‘City Lights’ begins with an uproarious skewering of pomp and formality, ends with one of the most famous last shots in movie history and, from start to finish, so completely touches the heart and tickles the funny bone that in 1998 it was named one of the American Film Institute’s Top-100 American Films. Talkies were well entrenched when Charles Chaplin swam against the filmmaking tide with this forever classic that’s silent except for music and sound effects. The story, involving the Tramp’s attempts to get money for an operation that will restore sight to a blind flower girl, provides a star with an ideal framework for sentiment and laughs. The tramp is variously a street sweeper, a boxer, a rich 0poseur, and a rescuer of a suicidal millionaire. His message is unspoken, but universally understood: love is blind.
Like a brand, the letter M has made it's mark on film history; it's disturbing theme having lost none of its impact or relevance. Sinister, dark and foreboding, M tells the story of Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre) - child molester and murderer. Tension builds - a child late home - another child missing. Posters reveal the fate of earlier victims, and the Police seem to have few clues as to the perpetrator of the crimes. Gangsters, beggars and petty criminals, incensed by both the crimes and the Police crackdown, track the killer themselves. Cornered, caught and dragged off to face an equally barbaric form of justice, Beckert endures his own personal torment.
The Little Tramp punches in and wigs out inside a factory where gizmos like an employee feeding machine may someday make the lunch hour last just 15 minutes. Bounced into the ranks of the unemployed, he teams with a street waif (Paulette Goddard) to pursue bliss and a paycheck, finding misadventures as a roller-skating night watchman, a singing waiter whose hilarious song is gibberish, a jailbird and more. In the end, as tramp and waif walk arm in arm into an insecure future we know they've found neither bliss nor a paycheck but, more importantly, each other. The times and satire remain timeless in 'Modern Times'.
James Stewart, Jean Arthur and Claude Rains star in this award-winning 1939 classic about an idealistic, small-town politician who heads to Washington and suddenly finds himself single-handedly battling ruthless politicians out to destroy him.
When her father threatens to annul her marriage to a fortune-hunting playboy, spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) hops on a cross-country bus to New York, where she plans to live happily ever after with her handsome new hubby. Romantic complications however, when she's befriended by fellow passenger Peter Warne (Clark Gable), a brash and breezy reporter who offers his help in exchange for her exclusive story.
"A picture of dynamic power andiartistry." -Daily Variety
Based on the best-selling novel by Sinclair Lewis, this "handsome, intelligent film" (Los Angeles Times) garnered seven Academy Award® nominations and is "one of the authentic masterpieces of the 1930s" (Filmex Guide).
Sam Dodsworth (Walter Huston) is a small-town, rags-to-riches millionaire, who finds that his money cannot bring him happiness. His unsatisfied wife Fran (Ruth Chatterton), seeking glamour and sophistication, persuades him to take her on a grand tour of Europe, where she promptly deserts him for a romantic but penniless baron. Brokenhearted, Sam meets Edith (Mary Astor), an understanding young widow who arouses in him passions he never thought he'd had and sets him on a collision course with his wife that unleashes a torrent of desire, betrayal and shocking revelations.
One of the best-loved movies of all time. 'The Wizard of Oz' (1939) stars Judy Garland as Dorothy, a young Kansas farm girl who is whisked away by a twister to the land of Oz. Accompanied by a brainless Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), a heartless Tin Man (Jack Haley) and a cowardly Lion. Dorothy and her little dog, Toto, follow the Yellow Brick Road seeking the Wizard of Oz. In order that he may grant her wish to return home.
When career thief Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall) meets glamorous pickpocket Lily (Miriam Hopkins), their love soon takes on a professional dimension as they initiate a plot to rob beautiful perfume magnate Mariette Colet (Kay Francis). But as Gaston gets ever closer to his intended prey, his romantic confusion, as well as the threat that his past will catch up with him, throws their plan into jeopardy.
Set in the German prison camps of WW1, the film stars Jean Gabin as Marechal, and Marcel Dalio as Rosenthal. Like the charming aristocrat Captain de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay), these two French aviators were shot down and now spend most of their time escaping from German prison camps before inevitably being recaptured. Between escapes, they do what they can to amuse themselves, but after a tunnel they've dug is discovered, the three are sent to Wintersborn, a forbidding fortress of a prison commanded by former ace pilot Von Rauffenstein (Erich Von Stroheim). Von Rauffenstein cannot help but strike up a friendship with Captain de Boeldieu, a kindred spirit from the doomed nobility.
Epic romantic drama based on Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning novel set during the American Civil War. Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) often uses men to get what she wants, but is unable to get the one man she truly desires, Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). She soon meets her match in the roguish Captain Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and in the war itself which destroys the genteel way of life she has always known. With determination she rebuilds her life from the shattered remains the Union Army leaves behind.
Unlike most "message" films which date themselves almost immediately, Lewis Milestone's low-key unpolished and deeply-felt screen adaptation of the Erich Maria Remarque anti-war novel has lost little of its original impact. Years after its release it was still being banned in countries mobilizing for war.
The plot follows a group of young German recruits in World War I through their passage from idealism to disillusionment. As the central character Paul Baumer declares, "We live in the trenches and we fight. We try not to be killed - that's all". All Quiet is an anthology of now famous scenes: Ayres trapped in a shell crater with a man he has killed; the first meeting of the recruits and the veterans; infantrymen being mowed down to machine-gun visual rhythms; a moonlight swim with French farm girls; Ayres' pacifist speech to his astonished schoolmates; and the final shot of the soldier's hand reaching for a fatal butterfly.
Carole Lombard and William Powell dazzle in this definitive screwball comedy by Gregory La Cava - a potent cocktail of romantic repartee and social critique. Irene (Lombard), an eccentric, wealthy Manhattanite, wins a society-ball scavenger hunt after finding a "forgotten man" (Powell) - an apparent down-and-out drifter - at a dump. She gives him work as the family butler and soon falls head over heels for him. Her attempts to both woo Godfrey and indoctrinate him in the household's dysfunction make for a string of madcap high jinks that has never been bested.
Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi, two of the great Hollywood character actors, portray the couple whose house the bank has foreclosed upon, and who are forced subsequently to move into their children's homes in the city. A near-musical restructuring of gratitude and debt ensues once the offspring deem the couple's lodging an imposition: the two are separated, then reunited weeks later... as they glide inexorably into an uncertain future.
Denigrated by the public, vilified by the critics, re-cut at the insistence of its producers, and finally banned by the French government as 'demoralising' and unpatriotic, La Regle du jeu was a commercial disaster at the time of its original release. On the surface, a series of interlinked romantic intrigues taking place at a weekend shooting party in a country chateau, the film is in fact a study of the corruption and decay within French society on the eve of the outbreak of World War II.