Cinema in the 1930s

Open, Lecture—Spring

In the 1930s, the first decade of sound, cinema flourished around the world. It was a great decade for Hollywood movies, with gangster films such as The Public Enemy and Scarface, musicals such as 42nd Street and Swing Time, melodramas such as Man’s Castle and Stella Dallas, political films such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Young Mr. Lincoln, and comedies such as City Lights, Trouble in Paradise, It Happened One Night, and The Awful Truth. It was also a great decade for French and Japanese cinema: directors like Jean Vigo and Jean Renoir in France and Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, Mikio Naruse, and Hiroshi Shimizu in Japan were taking the art of film in new directions. And in Germany and the Soviet Union, as well, some remarkable movies were being made. In this course, we will look at a rich sampling of world cinema from the 1930s.