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Added by johanlefourbe on 28 Dec 2019 02:18
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1001 Movies ... my own version (1930's)

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People who added this item 374 Average listal rating (221 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.3


Notes: To be honest, it has been ages since I have seen this flick and I should probably re-watch it at some point. After his first surreal experiment with Salvador Dali with ‘Un chien andalou’, Luis Buñuel was this time working on his own but he still managed to deliver another surrealist cult-classic and, from this point, Buñuel would be the master of the genre through his whole career. At least, this movie had some kind of a plot but it was hardly what Buñuel cared about. Indeed, the whole thing was pretty much a succession of really weird and sometimes pretty messed up scenes and it is hard to imagine a major director trying to bring up something like this nowadays. David Lynch might be the most obvious exception but the fact that he has stopped making movies for already more than a decade shows how hard it is, even impossible, to make something truly surreal in the current movie business. Anyway, coming back to our main feature, even though it might be an acquired taste, I thought it was quite fascinating to behold.
johanlefourbe's rating:


Notes: To be honest, even though some older movies are still considered as classics, in fact, they feel rather dated and I’m not always a fan of them (especially comedies like ‘Some Like It Hot’ or ’Breakfast at Tiffany's’). However, some other movies are still as powerful as when they were released decades ago and this movie was definitely one of those. Basically, it is one of the first great war movies and the whole thing was quite impressive to behold. Indeed, it was just terribly realistic and greatly done and even though this flick was very old, I thought the whole thing was still completely spellbinding. It gives such a bleak view on the concept of war and, as a result, this movie belongs to the great anti-war features. I also liked the fact that it didn’t focus on a single character, there is no hero here and that’s the best way to deal with this subject because, in a war, it is never about the individuals but always about the group.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1310 Average listal rating (820 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.5
City Lights (1931)


Notes: To be honest, it has been a while since I have seen this movie, like all the major masterpieces directed by Charles Chaplin, I should definitely re-watch it at some point. Anyway, I have noticed that, according to IMDb, this movie is supposed to be the best one delivered by this great master but I personally prefer 'Modern Times' and 'The Great Dictator' because I believe they are socially and historically more relevant than this movie which I considered as merely a romantic comedy. Back then, Chaplin was apparently facing some extreme pressure to make the film as a talkie, but his popularity and power in Hollywood were such that he was able to release the film as a silent feature (with recorded music though) at a time when the rest of the American motion picture industry had converted to sound. Just a moment ago, I mentioned that it was merely a romantic comedy but I should add that it is also probably one of the very best one in this genre though. Indeed, it is funny, beautiful and really poetic.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1486 Average listal rating (832 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.3
M (1931)


Notes: Honestly, it has been a while since I have seen this flick and I should definitely re-watch it at some point whenever I get the opportunity. The point is that this flick is just a massive masterpiece and it really blew me away the first time I saw it. Basically, in my opinion, it is the ultimate psychopath movie and during the last 90 years, they have tried to improve the formula but they never improved on the blue print developped in this feature. The funny thing is that I have always been a little bit dismissive towards the serial killer sub-genre. Indeed, most of them, even such massive classics like ‘The Silence of The Lambs’ and ‘Seven’, are so far-fetched, so over the top, I always have a hard time to really connect with them. This one is different though. Indeed, there are no chases, no shootings, no explosions like you see in your typical US thriller. What you have instead is just a frightening and fascinating psychological study of a sick mind and I thought it was much more interesting to behold.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 132 Average listal rating (69 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.3


Notes: Since Jean Renoir is one of the best French directors ever, I was really curious to check out this flick. It also stars Michel Simon who was back then the best actor in France. Eventually, I thought it was pretty good but not Renoir's best work. Indeed, I thought the story was a little too simplistic, there is no plot and there are only a few characters developped. I know that many people would said that it is actually the strength of this movie that because it is simple that is why it is so great but I wasn't really blown away by the whole thing. The best thing about it is how relevant it is, almost 90 years after it was made. Indeed, the different attitudes of people coming from different social classes, the way norm and values dictate our behavior, it was really spot on here with this movie. They made a remake a few years ago starring Gérard Depardieu, another giant of the French cinéma, I haven't seen it yet but I heard it was not really that good. The acting was pretty efficient here above all by Michel Simon who was pretty hilarious.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1030 Average listal rating (600 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9
Freaks (1932)


