Years & Movies: 1932

The best film of the world cinema of 1932, according to FilmGourmand, - "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang", directed by - Mervyn LeRoy.

The film premiered in the US capital on November 9, 1932. And in the same year, the American National Board of Review of Motion Pictures awarded this picture as the best film of the year. But members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) spent a whole year deciding whether to include Mervyn LeRoy’s film on the list of Oscar nominees or not. In the end, they gave it three nominations, but only in 1934. Nominated, but did not award any. Oscar was awarded to the film "Cavalcade". The evaluation of which by moviegoers, that at IMDB, that at Kinopoisk, does not even reach 6.

What did "embarrass" the American film academics so much in the film of Mervyn LeRoy? The basis of the film was the autobiographical book of Robert Elliott Burns (not to be confused with the Scottish poet Robert Burns!) " I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang!"

The book, and then the film, tells the true story of Robert Elliott Burns, sergeant of the American army, participant of the First World War. Upon return from the front, Robert E. Burns is trying to find his place in a peaceful life. By his own naivety, he contacted a bad company, which fraudulently involved him in an unsuccessful attempt to rob the grocery store. The total cost of the stolen products was only $ 5.81, but being caught by the police, Robert E. Burns was sentenced to 10 years hard labor on a Georgia chain gang.

The hard labor in the southern states of the United States in those years was carried out with particularly sophisticated cruelty: prisoners in groups of several people were shackled with a single chain (the so-called “chain gang system”) and had to work, eat, sleep, and even send natural needs only together.

Robert E. Burns (in the film - James Allen) managed to escape and at liberty to achieve some success in the construction business. However, excessive gullibility and female perfidy again led him to hard labor. And he ran again.

The book of Robert Elliott Burns was not only a literary bestseller, but also a powerful journalistic work. And along with the film by Mervin LeRoy, they had a huge impact on the change of the judicial system and, ultimately, led to the abolition of the “chain gang system”.

72% of IMDB and Kinopoisk users rated “I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang” with ratings from 8 to 10.

According to the FilmGourmand version the film has a rating of 8.139 and is ranked 550th in the Golden Thousand.

Besides the film “I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang”, the following films were included in the list of the best pictures of world cinema in 1932 according to FilmGourmand:

- Freaks, by Tod Browning, USA. Movie's Rating - 7,868, 896th Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- The Vampire, by Carl Theodor Dreyer, Germany
- Grand Hotel, by Edmund Goulding, USA
- Boudu sauvé des eaux (Boudu Saved from Drowning), by Jean Renoir, France
- Red Dust, by Victor Fleming, USA
- American Madness, by Frank Capra, Allan Dwan, Roy William Neill, USA
- Shanghai Express, by Josef von Sternberg, USA
- Blonde Venus, by Josef von Sternberg, USA
- The Mummy, by Karl Freund, USA

10 most "cinegenic" *, in our opinion, events of 1932:

- Peak of the "Great Depression" in the United States and Western Europe: The number of unemployed in Germany has risen to 6 million.
- Granting German citizenship to Adolf Hitler: Hitler won the right to participate in the presidential elections in Germany. In the elections to the German Reichstag in July, Hitler's Nazi Party won 37% of the vote, becoming the majority party. However, already in the re-election in November, the Nazis lost 4% of the vote, or 34 deputy mandates. The communists received an additional 2% of the vote, which brought them an increase in parliamentary seats by 11.
- Holodomor in the USSR: as a result of socialist reforms in agriculture and an increase in food sales abroad in order to attract foreign currency for the accelerated industrialization of the country, an almost widespread mass famine began in the USSR, leading to the death of 2 to 8 million people.
- The assassination of Paul Doumer: Russian fascist Pavel Gorgulov, who emigrated from Soviet Russia, shot and killed French President Paul Doumer.
- The introduction of the passport system in the USSR: the prohibition of free movement of peasants actually revived serfdom, abolished by Tsar Alexander II in 1861. Was it worth it to make a socialist revolution and kill millions of Russian people in a civil war !? According to the communists, it was worth it.
- The capture of the Chinese city of Shanghai by Japan: the League of Nations actually supported the Japanese aggression against China. The Japanese army continued to capture Chinese cities, incl. Harbin, Nanjing, etc.
- Peasant uprising in El Salvador: as a result of the suppression of the uprising and the etoncide of the Indians, 2.5% of the country's population was destroyed. The leader of the uprising communist Farabundo Martí was sentenced to death.
- Korean fight against Japanese occupation: attempt of assassination of Emperor Hirohito of Japan - Korean patriot Lee Bonchang threw a grenade at Emperor Hirohito. The Emperor was not hurt. Lee Bonchang was hanged. Lee Bong Gil detonated the bomb that killed General of the Imperial Japanese Army Shirakawa Yoshinori. Later, the South Korean government awarded Lee Bong Khan and Lee Bong Gil the Order of Merit for the Establishment of the State.
- The kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh's son: The twenty-month-old son of famed American aviator Charles Lindbergh has been kidnapped from his home in New Jersey. The required ransom in the amount of $ 50,000 was paid, but the child was found much later with a fractured skull.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt's victory in the US presidential election

Besides, Andrei Tarkovsky, Milos Forman, Louis Malle, François Truffaut, Elizabeth Taylor, Harriet Andersson, Anouk Aimee were born.


*-By "cinegenic" in the present context, we mean events that either have already been reflected in world cinema, or deserve to be the basis of the plot of a future film.