The 1920s – DVDs

Here you’ll find a selection of Feature Films and Documentaries. Some of them were filmed during the Roaring Twenties but the majority are either set then or about that time period. We’ve tried to include something for everyone.

Click on the titles to be taken to the Library’s Online Catalog.

The Artist – In late-1920s Hollywood, as Valentin wonders if the arrival of talking pictures will cause him to fade into oblivion, he makes an intense connection with Peppy Miller, a young dancer set for a big break. As one career declines, another flourishes, and by channeling elements of A Star Is Born and Singing in the Rain, The Artist tells the engaging story with humor, melodrama, romance, and–most importantly–silence. (2012, 101min, PG-13)

Enchanted April – London, the 1920s. Lottie and Rose are two married women who share the misery of empty marriages and decide to rent an Italian castle for the spring to get away. In order to save money, they advertise for two other women to join them. (1992, 93min, PG)

The Emergence of Modern America. Roaring Twenties – Explores the enormous social and cultural changes of the 1920s, an era of prosperity, rapid industrialization, social experimentation, and artistic renaissance. (2003, 30min, NR)

The Godfather Part 2 – In the early 1900s, the young Vito flees Sicily for America after the local Mafia kills his family. Vito struggles to make a living, legally or illegally, for his wife and growing brood in Little Italy. There he kills the local Black Hand Fanucci after he demands his customary cut of the tyro’s business. With Fanucci gone, Vito’s stature grows. (1974, 200min, R)

The Grand – Set in Manchester during the 1920’s, John and Sarah Bannerman have labored at great expense to re-open this magnificent hotel. But their excitement is short-lived. While the Grand has no trouble attracting guests, it also seems to have vacancy for trouble. Now the hotel and its staff face homicide, financial ruin, infidelity and foreclosure. And that’s before the doors open. (2000, 401min, NR)

The Great Gatsby – Returning from the battlefields of World War I, an impoverished young soldier learns the love of his life has married into a wealthy family and moved to Long Island’s Gold Coast. Obsessed with rekindling their romance, he reinvents himself as the mysteriously prosperous Jay Gatsby, throws lavish parties at his mansion– and waits for his chance. But when that chance comes, it comes at a price as terrible as it is inevitable. (2000, 100min, NR)

The Informer – The scene is Dublin, 1922. Gypo Nolan stumbles through a foggy Irish night, his brain pickled in whiskey and his soul tormented by shame and fear. Gypo is an informer, a turncoat who betrayed his friend to the British police for 20 pounds. Now he can’t spend the money fast enough, nor can he run from his treachery fast enough as he brawls, brags, swaggers and lies his way toward his fate. (1935, 92min, NR)

The Jazz Singer – The melodramatic story of a Jewish cantor’s son who aspires to be a jazz singer, despite his father’s strenuous objections. (1927, 96min, NR)

Let the Bullets Fly – Set in China during the warring 1920s, notorious bandit chief Zhang descends upon a remote provincial town posing as its new mayor, an identity that he had hijacked from Old Tang, who was a small-time imposter. Bent on making a fast buck, Zhang soon meets his match in the tyrannical local gentry Huang as a deadly battle of wit and brutality ensues. (2012, 132min, NR)

The Painted Veil – Set in the 1920s. A young English couple, Walter a middle class doctor and Kitty, an upper-class woman, get married for all the wrong reasons and relocate to Shanghai. Kitty falls in love with someone else. When Walter discovers her infidelity, in an act of vengeance, he accepts a job in a remote village in China that is being ravaged by a deadly epidemic. He takes his wife along and their journey brings meaning to their relationship and gives them purpose in one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth. (2007, 125min, PG-13)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – A teacher in a 1920’s Scottish girls’ school captivates her students with her fascist ideals and free-thinking attitude. (2004, 115min, PG)

Singin’ in the Rain – An affectionate spoof of the turmoil that afflicted the motion picture industry in the late 1920s during the change over from silent films to sound. This title has been repackaged. (1951, 120min, NR)

Swingin’ Uptown – In the 1920s, African-American literature, art, music, dance, and social commentary flourished in Harlem, in uptown New York City. This cultural movement, which redefined African-American expression, became known as the Harlem Renaissance. (2003, 41min, NR)

Their Eyes Were Watching God – A drama set in the 1920s, where free-spirited Janie Crawford’s search for happiness leads her through several different marriages, challenging the mores of her small town. (2005, 113min, TV14)

Wodehouse Playhouse – A collection of the short stories of P.G. Wodehouse, dramatized by David Climie. Many of the stories, set in the 1920s and 1930s. (2010, 210min, NR)