b = black and white, c = color
En = Beck's entertainment value, Ed = Beck's educational value
Dames (1934 b 91') En: 6, Ed: 5
In this musical extravaganza cousins in love blackmail their relative into financing their show even though he may lose a $10-million legacy by doing so.
As censorship closes in on Hollywood, this musical satirizes the influential puritans who try to stop licentious entertainment.
Damsel In Distress, A (1937 b 101') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from a story and play by P. G. Wodehouse, an American dancer, publicized as a womanizer, courts and wins the daughter of an English earl in this Gershwin musical.
This film entertains mostly with Gracie's funny lines, the songs, dancing, and some humorous situations. The American gets the girl.
Dance, Fools, Dance (1931 b 81') En: 5 Ed: 5
Based on the Jack Lingle killing, this story shows how prohibition and the stock market crash lead to crime violence.
This story shows what can happen to the rich after their money is gone, depending on one's character. Once again prohibition mob violence pushes the plot and leads to tragedy. The suggestion is planted that women can keep their weight down by smoking. The rich are portrayed as escaping the real challenges of life as they play, while those who must work face the consequences of their actions.
Dancing Co-Ed (1939
b 84') En: 5, Ed: 4
Artie Shaw's orchestra provided the music for this romantic comedy about a young dancer who goes to college to win a rigged contest for a movie role.
That the dance contest is so quickly suspected of being a set-up by the studio suggests that they do such things for publicity. The story shows that college journalists can investigate and expose the sham.
Dancing Sweeties (1930 b 62') En: 4, Ed: 5
A young couple meets at a dance contest and gets wed right away but has to adjust to being married.
This drama explores the transition to marriage with the extreme case of a couple that weds the very night they met. Socially the excitement of contemporary dance contests competes with domestic bliss.
Dancing Lady (1933 b 92') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on the novel by James Warner Bellah, a burlesque dancer attracts the interest of a rich man and stars in a Broadway show, eventually preferring its director.
This story explores a struggling young dancer being romanced by a rich playboy. She ends up preferring Broadway and a serious director to the idle life of Park Avenue when his attempt to manipulate her with his money fails to achieve his desired end.
Danger Patrol (1937 b 59') En: 4, Ed: 5
Men work with the danger of using nitroglycerin in oil fields while their women worry about them being killed.
This short drama explores the pressure a dangerous job places on the men and their families in an era pioneering explosive technologies.
Dangerous (1935 b 78') En: 5, Ed: 5
A jinxed and alcoholic actress is given another chance by the love of an architect, who breaks his engagement; but she is still married and tries to kill her husband or herself.
Inspired by her emotional art, Don helps high-strung Joyce to realize she has been sabotaging herself and others.
Dangerous Corner (1934 b 66') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on J. B. Priestley's play, three partners and their two wives and girl-friend discuss who stole the money and why their partner committed suicide.
This drama suggests that people know less about their closest friends and associates because of the distractions of mass media. An intricate mystery and the truth about their hidden relationships would have been revealed if they didn't listen to the radio.
Dangerous Female (1931 b 79') En: 6, Ed: 5
Originally entitled The Maltese Falcon and based on Dashiell Hammett's novel, a womanizing detective is hired to find a precious statue but solves three murders instead.
Although Sam says he too is for himself, he manages to survive and prove the guilt of the culprits, who murdered in their greed. This intriguing story published only the year before would be adapted for comedy in the 1936 Satan Met a Lady and become a classic in The Maltese Falcon of 1941. This pre-code version is the most sexually explicit, as the suave Sam Spade of Ricardo Cortez clearly loves the ladies, and Gutman seems to love Wilmer.
Dangerous Number (1937 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 4
A businessman stops her wedding and marries an actress but is uncomfortable with the loose morals of her theatrical ways.
This romantic comedy explores the culture clash between a conservative manufacturer and a free-spirited actress. Can two such different people learn to live together?
Dark Angel, The (1932 b 106') En: 6, Ed: 6
A woman loves two men who go off to the war; but the one she plans to marry is blinded and tries to avoid returning to her.
War and its blindness comes between the love of Alan and Kitty until they are brought together again by the man who rehabilitated Alan. It is ironic that Herbert Marshall, who lost a leg in the world war, played the role of Gerald.
Dark Hazard (1934 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 4
Adapted from W. R. Burnett's novel, a gambler marries; but his wife objects to his betting.
This drama is fairly realistic in the human conflict the gambling causes; but few gamblers are as lucky as Jim.
Dark Horse, The (1932 b 75') En: 6, Ed: 6
A surprise candidate for governor gets a slick campaign manager with alimony problems.
This political satire is still true enough to be funny as well as a sad comment on modern democracy. The manipulators of the voters are shady characters even if they are more intelligent than the candidates. Behind the manipulating man is often found a manipulating woman.
Dark Victory (1939
b 104') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on a play by Brewer and Bloch, a young socialite learns she will die in a few a months and marries her doctor.
This moving drama of a young woman facing death alone with courage is poignant because of the true love she finds in her last months with her husband and friend Ann. Perhaps this film is another premonition of the coming deaths in the imminent world war.
(1939 b 107') En: 6, Ed: 6
Suggested by a play by Dorothy Bennett and Irving White, a father returns to his family after twenty years as his ex-wife and daughters are about to marry.
This drama contrasts the normal lives of the mother and daughters and their more common-place mates to the irresponsible wanderlust of Jim and Gabriel. Neither extreme of a boring life or an irresponsible one is very appealing, and one naturally hopes that Buff and Cora could find the best of both instead of the worst.
David Copperfield (1935 b 130') En: 7, Ed: 8
Dickens' novel gets an excellent cast as a young boy survives a difficult childhood to become a writer and marry.
This film is enriched by the diverse Dickens characters and the detailed portrayal of 19th-century England. In David's childhood kind and cruel treatment are contrasted. A crooked clerk is put back in his place, and the charming Copperfield overcomes much ill fortune to find a suitable mate.
Dawn Patrol, The (1938 b 103') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on the 1930 movie of the same title, British war pilots experience dangerous combat and the loss of many colleagues.
The high mortality rate of pilots in the first world war captures a most horrific danger of modern warfare. The anguish of ordering such folly actually falls most heavily on the commander closest to the pilots even though he is now in little physical danger himself while the gravest guilt is placed on those causing such wars and facing even less risk.
Day at the Races, A (1937 b 109') En: 7, Ed: 6
The Marx brothers try to save a sanitarium by treating a rich woman with a veterinarian and by winning a horse race.
The zany Marx brothers make this lively entertainment, making fun of doctors, institutions, a rich hypochondriac, horse tips, selling gimmicks, greedy businessmen, and horse racing.
Day of Reckoning (1933 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 5
Made under the banner of the NRA (National Recovery Act), Morris Lavine's novel was the basis for the plight of a young family's struggles after the husband is put in jail for using company money to pay bills.
This depression story explores hard times for a couple unable to adjust their lifestyle to more limited finances. The wealthy Hollins tries to take advantage of the situation, while the devotion of the maid Mamie is exemplary. Poetic justice has the adulterous couple die; the good Mamie and Jerry prosper, and the bumbling John survives.
Dead End (1937 b 92') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on Sidney Kingsley's play, a murderer returns to his poor neighborhood, where a gang gets into small troubles compared to his.
The success of the Dead End kids spawned several sequels. This Depression story shows the origins of crime in poverty and neglect of youth and its dead end as epitomized by Martin's fate.
Dead End Kids Dress
on Parade, The (1939 b 62') En:
5, Ed: 4
A rebellious youth is tricked into going to a military academy, but an accident stimulates him to excel.
As war begins in Europe, this film reflects preparations in the United States to train young men for the military. Slip resists conforming but is induced by circumstances to focus his abilities on military success just as the United States would after Pearl Harbor.
Death Kiss, The (1932 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on the novel by Madelon St. Denis, a murder committed during the shooting of a movie is solved by a publicity man in order to clear an actress.
This mystery is intriguing and has a surprise ending, since the audience expects Steiner (Bela Lugosi) or Leon to be the murderer. Publicity man Franklin turns out to be a master detective as he brilliantly solves the case in order to free Marcia.
Death On the Diamond (1934 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 4
A rookie pitcher helps the St. Louis Cardinals win the pennant even though someone murders three players in this adaptation of a novel by Cortland Fitzsimmons.
The year this film was made the wacky "gas-house gang" of St. Louis Cardinals had one of baseball's best teams ever with Dizzy Dean. This story plays out a murder mystery in the popular sport. Although baseball's record was marred once by the 1919 Black Sox gambling scandal, fortunately the game has been free of this kind of violence.
Death Takes a Holiday (1934 b 80') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on a play by Alberto Casella, Death enjoys life for three days and falls in love.
Grazia (meaning gratitude) is mystically inclined and understands what Death is, having cast out the fear the others feel. The elderly Baron also realizes Death is kind. In the allegory the impersonal Death learns something of human life and love.
Design for Living (1933 b 91') En: 6, Ed: 5
Ernst Lubitsch directed this tamed version of Noel Coward's comedy about a woman in love with an artist and a playwright.
Social standards would consider this an immoral situation, and censors forced it to be handled with the subtlety and charm of the Lubitsch touch. The good friendship of George and Tom is well extended to Gilda until the absence of one and sex cause jealousy. Whether they can make it work as a threesome is still an open question. Can two men share a woman without jealousy?
b 96') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from a play by Hans Szekely and P. A. Stemmle, a woman steals a pearl necklace and smuggles it out with an American but falls in love with him.
Amid a clever jewelry heist and romance of opposites a brief dialog indicates awareness of likely war that will drag America in to settle it. The story implies that the strong American will triumph over the criminal Europeans.
Destry Rides Again
(1939 b 94') En: 7, Ed: 7
Suggested by Max Brand's novel, a wild western town is exploited by a crooked saloon owner until a peaceful deputy sheriff shows up.
Elements of nonviolent peace-making and humor lift a typical western plot to a new level. Tom Jefferson Destry symbolizes the United States in its current laissez-faire foreign policy in the face of criminal aggression that will soon stir it to take violent action for law and order. The wives resent the seductive Frenchy for corrupting their husbands, though Tom tries to reform her too. The tide turns when the women take direct action against the outlaws.
