The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

dir. Alfred L. Werker. The dastardly Professor Moriarty, jubilant after his not guilty verdict for murder, teases an irritated Sherlock Holmes that his next job will be the crime of the century!  Preying on Holmes’s intellectual curiosity, Moriarty plots to distract him with an escalating series of deadly mind games. Absolute delight of a film.…… Continue reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

dir. Michael Curtiz. Two street kids are busted stealing fountain pens, Jerry escapes, but Rocky is caught by the coppers. This defining moment leads Jerry to reform himself and become a priest, while Rocky is sentenced to reform school and a life of crime. Grown up Rocky is played by James Cagney, as the classic…… Continue reading Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Dead End (1937)

dir. William Wyler. The film opens with a New York City real estate history lesson, about how the poor once lived at the riverside dead end of city streets, until the wealthy recognised the appeal of riverside living and built towering luxury apartments, looking down on the tenements below. Without being too preachy, DEAD END…… Continue reading Dead End (1937)

Dracula’s Daughter (1936)

dir. Lambert Hillyer. Takes place immediately after Bela Lugosi’s DRACULA (1931). Gloria Holden plays Countess Marya Zaleska, the daughter of Count Dracula. With her father’s death, she desires to be free of the Vampire curse, and hopes that the new science of psychiatry may be the solution. A gorgeous looking film, with a subtle and…… Continue reading Dracula’s Daughter (1936)

Captain Blood (1935)

dir. Michael Curtiz. Set during 17th century England, a physician unbelievably named Peter Blood (Errol Flynn) is sentenced to death for tending to the wounds of a soldier who was part of the Monmouth Rebellion. Blood is spared the noose by a “whim” of King James II, who decides to sell the “traitors” as slaves in the…… Continue reading Captain Blood (1935)

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

dir. Harold Young. “The seek him here, they seek him there…” During the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, a mysterious English nobleman sneaks across the Channel to rescue French aristocrats from the guillotine. Our hero, Sir Percy (Leslie Howard) must keep his true identity secret from all but his inner circle, which does…… Continue reading The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

Bombshell (1933)

dir. Victor Fleming. Jean Harlow is Lola Burns, glamorous movie star with a circle of related hangers-on and manipulative movie studio brats. Lola is pushed and pulled by these louts until she has finally had enough. An often very funny screwball comedy, mainly focusing on the relationship between Lola, and the fast-talking studio PR boss,…… Continue reading Bombshell (1933)

Shanghai Express (1932)

dir. Josef von Sternberg. Ensconced in a first-class cabin, Madeline (Marlene Dietrich) also known as Shanghai Lilly, bumps into a lost love, Captain Harvey (Clive Brook) on their way from Peking (Beijing) to Shanghai. Their reunion is interrupted by the ongoing Chinese civil war. This film looks terrific, the high contrast theatrical lighting giving a…… Continue reading Shanghai Express (1932)

Platinum Blonde (1931)

dir. Frank Capra. Stewart Smith (Robert Williams) is a reporter for a major newspaper, on assignment to get the scoop on some high society gossip. He ends up falling in love with the wealthy heiress (Jean Harlow), but their different social status and expectations takes its toll on their relationship. Tragically two of the lead…… Continue reading Platinum Blonde (1931)