b = black and white, c = color
En = Beck's entertainment value, Ed = Beck's educational value
Sabotage (1936 b 76') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on Joseph Conrad's novel, The Secret Agent, a woman learns that her husband has killed her brother in a sabotage plot.
This early Hitchcock thriller portrays the random violence of terrorism by not even hinting at any purpose but destruction. Carl says he won't harm people but goes ahead anyway just for the money. His coldness in making excuses for killing his wife's brother by mistake provokes her to stab him before he can grab the knife. Spencer does not trust Mrs. Verlock to a jury and is relieved she won't have to stand trial. This film was banned in Brazil because they believed it might stimulate terrorism.
Sadie McKee (1934 b 93') En: 6, Ed: 6
Abandoned in New York city by her poor fiancé, Sadie marries an alcoholic millionaire over the objections of his lawyer, her childhood friend.
Opal tells Sadie every woman has her price, and she should ask for a high one. Sadie marries Brennan on the rebound but does care for him. His alcoholism combined with wealth almost kills Brennan. Sadie suffers poverty and gains wealth, ultimately bridging the gap with her friend Michael after Tommy's sad death.
Safe In Hell (1931 b 73) En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Houston Branch, a call-girl flees to an island to escape a murder charge, marries a sailor and stays true to him while he's gone.
In this tragedy Gilda learns that a safe haven for criminals can be hell, because it is difficult to live with criminals. Though she has been a prostitute, she chooses not to be abused by Bruno even though it means death, because she has learned what true love is.
Saint in London, The
(1939 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 4
The free-lance detective, aided by a woman and pick-pocket, helps the inspector catch a gang of counterfeiters.
This detective adventure suggests that style and charm can overcome the bad guys.
Saint in New York, The (1938 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a novel by Leslie Charteris, New York's police commission summons a rogue criminal to eliminate six notorious gangsters that courts cannot convict.
Imitating the medieval Templar knights who tried to fight for "good" with violence, the arrogant Simon delights in hunting men he doesn't like. In the fantasy worlds of fiction and movies he can live a charmed life and kill without being killed.
Saint Strikes Back, The
(1939 b 64') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a novel by Leslie Charteris, Simon Templar confronts a tough beauty but helps clear her late father by catching the criminals.
Although called a Robin Hood, rather than helping the poor this Saint tracks down criminals for a beautiful woman and the police.
San Francisco (1936 b 115') En: 8, Ed: 8
A Barbary Coast club owner falls in love with an opera singer, while his priest-friend objects to her lowering herself to his level.
This classic film contrasts the transcendental faith of Father Tim and Mary to the strong self-confidence of Blackie, who mocks "hocus pocus." Blackie and Mary are very attracted to each other sexually; but she is on a different cultural level, and while Blackie is impressed by opera, he isn't ready to adapt until the trauma caused by the earthquake seems to transform his skepticism into a deeper understanding and gratitude.
San Quentin (1937 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 5
An army officer is hired to discipline prisoners but falls in love with the sister of an inmate who tries to escape.
Mean treatment by Druggin is replaced by a more intelligent approach by Steve though his denying privileges to "habitual criminals" is suspect. The drama is melodramatic, but Red learns that Steve was trying to help him.
Sanders of the River (1935 b 90') En: 6, Ed: 6
Adapted from Edgar Wallace's novel, a British officer lays down the law for two million Africans in Nigeria.
Paul Robeson was understandably upset by the portrayal of Africans as childish savages being taught about law by British imperialists with guns. The story reflects how British officers dominated African tribes without having much understanding of their cultures, though the lesson of rule by law is universal.
Saratoga (1937 b 93') En: 6, Ed: 5
A bookie falls in love and tries to win money from her wealthy fiancé while she suspects his motives.
Jean Harlow died of illness during the filming of this movie that was one of the most popular of the year, thanks to its sentimental value as the last exhibition of Harlow's beauty and raw emotional power. Gable's Duke is also very likable as he expresses his love for everyone, and Morgan provides his usual humorous character.
Satan Met a Lady (1936 b 76') En: 6, Ed: 5
This screwball detective story about several people trying to get a valuable horn was loosely adapted from a novel by Dashiell Hammett.
A tone of mockery pervades this absurd story of murder in order to get an 8th-century horn, offering the intrigue of a detective story while at the same time spoofing the genre.
Saturday's Heroes (1937 b 60') En: 4, Ed: 5
A college football star fights against the athletic policies that enable the business to prosper without paying the players.
Also spliced with comedy, this drama exposes the hypocrisy of big-time college football that makes huge profits without paying the players that make it prosper, causing athletes to accept money dishonestly.
Scarface (1932 b 93') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on a novel by Armitrage Trail, a Capone-like figure gains underworld power with violent methods.
This film seems to be condemning violence at the same time it is making money using it as entertainment. Tony is exposed as a brutal killer who destroys himself and all those around him except his mother and Poppy. The only suggested solution of banning guns is heeded by no one.
Scarlet Dawn (1932 b 58') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on the novel Revolt by Mary McCall Jr., a Russian baron flees the revolution with his devoted servant.
Thus an aristocrat gets to learn another side of life. Yet he finds happiness in love with his former servant. After having given away the real necklace, he rejects Vera's trickery to get money. Although their future appears uncertain, Nikita and Tanyusha are happy to be re-united.
Scarlet Empress, The (1934 b 105') En: 7, Ed: 8
Based on Catherine II's diary and directed by Josef von Sternberg, a German princess has her husband Czar Peter murdered and becomes empress of Russia.
Generally accurate, this film focuses on the personal life of Catherine during her rise to power. Outstanding music, sets, and costumes adorn the story of her ambitious machinations, seeming to be justified by the portrayal of Peter as an imbecile.
Scarlet Pages (1930 b 65') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a play by Samuel Shipman and John B. Hyman, a woman lawyer defends a dancer on a justifiable homicide and makes a surprising discovery.
This courtroom drama portrays a capable woman attorney. Her past sin is discovered as she defends a young dancer, who suffered under an abusive father.
Scarlet Pimpernel, The (1934 b 90') En: 7, Ed: 6
Based on the novel by Baroness Orczy, an English fop secretly saves French aristocrats from the guillotine without telling his blackmailed French wife.
This aristocratic fantasy implies that a useless fop may be a courageous hero and that even his wife may not realize it. The English are portrayed as civilized compared to the French terror. Saving people from unjust death penalties is truly heroic though, and the irony of the story is delightful.
Seas Beneath, The (1931 b 89') En: 5, Ed: 5
Americans use a merchant ship as a decoy to sink a German U-boat in 1918.
In this story enemies at war can interact peacefully in a neutral port but endeavor to destroy each other on the high seas. National loyalty prevents Maria from leaving her country for the man she loves.
Secret Bride, The (1934 b 64') En: 5, Ed: 5
Suggested by Leonard Ide's play, the Governor's daughter marries the District Attorney but keeps it secret when her father is investigated.
This political melodrama exposes the corruption of a large contributor as the manipulator behind the scenes.
Secret of Dr. Kildare,
The (1939 b 84') En: 6, Ed: 6
The intern lets his mentor rest while he works on the psychological case of a millionaire's daughter.
The cantankerous doctor is dying but won't stop working until the intern makes him rest in another episode that portrays humanitarian zeal with humor and understanding.
Secret of Madame
Blanche, The (1933 b 84') En:
5, Ed: 5
Adapted from Martin Brown's play, a singer marries a gentleman who depends on his father, and she loses her child to this grandfather.
This tragic melodrama hinges on an English gentleman who does not know how to work and abrogates his life to his father. Yet despite her long absence from his life, Sally becomes a positive influence for her son.
Secret Six, The (1931 b 84') En: 6, Ed: 5
Bootleggers gain control of a town and move into the city; but those still alive are eventually caught by an undercover investigation.
This gangster melodrama is based on the rise and fall of Al Capone, who took over a Chicago suburb before moving into the city. Acquitted for murder, he was eventually imprisoned for income tax evasion.
Secrets of an Actress (1938 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 5
An actress gets her play produced by two architects and has to decide which one to marry.
In this romantic drama three people come to realize the difference between friendship and being in love with someone.
Sequoia (1935 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from Vance Hoyt's novel, a writer's daughter adopts a puma and a deer, but the unnatural friendship is challenged by a hunting neighbor.
Animal lovers will appreciate this sentimental drama showing how human care fosters a friendship between a predator and its usual victim. This tender loving is contrasted to the violence and brutality of hunting.
Sergeant Madden (1939 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 6
A policeman's son becomes a hostile cop and turns to crime, causing conflict for his wife and father.
This drama about one of New York's finest sergeants shows the danger of a bullying policeman, who is contrasted to his humanitarian father.
Seven Keys to Baldpate (1935 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on George M. Cohan's play from a novel by Earl Derr Biggers, a novelist encounters criminals trying to get money from a safe at an inn.
This well-made detective story offers entertainment for escape but otherwise does not have much substance except the usual criminal greed for money.
Shadow of Doubt (1935 b 74') En: 6, Ed: 5
A rich aunt helps a couple suspected of murder by discovering who committed three murders.
Humor lightens this murder mystery that is cleverly solved by a reclusive aunt and her nephew, whose spirited relationship with each other and attitudes to others lift the tone of the film.
Shall We Dance (1937 b 109') En: 7, Ed: 6
In this Gershwin musical a rumor gets out that two dancers are married; she is ambivalent about it, but they like to dance together.
This musical offers the public the entertainment they love. The dancing stars pretend to be married to each other so as not to be bothered by others.
She Done Him Wrong (1933 b 65') En: 7, Ed: 6
Mae West adapted her play Diamond Lil in this melodramatic comedy about a diamond-studded singer and her mostly criminal friends.
Mae West makes excellent use of innuendo, and her character Lou is easily transformed from diamonds to soul by the reforming Cummings.
She Had to Say Yes (1933 b 66') En: 5, Ed: 6
A secretary goes out with clients and chooses one over her two-timing boss.
This film explores how businesses use women to seduce clients, often resulting in sexual harrassment for the women and disappointment for the men. The innocent Florence gains experience and decides to settle for the lesser of two evils, since all men seem to be bad.
She's Got Everything (1937 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 4
When a woman inherits her father's debts, her creditors try to get her to marry a wealthy man by getting her a job as his secretary.
This romantic comedy relieves the tension of concerns about money and debts with humor and a romantic fantasy of finding a handsome young man who is also very wealthy.
Shining Hour, The (1938 b 77') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on Keith Winter's play, a dancer marries a man she likes; but his sister objects, and his married brother falls in love with her too.
The hostility of a spinster sister makes a difficult situation so much worse, and only after causing much suffering does she realize she was wrong to interfere.
Shipmates Forever (1935 b 109') En: 5, Ed: 4
The singing son of an admiral reluctantly goes to the Naval Academy and tries to avoid making friends, because he intends to refuse his commission.
Dick gives in to his family's naval tradition even though he dislikes military life. Patriotic notions of honor and service of one's country lead people like Admiral Melville to value the Navy; but no one mentions that a navy can be used by an imperial power to kill people in other countries.
Shopworn Angel, The (1938 b 85') En: 6, Ed: 6
A cynical New York actress is courted by a naive young soldier from Texas on his way to war in France.
This touching romance contrasts the sophistication of a liberated woman to the simpler values of an innocent soldier. His real emotion and admiration for her beauty helps to revive the tired affair Daisy is having with a producer. Her giving herself to Bill before he leaves represents a patriotic sacrifice for war.
Should Ladies Behave? (1933 b 88') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a play by Paul Osborn, a daughter looks for experience with an older man, competing for his affection with her mother and aunt.
