khan's daughter, and foils the devious plots of the minister of state.
Threads using historical men have been woven into an adventure story, but the romance is film fantasy. Ahmad was governor of Beijing for 22 years and used his power to execute people without trial in order to gain wealth and have his way with women until he was assassinated. Also there were conflicts between Kublai Khan and Turkestan king Kaidu.

Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1938 c 102') En: 8, Ed: 7
Robin Hood and his men resist the oppressive power of Prince John, win Marian over, and help King Richard regain his throne.
In this classic version of the Robin Hood legend he is given a more prominent role in the return of King Richard than is historical. Yet the spirit of the Saxon fighting Norman oppression for the poor is presented in swashbuckling style.

Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The (1938 c 91') En: 7, Ed: 8
In this first color version of Mark Twain's classic novel Tom is punished, runs away, is presumed dead, testifies in a murder trial, and saves his girl-friend.
In the prolog Mark Twain says that he wrote this so that adults will remember their childhood. This film helps audiences to realize how punishment may be unjust and counter-productive, as boys often need some space to explore their unfolding world. Tom is mischievous but also heroic.

Affairs of Annabel, The (1938 b 68') En: 5, Ed: 4
A zealous press agent gets an actress to go to prison and work as a maid to publicize her latest movies.
This comedy satirizes Hollywood publicity stunts and melodramas involving gangsters.

After Office Hours (1935 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 4
A newspaperman uses a society woman's connections to get a story and solve a murder, while trying to romance and marry her.
An unscrupulous journalist solves a murder and wins a rich woman in marriage despite his duplicity; but he looks good compared to a murderer.

After the Thin Man (1936 b 112') En: 6, Ed: 5
Nick Charles is asked to find a relative's husband; he and two others are murdered, but Nick gathers the suspects and names the murderer.
This entertaining detective story combines wit and an intriguing plot. Nick is portrayed as a heavy drinker, but he definitely loves his wife.

Age of Innocence, The (1934 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 6
Old-fashioned values lead a lawyer to forgo his love for a divorced countess and accept a socially acceptable marriage in this adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel.
This story explores the perpetual generation gap involving social values and the pressures high society and family put on personal desires. Ellen sacrifices her happiness for others' concerns, and Newland is not bold enough to break out of his expected pattern.

Ah, Wilderness! (1935 b 98') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on Eugene O'Neill's only comedy, a family experiences July 4th as their graduating son, rejected by his girlfriend, goes drinking with a swift woman.
This story deals pleasantly with the dangers of alcohol and loose women, as we see a young intellectual coming of age in a gentle era after the turn of the century.

Air Mail (1932 b 85') En: 6, Ed: 5
Air mail pilots risk their lives to carry Christmas mail in this action classic directed by John Ford.
Brave pilots take stunning risks in the early years of air mail. Wives and girlfriends suffer losses and worry too. The cocky Duke emerges as more heroic than selfish in saving the courageous Mike. Great sacrifices are made so that people can send letters faster.

Alexander Hamilton (1931 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 7
This biographical drama shows the efforts of the first Treasury Secretary of the United States to put the nation's finances on a sound basis.
This story is essentially true, although the compromise on the assumption bill and the new capital occurred in 1790, while the Reynolds blackmail scandal only began in December 1791. Nonetheless this dramatization of the founding fathers, showing their human weaknesses, is quite educational. Roberts seems to be a fictional character, who is contrasted to the more discreet Jefferson and Monroe. Nonetheless the point that Hamilton is willing to tarnish his own personal reputation rather than sacrifice the best interests of his country is valid and important.

Alexander Nevsky (Russian 1938 b 108') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on history, a Russian war hero rallies his people to defeat the invading Germans in 1242.
This historic film was clearly made as a warning to Nazi Germany, and Stalin ordered it shown in every theater to rouse the Russian people after the Nazi invasion of 1941. Alexander Nevsky had led the victory over the Swedes in 1240; but he was expelled for meddling in Novgorod affairs. Then he led this massacre of the Teutonic warriors in 1242. Years later he cooperated with Mongol conquerors in their taxing of the Russian people.

Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938 b 105') En: 7, Ed: 6
Irving Berlin songs highlight this musical about a band leader and a singer, who quarrel and have difficulty getting together.
This classic musical is packed with songs and portrays two artistic temperaments that are mutually attracted but clash in the unresolved sexual tension.

Algiers (1938 b 95') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from Henri La Barthe's novel, a jewel thief cannot be arrested until he leaves the Casbah to follow an alluring woman.
A somber mood pervades this romantic drama about a suave jewel thief, who misses the freedom of Paris, as the seeming safety of the lawless Casbah begins to feel like a prison.

Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937 b 77') En: 6, Ed: 5
An autograph-seeker finds himself on a movie set and dreams he is in Baghdad in this jazzy musical comedy.
Satirizing Roosevelt's New Deal more than Arabian stereotypes, this musical comedy diverts as Al's dream becomes more and more absurd until he awakes.

Alibi Ike (1935 b 72') En: 6, Ed: 5
In this adaptation of Ring Lardner's story a rookie pitcher makes excuses for having a girl-friend, thwarts gamblers, and helps win the pennant.
This story amuses primarily because of the interesting main character and the comedy of Joe E. Brown. The audience gets to root their odd hero to winning the pennant and his girl despite the nefarious efforts of the gamblers.

Alice Adams (1935 b 99') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on the novel by Booth Tarkington, a lower middle-class family tries to help Alice win a gentleman.
This story of a fairly typical family in the early 1920s explores the social challenges that are often influenced by economic struggles. Hepburn is brilliant as the bright and nervous Alice, who almost talks herself out of a fine relationship; but Arthur is patient and smart enough to value her.

Alice In Wonderland (1933 b 76') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on the classics by Lewis Carroll, young Alice enters a world of fantasy, nonsense, and wit.
Although the artistic masks limit the expressions of the fine cast, the witty madness of Lewis Carroll shines through in this much abbreviated rendition of his two major works Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Many of the characters and flights of fancy have become a part of the culture.

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930 b 131') En: 8, Ed: 9
This adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's 1928 German novel by director Lewis Milestone, Maxwell Anderson, and others won the best picture and director Oscars and may be the greatest anti-war movie.
Thus we see the beautiful spirits of youth perverted by heartless killing in a war people thought would be over in a few months but turned into four years of hell on earth. This film was banned in Germany until 1960, because its anti-war message is powerful. Lew Ayres went on to become a conscientious objector in World War II, serving in a medical unit. This movie can help people learn vicariously what so many millions have suffered in painful reality.

Allegheny Uprising (1939 b 81') En: 6, Ed: 5
During the French and Indian War frontiersmen aim to stop weapons being sold to Indians and have to challenge British forces.
Friction between the American and British allies foreshadows the independence struggle. The Americans cling to principles of law despite British corruption and intransigence; but they are terrified of Indians.

Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, The (1938 b 87') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from Barre Lyndon's play, a medical doctor studies crime by participating in robberies.
Dr. Clitterhouse makes little progress about crime by finding adrenaline in blood but does realize his own growing addiction to the adventures when he lets himself commit murder as a defense against blackmail.

American Madness (1932 b 76') En: 7, Ed: 8
Frank Capra directed this depression story of a run on the bank following a robbery.
This film was made a few months before President Franklin Roosevelt declared, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." He was referring to faith in the banking system. The populist liberal philosophy is vindicated in this story while exposing the fragility of the capitalist system. Dickson's faith in people is affirmed, and he learns he must give his wife more attention.

Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 6
Andy falls in love with his drama teacher while his father invests money with two crooks.
Andy learns that mature love is still beyond him but gains emotional experience. Judge Hardy's spring fever is greed, and he loses money to two swindlers. Rose creates dramatics as art and in her life with the naive Andy. Once again common human problems are explored with humor and gentle wisdom.

Angel (1937 b 91') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Melchior Lengyel, the wife of a British diplomat meets a man in Paris who is entranced by her, and he knows her husband.
The Lubitsch touch gives this drama subtlety, but it lacks dramatic power and humor. Ironically a celebrated diplomat is almost fooled by his wife, reflecting the dangerous pre-war atmosphere in Europe.

Angele (French 1934 b 131') En: 6, Ed: 7
Marcel Pagnol adapted Jean Giono's novel about a country girl who is lured into prostitution and returns home in shame with a baby.
This archetypal story of rural innocence corrupted by city ways explores the shame of the farmer father that is eventually washed clean by the loving commitment of the man who wants to marry Angele.

Angels Wash Their Faces, The (1939 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 5
A club of boys gets a mayor elected during boys week in order to free their new member, who has been framed for arson by corrupt men.
The young spirit of this drama has juveniles reforming corruption by democratic and legal methods with occasional strong-arm tactics.

Angels With Dirty Faces (1938 b 97') En: 7, Ed: 8
A priest and a gangster were childhood friends, and both want to help a local gang of kids in their own way.
This classic film warns against the tendency of wild youth to admire gangsters who make money by violence; but the priest and consequences make clear that such crimes often lead to prison or a violent death.

