The more films I watch from the 30s the better they get. Here is another great bunch of films, most of which are available on Public Access online on sites such as YouTube. Just because they are Black and White, occasionally silent, and lack todays big budget special effects, doesn’t make them bad. I am as much of a fan of todays huge blockbusters as anyone, but give vintage movies a shot, and you will be surprised at how amazing and entertaining they can be.
The Fighting Parson (1930)
Harry Langdon isn’t my favourite comic of this era, but this film does have some really great physical comedy moments, especially during the fight at the end, which had me giggling out loud. The very short runtime of this film, only 20 minutes, means there isn’t really much time for a plot, or for any kind of character development at all, so you watch these kind of films purely for the comedy, if the slapstick style, physical comedy of this time isn’t your cup of tea, give it a miss, there is very little else too it, but I find this kind of thing pretty hilarious, so it’s a 3 Star from me!
Nani ga kanojo o sô saseta ka (What Made Her Do It?) (1930)
A silent Japanese film in which a young girl leaves her home to travel to live with her uncle. Instead of a warm welcome she is greeted as an unwanted surprise, and instead of taking care of her, her uncle sells her into slavery.
From the synopsis, you can probably tell that this wasn’t exactly an uplifting and light hearted watch. But that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t thoroughly enjoyable. The cinematography and directorial style were absolutely beautiful, one of the most stunning looking films I have seen from this era. The score that accompanied the film was also phenomenal, really adding to the emotional nature of the story. Yes it is a rather slow moving plot, and there are very few moments of levity, if any, but it’s worth the effort. This isn’t a silent film you want to multitask through. Don’t check your phone, or read or scroll twitter, give it your full attention. Not only will you miss things, but you will will also miss out on a beautiful and emotional film experience.
Be Yourself! (1930)
In the nightclub where entertainer Fannie Field sings, two rivals for her favors, Jerry Moore and Mac McCloskey, come to blows before either realizes the other is a boxer. Jerry loses the fight but wins Fannie, who becomes his trainer with the aid of her schlemiel brother. Aside from a slight tendency to lie down in the ring, Jerry is successful. But success brings the inevitable blonde; does this mean heartbreak for Fannie? – From IMDB
The plot of this one if pretty thin on the ground, and what there is of it is pretty generic. It’s really just a vehicle for Fannie Brice to exhibit her singing and comedic skills, which are great don’t get me wrong. But there are some song and dance numbers that have nothing to do with the plot, they are just there because the film is set in a nightclub. For me most of the actual humour comes from Fannie’s brother Harry Field, he was a easily the funniest character in the film. This one wasn’t for me.