This comedy explores various ironic situations as Laura tries to revive a misremembered lost love; Leone looks for experience; Max takes love where he finds it; Winnie tries to hold onto a man; and Agustus prevents his daughter from making a mistake by getting Geof on the ball.
Show Boat (1936 b 113') En: 8, Ed: 7
Based on the musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II from Edna Ferber's novel, the daughter of a show-boat captain becomes a singer and marries a gambler.
Fine songs, writing, acting, and directing make this musical excellent entertainment. The story portrays the injustice of race prejudice and the sad consequences of alcoholism and a gambling addiction.
Show Girl In Hollywood (1930 b 78') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on J. P. McEvoy's novel Hollywood Girl, a Broadway understudy goes to Hollywood and stars in a musical picture.
This film shows that behind the stars at the studio can be dashed hopes, false promises, and short careers.
Show-Off, The (1934 b 77') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a play by George Kelly, a bragging spendthrift gets married and alienates his wife with his foolish lies until two big deals he meddled in come through successfully.
A definite type is portrayed in this back-slapping extrovert with grandiose ideas and little substance. This first sound version puts a happy ending on what could have been a sad story. The changes of fortune are realistic, though these two successes must be rather rare. The economic concerns of the 20s and 30s are reflected in the young couple's plight.
Sidewalks of New York (1931 b 74') En: 5, Ed: 4
A landlord falls in love with a tenant and tries to keep her brother out of trouble by providing a gym and putting on a play.
Keaton's sight gags highlight this comedy whose theme suggests that love might stimulate the rich to help poor youth so they won't commit crimes.
Sign of the Cross, The (1932 b 123') En: 6, Ed: 7
Cecil B. DeMille directed this adaptation of a play by Wilson Barrett about Christians persecuted by Nero.
The historical circumstances of this story while generally true do not include a top Roman official sacrificing himself with the Christians. The clash is poignant between the Roman values of power and pleasure and the Christian virtues of gentleness and mercy.
Silk Express, The (1933 b 61') En: 5, Ed: 4
Two murders occur on a train shipment of silk because of efforts to keep a corner on the New York silk market.
This murder mystery reflects the dangers of business greed in the era of rapid rail transport. A sharp lawyer proves necessary for defense.
Silver Cord, The (1933 b 75') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on Sidney Howard's play, a dominating mother tries to break up one son's engagement and the other's marriage.
This drama is painful to watch, but it carries a powerful message about an overbearing mother who cannot let go of her adult sons. The independent Christina is able to liberate her husband from his mother.
Silver Dollar (1932 b 83') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on the life of H. A. W. Tabor, a storekeeper invests in Colorado mines, becomes a silver millionaire and enters politics.
This melodrama portrays the gaining of a fortune as more luck than business skill. One wonders if it is worth it in order to have one's body buried in a silver casket. The philanthropy that contributed to the opera house and the post office are probably the lasting achievements.
Silver Horde, The (1930 b 75') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on Rex Beach's novel, a man competes with a salmon syndicate boss for fish and a fiancée, but he likes the woman who helped him in business.
Realistic depiction of the salmon industry enhances this story of a struggling businessman torn between his society woman and the more experienced woman who helps him. Frank honesty wins out over sophistication.
Silver Streak, The (1935 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 4
An engineer's new experimental stream-lined train rushes to deliver iron lungs to victims of infantile paralysis.
This story dramatizes the value of new inventions in railroading by its extra speed saving a life with an iron lung breathing machine, suggesting that new technologies can improve living conditions if men in powerful positions will allow them to be used.
Sin of Madelon Claudet, The (1931 b 75') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on Edward Knoblock's play The Lullaby, Helen Hayes won a well-deserved Oscar playing the self-sacrificing mother of an illegitimate son.
What society considers are Madelon's sins are shown to be selfless sacrificing so that her son could have a good life. Spending ten years in prison for what she did not do, she certainly paid for more than her own sins, and her example became an inspiration to her daughter-in-law.
Sin Takes a Holiday (1930 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 5
A poor secretary marries the lawyer she works for so he can avoid marrying someone else; she goes abroad and is courted by his friend but returns.
This story implies that money helps Sylvia come out of herself and learn how to attract men, ironically only after she is married.
Sing Me a Love Song (1936 b 75') En: 5, Ed: 4
In this musical comedy a young singer inherits a department store and poses as a clerk to court a pretty clerk and learn the business.
The purity of romance is not spoiled by Jean knowing Jerry is rich; but the audience is allowed to fantasize she will get love and money. Shoplifting is satirized by the antics of Hammerschlag, and Chris gets away with his false bragging.
Singing Kid, The (1936 b 85') En: 5, Ed: 4
A famous singer loses his voice, goes to the country, and falls in love with a writer and her niece, curing him so he can make a come-back.
Jolson fans will find this entertaining even though it satirizes his style that is passing out of fashion. Another precocious little girl (a la Shirley Temple) adds innocent charm, and at last the jazz has an African-American orchestra with the talented Cab Calloway.
Singing Marine, The (1937 b 106') En: 5, Ed: 4
A marine wins an amateur contest and becomes a popular singer; but his success affects his relationships with his friends.
This musical comedy reflects United States military commitment in Asia, where the Japanese were currently at war with China. The shy Bob lets success go to his head, causing his friendships to suffer.
Sisters, The (1938 b 99') En: 6, Ed: 6
Adapted from Myron Brinig's novel, three sisters marry and share their marital troubles in four dramatic years.
Preview audiences, believing Louise's love for Frank despite the problems, preferred this ending to Louise marrying Benson as in the novel. Three very different sisters have diverse marital fates in these dramatic portraits.
Six of a Kind (1934 b 64') En: 6, Ed: 5
Two couples share expenses traveling across the country and have numerous comic mishaps.
This road comedy, built around the masterful talents of Gracie Allen, W. C. Fields, and Charles Ruggles, helps audiences get comic relief with a story that satirizes "vacations" that consist mostly of long trips in a car.
6,000 Enemies (1939
b 62') En: 5, Ed: 5
An ambitious prosecutor is framed himself and has to face those he sent to prison.
In this short drama a prosecutor learns the hard way that juries can convict the innocent, and he has to face the consequences of his prosecutorial zeal personally.
Sky Giant (1938 b 80') En: 5, Ed: 5
A tough army colonel trains airline pilots with an assistant, who competes with the colonel's son for the same girl.
This drama about developing aviation that has a risky allure for pilots portrays how three people can come to love and respect each other even though marriage can only be for two.
Skyscraper Souls (1932 b 99') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on Faith Baldwin's novel, the owner and workers in a skyscraper seek money so that they can attract love.
Inspired by the recent Empire State building, this melodrama exposes how ambition and desire for money can ruin people's lives.
Slight Case of Murder, A (1938 b 85') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Damon Runyon and Harold Lindsay, a bootlegger goes legit after Prohibition and loses money; he takes on an orphan; his daughter is engaged to a cop; and his men find a dead gang in his house.
This satire of gangsters trying to alter their way of life finds them failing because no one tells the boss his beer is terrible. The couple tries to be more respectable but needs an education. The problem is reflected in the juvenile delinquent they adopt and in their interactions with gangsters.
Slim (1937 b 86') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a novel by William Wister Haines, two linemen risk their lives working on power towers, and both love the same nurse.
This film was dedicated to the workers who help bring electricity to millions, and the story reflects the power projects of the New Deal to bring rural electrification. Red considers his job so dangerous that he avoids marriage, and Cally fears the same problem with Slim. In the end she decides to stay with him anyway, showing how people can become accustomed to dangers.
Small Town Girl (1936 b 106') En: 6, Ed: 6
While drunk a wealthy young doctor marries a small-town girl and then tries to pretend so he can divorce her and marry his fiancé.
This improbable story shows how a girl from a small town with real love can win a wealthy Bostonian whose socialite fiancé is a bad influence on him.
Smart Blonde (1937 b 60') En: 5, Ed: 4
A woman reporter helps a police detective solve two murders in the first and only Torchy Blane movie actually based on a story by Frederick Nebel.
This snappy detective story spawned eight more movies about spunky Torchy Blane, who stands up for her rights as a reporter and outsmarts her friend Steve though she does take evidence without showing it to the police.
Smart Money (1931 b 82') En: 6, Ed: 5
A gambling barber gets taken, gets back, gets illegal gambling clubs, and gets arrested.
Nick finds a way to cheat crooks and builds an illegal gambling business. Others pressure the district attorney to crack down, and he uses a stool pigeon. Nick is kind to those in need, but his winning means others lose. Gambling, which can be as addictive as alcohol, was also repressed during Prohibition, further stimulating a criminal underworld as this story shows.
Smartest Girl in Town (1936 b 58') En: 5, Ed: 4
A model, who wants to marry a man with money, falls in love with a wealthy man she thinks is a poor model.
This short and sweet comedy plays on the rival goals of love and money but pleases both desires of the audience by allowing a gold digger to find a romantic marriage with a man she thinks is poor but who is not.
Smilin' Through (1932 b 98') En: 7, Ed: 8
Based on a play by Jane Cowl, a man whose bride was murdered learns to forgive when the murderer's son falls in love with his niece he has raised.
This spiritual story bridges the living and the afterlife with love and understanding after a great personal tragedy. The young lovers are able to shake off the pain of John's loss after a devastating war, while John learns the important lesson of the forgiveness that frees love.
Snowed Under (1936 b 64') En: 5, Ed: 4
A man tries to rewrite his third act with help from his first wife while distracted by a pretty neighbor and his second's wife demand for alimony.
In this amusing comedy a playwright juggles three women while a lawyer and deputy sheriff try to arrest him for unpaid alimony, and unbelievably he gets his play completed in one night.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 c 83') En: 8, Ed: 8
Based on the Grimm fairy tale, in the first animated feature in color a jealous queen tries to kill her beautiful step-daughter, who flees to the forest home of seven dwarfs and finds her prince.
This classic film makes this folk tale a basic part of the culture. Snow White represents the perfect wife who cleans, cooks, and responds to a kiss; but the dark side is a wicked witch poisoned by jealousy. Aging does not have to be so bitter as indicated by the joyful life of the working dwarfs, who represent a variety of personalities; even Grumpy is susceptible to love. In this spiritual fantasy all the animals cooperate with the loving Snow White.
So Big (1932 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 5
In the first sound adaptation of Edna Ferber's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel a woman raises her son on a farm; he gives up architecture to sell bonds.
Artistic pursuits and hard work are promoted in this short film covering a long period of time in the lives of a determined woman, her drifting son, and her young artistic friend.
Society Doctor (1935 b 67') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Theodore Reeves, a head intern gets fired, considers private practice, is wounded, and directs his own operation.
All this melodrama takes place in one day, as the confident Morgan challenges the old ways of the medical profession, while the more pliant Ellis also develops his skills and demonstrates friendship. Morgan struggles against the superficiality of the upper classes while being tempted by its wealth.
Society Lawyer (1939
b 78') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on the same story as the 1933 film Penthouse, a gangster's lawyer agrees to defend a friend framed by another gangster and gets a singer to help him catch the murderers.
Jilted lawyer Chris sobers up to handle a dangerous case, acting more like a detective than a lawyer.
Solitaire Man, The (1933 b 67') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on the play by Bella and Samuel Spewack, a famous jewelry thief, wishing to retire, is drawn into another case and outsmarts a murderer on an airplane.
Justifying their jewelry dealings as a way to help his dead war buddy's relatives and because he couldn't find a job, Oliver is ready to retire from the sordid business. He cleverly solves the case begun by Bascom's blundering theft in a plot with many surprising twists.
Son of a Sailor (1933 b 73') En: 6, Ed: 5
A lying sailor manages to catch two spies in this navy farce.
This comedy makes fun of navy life, boxing, military strategy, spies, and war games through the character of a harmless liar, who makes up fantastic stories about himself.
