• History Is Made at Night

    History Is Made at Night

    ★★★★

    I have to admit I didn’t give this film much of a chance at first. The beginning didn’t really impress me, but once I became invested in the story and saw how devoted to each other Irene and Paul were, I found the film utterly romantic and captivating the rest of the way through. I’ve previously seen Jean Arthur in several movies, but I feel like Jean and Charles Boyer are two prim and proper stars that somehow, paired together,…

  • Dracula

    Dracula

    ★★½

    My review is going to sound like I’m not well-versed in the Universal horror films or in Tod Browning’s filmography, neither of which are true. I both consciously and subconsciously avoided this film compared to the likes of Freaks and The Invisible Man because Bela Lugosi never appealed to me and I feared that this film would be one-note. Somehow it was both better and worse than I imagined.

    I think what this film really lacks is ambiguity and subtlety.…

  • Westward Passage

    Westward Passage

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    *Olivia has cute but abusive husband*

    “Well this sucks, but the fact that he’s played by baby Laurence Olivier can only mean that she’ll stay with his ass.”

    *Olivia divorces him and marries a decent guy her daughter loves*

    “Oh, awesome! Maybe this will be different than literally every other movie I’ve seen!”

    Spoiler alert: it was no different than literally every other movie I’ve seen.

  • Madam Satan

    Madam Satan

    ★★½

    What a wild film! I think besides all of the obvious insane aspects of this movie, the craziest part to me is their meager effort in making this a musical. Sure, dress a plain housewife up as a devil to seduce her own husband at a masquerade in a zeppelin, but don't give the freaking MAID the first song of the film FORTY minutes in! My other gripes with this movie: Reginald Denny's long hair, how much of a fuckboy…

  • The Girl Downstairs

    The Girl Downstairs

    ★★★½

    This movie is SO precious! Franciska Gaal is absolutely sparkling and memorable here, reminding me of Luise Rainer with a splash of Zsa Zsa Gabor. I was recommended this film because of Reginald Gardiner, but he's hardly in it, as great as his few scenes are. Franchot is always a charming and underrated leading man, though his role here is a bit less likable than some of his others. The romance is delightful though, and this is one of the…

  • Private Lives

    Private Lives

    ★★★★

    I’ve never been a Noël Coward fan, but even I can’t deny that this script is absolutely brilliant. The love scenes are so moving and beautiful while the fight scenes are a perfect and shocking contrast. Norma is her usual divine self, absolutely marvelous in everything she’s in, and Robert Montgomery actually wins me over in this too. When the movie started, I made a comment that I believed Norma marrying Reginald Denny would actually be a step up (I’m…

  • Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn

    Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn

    ★★★½

    This was a really remarkable film. I’ve never counted Leslie Howard as one of my favorite actors, but I was fascinated by this account of his life and amazed at all of the details that I didn’t know about before. I especially loved the stories that his daughter told; she was so detailed and painted such vivid pictures of his relationships and how life was on the set of his films. I also really love how they work through all…

  • Thank Your Lucky Stars

    Thank Your Lucky Stars

    ★★★

    This movie is the epitome of a mixed bag. Some numbers, like those sung by Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson and Alan Hale, and Errol Flynn, we’re charming and really amusing to watch. Others, like Bette Davis and honestly any time Eddie Cantor was onscreen, weren’t so great. This movie has no plot, but I didn’t really give it much thought or minded as I was watching. There are some really great fourth-wall breaking moments, but other films have done it better.

  • Sweet Rosie O'Grady

    Sweet Rosie O'Grady

    ★★★

    This is basically a ripoff of Love is News, and I still don’t know how I feel about it considering that‘s one of my favorite films. Some lines are ripped out of the screenplay word for word, but other aspects of this film, such as the time period and the characterizations of the newspaper editor and the Duke of Clippingham (based on the Count de Guyon in the original), are completely different.

    As it’s been with most of my film…

  • Siren of the Tropics

    Siren of the Tropics

    ★★★

    I have to admit that these three stars are solely because of Josephine Baker's effervescent, delightful performance as Papitou. She captures the screen in a way that no other silent actress did, and she's truly magnificent to watch. Film still had a long way to go at this time, but the fact that she's the main star with nude scenes and a white love interest is about as progressive as you could get in 1929, and I have to give…

  • Along the Great Divide

    Along the Great Divide

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Looking on the bright side, Kirk Douglas is always believable in everything he appears in, Walter Brennan is better here than many other films I’ve seen, and I love seeing Virginia Mayo in any film. However, the cons really outweigh the pros here. The storyline is boring, the twist was predictable from a mile away, and the ending was cheesy considering the fact that a deadly shootout happens only seconds beforehand. This is actually the worst I’ve seen Mayo, which…

  • The Story of Temple Drake

    The Story of Temple Drake

    ★★★★½

    This movie was one of the most agonizing classic films I’ve ever sat through, only because every scene is as graphic and suspenseful as it could have possibly been in 1933. Miriam Hopkins is marvelous here, and while I don’t think any of her performances could surpass her portrayal of Ivy in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this film is definitely the one that comes closest. She tells the entire story with every slight movement, every fiery expression in her…