• Somewhere I'll Find You

    Somewhere I'll Find You

    ★★

    I really admire Lana Turner and I try to seek out her films whenever I can, but this whole thing was confusing and nearly unwatchable up until the end. All I can give is two stars, one for how lovely Lana looked and one for the awesome bits parts played by Van Johnson and Keenan Wynn.

  • Their Own Desire

    Their Own Desire

    ★★★½

    Honestly, most of this movie was fairly boring but Norma Shearer and Robert Montgomery’s scenes completely made up for it. I’m 100% convinced that the silver screen was built for these two. I loved them in Private Lives, but their scenes in this are even more captivating and adorable! The ending particularly made me cry. They’re just a match made in Heaven and their chemistry really saved this picture.

  • Idiot's Delight

    Idiot's Delight

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I seriously don’t understand all of the flack this movie, particularly Norma Shearer’s performance, gets. “That wig looks so fake”, “Her accent is so over the top”... You all realize her character is a second-rate con artist, right? She’s supposed to look as phony and overdone as possible, and maybe I’m biased because I adore Norma and everything I’ve seen her in, but I think she pulls this part off marvelously. If anything in this movie is unbelievable, it’s Clark…

  • The Smiling Lieutenant

    The Smiling Lieutenant

    ★★★½

    A pre-code makeover montage paired with an enviable girl power duo was not what I expected, but it was exactly what I needed. I’m still not a Chevalier fan after seeing this and a few other films of his, but Claudette Colbert looked lovelier than ever and I’m finding out that I just devour every second Miriam Hopkins is on my screen. Something about her is so captivating whether she’s supposed to be the glamorous one or not, it’s just amazing the effect she’s had on me.

  • Lady on a Train

    Lady on a Train

    ★★★

    I made it through about three quarters of this film expecting to give it two or two and a half stars. Despite how lovely both Deanna and the movie as a whole look, it doesn’t have much else going for it and I loathe movies that could’ve been done just as well with about half of the plot points and characters.

    However, I can’t help but bump up my rating for two reasons. Firstly, the twist actually took me by…

  • History Is Made at Night

    History Is Made at Night

    ★★★★

    I have to admit I didn’t give this film much of a chance at first. The beginning didn’t really impress me, but once I became invested in the story and saw how devoted to each other Irene and Paul were, I found the film utterly romantic and captivating the rest of the way through. I’ve previously seen Jean Arthur in several movies, but I feel like Jean and Charles Boyer are two prim and proper stars that somehow, paired together,…

  • Dracula

    Dracula

    ★★½

    My review is going to sound like I’m not well-versed in the Universal horror films or in Tod Browning’s filmography, neither of which are true. I both consciously and subconsciously avoided this film compared to the likes of Freaks and The Invisible Man because Bela Lugosi never appealed to me and I feared that this film would be one-note. Somehow it was both better and worse than I imagined.

    I think what this film really lacks is ambiguity and subtlety.…

  • Westward Passage

    Westward Passage

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    *Olivia has cute but abusive husband*

    “Well this sucks, but the fact that he’s played by baby Laurence Olivier can only mean that she’ll stay with his ass.”

    *Olivia divorces him and marries a decent guy her daughter loves*

    “Oh, awesome! Maybe this will be different than literally every other movie I’ve seen!”

    Spoiler alert: it was no different than literally every other movie I’ve seen.

  • Madam Satan

    Madam Satan

    ★★½

    What a wild film! I think besides all of the obvious insane aspects of this movie, the craziest part to me is their meager effort in making this a musical. Sure, dress a plain housewife up as a devil to seduce her own husband at a masquerade in a zeppelin, but don't give the freaking MAID the first song of the film FORTY minutes in! My other gripes with this movie: Reginald Denny's long hair, how much of a fuckboy…

  • The Girl Downstairs

    The Girl Downstairs

    ★★★½

    This movie is SO precious! Franciska Gaal is absolutely sparkling and memorable here, reminding me of Luise Rainer with a splash of Zsa Zsa Gabor. I was recommended this film because of Reginald Gardiner, but he's hardly in it, as great as his few scenes are. Franchot is always a charming and underrated leading man, though his role here is a bit less likable than some of his others. The romance is delightful though, and this is one of the…

  • Private Lives

    Private Lives

    ★★★★

    I’ve never been a Noël Coward fan, but even I can’t deny that this script is absolutely brilliant. The love scenes are so moving and beautiful while the fight scenes are a perfect and shocking contrast. Norma is her usual divine self, absolutely marvelous in everything she’s in, and Robert Montgomery actually wins me over in this too. When the movie started, I made a comment that I believed Norma marrying Reginald Denny would actually be a step up (I’m…

  • Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn

    Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn

    ★★★½

    This was a really remarkable film. I’ve never counted Leslie Howard as one of my favorite actors, but I was fascinated by this account of his life and amazed at all of the details that I didn’t know about before. I especially loved the stories that his daughter told; she was so detailed and painted such vivid pictures of his relationships and how life was on the set of his films. I also really love how they work through all…