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This is my last post from 1931, promise. Well, for now anyway :)

Tabu (1931) - Nosferatu (1922) director F.W. Murnau's collaboration with Robert J. Flaherty, who directed the semi-documentary Nanook of the North(1922) and contributed to (one of my part-talkie favorites) White Shadows in the South Seas (1928). Murnau's control of moving camera, evident in other pictures like Der Letze Mann (1924) and Faust (1926), and the flowing editing style involve us in a tragic tale that takes place in Bora Bora. Strict rules of tradition and economic realities of modernity clash with idyllic island life and new love. Silent, but the imagery is pure poetry and doesn't need any aural help beyond the score.


Yay for Little Caesar! I understand that Edward G. Robinson helped pave the way for leads and supporting role actors in the non-standard body type / immigrant actors. A short dumpy Romanian like Edward G. Robinson as well as immigrant and weird voiced Peter Lorre did a lot for pushing 'difference' in the Hollywood look.


While researching my theater's program last season, I learned that Robinson was heartily sick of playing gangsters by the time he was up for contract renewal at Warner Bros. in 1936. His new deal guaranteed that he wouldn't have to play any more gangsters if he didn't want to, and he wouldn't have to carry any films by himself (Warner Bros. rarely teamed him with other stars). So his first film after signing the new contract was a loan-out to MGM... The Last Gangster, where he plays a gangster alongside a cast of minor players. Then the next year, back at Warner Bros., he played another gangster in A Slight Case of Murder (which was his best spoof of his gangster image).

And I love the new biographical info box.


Squish - That's interesting. I'm just glad he (and Lorre for that matter) tore himself away from the stage to play in the movies.

Goatdog - I like A Slight Case of Murder too. I actually saw that before any of the '30s gangster movies it spoofs.

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