Devil Dogs of the Air (1935 b 85') En: 5, Ed: 4
Adapted from a novel by John Monk Saunders, a cocky young Marine pilot is trained by his older friend and competes with him for his girl.
Since Timmy has taken Brannigan's place, one wonders if the next hot-shot recruit will do the same to Timmy. This film was dedicated to the Marines and promotes preparation for war with an entertaining story.
Devil Is a Sissy, The (1936 b 92') En: 6, Ed: 7
An English boy and two rough kids in New York city team up to commit burglary, but the judge teaches them that going straight is tougher.
Urban juvenile delinquency is explored as Claude learns its code of not squealing, and the judge attempts to teach the youths that evil comes from moral weakness, while the strong have integrity.
Devil Is a Woman, The (1935 b 79') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a novel by Pierre Louys, a prominent officer and a young revolutionary fall in love with a beautiful but manipulative woman.
In director von Sternberg's last collaboration with Marlene Dietrich she is more alluring than ever and shows how an attractive woman can make fools of men. For its revolutionary implications the film was banned in Spain.
Devil-Doll, The (1936 b 78') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from Abraham Merritt's novel by director Tod Browning, a banker escapes from prison and uses living dolls to get revenge on the three bankers who framed him.
This diabolical fantasy enables Paul to get revenge without being caught. Yet now he cannot live freely either, because he has committed new crimes, though his salvaged reputation removes his daughter's shame. The fantasy is diabolical because of the negative human tendency to manipulate other people by making them one's tools.
Devil's Brother, The (1933 b 88') En: 5, Ed: 4
This adaptation of Auber's 1830 comic opera has Stanlio and Ollio serving the notorious thief Fra Diavolo.
The places Pamela hides her valuables provide sexual innuendo. Stanlio and Ollio present their usual comic antics, and the music vitalizes the story. The eagerness of the poor to rob the rich reflects the economic pressures of the time.
Dimples (1936 b 78') En: 6, Ed: 6
A talented little girl helps her thieving grandfather by almost being adopted for money, and then she stars in a play.
The wisdom of young Dimples contrasts to the foolishness of her grandfather, showing that maturity is not always a question of age. Allen learns which woman loves him, and a powerful drama moves Mrs. Drew and Jasper to compassion.
Dinner at Eight (1933 b 111') En: 8, Ed: 8
This adaptation of a play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber reveals the troubles of selected socialites invited to a dinner party during the depression.
This character drama explores the social, psychological, and economic pressures on aging actors and businessmen during the depression. The social-climbing Packards are exposed as boorish, and the doctor and Paula suffer from unhappy affairs. Life for the upper crust is not so easy.
Diplomaniacs (1933 b 61') En: 6, Ed: 6
Two barbers represent an Indian nation at the Geneva peace conference in this musical comedy satirizing international diplomacy.
This farce makes fun of the tragic international situation that is drifting toward another world war because of the feeble diplomatic efforts of the League of Nations at Geneva to establish a lasting peace.
Dishonored (1931 b 91') En: 6, Ed: 6
A widow spies for Austria and uses her wiles to survive in Russia; but later she lets the Russian spy escape and suffers the consequences.
This well-crafted drama shows a woman using her sexuality to serve her country by spying and to enable her to escape death; but the love that results leads her to save her lover even though it endangers her country and means her death. Her dignity has such an affect on one young officer that he refuses to kill anymore a strong anti-war moment.
Divorce of Lady X, The (1938 b 91') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Gilbert Wakefield, a lawyer lets a woman share his hotel suite, thinks she is married, and tries to get her a divorce but is confused.
A conceited lawyer with a low opinion of woman jumps to conclusions and is shown to be a fool. Thinking she has been divorced three times already does not bother him; but the experience makes him appreciate women and marriage.
Divorcee, The (1930 b 82') En: 5, Ed: 6
This exploration of the double standard based on the novel by Ursula Parrott won Norma Shearer an Oscar and was nominated for best picture.
This story reflects how women of this era were beginning to be free themselves from social conventions that relied on the double standard, which was much discussed at this time. Jerry realizes she wanted a "perfect marriage" and quit when she found it was not. By experience she and Ted both learn to forgive and to value their love.
Dixiana (1930 b 100') En: 5, Ed: 4
In this musical comedy a singer is rejected by an aristocratic southern family but becomes queen of the Mardi Gras and finally wins her man.
This musical portrays and satirizes the ante-bellum South with "gentlemen" served by black slaves and eager to fight duels as though they had nothing else to do but gamble and go to shows.
Doctor X (1932 c 76') En: 5, Ed: 5
In two-color and based on a play by Howard W. Comstock and Allen C. Miller, a doctor experiments at his academy to find a lunatic murderer.
Strange medical experimentation leads to murders, but in this story experiments are also used to catch the murderer with a reporter offering comic relief and heroism. Desire for physical immortality causes trouble.
Dodge City (1939
c 104') En: 6, Ed: 5
A cattle-drive boss becomes sheriff in the lawless cattle-town and confronts the wealthy crook who dominates with his killers.
This classic western reflects the dangerous world situation in which callous force dominates whole countries, revealing the need for law enforcement to stop the organized crime.
Dodsworth (1936 b 101') En: 7, Ed: 8
Sidney Howard adapted his play from the novel by Sinclair Lewis about a retired industrialist in Europe with his wife, who has affairs to prove she is still young.
Materialistic Americans are contrasted to sophisticated Europeans. Fran fails to retrieve her fading beauty and does not have the inner resources that Dodsworth finds in Edith.
Don't Bet on Blondes (1935 b 59') En: 5, Ed: 4
A successful bookmaker offers unusual insurance policies and tries to keep an actress from marrying.
This little comedy satirizes a clever merging of gambling and insurance by adding romance as the trump card.
Don't Tell the Wife (1937 b 63') En: 5, Ed: 4
Adapted from George Holland's play, a group of crooks gets a wife to loan them money for a stock-selling scheme after meeting a Winthrop they find.
Claiming the Depression is over, the crooks' scheme only works because of the unlikely chance that gold is found; yet their antics are amusing while portraying the concerns of a wife for her wayward husband's tricks.
Doorway to Hell, The (1930 b 78') En: 6, Ed: 6
A gangster organizes the illegal beer gangs and then gets married and quits; but violence causes him to return.
This gangster drama shows how difficult it can be to leave a life of violence behind even though Louie used threats to prevent conflict. Repressed violence tends to erupt, and revenge produces more revenge.
Double Wedding (1937 b 87') En: 6, Ed: 6
Adapted from Ferenc Molnar's play, an artist is told to stay away from a dress designer's dependent sister but falls for the designer.
This pre-marital farce shows the artist Charlie living happily like a Gypsy without money. Margit learns to stop controlling the life of her sister and Waldo, while the latter learns to assert himself to win Irene. Charlie describes love as an intense feeling of liking or disliking, noting the sexual tension between Margit and him that eventually brings them together.
Doughboys (1930 b 80') En: 5 Ed: 4
Buster Keaton as a rich man become private satirized the world war.
Though rather uneven, this story shows the folly of modern warfare from the view of a rich young man struggling as a private being trained to kill.
Down the Stretch (1936 b 66') En: 5, Ed: 5
The son of a jockey who was banned for cheating helps the woman who believes in him by riding her unruly horse to victories until he too is framed.
Some may be disappointed this racing story does not have the usual happy ending; but this ambiguous result is more realistic. Snappy has to overcome so much prejudice because of his father's reputation that he is extremely grateful to Patricia for giving him the chance he needed. Knowing he did nothing wrong in America, he sacrifices himself in England for her sake.
b 78') En: 6, Ed: 6
A chauffeur uses his romantic charm, lies, and blackmail to manipulate fellow servants and his employers.
This drama contrasts the obedient attitude of a loyal butler to the immorality of a scheming libertine chauffeur in Austria. The butler has a stable but fairly dull life, while the chauffeur leaves a trail of emotional wreckage as he travels on after his adventures.
Dr. Bull (1933 b 77') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a novel by James Gould Cozzens, a doctor's discerning kindness and relationship with a widow is misunderstood by gossip.
This film is carried primarily by the wry humor and charm of Will Rogers and the liberal values he represents in the story, which criticizes petty backbiting and the selfish rich.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931 b 96') En: 8, Ed: 8
Fredric March won an Oscar in this version of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel about a scientist who unlocks the evil in his soul.
Jekyll's frustrated sexual energy that is blocked by social circumstances is released in a drug experiment that removes his inhibitions. The result of separating the evil appears to be far worse than the struggle for the good to control it.
Dr. Monica (1934 b 53') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Marja Morozowiez Szczepokowska, a doctor, who wants a baby, cares for a friend, who has her husband's child.
This sensitive story explores the friendship of three women and how they deal with conflict over a man and issues of motherhood. Monica as a doctor, Mary as a pilot, and the concern of Anna show three strong role models for women of the era, though suicide is a rather drastic solution.
Dr. Socrates (1935 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a novel by W. R. Burnett, a new doctor in a small town treats a gangster and a woman wounded in a bank robbery.
The surly Lee got his name from reading Plato, and he is often frank about who he does not like. Yet he is generous to others and wins people over by heroically catching the gangsters with his cleverness, showing a sharp contrast between his method and the violence of guns.
Dracula (1931 b 74') En: 6, Ed: 5
This nightmarish vampire classic based on the 1897 novel by Bram Stoker stimulated numerous horror films.
This strange and twisted tale appeals to dark and unconscious fears and superstitions to weave a mood of horror. The Christian ritual of drinking blood for immortal life is given a literal and devilish twist but cannot stand daylight or the crucifix symbol. The story represents the desires of the old to prolong their physical lives by exploiting the life-blood of those younger. Like a terrible nightmare, one is intrigued and relieved when its foreboding threats are ended.
Dracula's Daughter (1936 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 4
Dracula's daughter wants to stop sucking blood and tries to get a psychiatrist she loves to help her.
This Dracula film brings in sexual passion and an attempt by the Countess to break her evil habit. Garth's will power approach does not work; but what could in this fable, since the Countess has been dead for a century?
Draegerman Courage (1937 b 58') En: 5, Ed: 6
A mine owner, his manager, and a doctor are trapped in a mine and are rescued by draegermen.
This moving drama shows the dangers of mines and the need for safety and health care. Crane after spending so many days alone with Dr. Tom learns that there is much more to life than the business of making money.