Animal Crackers (1930 b 97') En: 7, Ed: 6
Based on the musical play by George F. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, the four Marx brothers have fun and games spoofing high society at the Long Island estate of Mrs. Rittenhouse.
These human animals are full of cracks.

Animal Kingdom (1932 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 7
This story of a publisher torn between two women was adapted from the play by Philip Barry.Tom is torn between the artistic values of Daisy and her friends and the physical attractiveness and materialistic values of Cecelia and her friends. When he realizes Cecelia is like a high-priced prostitute to him, he leaves to go to his soul-mate Daisy.

Ann Vickers (1933 b 76') En: 5, Ed: 7
Based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis, a social worker reforms prisons and has a child out of wedlock by a judge convicted of bribery.
This story explores the feminist issues of balancing a career and family, how women can reform society so that it is more humane, and attitudes of men toward a strong woman. Ann lives according to her heart, applying her ideals in practical ways without being concerned about conventional morality or being consistent. Her facing difficult circumstances with courage and compassion may be an inspiration to the broad-minded.

Anna Christie (1930 b 89') En: 6, Ed: 7
In the same year Greta Garbo played the title role in both a German and an English version of Eugene O'Neill's play about the daughter of an immigrant sailor. Both films follow the play rather closely except the German version leaves out the comment by the Irish Catholic Matt Burke that he is damned, because Anna was raised Lutheran.
O'Neill's story has exposed a more realistic version of the Cinderella tale when the exploited poor relation instead of finding a prince meets someone similar to the father who abandoned her. "What's the use?" repeats Anna. Perhaps in a way the old devil sea is to blame for separating sailors from women so much that they have little opportunity to care for women and so turn to prostitutes. The age-old double standard blames women for the same promiscuity that is believed to make "real men." The sad story of Anna Christie gives the woman's view so that perhaps someday women will not have to be victimized by that old devil pattern.

Anna Karenina (1935 b 93') En: 7, Ed: 7
Tolstoy's great novel about an aristocratic woman who leaves her husband and son for a cavalry officer has an outstanding caste in this version.
Anna's tragic conflict is that society's morals, represented by Karenin, will not allow her to love her son and Vronsky. She gave up everything for him; but he would not even give up war.

Annabel Takes a Tour (1938 b 67') En: 5, Ed: 4
A movie star gets her flamboyant publicity man back for a tour and seeks romance with a viscount.
This farce satirizes Hollywood publicity to generate fans for glamorous movie stars that plays havoc with the star's personal life. Ironically the romance novelist has a family and dislikes women.

Anne of Green Gables (1934 b 78') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on the popular novel by L. M. Montgomery, an imaginative teen-age girl is adopted by and wins the hearts of Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert.
This heart-warming story of a precocious teen-ager who "reads too much" shows her learning how to handle her temper and not abuse her vivid imagination with bragging lies. Though financially poor, the lives of Marilla and Matthew are greatly enriched by the experience.

Annie Oakley (1935 b 90') En: 6, Ed: 6
The female sharp-shooter competes with a man and travels with Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.
In real life Annie Oakley did surpass her rival and husband Frank Butler, who became her manager and let her shoot cigarettes from his lips. This is a fine feminist story of a woman with her own career and marriage too.

Another Dawn (1937 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 4
A widow doubts she will love again and marries a colonel but falls in love with a captain in a British imperial outpost.
In this romantic triangle among honorable friends John is apparently oblivious to the love of Grace; but he sacrifices himself as part of the cost of British imperialism when he realizes that Julia loves Roark. Just as the British were trying to rule in another country, if John had not married Julia, who did not love him, he might have found Grace, who did love him.

Another Face (1935 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 4
An infamous gangster changes his face and tries to become an actor in the movies; but he is identified.
This amusing story satirizes Hollywood's gangster movies by showing the disparity between movie images and a real gangster. A studio executive and publicity agent even risk people's lives in order to make a successful gangster film, as Joe puts his work before his marriage.

Another Thin Man (1939 b 105') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on a Dashiell Hammett story, Nick Charles solves two murders while his wife avoids jealousy and helps raise their child.
The wit and sophistication of Nora and Nick Charles add charm to this complicated mystery.

Anthony Adverse (1936 b 137') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on the novel by Hervey Allen, an orphan raised in a convent and by a merchant is separated from his wife doing business for his foster father.
This historical adventure story shows how an orphan's character is forged by adversity. Seeking fortune on behalf of his foster father, Anthony is corrupted in the slave trade and loses his wife; but he gains his son when she chooses to stay with Napoleon. The selfish schemes of Don Luis and Faith fail.

Arizonian, The (1935 b 76') En: 5, Ed: 6
Dudley Nichols wrote the screenplay based on his novel The Peacemaker about a man who brings law and order to a town with an outlaw for a sheriff.
This story shows how difficult it can be to disarm lawless men when some of them are in authority. Many are killed before law is restored.

Arrowsmith (1931 b 99') En: 6, Ed: 7
The prize-winning novel of Sinclair Lewis was adapted by Sidney Howard in this story of a dedicated medical researcher.
This story will inspire those inclined toward scientific thinking and idealists committed to humanitarian endeavors. Arrowsmith's enthusiasm and diligence are inspiring although his wife's sacrifices receive little consolation. The conflict between long-term thinking and short-term benefits is explored amid complexities of human relationships.

Arsene Lupin (1932 b 84') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on a play by LeBlanc and de Croisset, a notorious jewel thief is finally caught by a determined police detective.
Detective fans will enjoy the many twists in this elegantly acted drama. Not only does Charmerace get away with stealing, he doesn't even pay his bills. As clever as he is, he cannot manage to continually outwit the long arms of the law. Sonia's fear of prison for either of them and her love persuades Charmerace to actually buy a ring. Perhaps both can reform, as Guerchard enjoys his retirement.

As the Earth Turns (1934 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on the novel by Gladys Hasty Carroll, Maine farmers struggle to survive or are lured to the city.
This is a realistic portrait of rural life during the depression in New England. Many from farming families are lured away from that hard life by the excitement and opportunities in the cities. The altruistic Jen is careful that Stan really wants to be a farmer before she commits herself to him in order to avoid the unhappiness experienced by George and Mil.

As You Desire Me (1932 b 71') En: 6, Ed: 7
This search for personal identity after the trauma of the world war is based on the play by Luigi Pirandello.
The many amnesia cases after the world war reflect the trauma of that catastrophe on fragile psyches. Zara does not want to remember any past, probably because she is not proud of her life. Bruno is desperately seeking his lost wife not only for the estate but for personal fulfillment. Zara is overcome by this love and seeks to be what he desires. As in several of his plays, Pirandello plays with the ambiguity of personal identity, which is often affirmed by belief and threatened by doubt.

At the Circus (1939 b 87') En: 7, Ed: 6
The Marx brothers try to save the circus for its young owner by getting a performance at a high-society party.
Groucho wonders if he can accomplish his purpose without offending the Hayes Commission, and the Marx brothers manage to provide their unique blend of wit, puns, music, satire, and slapstick.

Atalante, L' (French 1934 b 82') En: 6, Ed: 6
In Jean Vigo's only feature-length film a couple goes from their wedding onto a barge with only two others; their love is threatened by his jealousy.
After its director Vigo died young, a herd of critics has raved about this realistic film and its "poetic images," causing many people to think of ways to like it more than they probably would otherwise. The drama explores with intimate sensitivity the fragility of a new marriage and the dilemma posed when strong love causes equally strong jealousy.

Awful Truth, The (1937 b 91') En: 8, Ed: 7
Adapted from Arthur Richman's play with improvisation and directed by AA-winning Leo McCarey, a couple, suspicious of each other, divorce but sabotage each other's new romances until they re-unite.
This witty comedy shows two clever people very much in love, playing various games, revealing that no one else can come between them for long.

Babbitt (1934 b 74') En: 6, Ed: 6
The novel by Sinclair Lewis satirizing a middle-aged businessman is adapted as comedy and melodrama.
With the exception of the airport land scandal and changing the Good Citizens League to the silly Zebras, the novel's characters come alive on the screen. The satire of the materialistic businessman is still effective.

Babes in Arms (1939 b 97') En: 6, Ed: 6
Adapted from a play by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, children of Vaudevillians put on a show to avoid being put in a workhouse.
As fascism is terrorizing Europe, young Americans have the freedom to organize a show and even satirize their government leaders. Mickey wonders if America can loan money for war, why can't they get some for entertainment? The marching and bonfire scene offers an eery parallel to fascists but a significant difference in purpose as they are struggling for artistic freedom not against it. Some cringe at minstrel shows, but making fun of black entertainers is not necessarily persecuting them; they may even reflect envy for their talent.

Babes in Toyland (1934 b 78') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on Victor Herbert's operetta and also known as March of the Wooden Soldiers, Ollie and Stannie help save Little Bo Peep from the clutches of the landlord Barnaby.
Slapstick humor punctuates this children's fantasy. The selfish landlord tries to manipulate the poor but cannot win their affection. The ugly Bogeymen are defeated by an impersonalized army of automatons, society's foolish answer to subconscious fears.

