Posts Tagged ‘30s’

Movie Review: The Adventures of Robin Hood

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The Adventures of Robin Hood/1938/ Dir. Michael Curtiz & William Keighley

Oh yes, the tights, we must always go back to the tights! Easy for a man to look tough wearing 35 pounds of rubber and latex armor, but it takes a real man to look badass in tights. Not just tights, but tights and what amounts to a velvet mini-dress. You could call it a shirt, or a jerkin, but if anyone wore it today, we’d call it a mini-dress. We’d also call it pretty hot if a girl wore something that short. Point is, TIGHTS! You’ve got to talk about the tights first thin out of the gate, because otherwise it becomes the elephant in the room. Beyond that, this is a pretty great movie. Yes, the costumes and manners make the Renaissance Festival look like Game of Thrones. Yes, it’s about as historically accurate as a Walt Disney cartoon. Yes, yes, yes I’ll agree to most the criticism… BUT! This is also the single best movie about Robin Hood, and is still the most iconic. There are only a few Robin Hood movies that are any good, and this is the best.

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Alice in Wonderland (1933 Paramount Dir. Norman McLeod)

Why did Tim Burton feel he needed to make a dark version of Alice in Wonderland? A nightmare-inducing version was made in 1933, and remains as horrifying as ever. Even in its cut down 77-minute version, it can scare an entire orphanage for months of sleepless nights and it wasn’t even trying. It’s just that the make-up is pretty creepy. I’m in my thirties, I’m not particularly squeamish and just the opening credit sequence is creeping me the hell out. I’ll explain about the open credits. See, Paramount wanted to exploit the fact that Lewis Carroll’s 100th birthday had caused a resurgence of interest in the Alice stories. This movie is based on one of the many stage plays going around at that time. In order to pull the studio out of a jam, they put all their biggest stars in the movie. However, the make-up jobs were so over the top that almost none of these big name actors could be recognized. The movie was sort of a massive, amazing, epic, almost studio ending… flop. Yeah, it crashed, burned, and took out a small village. Mae West had to shake her money maker like she’d never shook before in order to save the studio after this thing. A lot of people claimed the failure was that the actors couldn’t be recognized, I say it’s because the make-up creeped out strong men and scared weak and feeble women. Anyway, that’s a long enough opening paragraph, let’s dive in and see what we’ve got shall we?

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Another short one today, signs we’re running out of archive material. When the archive runs out, we’ll be going to once or twice a month.


Check it out! It’s the title page!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935 Warner Bros. Dir. Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle)
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Movie Review: Frankenstein

Posted: January 26, 2010 in Movie Review, Reviews
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Frankenstein (1931 Universal Dir. James Whale)

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Movie Review: Dracula

Posted: January 22, 2010 in Movie Review, Reviews
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Dracula (1931 Universal Dir. Tod Browning)
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Scrooge (1935 Dir. Henry Edwards)

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A Christmas Carol (1938 MGM Dir. Edwin L. Marin)
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