Dramatic School (1938 b 80') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Hans Szekely and Zoltan Egyed, an acting student works to realize her fantasies in romance and the theater.
Those who love theater will appreciate the struggles of this young actress and perhaps will understand why she makes art equal to or greater than real life.
Drum, The (1938 c 97') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from A. E. W. Mason's novel, an Indian prince warns the British colonials of an imminent holy war.
This adventure depicting British domination of India reflects colonial wars that were still going on there, and the film in fact caused anti-British riots in India. The charismatic Sabu portrays a prince more loyal to the British rulers than to his own people while most Muslims are represented as heartless murderers.
Drums Along the Mohawk
(1939 c 103') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on a novel by Walter Edmonds, a newly wed couple tries to farm in the Mohawk valley, but they face Indian attacks during the Revolutionary War.
This frontier touched by the War of Independence symbolizes America, which is likely to be soon pulled into another world war. The sentiment expressed by the minister and leading characters is that every American must fight for their freedom from tyranny and hostile attacks.
Duck Soup (1933 b 68') En: 8, Ed: 7
A joker is appointed president of a small country and goes to war with his neighbor in this anarchical Marx brothers farce.
This madcap farce satirizes how easily a nation can slide into a disastrous war. The games of spying and diplomacy are seen to be ridiculous, resulting in a buffoonery of the films about the world war.
Dust Be My Destiny
(1939 b 88') En: 6, Ed: 6
Adapted from Jerome Odlum's novel, a man embittered by an unjust conviction flees with his new wife, because he is wanted for murder.
The studio had lost money on the tragic You Only Live Twice and insisted on changing the ending that had Joe and Mabel being shot to death. I agree with Mabel that Joe should have faced trial instead of running, and I believe the ending is not only happy but realistic as well. Violence is dramatic; but in real life it is the exception, not the rule; thank God. Yet this story reveals how society can convict people wrongfully and make life very difficult for those without social privileges.
Each Dawn I Die (1939 b 92') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a novel by Jerome Odlum, an investigative reporter is framed and sent to prison, where he cooperates with a gangster who escapes.
Although a gangster's self-sacrifice for a "square guy" strains credulity, this powerful prison drama exposes the cruelty and harmful effects of the penal system.
Earth (Russian silent 1930 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 7
Called Zemlya in Russian, this Soviet propaganda film about collectivizing farms with a tractor is considered by many an artistic masterpiece.
This film is honored for its poetic images and theme of finding new life in death and pagan celebrations. The industrialization of Soviet agriculture had its labor pains even though it attempted to equalize wealth. Yet soon after this film was made, Stalin's fascistic farm reforms killed millions.
Earthworm Tractors (1936 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 4
A salesman tries to win a girl by selling tractors to her father with comic results.
In tough times perhaps nothing is more difficult than selling. So Depression audiences would find release in this farce of a bragging salesman creating mayhem with tractors.
Easiest Way, The (1931 b 74') En: 4 Ed: 5
Based on Eugene Walter's play about call girls, Hays Office censors tamed the story of a poor girl, who becomes the mistress of an advertising executive.
What seemed an easy way for Laura in the short-term had consequences she did not expect. Yet her generosity and family will probably help her to find her proper place. This film reveals common problems experienced because of how some men are and what women will do to meet economic pressures.
Easy Living (1937 b 88') En: 6, Ed: 5
Preston Sturges adapted an uncredited play by Vera Caspary in this comedy about a banker who gives a sable coat to a stranger, who meets his useless son.
This mad-cap comedy allows audiences to identify with someone suddenly given wealth who can now mingle with the upper class, while poking fun at the volatility of stocks.
Elephant Boy (1937 b 82') En: 5, Ed: 6
Adapted from Rudyard Kipling's "Toomai of the Elephants," an Indian boy leads a British hunter to a herd of elephants.
A gentle boy tames not only a large elephant but human conflicts as well in this adventure story with much elephant footage.
Elmer the Great (1933 b 72') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on the play by Ring Lardner and George M. Cohan, a small-town baseball phenomenon betrays a gambler and wins the World Series.
This baseball fantasy is made interesting by the eccentric character of the confident Elmer, who, when he is not hitting homeruns, is usually eating or sleeping. The crooked gambler is double-crossed, and Elmer finally gets his girl. Fans of baseball and comedy may enjoy the diversion.
Emergency Call (1933 b 61') En: 4, Ed: 5
A young surgeon teams up with an ambulance driver to fight hospital corruption.
This melodrama explores how "ambulance chasers" and corruption can effect the working of an urban hospital.
Emma (1932 b 72') En: 6, Ed: 7
Marie Dressler was nominated for best actress in this story of a devoted housekeeper.
This touching character study of a truly selfless and compassionate woman with an abundance of common sense and humble practicality focuses on her special relationship with Ronnie, who constantly calls her beautiful, obviously for her inner beauty. The maternal caring she demonstrates for all the children makes the materialistic fears of the other children seem selfish and insignificant.
Emperor's Candlesticks, The (1937 b 91') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from Baroness Orczy's novel, a Polish agent and a Russian spy hide letters in candlesticks and then seek to recover them.
This romantic drama of international intrigue is rather improbable but dramatic nonetheless. For the sake of love even the Czar pardons a wanted spy. Oh, that powerful men might often be so kind!
Emperor Jones, The (1933 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 5
This adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's play fills in the earlier life, showing the rise and fall of a black emperor of a Caribbean island.
The performance of Paul Robeson makes O'Neill's murky story memorable. Relying on luck, cheating, and bravado, the megalomaniac Brutus eventually returns to his Christian roots before being killed. Unable to get ahead in the United States, this ambitious black man manages to dominate an island for a time until his wrong-doing catches up with him.
Employees' Entrance (1933 b 75') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on David Boehm's play, a ruthless manager of a department store manipulates the lives of a young couple and others.
This drama exposes an ambitious businessman, who seems successful but has little feeling for people, as he makes a shambles of their lives.
Eskimo (1933 b 113') En: 7, Ed: 8
Novels by Peter Freuchen were the basis of this realistic story of an Eskimo hunter, who is wanted by the police for killing the white man who raped his wife. All the Eskimos were played by natives, using their own language.
This film contrasts the moral codes of the Eskimos and the whites. The hunting scenes are realistic, and the characters are well defined. Audiences can learn much from this indigenous culture in this powerful drama.
Espionage Agent (1939 b 83') En: 5, Ed: 5
A woman helped by Germans marries an American consul, who is trained for the foreign service; but he has to resign because of her and spy unofficially.
This drama was released only a few weeks after Germany invaded Poland and clearly reflects American concerns about the war and the dangers of sabotage on its powerful industrial installations. Thus it makes a strong appeal for renewed legislation to repress espionage efforts.
Evelyn Prentice (1934 b 79') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on the novel by W. E. Woodward, the neglected wife of a lawyer shoots a blackmailing womanizer.
Courtroom suspense highlights this sad story of a husband and wife temporarily flirting with outside affairs. Two women are portrayed as the victims of the immoral womanizer they shot.
Ever in My Heart (1933 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 5
An American woman marries a German professor, who gains citizenship but cannot overcome hatred of Germans during the World War.
This melodrama explores the hatred of Germans caused by war hysteria in America. Treated like an enemy, Hugo finally acts like one.
Ever Since Eve (1937 b 80') En: 5, Ed: 5
An attractive secretary gets more work by looking unattractive; but her new boss falls for the pretty version in this comedy of confused identity.
Based on the problem of prevalent sexual harassment in the workplace during this era, this comedy makes various points about what is considered attractive and how it may interfere with work.
Everybody Sing (1938 b 91') En: 5, Ed: 4
The daughter of theatrical parents goes off to sing in a musical show produced by their former cook, who loves her sister.
A rare film performance by Fanny Brice highlights this musical comedy that satirizes a wacky theatrical couple and entertains with fine singing.
Everybody's Hobby (1939 b 54') En: 5, Ed: 4
A family finds that their individual hobbies make their lives happier.
This short comedy reflects the hobbies people find as leisure time and diverse technologies increase. The trivialization of the culture is also indicated by the public's desire for sensationalist news coverage. Tom and Robert heroically sacrifice their hobbies for a more important emergency.
at Night (1939 b 77') En: 5, Ed:
Competing journalists romance an ice skater while trying to find her father for a story.
This romantic comedy has a serious undertone as "peace leader" Norden is hunted by Nazis on the eve of the war. The Englishman and American are rivals in journalism and love as the persecuted European intellectual becomes one of the lucky few to escape to America.
Ex-Lady (1933 b 67') En: 5, Ed: 6
A woman artist and her lover experience ambivalent feelings about marriage versus independence.
This drama explores the dilemma of the independent woman who wants the satisfaction of a career and a relationship without giving up too much freedom. Helen and Don come to realize that even though marriage is not a perfect solution, for them it is a better choice. Unfortunately even this mild treatment of such issues led the Legion of Decency to bring about severe censorship in the next year.
Ex-Mrs. Bradford, The (1936 b 82') En: 6, Ed: 5
A mystery writer gets her ex-husband to solve the murder of a jockey by using his medical skills and amateur detective work.
Charm and wit raise the entertainment value of this far-fetched mystery, since black widow bites are rarely fatal. The audience is distracted from their own problems trying to figure out the complicated plot.
Expensive Husbands (1937 b 62') En: 5, Ed: 4
A movie star marries an Austrian prince to help her career but gets angry when he keeps his distance or spends her money.
This short comedy plays upon the fallen royalty of Europe after the war who were often desperate for money. This predicament is matched with a movie star who needs favorable publicity a title can give her. These odd circumstances are enlivened by the sexual tension based on their mutual attraction.
Faithless (1932 b 77') En: 5, Ed: 6
Adapted from Mildred Cram's novel, a young woman loses her wealth and her fiancé; but they marry while poor and struggle to survive.
This realistic drama portrays the extreme change of fortune some suffered during the Depression. Ironically Bill and Carol could not agree when both had money; but their love brought them close when they were poor despite the extraordinary sacrifice she had to make.
Family Affair, A (1937 b 69') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a play by Aurania Rouverol, a judge faces blackmail but persuades a small town that his daughter is faithful and his restraining order is valid.