Son of Frankenstein
(1939 b 99') En: 6, Ed: 5
The scientist's son is a doctor and revives the monster, who is controlled by a hanged man.
This sequel to Mary Shelley's story finds another generation experimenting on prolonging life; but a convicted criminal wreaks havoc getting revenge on his jury.
Son of Kong, The (1933 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 5
Sued for the damage King Kong did, Denham goes back to the island for treasure and finds Kong's son, jewels, and a girl-friend.
This less meaningful but charming sequel to the adventure classic still appeals to our feelings about large animals as Denham and Hilda interact with the cute "little Kong" in helping each other. Denham tries to redeem himself for Kong's death and ends up rich, though Kong's son dies.
Song of Freedom (1936 b 77') En: 5, Ed: 6
A London dock-worker becomes an opera singer and then traces his ancestors back to a West African island.
Costumes in this film remind one of Marcus Garvey and the movement to return to Africa. Robeson's fine voice and humanitarian zeal are combined in this story of a man who returns to his roots and tries to help his people with the resources he gains from his singing career.
Song of the City (1937 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 4
A broke man rejects marrying a millionaire and is saved from suicide by a fishing family; then he falls in love with their singing daughter.
This romantic drama celebrates the hard work of an immigrant family that enables their children to reach higher goals, which mis-matched marriages almost ruin. The decadent Paul gets a new perspective on life from the happy working family and finds true love.
Sons of the Desert (1933 b 68') En: 6, Ed: 5
Stan and Ollie lie to their wives so they can go to their lodge's convention in Chicago.
Numerous slapstick gags and the humorous situations allow audiences to release their tensions in laughter. The men fail to fool their wives; but as Stan admits, he is stuck with his story.
Sorority House (1939
b 64') En: 4, Ed: 5
Two freshman girls are rushed by sororities but have contrasting attitudes and results.
Dalton Trumbo wrote the screenplay for this hard look at the values of the sorority system that classifies students at college socially with often serious consequences for those who are rejected.
Souls at Sea (1937 b 93') En: 6, Ed: 6
An experienced seaman believed to be a slaver is tried after many die in a sea disaster.
This romantic adventure story portrays the greedy motives behind the infamous slave trade and explores the irony of a man trying to stop it having to share its horrible reputation.
Soup to Nuts (1930 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 4
Cartoonist Rube Goldberg wrote this comedy about a bankrupt costume shop.
This comedy relieves the strain of bankruptcy early in the Depression with humor and the generosity of a young man in love. Contrived inventions called Rube Goldbergs are demonstrated.
Spawn of the North (1938 b 110') En: 6, Ed: 6
Two fishermen friends in Alaska come into conflict over the stealing of fish and vigilante enforcement.
This drama of men struggling for wealth in a frontier with crude law enforcement shows two friends taking conflicting paths. As in many westerns, the problems caused by men taking the law into their own hands end tragically.
Special Agent (1935 b 76') En: 5, Ed: 5
An IRS agent and his girl-friend bookkeeper for a gangster are able to get the gangster convicted of income tax evasion after other trials failed.
Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion in 1931, and this tactic was used against other underworld leaders as well. This story adds romance with the gangster's bookkeeper, allowing the audience to root for the lovers and against the crime boss to a satisfactory conclusion of each case. No one seems to question the ethics of a government agent posing as a reporter.
Speed (1936 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 4
An inventor tests his new carburetor and hopes to win over the woman who seems to like an engineer.
This romantic drama portrays two women in strong positions with a modern company while a mechanical inventor from a poor family has to overcome his own doubts.
Spirit of Youth (1938 b 66') En: 4, Ed: 5
Joe Louis plays a boxer like himself (except not as good), who becomes champion.
This story is similar to the early career of Joe Louis except that he never lost a professional fight until he was defeated by European champion Max Schmeling. Production Code director Joseph Breen warned the producers of this film its distribution in the South was questionable because it shows a black boxer defeating whites.
Spitfire (1934 b 87') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on Lula Vollmer's play Trigger, a young hillbilly woman prays and is accused of being a witch while two dam engineers romance her.
This unusual story contrasts the simple faith of a poor woman with two sophisticated engineers, one an irresponsible philanderer and the other who learns about prayer. Trigger also has to learn how to handle her own wild tendencies.
Sporting Blood (1931 b 82') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from a novel by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan, a race horse is bought and sold, treated well and badly, but is rehabilitated to win the Kentucky Derby despite a handicap.
This dramatic story of a thoroughbred gives us the horse's point of view and realistically portrays a family of black servants on a horse farm. These natural elements are contrasted to the artificial world of gambling and greedy crooks.
Spring Madness (1938 b 68') En: 5, Ed: 4
Adapted from a play by Philip Barry, two students plan to go to Russia; but one is in love with a woman who wants to attend the spring dance.
Several women use their clever tricks to keep Sam around so that Alex can land him. This comedy implies that the far-flung plan of a college student to visit Communist Russia has little chance when women conspire to restrain him with the lures of marriage and a good job.
Squaw Man, The (1931 b 107') En: 6, Ed: 6
Cecil B. DeMille directed this story of an aristocrat who leaves England under a cloud and marries a native American.
This story contrasts the English aristocracy with the west of the cowboys and natives. Almost wanting to die, Jim is willing to sacrifice himself. The open attitude of Jim toward Naturich is overshadowed by the prejudice of some white men. This film has perhaps often been disregarded because it deals with controversial intermarriage, which can be of great benefit in developing multi-cultural understanding.
St. Louis Kid, The (1934 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 4
A truck-driver gets out of jail by siding with farmers but then is arrested for challenging their boycott and is accused of murder.
This tough and funny melodrama is vintage Cagney with the feisty little guy taking on the hoodlums. Underlying the gangster story is the plight of workers such as truck-drivers and farmers, who can be easily exploited by the money interests.
Stablemates (1938 b 90') En: 6, Ed: 6
An outlawed veterinarian operates on a horse and adopts her young owner in this heart-warming story of two men and a horse that love each other.
This heart-opener portrays an alcoholic, who is reformed by the love of a young man as they cooperate to heal a thoroughbred and work together.
Stage Door (1937 b 92') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on a play by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman, a rich young woman joins struggling actresses at a boardinghouse and gets a part she does not deserve.
The difficult struggle of young actresses is portrayed with comedy and drama in a profession that makes a few stars while some hang on, and most quit. The callous Anthony lies about being married so that he can have one affair after another with actresses anxious to please a producer. Tragedy occurs when a sensitive actress is denied a role that was bought for an inexperienced actress. Thus the underside of the theater exposed.
Stage Mother (1933 b 85') En: 6, Ed: 6
A young widow leaves the theater and pushes her daughter into theatrical success but not happiness in this adaptation of a novel by Bradford Ropes.
This story explores a frustrated and ambitious stage mother, who blocks her daughter's personal fulfillment to further her career. When her daughter disowns her as a mother, she realizes how wrong she has been.
Stage Struck (1936 b 92') En: 5, Ed: 4
A director clashes with a star backing her own show while falling in love with a newcomer in this trimmed-down Busby Berkeley musical.
Ironically this musical is marred by the off performances by the female leads. Although Blondell is usually good, she over-acts in this presumptuous role. Madden's acting was poor, and her career soon faded. Thus the reality behind the film mirrors the difficulty of show business in this musical comedy that also satirizes Freudian psychology.
b 96') En: 7, Ed: 6
A stagecoach travels through Apache country with an escaped convict looking for revenge, a fleeing prostitute, a pregnant woman, an alcoholic doctor, a gambler, a whiskey salesman, and a marshal.
This landmark western established the genre as more than B pictures. Yet other than the Mexican's wife the Apaches are only attackers, who seem to represent alien enemies Americans must fight in inevitable war. Ringo foolishly risks his life for revenge to show his manhood and surely would have been killed if it were not a movie.
Stamboul Quest (1934 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a true story, a German counter-spy is sent to catch a Turkish traitor and falls in love with an American.
Though she claims she is working to end the war, Annemarie stops the British from getting information that might have caused Germany to surrender sooner. Surprisingly the American hero loves a German spy and does nothing to stop her.
Stand Up and Cheer (1934 b 69') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on ideas by Will Rogers, the U. S. President appoints a Secretary of Amusement to raise the nation's spirits during the Depression.
Ironically the marching scenes at the end foreshadow the march into world war that ended the Depression. This musical seeks to entertain but also indicates business and political hostility to spending money on such things.
Stand Up and Fight
(1939 b 97') En: 6, Ed: 5
An impoverished southern aristocrat finds himself working for a Yankee woman on her stage-line but spies for the railroad.
This ante-bellum drama explores the plight of slaves, the fugitive slave law, convict labor, and the conflict between early railroads and stage-lines.
Stand-In (1937 b 91') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from Clarence Budington Kelland's novel, a numbers cruncher takes over a movie studio to prove it can make a profit.
This satire of the movie-making business shows a man believing only in math transformed by the love of a former child star while he is trying to clean up a corrupt studio system.
Stanley and Livingstone
(1939 b 100') En: 7, Ed: 8
This drama tells how a reporter found a famous missionary in the heart of Africa.
The Wyoming incident is fictitious; Bennett was in Paris when he sent Stanley to Africa. Although Stanley did not become a missionary, he made great contributions to the exploration of Africa. This drama well portrays his determination and the humanitarian Dr. Livingstone.
Star Is Born, A (1937 c 111') En: 7, Ed: 7
A young actress becomes an instantaneous movie star while her alcoholic husband's career plummets.
This classic Hollywood story shows the sudden rise and fall of movie stars with exhilarating and tragic results. The film even attempts to convey that the chances of becoming a star are one in 100,000, though it does not dwell on the many that fail. The shame of a man being supported by a woman does not help Norman's drinking problem.
Star of Midnight (1935 b 89') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from Arthur Somers Roche's novel, a lawyer, asked to find a disappeared actress, solves the murder caused by her reappearance.
This story offers escape entertainment for those who like a complicated mystery relieved with romantic comedy, as Dalzell finds the killer, and Donna gets her man.
Star Witness, The (1931 b 68') En: 6, Ed: 6
A family witnesses two murders by a gang leader and is intimidated not to testify against him, except for the grandfather.
This story explores the conflict between a family's threatened security and the larger public good of stopping violent criminals. The aged veteran risks his life and is even willing to sacrifice his family's safety, because he believes that gangsters should not be allowed to control things.
Stars Over Broadway (1935 b 89') En: 5, Ed: 5
A promoter helps a young singer become a star, first in crooning and then in opera, while falling in love with another singer.
This show displays operatic singing talent while Al struggles with the dilemma between quick success and high art. He loves a purity he sees in Nora and is afraid she will be corrupted the way Jan was for a while. The story ends on a high note with Jan beginning an opera career, while Al and Nora get together to marry.
State's Attorney (1932 b 79) En: 5, Ed: 6
A defense attorney for a mob boss becomes district attorney and prosecutes his old boss.
Cardigan uses clever tricks to win his cases but ultimately he agrees with June that it is better not to be on the side of the police. Although probably a former prostitute, she is eager to help him cure his alcoholism. Ultimately Cardigan gives up ambition for love.
Stolen Holiday (1937 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 5
A Russian swindler in Paris gets a model to help him start a business; they become successful partners, but she falls in love with a diplomat.
This drama pauses to cater to people's interest in Paris fashions while offering a moral tale warning a woman against letting her love for a man trip her up. In gratitude Nicole extends herself for her unethical friend.
Storm at Daybreak (1933 b 79') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from Sandor Hunyady's play, during the world war the wife of a Serbian mayor falls in love with a Hungarian officer.