Notes: I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie but since it has a solid reputation, I was quite eager to check it out. Eventually, I have to admit that I was quite blown away by the damned thing. Seriously, I had never seen anything like this before and, while watching this movie, I was really wondering why they never made more movies about this subject. The problem, if they would make a similar movie nowadays, if it would be fake, it wouldn’t really work but, if it would be for real, then most people would be probably outraged by the damned thing. Basically, this movie was made more than 80 years ago, when the movie technics were maybe not as elaborate as they are today but, on the other hand, there were no real ‘rules’ or actual censorship so the movie makers could still make pretty much whatever they wanted and get away with anything without much trouble. Coming back to our main feature, after all these years, it is still a really weird movie but, somehow, I think its 'weirdness' was actually positive, in spite of its controversial subject.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 154 Average listal rating (88 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4


Notes: First of all, it has been ages since I saw this flick and, to be honest, I have to admit that I don’t remember much about it. I mean, sure, it is a decent early Buñuel, no doubt about it, but if it would have directed by someone else, I’m pretty sure it would have been completely forgotten by now. Still, it’s interesting that Buñuel would start his career with a hyper-realistic documentary when he will be eventually known as one of the most surrealist directors that ever worked. Anyway, the stuff displayed in this documentary was actually pretty extreme and, somehow, you might hope it was some kind of dark mockumentary but it was apparently the real deal (in fact, this movie was even banned in Spain from 1933 until 1936). However, some people consider this film as a parody of the similar documentaries made back then. Apparently, the film was deliberately factually wrong and exaggerated, narratively inconsistent and staged. Anyway, even if I wouldn’t call it a movie that you have to see at all costs, it was still a decent watch.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 201 Average listal rating (105 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.3


Notes: Jean Vigo is one of these mythic movie directors who managed to deliver only one masterpiece (‘L’Atalante’) before dying very young. Vigo did also manage to direct a few shorts and this one is probably the most famous one. Well, to beginning with, I just loved this title. I mean, even though this movie was made 60 years before I myself went to junior high-school in France, I completely could identify myself with these kids who felt completely misunderstood by the school and by the establishment in general. In their case, it was actually much worse though since, at least, I didn’t have to sleep there. This movie also displayed the unrest and melancholy that you can experience at this age, when you start to realize that your games are becoming childish and that you discover that the grown-ups around you are not so great after all. So, the approach was definitely quite realistic and I’m pretty sure that this movie must have been a major inspiration for François Truffaut when he made ‘Les quatre cents coups’ 25 years later. However, in spite of Vigo’s realistic approach, there was also a few seriously surrealist moments, the kind of wild combination you would see only back then when they were still experimenting on how to make a movie and these few surrealist bits made the whole thing even more unique and even quite poetic.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1230 Average listal rating (779 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.9
King Kong (1933)


Notes: To be honest, it was after all a rather silly story (the fact that I had seen before so many remakes and rip-offs of course didn’t help). Another thing that slightly bothered me was that the damned thing turned out to be such a scream party. Seriously, from the moment Kong finally showed up, it was pretty much a non-stop screaming contest, especially from Fay Wray who basically spent half of the movie screaming her lungs out. Still, there is no denying that this movie was such a huge milestone in movie making history and the general silliness was compensated by some massive ambition. In fact, it might be one of the most ambitious movies I have seen. Especially visually speaking, I was expecting to see an old and clumsy movie but, eventually, I was just impressed by how awesome the whole thing actually looked, even 90 years after its release. Furthermore, as I mentioned before, this movie was also a huge milestone as it was obviously a precursor for all the monsters movies that came afterwards but it was also a huge inspiration for all the bombastic blockbusters that came decades later such as ‘Jurassic Park’ or even the ‘Tranformers’ franchise. Eventually, it is quite fascinating that, even if this movie was basically a B monster with a rather silly plo, it still did end up being one of the most influential movies ever made.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 393 Average listal rating (209 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
L'Atalante (1934)


