Best Drama Movies of 1929
London, 1929. Frank Webber, a very busy Scotland Yard detective, seems to be more interested in his work than in Alice White, his girlfriend. Feeling herself ignored, Alice agrees to go out with an elegant and well-mannered artist who invites her to visit his fancy apartment.
Mary, a poor farm girl, meets Tim just as word comes that war has been declared. Tim enlists in the army and goes to the battlefields of Europe, where he is wounded and loses the use of his legs. Home again, Tim is visited by Mary, and they are powerfully attracted to each other; but his physical handicap prevents him from declaring his love for her. Deeper complications set in when Martin, Tim's former sergeant and a bully, takes a shine to Mary.
The Iron Mask
King Louis XIII of France is thrilled to have born to him a son - an heir to the throne. But when the queen delivers a twin, Cardinal Richelieu sees the second son as a potential for revolution, and has him sent off to Spain to be raised in secret to ensure a peaceful future for France. Alas, keeping the secret means sending Constance, lover of D'Artagnan, off to a convent. D'Artagnan hears of this and rallies the Musketeers in a bid to rescue her. Unfortunately, Richelieu out-smarts the Musketeers and banishes them forever.
The Woman He Scorned
A lighthouse keeper's wife shelters her fugitive lover.
A young Chinese woman, working in the kitchen at a London dance club, is given the chance to become the club's main act.
This early example of the "backstage" musical genre tells the story of Kitty Darling, a fading burlesque star who tries to save her convent-educated daughter April from following in Mom's footsteps.
A stenographer who works for a lawyer falls in love with and marries a wealthy young man. His family has the marraige annulled, after which she gives birth to a child. Her former boss helps her out to ensure the child's welfare, which starts gossip that she is a "kept woman."
An unhappily married woman is caught up in scandal and murder when her affection toward a young man is misinterpreted.
A black laborer turns preacher after accidentally killing a man.
The Wolf of Wall Street
A ruthless stockbroker sells short in the copper business and ruins the life of his friends by ruining their finances.
A fisherman and a rising lawyer who grew up together as brothers fall in love with the same woman.
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
This first cinematic version of the classic book is a part-talkie, although the only surviving print is silent (housed in the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY). It is a straight-forward telling of the intermingled lives of a group of strangers doomed to die in a collapsing bridge accident. The Art Direction, paltry and unremarkable, surprisingly won an Oscar over the far more remarkable work nominated in THE IRON MASK. The special effect scene of the lovers plummeting with the bridge into the chasm is unforgettable and remarkably done.
Prime Minister of Great Britain Benjamin Disraeli outwits the subterfuge of the Russians and chicanery at home in order to secure the purchase of the Suez Canal.
Passion carried an innocent boy and a worldly woman beyond the barriers of conscience.
The Lady from the Sea
Handsome young fisherman Tom Roberts is among the crew of a lifeboat that rescues Frenchwoman Claire le Grange, sole survivor of a shipwreck on the treacherous Goodwin Sands. Tom's marriage to his own sweetheart, Mary, is postponed owing to injuries he sustained in the dramatic rescue, and during his convalescence he falls for the charms of the flirtatious Claire.
The Broadway Melody
The vaudeville act of Harriet and Queenie Mahoney comes to Broadway, where their friend Eddie Kerns needs them for his number in one of Francis Zanfield's shows. When Eddie meets Queenie, he soon falls in love with her—but she is already being courted by Jock Warriner, a member of New York high society. Queenie eventually recognises that, to Jock, she is nothing more than a toy, and that Eddie is in love with her.
The Godless Girl
High school students led by the Girl and Boy turn from Christianity toward secret atheistic meetings. When a girl is accidentally killed by a stairway collapse, the Girl and Boy go to reform school where they are treated brutally.
Experimental documentary focusing on a day in the life of city workers, featuring montage sequences and repetition to emphasise the monotony of routine office work.
Three bank robbers on the run happen across a woman about to give birth in an abandoned covered wagon. Before she dies, she names the three bandits as her newborn son's godfathers.
Why Be Good?
A flapper unwittingly falls for the boss' son.
A Southern belle's flirtation with a working man leads to tragedy.
A condemned man manages to avoid being hanged from a bridge over a river when the rope breaks, so that he falls and sinks into the water…
Phony spiritualists were given a good going-over in the early talkie melodrama Darkened Rooms. Evelyn Brent stars as Ellen, a fraudulent medium working in cahoots with genuine clairvoyant Emory Jago (Neil Hamilton). The plotline is secondary; the film's main purpose was to emulate the methods of such professional "de-bunkers" as Mrs. Harry Houdini by exposing the various tricks of the spiritualist's trade.
Our Modern Maidens
Young vivacious Billie uses her charms on influential businessman Glenn Abbott in hopes of getting her secret fiancée Gil a diplomatic appointment. Meanwhile Gil's affections meander to beautiful ingenue Kentucky, Billie's best friend.
The Lady Lies
Much to the disapproval of his snooty children, a wealthy widowed attorney takes up with a beautiful but "lower-class" woman.