The historical context of the world war's triggering event frames this romantic triangle in which two friends love the same woman. After the Austro-Hungarian empire lost, a vindictive Serbian stimulates his own violent end that enables the lovers to be together.
Story of Alexander Graham Bell, The (1939 b 97') En: 7, Ed: 8
A teacher of the deaf experiments with transmitting sound, invents the telephone, and marries one of his deaf students.
This true story is substantially accurate and portrays the struggles of a young inventor with genius and vision. He is assisted financially by two fathers of his students and encouraged by his wife, bringing about one of the most useful and lucrative inventions to civilization.
Story of Louis Pasteur, The (1936 b 87') En: 7, Ed: 9
The famous microbiologist warns doctors about spreading germs and proves that his vaccines for anthrax and rabies are effective.
Pasteur's story is structured to dramatize his discoveries and makes many wonderful points about how to prevent and cure disease; but perhaps more significantly it shows the skepticism an innovator must overcome with hard work and perseverance in order to make progress for humanity.
Story of Vernon and
Irene Castle, The (1939 b 93')
En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on stories and advice from Irene Castle, this biographical musical portrays the influential and romantic dancers.
Dancing of the World War I era is depicted as the Castles popularize romantic dancing until he is lost in the war. Once again the innovative artists have to struggle financially before their work becomes accepted.
Stowaway (1936 b 87') En: 6, Ed: 6
An American orphan in China is taken aboard a ship by a wealthy playboy and charms him into getting married in order to adopt her.
Highlighted with Chinese proverbs, an innocent and wise child helps a playboy to reform and the woman he loves to realize she loves him.
Stranded (1935 b 73') En: 6, Ed: 7
A woman helps people through Traveler's Aid and is romanced by a man with a work ethic building the Golden Gate bridge challenged by corruption.
Made during the building of the elegant bridge, this drama contrasts Lynn's charitable work with Mack's social Darwinism. His tough approach is effective; but her love triumphs in the end in this feminist film.
Strange Interlude (1932 b 110) En: 6, Ed: 8
Based on Eugene O'Neill's play, a grieving woman manages to keep three men in her life by dividing her love between them. In this absorbing drama the audience gets to hear thoughts of the characters as well as the spoken words, a marvelous technique, though in this production the emotional tone of the acting seemed melodramatic to me.
The fascinating voice-over enables us to understand better how each character's thoughts and feelings differ from their outward behavior and speech. Thus we can penetrate their psyches and hidden motives, making the gap between hopes and reality stark.
Strange Love of Molly Louvain, The (1932 b 73') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a play by Maurine Watkins, an orphaned woman has a child and is caught up with a racketeer but meets a reporter covering her case.
This mature melodrama portrays a woman caught in circumstances like the mother who abandoned her. A cynical reporter sees what she is but is moved to sincerity by her turning herself in to help her daughter.
Strangers May Kiss (1931 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on the novel by Ursula Parrott, a woman loves a traveling journalist and foregoes marriage, becoming promiscuous when he leaves her.
After experimenting with freedom and romances, Lisbeth and Alan realize they love each other.
Street Scene (1931 b 79') En: 6, Ed: 6
Elmer Rice adapted his own play about tenement neighbors who gossip about a married woman seeing another man.
In this slice of city life a variety of characters interact with their different values. What seems like just talk turns out to affect people's lives with serious consequences.
Strictly Dynamite (1934 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a play by Robert T. Colwell and Robert A. Simon, a writer makes money writing gags for a radio personality and ignores his wife.
Moxie's many malapropisms mangle meaning, adding to the hilarity of this otherwise typical comedy of a young writer spoiled by success.
Stronger Than Desire (1939 b 78') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on W. E. Woodward's novel and very similar to the 1934 film Evelyn Prentice, the wife of a lawyer shoots a blackmailer and gets her husband to defend the wife.
This uneven drama has poetic justice in that the conniving blackmailer is the only one badly hurt. A secondary theme is that this successful lawyer is so fascinated with his work that he has little time left for his family.
Student Tour (1934 b 84') En: 5, Ed: 4
A college crew goes on a world tour with their philosophy professor while their captain falls in love with his niece.
Durante's comedy is the main highlight in this escape entertainment. As usual, college sports seems much more important than philosophy.
Suez (1938 b 98') En: 6, Ed: 6
This tale of the man who built the Suez Canal is a mixture of fact and fiction.
De Lesseps' diplomatic career was ruined by a controversy in Italy, not as portrayed in this film. Eugenie was Ferdinand's cousin and supported the canal project. The canal was begun in 1859, and Empress Eugenie attended the opening in 1869. Disraeli's British government did not purchase a majority of the shares until 1875.
Sunny (1930 b 78') En: 5, Ed: 4
Adapted from the Holbach-Hammerstein-Kern musical, a circus dancer stows away on a boat and marries so she can land, get divorced, and then marry the man she loves.
While offering mildly amusing humor and musical entertainment, this story shows how off-hand marriage and divorce are treated in the movies.
Super Sleuth (1937 b 70') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on Harry Segall's play, a movie star, who plays detectives, thinks he can solve a real crime better than the police.
This comedy satirizes detective movies and Hollywood stars who get caught up in their own glamour, confusing their roles with reality.
Supernatural (1933 b 65') En: 6, Ed: 7
A spiritualist tries to take an advantage of a bereaving woman; but an executed murderess takes over her body to get revenge on him.
This plausible horror story is based on the spiritualist understanding that the soul leaves the body at death and may possess other bodies that somehow allow this to occur. Dr. Houston's point that executed criminals may haunt others, causing more crimes, is another argument against capital punishment.
Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise) (1931 b 76') En: 5, Ed: 5
This film portrays the troubles a woman goes through to find the one man she loves.
This mostly sad but romantic story enables the audience to experience the longing and difficulties experienced by a romantically ideal woman (Garbo) and man (Gable). He wants her to be faithful only to him and almost ruins his life when her life's challenges do not allow that purity. Her perseverance and determination in spite of great difficulties is admirable and finally rewarded, bringing emotional resolution.
Susannah of the Mounties
(1939 b 78') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on Muriel Denison's book, an orphaned girl is found by a Mounty and helps to make peace with the Indians upset by the new railroad.
A little girl bridges the two cultures while learning how squaws are treated by proud braves, as the natives react to the onslaught of white civilization foreshadowed by the life-changing railroad.
Suzy (1936 b 93') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on Herbert Gorman's novel, a chorus girl marries an inventor, who is shot by a spy; then she marries a womanizing French flyer, and all three meet.
Although Suzy finds her aristocrat, he turns out to be a war-hero playboy, while her inventive previous husband becomes her secret hero. This drama contains much irony amid the melodramatic violence of war.
Svengali (1931 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 5
A music master mesmerizes a young model into becoming his wife and a concert singer in this adaptation of George Du Maurier's novel Trilby.
This story shows the mutual dependence of a domineering personality over a submissive one. Svengali can control Trilby, but in that control he cannot experience her own love. Having taken her love for Billee away from her, he is left with nothing but his own psychic power and death.
Sweepings (1933 b 80') En: 6, Ed: 6
Adapted from Lester Cohen's novel, a father wants his sons to take over his department store, but he is disappointed.
Dan and Abe built a business empire; but Abe had no other life, and Dan discovered than none of his children were suited to run his business. This drama explores the father's disappointment in his children not living up to his expectations.
Sweet Adeline (1934 b 88') En: 6, Ed: 5
A composer almost loses his girl-friend when she stars in his musical play in this adaptation of the operetta by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein.
The Major symbolizes American imperialism as he wants to exploit but not marry Adeline. The musical Sid loves her and finally wins her.
Sweethearts (1938 c 114') En: 6, Ed: 5
In this adaptation of Victor Herbert's operetta, a couple starring in a musical for six years are tempted by Hollywood but are deceived into separating.
This musical comedy reflects the differences between performing on Broadway or in the movies as the stars repeat their performance for a live audience daily but have little time to relax.
Swing Time (1936 b 103') En: 7, Ed: 6
A dancer needs $25,000 to marry his fiancé but falls in love with another dancer in this delightful musical.
Superb songs and dancing highlight this musical comedy about two gamblers who find more suitable partners.
Swing Your Lady (1938 b 78') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on a play by Kenyon Nicholson and Charles Robinson, a wrestler is pitted against a female blacksmith but falls for her and defeats her suitor.
This farce satirizes country folk, the "sport" of wrestling, and a big woman. Hollywood seemed to be reaching for a different audience in this one.
Sworn Enemy (1936 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 4
A young man, his girl-friend, and her father investigate racketeers for the District Attorney.
In this racketeering melodrama Emerald is portrayed as trying to gain power to compensate for his physical debilitation. The audience roots for the young lovers to overcome the dastardly gangsters.
Sylvia Scarlett (1936 b 94') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on Compton MacKenzie's novel, two smugglers and a daughter dressed as a boy wander England conning and then doing shows until the jealous father commits suicide and his daughter falls in love with an artist.
Naturally attracted to women, Jimmy admits to Sylvia it is a "pig's world." Henry could not handle his jealousy; but after dubious ventures with her father, Sylvia finds Michael.
Symphony of Six Million (1932 b 95') En: 5, Ed: 6
Adapted from the Fannie Hurst novel, the son of a poor tailor becomes a doctor on Park Avenue.
This story explores the temptation of wealth available to a top surgeon; yet Felix comes to realize that helping the poor is more important.
Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (silent 1931 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 6
Only South Sea islanders appeared in this silent film about a young couple violating a sacred tabu.
This archetypal story has Matahi suffering for violating a native sexual tabu and for not understanding the civilized money system. In spite of his diving skill and ability to elude the shark, the combination of these two problems causes his death. The film won the Oscar for cinematography and enables the audience to experience something of the simple of beauty of living on a South Sea island.
Tale of Two Cities, A (1935 b 126') En: 8, Ed: 8
In a fine adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel an alcoholic English lawyer sacrifices himself to save an aristocratic husband from the guillotine.
This story contrasts the French terror to the English moderation that only lost the American colonies in this revolutionary era. Carton, not finding much success or value in living, makes his death meaningful by helping others.
Tarnished Angel (1938 b 56') En: 5, Ed: 5
A chorus girl turns her con ability to revival meetings and plans to steal but is given an opportunity to help a children's hospital.
A woman uses religion and deception to make money but finds her course turned to real charity by a persistent cop, a philanthropist, and an actual religious experience. Her good side also helps her fiance to reform his life to make himself worthy of her. This transformation of the cynical invites the audience to experience the same vicariously.
Tarzan and His Mate (1934 b 104') En: 7, Ed: 6
Harry returns with a womanizing ivory hunter to win back Jane with dresses; but Tarzan survives their violent greed and saves Jane.
Still much less inhibited by censors than later sequels, this adventure shows a woman enjoying a free and natural life with her faithful mate and protector. This innocence is contrasted to the violent greed of the ivory hunters who sacrifice all for tusks.
Tarzan Escapes (1936 b 90') En: 6, Ed: 5
Jane's relatives want her to return to England to inherit a fortune, and a hunter tries to capture Tarzan in a cage.
In this adventure the happy, natural life of Tarzan and Jane is contrasted to a greedy hunter, who kills and enslaves for profit. Rita and Eric come to realize that Jane is happier there than a million pounds could make her. Thus civilization is challenged by natural kindness.
Tarzan Finds a Son!
(1939 b 82') En: 6, Ed: 5
An orphaned white child is adopted by Tarzan and Jane, and his relatives come looking for evidence this heir is dead.
This adventure contrasts wild Africa with the devious violence of greedy Europeans as Tarzan and Jane struggle to keep a child.
Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932 b 100') En: 6, Ed: 5
In the first sound adaptation from the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs Jane meets Tarzan, who saves her safari from a tribe of dwarves.