This successful drama affirming the values of small-town America spawned fifteen sequels about Judge Hardy and his son Andy. Judge Hardy stands for integrity, common sense, and understanding, not just professionally but especially in his family life.
Fanny (French 1932 b 120') En: 7, Ed: 8
This second part of Marcel Pagnol's trilogy about Marseille picks up where Marius left off.
Social morality and the home he can provide cause Fanny to accept Panisse as a husband and father of her child by Marius. Even Cesar tells Marius that Panisse has become the real father by caring for the child.
Farewell to Arms, A (1932 b 79') En: 6, Ed: 6
This adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's novel about a war-time romance was nominated for best picture.
This dark film contrasts the horrors of war with personal romance. The superficial ambition and carousing of Rinaldi is compared to the devoted love of Frederick, as the cynicism of Ferguson highlights the deep love of Catherine. In the chaos of war the rite of marriage does not seem to matter, as Frederick places his relationship above his duty to the army.
Fashions (1934 b 78') En: 6, Ed: 5
A con man teams up with an artist and others to steal and sell the latest fashion ideas.
Deception and cheating are the basis of this comedy that satirizes the superficiality of the fashion industry.
Fast and Furious (1939 b 74') En: 6, Ed: 5
A couple on vacation gets involved in a beauty pageant and in solving a murder when their friend is accused.
This detective story reflects interest in beauty pageants and diverts by combining comic interplay between the husband and wife with the murder mystery.
Fast and Loose (1939 b 80') En: 5, Ed: 4
A rare-book seller is also a detective and solves a complicated mystery involving a Shakespeare manuscript.
This mystery solved by a married couple provides escape entertainment in a respectable way.
Fast Company (1938 b 75') En: 5, Ed: 4
Marco Page (Harry Kurnitz) adapted his own novel about a rare book dealer who finds stolen books and solves a complicated murder case.
Witty banter between Joel and Garda lightens this detective story that makes a hero out of a rare books dealer.
Female (1933 b 59') En: 5, Ed: 5
A woman running an auto company learns how to be feminine when she finds the man she wants.
This romantic comedy explores the professional woman's dilemma between career and marriage. Skilled at business, Drake learns how to be romantic also, and then makes her choice.
5th Avenue Girl (1939 b 83') En: 6, Ed: 6
A lonely businessman hires a homeless girl as a gold-digger to wake up his family to their responsibilities.
The under-rating of this comedy by critics reflects antagonism toward socialist ideas and challenges to the wealthy and a materialistic life-style.
Fight For Your Lady (1937 b 67') En: 5, Ed: 4
In this farce a wrestling manager tries to keep a jilted singer from committing suicide with a new romance.
Ham's quips cut through various facades in this amusing comedy that satirizes Ham's schemes, Marcia's superficiality, and Spadissimo's killing for "honor" in duels.
Finger Points, The (1931 b 85') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on a true story, a new reporter is beat up by gangsters for getting them raided and then collects for not exposing their activities.
This drama reveals how violent gangsters could be during Prohibition to keep their rackets going. Lee believes they wouldn't kill a reporter; but after becoming a racketeer himself he finds out otherwise.
Finishing School (1934 b 73') En: 4, Ed: 5
Rich girls break the rules of a finishing school, revealing its hypocrisy of concern for appearances while ignoring substance.
This drama satirizes the superficiality of learning proper manners while not allowing young women the freedom to learn from their experiences. Pony is determined to have a good time, while Virginia is able to overcome the obstacles placed between her and a good relationship.
Firebird, The (1934 b 74') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a play by Lajos Zilahy, a womanizing actor is murdered, and the wife of an aristocrat is suspected.
Fear of scandal threatens an honorable family to such an extent that they are susceptible to blackmail by an unscrupulous actor.
Firefly, The (1937 b 130') En: 6, Ed: 6
Adapted from the operetta by Otto Harbach and Rudolph Friml, a singer spies on Napoleonic France for Spain while falling in love.
Singing, romance, and a spy story entertain in the historical context of a Napoleonic war in Spain. Honest love and the deception of spying in war-time conflict but seem to be miraculously resolved at the end.
Fireman, Save My Child (1932 b 67') En: 5, Ed: 4
A fireman plays baseball but would rather sell his fire-extinguishing invention than play in the World Series.
Joe represents the naive hick from a small-town who triumphs over the city slickers despite their clever maneuvers and marries his faithful girl-friend. This farce also satirizes the extraordinary importance people place on baseball as compared to extinguishing fires that saves lives and property.
First Hundred Years, The (1938 b 74') En: 5, Ed: 5
A theatrical agent does not want to leave her job and separates from her husband; but they are drawn together again.
This drama indicates that the married career woman has arrived but suggests that conflicts are still solved by the nature of woman bearing children.
First Lady (1937 b 83') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a play by George S. Kaufman and Katharine Dayton, a Washington wife manipulates behind the scenes to be first lady instead of her rival.
This story satirizes Washington politics that go on behind public notice and the role manipulative women can play.
Five and Ten (1931 b 89') En: 4, Ed: 5
Adapted from a novel by Fannie Hurst, the daughter of a wealthy merchant falls in love with a man who is engaged to someone else.
This story suggests that the very rich may be too busy to enjoy a happy family life. Spoiled Jennifer has trouble getting what she wants.
Five Came Back (1939
b 75') En: 6, Ed: 5
A plane with twelve people is caught in a storm and lands in the jungle; they interact for nearly a month, but not all can return.
This classic survival elimination drama reflects the dangers of air travel. The intense experience reveals a rich alcoholic, a paternal gangster, a reformed criminal, a ruthless bounty hunter, an older couple in love, and positive transformations in the two pilots and two attractive women who survive.
Five Star Final (1931 b 89') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on a play by Louis Weitzenkorn, a tabloid newspaper revives an old murder story and causes a family tragedy.
This film reveals the cynicism and exploitation of the tabloid journalists, most of whom must drink to go on. Phil's parents represent the snobbish values that give scandals power. Phil and Jenny are young, innocent, and able to adapt; but the marriage Nancy had established is destroyed in two days by the revived publicity. Randall finally listens to his conscience and his secretary, while the owner's hypocrisy is exposed.
Fixer Dugan (1939
b 68') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on H. C. Potter's play, a circus fixer and a woman lion-tamer help an orphaned child and struggle to keep the lions.
This comedy portrays the risks and dangers of circus life.
Flame Within, The (1935 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 6
A psychiatrist helps a couple recover from a suicide attempt and alcoholism and then has to deal with her own personal involvement.
This drama explores the transference of a patient's affection to the doctor, while little is done to help Linda's emotional dependency. Gordon patriarchally expects Mary to give up her career when she marries him.
Flesh (1932 b 96') En: 6, Ed: 5
A German wrestler takes in an American woman from prison and marries her, while she pines for her lover, who is pretending to be her brother.
In this triangle Polakai loves Laura, who loves Nicky, who loves himself. Greed in professional wrestling is exposed. Laura ends up separated from her love by prison bars just as she had failed to stop loving Nicky and could not really love Polakai, who must suffer for letting jealousy use his strength to murder.
Flirtation Walk (1934 b 98') En: 5, Ed: 4
A general's daughter falls in love with a crooning private, who goes to West Point to become an officer in this pro-military musical.
Approved by the Hayes commission, this musical limits its satire to a flirtation with the idea of a woman general ordering weddings; but she is soon reversed by a telegram from Washington and finds her "place in the home."
Flirting Widow, The (1930 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 4
An older sister invents a fiancé named Smith so that her younger sister may marry; Smith arrives and pretends he is a friend when he is supposed dead.
This comedy plays on the irony involving the mistaken identity. A tradition was that an older sister had to wear green stockings if her younger sister was married before her; but Celia's green-stocking days seem to be about over, as the "widow" flirting with her late fiancé has been caught in her own invented story.
Florentine Dagger, The (1935 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a novel by Ben Hecht, a man obsessed by the Borgias falls in love and is assisted by a psychiatrist in finding the murderer of her father.
This mystery recalls the Borgia's crimes, but it is a modern psychiatrist and a clever police captain who uncover the sordid past that ended in murder. Such incest is often an enduring and undetected crime.
Florodora Girl, The (1930 b 79') En: 5, Ed: 5
A Gay Nineties chorus girl follows the trend and is romanced by a wealthy man, who loses his money.
This story of earlier chorus girls prospecting for wealth puts the pleasant and virtuous Daisy through some dramatic changes punctuated by musical and comical entertainment.
Flying Deuces, The (1939 b 68') En: 6, Ed: 5
After Oliver's marriage proposal is rejected, he and Stan try to drown but join the French foreign legion instead.
Laurel and Hardy get themselves into another mess and find the ultimate escape in reincarnation, an idea that keeps coming back. Overseas military service is satirized as low-wage slavery.
Flying Devils (1933 b 62') En: 5, Ed: 4
A flying circus develops a love triangle when a younger brother joins the flyers.
The danger of barnstorming adds to the drama of this love triangle. Speed's jealousy destroys two lives, as Ace sacrifices himself for his brother. In this story Screwy's alcoholism and woman-chasing is not as deadly as Speed's violent jealousy.
Flying Down to Rio (1933 b 89') En: 6, Ed: 5
This musical based on a play by Anne Caldwell follows a womanizing band leader down to Rio de Janeiro, where he competes with a marriage arranged to his friend and employer.
Latin music and dancing liven this romantic triangle, which has the Brazilian graciously bowing out before the American. Ironically neither the woman nor the man decided as much as the loser did. This show features lots of pretty young women and some fine dancing.
Flying Irishman, The
(1939 b 71') En: 4, Ed: 5
Douglas Corrigan stars in the story behind his "wrong way" flight to Ireland.
This docudrama has comic and tragic elements but focuses on the determination of Doug to become a pilot. The story shows how the celebrity gained by pioneering pilots inspires Doug's rebellious feat.
Fog Over Frisco (1934 b 69') En: 6, Ed: 5
Stolen securities lead to a murder and a kidnapping of two prominent sisters in this mystery adapted from the novel by George Dyer.
Quick cutting packs all this into less than 69 minutes. It certainly moves quickly if one can manage to follow it, though there isn't much time for reflecting on the social and psychological implications of the half sisters, their father, and their relationships.
Follow the Fleet (1936 b 110') En: 7, Ed: 6
Based on Hubert Osborne's play and with songs by Irving Berlin, two sailors romance two sisters, but only half of each pair is eager to marry.