Baby Face (1933 b 70') En: 6 Ed: 6
A poor woman goes to the city and ruthlessly uses her charms with men to gain wealth at their expense.
This powerful story of a ruthless woman, who used her sexual power to manipulate men and gain wealth stimulated censors to become more active. Yet the dramatic consequences of what happens to the men in her life reveal to an understanding audience how terrible are her actions even without the phony ending.

Baby Face Harrington (1935 b 62') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a play by Edgar Selwyn and William LeBaron, a clerk is fired, loses money, robs to get it back, is robbed, arrested, and broken out of jail.
This comedy satirizes gangster movies as a humble clerk is taken first for a dangerous criminal and then a great hero.

Baby, Take a Bow (1935 b 74') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on James P. Judge's play, two ex-convicts are suspected of a robbery, but little Shirley comes up with the missing necklace.
Shirley Temple's first starring role won the hearts of many with her bright personality and talent. The story explores the difficulty those with prison records can have getting employment and how easily they may be suspected of other crimes. Eddie and Larry stay straight, and the overly zealous Welch is foiled.

Bachelor Apartment (1931 b 77') En: 5, Ed: 4
A wealthy bachelor juggles women while hiring the one he wants as a secretary.
This bachelor bedroom comedy established a pattern that would often be imitated, showing an eligible man making a transition from playing the field to marriage.

Bachelor Bait (1934 b 75') En: 5, Ed: 4
A clerk begins a successful matrimonial bureau and tries to marry his secretary to a wealthy man; but she loves her boss.
The good intentions and sensitivity of William and Cynthia are contrasted to the gold-digging of Allie and the greedy corruption of Barney.

Bachelor Father, The (1931 b 91') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Edward Childs Carpenter, an aging bachelor meets his three grown children by different women and likes them.
In this sentimental story an English lord finds comfort rather late from his children, but the real affection of one shows that love is not based on blood.

Bachelor Mother (1939 b 81') En: 8, Ed: 8
Garson Kanin directed this romantic comedy of a woman who finds a baby and is taken for a mother in denial by her employer.
Numerous realistic touches increase the hilarity and meaning of this comedy that plays upon assumptions people make about a subject too shameful to discuss openly.

Back In Circulation (1937 b 81') En: 6, Ed: 5
A reporter and her editor influence and cover a sensational murder trial.
This drama reflects the increasing influence of journalism over the public perception of crime and justice. The editor is ruthless, but Timothea's humanity helps her to realize that Arline is innocent.

Bad Lands (1939 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 4
A sheriff and his posse track an Apache killer into an ambush, where they are killed one by one.
Men evaluate their lives when faced with likely death. Ironically they never get to use the silver they found, because they are killed in their effort to capture one Apache killer. Other unknown Apaches are also killed in the cycle of retaliatory violence that shortens many lives. The sheriff as sole survivor symbolizes that only the law remains.

Bad Little Angel (1939 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on a book by Margaret Turnbull, an orphan is guided by the Bible and tries to help people in trouble.
This movie gem sparkles with Light as a little girl faces adversity with extraordinary faith, moving others to help and improve themselves.

Bad Man of Brimstone, The (1937 b 89') En: 5, Ed: 4
A western outlaw finds his lost son on the other side of the law and helps him without telling him their relationship.
This combination of western violence and parental sentimentality offers typical Beery entertainment. Progress is symbolized by the law-abiding efforts of the younger generation represented by Jeffrey and Loretta.

Baker's Wife, The (French 1938 b 127') En: 7, Ed: 7
Adapted from Jean Giono's novel, a new baker stops making bread after his pretty wife runs off with a young man; but the town gets her to come back.
In this charming comedy directed by Marcel Pagnol the quality of the baker's bread is compared to the beauty of his wife. Water is plentiful, but people must pray for bread and don't want to do without it. Thus the mayor, priest, and teacher make sure the wife returns to the one who bakes it.

Balalaika (1939 b 103') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a musical play by Eric Maschwitz, a Russian prince falls in love with a revolutionary singer just before war and revolution.
This musical reflects the class divide in Russia that led to revolution and the fleeing of aristocrats. Social power shifts radically, but the loving relationships endure.

Band Plays On, The (1934 b 87') En: 5, Ed: 4
Four boys become football stars in college but are tempted to quit in order to make money in pro football.
This drama reflects increasing interest in football and the dilemma of star athletes having to work menial jobs to get through college. The four delinquents learn to succeed by working together.

Barbarian, The (1933 b 84') En: 5, Ed: 5
An engaged English woman is pursued by an Egyptian guide in Cairo and is lured into romantic adventures.
Although deceitful and manipulating, the romantic Jamil's persistence finally wins over Jamil when he is willing to die rather than leave her. The traditional prospects of Gerald are eventually outweighed by the devoted attention she receives from Jamil, fulfilling romantic fantasies.

Barbary Coast (1935 b 90') En: 6, Ed: 6
A woman arrives in San Francisco during the gold rush, works for a crooked casino boss, and falls in love with a poetic prospector.
This story explores the dangers of lawless society when violence and greed dominate. Citizen action, crude at first, manages to bring about a rough justice. A woman traveled far to marry money but realizes a poetic man is better.

Barretts of Wimpole Street, The (1934 b 110') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on Rudolph Besier's play, a tyrannical father tries to prevent his daughters from marrying; but the poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning manage to get together.
This true story shows how a pious father can make his children miserable with his own perverted sense of duty from frustrated love. The buoyant spirit of the poetic Robert raises the spirits of Elizabeth sufficiently to liberate her from her father's control.

Beast of the City, The (1932 b 86') En:6 , Ed: 6
A new police chief goes after a gangster boss but is thwarted by his own brother, lawyers, and a violent shoot-out.
This shift of viewpoint from the gangsters to the police improves the moral perspective. Even though Jim is portrayed as a loving family man, his violent police methods still leave much to be desired in the crime wave stimulated by Prohibition.

Beau Geste (1939 b 113') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on the novel by P. C. Wren and the 1926 film, after a mysterious jewel theft three brothers join the foreign legion under a sadistic sergeant.
This improbable story glamorizes a sacrificial gesture that results in soldiers, buoyed by brotherly comraderie, suffering under a sadistic officer before being killed by Arabs in the desert.

Becky Sharp (1935 c 85') En: 6, Ed: 6
In the first full-color feature a sharp-tongued woman leaves school, marries a soldier, lives extravagantly, and suffers from debts in this adaptation of Landon Mitchell's play based on Thackeray's novel.
In this satirical look at British society in the Wellington era, Becky resents the social discrimination against her but is clever and ambitious enough to rise into society anyway, though this produces little happiness for her.

Bed of Roses (1933 b 67') En: 6, Ed: 6
Two women leave prison and try to marry rich men.
We see Lorry's transformation from a robbing, lying gold-digger to a hard-working, faithful wife after she finds a moderately successful man her own age with good qualities who loves her, while her cynical friend Minnie marries a fool for his money and becomes a mistress on the side.

Belle of the Nineties (1934 b 73') En: 6, Ed: 5
Mae West wrote this witty story about an entertainer who loves men and jewelry.
Mae West's witty remarks use innuendo to get around the censors and entertain her audience, implying that sexuality is not a sin if one is honest and hurts no one.

Beloved Brat, The (1938 b 63') En: 5, Ed: 6
A girl, neglected by her rich parents, acts defiantly and causes much trouble.
This over-looked little gem shows what can happen when wealthy parents are too busy to care for their children. A wise and patient teacher is able to awaken the positive qualities in the smart but lonely girl.

Beloved Enemy (1936 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 7
An Irish leader falls in love with the daughter of a British diplomat during a rebellion, and a peace treaty is the result of their love.
This powerful story set in the historic English-Irish conflict explores the conflict between political violence and romantic love, expressing the hope that love may solve problems with peace and understanding.

Big Broadcast of 1938, The (1938 b 91') En: 6, Ed: 5
A bumbling owner of an ocean-liner manages to win a race while entertainers perform for radio broadcasts.
This variety show features the first starring role for Bob Hope with his signature song and the comedic talents of W. C. Fields, offering audiences mass-produced low-cost entertainment in an era of huge ocean-liners.

Big City (1937 b 80') En: 5, Ed: 4
Cab company thugs frame an immigrant woman for a bombing, but her husband, friends, and the mayor help save her from deportation.
This story illustrates how immigrants have less rights than citizens and how some hoodlums try to use violence to give themselves a job; but the friendship of the independent cab drivers enables them to overcome their opponents.

Big City Blues (1932 b 63') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a play by Ward Morehouse, a young man goes to New York city, gains experience, loses his money, is arrested for murder, and returns to Indiana.
The naive and innocent Bud gets quick lessons in big-city living from his cousin and other fast operators; yet the excitement of the urban culture, as dangerous as it is, still lures him.

Big Fella (1937 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a novel by Claude McKay, a big African finds a run-away English boy and becomes his friend.
Joe's voice and buoyant personality charm the boy seeking adventure away from his over-bearing parents. Joe gives up money and risks legal consequences because he has been "kidnapped" by Gerald, showing great love. Yet he chooses to stay with Manda, who also loves him.

