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Ringside Report Goes Back to the 1930s Film Scene


By Geoffrey Huchel

The 1930s were a major turning point for the movie world. It brought the end of the silent film era, the introduction of sound and color, and the advance of the “talkies”. The 30s marked the start of what is considered to be the “Golden Age of Hollywood”. During this time period the 5 major studios were 20th Century Fox, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Paramount, Warner Bros. and RKO Radio. New film genres, such as gangster films, musicals, newspaper films, lighthearted screwball comedies, westerns and horror were all brought into prominence. The decade involved and introduced the world to films that have been cherished by moviegoers for generations. Listed are a handful of those films that have earned their spot as groundbreaking films of the 1930s.

THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933) Running Time:1 hr 11 mins
Directed by James Whale
With: Claude Rains
Gloria Stuart
Plot: A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

Fun Facts: This science fiction horror film, based on the novel by H.G. Wells, is regarded as one of Universal’s most successful horror films. Gloria Stuart would go on to later fame as Old Rose in TITANIC (1997).

KING KONG (1933) Running Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Directed by: Merian C. Cooper
With: Robert Armstrong
Fay Wray

Plot: A film crew on a tropical island discovers a colossal ape who takes a liking to their female blonde star. The ape is captured and brought back to New York City for public display.

Fun Facts: This film bares the distinction as being ranked as one of the greatest horror films of all time and is the 33rd greatest film of all time.

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) Running Time 1 hr 45 mins
Directed by: Frank Capra
With: Clark Gable
Claudette Colbert

Plot: A spoiled heiress running away from her family is aided by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.
Fun Fact: Won 5 Oscars at the 1935 Academy Awards, winning for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Writing/Adaptation

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) Running Time: 3hrs 58 mins
Directed By: Victor Fleming
With: Clark Gable
Vivien Leigh

Plot: A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War.

Fun Facts: Won 9 Oscars at the 1940 Academy Awards, including wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

GWTW was the most expensive film of the decade at 4.25 million.

THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) Running Time:1 hr 42 mins
Directed by: Victor Fleming
With: Judy Garland
Frank Morgan
Ray Bolger
Bert Lahr
Jack Haley

Plot: A Kansas farm girl is swept away in a tornado and is transported to a magical land and embarks on a quest to see a wizard who can help her return home.

Fun Facts: Won 2 Oscars at the 1940 Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Best Music, Original Score.

Victor Fleming directed this film and GONE WITH THE WIND at the same time. *This timeless classic remains one of the most popular and celebrated films of all time.*

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