Notes: Well, even though I really enjoyed this movie, it didn’t have the same impact ‘Zéro de conduite’ had on me. Basically, I was immediately able to relate with his famous short as it was dealing with some rascals in a French junior school. Indeed, it felt so recognizable even if the damned thing had been shot 60 years before I went to such a school myself. Eventually, connecting with these few characters living in a barge was not so obvious, at least, to me. Furthermore, even though this movie has been pretty much universally praised as being a masterpiece, I think it was pretty obvious that it was Vigo’s directing debut as his characters were still barely developed. I mean, we do get slightly more information about Jules (apparently, the guy had been all around the world) and this character was unsurprisingly the most interesting of the bunch. The fact that Michel Simon, most likely the best French actor at the time, delivered another really strong performance probably did help as well. Still, there is no denying that Vigo had a unique directing style and the damned was quite spellbinding to behold. Indeed, it might seem a rather quaint love story but the fact that it takes place on a raggedy even rather filthy barge was quite striking and actually really poetic.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 877 Average listal rating (550 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: Since it is such a classic, I really had to watch this movie at some point. Eventually, I ended up with some mixed feelings. Indeed, it is now almost 90 years old, it has obviously become a blueprint for all the romantic comedies that came afterwards and, therefore, it definitely deserves some respect. On the other hand, I can't say I was blown away by the whole thing. Indeed, I did enjoy it and I thought it was entertaining but that's about it, I'm afraid. I mean, Clark Gable was damned charming and provided a decent performance but, honestly, I didn't care much about the story or the characters involved. With the old classics, it can go either way in my opinion. For example, 'Citizen Kane' remains a tremendous and fascinating picture even 70 years after being released but some other movies like this one while they were great when they came out, kind of lost a little bit of their glory after all those years. Of course, it is a matter of taste and some viewers are still huge fans of this movie.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 334 Average listal rating (195 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.8


Notes: I wonder if it was Alfred Hitchcock's first real success. I mean, before that he already did direct around 20 movies but they were rather obscure and forgotten nowadays. Anyway, Hitchcock would even remake this flick 20 years later with James Stewart and Doris Day with even more success. Since I already saw the 2nd version, I wasn’t really sure what to expect this time but I was rather pleased that the two movies didn’t have much in common actually. I mean, the basic plot is indeed similar but the execution was really different so it is really worth a look to watch both movies. Basically, it follows the usual gimmick used by Hitchcock, which is to put some ordinary folks in some obscure thriller. The thing I enjoyed the most was probably Peter Lorre’s performance. The guy became famous with ‘M’, this was his first English language film and he did a great job. Indeed, all the other actors were decent but Lorre clearly stood out creating a spellbinding mannered man which was even more impressive when you learn that he didn’t even speak much English at the time. Anyway, to conclude, even if it is not one of Hitchcock’s masterpieces, it is still a pretty good thriller though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 322 Average listal rating (186 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.8
Top Hat (1935)


Notes: To be honest, even if it turned out to be a decent watch, I have to admit that I had a rather hard time to really care about the damned thing. I mean, sure, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers involved, there were obviously some very good dancing scenes (I still prefer Gene Kelly though), the songs were not bad and there were even some funny dialogues here and there. Unfortunately, even though I am well aware that it is inherent to the genre, I thought that the story was really fluffy. On top of that, I always get rather bored when a romantic comedy is solely based on a misunderstanding as it is must be one of the most tedious and overused gimmicks in this genre. Anyway, it is pretty obvious that this movie didn’t really work for me but I have to admit that it was actually a very well made feature and it is a classic.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 727 Average listal rating (457 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
The 39 Steps (1935)


