The results are in from this week's Monkey Movie poll, Who would you choose as best director of 1930-31?
Fritz Lang who directed Peter Lorre in the serial killer classic, M, ran away with it, receiving 6 of the 10 votes cast. The immortal Charlie Chaplin picked up 2 for directing City Lights and René Clair (Le Million) and Luis Buñuel (L'Âge d'Or) received one vote each.
Tod Browning who directed Dracula had admitted last week in a interview conducted strictly between the left and right lobes of my cerebral cortex that he feared he was just in this poll to round out the field and this proved to be the case.
Raoul Walsh, William A. Wellman and Josef von Sternberg were annoyed not to be in the poll at all and called for an investigation.
After the win, Lang and his (alleged) mistress, actress Joan Bennett, shared a celebratory cigarette on the set of their current movie project, the film noir thriller Scarlet Street.
"Winning this poll," said Lang at a hastily-arranged press conference, "means as much to me as winning the Katie Award itself. Well, almost. I mean, I'm not crazy. The Katie Award is big and will provide some real leverage at contract time. But this is nice, too."
By the way, perhaps I'm telling stories out of school, but the vote for René Clair came from none other than our own beloved Katie-Bar-The-Door. She felt Clair's work on Le Million was innovative, clever and warm, not to mention it's her favorite movie of the five listed here. She's right, of course. Le Million is on the short list for most pleasant surprises I've received while working on this blog and I give it my highest recommendation. But, well, I went with Lang for the reasons I've previously stated at length.
In any event, whoever you voted for, you're right, their work was the best of the year. A good year for directors all the way around.