Showing posts with label Richard Alexander. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Richard Alexander. Show all posts

Sunday, 2 June 2013

City Girl

F.W. Murnau’s 1930 film City Girl was the third of just four that the German cinematic pioneer made in Hollywood. With 1928’s 4 Devils among the thousands of lost films from the period, we only have three left from the Director who in his home land made such iconic movies as Nosferatu and The Last Laugh. City Girl shares many themes with his masterpiece Sunrise in that it is about love and the struggle between rural life and urbanisation.

Lem Tustine (Charles Farrell) is sent from his Minnesota farm to Chicago by his overbearing father to sell their wheat crop. While in the big city, the country boy meets and falls in love with a city waitress called Kate (Mary Duncan). Lem sells the family crop, but for a lower price than his father desired and brings his new bride back to the farm to meet his parents. Kate soon discovers that life in the country isn’t all she expected it to be and with leering men much the same as in the city and a father-in-law who distrusts her, she begins to think she’s made a huge mistake.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front is over eighty years old now but remains one of the greatest anti-war war movies ever made. The film won both a Best Picture and Best Director Oscar in 1930 at the 3rd Academy Awards and its reputation has grown steadily ever since. The film has found a place in the AFI’s Top 100 Movies list and on IMDb’s Top 250 and probably deserves those honours as well as the many other plaudits which are thrown its way. For me the film has aged extremely well in general and apart from some sound problems and the occasional bad acting it is amongst the best films I’ve seen from the period and one of the best war movies ever.

At the outbreak of the First World War a German professor is delivering an impassioned speech to his students about the honour of serving ones country in battle. As his students listen on in awe they enthusiastically enlist en masse as many schools, universities and factories did. After a brief training camp where they soon discover that army life isn’t all fun and games the men head into battle on the Western Front. Over the four years of the war their number dwindles until the film begins to focus on the story of just a couple as well as the veterans they join. It becomes apparent to those who last long enough that they are fighting for nothing and all who survive become disheartened by the war as well as the attitude from home.