Notes: Apparently, it is one fo the the oldest movies directed by Alfred Hitchcock that I have seen so far (already 80 years old!) and, I must confess, I'm not a huge fan of his very old British features. I mean, they are old pretty good and entertaining, that's for sure, but except for 'The Lady Vanishes' which really impressed me, none of them actually blew me away and this movie was not an exception. It seems that it is a very popular story since it has been adapted 4 times already and, apparently, this version is the most acclaimed one. Basically, it is one of those many British spy movies Hitchcock made back in those days and even though I enjoyed it, I couldn't shake the thought that he was still rehearsing before creating all his masterpieces he would deliver in the 40's and the 50's. Still, this movie is considered as a major British film of its time so I might re-watch it at some point in the future to make up my mind for good.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 319 Average listal rating (168 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3


Notes: Basically, it is one of those classics I knew I should watch at some point but I kept postponing it indefinitely since I was pretty sure I would have a hard time to care about the damned thing. And, indeed, If you are a real movie buff, you have to watch this movie at some point but, man, it remains a tough watch though... I mean, I have to admit it, it was pretty impressive from a technical point of view and it has a huge historical value but it is also seriously boring and quite sickening to behold. Basically, half of the movie is about Adolf and his demented buddies making some dreadful speeches and the other half is about some endless marches involving 1000’s and 1000’s of fanatics in uniform. Like I said before, it was quite groundbreaking at the time and you can imagine that Leni Riefenstahl couldn't resist the temptation of making such a huge production with a virtually limitless budget so she did some pretty impressive stuff visually speaking making the most notorious propaganda feature ever conceived. Still, I felt pretty sick during most of the duration and even their uplifting music couldn’t cheer me up.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 227 Average listal rating (137 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.6
Swing Time (1936)


Notes: First of all, to be honest, I have to admit that I have never been a huge musical fan. As a matter of fact, I saw ‘La La Land’ already a couple of times and even though it was a big critical and commercial success, I still had a hard time to care about the damned thing. Well, coming back to our main feature, since it is a huge classic, I still had to watch it at some point. Well, even though I usually prefer Gene Kelly, I must admit that Fred Astaire was really awesome in this flick. Indeed, together with Ginger Rogers, they had some great chemistry and they gave some really strong dance scenes here. Furthermore, I laughed a few times, above all thanks to the supporting cast which was pretty good. Still, even though I'm well aware that it is inherent to the genre, the plot was just so silly and frivolous and I really had a hard time to care about the story and the characters involved. Still, it is and remains a classic and it is definitely worth a look.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 310 Average listal rating (185 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: Basically, it is one of those big classics from the 1930's and, to be honest, I’m not really a huge fan of this genre and I had a rather hard time to really care about the whole thing. Indeed, they just don’t make movies like this anymore, such whimsical tales taking place in some idyllic version of the USA. The lead man, this time very well played by Gary Cooper, is completely flawless and virtuous and towards the end, everything is solved and it is as if all the problems in the world have been solved at once. Basically, it is all cute and charming but I guess I’m just too cynical for this material and, on top of that, I actually first saw the really weak and underwhelming remake starring Adam Sandler and that might have ruined this story for me. Anyway, I have to admit that it was still a sweet and cute tale and, thanks to the actors involved, it was still quite entertaining.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 161 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.5
Secret Agent (1936)


