Here, in order of preference, beginning with my favorite, are my choices today of the ten best films of the 1930s: 1. EARTH (Aleksandr Dovzhenko, U.S.S.R., 1930). Cinema’s “poet of the Ukraine,” Aleksandr Dovzhenko, made his lyrical silent Zemlya in response to Eisenstein’s The Old and the New (1929). Selfish peasants—kulaks—resist collectivization. Trying to hold […]

MISTER ROBERTS (John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, 1955)

Douglas A. Roberts, whose initials suggest an elitist organization (Daughters of the American Revolution), “has background,” as we used to say; he is one of those “college boys” that his captain, Morton, whose background is rough and working-class, disdains. (They treated him with contempt when he was a busboy.) During the waning days of the […]