Thursday, April 1, 2010

Film Yap: And the Nominees Were - 1930/1931

Every year the Oscars become more and more recognized. The event is becoming a spectacle and the winners are prestigious. There is more of a range in its nominees. I mean that in terms of genre and quality with this batch. However, this has probably been the best average to date.

Cimarron – WINNER

This was based off a very popular novel and it feels like that during its duration. It’s the story about a family who goes through the land rush and then creates a newspaper in a new town. The movie feels very rushed and characters are often left unrealized. There are a few spectacles that gave the aura of importance, though.

East Lynne

So close! We weren’t able to review this one because there is apparently only one copy left and it’s stored in the vaults of UCLA. I hope this gets a DVD transfer one day.

The Front Page

This is the first of four adaptations of this popular play. (The most recognized is His Girl Friday starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell). Pat O’Brian is an ace newspaperman who is just about to switch jobs and get married. However one last story and his persistent editor keep him from leaving when he wants. This is a funny comedy that is filmed in a cool style thanks to All Quiet on the Western Front’s Louis Milestone.


Every once in awhile during this experiment, a treasure is discovered. Last year it was The Love Parade and this year it is Skippy. It’s based off a cartoon strip where Skippy goes on little adventures in his neighborhood. Skippy is a mix between Tom Sawyer and Max from Where the Wild Things Are. The humor still holds up really well today and the final fifteen minutes are surprisingly poignant and heartfelt.

Trader Horn

This movie feels like Chang 2.0. Chang was a quasi-documentary from the first set that showed some of the majestic qualities of the jungles in Africa. This one has more of a storyline as adventurers are being pursued by a native tribe, but it’s evident the real focus is to show the amazing animals. The footage they were able to capture is still incredibly impressive.

This is just a short summary of the discussion that can be found on Episode 4 of And the Nominees Are. It’s a free podcast where Kenny Jones, Keith Jackson, and myself discuss all of the films listed here (Except for East Lynne). We also talk about the history of the time, the other Oscars given out, and other movies from this time. It is available on iTunes and you can also find us at as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Next time we’ll discuss Arrowsmith, Bad Girl, The Champ, Five Star Final, Grand Hotel, One Hour With You, Shanghai Express and The Smiling Lieutenant.

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