Notes: I have to admit, it is not one of Alfred Hitchcock's best movies but I still think it was pretty good. It was also nice to see a younger John Gielgud (it was his 4th movie only) and the rest of the cast was pretty good as well, especially the always awesome Peter Lorre. Basically, it is one of those typical spy films made by Hitchcock (check the title… You don’t get more generic than this!). Still, I thought it was really enjoyable. Indeed, even though it is more than 80 years old, even though you don’t have gadgets like in the James Bond movies or some awesome action scenes like in the Jason Bourne movies, I thought it was pretty neat as I still have a weak spot for those good old spy features where the focus was on the political intrigues and the dubious characters with several agendas.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 298 Average listal rating (191 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of such classic screwball comedies. Indeed, even though some of them are still really popular, in my opinion, they usually didn't grow old very well. However, this movie was actually an exception and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Obviously, it had all the trademarks of the genre but, even though it might seem really frivolous like the other movies in the genre, I thought it was actually quite sharp and so much satiric. Indeed, in such movies, we are supposed to care about the so-called difficult life of the Rich or Aristocrats but, here, they were all portrayed are completely hysterical and seriously dim-witted and the homeless seemed to be much more sensible. I also liked the idea that if we stopped complaining about our little problems and simply gave the people in need a chance, they would actually grab it with both hands. To be honest, I think it would have better worked if Godfrey didn't come from the same social class as his 'masters' and I didn't care much for the ending which was some typical screwball silly nonsense. Still, I really enjoyed this movie though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 44 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: For the last 40 years, the most illustrious French actor must have been Gérard Depardieu. Before him, also for at least 30 years, the title was probably held by Jean Gabin. Here, he worked again with Jean Renoir. Together, they made 'La Grande Illusion' which became one of the greatest classics in motion picture history. I didn’t notice before but this movie was actually an adaptation of a play written by Gorky. Anyway, they made this movie a year before 'La Grande Illusion' and even though it may not have reached the same status, it is still a very good movie. Indeed, the directing is real marvel, a combination of realism and lyricism. On the other hand, Jean Gabin was probably at the time at the height of his Art back and delivered an impressive performance. To be honest, I must admit that the whole thing might be rather depressing to watch but I didn't bother me whatsoever.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1837 Average listal rating (1181 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.5
Modern Times (1936)


Notes: By now, I have seen all the movies directed by Charles Chaplin and, even though I really love 'The Great Dictator', this movie remains hands down my favorite Chaplin feature. Indeed, even as a kid, I saw the damned thing many times and, already at the time, I thought it was completely marvelous. In my opinion, with this movie, Chaplin managed to find the perfect balance between the funny bits with his usual awesome slapstick, the poetry and also the social relevancy. Back then, sound had already been invented for a while but Chaplin was still perfecting his own brand of movie, using sound only sporadically but the end-result was just tremendous, resulting in a movie completely entertaining and spellbinding to watch. In fact, it has been a while since I have watched it and I should definitely re-watch it at some point. Like I said before, I was very young when I watched it the first time, I really loved it and I think it is a great way to introduce movies to children, instead of the usual animated features.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 272 Average listal rating (167 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.1
Sabotage (1936)


Notes: It is not one of Alfred Hitchcock's most famous features but one of those many spy movies he made in England before moving to Hollywood. It was also an adaptation of a book written by Joseph Conrad. To be honest, I haven’t read the book but I have seen another version which was made exactly 60 years later by Christopher Hampton with an all-star cast. Anyway, even though Hitchcock didn’t have such a cast, the modern technology and probably had a smaller budget, his version was still better. Indeed, the story and the characters were actually not really interesting but his directing was, as usual, really efficient, creating a really tense mood. Furthermore, even though Hitchcock said that he regretted including Stevie's death, I didn’t see it coming and I thought it was quite powerful. I thought also that Sylvia Sidney, who I didn’t know before, was really charming (Hitchcock really knew how to pick his actresses, that’s for sure) and if Marion Cotillard had made movies in 30’s, she would probably have looked like this lovely lady. Anyway, even if it is actually nothing really amazing, it is still a solid vintage spy feature.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 25 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5


