You know that book, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die by Stephen Jay Schneider? I don’t know if I would watch some of these if I only had a little time left. I mean I’m sure they all have cinematic significance but not all of them are fun. If I were about to shuffle off the mortal coil, I wouldn’t want to watch a bunch of lame movies just beforehand.

So, I went through the ones I’d seen to check.

Movies 1-60 ::  Movies 61-100 ::  Movies 101-160 :: Movies 161-220

Movies 221-260 ::  Movies 261-300

On the rating system:

Watch anytime:  Superb entertainment
Repeat viewing: Good entertainment
Worth once: if you’ve nothing better to do
Historical significance: not for pleasure

No. 68. Freaks (1932)
Type: horror
Rating: repeat viewing
Comments: This is a difficult movie. It feels like exploitation at times (especially that scene). On the other hand, all the characters are presented as individuals and sympathetic at that. The short story it’s based on is mean-spirited, and Browning added a lot of humanity. I can’t recommend it because it’s uncomfortable to watch but I can’t not recommend it because it’s good stuff.

no. 74.  She Done Him Wrong (1933).
Type: drama
Rating: historical significance
Comments: I was surprised at how serious the storyline for this movie was, with a violent ex-boyfriend and so on. But Mae West and Cary Grant are worth watching.

no. 75. Duck Soup (1933)
Type: comedy
Rating: repeat viewing
Comments: There’s not much of a plot that I recall. There’s very little that’s linear about a Marx Brothers movie, so avoid it if that’s important to you. Otherwise…yes.

no. 78. King Kong (1933).
Type: monster
Rating: worth once
Comments: I don’t think the movie deserves its reputation for Kong but it’s got dinosaurs, too and they are fun. The island bits are the best part of the movie. The ending is mawkish and makes me wish one of the dinos would messily devour the reporters.

no. 86.  It Happened One Night (1934)
Type: romance
Rating: worth once
Comment: See, I’d always heard that this was this comedy was such that it inspired Bugs Bunny. It’s more of a sweet romance with some funny bits. Worth watching but don’t expect any falling anvils.

no. 87.  The Thin Man (1934)
Type: mystery
Rating: repeat viewing
Comments: I’ve talked about this before. This is worth watching.

no. 88.  Captain Blood (1935).
Type: action
Rating: repeat viewing
Comments: I haven’t watched this one in years but I liked it so much that I read Rafael Sabitini’s Captain Blood and his Scaramouche. I have too many happy swashbuckling memories connected to the movie to really know if it’s worth it or not. I will say that I think Errol Flynn is more entertaining here than in Robin Hood .

no. 90. A Night at the Opera (1934)
Type: comedy
Rating: repeat viewing
Comments: For a long time, this one bested Duck Soup for me. But now I can’t really decide. You could just watch both.

no. 91. The 39 Steps (1935)
Type: crime
Rating: historical significance
Comments: I’ve talked about this one before too. Hitchcock’s later movies were better.

no. 92. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Type: horror
Rating: repeat viewing
Comments: I’m a sucker for monstrous pathos and this movie’s got that in spades. It’s got Mary Shelley in the prologue and despite her poor taste in men, I’ve always had a soft spot for her. Plus, the poor bride: she dies, gets a horrible hair-do and then has to marry a monster. I’d scream a lot too. And the Monster’s final line is great. Yes.

no. 93.  Top Hat (1935)
Type: musical
Rating: watch anytime
Comments: My favorite of the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. “Isn’t This a Lovely Day (to be Caught in the Rain)” is my favorite number but I like the feathers one too. Worth watching.

no. 96. Swing Time (1935)
Type: musical
Rating: worth once
Comments: This is good Fred and Ginger. I approve.

no. 97. My Man Godfrey (1936)
Type: comedy
Rating: historical significance
Comments: The main problem I had with this movie is that I was preferred the bad girl Cornelia (at least she had agency while sober) over Irene (who enchanted me as much as fingernails on a chalkboard do). But there’s no real harm in it.

no. 99. Camille (1936)
Type: drama
Rating: worth once
Comments: I find Greta Garbo a little more accessible than some of her contemporaries. Maybe it’s because of her vaunted mystique that allows one to read all kinds of things into her performances. I was expecting ethereal before I saw her movies but I don’t think that’s quite it. She suffers well in this movie.

After the break is the full list from 61 to 100:

    1. The Vampire (1932)
    2. Love Me Tonight (1932)
    3. Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)
    4. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
    5. Trouble in Paradise (1932)
    6. Scarface: The Shame Of A Nation (1932)
    7. Shanghai Express (1932)
    8. Freaks (1932)
    9. Me and My Gal (1932)
    10. Zero for Conduct (1933)
    11. 42nd Street (1933)
    12. Footlight Parade (1933)
    13. Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
    14. She Done Him Wrong (1933)
    15. Duck Soup (1933)
    16. Queen Christina (1933)
    17. Land Without Bread (1933)
    18. King Kong (1933)
    19. The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933)
    20. Sons of the Desert (1933)
    21. It’s a Gift (1934)
    22. Triumph of the Will (1934)
    23. L’Atalante (1934)
    24. The Black Cat (1934)
    25. Judge Priest (1934)
    26. It Happened One Night (1934)
    27. The Thin Man (1934)
    28. Captain Blood (1935)
    29. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
    30. A Night at the Opera (1935)
    31. The 39 Steps (1935)
    32. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
    33. Top Hat (1935)
    34. A Day in the Country (1936)
    35. Modern Times (1936)
    36. Swing Time (1936)
    37. My Man Godfrey (1936)
    38. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
    39. Camille (1936)
    40. Sabotage (1936)
  1. You know that book, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die by Stephen Jay Schneider? I don’t know if I would watch some of these if I only had a little time left. I mean I’m sure they all have cinematic significance but not all of them are fun. If I were about to shuffle off the mortal coil, I wouldn’t want to watch a bunch of lame movies just beforehand.

    So, I went through the ones I’d seen to check.

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