Mutiny on the Bounty

  • Directors: Frank Lloyd
  • Producers: Irving Thalberg
  • Writers: Novel, Charles Nordhoff, James Norman Hall, Screenplay, Talbot Jennings, Jules Furthman, Carey Wilson
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, History
  • Actors: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone, Movita, Mamo

The movie chronicles the real-life mutiny aboard the Bounty led by Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable) against the ship’s captain, William Bligh (Charles Laughton). Like the novel, it portrays Captain Bligh as an abusive villain whose cruelty towards the crew and most of the officers leads Christian to mutiny. When Bligh is cast on to a lifeboat with others that want to join him, Ensign Byam (Franchot Tone) tries to stop the mutiny, but fails. Byam and Christian, friends at the beginning of the movie are now not even speaking to each other. Christian leads the Bounty to [Tahiti] where the remaining crew live for many years. But Bligh has made it back to England and takes a ship to Tahiti. Byam sees the ship and decides to return to England while Christian with next to the whole crew sail with the natives and find another island to live on. When Byam goes on the ship (unaware Bligh is captain of the ship) is taken captive, for Bligh believes he had something to do with the mutiny.

Back in England Byam is tried and he is found guilty. Byam then tells of the cruelty in the ship. Christian has found an island that he can not land on. So he plans on ramming the Bounty into the island and then burning the Bounty. He lands on the island with the crew and burns the Bounty. Back in England Byam is found not guilty and is able to serve under Bligh again.

Grand Hotel

  • Directors: Edmund Goulding
  • Producers: Irving Thalberg
  • Writers: William A Drake, Based on the play by Drake and a novel by Vicki Baum
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore, Lewis Stone, Jean Hersholt

Doctor Otternschlag (Lewis Stone), a disfigured veteran of World War I and a permanent resident of the Grand Hotel in Berlin, wryly observes, “People come and go. Nothing ever happens,” after which a great deal transpires. Baron Felix von Geigern (John Barrymore), who squandered his fortune and supports himself as a card player and occasional jewel thief, befriends Otto Kringelein (Lionel Barrymore), a meek accountant who, having discovered he is dying, has decided to spend his remaining days in the lap of luxury. Kringelein’s former employer, industrialist General Director Preysing (Wallace Beery), is at the hotel to close an important deal, and he hires stenographer Flaemmchen (Joan Crawford) to assist him. She aspires to be an actress and shows Preysing some magazine photos for which she posed, implying she is willing to offer him more than typing if he is willing to help advance her career.

Another guest is Russian ballerina Grusinskaya (Greta Garbo), whose career is on the wane. She unexpectedly returns from the theatre while the Baron is stealing her jewelry, and when she discovers him in her room she tells him, “I want to be let alone.” Disregarding her, the Baron stays and engages her in conversation, and Grusinskaya finds herself attracted to him.

Grusinskaya departs for the train station, fully expecting to find the Baron waiting for her there. Meanwhile, Kringelein offers to take care of Flaemmchen, who suggests they go to Paris and seek a cure for his illness. As they leave the hotel, Doctor Otternschlag once again observes, “Grand Hotel. People come and go. Nothing ever happens,” although a great deal has.

A Night at the Opera

  • Directors: Sam Wood
  • Producers: Irving Thalberg
  • Writers: Story, James Kevin McGuinness, Screenplay, George S Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, Uncredited, Al Boasberg, Buster Keaton
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, Musical
  • Actors: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx

In A Night At the Opera, the Marx brothers help two young lovers to succeed in love as well as in the opera world. Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho Marx) is hired by widowed socialite hopeful Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont) to help her break into high society, but he instead alternately woos and insults her. At the last opera performance of the season in Italy, of Pagliacci, Otis meets Fiorello (Chico Marx), who is the best friend and manager of Riccardo (Allan Jones), an opera singer who longs for his big break and who is in love with fellow opera singer Rosa (Kitty Carlisle). However, Riccardo’s dreams are thwarted by the star of the opera, Lassparri (Walter Woolf King), an egotistical man who wants fame—and Rosa—for himself. Otis signs Riccardo to a contract, thinking he is signing Lassparri; Lassparri, meanwhile, is signed for the New York opera by snobbish financier Herman Gottlieb (Sig Ruman).

Although Riccardo and Fiorello are not allowed to accompany the troupe on their trip to New York, they manage to stow away on the ship, along with another of Fiorello’s friends, Tomasso (Harpo Marx), a dresser fired by Lassparri. Once in New York, the stowaways are pursued by the police for entering the country illegally, and Otis ends up losing his position with the opera to Gottlieb. When they find out that Rosa has been fired for siding with Riccardo, the boys spring into action, sabotaging the opening night performance of Il Trovatore by throwing it into total chaos and making sure that both Riccardo and Rosa get their due as the new hits of the opera world.

Show People

  • Directors: King Vidor
  • Producers: Irving Thalberg
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Marion Davies, William Haines

Peggy Pepper (Marion Davies) arrives in Hollywood from Georgia, accompanied by her father, General Marmaduke Oldfish Pepper (Dell Henderson), who is pushing his daughter to become an actress. She meets Billy Boone (William Haines) at a local buffet where studio employees frequently lunch. He helps her get work at Comet Studio doing comedies with him. After receiving a cream pie in the face, she is quite disconcerted, but her ‘acting’ gets a lot of laughs from the cast and crew. Peggy, however, has her eyes set on doing what she considers ‘serious’ acting, in other words, drama.

High Art Studio soon discovers her and she leaves Billy and Comet to work there. For her new image, the company gives her the name Patricia Pepoire and she does her best to play the part, on and off screen. One day in a nearby canyon, she is working on location in a costumed dramatic picture, Billy simultaneously on a comic short. They encounter, but “Patricia” ignores him and Billy is hurt. Her performances, in the meantime, start to estrange some of her audience, who neither understand or appreciate her “Art”. She plans to marry co-star Andre Telefair (Paul Ralli) for the fake title and the publicity. Billy, still taken with the old Pepper, is determined to bring her back to him and, moreover, to herself.