Notes: Well, it is another movie I have seen ages ago and I should probably re-watch it at some point. To be honest, I wonder how actually ended up watching the damned thing and I have to admit that I completely forgot that it was actually taking place in London. Anyway, even though it might be less famous than some of the other masterpieces directed by Marcel Carné such as ‘Hôtel du Nord’ ou ‘Le quai des brumes’, I actually much preferred this rather obscure flick. I mean, I really respect Carné’s work and I enjoyed all his classics but the big difference was that, in this case, this movie was just so hilarious. Seriously, the damned thing was actually pretty wild and I just loved it pitch-black humor. Furthermore, the dialogues were also really neat but it makes sense as they were written by Jacques Prévert, one of the most famous French poets at the time.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 503 Average listal rating (289 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: This is indeed a true masterpiece directed by Jean Renoir and I thought it was just brilliant and worked on so many levels. Indeed, not only it is a great war drama, one of the best ever made, but there are also some thrilling escaping schemes and even some hilarious bits here and there. One of the thing I appreciated the most is that there was no bad guy, on either side, which is something actually quite unique. Basically, they had to kill each other because it was their duty but without the war, they could have been friends. All those characters might seem rather stereotypical but they were all actually really 3 dimensional individuals and quite spellbinding to watch, especially von Rauffenstein portrayed by the great Erich von Stroheim. And, obviously, it is a movie which deals with illusions, that this war would be the last one, that all those people from different social backgrounds (working class, wealthy ( Jewish or not), aristocrats) would get along after the war as well as they did while they were fighting together and that the Aristocrats were not actually a dying specie. Basically, it is one of the best movies about the 1rst World War and simply one of the best movies produced back then.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3468 Average listal rating (2210 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: Even though it is more than 80 years old, it is still an impressive piece of work. Indeed, at the time, it was the very first full length animated feature, a huge gamble for Walt Disney, but this gamble paid off as it was a huge box-office hit and it started the massive empire of Disney in the film business. Eventually, this movie would become the blueprint for their future work and, after all these years, the timeless fairy tales are still their most enduring trademark. Fortunately, they have the financial means to maintain their work and this movie has been restored already a couple of times and it still look quite amazing. Of course, they would improve and/or diversify their technic through the years but this one was already quite gorgeous to look at. To be honest, even though the story was charming and the dwarves pretty hilarious, the plot was decent but not really strong. For example, they spent half of the running time with Snow White getting to their home and getting acquainted with those fellows while everything involving the prince was seriously underwritten. Indeed, nowadays, this whole concept of this prince coming up from nowhere and basically saving the day seems rather hard to swallow for the modern audience (see 'Frozen' and 'Maleficent', also both Disney productions). Anyway, to conclude, even though it might seem outdated, it is still a timeless classic.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 141 Average listal rating (80 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: I wasn’t sure what to expect from this flick but Jean Renoir is regarded as one of the best French directors that ever lived so I was quite eager to check it out. This time, he was working with Jean Gabin who was at the time easily the most illustrious French actor. Indeed, together, they made 'La Grande Illusion' which became one of the greatest classics in motion picture history and, a year later, they made this flick. This time, it was an adaptation of a very famous book written by Emile Zola. On paper, the whole thing sounded like a great combination and it was indeed a really solid flick but, to be honest, I wasn’t completely blown away by the whole thing. I mean, as usual with Zola, the whole thing was a very grim social drama which is something I did appreciate but, somehow, I didn’t really connect with the story. Even if I don’t think it is really a masterpiece, it was still a pretty good drama though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 130 Average listal rating (71 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: It is not very often that a director get the opportunity to launch a whole new genre but that’s what happened with Marcel Carné. It was even more impressive when you take into account that it was Carné’s only 3rd directing effort. I’m pretty sure that the guy didn’t realize at the time that he would pretty create a new genre which would have a huge impact on the French cinema. This new style was called poetic-realism, a style which would become Carné’s trademark and he would keep it for a while with ‘Hôtel du Nord’ and ‘Le jour se lève’, some 2 other major French classics. Anyway, with Carné as a director, Jacques Prévert as a writer, Jean Gabin as lead actor, Michèle Morgan as love interest, you can’t do much better than that for that time period. Basically, even though it takes place in a realistic social background (‘realism’), the dialogues and emotions rise above (‘poetic’) and even though it seems that everything was shot on location, it was in fact shot in studios creating some interesting and stylish canvas. This approach would then be criticized and rejected later on by the French New Wave because it was considered as superficial. Anyway, even though this movie is really old, I is still quite fascinating to behold.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 573 Average listal rating (346 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: At first, I was wondering where the whole thing was getting to (I never read beforehand what a movie is about) and, during the first scenes, I thought it would be some kind of farce. Eventually, I understood that the hotel sequence was actually there only to establish all those peculiar characters. Indeed, the real action was to take place later on, on the train. There, it became one of those spellbinding thrillers that only Hitchcock could make back then more than 80 years ago. It was just fascinating to see this woman getting back to her seat and asking where was this old lady who simply vanished. I mean, this has been copied so many times through the years, it was just pretty neat to see Hitchcock's own version. Another fascinating aspect was the total lack of music. Indeed, music is usually a key element in your typical thriller and it constantly underlines the action, telling when you should pay attention, when you should be scared and it is usually quite effective but also really intrusive. Here, since there is no music queue, you are left alone wondering which emotions you should feel and I thought it was a great approach.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 727 Average listal rating (484 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: It turned out to be one of those typical screwball comedies from the 30's but, to be honest, I have never been a huge fan of the genre. Indeed, even though the plot was supposed to be ridiculous and shouldn't be taken too seriously, I still had a hard time to care about what was going on. On top of that, during the first 10 minutes, I wasn't really convinced by Cary Grant playing a nerd. Fortunately, as soon as Katherine Hepburn finally showed up, the whole thing started to grow on me. Indeed, I thought she was pretty amazing and, with Cary Grant, they had some really nice chemistry and the whole thing became then quite hilarious. I have to admit it, it had been a while since I laughed so much. However, during the second half, the whole thing did loose some steam but it was still quite enjoyable anyway. Anyway, even if I'm not a big fan of such screwballs comedies, this one is a classic and I really enjoyed it.
johanlefourbe's rating:


