I've been taking the opportunity to catch up on old movies I've wanted to see (thanks to the public library). Today as I lunched I watched the Jimmy Cagney classic The Public Enemy (1931). There was a grittiness to it, and the fact that the violence was never actually shown made it that much more graphic. The filmmakers of that era knew that the human imagination was capable of conjuring far more troubling images than they could ever dream of. So all the violence is inferred or implied.
Cagney was f*cking brilliant. There's a scene where he angrily smashes a grapefruit into the face of his love interest. That says so much more in one short scene than many movies say in their entirety today.
Other movies that the local library has that I plan on renting and viewing:
The Sheik (1921) - Rudolph Valentino
Son of the Sheik (1926) - Rudolph Valentino
Robin Hood (1922) - Douglas Fairbanks
The Saphead (1920) - Buster Keaton
Scarface (1932) - produced by Howard Hughes
The Shop Around the Corner (1940) - Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan
Roman Holiday (1953) - Gregory Peck & Audrey Hepburn