The Navy setting foreshadows the trouble ahead, but meanwhile they are happy facing the music and dancing. The story implies that all four could be very happy after the Navy stops keeping them apart.
Fools for Scandal (1938 b 80') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a play by Nancy Hamilton, Rosemary Casey, and James Shute, a broke chef in Paris follows a movie star to London and wins her love.
In this mildly amusing comedy persistent French sophistication far outshines an insensitive businessman even though Rene is penniless.
Footlight Parade (1933 b 104') En: 8, Ed: 7
An unemployed theater director puts together short prologs to play in movie theaters around the country.
Ironically it was extravagant musicals like this that put so many troupers out of business. Such "prologs" could never be economically staged in person, especially the water show. "Honeymoon Hotel" satirized a hotel that catered to couples all named Smith, and "Shanghai Lil" reflected the imperialism of the U. S. navy abroad.
Forsaking All Others (1934 b 83') En: 6, Ed: 5
A woman tries to marry her screwy childhood friend until she realizes her other friend loves her in this romantic comedy adapted from a play by E. B. Roberts and F. M. Cavett.
After Dyl stands up Mary at the wedding to marry Connie, the audience is rooting for her to get together with Jeff, while the irresponsible Dyl bumbles. The long loyalty of Jeff is finally rewarded.
42nd Street (1933 b 89') En: 7, Ed: 7
The novel by Bradford Ropes was adapted into this backstage musical about a chorus girl thrust into stardom.
This ground-breaking musical with Busby Berkeley choreography contains sexual innuendo prior to the censorship crackdown. An unknown suddenly becoming a star is the archetypal show business Cinderella theme.
Four Daughters (1938 b 90') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on Fannie Hurst's Sister Act, a musician raises four daughters on music, and three find husbands.
The bitter poverty of Mickey in John Garfield's screen debut brings a dramatic contrast to the cheery world of the Lemps, providing a dose of reality to the veneer that has been adopted to cover the Depression's pain.
Four Feathers, The (1939 c 115') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on A. E. W. Mason's novel, a man is branded a coward for resigning from the army, but he proves it false by bravely rescuing his friends.
While celebrating British imperialism and scorning cowardice, this adventure drama shows how a sensitive person, who abhors war, can be courageous with heroic initiative.
Four Girls in White
(1939 b 74') En: 5, Ed: 4
Four young women train to be nurses in a hospital and have diverse experiences.
This melodrama portrays the different motives of nurses and shows how Norma is transformed by tragedy to a deeper calling.
Four Men and a Prayer (1938 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 6
Adapted from David Garth's novel, after their father is dishonorably discharged, four brothers investigate his murder to clear his name.
This mystery contains occasional comments against the nefarious arms business that causes such misery but in its quest for family honor mostly ignores British imperialism. Lynn is a liberated woman acting independently though her motivation is primarily to get her man.
Four Wives (1939
b 99') En: 5, Ed: 5
In this sequel to Four Daughters the other two sisters get married as Ann tries to get over the loss of her late husband.
Music is an important theme in this family drama, as Ann finds solace that her late husband's composition is completed and successful, showing how a departed spirit can influence the living.
Four's a Crowd (1938 b 92') En: 6, Ed: 5
A reporter turns to a p. r. man to save her newspaper while he seeks to gain a wealthy client with humorous romantic complications.
This madcap comedy satirizes how publicity is used by capitalists and those selling their promotion skills, though underlying are the benefits of philanthropy.
Frankenstein (1931 b 71') En: 7, Ed: 6
Based loosely on the classic gothic novel of 1817 by Mary Shelley, this story of scientific experimentation gone awry helped to inspire a modern genre.
The power and popularity of this story seems to come from deep archetypal forces in the human psyche. The human attempt to take over the divine mystery of God and the soul in determining life and death leads to a horrifying aberration of human life. The mistreatment of the creature by Fritz does not help. The juxtaposition of an innocent bride with a crude monster stimulated sequels.
Freaks (1932 b 65') En: 5, Ed: 7
Tod Browning directed this controversial film that was banned in Britain for 30 years about carnival performers played mostly by people with various birth defects.
Seeing this film is a way for people to get over their prejudices about exceptional people by showing them as otherwise normal human beings with similar cares and desires. The attempt to exploit the wealth of a midget is thwarted by the solidarity of the social outcasts.
Free and Easy (1930 b 92') En: 5, Ed: 4
In his first talking picture Buster Keaton satirized the movie studio of this era.
This story spoofs the superficiality of Hollywood and how easily people are hired and fired once they make it onto the lot. The dominating show-business mother is also satirized. Hollywood has appropriated the usual fare of pretty chorus girls singing and dancing along with slapstick comedy. Elmer finds success in a new profession but is disappointed in love after deluding himself that Elvira had romantic feelings toward him. The clown who makes us laugh ends up sad.
Free Soul, A (1931 b 94') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a novel by Adela Rogers St. John, who also wrote a biography of her famous lawyer father, Earl Rogers, this story portrays an alcoholic lawyer and his free-spirited daughter.
This strong story based on real people reveals the dangers of addictive alcoholism, gambling, and mob violence, all criminalized and made worse by prohibition. Unfortunately murder is not much of a solution to these problems. Even Jan has lost her innocence succumbing to Ace; but she seems to have learned from her experience, and the audience can too.
Friends and Lovers (1931 b 68') En: 5, Ed: 4
This story poses the question whether two men can remain friends after they discover they are in love with the same woman.
These army officers manage to remain fairly good friends in spite of their mutual jealousy, though in the end friendship between men cannot overcome the love for a woman. The predatory Sangrito is destroyed by his own violence. Underlying it all is the difficulty military men have in finding normal sexual relationships when they are isolated by imperial colonialism.
Friends of Mr. Sweeney (1934 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a novel by Elmer Davis, a writer ordered to a support a corrupt politician for governor is urged by an old friend to become his own man.
This madcap comedy explores how a writer, who has allowed himself to be muzzled by corrupt interests, is stimulated to become assertive with melodramatic results.
Frisco Jenny (1933 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 5
A San Francisco madam has her child taken away; while she prospers bootlegging, he becomes district attorney and prosecutes her for murder.
Ironically Jenny ends up killing the man whose murder she covered up. She prospered in the illegal activities of prostitution and bootlegging, while her son's career rose by prosecuting such crimes. Was it shame that prevented her from telling her son, or did she think it would hurt his career?
Front Page, The (1931 b 100') En: 7, Ed: 6
Based on the hit play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, a reporter wants to leave town and get married, but he is enticed by a hot story of an escaped murderer.
This story portrays the alluring, wise-cracking, mob mentality of the modern press corps. The excitement is so addicting that Hildy has a hard time leaving it even for a great woman, who is everything he wants. The anarchist is a political pawn, and the corruption of big-city politics is apparent.
Front Page Woman (1935 b 82') En: 6, En: 6
Based on Richard Macauley's novel Women Are Bum Newspapermen, rival reporters, who want to marry, compete for a murder story.
Snappy dialog livens this feminist story that shows Ellen overcoming sexist police treatment of reporters to get good stories anyway, earning the respect of her future husband.
Fugitive Lovers (1934 b 82') En: 5, Ed: 4
A chorus girl flees a romantic producer and helps an escaped convict on a bus trip across the country.
Since Letty is fleeing the unwanted attentions of Legs, she has sympathy for the plight of the fugitive Paul even though it involves risk for her. Although Paul choked a man to steal a car, he probably has the audience on his side most of the time and certainly does so after saving the children. Thus this drama represents the feelings of those who struggle against the powerful and those in authority.
Fugitives for a Night (1938 b 63') En: 5, Ed: 5
An actor works as a stooge in a Hollywood studio and is nearly framed for the murder of an executive.
The politics of a Hollywood studio is explored in this drama about the lure of fame and glamor amid ambition, greed, envy, and vanity. In this bitter critique an actor, tired of being a stooge, comes to realize he would be happier owning a hamburger stand.
Fury (1936 b 93') En: 7, Ed: 8
Fritz Lang directed this story of a traveler suspected of kidnapping who is lynched, only to escape while 22 lynchers are prosecuted for murder.
Made by a director who fled Nazi Germany, this story explores the dangers of mob violence in emotional revenge, which is then mirrored by Wilson's desire for revenge against them. The dangers of capital punishment are exposed.
G Men (1935 b 85') En: 7, Ed: 7
A lawyer joins the FBI after his friend is killed and helps them catch gangsters he knows.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover approved this film that shows the federal agents adopting the violent tactics of gangsters to destroy them at their own game. Friends of Davis are killed, and he uses his knowledge of others to get them arrested or killed when they resist.
Gabriel Over the White House (1933 b 86') En: 7, Ed: 9
In this adaptation of T. F. Tweed's novel a U. S. President is inspired to reform the government by putting the unemployed to work, eliminating gangsters, and bringing about international disarmament.
This inspired story shows that the government can help the poor in a crisis and that ending Prohibition can reduce organized crime, though the fascist methods of dictatorship and martial law are bad methods for doing so, reflecting the trend toward dictatorship in 1933. Yet in my view the plan to save the world from the scourge of war by eliminating massive armaments in all countries is a truly prophetic idea which could have prevented the second world war and still is needed to prevent future wars on this planet.
Gambling Lady (1934 b 66') En: 5, Ed: 4
A gambler marries a gentleman; but mutual jealousy almost frames her husband for the murder of her friend challenging the syndicate.
This drama explores the gambling racket and shows how jealousy can endanger a marriage.
Garden of Allah, The (1936 c 79') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on a novel by Robert Hichens, a Trappist monk renounces his vows and marries a beautiful woman in North Africa but is called back to God in the desert.
This early color film has a mystic mood pervading the conflict between religious and romantic love, which is relieved only by the comedy of Batouch. Although gibberish is spoken instead of Arabic, the two religions are not in conflict in this mystical story.
Gay Bride, The (1934 b 80') En: 5, Ed: 4
A chorus girl marries a gangster for money but loses both; she tries for more until she realizes she loves the employee who saved his salary.
This fast-paced comedy satirizes the plight of gangsters after repeal of Prohibition. Mic even wants to turn the Greek tourist trade into a racket. Mary tries to dig gold from crooks but finds an honest man.