Big House, The (1930 b 87') En: 6, Ed: 6
This slice of prison life is quite realistic, though real prison inmates rarely experience such a crescendo of violence as found in the movies.
This archetypal prison story shows the hellish prison life and how its social relationships are distorted as the inmates have their own code of ethics. The inexperienced Kent badly violates this and comes to a bad end. Butch is a habitual liar and cheat and so has little hope. But Morgan shows how one can overcome the odds and rise out of a dismal situation. Although he escaped on his own, he refuses to participate in a violent and foolish attempt. He is not a stool pigeon, but he saves the lives of the guards. If there is any rehabilitation, it is by the individual's efforts in spite of this dismal prison system.

Big Shakedown, The (1934 b 61') En: 5, Ed: 5
Gangsters, put out of business by repeal of Prohibition, find a chemist to counterfeit drugstore products.
This story shows Prohibition's criminal element adapting to changing times. Their unethical greed corrupts Jimmy's chemical skill. Experiencing the harmful consequences causes Jimmy to commit murder and go to the police.

Big Shot, The (1937 b 60') En: 5, Ed: 4
A man inherits wealth and crusades against a racketeering empire without knowing he is the big shot at its top.
This comedy seems to reflect the sentiment for cleaning up the corruption of racketeers with the help of a free press, citizen courage, and law enforcement.

Big Stampede, The (1932 b 53') En: 5, Ed: 4
A young deputy sheriff stops a cattle baron from rustling the herd of new-comers in the wild New Mexico territory.
This western drama that shows how efforts for law and order can stop rustling by greedy cattle barons implies that new efforts at law enforcement in the Prohibition era could decrease the problem of organized crime. Faced with an overwhelming problem, John cleverly gets the more amenable rustlers to help his side eliminate the worst criminals.

Big Trail, The (1930 b 120') En: 6, Ed: 5
This pioneer epic shows the hardships and tribulations of settlers heading west on the Oregon trail.
This big western portrays the challenges of pioneering and gives the audience a hero whose courage, capability, and determination can be admired even though his sense of "frontier justice" leads him on the trail of personal revenge in which he takes the law into his own hands and kills a man.
Bill of Divorcement, A (1932 b 68') En: 6, Ed: 7
This drama of a family dealing with mental illness is based on the play by Clemence Dane.
This story depicts the effect of the war on a man with a fragile psyche. Unfortunately this causes his daughter to fear mental illness so much she gives up the man she wants to marry. Yet there is nobility in the sacrifice she makes to help her father so that her mother can be happy. Sydney is more like her father and can understand him better than her mother.

Billy the Kid (1930 b 95' ( En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on the saga by Walter Noble Burns, the infamous killer fights for ranchers against the local tyrant's men.
This early version of the violent legend includes some comic characters and bears only occasional resemblance to the controversial life of the young man who killed men in revenge for the murder of his employers Tunston and later McSween.

Biography of a Bachelor Girl (1935 b 83') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on S. N. Behrman's play, a magazine editor pays a flamboyant painter for her memoirs, while a politician she knew tries to stop them.
Political and philosophical differences underlie these conflicts; but Kurt chooses love rather than expose the hypocrisy of the politician he loathes.

Bishop Misbehaves, The (1935 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from Frederick Jackson's play, a bishop plays detective to resolve a robbery committed to right a past wrong.
This droll mystery plays with the threat one gun can have in disarmed England; but the Bishop manages to resolve the case without violence or help from the police. Nonetheless he decides to renounce his detective hobby.

Bishop Murder Case, The (1930 b 87') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on S. S. Van Dine's novel, a clever detective solves a complicated series of murders involving chess and nursery stories.
This sophisticated mystery keeps the audience guessing until the motive is revealed at the end. The slow pace allows the audience time to think and absorb the somber mood.

Bitter Tea of General Yen, The (1933 b 88;) En: 6, Ed: 7
Frank Capra directed this story of an American missionary's fiancée detained by a Chinese warlord.
This film reflects the chaos in China during this era. Yen loves the subtlety of Chinese culture, yet represents its worst element as a ruthless warlord. Megan believes in Christian love; her trust in Mah-Li is betrayed, causing the general's downfall, not necessarily a bad result.

Black Fury (1935 b 94') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a true story and Harry R. Irving's play Bohunk, a coal miner is manipulated into becoming a strike leader.
This drama reflects increased union activity in the midst of the Depression. In 1934 dissidents from the AF of L formed the CIO and elected United Mine Worker president John L. Lewis chairman. However, this film warns that workers can be led astray by greedy manipulators.

Black Legion (1936 b 83') En: 6, Ed: 7
A factory worker joins a KKK group that gets rid of a foreigner who got the job he wanted; but he is unable to leave the group and kills his friend.
The racist Ku Klux Klan was active at this time, and this story dramatically exposes the violence and manipulation of hate groups that prey upon dissatisfied workers, especially when jobs are hard to get.

Blackmail (1939 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 4
A successful escaped convict, who is innocent, is blackmailed by the thief and is sent back to the chain gang.
This drama exposes the cruelty of chain gangs and provides a warning against succumbing to blackmail rather than facing the truth even though it may be unpleasant to do so.

Blackwell's Island (1939 b 71') En: 6, Ed: 5
Suggested by a true story, a reporter goes after a racketeer, who takes over a prison with his graft system.
This satire of prison corruption by gangsters suggests that courageous reporting can help to clean up graft and punish gangsters.

Blessed Event (1932 b 80') En: 6, Ed: 7
This fast-paced comedy about a Winchell-like gossip columnist is based on the play by Manuel Seff and Forrest Wilson.
The unscrupulous behavior of Alvin in using Dorothy's story, which he did not have until she told him, led her to commit murder. The audience tends to forgive this, because the victim happens to be a gangster, who tried to have Alvin killed. Nonetheless the ruthless ambition and reckless gossiping of the columnist is seen to be destructive by Gladys and others.

Blonde Bombshell (1933 b 96') En: 7, Ed: 6
Harlow is perfectly cast in this adaptation of a play by Caroline Francke and Mack Crane about a Hollywood star whose life is sabotaged by a zealous publicity man.
This comedy explores the frantic life-style of a busy film star promoted by wild publicity and surrounded by leaching relatives, numerous servants, pets, and men wanting to romance her. The publicity agent uses various tricks to keep his star's name in the headlines even though it makes a shambles of her personal life.

Blonde Crazy (1931 b 79') En: 5, Ed: 5
This story of grifters plays out people acquiring money by deceptive methods.
After the stock market crash, people used to playing with money suddenly found it was very tight and hard to find. This movie fantasizes ways that people can get money quickly by trickery, but often the con artists get fooled by others more clever. In this story the respectable Wall Street banker turns out to be the lowest of them in betrayal. The tough guy Bert ends up in jail, while the rat Joe is free; but Bert has won the spiritual victory because Ann now loves him instead of Joe.

Blonde Venus (1932 b 94') En: 6, Ed: 6
A cabaret singer goes back to work to help her husband get a life-saving operation, but her relationship with a millionaire breaks up her marriage.
Helen sells herself to save her husband and almost loses him in the intimacy of that process, but their love for their son re-unites them.

Blondie (1938 b 65') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on the comic strip by Chic Young, Dagwood needs a raise to pay debts and is suspected of having a love nest.
This is the first in a series of movies that ran to a record 28 with the same cast. The bumbling Dagwood and the tolerant Blondie represent the foibles of many middle-class families. In this story Dagwood is framed by circumstances that belie his innocence. Their wholesome humor in practical predicaments provides wide audiences with safe amusement.

Blondie Brings Up Baby (1939 b 67') En: 5, Ed: 4
Baby Dumpling goes to school, and their dog Daisy is lost as Dagwood loses his job in this farce based on the comic strip.
Dagwood's bumbling causes lots of trouble, but a fairy-tale ending makes everyone happy in this story of a child starting school, losing his dog, and finding a new friend.

Blondie Johnson (1933 b 67') En: 5, Ed: 5
A poor woman gets involved in rackets, putting romance aside, and rises to the top of the gang until she is sentenced to prison.
This melodrama shows the desperation of an unemployed woman turning to crime; but she finds it does not work, and she missed out on romance too.

Blondie Meets the Boss (1939 b 72') En: 6, Ed: 5
Dagwood resigns and is replaced by Blondie, and on a fishing trip he becomes involved with a singer, causing Blondie to get jealous.
Bumbling Dagwood makes absurd errors in normal suburban life, and his harmless flirtation triggers explosive jealousy in Blondie, allowing middle-class audiences to see their daily activities botched up for laughs. Yet there is a stable security in their life-style that not even their goof-ups can sabotage, giving the spectators comfort and amusement too.

