1935 in Movies

Movie reviews written for movies released theatrically in 1935.

 

1. Triumph of the Will, directed by Leni Riefenstahl (9/10)

This may be the greatest propaganda film of all-time, or it may not be, but it’s certainly one of the most ambitious.

 

2. The Bride of Frankenstein, directed by James Whale (9/10)

This is a completely different approach to monster movies and as such it really transcends the genre.

 

3. The 39 Steps, directed by Alfred Hitchcock (8/10)

I recently re-watched this with the wife and realized I had overrated it a tad from when I first saw it (during my Hitchcock phase). It has dated rather poorly.

 

4. A Night at the Opera, directed by SamWood (8/10*)

I do not remember this enough to really judge it.

 

5. Mutiny on the Bounty, directed by Frank Lloyd (8/10)

This is an iconic film, but I saw it well over a decade ago and so I don’t really remember enough about it.

 

6. The Gold Diggers of 1935, directed by Busby Berkeley (6/10*)

I cannot remember this for the life of me.

 

7. Sylvia Scarlett, directed by George Cukor (5/10)

So I guess this is boundary pushing for its time, with the cross-dressing, the location shooting, and so on. But it has aged so poorly. Few of the jokes hold up today. The whole thing is rather hysterically madcap (not hysterical in the funny sense, but hysterical in the histrionic sense). And the whole thing is horribly paced, seemingly suffering from the 1930s equivalent of ADD at the end.

 

8. Alice Adams, directed by George Stevens (5/10)

I haven’t read this particular Tarkington novel but I’ve read another and I can’t say I liked it. If the book was effective, the filmmakers messed up. Alice and her family certainly don’t look poor: they have a large house (which she says is small) and what looks like nice things. I guess they sort of sound lower in the classes, but barely. They
certainly aren’t poor. And it doesn’t help that they cast Hepburn, who of course looks wonderful.

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