Church groups complained that Jane was living in sin with Tarzan and insisted on more censorship in sequels. This story offers adventure with African animals cooperating with Tarzan, as a woman finds friendship with a "natural man."
Taxi! (1932 b 69') En: 5 Ed: 5
Based on Kenyon Nicholson's play, a taxi driver copes with hostility from others and himself while marrying a woman who wants him to change.
Can the love of a woman soothe the fiery temper of a tough guy? Sue seems to have little success with Matt; but he can be kind at times, and there is hope he will learn to control himself in the future. The taxi war shows how fierce urban competition can be when money is at stake.
Tell No Tales (1939
b 69') En: 6, Ed: 5
A newspaper editor has his paper closed but tries to save it by tracking down kidnappers and reporting the story.
This drama depicts a variety of characters in diverse social situations as this desperate newspaper man fearlessly seeks criminals and his precious story.
Tenderfoot, The (1932 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 4
A cowboy from Texas goes to New York and invests $20,000 in a show that flops before it is turned into a satire.
This comedy plays upon the contrast between a naive cowboy in modern New York as he is exploited by gangsters but saved by Ruth's love.
Test Pilot (1938 b 120') En: 7, Ed: 6
A test pilot gets married; his wife and best friend have to deal with the dangers he faces.
This drama of a close three-way friendship foreshadows the next war with its development of the war-fighting planes and the training of pilots.
Testament of Dr. Mabuse (German 1933 b 111') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on a novel by Norbert Jacques, a criminal gang directed by the hypnotic Dr. Mabuse, even after his death, is finally caught by the police.
This fascinating story expresses the current terror in a Germany driven by the ghosts of its war dead crying for violence as revenge. When intelligence and will are directed toward domination and exploitation by means of violence, many evils and crimes result.
That Certain Woman (1937 b 94') En: 5, Ed: 5
A gangster's widow is loved by her married boss and marries a wealthy man, but his father gets it annulled.
This well acted drama portrays complex emotions in difficult circumstances. The prejudice of J. B. Merrick ruins a marriage, and Mary demonstrates extraordinary maturity and self-sacrifice in conceding to Flip.
That Girl from Paris (1936 b 104') En: 5, Ed: 4
A French opera singer without a passport joins an American jazz band on a ship and hides out with them in this musical comedy.
This amusing comedy offers both operatic and jazz music, while laws on national borders, jealousy, and misunderstanding keep the plot moving.
There Goes My Girl (1937 b 74') En: 5, Ed: 4
A couple of competing journalists are kept from marrying by an editor who doesn't want to lose his best reporter.
This frantic comedy plays upon the difficulty two busy reporters might have being married and the extent to which an editor will go to get stories.
These Glamour Girls
(1939 b 79') En: 6, Ed: 6
Socialite college students encounter a dime-a-dance girl and find themselves examining their attitudes and values.
Aristocratic college students are exposed for their decadent values as the son of a wealthy man has his life changed by a beautiful working woman.
These Three (1936 b 93') En: 7, Ed: 8
Lillian Hellman adapted her own play, The Children's Hour, about a school-girl who ruins the lives of her two teachers with a vicious rumor.
Current censorship and society's closeting of homosexuality caused the original lesbian plot to be changed into a heterosexual triangle; but the consequences of Mary's spiteful lies are devastating nonetheless.
They Gave Him a Gun (1937 b 95') En: 6, Ed: 7
Adapted from William Joyce Cowan's novel, two men drafted into the world war fall in love with the same nurse but have different values after the war.
This drama shows how war training can have unintended consequences on some. Fred tries to persuade Jimmy that violent crime will not work.
They Learned About Women (1930 b 95') En: 5, Ed: 4
Two friends team up in vaudeville and baseball. The pitcher's engagement is broken off when a gold-digger gets him to marry her; but after a separation they win the World Series.
Two experienced vaudevillians bring their talent to the screen in a story that affirms their friendship as well as their partnership. Jack is led astray by the selfish Daisy; but the loyal Mary and his best friend help him restore their winning team.
They Shall Have Music
(1939 b 101') En: 5, Ed: 6
Adapted from Charles L. Clifford's novel, a boy runs away from a hostile home and finds a school teaching poor children music; he gets help from the violinist Jascha Heifetz.
Outstanding classical music highlights this drama in which those helping poor children to develop their musical talents have to struggle with economic realities.
They Won't Forget (1937 b 95') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on a novel by Ward Greene, an ambitious prosecutor in the South uses circumstantial evidence to convict a northern teacher of murder.
This film dramatically depicts many southern prejudices and was not shown in some theaters in the South. Though fictional, it is similar to the infamous Mary Phagan case of 1913. Some believe that the controversy of this movie prevented studios from producing such pictures for many years to come.
Thin Ice (1937 b 78') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on a novel by Attila Orbok, an incognito prince falls in love with an ice skater while rumors fly the prince is romancing her.
This musical comedy reflects interest in ice skating and satirizes the aristocratic ways of European diplomacy.
Thin Man, The (1934 b 88') En: 7, Ed: 6
Based on a novel by Dashiell Hammett, a retired detective and his wife cleverly solve three murders that have sent the police astray.
Buoyed by a happily married couple's witty banter, this charming film started a series and even a trend. Even the dog provides laughs. The constant drinking seems to be a celebration of Prohibition ending.
Things to Come (1936 b 95') En: 6, Ed: 8
H. G. Wells adapted his own novel about a long world war and the first rocket carrying people to the moon in 2036.
This story prophesied the next world war and portrayed its destructiveness, though the lesson recommended still has not been learned. Ironically the cold war enabled men to land on the moon as early as 1969; but whether humanity will organize itself to prevent wars by 2036 is still an open question, and the possibility of nothing instead of all the universe is still a real possibility unless we do.
Thirteen Women (1932 b 60') En: 5, Ed: 4
In this adaptation of Tiffany Thayer's novel, a half-caste Indian gets revenge against sorority sisters by using horoscopes and the power of suggestion.
This violent story reflects fears of how the occult may cause deaths when it is grossly abused. Resentment from racial discrimination is understandable, but trying to get revenge by bringing about so many deaths is way out of proportion and just adds more misery to the world.
39 Steps, The (1935 b 86') En: 7, Ed: 7
Adapted from a John Buchan novel by director Alfred Hitchcock, a Canadian tries to break a spy ring in Scotland after he is suspected of murder.
Directed with fine style, an innocent man is sought for murder while trying to find spies who are trying to kill him, creating great suspense as the audience can identify with him or Pamela. The story reflects the modern intrigue involved in keeping and stealing military secrets.
This Man Is Mine (1934 b 76') En: 5, Ed: 5
A happily married man is seduced by his first love, who had rejected him but is now divorced, in this adaptation of Anne Morrison Chapin's play.
This love triangle shows how a seductive woman can make a fool out of a man. Fortunately Fran finds someone more like herself, and the foolish Jim is driven back to his faithful wife a wiser man never would have left.
This Modern Age (1931 b 68') En: 4, Ed: 5
A young woman visits her divorced mother in Paris, meets her libertine crowd, and falls in love with a conservative Harvard man, who disapproves.
This drama explores the changing morality of the modern age and the social conflicts that may result from differing views. Bob and his parents disapprove of Diane being a kept woman without marriage. The situation seems to be resolved when Diane agrees to be kept by Bob instead of André. Bob and Val love each other, and that is what matters to them.
Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937 b 80') En: 5, Ed: 4
A jockey is persuaded by his father to throw a race; but he helps his English friend win the cup.
The tears in Tim's eyes as he pleads for his friend indicate that the title is not necessarily true. This first co-starring of Rooney and Garland marks a new trend of popular films about young people. The crooked father exploiting his own son shows the darker side of gambling.
Three Comrades (1938 b 99') En: 7, Ed: 7
F. Scott Fitzgerald got his only screen credit adapting Erich Maria Remarque's novel about three German war veterans, who love each other and a dying woman.
Post-war German difficulties are the background for this moving drama of close friendships as veterans and aristocrats have economic problems.
Three Godfathers (1936 b 81') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on Peter B. Kyne's novel as was the 1930 film Hell's Heroes, three bank robbers lose their lives but save a baby in the desert.
This spiritual drama reveals that even men forced by circumstances or their character to rob a bank are human and can sacrifice themselves to save an innocent child.
Three Loves Has Nancy (1938 b 70') En: 6, Ed: 5
A sincere girl from a small town cooks for two New Yorkers and finds her way into their hearts even though she is engaged to someone else.
This comedy contrasts the authenticity of Nancy and her values to the cool sophistication of New York; but love bridges the differences.
Three Men on a Horse (1936 b 87') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on a play by John Cecil Holm and George Abbott, three gamblers find a greeting-card poet who can pick winning horses.
This hilarious comedy is based on a fantasy premise that is a gambler's dream come true. The irony is that Erwin only wants to keep his job and won't bet, while the greedy gamblers want to make money without working.
Three Musketeers, The (1935 b 96') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on the first half of the Dumas novel, D'Artagnan joins three Musketeers in a special mission to stop a traitorous intrigue.
Unable to keep "his hand out of dueling, his head out of politics, and his heart out of love," D'Artagnan (and the audience) thrive on his adventures in a still chivalrous age.
Three on a Match (1932 b 63') En: 5, Ed: 5
Three schoolgirls cross paths when one leaves her husband and another marries him, resulting in a tragic kidnapping.
This story shows how people can change. After reform school Mary rises from a chorus girl to become a lawyer's wife and a responsible stepmother, while the popular Vivian degenerates into debauchery and alcoholism. Yet she nobly throws her life away to save her child. How many people died from the cigarettes tobacco companies gave to soldiers in the war, which greatly stimulated the smoking habit?
Three Smart Girls (1936 b 84') En: 6, Ed: 5
Three daughters try to stop their divorced father from marrying a gold-digger, while one of them falls in love with the wealthy man used as bait.
This film is significant for helping to begin a trend of movies about teenagers. Their energy and good intentions are expected to help the adults solve their problems, and in a comedy they usually do.
Three Who Loved (1931 b 64') En: 4, Ed: 5
While her fiancé studies law, an immigrant woman falls in love with his best friend, who spurns her and is falsely convicted of theft.
This love triangle explores the two men's different temperaments and life-styles that come into conflict over an immigrant woman. Phil lives for momentary pleasures, while John calculates and plans for success with law and outside it. John learns that betraying his friend made himself unhappy too.
Thunder Afloat (1939
b 95') En: 6, Ed: 5
Rival ship captains join the Navy and fight German submarines.
This world war drama prepares Americans for the probability that they will soon be fighting Germans again, and the emergency enables the quarreling rivals to gain a spirit of cooperation.
Tiger Shark (1932 b 78') En:6 , Ed: 6
A successful tuna fisherman has bad luck with women and sharks in this realistically filmed melodrama.
The fishing scenes are real, but it is jealousy that leads to Mike's tragedy in the age-old triangle. Whoever can distinguish the soul from the body knows that a maimed body cannot tarnish the immortal soul.
Tillie and Gus (1933 b 58') En: 6, Ed: 5
Two gambling missionaries help a young couple save their ferry boat in a race for the franchise.
In this short comedy the W. C. Fields character uses various questionable methods to triumph over other even more reprehensible characters, allowing the audience to fulfill their socially unacceptable wishes to cheat and win in devious ways, because they are being used to help the innocent get what they deserve.
Times Square Lady (1935 b 68') En: 5, Ed: 4
A young woman inherits a sports empire and faces crooked businessmen trying to take it away from her; but she sells it to the man she loves.
Businessmen try to cheat a woman out of her inheritance primarily because of her sex, exposing corruption and its violence; but she falls in love with the man who appears to be honest and is willing to take it over and marry her.