Blue Angel, The (German 1930 b 106') En: 7, Ed: 8
Made in both German and English, this morality tale directed by Josef von Sternberg portrays the fall and humiliation of a Shakespeare teacher.
This erotic parable symbolizes the plight of German intellectuals between two disastrous wars, as the humiliation of Germany from losing a world war going unresolved is soon to lead to the rise of the Nazi party and an even worse war. The educated mind can easily look down on sensual pleasures, partly from the fear such desires will make a fool of even the most intellectual man. This insecurity often accounts for the zeal with which some attempt to suppress such basic instincts. Yet the seed of the professor's humiliation is found in the students, who rebel against the respect for teachers demanded as they call him "garbage" and make fun of his infatuation. In this decadent German period the forces of degeneration are overcoming a professor named Immanuel perhaps after Christ or Kant.

Bonnie Scotland (1935 b 80') En: 5, Ed: 4
Stanley with Ollie goes to Scotland to inherit an estate; they mistakenly join the army and get sent to India, where they are nearly killed.
Comedy outshines the plot, the second half being a satire of The Lives of a Bengal Lancer. In fact the usual conclusion of the lovers getting together never occurs as the film ends in the chaos of everyone running from the bees.

Border Cafe (1937 b 67') En: 5, Ed: 4
The son of a senator gets drunk and then falls in love with a Mexican while gaining a friend, who takes him to his ranch.
A Texas rancher helps redeem an alcoholic and catches racketeering rustlers, while supporting his new friend's romance with a Mexican singer, affirming the values of honest work and multi-culturalism.

Bordertown (1935 b 91') En: 6, Ed: 6
Suggested by Carroll Graham's novel, a Mexican-American fails as a lawyer but succeeds in a gambling business on the border while suffering troubles with two white women.
This story explores racial prejudices and cultural differences. Unable to succeed right away in the white legal world, Johnny thrives in the gambling business; but social prejudice keeps Dale from accepting him as a mate. Johnny learns, and his investing in legal education offers hope.

Born to Dance (1936 b 106') En: 6, Ed: 5
Cole Porter songs and tap dancing highlight this musical comedy about a sailor who romances two dancers in New York.
This story marries Navy patriotism with Broadway dancing, reflecting two aspects of American society in a very entertaining way. Jenny is concerned what the precocious Sally is learning from her conversation.

Boy Meets Girl (1938 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 5
Bella and Samuel Spewack adapted their own play in this satire of two fast-talking Hollywood writers, a slow cowboy star, and an intellectual producer.
This farcical look at how movie scripts are created indicates why so many Hollywood films are rather superficial.

Boys Town (1938 b 93') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on a true story, Father Flanagan founds a town for homeless boys and confirms his belief that not one of them is bad.
This sentimental drama makes Flanagan's task seem so easy that contributions to the real Boys Town actually decreased after this film came out. Despite the melodramatic climax this story nonetheless reveals the important need for better ways of rehabilitating problem boys by giving them responsibilities for themselves.

Break of Hearts (1935 b 78') En: 6, Ed: 6
A young composer marries a famous conductor but leaves him when he continues his womanizing, causing him to degenerate into alcoholism until she returns.
After finding a great love, Franz has to learn to restrain his womanizing habit because the loss of the great love drives him to drink.

Breakfast for Two (1937 b 68') En: 5, Ed: 4
A Texas debutante manages to take a broke shipping magnate away from an actress by buying his company and getting him to revive it.
This comedy shows the fun and games of two people from wealthy families using their resources to get what they want, which turns out to be each other.

Bride of Frankenstein, The (1935 b 75') En: 7, Ed: 6
Frankenstein and his Monster revive, and another mad scientist collaborates to make a mate for the Monster, now learning to talk and becoming more human.
This powerful parable warns of blundering human experimentation and reflects the nightmarish Nazi aim to create a master race by violent means.

Bride Walks Out, The (1936 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 6
A model marries a struggling engineer; but he won't let her keep her job, and they can't pay the bills, while she is wooed by a wealthy drinker.
Amid Depression struggles this story explores a woman's need and desire to work despite the social conditioning of her husband.

Bride Wore Red, The (1937 b 103') En: 5, Ed: 6
In this adaptation of Ferenc Molnar's play a bar singer is given two weeks in an aristocratic hotel and tries to land a wealthy husband.
This romantic drama explores how class differences affect values and attitudes. From economic frustration Anni chooses wealth over love; but the experience of Giulio and Maria suggest that she will be happier with love.

Brides Are Like That (1936 b 67') En: 4, Ed: 5
Based on Barry Connor's play Applesauce, a broke college graduate with no job persuades his girl-friend to marry him instead of a doctor and finds a way to end their financial worries.
In this story the audience wonders if Bill is just lazy and all talk; but his positive philosophy of love and optimism is affirmed when his invention wins approval, making a believing audience feel good.

Bright Eyes (1934 b 85') En: 5, Ed: 6
A sweet little girl loses her parents and has to live with the parents of a brat, but she gets adopted by her aviator godfather who loves her.
This story contrasts a loved child who is sweet and loving with a spoiled but unloved child. Loop shows constant love for Shirley and can't get mad at her for even a moment, while the Smythes are the opposite.

Bringing Up Baby (1938 b 102') En: 8, Ed: 7
A paleontologist is kept from his wedding by an odd-ball woman with a pet leopard.
In this bizarre comedy Susan finds peculiar ways of keeping David from attending his wedding while he is irresistibly drawn to her even though she causes him nothing but trouble.

British Agent (1934 b 81') En: 6, Ed: 6
Suggested by H. Bruce Lockhart's novel, a British diplomat tries to keep Russia in the war while falling in love with Lenin's secretary.
This unusual historical drama shows how the early Soviet government worked for peace but was attacked by the West for not continuing the war.

Broadminded (1931 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 4
A father sends his son off to California with his cousin to stay away from women, but they find them anyway.
In this light comedy the young men find attractive young women despite the advice of the elders.

Broadway Bill (1934 b 102') En: 5, Ed: 4
A man leaves his rich father-in-law to enter his spirited racehorse in the derby with the help of his wife's sister.
Horse racing is portrayed as much more fun and exciting than business. The values found in most of this hysteria leave much to be desired. The poor horse was coaxed into racing while sick and died in the effort. This may have some escapist entertainment value, but most of the lessons are backwards.

Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935 b 101') En: 6, Ed: 5
A Broadway producer discovers his school-friend is his star after machinations by a gossip columnist.
Keeler is a satire of Winchell, and the clever story by Moss Hart is a variation of the usual unknown becoming a star overnight. The songs, dancing, and comedy provide elegant entertainment.

Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937 b 111') En: 6, Ed: 5
A producer hires an unknown dancer for a musical show, and she has to raise money with her horse winning a race.
Once again musical entertainment is offered audiences as an escape from economic woes, suggesting that somehow (by an unlikely horse race) money will be found to make everything come out all right.

Broadway Musketeers (1938 b 63') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on Three on a Match, three women from an orphanage meet every year; the mother gets divorced, and the singer marries her ex-husband.
Following the plot of a successful melodrama, once again Fay goes from burlesque to a prosperous marriage, while discontent Isabel falls for a worthless man and is dragged down into the underworld though she sacrifices herself to save her child. The contrasting fates imply a moral warning and show that people can change their social situation.

Broadway Serenade (1939 b 109') En: 5, Ed: 5
A singer is separated from her composer husband when she is put in a show by a backer who romances her.
In this dramatic musical the temperamental Jim needs to learn to control his temper and must overcome professional and personal rejection; but he is inspired by a friend to create great music.

Broadway to Hollywood (1933 b 85') En: 5, Ed: 5
Three generations of a show-business family go from Vaudeville to talking pictures.
This mildly entertaining family saga portrays the rewards and difficulties of show business. Social changes are shown in different generations even though the original couple ages without changing much.

Brother Rat (1938 b 89') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on a play by VMI graduates Fred Finklehoff and John Monks, three senior cadets at VMI bend the rules with their girl-friends.
Crazy Billy gets himself and his room-mates into various predicaments; but Bing is worried he'll be expelled for being married or won't pass. These antics are contrasted to strict military discipline, implying that their free spirits are superior to the regimentation.

Buccaneer, The (1938 b 125') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on history and a novel by Lyle Saxon, pirate Jean Lafitte helps General Jackson defeat the British at New Orleans.
Lafitte was pardoned by President Madison but did go back to privateering. History gives context and meaning to this adventure story as "rats without a country" fight for their new home in America, suggesting that the line between military adventures and criminal piracy is blurred.

Bullets or Ballots (1936 b 82') En: 6, Ed: 6
A police detective pretends to join racketeers in order to clean up organized crime; but he is mistrusted by one of the gangsters.
This drama explores racketeering and how police can locate it by infiltration. Kruger trusts Blake because he keeps his word, while, ironically, Blake is deceiving him.

Bunker Bean (1936 b 67') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on Lee Wilson Dodd's play from Harry Leon Wilson's novel, a timid secretary learns from previous lives how to assert himself to win the boss's daughter and succeed in business.
This comedy satirizes reincarnation but shows how a timid person can do better by being more assertive, though Bunker's success is really the result of the patent he inherited, which can be seen as symbolizing what the one inherits from previous soul experiences.