Notes: First of all, I am really amazed that not so few listal members have rated the damned thing so far (in fact, I was the very first member who gave actually a rating). I mean, sure, it is very old, in fact, it is more than 80 years old but it is definitely a French classic and I would expect such a classic to receive more recognition. Anyway, I’m pretty sure that Marcel Carné didn’t realize at the time that he would pretty much create a new genre which would have a huge impact on the French cinema. He made this one between 'Le quai des brumes' and 'Le jour se lève' but even if it didn’t get much love from my fellow listal members, I thought it was actually pretty good. Indeed, it was probably not as strong as ‘Le quai des brumes’ but its lighter approach was really welcome. Eventually, this time, Arletty was the one running the show and she was really awesome here.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 418 Average listal rating (223 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: To be honest, I'm usually not a huge fan of romantic costume dramas but I was actually surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this one. Indeed, it must be one of the gloomiest doomed love stories I have ever seen and, as a result, it was much more entertaining than most of the other movies in this genre. Basically, it is one of the most famous love stories but what made it so interesting was that the two main characters, Heathcliff and Cathy, never could make up their mind if they should passionately love or hate each other and, eventually, they basically destroyed one another and also the people that happened to be around. On top of that, the cast was really strong, especially Laurence Olivier who was at the top of his game back then. There were still a couple of things that slightly bothered me like the fact that Cathy's brother provided a very convenient villain or how easily Heathcliff went to America and came back as a rich man. Eventually, I wonder if this movie was a good adaptation and I might read the famous book it was based on at some point but I really enjoyed this flick anyway.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 141 Average listal rating (68 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
Daybreak (1939)