Times Square Playboy (1936 b 62') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on George M. Cohan's play The Home Towners, an old friend arrives in New York to be best man and almost breaks up his friend's wedding.
This short comedy shows the mayhem that can be caused when an old friend tries to change his friend's relationships before he even understands them.
Tip-Off, The (1931 b 71') En: 5, Ed: 4
A young man falls in love with a gangster's girl-friend but is protected by a jealous boxer.
This comedy satirizes the bullying tactics of gangsters. Ironically the man Tommy was afraid of offending turns out to be his defender from a more malicious jealousy.
Toast of New York, The (1937 b 109') En: 6, Ed: 7
This true story of Jim Fisk shows some of his financial manipulations and why he promoted the career of actress Josie Mansfield.
Most of this story is accurate except for the comedy scenes. Fisk made money on the Erie railroad with Drew and Jay Gould using fraudulent stock against Vanderbilt, and he spent corporate funds promoting Josie Mansfield. His bribes of public officials were not depicted. His gold scheme caused the Black Friday panic on September 24, 1869. Gould did sell his gold before prices fell. Fisk was shot by an associate after a quarrel over Josie and business in 1872. Thus actual greed and selfishness were portrayed.
Today We Live (1933 b 113') En: 6, Ed: 6
William Faulkner wrote the story and dialog for this Howard Hawks film about heroic sacrifices and romance during war.
Faulkner's original story shows the affect of war on the men fighting, but the movie version adds a woman and romance to the mix, revealing the folly of war that leads to such heroic sacrifices and loss.
Too Hot to Handle (1938 b 107') En: 6, Ed: 5
Two newsreel cameramen compete for scoops using a pretty pilot, who is trying to find her brother in South America.
This adventurous comedy satirizes the competition among news organizations and cameramen in capturing events throughout the world. Blackmail, deception, and other tricks are used to attain success.
Top Hat (1935 b 100') En: 8, Ed: 7
Dancing and Irving Berlin's songs highlight this romantic comedy in which she thinks he is married to her friend when he really is someone else.
This sophisticated entertainment appeals to romantic desires, using a misunderstanding to provide comic irony and obstacles for love to overcome.
Topaze (1933 b 78') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on Marcel Pagnol's play, a moral schoolteacher becomes a chemist for a dishonest businessman.
In comic fashion this story contrasts the philosophy of ethics taught in school to corrupt practices in the business world in a modern parable of a business using advertising to promote a faulty product.
Tovarich (1937 b 99') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on Robert Sherwood's translation of Jacques Deval's play, Russian aristocrats in Paris become servants rather than spend Russia's money.
This unusual comedy plays on the revolutionary result of exiled aristocrats becoming poor servants because of ruthless Soviets. Yet in their dignity they give all their money back for Russia's people.
Tower of London (1939 b 92') En: 6, Ed: 6
Duke Gloucester uses manipulation, patience, and murder to become King Richard III of England.
This drama tells the traditional history of Richard III's ruthless ambition as portrayed by the Tudor dynasty that replaced the Plantagenets. The quest for power proves to be a very dangerous game.
Toy Wife, The (1938 b 96') En: 5, Ed: 6
Based on a French (1869) and English (1870) play, a responsible woman persuades her frivolous sister to marry the lawyer she loves and ends up taking over the home.
This family tragedy results from a misguided marriage and is worsened by the dangerous custom of dueling. George selected his wife based on sexual attraction when her more mature sister probably would have suited him much better as a wife and mother of his children.
Trader Horn (1931 b 122') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on a novel by Alfred Aloysius Horn and Ethelreda Lewis, two whites find a missionary's daughter abducted by an African tribe and bring her back.
This realistic adventure story shot on location in Africa is a landmark in film-making. The savvy Trader Horn shares his knowledge and wisdom with young Peru as audiences get a chance to see native Africans playing themselves. The skill and courage of the Africans is represented by their gun-bearer Rencharo.
Transgression (1931 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 4
Adapted from a play by Kate Jordan, while her husband is in India, a woman meets a Spaniard in Paris and is tempted by romance.
This romantic melodrama points out the dangers of a long separation and an affair with an unscrupulous womanizer. Elsie is courageous enough to reveal the truth rather than be black-mailed and is fortunate her husband is forgiving.
Transatlantic Merry-go-round (1934 b 90') En: 5, Ed: 4
On a ship an entertainer is wooed by a jewel thief while her brother is compelled to help her former lover, who gets murdered.
This crime story and murder mystery is spiced with music and humor - what the idle rich and those who prey upon them do crossing the Atlantic.
Traveling Saleslady (1935 b 63') En: 5 Ed: 5
The daughter of a toothpaste owner sells cocktail toothpaste for his competitor while falling for her rival salesman.
This comedy about selling has a strong feminist theme as the father blindly discounts women and his daughter while she succeeds better than the best men.
Treasure Island (1934 b 103') En: 6, Ed: 6
A youngster finds a treasure map and befriends a pirate prior to violent battles for the treasure in this version of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel.
This adventure story allows boys and young men to identify with a courageous hero who survives treachery and finds treasure. Jim is kind even to the wicked pirates and only kills in self-defense. Silver's killing people so he can have more treasure shows how absurd greed can be.
Trouble for Two (1936 b 75') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from a story by Robert Louis Stevenson, a prince joins a suicide club in this macabre romantic comedy.
This mixture of several genres is a light-hearted look at royal politics and revolutionary assassination by a peculiar method, providing escapist entertainment.
Trouble in Paradise (1932 b 83') En: 7, Ed: 6
Based on the Laszlo Aladar play, a couple of thieves get together to rob a wealthy lady, but he falls in love with her.
Director Lubitsch gives a certain style to this sophisticated comedy in which all the sex is merely implied; but I suspect the censors would not allow this movie to be shown later because the thieves get away with their crimes.
Tugboat Annie (1933 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from stories by Norman Reilly Raine, a woman tries to operate a tugboat business with her alcoholic husband.
Terry's drinking is played for laughs, but it causes much grief. Yet the struggles of Annie and Terry represent the difficulties of many, who hope their children will have a better life.
Turn Back the Clock (1933 b 79') En: 6, Ed: 7
When his wife won't let him invest their small savings, a man wishes he could live his life again so that he could make money.
This fantasy helps a man see that wealth does not always produce happiness even when he knows ahead much of what will happen. His hindsight gives the story of twenty years many ironies as he fails to correct some of the mistakes.
Twentieth Century (1934 b 91') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on Charles Millholland's play, a director makes an actress, becomes jealous, loses her, and tries to get her back to save his career.
Millholland's play Napoleon on Broadway was drawn from his experience of working with David Belasco. This story satirizes the dictatorial power of a strong director, who is nonetheless dependent on the talent of a star.
Twenty Million Sweethearts (1934 b 90') En: 6, Ed: 5
A fast-talking agent gets a singer on the radio but almost ruins his relationship with another singer in this musical comedy.
Rush manages to make opportunities by being fast and loose with the truth. He almost ruins even more with his tricks but pulls it out in the end.
20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1933 b 83') En: 6, Ed: 6
In this adaptation of Warden Lewis E. Lawes book, a criminal serving 5-30 is let out on his honor to visit his girlfriend and is executed for a murder she committed.
This story shows a humane warden trusting convicts and almost losing his position because of the political repercussions. A criminal, moved by the warden's trust, sacrifices his life for his girlfriend.
Two Alone (1934 b 76') En: 4, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Dan Totheroh, an orphan and a reform-school runaway work for a cruel farmer, fall in love, and try to escape.
This drama explores the suffering caused by a mean farmer, who tries to take advantage of two unfortunate young people; but their love enables them to rise above these circumstances with the help of her father.
Two Seconds (1932 b 67') En: 5, En: 5
In this adaptation of Elliott Lester's play a man being executed remembers what led him to kill his best friend and his wife.
Recent research indicates that a life review occurs in near-death experiences, and it may be universally experienced when people die. John's perverted morality makes prostitution worse than the killing of his two closest friends.
Under the Roofs of Paris (French 1930 b 87') En: 6, Ed: 6
René Clair wrote and directed this musical and mostly mimed story of two friends vying for the affection of a woman.
This film, made silent and then dubbed with the French dialog and music, is done with grace and charm in spite its melodramatic plot. Albert's calm detachment seems to insulate him from all danger and sorrow, while Fred seems to get away with numerous nefarious deeds.
Under Two Flags (1936 b 97') En: 6, Ed: 5
A cafe singer and an English lady fall in love with a French foreign legion sergeant, who is placed in danger by a colonel, who loves the singer.
This romantic adventure has two European women among hundreds of men falling for the same man in the historical context of French colonialism imposed by military force on resisting Arabs.
Unguarded Hour, The (1936 b 87') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Ladislas Fodor, a prominent couple is blackmailed while the husband prosecutes a murder his wife knows the accused did not commit.
Although the surprise ending at first seems contrived because of the web of evidence against Alan, the actual result is more true to the characters. This drama shows how innocent persons can be made to look guilty by circumstantial evidence.
Unholy Three, The (1930 b 72') En: 4, Ed: 5
Lon Chaney used several voices in his only talking film about carnival performers turned jewelry thieves.
The thieves deceptions are clever, but conflicts between them threaten to undo them. Echo heroically sacrifices himself for the innocent Hector, showing he really loves Rosie.
Union Depot (1932 b 67') En: 6, Ed: 5
Based on Gene Fowler's play, two hobos find counterfeit money at the train station, and one helps a woman get a ticket to Salt Lake City.
Various people are seen at the station; but the story focuses on the crimes of stealing, counterfeiting, sexual assault, and attempted murder.
Union Pacific (1939
b 135') En: 7, Ed: 6
Based on Ernest Haycox's novel, a trouble-shooter protects railroad building from his ex-army buddy and competes with him for the post-mistress.
Director Cecil DeMille created an adventure out of the historic competition between two railroad companies. Much trouble is caused because of unscrupulous manipulation by a greedy investor.
Upperworld (1934 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 5
A railroad magnate, whose socialite wife is too busy, becomes involved with a burlesque dancer, resulting in blackmail and two homicides.
This story shows a millionaire to be like his son who plays with trains. His money enabled him to control the police, and he is acquitted even though he bribed a witness. This "upperworld" looks more like the underworld.
Valley of the Giants (1938 c 80') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on Peter B. Kyne's novel, a greedy businessman tries to log the redwoods, but a local mill-owner fights to preserve the forest.
Spectacular color shots of the redwoods and logging action highlight this conflict between a ruthless manipulator and a mill-owner who intends to log intelligently in order to preserve the forest. Despite the power of money and official corruption, the homesteaders join together to defeat the exploiters, though the killing by McKinzie is egregious.
Vamonos con Pancho Villa (Spanish 1936 b 89') En: 6, Ed: 7
Third (after El Compadre Mendoza) in a trilogy by director Fernando de Fuentes, six men from San Pablo fight for the Mexican revolution.
The chaotic violence and suffering of the Mexican revolution are captured in this film about campañeros fighting for their manhood while fearing cowardice more than anything.
Varsity Show (1937 b 81') En: 5, Ed: 4
College students get an alumnus producer to help them put on their musical show over the objections of the professor in charge.
This musical suggests college students' capability to protest in order to make innovative changes, although in this case they are limited to popular music and dance.
Viva Villa! (1934 b 110') En: 7, Ed: 7
The famous bandit leads a revolution in Mexico, is exiled, and wins a second revolution in this mostly fictionalized account.
Leaving out much history, such as Villa's alliance with Carranza against Huerta, this film nonetheless captures much of his revolutionary spirit and the good intentions of Madero.
Vivacious Lady (1938 b 90') En: 6, Ed: 5
A college professor marries a night-club singer and has trouble telling his parents and fiancé about it.