Gay Divorcee, The (1934 b 105') En: 7, Ed: 6
A dancer falls in love with a woman who is trying to arrange cause for a divorce in this musical that features dancing "The Continental."
Music, dancing, and comedy helped Depression audiences forget their troubles and feel good in this satire of the legal requirements some must go through to get divorced.
General Died at Dawn, The (1936 b 98') En: 6, Ed: 6
Clifford Odets adapted Charles Booth's novel about an American, who is caught by a Chinese warlord carrying money for guns to oppose him.
Set in China's contemporary civil war, an American opposes militarism with more guns while hoping for democracy. His danger is increased when he is foolishly lured by a woman. The audience-pleasing deus ex machina ending kills the bad Chinese, allowing one good one to make a wise comment.
General Spanky (1936 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 4
Spanky and Buckwheat are adopted by a southerner and form their own regiment during the Civil War.
This children's fantasy spoofs the Civil War by showing children playing at war. Phillips notes that war could have been avoided if men weren't so hot-headed. The general represents justice, and Simmons is satirized as a fool. Spanky helps Buckwheat be treated better, and Valient does not object.
Gentleman's Fate (1931 b 93') En: 5, Ed: 4
A gentleman learns his money came from the bootlegging racket of his dying father and brother, gets involved, loses his fiancé, and is killed.
This morality tale shows the violence between competing gangs for the liquor business during Prohibition. Jack's parents wanted him protected from it, so he could be a gentleman; but his father's dying wish draws him in, and he is destroyed by violence.
Girl Crazy (1932 b 74') En: 5, Ed: 4
Partly based on a Guy Bolton play with Gershwin songs, a playboy opens a dude ranch in an Arizona town where they kill sheriffs.
This satire spoofs westerns by juxtaposing rough cowboys to playboys, gamblers, and chorus girls from a modern city. Comedy is also made out of hypnotism.
Girl From Missouri, The (1934 b 72') En: 6, Ed: 5
A poor but sexy girl is determined to keep her virtue until she can marry a millionaire.
T. R. says he wants Eadie in their family, because she is a "fighter." With such greedy and unscrupulous characters in charge of the disarmament process, it is no wonder that it failed so completely in the 1930s. Apparently ruthless greed did not bother censors as long as they didn't have sex before marriage.
Girl From Tenth Avenue (1935 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on Hubert Henry Davies' play Outcast, a working-class woman saves and marries a jilted, drunk lawyer, who comes to realize he loves her more than the high society woman.
The caring and socially improving Miriam overcomes social prejudices. Geoffrey stops running after the socialite when he realizes he has found something better.
Girl of the Golden West, The (1938 b 121') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from a play by David Belasco, a singing saloon owner discovers the singing man she loves is a notorious bandit.
In this musical about the California gold-rush era the influence of padre Sienna on Ramerez and Mary and their kind characters seem to conflict with their roles as bandit and saloon owner. From these shady roles they are allowed to emerge thanks to the graceful renunciation of Jack, though what will the future hold for Ramerez with such a large reward for his capture?
Girls On Probation (1938 b 64') En: 4, Ed: 5
A young woman gets caught in two crimes because of her friend and tries to straighten her life out on probation.
This moral tale portrays how probation can keep a person in trouble out of prison but halfway to degradation while strongly warning against choosing criminal friends.
Give Me Your Heart (1936 b 88') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on a play by Jay Mallory, a woman bears the child of a married man and then leaves England and marries in New York.
Because of shame and social disgrace, Belinda has to go without seeing her child, causing her much anguish. Tubbs cleverly manages to heal her psychologically by bringing her natural family together in understanding. Thus the pain caused by social attitudes requires psychological treatment.
Go Getter, The (1937 b 92') En: 6, Ed: 5
A man loses a leg but makes himself a success in the lumber business with extraordinary enthusiasm and determination.
This inspiring comedy shows a man with a positive attitude overcoming numerous goals to accomplish his goals, winning the respect of his father-in-law, who placed so many obstacles in his way.
Go Into Your Dance (1935 b 89') En: 6, Ed: 5
In this musical a singer canceled shows; his sister and a dancer help him come back, and a new show on Broadway is financed by a gangster.
Al Jolson offers superb singing, a charming personality, and comic relief with Toledo set amid a show-business melodrama.
God's Country and the Woman (1937 c 85') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on James Oliver Curwood's novel, a womanizing brother of a lumber company owner goes to work for a rival female boss.
This early color film has spectacular logging scenes, where Steve says "All the men are men, and the women are too." Sexual tension keeps the liberated Jo interesting as Steve finally finds work and his match, resolving the conflict between Jeff's greed and Jo's stubbornness.
Going Hollywood (1933 b 78') En: 6, Ed: 5
A young French teacher follows a singer to Hollywood to win his love and ends up starring in his picture.
Some fine songs highlight this story of the temperamental star replaced by the young and hungry girl in both career and romance. The wit of Jill, the frustration of Conroy, the sincerity of Ernest, and the electricians' radio satire tend to outshine the main plot, showing that it's not always the stars that carry the picture. Sometimes the picture carries them.
Going Places (1938 b 84') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a play by Victor Mapes and William Collier, a salesman impersonates a jockey and has to ride a wild horse, who is calmed only by a song.
Swinging music and humor make this rather silly story escape entertainment.
Gold Diggers in Paris (1938 b 98') En: 5, Ed: 4
Nightclub owners pretend their chorus girls are ballet dancers to get a paid trip to Paris but are discovered as frauds.
This musical comedy implies that swing music offers more popular entertainment than ballet and provides some humorous situations.
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933 b 97') En: 7, Ed: 7
Chorus girls find the money in this Depression musical based on Avery Hapwood's play.
Depression desperation is reflected in the chorus girls' gold digging. They help each other out, though Trixie scares Fay away from Peabody. In the end the men with the money marry the women with the beauty.
Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935 b 95') En: 6, Ed: 5
Busby Berkeley directed this musical about a penurious millionaire who puts on a charity show at a hotel, where many want a piece of the action.
Numerous attempts to squeeze money out of the rich add comedy to this extravagant musical directed by the master of movie choreography.
Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936 b 101') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from the Maibaum-Wallach-Haight play, producers insure their broke boss for a million dollars and try to bump him off in order to put on a show.
Once again entertainment is used to get people's minds off hard times with comic ways of getting money, music, and dance that includes lots of pretty women.
Gold Dust Gertie (1931 b 66') En: 5, Ed: 4
Two bathing-suit salesmen are hounded by the same ex-wife and their current wives while their ex-wife seduces their boss.
This farce satirizes a woman who marries her way to fortune and the two salesmen who suffer from wife troubles.
Gold Is Where You Find It (1938 c 94') En: 6, Ed: 6
Gold miners flood wheat fields, causing a bitter economic, social, and legal battle that divides a family.
This archetypal western plot is set in a historic and economic context that gives deeper meaning to the conflict. The environmental damage of greedy mining is contrasted to the patient farming of nourishing food.
Golden Arrow, The (1936 b 68') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from Michael Arlen's play, a reporter agrees to marry an heiress in order to rid her of fortune hunters with unexpected results.
This romantic comedy satirizes European aristocrats seeking marriage for money and businessmen with publicity stunts, while a marriage of convenience becomes one of love.
Golden Boy (1939
b 99') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a play by Clifford Odets, a young violinist takes up boxing to his father's chagrin and falls in love.
This drama contrasts the sensitivity of music to the brutality of boxing and suggests that in this era of growing Fascism the use of force is becoming increasingly popular.
Golden Dawn (1930 b 83') En: 5, Ed: 4
Adapted from an operetta by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein, a woman is made a goddess by an African tribe during the war until a British soldier frees her.
This musical reflects current racist stereotypes as the British and German imperialists fight a colossal war but look with contempt at Africans who might sacrifice one person for their god. Saving the white victim confirms the white audiences' feelings of superiority. The mixed Mooda is hurt by white prejudice and wants her daughter to be considered black.
Gone with the Wind
(1939 c 234') En: 9, Ed: 9
Based on Margaret Mitchell's popular novel, during the Civil War and Reconstruction a southern belle can't marry the man she thinks she loves and eventually loses the wealthy man who loves her.
This landmark film depicts the fall of a civilization based on slavery while portraying contrasting characters the saintly Melanie, the moral but weak Ashley, the hedonistic and capable Rhett, the kind Belle, and the selfish Scarlett, so oblivious to the consequences of her actions. The strong characters of Scarlett and Melanie reflect the rising power of women.
Good Earth, The (1937 b 138') En: 7, Ed: 8
Adapted from Pearl Buck's great novel, a Chinese farmer marries, survives famine and revolution, becomes wealthy, and beats off a locust attack.
This modern classic about a Chinese family conveys the importance of hard work, frugality, humility, and perseverance amid misfortune. Wang realizes that extravagance did not make him happy.
Good Fairy, The (1935 b 96') En: 7, Ed: 6
A young orphan woman tries to do good by directing money from a rich playboy to a poor lawyer in this adaptation of Ferenc Molnar's play.
This comedy explores the dangers and temptations facing an attractive young woman, while satirizing a poor and honest lawyer.
Good News (1930 b 84') En: 5, Ed: 4
Adapted from a Broadway musical, a college football player falls in love with his astronomy tutor.
This musical comedy entertains with youthful energy as football and courtship dominate the movie view of college.
Goodbye Again (1933
b 66') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on a play by George Haight and Alan Scott, a popular novelist with a pretty secretary meets an old flame, who is married and has pesky relatives.
This farce of a philandering writer satirizes the effect romantic novels have on women; but his clever secretary manages to eliminate the competition.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939 b 114') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on James Hilton's novel, a shy but popular British school-master marries a young beauty and becomes head master during the World War.
In this sentimental story a dedicated teacher learns from his charming wife to use humor and kindness to nurture the goodness in boys. Although he trains them as officers, he hopes the war will soon be over.
Goose and the Gander, The (1935 b 66') En: 5, Ed: 4
In this convoluted plot three men and three women become confused about each others' identities and affairs.
This comedy plays upon the odd circumstances that result when people cannot make up their minds with whom they want to be married.
Gorgeous Hussy, The (1936 b 103') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on the historical novel by Samuel Hopkins Adams, politics keep a woman from the man she loves while she marries two others and is devoted to Andrew Jackson.
