Broadway Melody 1936
The Lives of Bengal Lancer
Mutiny on the Bounty
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Ruggles of Red Gap
My Overall Thoughts:
- 12.- A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Terribly boring Shakespeare adaptation. Good music but the story has so much to desire. The cast is ok but none of them really stand out.
- 11.- Naughty Marietta – Interesting story that tells of a very unlikely kind of romance yet parts of it work quite well. The songs are fun to listen to and quite telling of much of what was happening during that time. The story seems a bit too drawn out tho and seems so implausible that it also loses any minimal feeling of realism.
- 10. – Alice Adams – Interesting story that just doesn’t work as well as it probably could have. Hepburn and MaCMurray are missing the needed chemistry for their character’s relationship to be deemed realistic. The side stories of Hepburn’s family members and their own problems helps make things a bit more interesting, but things come across as being a bit too predictable in the end.
- 9. – Broadway Melody 1936 – Film that fits in well with the screwball comedies of the time that mixed romance and music, but the story itself isn’t so great. I’m a bit surprised that this film got nominated for Best Picture. Nice to see Ebsen and Benny in this.
- 8. – Mutiny on the Bounty – Later productions were much better and I found this depiction a bit boring even with Laughton and Gable on board.
- 7. – Top Hat – Fun screwball comedy of the 30’s that includes some great song and dance scenes. The connection with The Green Mile (1999) has always made me think of the main song here from an emotional perspective instead of the fun loving one it elicits here. Fred and Ginger are great together and I actually can’t believe that this was the first time I actually saw one of their movies as opposed to just seeing a short clip or hearing about their partnership. Amazing choreography and the song and dance numbers are very fun to watch. The story here is pretty standard when dealing with a mistaken identity, but it isn’t at all meant to be a powerful one which makes me question how and why it got a nomination for Best Picture at the Oscars that year.
- 6. The Lives of Bengal Lancer – Nicely done film that gives us an interesting perspective on the way of life of British Officers who fought for the Empire in far away India. Cooper, Tone and Cromwell are all enjoyable to watch because they play such diverse characters. The action is ok for a film from the 1930’s and we get a nice view of much of the politics of the time. There are unfortunately too many scenes that drag on too much and are borderline boring tho and eventhough this film isn’t so long, it could have been edited much more tightly.
- 5. – David Copperfield – Such an interesting story that is presented quite well here. Fields stands out among the entire cast and his character is one I would be interested in meeting in other formats. The story is rich in character development and they do a great job of putting together all of the various adventures in the end. I’ve never read the book (and have little desire to), but Dickens definitely knows how to tell epic tales.
- 4. – Ruggles of Red Gap – Excellent concept that works so well on numerous levels. Loved the way it looks at class structure and while seeming go make a mockery of it all, it has some very clever points about it. Laughton is great in the title role and is both funny and witty the whole way through.
- 3. – The Informer – Great look into the motives of people when they must do things when feel they have no other choice. The pacing is great and Ford does a great job getting the emotional impact of the story from numerous perspectives.
- 2. – Captain Blood – Great story that is presented really well. Flynn is amazing in the lead and he and De Havilland have great chemistry even in their first (of 12) collaborations together. The story is thrilling and poignant at the same time and it gives us a real sense of what was happening at that time. The message of patriotism versus fame and glory really stands out and this remains one of the best swashbuckler films of all time. Nominated for 5 Oscars but didn’t manage to win any of them.
- 1. – Les Miserables – Excellent adaptation of this classic story that works so well as a drama without the need of the music. Amazing cast with two former Oscar winners at the helm. Such a powerful story with such a great message which is brought to life so easily here clearly making this film a must watch for fans of the story or for those who shy away from musicals but still enjoy the drama here.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not at all! MoTB was a nice film, but that year had so many better ones.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!