1935 List

Devil is a Woman

Phew. What a tough year! Thanks to Josef Von Sternberg, I have a solid #1 title and also another title towards the end of the list. There are some excellent films from the year, both in America and abroad, but there were a lot to navigate through to get to this list. This was the period where Hollywood started producing a lot of literary epics because they did well overseas, notably Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield, both of which are good and deserve a place on the list. Sternberg also tackled a literary classic with Crime and Punishment, which is not on par with the rest of his work, but still worthy of being on the list.

There are some good French films, but perhaps because of the happenings with the National Front, this year is lacking compared to 1934 and especially 1936. There are some good American comedies and musicals, including Berkeley’s Gold Diggers of 1935, which has some tremendous musical set pieces, especially considering the year.

There are two notable omissions. Top Hat would probably make most people’s lists, but I have some sort of aversion to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The biggest omission is Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will. I’ve seen it and studied it, and realize that it truly is a great documentary, one of the best ever made. That said, I cannot bring myself to list it and would rather watch paint dry than see it again. I can go into a movie like Birth of a Nation and appreciate it as art even if I do not agree with the message, but I struggle with the Nazi documentary. Yes, that is a Tati Short at #20. I have it rated higher than the better known documentary, and make no apologies.

1. The Devil is a Woman
2. Toni
3. Bride of Frankenstein
4. Mutiny on the Bounty
5. A Night at the Opera
6. The 39 Steps
7. Carnival in Flanders
8. A Tale of Two Cities
9. The Ruggles at Red Gap
10. The Good Fairy
11. Man on the Flying Trapeze
12. Gold Diggers of 1935
13. David Copperfield
14. Captain Blood
15. Steamboat ‘Round the Bend
16. The Clairvoyant
17. The Lives of a Bengal Lancer
18. Crime and Punishment
19. The Informer
20. Gai Dimanche

Posted on December 19, 2014, in Film, Lists. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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