Actually many of the early sound films were only partly shot with sound, many feature still a lot of silent scenes. Even classics like Hitchcock’s Blackmail or Lang’s M .
And the staginess has also a lot to do with much bigger and heavier cameras and the difficulties of recording the sound with rather primitive techniques.
There is also mostly a lack of music and a stronger concentration on dialogues which adds to the theatre atmosphere.
The first 2 Marx Brothers films are indeed not that filmic, but thanks to the dialogues much more funny than any of their later MGM films. 8/10 and why a duck?
And much better than the stiff Dracula. 5/10
The Big Trail is more interesting for the directing, with some still spectacular scenes, but overall for me also not too interesting from a modern point of view. 6/10
Phil, what do you think about this early western?