best film: Sunrise. I should mention that I still haven’t been able to track down and see Abel Gance’s napoleon. I’m hoping I can do that soon. With that in mind, the best film I’ve seen from 1927 is Murnau’s sunrise. Sunrise is my #1 film of the 1920’s. Lang’ s Metropolis would’ve been a fine choice as well and in most year’s here in the 1920’s or any decade would be the best film of the year.
most overrated: None- 5 films from 192 in the TSPDT top 1000 (sunrise, metropolis, napoleon, October and seventh heaven) and of the 4 I’ve seen I can’t say any are overrated. Sunrise is at #8 on TSPDT and I’m at #17 but I don’t think that’s worthy of calling it overrated.
most underrated: Ditto here- nothing- I think the consensus is spot on here.
gem I want to spotlight: It’s not his best film but I’m going to spotlight this morbid Tod Browning entry- the unknown here. It’s one of his best films and Lon Chaney is excellent- it’s dark, weird, and very short (60 mins).
trends and notables: The noteworthy history books event here is the advent of sound with the jazz singer. The Jazz Singer is no more than a mere recommend and I’d argue the advancement here is nearly all technological and not really a stylistic advancement at all (like moving the camera or the way eistenstein showed us a film could be edited the year before). There are also now 17 archiveable films in 1927 which is a nice jump from 1926. It would dip again in 1929 but for the most part this is a big part of an upward trend that would reach its zenith in the 50’s. It’s also pretty amazing that 1927 gives us the debut archiveable film from Hitchcock, Lubistch, Clair, and von Sternberg. Quite an incoming class of auteurs.
best performance: Janet Gaynor in sunrise. Gaynor actually won the Oscar for seventh heaven and that would be a fine choice as well but I’ll give her the edge for her breathtakingly sympathetic performance in sunrise.
- Seventh Heaven
- The Unknown
- The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg
- The Italian Straw Hat
- The Kid Brother
Archives, Directors, and Grades
|Seventh Heaven- Borzage||HR|
|The Italian Straw Hat- Clair|
|The Jazz Singer||R|
|The Kid Brother||R|
|The King of Kings- DeMille||R|
|The Lodger- Hitchcock||R|
|The Love of Jeanne Ney- Pabst||R|
|The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg- Lubitsch||HR|
|The Unknown- Browning||HR|
|Underworld- Von Sternberg||HR|
*MP is Masterpiece- top 1-3 quality of the year film
MS is Must-see- top 5-6 quality of the year film
HR is Highly Recommend- top 10 quality of the year film
R is Recommend- outside the top 10 of the year quality film but still in the archives