A World War shaped a generation, a tyrant was rising in Germany, the Wall Street Crash ushered in a Great Depression, and prohibition gave rise to wider organised crime. The progressive touch of the twentieth century reached across the globe and altered everything in its path… except for the Little Tramp who waddled back in […]Read more "City Lights (1931)"
In 1931, Al Capone, America’a most notorious gangster, was sentenced to eleven years in the inescapable island jail of Alcatraz. The newly introduced inmate swaggered through his new abode and bypassed a long and hungry lunch line. A waiting convict grabbed the Chicago mob boss by the lapels, Capone sneered ‘Don’t you know who I […]Read more "The Public Enemy (1931)"
Vampires just won’t stay dead. The lore of bloodsuckers prove irresistible meat for filmmakers to sink their teeth into, but the juiciest specimen has always been Bram Stoker’s landmark – Dracula. The tale of Dracula has become so ubiquitously known that it has become like Alice In Wonderland; fascinating for interpretation rather than narrative surprises. […]Read more "Dracula (1931)"
Emil Jannings had a gift for ruin. At his most refined, Jannings demands an air of respect in the sway of his portly stature and commands with a set of impressive whiskers. It is a form he has slipped into effortlessly many times from Generals to Mephisto, Kings and Czars. And then an event sets […]Read more "The Blue Angel (1931)"
If gangster films had a family gathering, The Godfather would sit at the head of the table as the patriarch of romanticised manhood, Goodfellas would jitter passing plates as the rock and roll burn out son, Scarface would be stuffing its face as the gaudy uncle, and Little Caesar would sit back overlooking powerful company […]Read more "Little Caesar (1931)"
‘I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.’ This quote is from the belly of veteran Erich […]Read more "All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)"