Saturday, February 16, 2013

Now Playing: FEB. 16-17, 1933

They lived in interesting times 80 years ago. Hitler had just taken power in Germany and there was that whole Great Depression thing, and there was this:


Note: In 1933 if someone says "I hate government" it means he's an anarchist, not a Republican. And for the record, FDR was still the President-elect at this point and would not take office, under the old constitutional schedule, until March.

It was a tempestuous time in Hollywood, too --at least for some people.

Check out my review of The Story of Temple Drake and see if you can guess which part Raft had been assigned but had refused. And while Paramount figures out how to cast that controversial picture, let's see what's opening in Milwaukee this weekend.

During our journey through 1962 we learned that Tennessee Williams was then the most bankable writer in America. His counterpart in 1933 is Noel Coward. Two adaptations of his work are opening this weekend. At the Palace:

The better known of the two opens at the Strand.

Cavalcade went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1933, and probably remains the most obscure of Oscar winning features. I know I haven't seen it; has anyone?

More people today have probably seen this one, playing at the Warner:

It is awesome stuff, the purest blend of first-generation classic horror and the Warner Bros. house style thanks to studio stalwarts Farrell and McHugh. Highly recommended.

If Wax Museum is a definitive Pre-Code horror film, here's a definitive Pre-Code performer in her latest picture.

Not a bad week's moviegoing, overall.


Anonymous said...

I don't know, I'd have thought The Life of Emile Zola was a much more obscure Best Picture than Cavalcade. I haven't seen the latter, but I do recall it being available on video here in the 90s, whereas I've only Zola because my local library surprisingly has the Region 1 DVD imported.

Samuel Wilson said...

Thanks for writing, james. I have a different frame of reference, since I remember Zola being shown on TV frequently in my youth but have no similar memories of Cavalcade. It isn't even shown much if at all on FXM, which should be the main cable TV source for Fox films. Odd.