Bureau of Missing Persons (1933 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 5
A paternalistic captain and a tough detective try to solve cases of missing persons.
Many of the incidents in this comedy-drama were based on actual occurrences. The paternalistic Webb has a tendency to withhold information that he feels would be unpleasant for others to know. Butch's behavior doesn't seem to improve, but he does learn about his wife's game. Norma cleverly uses the Bureau of Missing Persons to catch her husband for the murder for which she had been falsely charged.

But the Flesh Is Weak (1932 b 78') En: 5, Ed: 5
Ivor Novell adapted his own play Truth Game in this comedy about a father and son trying to marry rich women.
Although Max and Joan like and respect each other, Max feels that magical passion for Rosine that makes him willing to work hard for her. Father and son are both incurable romantics; yet both sacrifice romance to help each other. In the end the power of young love triumphs.

By Your Leave (1934 b 82') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on a play by Gladys Hurlbut and Emma Wells, a middle-aged couple decides to take separate vacations to experience freedom.
This comedy of a mid-life crisis is ironic because Henry who wanted romantic success failed, while Ellen succeeded in spite of herself. Yet each realizes they love each other and are happy.

Cabin In the Cotton, The (1932 b 78') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on Harry Kroll's novel, the son of a tenant farmer manages the books for a planter and finds stealing and romance on both sides of the conflict.
The age-old conflict between wealthy land-owners and poor tenant farmers reveals the economic injustice. Stealing does not work well, but the educated Carter and Marvin manage to arrange a better solution. It would seem Marvin has more in common with the wholesome Betty than the smoking and drinking Madge; but wealth can be tempting.

Cain and Mabel (1936 b 90') En: 5, Ed: 5
A publicity agent fabricates a romance between a waitress he turned into a Broadway star and a boxer; but eventually they fall in love.
This romantic comedy satirizes how publicity designed to manipulate the public can also distort the private lives of the celebrities.

Call of the Wild (1935 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 5
Two prospectors, a dog, and a woman find gold and overcome ruthless competitors in this greatly altered adaptation of Jack London's novel.
This movie version moves the focus from the dog to the melodrama of the people. Greed and violence prove self-destructive, while those who are on the "up-and-up" are successful. Buck returns to nature and Claire to her husband, leaving Jack with gold he grabbed by "Klondike law."

Calling Dr. Kildare (1939 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 6
Dr. Gillespie puts Kildare in a street clinic, and he gets in trouble treating a bullet wound without reporting it.
Kildare is torn between his instinct to protect a patient and the criminal law, risking his career while his mentor Gillespie guides the young intern.

Camille (1937 b 109') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on the novel and play of Alexandre Dumas, an ill woman of gaiety finds romance but sacrifices it for a higher love.
This grandly romantic drama ironically shows how fleeting and ephemeral romance can be amid other pressures and concerns of life. Sometimes loving what is best for the beloved means denying both partners those temporary pleasures.

Captain Blood (1935 b 119') En: 7, Ed: 6
Rafael Sabatini's novel comes to life as an Irish doctor is sold into slavery in Jamaica but transforms enslaved rebels into pirates, who defeat the French after King James is replaced.
History gives this swashbuckling adventure context. Circumstances give the ex-slave rebels an excuse for piracy, and a changed government a reason to return to duty, portraying a rough world, where one form of violence or another tends to dominate.

Captain January (1936 b 76') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a novel by Laura E. Richards, a lighthouse keeper takes care of an orphan until he loses his job.
Shirley Temple's usual charm and talent carry this story of a cheerful girl everyone except the truant officer loves. The audience joins in wanting the orphan girl to have the best care but not a cold institution.

Captains Courageous (1937 b 117') En: 7, Ed: 8
Based on Rudyard Kipling's novel, a spoiled rich boy falls off a cruise ship and is taught about life by a Portuguese sailor on a fishing vessel.
This classic story portrays the maturing of a spoiled kid by hard work at sea with a simple but spiritual fisherman, while his wealthy father learns what he missed by not teaching his son responsibility. Sadly, the useless competition between the ship captains results in the death of the friendly Manuel.

Captain's Kid, The (1936 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 4
A little girl helps an old man find a treasure and escape a murder charge.
This highly unlikely story enables the audience to share the adventures of Asa and Abigail in finding treasure and converting a killing into the capturing of a wanted murderer for a reward.

Captured! (1933 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from a novel by Philip Gibbs, a war prisoner learns that his wife loves another prisoner, who escapes but is returned for a trial.
This drama shows how war can cause a quick marriage and a painful separation for the prisoner. Yet both sides still recognize some law even as they are working as hard as they can to destroy each other.

Carefree (1938 b 83') En: 7, Ed: 7
A lawyer sends his reluctant fiancé to a psychoanalyst, and she falls in love with her doctor who can dance.
This musical comedy uses techniques of psychoanalysis to confuse a budding romance of a patient for her doctor, a phenomenon Freud called transference.

Carnival Boat (1932 b 62') En: 5, Ed: 4
Spectacular logging scenes highlight this drama of a timberjack boss who wants his son to replace him as boss rather than run off with a showgirl.
Exciting action, human conflict, romance, and a good song keep this short film entertaining as it portrays the work of lumberjacks.

Case of the Black Cat, The (1936 b 66') En: 5, Ed: 4
Perry Mason represents a man who wants to keep his cat and then saves another client by revealing the murderer.
The intricate plot of this mystery keeps the audience guessing until Perry Mason explains how all the details fit together, offering an intriguing exercise in figuring out clues and motives.

Case of the Curious Bride, The (1935 b 80') En: 5, Ed: 4
Perry Mason helps a friend by finding out who murdered her husband, who claimed to be dead and tried to extort money from her after she married.
This murder mystery has a comic flair, enhancing its entertainment value as Mason puts off a trip to China and cooking to solve the crime.

Cat and the Fiddle, The (1934 b 89') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from an operetta by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach, a composer falls in love with a song-writer, who becomes successful before he does.
This musical comedy explores the difficulty of the role reversal when a woman's career is more successful than the man's.

Caught Plastered (1931 b 69') En: 6, Ed: 5
Two comics help an old lady keep from losing her drugstore but turn it into a speakeasy without knowing it.
Punny humor and wise cracks keep this Depression comedy entertaining, as crooks once again use people's desire to drink to make money during Prohibition.

Cavalcade (1933 b 110') En: 6, Ed: 7
Two English families experience great events early in the 20th century in this Oscar-winning adaptation of Noel Coward's play.
This episodic story reflects on how major events impact both an upper-class and a working-class family. The past glories of the English are now challenged by violent changes in the world, indicating something is wrong with a society that blunders into such wars.

Central Airport (1933 b 72') En: 6, Ed: 5
Two brothers compete as pilots and for the love of the same woman.
Director William Wellman and Barthelmess were both aviators, giving this film extraordinary realism. Jim gave Jill the wrong impression and changed his mind too late, providing an important object lesson to young lovers.

Cèsar (French 1936 b 134') En: 7, Ed: 7
Completing Marcel Pagnol's trilogy after Marius and Fanny, Panisse dies, and Cesariot learns from his mother Fanny that his father is Marius.
With wit and charm this story portrays the friendships and the suspended love between Marius and Fanny and his father Cèsar. Cesariot at age 20 is able to bring back together his parents, who were separated when Marius was that age.

Chained (1934 b 76') En: 6, Ed: 7
A woman has to choose between her lover who is married and then divorced and another man who wants to marry her.
This romantic story explores the difficult choice a woman must make when she loves two men. What makes this an unusual and inspiring film is the respect each of the men has for the other.

Champ, The (1931 b 87') En: 7, Ed: 7
This sentimental story of an alcoholic and gambling prizefighter and his adoring son was nominated for best picture and won Wallace Beery an Oscar.
The powerful feelings between father and son really pull at our hearts; but even the Champ realizes that it will be better for his boy to go to school, as he never did. Andy also knows it would be better if he does not drink and gamble, but he finds no alternative to sliding back into those familiar habits. The irony is that the boy is more responsible than the father; but he has learned street smarts from his father and poor friends and has little appreciation of other values. His mother and Tony live in another social world he does not understand. Yet the love from his heart for his father outweighs everything else and is immensely appealing.

Chance at Heaven (1933 b 72') En: 4, Ed: 5
A small-town gas station owner gives up his fiancé to marry an heiress from New York, but she and her mother soon arrange a divorce.
This negative portrayal of the Franklins shows hostility toward the rich for their superficiality and cowardice. Blacky is seduced by Glory's social status; but the wise, tolerant, and patient Marj knows she will win eventually.

Charge of the Light Brigade, The (1936 b 115') En: 6, Ed: 6
Inspired by Tennyson's poem of a battle in the Crimean War, in this fictionalized version a treacherous massacre by a local warlord stimulates a British officer to launch a vengeful but suicidal charge.
This war film offers numerous lessons about organized violence. To justify British imperialist militarism in India, a massacre based on Cawnpore during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 is used to explain the Crimean charge of 1854. The infamous commander of this charge was the womanizing, dueling Thomas Brudenwell, 57, who was first to reach the lines and survived although 503 of his 700 men were killed. In the filming trip wires caused more than 200 horses to be killed, resulting in legislation to protect animals used in movie-making.