Historians have said that the Eaton scandal divided Calhoun and Van Buren and so changed history. This version shows Peggy less scandalous than she apparently was, though Jackson did defend her chastity. The real Timberlake defrauded the government (They said, to pay for Peggy's extravagances.) and probably committed suicide. This drama shows how politically motivated gossip can affect people's lives.
Gorilla, The (1939
b 66') En: 5, Ed: 4
Adapted from Ralph Spence's play, three detective buffoons try to solve a mystery of gorilla murders in the home of a wealthy man in debt.
This combination horror-detective-comedy satirizes fear of gorillas and incompetent detectives using a mystery plot.
Grand Hotel (1932 b 113') En: 8, Ed: 8
This star-studded adaptation of Vicki Baum's novel about two nights in Berlin's Grand Hotel won the Oscar for best picture.
This film represents the desperation of the depression as every main character is desperate - Kringelein because he is dying, the baron for money, Preysing because the failed merger may ruin his business, Flaemmchen to earn money, and Grusinskaya because she is tired of performing and lonely. Yet Kringelein is liberated by facing death, and Flaemmchen is happier with him.
Grand Illusion (French 1937 b 113') En: 7, Ed: 9
Based on a true story, two French officers escape from a German prison camp.
Nazi propagandist Goebbels considered this film cinematic enemy number one. With little violence it shows humans on both sides caught in the captivity of a war that will destroy European aristocrats' supremacy.
Great Garrick, The (1937 b 89') En: 6, Ed: 5
The Comedie Francaise tries to humiliate David Garrick; he realizes they are acting but does not know a woman he met was not pretending to love him.
This romantic comedy is a fictional story about the famous actor in which he sees through the actors' trap but is caught in one of his own, showing his skill but taking his ego down a notch.
Great Man Votes, The
(1939 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 5
An alcoholic ex-professor and widower is courted by the political machine for his vote, which enables him to keep his children.
This comedy reflects the disparity between the great talent of John Barrymore and the ruin of it caused by alcoholism. In this case a historian has degenerated to being a night watchman but tries to salvage a career by promising the political boss his vote. Nonetheless the children of his anarchic home shine far above the bullying son of the political boss and prefer it to the farm of their doting grandparents.
Great O'Malley, The (1937 b 71') En: 6, Ed: 7
A cop enforcing ordinances strictly causes a man to go to prison but learns the value of kindness and human compassion.
This compassionate drama shows how zealous police can either make people miserable or temper justice with mercy by being understanding and helpful.
Great Waltz, The (1938 b 104') En: 6, Ed: 5
In this fictionalized musical about composer Johann Strauss he marries his childhood sweetheart and falls in love with an opera singer.
This musical implies that in this era dancing to waltz music was as revolutionary as demanding a constitution under a monarch. The romantic triangle is resolved by the mutual tolerance and understanding of the women.
Great Ziegfeld, The (1936 b 176') En: 8, Ed: 8
This Oscar-winning biography of the Broadway producer presents his extravagant musical numbers and his ups and downs with women and money.
Ziegfeld took men's natural desire to see shows with pretty women more respectable beginning in 1907 and prepared the way for the glamorous musicals of the 1930s, this film being one of the finest examples. Expensive theatricals of the 1920s were made available to more people with little money during the Depression through the movies.
Green Goddess, The (1930 b 73') En: 4, Ed: 5
Based on a play by William Archer, three people from England are taken hostage by an Asian potentate.
This film betrays the imperialist prejudices of the English in India. The rajah is portrayed as clever but cruel, lusty, and vindictive; he is outsmarted by the English with their superior weapons. Yet his plight reveals the psychology of those who have suffered from imperialist domination and colonialism.
Green Light (1937 b 86') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on a novel by Lloyd C. Douglas, a surgeon sacrifices his career to protect his mentor and then risks his life in research.
Deep faith in spiritual justice underlies this drama of a sacrificing doctor, who, as Ogilvie says, needs no religion because he is already good. Endicott learns a hard lesson. Phyllis learns to forgive, understand, and love. Ogilvie, like Page and John, has a true calling but also needs love.
Green Pastures, The (1936 b 93') En: 7, Ed: 8
Marc Connelly adapted his own play about Sunday school stories from the Old Testament in the idiom of rural Negroes of the time.
Excellent gospel singing highlights this creative story-telling that sets Bible fables in the daily lives of contemporary African Americans, enabling the audience to appreciate their culture and learn religious lessons. So threatening to the racially prejudiced was this film that it was banned in parts of the South.
Guardsman, The (1931 b 82') En: 7, Ed: 6
The couple Lunt and Fontanne were both nominated for Academy awards in this adaptation of Ferenc Molnar's comedy they also played on Broadway.
This story plays with the dilemma creative actors have in keeping reality as exciting as their dramatic fantasies. The actor considers this his greatest role, and we never really know whether she was taken in and tempted or not. Clearly she thrives on such romantic excitement, and he, knowing that, is naturally jealous. He may be endangered by his own conceit, because he assumes if he cannot tempt her, no one else can.
Guilty Hands (1931
b 69') En: 6, Ed: 5
A lawyer commits murder to protect his daughter from marrying a bad man, and he arranges to get away with it.
The surprise ending provides poetic justice for the proud lawyer who thinks the murder he committed was justified. Ironically his daughter came to her senses without such an extreme measure.
(1939 c 76') En: 5, Ed: 6
In this animated musical version of Jonathan Swift's classic novel Gulliver stops a war between two kingdoms of little people.
Though much of Swift's satire is missing, the powerful anti-war theme remains in the second animated feature ever. The absurdity of kingdoms going to war against each other over rival customs is clearly seen from a higher and more powerful perspective. How little this important message had sunk into humanity was clearly evident in the critical year of 1939.
Gunga Din (1939
b 117') En: 7, Ed: 6
Inspired by Rudyard Kipling's poem, three British comrades-in-arms are assisted by a lowly water-carrier in ferreting out a cult of murderers.
This entertaining movie contrasts the superior British imperialists to the murderous Thugs while praising a slavish Indian for helping the British cause. Yet the only strangling was done by Cutter while he is trying to rob a temple of its gold. Was the Indian resistance any more terroristic than the British imperialists?
Half Shot at Sunrise (1930 b 78') En: 5, Ed: 4
Two soldiers go AWOL in Paris and woo the Colonel's daughter and his mistress in this madcap comedy.
This satire of U. S. soldiers on the loose in Paris during the world war draws on the Vaudeville experience of its stars with sexual innuendo and clever quips.
Hands Across the Table (1935 b 80') En: 6, Ed: 6
Lombard shines in this comedy about a manicurist who aims to marry for money and meets her match.
This comedy deals with the Depression dilemma of the poor, wanting to marry rich, finding others with the same goal. Yet love triumphs over money.
Happiness Ahead (1934 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 5
A woman from a rich family meets window-washers and keeps her affluence a secret, which unravels when her boyfriend needs money.
This romantic story shows a woman from high society finding more happiness with working-class people in spite of the complications resulting from her deception.
Hard to Get (1938 b 82') En: 6, Ed: 5
Daughter of a wealthy executive falls for a struggling architect, who thinks she is a maid.
This amusing comedy allows audiences to imagine how a young man with promise and determination can win opportunity and a wealthy bride because he really loves her for herself, not her money.
Hard to Handle (1933 b 79') En: 6, Ed: 5
A promoter is robbed by his partner but develops other schemes so that he can marry his sweetheart.
This romantic comedy satirizes manipulative commercial promotions and how publicity campaigns gain money for their promoters.
Hardys Ride High, The
(1939 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 6
The Hardys think they are becoming millionaires and change their attitudes and behavior.
This family drama contrasts the movie-like life-style of millionaires to the average American family in a small town and shows they are probably much happier without the excess riches. Only Emily seems unchanged by the temptations, and her honesty matches that of her husband.
Harold Teen (1934 b 66') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on the comic strip by Carl Ed, Harold courts Lillums but has competition from a wealthy banker, whose daughter gets a show going.
In this musical comedy teens manage to play off a predatory banker, whose mature daughter puts in perspective his intention to wed a high-schooler. Somehow the young energy in the soda fountain is refreshing, and they are less affected by financial worries than their parents.
Harvest (French 1937 b 126') En: 6, Ed: 6
The last man in a mountain village finds a woman with a traveling grinder and takes her home, grows wheat, and starts a family.
This dramatic paean to the simplicity of rural life shows how a half-wild hunter can treat a woman better than urban men as he achieves success with hard work.
Hatchet Man, The (1932 b 74') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from a play by Achmed Abdullah and David Belasco, a Chinese enforcer marries the daughter of his friend he executes.
This drama explores the violent aspect of Chinese society in America which still maintains some of its ancient culture amid modernization.
Havana Widows (1933 b 63') En: 5, Ed: 4
Two dancers borrow money to go to Cuba to try to get money with the help of a clever lawyer, but things go awry.
This gold-digging farce plays upon Havana as the current recreation area for millionaires, as attractive women use their charms as bait in fishing for riches.
Having Wonderful Time (1938 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 4
In this adaptation of Arthur Kober's play a typist from the Bronx goes to a camp and finds a poor lawyer working as a waiter, sparking sexual tension.
In this era the difference between a proposition and a proposal can make all the difference as sexual tension is restrained until marriage even though Chick believes they got to know each other in six days what would take six months in New York while working.
He Couldn't Say No (1938 b 59') En: 5, Ed: 4
A timid man buys a nude statue of his dream girl and refuses to sell it, causing consternation for his girl-friend and a puritanical senator.
This comedy allows the audience to identify with a common man who shows the courage of his inner vision to get what he wants despite efforts by others to try to control him. The senator is satirized for his political prudery.
Heart of New York, The (1932 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on David Freedman's play Mendel, Inc., a poor man on the east side of New York invents a dish-washing machine and suddenly becomes rich.
This film captures some of the flavor of living in an east-side tenement. The Jewish ethnic culture has its own idioms and charm. Mendel desires little more than to relieve the pressure of paying rent for his neighbors, though the rest of his family is eager to join the upper class.
Hearts Divided (1936 b 76') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on a true story and a play by Rida Johnson Young, Napoleon's brother falls in love with an American and wants to marry her.
