So, with one thing (a wedding) and another (the film festival), and some scattered odds and ends (Pakula, Universal Monsters, Disney), I’ve fallen a couple of installments behind on my “monthly” retrospective of the films of 1939. That changes today, with the first of a three-week burst of classic movies from Hollywood’s annus mirabilis.
Today, from September, 1939 comes Intermezzo, featuring Ingrid Bergman and the cinematography of Gregg Toland – meaning that it has no right to be anything but the most gorgeous movie of the year.
One week from now, November 15, we’ll take a look at a film from October, 1939: one of the most famous political movies of all time, though one whose politics are more suspect and naïve than you might remember, thanks to Frank Capra’s notorious love of warm fuzzies. I’m talking, of course, of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
And on November 22, a political movie of a very different stipe: a Communists vs. Westerners tale that gets devoured by one of the best romantic comedy plotlines in cinema history under the watchful hand of the great Ernst Lubitsch. Watch as Greta Garbo laughs in Ninotchka.