Charley's Aunt (1930 b 86') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a play by Brandon Thomas, two college men get a friend to play an aunt for a chaperone so that they can propose marriage.
Much slapstick fills this classic farce that satirizes the older generation having to approve the marriages and the social requirement for a chaperone.

Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo (1937 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 4
When three murders occur over stolen bonds, Chan solves the case.
Spiced by Lee's faulty French and Joubert's amusing English, this mystery unfolds with only occasional help from the clever Chan, as blackmail and a corrupt romance forward the plot.

Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 5
Chan and his son discover the murderer of a circus owner.
As usual Charlie Chan sprinkles wisdom and humor into his detective work. "Good tools shorten labor" and "Mind like parachute - only function when open." are two examples. His son Lee wants to be a detective, but half the time he is distracted by the charms of contortionist Su Toy. Thus a detective story is given style and charm.

Charlie Chan at the Olympics (1937 b 71') En: 6, Ed: 5
Chan goes to the Berlin Olympics to retrieve a stolen airplane invention and to solve two murders with the help of the German police.
Swastikas were removed from the Hindenberg film, and the Berlin Olympics and the self-proclaimed efficiency of the police are the only references to the Nazis. Yet the theme is protecting military secrets, and the statement of Orientals sacrificing life rather than face foreshadows the Japanese conflict as well.

Charlie Chan at the Opera (1937 b 68') En: 6, Ed: 5
After a mental patient escapes, Chan solves two murders that occur during an opera.
Once again the Chinese detective solves the mystery with style and perception while humbly saying he is lucky. His gentility and common sense offer a positive role model in this escape entertainment.

Charlie Chan at the Race Track (1936 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 5
Detective Chan investigates a death in a horse stable and catches the crooked gamblers along with the murderer.
The aphoristic Charlie and his enthusiastic son Lee raise the level of this mystery with clever detective work. One also learns how horse races are photographed by timing devices.

Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939 b 74) En: 5, Ed: 5
The Chinese detective investigates a psychic who blackmails people and causes suicides and murders.
In this mystery the illusions of sleight-of-hand magic are differentiated from mental telepathy, which is acknowledged as an ability some people have. Using people's secrets for blackmail is exposed for its bad consequences.

Charlie Chan in City In Darkness (1939 b 75') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Gina Kaus and Ladislaus Fodor, on the brink of war in Paris Chan uncovers foreign agents smuggling out arms.
This mystery reflects the imminent danger felt in France on the verge of war and suggests that shipping weapons to enemies is worse than murder.

Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 5
Chan investigates illegally sold Egyptian treasures and solves a double murder by the man who took over the victim's project.
Chan's detecting wisdom proves that modern greed, not ancient Egyptian curses, caused death and drugged hysteria.

Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938 b 67') En: 5, Ed: 4
Chan's son helps the detective solve a complicated double murder on board a ship.
Wise Charlie helps guide his energetic sons and patiently solves the mystery, proving his proverb that caution is a good life insurance policy.

Charlie Chan in London (1934 b 78') En: 5, Ed: 5
Chan and son Lee find two murderers trying to get away with money from counterfeit bonds.
Chan gets help from his obedient son for the first time. His thorough detective work outsmarts the criminals and the police as usual.

Charlie Chan in Paris (1935 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 5
Chan and son Lee find two murderers trying to get away with money from counterfeit bonds.
Chan gets help from his obedient son for the first time. His thorough detective work outsmarts the criminals and the police as usual.

Charlie Chan in Reno (1939 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 4
The Chinese detective and his #2 son go to Reno to help a divorcing woman accused of murder in a complicated case as the victim had many enemies.
This tight mystery with comic relief offers escape entertainment with a clever detective, who is a model of good manners.

Charlie Chan in Shanghai (1935 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 5
Detective Chan escapes being murdered, and with his son he tracks down the opium-smuggling gang that murdered a British agent.
The gentle and cultured Chan has his usual aphorisms and detective intuition in his ancestral land. Interaction with his son adds a parental dimension, as the young man's energy complements the elder's wisdom. Historically European-smuggled opium did much to devastate China.

Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937 b 68') En: 6, Ed: 5
Chan and son Lee solve a complicated murdered in New York involving blackmail and a diary exposing racketeering.
This stylish and quick-moving mystery offers escape entertainment with a murderer unsuspected until the end.

Charlie Chan's Secret (1936 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 5
Detective Chan uses a second murder and a seance to catch the murderer of a lost heir who had suddenly returned.
Without disbelieving in mediumism and the spirits of ancestors Chan exposes contrivances, and by a faked murder he makes the murderer come forward, proving his aphorism that necessity may be the step-mother of deception.

Chaser, The (1938 b 76') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based closely on the 1933 film The Nuisance, an ambulance-chasing lawyer falls in love with a company spy hired to ruin his career.
A lawyer lost his idealistic values after losing cases to a tricky lawyer. Now that he is more clever at tricks the question is whether a beautiful woman can make an honest man of him again.

Chief, The (1933 b 65') En: 5, Ed: 4
A bumbling honorary fire chief runs for alderman against a gangster in this madcap comedy.
This farce satirizes the corruption of local politics in the big city by making a popular hero out of a clumsy but likable fool.

Chienne, La (French 1931 b 94') En: 8, Ed: 7
Jean Renoir directed this well made tragicomedy about a hen-pecked husband of limited social skills who falls in love with a prostitute.
Ironically Lulu is called the bitch even though she tried to please everyone. The real shrew is Maurice's wife Adele, who won't even let her husband spend his own money. Dédé is the most selfish; yet he is wrongly executed. Renoir has left us with absurd results that are not unlike life itself.

China Clipper (1936 b 89') En: 6, Ed: 6
A ruthless aviation pioneer drives his partners and employees to establish the first commercial flights across the Pacific Ocean.
Dave's unrelenting ambition produces commercial success; but his engineer dies, and his wife is neglected. The story is familiar, because it's not unusual.

China Passage (1937 b 65') En: 5, Ed: 4
A diamond is stolen in Shanghai and smuggled on a ship to San Francisco while its guards and a federal agent try to find the gem and a murderer.
This mystery keeps the audience guessing while hinting that Fang Tu is the culprit. The sexual bantering of Baldwin and Jane enlivens the story.

China Seas (1935 b 88') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from Crosbie Garstin's novel, a captain makes his girl-friend jealous when he decides to marry an old friend while contending with a typhoon and Malay pirates.
This romantic adventure story was intended by its producer Irving Thalberg to entertain and make money. The charisma of its stars Gable, Harlow, and Beery with a fine supporting cast accomplished that objective.

Christmas Carol, A (1938 b 70') En: 6, Ed: 7
In this version of the Dickens' story Scrooge's heart is awakened when the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future show him his life.
This inspiring story is succinctly presented in a cheerful manner. Its powerful message to overcome greed and selfishness with the spirit of kindness and giving, most overtly expressed on the Christmas holiday, will never get out of date.

Christopher Strong (1933 b 77') En: 5, Ed: 5
Dorothy Azner directed and Zoe Akins adapted Gilbert Frankau's novel about a flier who falls in love with a member of Parliament.
This feminist film explores the difficulty a career woman may have in finding personal romance. Cynthia is reckless, but the cautious Christopher manages to maintain his marriage and have the affair too. His wife suffers from the infidelity, but she learns to accept Harry.

Church Mouse, The (1935 b 75') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a play by Paul Frank and Ladislaus Fodor, a banker tries to separate business from pleasure but finds himself attracted to his secretaries.
This comedy reflects social changes in the office, bringing confusion to a banker's work ethics. Sylvia represents the alluring woman and Betty the efficient secretary, but in their wholeness they are each both.

Cimarron (1931 b 124') En: 7 Ed: 7
This Oscar-winning epic on Oklahoma is based on the novel Cimarron by Edna Ferber.
Although much of the heroics are accomplished by fancy shooting, this story shows the pioneering of a western territory by the power of the press, law, and religion. Although his wife calls them "filthy," Yancey stands up for the Indians as well as for the fallen woman. The black boy Isaiah and the Jewish tailor Levy are rather stereotypical, but nonetheless the theme of racial and religious pluralism and tolerance comes across.

Circus Clown, The (1934 b 65') En: 5, Ed: 4
A son leaves his father to join the circus and works his way up from the bottom to the trapeze, winning the love of a trapeze artist.
The comic talent of Joe E. Brown carries this farce that shows how someone with skill can rise to the performance and become a fine friend to a woman and her son while those with malicious motives get nowhere.

Citadel, The (1938 b 113') En: 7, Ed: 8
Based on the novel by A. J. Cronin, a doctor begins taking care of the poor and miners but gives up experiments to make money in London.
This realistic drama contrasts the early struggles of a young doctor, caring for the poor, to the decadent practice of coddling the rich. Fortunately his wife values helping humanity more than having wealth, and he is able to realize his mistakes and reform.

