1930 in Movies

Movie reviews for movies released theatrically in 1930.

1. All Quiet on the Western Front, directed by Lewis Milestone (9/10*)

I saw this movie as a teenager and was either truly wowed or bored but thought I should be wowed. I should re-watch it to see if I judged it fairly.

2. L’age d’or, directed by Luis Bunel (8/10)

I am an optimistic guy (albeit with a realistic streak, I like to think). I tend to believe that, more often than not a (slim) majority of people will do “the right thing” (as I see it, anyway) and humanity will persist despite our flaws. But every so often I counter behaviour or historical evidence that really challenges my optimism and my general faith in humanity.

Read the full review.

3. The Blue Angel, directed by Josef von Sternberg (6/10)

I remember being very underwhelmed by what is a supposed classic. Beyond that, I don’t remember much and I don’t appear to have written a review at the time.

4. Animal Crackers, directed by Victor Heerman (6/10)

Some comedy doesn’t age well. And I feel pretty strongly that the zany “witty” American comedies of the ‘30s don’t age well. I understand that this was very funny to audiences in 1930. I understand that the Marx Brothers style of comedy definitely influenced a lot of people and, had I not grown up with more risque and more absurd comedy, I might have a better appreciation for it.

I don’t enjoy movies that try to be all things to all people – this movie combines zany comedy with musical numbers and a harp solo – but I also struggle with comedy that relies so heavily on mugging and reversing words (and syllables) in phrases.

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