This comedy plays upon the tension that exists until Peter and Francey can consummate their marriage. The haughty attitude of Mr. Morgan is exposed, because his wife has to feign heart trouble in order to subdue his temper.
Vogues of 1938 (1937 c 109') En: 5, Ed: 4
A debutante refuses to marry for money and works as a model for a fashion designer whose marriage is falling apart.
This color film displays many current fashions with a mildly amusing story, singing, and dancing. The film appeals most to people interested in fashions.
Voice of Bugle Ann, The (1936 b 72') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from MacKinlay Kantor's novel, a dog-lover kills his unfriendly neighbor, whose daughter loves his son.
This sentimental drama seems to justify murder out of mistaken revenge for a dog by portraying Jacob as mean and Spring as otherwise kind. Yet Spring does serve time, which is shortened when the victim's relative asks his pardon, yielding a humane result since Spring does not need to be in prison.
Voltaire (1933 b 72') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on the novel by George Gibbs and E. Laurence Dudley, Voltaire uses a play to expose the king's corrupt minister.
Although these dramatic events are fictitious, the wit and character of Voltaire are based on that versatile genius. With impending revolution the corruption of the court is portrayed. The story conveys Voltaire's zeal for humanitarian values and tolerance of dissent.
Walking Dead, The (1936 b 66') En: 6, Ed: 6
Gangsters murder a judge and frame an ex-convict, who is executed but brought back to life when his innocence is proved; then he gets retribution.
This violent science-fiction drama shows the force behind death as a power that brings a vengeful justice to murderers. Recent resuscitation technology has now greatly increased the number of near-death experiences (NDEs), revealing that most people have spiritual experiences after leaving their bodies at death.
Walking on Air (1936 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 4
A wealthy man tries to keep his daughter from marrying one man; so she hires another to insult her father but falls in love with him.
This romantic screw-ball comedy allows the audience to watch Kit and Pete fall in love in humorous situations while knowing Fred only wants Kit's money to pay his ex-wife alimony. Evelyn's intuition perceives Kit's feelings quickly while stubborn Horace responds slowly to advice from her and Pete.
Walpurgis Night (Swedish 1935 b 79') En: 5, Ed: 5
A secretary falls in love with her boss; but his wife has an abortion and kills the man blackmailing them, while the secretary's father misunderstands.
This drama affirms family values as the woman having the abortion ends up destroying herself while others are proud of their children.
Wanted! Jane Turner (1936 b 66') En: 6, Ed: 5
Two flirting agents track down a killer, who is trying to get the money from the mail robbery.
Combining sexual tension between the partners and clever detective work, Tom captures the criminals and a bride, showing that crime often does not pay, while those hired to catch them get regular salaries.
Way Back Home (1931 b 82') En: 4, Ed: 5
This quaint story of country folks dealing with an adopted son and an illegitimate young man is based on the radio character Seth Parker.
This story shows that loving character can overcome the prejudices regarding illegitimacy and genetic parentage. The kindness of the Parkers and their simple ways help to bring their community together so that everyone can have a fair chance in life.
Way for a Sailor (1930 b 85') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from a novel by Albert Richard Wetjen, a sailor courts a working-girl in London for two years before she marries him.
This story portrays sailors loving them and leaving them, returning to the sea after spending their pay. Joan does not want that life; but Jack persists and wins her with a lie. Yet after seeing him in action at sea, she changes her mind, and they establish ground rules for a relationship. The film depicts how some merchant marines live.
Way Out West (1937 b 64') En: 6, Ed: 5
Laurel and Hardy take a deed to a gold mine out west but are tricked into giving it to the wrong woman and try to get it back.
This comedy offers slapstick antics in a western setting, enabling audiences to laugh at the skillful foolishness of two favorite comedy stars. There is little romance; but Lola drives the cowboys wild, and the scene of her tickling Stan on the bed has erotic implications.
We Are Not Alone (1939 b 112') En: 7, Ed: 8
James Hilton adapted his own novel in this anti-war drama about a doctor and his son's governess who are falsely convicted of murdering his scolding wife.
This allegorical drama suggests that war is an accident amplified by hatred that causes many innocent people to be killed. The tragic ending based on an undiscovered mistake mirrors the tragedy of war. The loving qualities of David and Leni are contrasted to the harshness of Jessica.
Wee Willie Winkie (1937 b 99') En: 6, Ed: 6
In this adaptation of a Rudyard Kipling story a little girl joins a Scotch regiment in India and befriends a revolutionary Muslim prisoner.
John Ford directed this pleasant adventure in which an innocent child learns about army life and colonial war. Her positive spirit triumphs in a rather unrealistic but uplifting ending.
Wells Fargo (1937 b 96') En: 6, Ed: 6
A pioneering agent of the express delivery company opens a new route from St. Louis to San Francisco and delivers gold during the Civil War.
This drama conveys how one pioneer helped Wells Fargo develop its business and improve transportation in the West, and it also indicates the conflict within a family during the Civil War; both career and the war caused separations between a man and a woman who loved each other.
We're in the Money (1935 b 66') En: 5, Ed: 4
Two women serve subpoenas for an incompetent lawyer, but one of them learns that the chauffeur she loves is the rich object of the suit.
This farce implies that the notorious breach-of-promise suits are about to be outlawed because women use them to blackmail men. In role reversal clever women make men look foolish.
Werewolf of London (1935 b 75') En: 5, Ed: 4
A botanist, attacked by a werewolf in Tibet, tries to use the flower antidote he found but becomes a werewolf and murders in London.
This early werewolf film makes plausible the subconscious fear that humans could easily revert to a ferocious animal. Certainly humans can be ferocious, and emotions are more active during full moons. Yet the idea that humans would actually become part wolf is rather far-fetched, though it would become a major source of horror movies.
West of Shanghai (1937 b 66') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Porter Emerson Browne, a local warlord in China tries to solve conflicts he finds among a group of Americans at a mission.
Reflecting current turmoil in China, this drama explores how warlords use force and threats to manipulate people's lives according to their own whims. Fang delights in his power even though it is short-lived. Because of this arbitrary control, the others find their lives going through peculiar changes.
West Point of the Air (1935 b 89') En: 5, Ed: 4
An army sergeant trains his son to be an army pilot.
This film promotes army aviation and even has the Secretary of War reinstate Big Mike after he interferes in army maneuvers with a private plane. Two pilots die, but no one even thinks about the people that might be bombed.
Westward Passage (1932 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from a novel by Margaret Ayer Barnes, a novelist quarrels with his wife and divorces her so she can marry a friend; but he meets her again.
This film lost $250,000 and kept Olivier away from Hollywood for seven years, probably because of Nick's unsympathetic and stubborn character. Yet the story portrays the realistic if uncomfortable situation of quarrelsome people, who struggle with the love-hate dilemma.
Wet Parade, The (1932 b 117') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on Upton Sinclair's novel, two families suffer from alcoholism and Prohibition.
This story explores the problems that led to Prohibition and those of Prohibition itself. Although Persimmon and Kip do not drink, they are drawn into the struggle because of their family tragedies. The attempted solution of Prohibition is seen as aggravating a health concern into an epidemic of crime and corruption.
What! No Beer? (1933 b 65') En: 5, Ed: 4
Two men start a beer business after Prohibition is voted out; but alcohol is still illegal, and they get into trouble with gangsters.
This farce celebrates the repeal of Prohibition, satirizing the ending of the bootlegging industry that fostered gangsters.
What Price Hollywood? (1932 b 88') En: 6, Ed: 6
An alcoholic director makes a waitress a movie star and almost ruins her marriage before destroying himself in this often retold (A Star Is Born) story.
This story exposes the stresses and neurotic behavior that can result from stardom. Carey's fall is almost as fast as Mary's rise, and whether Lonnie will ever get used to being "Mr. Evans" is anybody's guess. Only the studio executive who manipulates their lives seems to be stable.
When Ladies Meet (1933 b 85') En: 6, Ed: 7
In the first adaptation of the play by Rachel Crothers, a novelist in love with her married publisher is forced by her old boyfriend to confront his wife to show that her latest novel is not true to life.
This story excellently portrays the women's viewpoints in the usual romantic triangle of a married man with a mistress. Jimmy, the honest and faithful lover of Mary, senses Rogers is false and contrives a way to prove this and that Mary's novel is not realistic.
While the Patient Slept (1935 b 66') En: 5, Ed: 4
While a grandfather is unconscious, his son and the butler are murdered; but a nurse helps a police detective solve this mystery based on Mignon G. Eberhart's novel.
Humor lightens this mystery that keeps the audience in suspense guessing which of many suspects committed the murders.
Whipsaw (1935 b 82') En: 6, Ed: 5
Two gangs of jewel thieves compete for pearls while an under-cover cop falls in love with the woman he hopes will lead him to them.
The two principals make this a charming story that shows love transforming a jewel thief and a tough detective into giving up their professions to please each other.
Whistling in the Dark (1933 b 80') En: 6, Ed: 5
Gangsters force a crime writer to plan a murder for them in this adaptation of the play by Laurence Gross and Edward Childs Carpenter.
This mystery thriller makes comedy out of the couple's predicament. Toby's morals are more flexible than Porter's, but they make a good team, outsmarting the unsophisticated gangsters, who are employed by the bootlegging Prohibition fostered.
White Angel, The (1936 b 92') En: 6, Ed: 8
In this biographical drama Florence Nightingale develops skilled nursing during the Crimean War and saves hundreds of lives.
This generally accurate portrayal of the great nursing pioneer shows how she overcame the stubborn opposition of military men and with her dedication quickly transformed nursing into a respected profession.
White Banners (1938 b 92') En: 6, Ed: 7
A woman arrives to serve the poor family of an inventor, who is helped by his student in developing a refrigerator.
This drama emphasizes the spiritual values of faith, trust, gentleness, service, self-sacrifice, and non-resistance rather than fighting. It suggests that the white flags of truce can be used proudly by the courageous and strong as white banners.
White Sister, The (1933 b 106') En: 5, Ed: 6
When a soldier is lost in the war, his fiancée becomes a nun in this adaptation of the novel by F. Marion Crawford.
In this heart-rending story death and war interrupt a blossoming romance. Angela finds consolation in religion and ironically cannot break the commitment she took because she lost Giovanni.
White Zombie (1932 b 67') En: 6, Ed: 5
A young woman and man are drugged into soulless zombies while visiting a sugar plantation in Haiti.
This nightmarish story sustains its eerie mood until the very end when all the evil forces die, and the good ones come back to life. With Beaumont the audience may learn that not every means should be used for illicit and unrequited love.
Whole Town's Talking, The (1935 b 92') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from the novel by W. R. Burnett, a clerk is mistaken for an escaped murderer, who uses his likeness to escape the police.
This gangster comedy plays upon the contrast between the shy clerk and the aggressive murderer amid the hysteria of news reports and police efforts to catch him.
Whoopee! (1930 c 93') En: 6, Ed: 5
This two-color musical satire of stereotype cowboys-and-Indians stories was based on Ziegfeld's Broadway production and contains two outstanding songs: "Making Whoopee" and "My Baby Just Cares for Me."
This musical comedy delightfully shows the travesty of anti-Indian prejudice and the absurdity of trying to solve problems with guns while the audience is able to enjoy the jokes and elaborate musical numbers with pretty chorus girls.
Wicked Woman, A (1934 b 73') En: 5, Ed: 6
Adapted from Anne Austin's novel, a mother kills her husband to protect her son and starts a new life, raising her children to take care of themselves.
This tough drama shows a mother struggling to raise her four chlldren alone so that they will be able to survive without her, sacrificing her feelings to instill firm discipline.
Wife, Husband and
Friend (1939 b 80') En: 6, Ed:
Adapted from James M. Cain's novel, a husband tries to stop his wife from becoming a singer but becomes one himself.