City Lights (silent 1931 b 87') En: 9 Ed: 9
Not only did Charlie Chaplin write and direct this masterpiece, he also composed the delightful musical score. A tramp finds a rich friend and helps a blind woman.
Charlie Chaplin won the hearts of millions of people around the world with his portrayal of a poor tramp whose clever foolishness makes us laugh. This story shows that even a poor tramp can save a rich man's life and help bring about great healing. Manners and social customs are spoofed by numerous comic bits, while the deep kindness expressed for and by the girl awaken the simplicity of innocent love.

Cleopatra (1934 b 100') En: 6, Ed: 6
Cecil B. DeMille directed this spectacle in which the young Egyptian queen gains power by seducing Julius Caesar and then Mark Antony; but she and Antony are defeated by Octavian Caesar.
Generally accurate, this spectacle offers an entertaining history lesson in imperial politics. The Romans may have ruled the day, but Cleopatra often reigned at night under the moon during this unfortunate transition when Rome's republican empire gave way to a monarchical one.

Colleen (1936 b 89') En: 5, Ed: 4
A foolish executive hires a biographer and gives a factory worker a dress shop while his nephew falls in love with a bookkeeper.
The top executive is portrayed as a nincompoop in this romantic musical that satirizes a gold-digger, who teams with a con artist.

College Coach (1933 b 76') En: 5, Ed: 5
An unethical coach helps save a college's endowment by winning football games.
This story shows how enthusiasm for football distorts higher education by the money it attracts. Gore compares himself to Napoleon and is ruthless about winning games and making money, while ignoring his wife's needs. The academic work of players suffers because of the obsession with football.

Come and Get It (1936 b 99') En: 6, Ed: 7
Adapted from Edna Ferber's novel, an ambitious lumber man gives up a beauty to marry his partner's daughter; but later he woos the daughter of the beauty and his best friend in competition with his own son.
Barney's reckless ambition leaves fewer trees for future generations; but his attempt to take the beauty he lost from his son fails and shows his folly.

Comet Over Broadway (1938 b 70') En: 4, Ed: 5
A woman wants to be an actress; after her husband goes to prison, she gives up her daughter to pursue her career.
This sad drama explores career ambition, jealousy, motherhood, sacrifice, and loyalty with poignant feelings in difficult situations. Eve heroically gives up her own successful acting career to pay back her husband for his suffering; but her daughter clearly has the acting bug too.

Compadre Mendoza, El (Spanish 1934 b 82') En: 5, Ed: 7
This second of three films directed by Fernando de Fuentes on the Mexican Revolution focuses on a landowner and his family torn between the government and the revolutionaries.
Although the revolutionaries wanted to return land to the peasant farmers, landowner Rosalio's kindness to them saved his life and led to his friendship with Nieto. Yet after his crop was destroyed, he betrayed his good friend. The violence of government oppression and revolution created many such horrifying conflicts.

Condemned Women (1938 b 77') En: 5, Ed: 5
Three women share a cell in prison: Annie is a veteran and plans escape; Millie is innocent; and Linda is suicidal but falls in love with the doctor.
This drama captures the hopelessness of being in prison though some of the melodrama stretches the realism. One man turns Linda toward life and hope but another with authority takes that away, turning her to desperation.

Confession (1937 b 87') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a true story and the 1935 German film Mazurka, a singer shoots the seducer, who ruined her marriage, before he can seduce her daughter.
This poignant drama based on an actual case of 1930 imitates the expressionism of its German model and thus gives American audiences something different. Though it seems to be a morality tale against a man who seduces young women, the reaction of murder is much worse than what he did. Yet as the case shows, such over-reaction is all too human.

Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939 b 105') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on articles by an FBI agent, a ring of spies in America working for Germany is eventually caught by the FBI.
This film served as an obvious warning to Americans about the growing Nazi threat and realistically shows how efforts to combat fascism often use similar methods of a police state in fighting the menace.

Connecticut Yankee (1931 b 95') En: 5 Ed: 5
This Will Rogers political satire updates Mark Twain's spoof of Arthurian England to the radio age.
Although he intended to use arbitration, the bulky and primitive weapons of the age of chivalry are quickly overcome by the devastating war technology of the twentieth century. The mindless manufacture of armor and weapons led directly to a devastating war just as the fascists were doing in the early thirties. Modern wars can destroy so much faster than the long drawn-out wars of the middle ages. Though technology has advanced, humans are still foolishly trying to kill each other and are doing so more efficiently.

Conquerors, The (1932 b 86') En: 4, Ed: 5
A family of bankers pioneers in Nebraska and experiences the ups and downs of the economy from 1873 to 1929.
This epic is as melodramatic as an unstable economy; but faith in the investment of capital survives the roller-coaster ride. Thus audiences were consoled that depressions had happened before, and they were followed by renewed prosperity.

Conquest (1937 b 112') En: 7, Ed: 8
Based on a true story, a novel by Waclaw Gasiorowski, and a play by Helen Jerome, a young Polish countess uses her charms with Napoleon to liberate her country.
Although this film lost more money for MGM than any other until 1949, it tells a romantic and historic story with excellent acting. Politics makes strange bed-fellows, and the contrast between their love for each other and Napoleon's ruthless methods to achieve his ideal goals is apparent even without showing battle scenes.

Consolation Marriage (1931 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 5
Two jilted lovers decide to marry each other with detachment and are tested by their former lovers getting divorces and coming back.
This romantic drama makes sense, because the two disappointed lovers remain true to each other while the partners that jilted them end up divorced and rejected by their former lovers too.

Cowboy from Brooklyn (1938 b 77') En: 5, Ed: 4
A singer is discovered in Wyoming and is publicized as a cowboy, but he has an animal phobia and runs from them.
This musical comedy spoofs the publicity that makes cowboy singing stars by giving Elly a phobia that makes him seem cowardly. Jane teaches Elly western lingo but has trouble getting him to see her as an attractive woman. The story is silly but entertaining nonetheless.

Crashing Hollywood (1938 b 61') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a play by Paul Dickey and Mann Page, a screenwriter gets help from an ex-con, but the movie draws in the people involved in the robbery.
This farce satirizes how Hollywood exploits sensational crimes by having the criminals come after them for exposing them.

Crime de Monsieur Lange, Le (French 1936 b 78') En: 7, Ed: 7
After an unscrupulous publisher absconds, the workers form a cooperative and make a success of a writer's stories; but the publisher returns and is murdered.
This social drama shows how one unethical boss can ruin a company that cooperating workers can make a success. The writer imitates his cowboy hero by killing a bad man for exploiting women and others.

Crime School (1938 b 85') En: 6, Ed: 6
A gang of kids gets sent to a bad reform school for refusing to squeal; but a deputy commissioner takes over to reform the reform school.
This melodrama suggests that boys are shaped by their environment and how they are treated. A corrupt reform school puts money in the pockets of the staff while the boys suffer; but a humane one allows them to learn responsibility by giving them more opportunities.

Criminal Lawyer (1936 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 5
A gangster's lawyer becomes district attorney and turns against his old boss, admitting his past crimes.
A lawyer finds that his ambition is thwarted by the corrupt methods he used to gain power when he becomes a prosecutor for the law.

Crowd Roars, The (1932 b 71') En: 6, Ed: 5
Howard Hawks directed this story of a race-car driver competing with his younger brother.
Joe learns not to drink before driving by the hard lesson of having his friend killed. He tries to prevent his brother from following his path but soon realizes that he can't stop him from doing what he wants to do himself. His character cannot resist competing in a dangerous sport, as both brothers find success in racing and in relationship. The audience can identify with the winners, but the losers and injured tend to be forgotten.

Crowd Roars, The (1938 b 91') En: 6, Ed: 5
The son of an alcoholic becomes a boxer and falls in love with the daughter of a prominent gambler.
This well-made drama implies that boxing and gambling are a bad combination, which alcoholism makes even worse. Tommy might have been a singer, but it looks like Sheila is straightening him out after his father's bad influence.

Crusades, The (1935 b 125) En: 7, Ed: 7
Cecil B. DeMille's epic film of King Richard's crusade makes his wife Berengaria a heroine, who brings peace to Jerusalem by awakening his love.
In fact Berengaria was not captured, and after the truce she and Richard were estranged. Yet her fictional sacrifice well represents the spirit of Christ's love in bringing about peace between warring men driven mad by religious fanaticism.

Curly Top (1935 b 75') En: 5, Ed: 5
A little girl and her older sister are adopted from an orphanage by a wealthy composer, who falls in love with both of them.
This simple story is filled with child-like charm and innocence.

Cynara (1932 b 78') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on a novel and play by Robert Gore Brown, an English barrister has an affair while his wife is away.
This tragedy explores the difficulties an adulterous affair can pose if one wants to return to the marriage. Doris pursued the affair and was told it could not last; yet she was victimized by her own feelings.


Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index by Year (with ratings):
1913-1926 1927-1929
1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959

Sanderson Beck’s List of the Greatest Movies of All Time
Sanderson Beck’s List of the Greatest Movies in Alphabetical Order

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index