Society had made definite changes from the orderly Victorian era. Urbanization and industrialization had forever changed cultures and the landscape. New subject matter was on the horizon. From the child serial killer in “M”, man hunting in “The Most Dangerous Game”, and societal commentary in “Dead End”, “The Public Enemy”, and “Scarface”. Probably the darkest views of civilization came in the form of “Modern Times”, “Stagecoach”, and “Freaks”.
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50. The Most Dangerous Game…d. Irving Pichel, Ernest B. Schoedsack
49. The Lady Vanishes…d. Alfred Hitchcock (UK)
48. The Dawn Patrol…d. William Goulding
47. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington…d. Frank Capra
46. M…d. Fritz Lang (Germany)
45. King Kong…d. Merian C. Cooper
44. The Man Who Knew Too Much…d. Alfred Hitchcock (UK)
43. A Day at the Races…d. Sam Wood
42. La Grande Illusion…d. Jean Renoir (France)
41. The Thin Man…d. W.S. Van Dyke
However, this was also the era of the “screwball comedy,” best exemplified by the presence of the Marx Brothers, Laurel & Hardy, and other classics of that comic genre. Cary Grant & The Marx Brothers have four mentions each. Both have films in the top ten.
40. The Little Princess…d. Walter Lang
39. Animal Crackers…d. Victor Heerman
38. Dead End…d. William Wyler
37. Beau Geste…d. William Wellman
36. Horse Feathers…d. Norman Z. McLeod
35. Monkey Business…d. Norman Z. McLeod
34. The Crusades…d. Cecil B. DeMille
33. The Kennel Murder Case…d. Michael Curtiz
32. The Story of Louis Pasteur…d. William Dieterle
31. Anthony Adverse…d. Mervyn LeRoy & Michael Curtiz
Here’s a few clips for you. The Mirror scene from #7 Duck Soup…The battle on Lake Chudskoye from #9 Alexander Nevsky featuring a score from Prokofiev… “Gooble gobble, one of us!” from #28 Freaks.
30. The Devil’s Brother…d. Hal Roach & Charley Rogers
29. La Règle du Jeu…d. Jean Renoir (France)
28. Freaks…d. Tod Browning
27. Little Women…d. George Cukor
26. Jamaica Inn…d. Alfred Hitchcock (UK)
25. Modern Times…d. Charles Chaplin
24. Scarface…d. Howard Hawks
23. Only Angels Have Wings…d. Howard Hawks
22. The Mummy…d. Karl Freund
21. The Public Enemy…d. William Wellman
A dim view of the future emerges in “Things to Come”. Perhaps this ignoble view was the basis of “The Mummy”, “King Kong”, and “Frankenstein”.
20. Frankenstein…d. James Whale
19. A Night at the Opera…d. Sam Wood
18. Young Mr. Lincoln…d. John Ford
17. Things to Come…d. William Cameron Menzies (UK)
16. The Awful Truth…d. Leo McCarey
15. Babes in Toyland…d. Gus Meins & Charley Rogers
14. Gunga Din…d. George Stevens
13. The Adventures of Robin Hood…d. Michael Curtiz
12. The Wizard of Oz…d. Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, King Vidor, Norman Taurog
11. Gone With the Wind…d. George Cukor, Victor Fleming, Sam Wood
Captain Blood (#6) was a surprise blockbuster hit. The studio brought the crew together again, splurged on color film and made (#13) The Adventures of Robin Hood.
10. Le Jour se Leve…d. Marcel Carné (France)
09. Alexander Nevsky…d. Sergei Eisenstein (USSR)
08. The Good Earth…d. Sydney Franklin
07. Duck Soup…d. Leo McCarey
06. Captain Blood…d. Michael Curtiz
05. Bringing Up Baby…d. Howard Hawks
04. The 39 Steps…d. Alfred Hitchcock (UK)
03. The Four Feathers…d. Zoltan Korda (UK)
02. Topper…d. Norman Z. McLeod
01. Stagecoach…d. John Ford
Stagecoach gave form to the modern western. It set the genre standards until the formula was challenged by Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah in the 1960’s.
How do my picks compare to yours? Interested in seeing some of them now?
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