80 Years Ago...

A funny thing happened on my way to this week’s blog.  I was mulling over writing about some old movies, because I like to suggest/encourage/urge people to see more of the past treasures of Hollywood.  Whenever I tune into Turner Classic Movies, as long as the film is black & white, I’ll stop to see what it is, who is starring in it, and what it’s about.  And very often, I’ll find a new old treasure to enjoy.

As I was trying to figure a way to reference some older movies for this blog entry, I came across a story about a movie that came out 30 years ago: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  Hard to believe it was really that long ago.  So I decided to research other movies celebrating anniversaries this year.  I truly thought I’d just list a few from certain years and that would cover one blog.

However, I discovered that there are just too many great movies to cover all the titles I found in just one blog entry.

Therefore, I have decided to concentrate this week on classic films celebrating their 80th anniversary.  The following movies were released in 1936.  There’s everything from comedy to drama, musical to western, mystery to biographical, historical to adventure.  And romance seems to transcend all those genres.  You’ll also find the same actors and actresses in more than one film.  William Powell is in four movies.  Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, and Spencer Tracy are in three each.  Hollywood studios were volume industries.  They kept their top stars – and their character actors and up-and-comers -- busy so new movies could be sent to theaters on a regular basis.  They knew people saved their money so they could enjoy an evening out every week or so.  And a night at the movies often gave the audience newsreels, cartoons, and maybe even a double feature.

To see some of the best Hollywood had to offer in 1936, check the list below.  I’m happy to say that I’ve seen twelve of the movies listed, some of them more than once.  Okay, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and After the Thin Man.  But don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting a second viewing of at least one of these classic films.

After the Thin Man (Myrna Loy, William Powell, James Stewart)
Anything Goes (Bing Crosby, Ethel Merman, Ida Lupino)
Born to Dance (Eleanor Powell, James Stewart)
Camille (Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor)
Captain January (Shirley Temple, Guy Kibbee, Buddy Ebsen)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Crisp)
Dimples (Shirley Temple, Frank Morgan)
Dodsworth (Walter Huston, Mary Astor, Ruth Chatterton)
     Best Picture nominee
Follow the Fleet (Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball, Randolph Scott)
Fury (Spencer Tracy, Sylvia Sidney, Walter Brennan)
The Great Ziegfeld (William Powell, Myrna Loy, Luise Rainier)
     Best Picture winner
Libeled Lady (Myrna Loy, William Powell, Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow)
     Best Picture nominee
Little Lord Fauntleroy (Freddie Bartholomew, C. Aubrey Smith, Dolores Costello, Mickey Rooney,
     Guy Kibbee, Una O’Connor)
Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard)
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, Lionel Stander)
     Best Picture nominee
My Man Godfrey (William Powell, Carole Lombard, Gail Patrick, Alice Brady, Eugene Pallette)
The Petrified Forest (Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis)
San Francisco (Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy)
     Best Picture nominee
Stowaway (Shirley Temple, Robert Young, Eugene Pallette)
Swing Time (Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Victor Moore, Helen Broderick)
The Texas Rangers (Fred MacMurray, Jean Parker)

In future blogs, I'll be covering more movies celebrating anniversaries this year.