A husband who resists his wife's career efforts and the attentions of another finds himself imitating her behavior to his own consternation.
Wife vs. Secretary (1936 b 88') En: 6, Ed: 6
A wealthy publisher loves his wife; but she gets jealous when he spends odd hours with his excellent secretary, who is also gorgeous.
Elegant movie stars and fine direction enable the audience to identify with these characters in this dilemma that results from women being either wives or professionals while men get the best of both worlds.
Wild Boys of the Road (1933 b 68') En: 6, Ed: 7
William Wellman directed this hard look at homeless teens trying to survive while they look for work.
This extraordinary film reveals the dreadful poverty thousands of youths experienced during the Depression. Eddie's speech to the judge points out how many groups were helped, but that young people needed it the most. How such kids could get in trouble with the law is easy to see in such circumstances.
Wings of the Navy (1939 b 90') En: 5, Ed: 4
Dedicated to United States Naval Aviation Service, a younger brother of a Navy flyer is trained as a pilot and falls in love with his brother's fiancé.
This drama prepared the American people and promoted the Naval aviation program that would be used in the war. The enthusiasm of the young men for flying advanced aircraft seems to be oblivious to their likely missions of killing many people.
Winner Take All (1932 b 66') En: 5, Ed: 4
A boxer likes a poor widow but goes nuts over a society lady who snubs him while he's trying to keep his face from being re-arranged fighting.
Kane learns that he was just a temporary diversion for Joan, as boxing is for fans. His face and brain are damaged fighting, and becoming a gentleman takes more than a few lessons. Yet he realizes that he and Peggy have a real friendship and can care for each other.
Wise Girl (1937 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 4
A wealthy woman goes to Greenwich Village to retrieve her nieces from an artist and is enchanted by the life-style.
This comedy exposes a wealthy young woman to the Bohemian artistic spirit, and she falls in love with a free-thinking artist, thus challenging traditional social customs.
Witness Chair, The (1936 b 64') En: 5, Ed: 4
An executive suspected of embezzling is prosecuted for murder, but the testimony of witnesses reveals he did neither.
This realistic courtroom melodrama unravels a murder mystery by the testimony of various witnesses with an ambiguous result since Paula must stand trial.
Wizard of Oz, The (1939
c 101') En: 8, Ed: 8
Based on L. Frank Baum's novel, a girl is carried away to a magical land and helps a brainless scarecrow, heartless tin-man, and a cowardly lion.
This musical makes a children's fantasy of the novel that satirized the flaws of modern society as represented by brainless farmers, heartless industrialists, cowardly politicians, and manipulative scientists; but the result is an allegory that shows how the spiritual qualities of wisdom, love, courage, and humility are developed from within by experience and that heaven is not found in the sky but at home.
Woman Against Woman (1938 b 61') En: 4, Ed: 5
A lawyer divorces his selfish wife but finds her trying to manipulate him and his new wife too.
This drama explores a manipulative personality, the misery caused by such controlling, and the difficulties of healing a divorced relationship for the sake of the child and a new relationship. Maris shows that by her love she can keep Steve and overcome interference by Cynthia too.
Woman Between, The (1931 b 73') En: 4, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Irving Kaye Davis, a son of a wealthy man discovers he is in love with his stepmother.
This domestic triangle can result when an older man marries a younger woman; but she has the choice to remain true to her marriage or to follow her passion.
Woman in Red, The (1935 b 68') En: 5, Ed: 5
Adapted from Wallace Irwin's novel, a polo player marries a horse-woman, who is snubbed by his aristocratic family.
This romantic drama explores the economic and social struggles of a young couple facing the snobs of his family, who are unwilling to help them. Shelby did not keep her word to tell him what she did; but her motives were good, and their love for each other proved strong.
Woman of Experience, A (1931 b 74') En: 5, Ed: 4
A woman spies for Austria during the world war and falls in love with a count, whom she encourages to volunteer for dangerous submarine duty.
This spy thriller shows that a woman can be as heroic in time of war as a man.
Woman Rebels, A (1936 b 88') En: 6, Ed: 7
Based on Notta Syrett's novel, a Victorian woman bears a child secretly and writes about women's rights while sacrificing her chance to marry.
This feminist drama portrays a woman challenging repressive Victorian sexism while having to keep secrets and avoid marriage because of the danger of public shame. Her rebellion represents the early stages of a revolution still in progress.
Woman Wanted (1935 b 67') En: 5, Ed: 4
A woman convicted of murder escapes, and a lawyer helps her find the men who were responsible for the murder.
In this melodrama Tony commits enough crimes to get himself disbarred; but since he found the murderers, he is allowed even to take the police boat.
Women, The (1939
b 132') En: 7, Ed: 7
Based on Clare Boothe Luce's play, women gossip about the affairs and divorces of each other.
This all-women comedy depicts how female relationships are changing with more divorces. Mary and Peggy realize they still love their husbands; Flora has money and seeks love with changing partners, while Crystal seeks money by using her beauty, and Sylvia has more gossip than the columnist.
Wonder Bar (1934 b 84') En: 5, Ed: 4
Based on the Herczeg-Farkas-Katscher play, in a Paris nightclub a good-looking dance couple attracts various romantic attentions and intrigues.
This combination melodrama and nightclub act has some clever chatter by Al Wonder and two dance numbers that could hardly fit into a nightclub; but after all, this is a Hollywood fantasy about the racy life in Paris.
Working Man, The (1933 b 78') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a novel by Edgar Franklin, a businessman helps the children of his late rival compete with his own shoe business.
The experienced Reeves teaches Tommy and Jenny responsibility, fulfilling part of what he missed by not marrying their mother. The unethical scheme of Pettison to make money by ruining and then saving the company is foiled.
World Changes, The (1933 b 91') En: 5, Ed: 6
A farm-boy becomes wealthy in Chicago stockyards but lives to see his descendants lose it in the stock market crash.
This saga moving from the farm to cattle drives and meat-packing to stock investing suggests each generation through greed moved farther from the reality of real work and production until the bubble burst in tragedy.
World Moves On, The (1934 b 104') En: 6, Ed: 7
Two families united in business survive the world war but are wiped out by the crash of 1929 in this epic directed by John Ford.
This family saga explores how war and excessive capitalism destroy and cause so much hardship. The pattern is clearly foreseen that another war will come by which capitalists can make more money.
(1939 b 103') En: 7, Ed: 8
Based on the first half of Emily Bronté's novel, childhood friends in an isolated place marry other partners but still love each other.
Concentrating on the romance makes this dark drama more palatable to movie audiences as instinctual attraction vies with social acceptability.
Yank at Oxford, A (1938 b 102') En: 6, Ed: 6
A conceited American athlete goes to Oxford University and brashly makes friends with women and men.
A top athlete symbolizes American arrogance, which clashes with British tradition. Lee excels in sports, woos a woman, and tries to be a good fellow but never seems to open a book, indicating what movie audiences like.
Yellow Jack (1938 b 83') En: 7, Ed: 8
In this true story based on a play by Sidney Howard and Paul de Kruif, Dr. Walter Reed conducts experiments to learn the cause of yellow fever.
This remarkable film uses the names of the actual doctors who solved this long-standing scourge that had taken so many human lives. The fictionalized personal lives of the volunteers add charm and humility to a heroic and historic story.
Yes, My Darling Daughter
(1939 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 6
Based on a play by Mark Reed, a family reacts to the daughter spending a weekend alone with her departing boy-friend.
This comedy challenges traditional moral notions with the liberal ideas of independent women, causing some consternation and reluctance for conservative men; but the wise Granny gets the last laugh in preserving the freedom of the young.
You Can't Beat Love
(1937 b 62') En: 5, Ed: 4
A lawyer is dared into running for mayor by the mayor's daughter and exposes the corruption of the police chief.
This satire of corrupt city politics suggests that democratic elections may sometimes expose such shenanigans.
You Can't Cheat
an Honest Man (1939 b 79') En:
6, Ed: 5
A circus manager flees the sheriff and bickers with a ventriloquist, who falls in love with the manager's daughter.
The title implies that crooks are vulnerable and fair game to cheat, and Larson warns against smartening up a chump. Fans of Fields' Vaudeville sketches and the cracks of Charlie McCarthy may find escapist entertainment in this comedy that implies the wealthy are too preoccupied to be worth loving.
You Can't Get
Away With Murder (1939 b 79')
En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a play by Warden Lewis Lawes and Jonathan Finn, a young man is intimidated by a criminal not to clear his sister's fiancé.
In this moral drama a youth is under the influence of a man he has admired for years but who has led him down the dead-end road of crime and violence. His sister and the wise Pop help to awaken the conscience of the struggling youth even though it goes against his self-interest.
You Can't Take It With You (1938 b 126') En: 8, Ed: 8
Adapted from the play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, the son of a banker wants to marry his secretary, who is from an eccentric family.
This Oscar-winning picture challenges excessive capitalism by contrasting it with happy Bohemians pursuing their own interests.
You Only Live Once (1937 b 86') En: 6, Ed: 6
The public defender's secretary loves and marries a released criminal; he is convicted of robbery and murder but escapes before his execution.
This tragedy shows the desperation of a convict who cannot get a job after being fired for the slightest negligence. Director Fritz Lang, a refugee from Nazi Germany, conveys a violent and dark world in which small faults are escalated into major crimes by the pressure of circumstances.
You Said a Mouthful (1932 b 70') En: 5, Ed: 4
A broke inventor of a non-sinkable bathing suit is mistaken for a champion swimmer by an attractive woman in this far-fetched comedy.
This spoof of marathon swimming uses the fantasy of an invention and the psychology of whether one believes it is true or not.
Young and Innocent (1937 b 84') En: 6, Ed: 5
Adapted from Josephine Tey's novel, a man accused of murder escapes and tries to prove his innocence with the help of the constable's daughter.
Director Alfred Hitchcock presented his favorite theme of an innocent man accused of crime trying to prove his innocence with the help of a woman while on the run, enabling the audience to root for them to survive suspenseful situations and achieve resolution in the end.
Young Dr. Kildare (1938 b 82') En: 7, Ed: 7
An intern is tested in diagnostics by a dying expert and helps a young woman, who tried to commit suicide.
This first medical drama about Kildare is poignant with the outstanding acting of Lionel Barrymore, recently crippled by arthritis in a wheelchair. Dr. Gillespie's frankness cuts to the core, and the integrity and skill of young Kildare reflects his fine upbringing.
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939 b 100') En: 8, Ed: 8
This character portrait of Lincoln the lawyer shows him handling a fictional murder trial.
This film directed by John Ford manages to capture much of Lincoln's famous humor and his integrity as he demonstrates his skill as a lawyer in a melodramatic murder trial.
You're Only Young Once (1937 b 78') En: 5, Ed: 6
Judge Hardy risks his finances on a note to the newspaper owner and takes his family on a vacation, enabling his daughter and son to have romances.
These characters with this cast would continue in several more movies that emphasize traditional family values and judicial responsibility. In this story both Marian and Andy learn important lessons with more experienced romantic partners that help their own maturing.
You're Telling Me! (1934 b 66') En: 6, Ed: 5
An alcoholic inventor meets a princess, who impresses a snobbish woman so that his daughter can marry her son.
The antics of W. C. Fields offer comic relief as the snobbery of wealth and class is satirized using the artificial respect for a princess as a device.
Zouzou (1934 b 93') En: 5, Ed: 5
Based on a novel by G. Abatino, a Creole laundress becomes a star singer and saves her foster brother from a false murder rap.
The French recognized the talents of Josephine Baker before the Americans did, and this story shows how an entertainer may succeed when racism does not prevent it. Yet jealousy toward Jean makes Zouzou's success feel empty.