Jerome Bonaparte did marry Betsy Patterson; but after a year and a half he threw her over and wed Princess Catherine of Wurtemberg to become king of Westphalia. This romantic story shows a true conflict between personal love and power politics.
Heat Lightning (1934 b 63') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from the play by Leon Abrams and George Abbott, two sisters run a service station in the desert visited by an old flame running from his latest crime.
Olga was burned by bad men like George and is afraid her sister will suffer the same. Two ladies gained wealth from their divorces. Thus this film presents a rather pessimistic view of relationships, as only the large Mexican family seems happy.
Heidi (1937 b 88') En: 5, Ed: 6
Adapted from Johanna Spyri's novel, a little girl is taken from her hermit grandfather and helps a rich girl to learn to walk.
Once again a spirited child melts the hearts of adults or exposes their wickedness if they do not, showing that her cheerful attitude thrives with the poor as well as with the wealthy.
Hell Below (1933 b 101') En: 7, Ed: 7
A submarine officer clashes with his commander while in love with his married daughter in this adaptation of Commander Edward Ellsberg's novel Pigboats.
This dramatic story not only reflects the submarine warfare of the first world war but foreshadows that of the second. The romantic first officer clashes with the disciplined commander but gradually comes to understand duty and sacrifices himself. In the larger view the hell of submarine warfare is that of destroying others or being destroyed because of the major political bungling that caused the war.
Hell Divers (1932 b 109') En: 5, Ed: 4
Two navy aircraft mechanics compete and quarrrel until one rescues the other in a dangerous wargame.
This sentimental drama was filmed with the actual Saratoga and portrays Navy life, as they prepare to bomb more effectively. Windy has many more character flaws than Steve; but in the end he gives his life to save Steve's.
Hell's Angels (1930 b 127') En: 7, Ed: 6
Howard Hughes took three years and spent 3.8 million dollars on this aviation war film in which three pilots died; firing two directors, Hughes claimed directing credit himself. A few scenes are tinted by a two-color process.
Hell's Angels shows some of war's terrors, but it focuses more on the contrasting characters of the brothers. As Monty says, war just brings out the way people really are, like getting drunk; but any attempt to question or challenge the hell of human war is quickly squelched, and Monty's occasional reluctance to participate is simply interpreted as cowardice.
Hell's Heroes (1930 b 65') En: 5, Ed: 6
Adapted from Peter B. Kyne's novel, three bank robbers are given a baby by the dying mother in the desert and manage to save the child.
This moving story contrasts the behaviors of three vicious criminals who sacrifice themselves to save a helpless child, showing that ultimately the appeal of innocence overpowers human greed and violence.
Hell's Highway (1932 b 62') En: 5, Ed: 6
Chain-gang prisoners are tortured in order to build a highway on time.
This hard-hitting film exposes the sadism and exploitation of the contemporary penal system. Duke sacrifices himself for his younger brother.
Her Husband's Secretary (1937 61') En: 5, Ed: 5
A secretary quits her job to marry a riveter, who inherits a business; but her best friend becomes his secretary, endangering her marriage.
This triangle explores the dilemma that a man often spends more time with his secretary than with his wife. The ethics of Carol is contrasted to the opportunism of her friend Diane, as men are seen as irrepressible.
Here Comes Cookie (1935 b 65') En: 5, Ed: 4
A millionaire dreams that a fortune hunter is trying to marry his daughter; so he gives all his money to his other daughter, who makes them all poor.
This farce turns a wealthy household upside down as vaudeville acts take over the mansion, thanks to the bizarre antics of the whimsical Gracie Allen while the motive of the gold digger is exposed.
Here Comes the Navy (1934 b 87') En: 6, Ed: 5
A belligerent guy loses his girl-friend and joins the Navy to settle a feud with an officer; then he falls in love with the officer's sister.
The U. S. Navy cooperated in this story of Navy life in peace time. The aggressive attitudes of these two men toward each other reflects the masculine hostility that causes the military to exist.
Heroes for Sale (1933 b 72') En: 6, Ed: 7
A war veteran overcomes drug addiction, marries, tries to help workers, goes to prison, donates his fortune to the poor, and suffers unemployment.
This drama contains powerful messages about war and its heroes, drug addiction, banking, conflicts between capitalists and workers, and how the unemployed were treated in the early 1930s. Brinker complains of exploitation when he is poor but does it to become rich, while Tom cares for people and sacrifices even after he has made money.
Hi, Nellie! (1934 b 76') En: 5, Ed: 5
A newspaper editor is demoted to writing the Heart-throb column until he solves a murder mystery.
Brad proves that his restraint in not printing a sensational headline is vindicated after his investigation discovers the murder of the suspected embezzler. Advice to the lovelorn is satirized as unimportant compared to hard news.
Hide-Out (1934 b 81') En: 6, Ed: 6
A womanizing racketeer is wounded by police and hides out in a farmhouse, where he falls in love.
This morality tale contrasts New York racketeering and platinum blondes with the wholesome farm life of a hard-working family.
High Pressure (1932 b 74') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Aben Kandel, a promoter organizes an artificial rubber company and sells stock.
This comedy satirizes stock-selling and indicates why some stocks may soar and then plunge. Evans even strings along his fiancée, and at the end she appears defeated by his continuous scheming.
His Brother's Wife (1936 b 88') En: 5, Ed: 5
A woman loves a doctor going away to experiment; so she marries his brother but regrets it and tries to win back the doctor experimenting.
Rita messes up four lives by marrying out of spite; but eventually her self-sacrificing to help the important work of Chris and Fahrenheim helps their beneficial work.
History Is Made at Night (1937 b 97') En: 6, Ed: 6
A divorcing woman falls in love with a Parisian head-waiter; but her jealous wealthy husband tries evil ways to get her back in this romantic melodrama.
The suave Frenchman and his chef have contempt for Americans, who eat to live instead of the reverse, and Paul's romantic love and consideration for others far outshine the manipulative jealousy of the cold-hearted Vail.
Hitting a New High (1937 b 77') En: 5, Ed: 4
A singer wants to be in opera, and a promoter gets her discovered as a bird girl in Africa; but her boyfriend wants her to sing with his jazz band.
This musical comedy is rather absurd but amusing, thanks to the antics of those claiming to have discovered Suzette.
Hold Your Man (1933 b 87') En: 6, Ed: 6
A con man falls in love, gets put in jail, and decides to go straight; but an accident on their wedding day causes them both to do time.
These two con artists get stuck on each other and come to realize that to be together they will be better off going straight. They prove their love for each other by not giving up even when separated by imprisonment.
Holiday (1938 b 95') En: 7, Ed: 8
Based on the play by Philip Barry, a young man engaged to a wealthy woman wants to quit working and finds a kindred spirit in his fiancé's sister.
This comedy borders on tragedy as Johnny almost succumbs to wasting his life making money like the alcoholic Ned; but he is rescued when he meets another free spirit like himself.
(1939 c 97') En: 6, Ed: 5
An actress is discovered by a silent film director; but she marries her leading man, causing the director's career to falter.
The history of Hollywood in the silent-film era is depicted in this unfulfilled romance. The ambition of the director to further his career is somewhat based on the unrequited love silent star Mabel Normand felt for her director Mack Sennett.
Hollywood Hotel (1938 b 109') En: 6, Ed: 5
A singer gets hired and fired in Hollywood while falling in love with the double of a movie star in this swinging musical with Benny Goodman's orchestra.
Swing music highlights this Hollywood story of talented newcomers supplanting temperamental and over-blown stars.
Hollywood Party (1934 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 4
Jimmy Durante dreams he throws a Hollywood party to buy lions for his Schnarzan movies in this musical comedy.
This satire of Hollywood is designed to be entertaining, and the comedy and music are mildly amusing, giving audiences a dream-like diversion from daily living.
b 84') En: 6, Ed: 5
A movie star trades identities with a double in order to go on vacation but falls in love and also wins over his double's fiancé.
The comic irony of the ancient mistaken-identity device works again as a movie star tries to get relief from fans' adulation. Eleanor Powell's dancing shines, and Gracie Allen is wacky again.
Hook, Line and Sinker (1930 b 75') En: 5, Ed: 4
In this comedy two insurance salesmen run an old hotel for a young woman running away from marriage to an attorney, who is involved with gangsters.
This amusing satire makes fun of gangsters while stretching the vocabulary of the witty comedy team of Wheeler and Woolsey.
Hooray for Love (1935 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 4
A college graduate mortgages his estate to produce a show with a singer he admires; he loses his money, but the musical show succeeds anyway.
This musical comedy provides moderate entertainment during the tough times of the Depression when shows often barely operated.
Horse Feathers (1932 b 68') En: 7, Ed: 6
In another zany comedy the four Marx brothers have fun at college by concentrating on the college widow and football.
Word play turns on equivocation and puns, and the anarchic Groucho often punctures conventional morality and customs, such as Frank and the widow bringing their homework to school. The American obsession with collegiate football at the expense of the sciences and arts is satirized.
House on 56th Street, The (1933 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 5
A woman becomes a professional gambler after spending time in prison and losing her husband; she tries to save her daughter from gambling.
This melodrama shows the dangers of gambling even if one learns how to win by cheating.
Housewife (1934 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 5
A poor housewife pushes her husband toward success; he plays around with an old flame, but she gets him back.
While spoofing how advertising fools consumers, a businessman with a supportive wife is lured into an affair with a successful businesswoman until an injury to his son brings him to his senses. This housewife not only handles the domestic duties but helps her husband's career too.
Huddle (1932 b 104') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from Frances Wallace's novel, the son of Italian immigrants gets a scholarship to Yale, where he plays football and falls in love with a woman from a wealthy family.
Despite his success in football Tony finds social prejudice against him for being working class, though he seems to have won some over with his heroic sacrifice.
Hunchback of Notre
Dame, The (1939 b 116') En: 8,
Based on Victor Hugo's novel, a deformed bell-ringer is helped by a gypsy and rescues her from being judicially murdered.
This drama portrays the transition out of the middle ages as the printing press influences public opinion, and the lower classes organize to resist war and unemployment. Despite this eloquent plea for the gypsies, within six years about 250,000 would be murdered by the Nazis.
Hurricane, The (1937 b 104') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, a native sailor is punished under strict French law but escapes that and a typhoon.
Like Mutiny on the Bounty by the same novelists, this drama contrasts European punishment to Polynesian love of freedom from such constraints.