Notes: Marcel Carné was the master of the poetic-realism, a style which would become his trademark, a trademark he would start with ‘Le quai des brumes’ and ended up with this movie. Eventually, in my opinion, I thought it was a slight step down from the 2 previous movies but it was still really solid. Still, Jean Gabin and Arletty were both impressive as the leads, that’s for sure. Anyway, to conclude, even though it is really old, I is still a pretty good flick and it is definitely worth a look.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3668 Average listal rating (2413 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: Eventually, this movie did really live up to its reputation as it was really a magical movie with a huge budget for that time. Indeed, the decors, the costumes, the special effects, the switch from black and white to colour, it all looked pretty awesome. Even though I have never been a huge of musicals, the songs were decent enough and I was even familiar with some of them, even before watching this flick, which shows of how influential this movie has always been. Still, even if I did admire the work done, I can’t say I was really blown away by the damned thing though. On one hand, the whole thing was probably slightly too sugercoated for my taste and maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had watched it back then when I was a kid. On the other hand, I guess it is just a matter of taste and the fact that I always had a hard time to care for this genre might explain that I wasn’t really impressed by this movie. Anyway, it stil a huge classic.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 832 Average listal rating (518 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: Apparently, this movie was first developed as a sequel to ‘Mr. Deeds Goes to Town’ but since Gary Cooper was not available, they changed the name of the main character and they gave this part to James Stewart who gave here a star-making performance. Indeed, in my opinion, Stewart was actually more convincing than Cooper to play the pure and innocent Jefferson Smith and you have to give some credit to Stewart who gave a really strong performance here. I also liked the fact that Capra didn’t take any gloves to show how corrupted the politicians were in Washington at the time and, in fact, you could say that the situation didn’t change much 80 years later. I was also impressed by Jean Arthur who was not only lovely but she managed to give a character who was a strong and smart woman. Still, this movie gave a strange mix between the realism and cynicism displayed by the political world and the idealism and sentimatility displayed by Jefferson Smith and this mix was rather difficult to swallow. It’s like the ending during which, Smith basically highjacks the Senate until they would listen to him and the worst thing is that it actually worked as Capra still managed to squeeze a happy-ending which was rushed within the last minutes. That’s when the movie felt the most cheesy and outdated in my opinion. Still, even if I wasn’t really a huge fan, it was a decent watch though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2488 Average listal rating (1508 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: Eventually, I thought it was indeed pretty good and I could see why it was so loved and was such a success. However, I can say I was really blown away by the whole thing. Indeed, even though such old gems like 'Nosferatu', 'Citizen Kane' or anything made by the great Chaplin still retain their power even 70 years later, some other movies didn't grow old very well and this flick is a good example, at least, that's my opinion. Indeed, the directing was solid, the costums and sets were gorgeous and Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh produced one of the most memorable couples ever put on the screen. Still, during the whole thing, I couldn't shake the idea that the plot was about the poor life of some rich slave owners. Could they make something in the same spirit nowadays? I highly doubt it. So, I really respect it and actually enjoyed it but I still think it is also a relic of an ancient time (Thank God for that...) and as such, it has lost a little bit of its edge and power. But again, that's a personal opinion and if you think that it is a great picture, I'm fine with that.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 174 Average listal rating (106 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4
Gunga Din (1939)


Notes: Well, to be honest, it took me a while to get into this flick. Indeed, I was really bothered by this ‘White Men Burden's’ crap and, you can say whatever you want but the damned thing was just really discriminating towards the natives (Basically, they were either portrayed as some obedient servants or some psychotic killers). However, I have to admit that I was still swept away by the whole thing which was basically some rather old fashioned action-adventure flick. Back then, they included in their action movies some fist fighting, sword fighting, shootings and explosions. Furthermore, Cary Grant was pretty awesome and, in this movie, you could really see the uncanny resemblance with George Clooney. Eventually, it is quite obvious that this movie has been a huge influence for many adventure flicks that came afterwards (the first that came to my mind was, of course, 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom').
johanlefourbe's rating:

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