This page contains links to all the posts in the Golden Age of Hollywood series, along with some films to get you started and source material for further reading.
I will update each Wednesday with the current week’s post.
Posts by Series/Category
Birth of the Talkies: The Early Films of the Sound Era
- Introduction: The Beginning and the End
- February 21, 1930: Garbo Talks! Anna Christie (1930)
- Garbo As Garbo Mata Hari (1931), Queen Christina (1933), Camille (1936)
- The King of Hollywood Mutiny On The Bounty (1935)
- More Stars Than There Are In Heaven Grand Hotel (1932)
- Cheap Thrills Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
- The Eighth Wonder of the World King Kong (1933)
- Down Hollywood’s Primrose Path The Divorcée (1930)
- Beer and Blood and Grapefruit Little Caesar (1930), The Public Enemy (1931)
- If It Doesn’t Fit… A Free Soul (1931)
- “Dirty, Rotten, Sordid, and Cheap” Hell’s Angels (1930)
- Shock Value Scarface (1932)
- Sleeping Your Way To The Top Baby Face (1933), Red-Headed Woman (1932)
- You Don’t Know Joan Possessed (1931)
- Wild Wild West She Done Him Wrong (1933)
- (You Won’t) See Jane Swim The Tarzan Movies (1932-1942)
- Before and After Red Dust (1932), Mogambo (1953)
Screwing Around: The Screwball Comedy Emerges
- Silver Linings My Man Godfrey (1936), Bringing Up Baby (1938)
- The Walls of Jericho It Happened One Night (1934)
- The Good Life You Can’t Take It With You (1938)
- Carole Lombard: One In A Million Twentieth Century (1934)
- The King of Hollywood Meets the Screwball Queen No Man of Her Own (1932), Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
- My Favorite Wife (1940): The Charm of Cary and Irene
The Case for Barbara Stanwyck: Greatest Actress to Never Win an Oscar
- Stella Dallas (1937): Barbara’s Four Hanky Smash
- The Lady Eve (1941): “I Need Him Like the Axe Needs the Turkey”
- Double Indemnity (1944): The Crown Jewel of Film Noir
- Christmas In Connecticut (1945): “The Things a Girl Will do for a Mink Coat”
- Sorry, Wrong Number (1948): Zero for Four
- The Thorn Birds (1983): One Last Thrill
- The Other Love (1947): “Rage Against the Dying of the Light”
- East Side, West Side (1949): The Real Housewives of 1940’s New York
- A Lost Lady (1934): This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
1939: The Greatest Year in Movies
- Dark Victory (1939): “Prognosis Negative”
- The Women (1939): Jungle Red Claws
- We Interrupt 1939 to Bring You Rebecca (1940): The Unlikely Triumph of the Second Mrs. DeWinter
- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939): Clarissa Explains it All
- In Name Only (1939): Crying Clowns
- The Wizard of Oz (1939): “No Place Like Home”
- Stagecoach (1939): Enter Johns Wayne and Ford
- Scarlett and Melanie: Film’s First Frenemies Gone With the Wind (1939)
The Fabulous Forties
- Mrs. Miniver (1942): Prestigious Propaganda
- The Philadelphia Story (1940): Triumph of the Transatlantic Accent
- Gaslight (1944): Driving Ingrid Crazy
- Miracle on 34th Street (1947): Believe In Santa
- Mildred Pierce (1945): Crawford at a Crossroads
- Gilda (1946): Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption
- “By the time you read this letter, I may be dead.” (Letter From An Unknown Woman (1948))
- Notorious (1946): Hollywood’s Longest, Sexiest Kiss
- Laura (1944): Seduced by a Corpse
Bette Davis: The Shrew Who Would Not Be Tamed
- Bette Davis: The Shrew Who Would Not Be Tamed Of Human Bondage (1935), Dangerous (1935)
- Jezebel (1938): “Triumph of Bitchery”
- The First Divine Feud: Bette and Miriam The Old Maid (1939), Old Acquaintance (1943)
- Mr. Skeffington (1944): Ugly Bette
- The Great Lie (1941): Bette Cedes the Spotlight
- All About Eve (1950): “A Bumpy Night”
- The Second Divine Feud: Bette and Joan (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?) (1962)
- A Sequel of Sorts: Hush …Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)
- Waterloo Bridge (1931) vs. Waterloo Bridge (1940)
- The Shop Around the Corner (1940) vs. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
- Father of the Bride (1950) vs. Father of the Bride (1991)
- Sabrina (1954) vs. Sabrina (1995)
Hitch and Grace In Three Acts
- Act I: Dial M For Murder (1954): Hitch Finds His Muse
- Act II: Rear Window (1954): The Apex
- Act III: To Catch A Thief (1955): A Romp Through the Riviera
- A Hitchless Coda: High Society (1956): The Tail of a Shooting Star
- Leave Her to Heaven (1945): Tainted Love and Daddy Issues
- A Place in the Sun (1951): Method Acting Arrives
- Sunrise(1927): Hollywood Rowboat Murders Go Way Back
- Hedy Lamarr: Cursed by Beauty
- Swing Time (1936): Dancing With the Real Stars
- Indiscreet (1958): Ingrid’s Triumphant Return
- Made For Each Other (1939): Carole Lombard Gets Serious
- The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956): Que Sera, Sera
The Dueling de Havillands
- The Dueling de Havillands: Hold Back the Dawn (1941) vs. Suspicion (1941).
