MOVIES OF THE THIRTIES, Edited by Ann Lloyd, Consultant Editor David Robinson (1983)

The Thirties was possibly the most important decade of movie history, coming right after the sound revolution and producing its own major developments in color and special effects. It was the era of stars such as Garbo, Dietrich, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, of Gary Cooper and Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Fred Astaire. It was also the heyday of the Hollywood studio system. MGM, Paramount, Warners, Fox, Columbia and Universal all left their own special mark.

Tackling the subject by themes in an overall chronological framework, a team of informed and entertaining writers describe the output and personalities of a varied decade which encompassed high tension stories of gangland and ghetto, British costume dramas, Busby Berkeley spectaculars, Cecil B. DeMille epics and the art of animation, French surrealism and romantic fatalism, the British documentary movement (which influenced realist filmmaking throughout the world), fascism and propaganda.

The best films of the period are described and illustrated in detail, including All Quiet on the Western Front, M, King Kong, Modern Times, It Happened One Night, La Règle du Jeu (Rules of the Game), and Stagecoach, while in-depth profiles recall the leading stars and illustrate the work of famous directors and producers. This informative and entertaining history of the developments and achievements of world cinema from 1930 to 1939 contains over 600 illustrations, many in color. (Book Cover)


The Coming of Sound
The Studio System
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
René Clair
Continental Sound
Ernst Lubitsch
Fritz Lang
M (1931)
Marlene Dietrich
Kings of the Underworld
James Cagney
Grand Hotel (1932)
Irving Thalberg
Children of the Night
Looking for the Silver Lining
Fay Wray: King Kong’s Girl
King Kong (1933)
Alfred Hitchcock—a First Glimpse of the master’s World of Terror
Charles Laughton
The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933)
Alexander Korda
The 4 Marx Brothers—and Margaret Dumont
Busby Berkeley
Jean Harlow
Movies and Morals
Mae West
W.C. Fields
Real Life on the Screen
The March of Time
Mervyn LeRoy
Meet the People—the British Documentary Movement
John Grierson
Spencer Tracy
Film and Fascism
Leni Riefenstahl
Nazi Cinema
Propaganda for War
Hollywood Holds Back
Modern Times (1936)
Fred Astaire—and Ginger Rogers
Fan Magazines: Gossip, Gloss and Good Advice
It Happened One Night (1934)
George Cukor
Frank Capra
Gary Cooper
King Vidor
Bette Davis
Joan Crawford
Business is Booming
Hollywood Invades Britain
Robert Donat
Harry Cohn
Technique and Trickery
Special Effects
In Glorious Technicolor
The Sound of Change
Animating the ‘Ape’
The Art of Animation
Images of France
Jean Renoir
La Règle du Jeu (Rules of the Game) (1939)
The Epic Entertainments of Cecil B. DeMille
Alexander Nevsky
Michael Curtiz
Henry Fonda
Clark Gable
Vivien Leigh
David O. Selznick
Lonesome Trail
John Ford
Stagecoach (1939)