Henry, the pagan son of a white father and native mother, has inherited land and a store, but he prefers the simple life. When he falls in love with a native girl, her guardian, who is trying to bring her up as a 'proper' Christian, but who also lusts after her himself, plots to keep them apart.
The Single Standard
A bored socialite finds fleeting romance with an artist.
She Goes to War
A young woman disguises herself as a man and follows her fiancéé into the trenches during World War I to find out what war is really like.
A prince in Java tries to seduce his visitor's wife, but he's discovered.
A man betrays his best friend, a member of a terrorist organisation, to the authorities and is then pursued by the other members of the organisation.
On shore leave, a young sailor meets and falls in love with a pretty young blonde. He goes home with her to meet her parents, but they don't approve of him at all. Their daughter takes offense at this, and in the ensuing argument she storms out of the house determined to live on her own.
The Flying Fleet
Six friends, all hoping to become aviators, are to graduate the next day from the United States Naval Academy. When the officer of the day becomes sick, Tommy Winslow has to take his place, while the others go out and celebrate.
The Last Performance
A middle-aged magician is in love with his beautiful young assistant. She, on the other hand, is in love with the magician's young protege, who turns out to be a bum and a thief.
Wealthy Cynthia is in love with not-so-wealthy Roger, who is married to Marcia. The threesome is terribly modern about the situation, and Marcia will gladly divorce Roger if Cynthia agrees to a financial settlement. But Cynthia's wealth is in jeopardy because her trust fund will expire if she is not married by a certain date. To satisfy that condition, Cynthia arranges to marry Hagon Derk, who is condemned to die for a crime he didn't commit. She pays him so he can provide for his little sister. But at the last minute, Derk is freed when the true criminal is discovered. Expecting to be a rich widow, Cynthia finds herself married to a man she doesn't know and doesn't want to.
The Younger Generation
Soap-opera about a social-climbing Jewish man and his old-world parents who are heartbroken by his rejection of them. Young Morris Goldfish follows his immigrant father into business. His ruthless business practices cause him to become a big success, and he moves the family to Park Avenue. They go, but were happier back on the East Side. Morris is ashamed of this parents and his humble origins, but learns in the end that there is more to life than money.
Wing Foot (Richard Dix), is a Navaho educated in an otherwise all-white school. In the course of the story he experiences prejudice from both the whites (because of his race) and the Navahos (who disown him because of his upbringing). Thus, Wing Foot is looked upon as neither Indian nor white, but simply a "redskin."
A young woman is forced by her abusive father to marry an older man even though she is in love with a kindly young doctor.
A young Acadian woman spends years searching for her lost love after the two are separated and forcibly relocated by the British.
The Wild Party
Wild girls at a college pay more attention to parties than their classes. But when one party girl, Stella Ames, goes too far at a local bar and gets in trouble, her professor has to rescue her. Gossip linking the two escalates until Stella proves she is decent by shielding an innocent girl and winning the professor's respect.
The Marriage Playground
A delightful pre-code cocktail recipe. Take three couples (add gin and tonic), their several divorces and the seven children/stepchildren of their intermarriages and blend thoroughly, and you have a mixture a too-young-to-believe Frederic March will try to straighten out.
The Dance of Life
A vaudeville comic and a pretty young dancer aren't having much luck in their separate careers, so they decide to combine their acts. In order to save money on the road, they get married. Soon their act begins to catch on, and they find themselves booked onto Broadway. They also realize that they actually are in love with each other, but just when things are starting to look up, the comic starts to let success go to his head.
A planter's wife shoots a neighbor, but tells conflicting stories of what happened.
Black and Tan
Duke Ellington plays hot jazz in a fictional story that finds him down on his luck; he tries in vain to dissuade his friend, dancer Fredi Washington, from working with heart trouble even though it means work for his band. Sure enough, she collapses on stage...
Suave thief Colman is sent to Devil's Island, where he becomes romantically involved with the wife of sadistic warden Digges.
The Trial Of Mary Dugan
A woman is tried for the murder of her lover. Director Bayard Veiller's 1929 courtroom drama stars Norma Shearer, Lewis Stone, Lilyan Tashman and H. B. Warner.
This film sticks very closely to the Edna Ferber novel, rather than the musical based on the novel. There are only two major changes from Ferber's book : *Julie in this version is a white woman, not a racially mixed one; therefore she and her husband are not unlawfully married. * Ravenal returns at the end, instead of dying as in the novel
In the Swiss Alps of the early 19th century, a couple forced into loveless marriages struggle to find happiness with one another.
A homeless and destitute violinist joins a combo to bring it success, but has problems with her love life.
The Greene Murder Case
Philo Vance investigates when a murderer preys upon members of a wealthy family on New York's Upper East Side.
The Black Watch
Captain Donald King of the British Army goes to India just as World War I breaks out, convincing his comrades that he is a coward. In reality, he is on a secret mission to rescue British soldiers held prisoner there.