Great Movies of the Golden Age – Part 10

Posted on 5 Jun 00:00

 

Over time, the cinema has also evolved and has come a long way since it started. Even though we have countless good movies made in the recent past, the era of 1913 to 1969 still remains the Golden Age of Hollywood. This was the time when some of the legendary movies were produced and a lot of them still top the charts. Compiled here is a list of some of the best movies from the Golden Age. 

  1. The Tall Men (1955)

Directed by one of the most successful directors of the Golden Age,  Raoul Walsh, The Tall Men is a Western. Brothers Ben (Clark Gable) and Clint (Cameron Mitchell) Allison are appointed to transfer a herd of cattle from Texas to Montana. Not very long into the journey, they come across a pioneer village that is being raided by a tribe of Native Americans. The Allison brothers rescue the beautiful and spirited Nella Turner (Jane Russell) from the ordeal. Soon Nella and Ben develop a romantic relationship. However, Nella is attracted to wealth, and Ben is not that wealthy their relationship is put on a hold. Ben, while struggling with his relationship problems has to make one last trip through the territory inhabited by unwelcoming natives with his brother to complete the transfer of the cattle herd. Eventually love conquers all.

  1. Mister Roberts (1955)

This one is an American Warnercolor in CinemaScope comedy-drama  directed by Mervyn LeRoy and John Ford. The story is adopted from a hit Broadway play. The movie takes place at the end of World War II  on an American warship,  'Reluctant' (also called “The Bucket”) that has been stationed in the  backwater area of the Pacific Ocean. The cargo chief of the ship Lieutenant (junior grade) Douglas A. "Doug" Roberts (Henry Fonda), tries his best to shield his fellow seamen from the harsh and notorious captain Lieutenant Commander Morton (James Cagney). Roberts requests a transfer repeatedly to go to an active fighting zone and Morton is obligated by regulations to forward his requests but never endorses resulting in Roberts receiving constant negative responses to his requests.. The dispirited crew of the ship finds it increasingly hard to remain under the command of the uninspiring captain and looks up to Roberts for motivation and moral support. Ultimately, the crew risks everything to see that Mister Roberts wish to be transferred is granted.

  1. Dancing Lady (1933)

Dancing Lady is a pre-code musical directed by Robert Z. Leonard. The key character is, Janie (Joan Crawford), who has only one passion in life and that is to dance. She performs in a shady nightclub to support herself. One day a rich man, Tod (Franchot Tone), notices Janie in the nightclub and falls for her. However, briefly afterwards, the club is raided by the police and Janie is arrested. Tod bails Janie out of police custody and makes arrangements for her to star in a Broadway Musical being directed by Patch Gallagher (Clark Gable). Janie falls for Patch and emerges as the star of the show. However, Tod’s jealousy puts both the show and Janie’s relationship at risk. Janie is briefly with Tod after the show collapses but upon learning that she was exploited by Tod and it was him who closed the production of the show, Janie dumps him and goes back with her sweetheart Patch and the two partner up to bring the show back to life.

  1. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

This movie is a biographical musical about the life of George M. Cohan, who is known as the man who owned Broadway. The movie was written by Robert Buckner and Edmund Joseph, and directed by Michael Curtiz. The story is portrayed primarily in flashbacks. Broadway legend George M. Cohan (James Cagney) is invited to the White House to be honored with a Congressional Gold Medal from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Cohan reflects on his life during his acceptance speech at the White House. The flashbacks reveal the story of his life starting from the time when he performed at his family's vaudeville act to the early days when he struggled as a Tin Pan Alley songwriter and then to his life as a successful actor, writer, director and producer who is known for his patriotic songs including "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Over There." Notable cast members of the movie include  James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, and Richard Whorf, and the movie featured Irene Manning, George Tobias, Rosemary DeCamp, Jeanne Cagney, and Vera Lewis. 

  1. Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

'Love Me or Leave Me' is a biographical romantic musical drama about the life of Ruth Etting, who rose from a dancer to a successful singer and then a top billed actress. The director of this movie is Charles Vidor. The story begins in the 1920s when a petty Chicago criminal, Martin Snyder (James Cagney), comes across a beautiful and talented singer Ruth Etting (Doris Day) after she’s been fired from her job at a nightclub. Martin’s management and Ruth’s dedication takes her to a high level in the showbiz industry but Martin’s controlling, and obsessive nature starts becoming a hurdle in Ruth’s success which ultimately leads to their separation, but their friendship remains.

  1. San Francisco (1936)

This is a musical drama disaster movie directed by Woody Van Dyke, and the story is adopted from the events following 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Blackie Norton (Clark Gable), who owns and runs a nightclub hires a singer, Mary Blake (Jeanette MacDonald), for his club while she is at a low point in her career. The two soon fall for each other and begin a romantic affair. However, not very long after that, Mary is courted by Jack Burley (Jack Holt), a real estate tycoon, to sing at his opera house. She refuses to take the offer at first but when she discovers objectionable posters of herself put up by Blackie, she leaves him and begins singing for Jack’s Opera house. Blackie is left with no other option than winning her back for his life and for his club.

  1. Touch of Evil (1958)

'Touch of Evil' (1958) is a Noir film written and directed by Orson Welles who also stars in the film. The plot of the movie is centered on the investigation of a car bomb that exploded on the American side of the US/Mexico border. Miguel Vargas (Charlton Heston), who’s a Mexican drug enforcement agent, is tasked to investigate the case in collaboration with a captain from American police, Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles). Vargas soon realizes that Quinlan and his partner, a shady character named Pete Menzies (Joseph Calleia), are planting fake evidence to frame an innocent man to help the man who is actually responsible for the bombing to escape. Vargas’s investigation into the Americans’ suspected corruption puts his and his newly wed wife's, Susie’s (Janet Leigh) lives at stake.


Conclusion:

The movies of the Golden Age are known for the strength of their storylines, and innovative direction, dialogues and cinematography and the increasingly positive rating they still have on movie ranking sites today. 


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