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935): “The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth”
- Captain Blood (1935): Olivia Meets Errol
- A Damsel in Distress (1937): Little Sister’s Early Missteps
- This Above All (1941): Forties on Forties
- The Strawberry Blonde (1941): Olivia On Ice
- The Constant Nymph (1943): Three in Four Years
- The Male Animal (1942): Brains vs. Brawn
- Jane Eyre (1944): A Failed Rebecca Redux
- In This Our Life (1942): Olivia, Bette Davis, and John Huston
- The Affairs of Susan (1945): Split Personalities
- Princess O’Rourke (1943): Escaping the Gilded Age
- To Each His Own (1946): Olivia Out of Exile
- The Snake Pit (1948): Olivia’s Time to Shine
- The Heiress (1949): Ascending to New Heights
- September Affair (1950): The Perils of an Endless Vacation
- From This Day Forward (1946): Off the Cutting Room Floor
- Born to Be Bad (1950): Love of the Grift
- My Cousin Rachel (1952): Third Oscar Be Damned!
Focus on Ferber: The Work of Edna Ferber Onscreen
- Dinner at Eight (1933): Focus on Ferber
- Giant (1956): Edna Ferber Takes on Texas
- Cimarron (1931): Taming No-Man’s Land
- Stage Door (1937): #MeToo In the 1930’s
- So Big (1932): “Epic of American Womanhood”
- Saratoga Trunk (1945): “Two Impecunious Rascals”
- Come and Get It (1936): Bad Adaptation, Great Film
- Show Boat (1936): Ferber’s Glamour Girl
Bogie & Bacall
Part I: Bogart Before Bacall
- The Petrified Forest (1936): NO BOGART NO DEAL
- The Maltese Falcon (1941): “The stuff that dreams are made of.”
- Casablanca (1942): “No one ever loved me that much.”
Part II: Bogie & Bacall
- To Have and Have Not (1944): Tabula Rasa
- The Big Sleep (1946): Who killed the chauffeur?
- Dark Passage (1947): Happiness Against All Odds
- Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948): John Huston Returns from the War
- Key Largo (1948): Bogart & Bacall & Huston
- In a Lonely Place (1950): The Best Bogart Film You’ve Never Heard Of
- Young Man With a Horn (1950): Bacall Searches for the Spotlight
- The African Queen (1951): A Rising Souffle
- How to Marry a Millionaire (1953): “Look at that old fella what’s his name..”
- The Caine Mutiny (1954): Bogart’s Final Masterpiece
Epilogue: Bacall After Bogart
Five Films To Get You Started
If I’ve piqued your interest on classic films but you don’t where to start, you can’t go wrong by beginning with these five stellar films. If you don’t love these, then classic Hollywood films are not for you.
- The Philadelphia Story (1940)
- Katharine Hepburn’s funniest–and best–film. Also Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, and the best script in Hollywood history
- The Lady Eve (1941)
- Barbara Stanwyck tortures poor Henry Fonda in this tale of her revenge between losing and regaining his love.
- Casablanca (1942)
- Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, Bergman walks into Bogie’s.
- All About Eve (1950)
- Bette Davis at her absolute best. As relevant today as it was seventy years ago.
- Rear Window (1954)
- Hitchcock directs Grace Kelly, the cool blonde that got away.
- Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford, Donald Spoto
- Clark Gable: A Biography, Warren G. Harris
- Screwball: The Life of Carole Lombard, Larry Swindell
- Stanwyck, Axel Madsen
- Starring Miss Stanwyck, Ella Smith
- Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis, Ed Sikov
- A Talent for Trouble: The Life of Hollywood’s Most Acclaimed Director, William Wyler, Jan Herman
- William Wyler: The Life and Film of Hollywood’s Most Celebrated Director, Gabriel Miller, 2013.
- Cary Grant: A Biography, Marc Eliot
- Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and his Leading Ladies, Donald Spoto
- High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly, Donald Spoto
- Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud, Shaun Considine
- Sisters: The Story of Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine, Charles Higham, 1984.
- Olivia de Havilland and the Golden Age of Hollywood, Ellis Amburn, 2018.
- No Bed of Roses, Joan Fontaine, 1978.
- My First Hundred Years in Hollywood, Jack Warner
- Irene Dunne: First Lady of Hollywood, Wes D. Gehring
- Bogart, A.M. Spencer and Eric Lax, 1997.
- Bogie & Bacall: Love Lessons from a Legendary Romance, Cindy De La Hoz, 2015.
- By Myself, Lauren Bacall, 1978.
- Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox of Hollywood, Todd McCarthy, 1997.
- Jimmy Stewart: A Biography, Marc Eliot, 2006.
Cinema History and Film Essays
- Sin In Soft Focus: Pre Code Hollywood, Mark Vieira
- The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking In The Studio Era, Thomas Schatz
- A World of Movies: 70 Years of Film History, Richard Lawton
- The Noir Style, Alain Silver and James Ursini
- American Cinema of the 1930s, Edited by Ina Rae Hark
- American Cinema of the 1940s, Edited by Wheeler Winston Dixon
- American Cinema of the 1950s, Edited by Murray Pomerance
- The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies, David Thomson.
- Memo from David O. Selznick, edited by Martin Behlmer
- A Peculiar Treasure, Edna Ferber, 1939.
- A Kind of Magic, Edna Ferber, 1963.
- Ferber: A Biography of Edna Ferber and Her Circle, Julie Goldsmith Gilbert, 1978.
- Jensen, Oliver O. “Sister Act.” Life Magazine, May 4, 1942
- “Cinema. Olivia de Havilland and The Snake Pit.” Time Magazine, December 20, 1948.