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ChiO
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Re: LISTS

Postby ChiO » March 13th, 2014, 9:13 pm

I started jotting down so many movies that I got writer's cramp. Movies...I don't care what anybody says...they just get better and better.

1950

1. Stars in My Crown (Jacques Tourneur) - No. 3 on my list of Favorite Movies, any place, any time. Uncle Famous may be the Moral Center of the Universe. Faith? Trust in a man to improvise a will in front of a lynching party. Faith? Trust by the man improvising that will. Hope or despair? Uncle Famous walks away.

2. In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray) - The Existential Director meets the Existential Actor. It is a lonely place.

3. The Steel Helmet (Samuel Fuller) - If you die, I'll kill yuh! Sgt. Zack. Dead man's nothin' but a corpse. No one cares what he is now. War. If I was right all the time I'd be an officer, Lieutenant. No heroes.

4. Dial 1119 (Gerald Mayer) - The torment and agony of quiet desperation.

5. Try and Get Me (Cy Endfield) - Sign at the location where they take their hostage: KEEP OUT U.S. ARMY. Think about it. Cy Endfield probably did. Then he was blacklisted.

6. Outrage (Ida Lupino) - Lupino finds her voice and her eye. She's no poor man's Don Siegel with this movie.

7. Gunman in the Streets (Frank Tuttle) - One of the finest unheralded filmes noir.

8. Winchester '73 (Anthony Mann) - A rifle. And Mann's real break from film noir and into the Western. The other two movies - Good grief! Three movies of this caliber in one year! - he made this year, Devil's Doorway and The Furies, were transitional.

9. Born Yesterday (George Cukor) - I'm a sucker for Broderick Crawford's bluster and Judy Holliday's...well, Judy Holliday's anything.

10. All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz) - My favorite George Sanders comedy.

In the non-English language department we have: Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa), Los Olivados (Luis Bunuel), The Flowers of St. Francis (Roberto Rossellini) and La Ronde (Max Ophuls).

Edit: Okay. Thanks to the sharp eyes of kingrat, The Steel Helmet is hereby stricken (likely to be resurrected in a year), Nos. 4-10 move up a notch, and the new No. 10 is, oh...

10. Shakedown (Joe Pevney) - As if Howard Duff and Brian Donleavy aren't enough as an opportunistic weasel and a slimy hood, respectively, add in Lawrence Tierney (playing the Lawrence Tierney role).
Last edited by ChiO on March 14th, 2014, 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Vienna
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Re: LISTS

Postby Vienna » March 14th, 2014, 3:11 am

ChiO, I love your capsule reviews!
Winchester 73: "A rifle...
All About Eve:" My favorite George Sanders comedy."

More,please

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movieman1957
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Re: LISTS

Postby movieman1957 » March 14th, 2014, 7:52 am

No surprise to see "Stars" at the top of your list. Also, I like "Winchester '73" and "Born Yesterday." How wonderful that Judy could make the word "what" funny.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Re: LISTS

Postby RedRiver » March 14th, 2014, 12:27 pm

I'm not surprised to see two small scale crime films on Chio's list. And fine films they are! DIAL 1119 and the thrilling TRY AND GET ME!

kingrat
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Re: LISTS

Postby kingrat » March 14th, 2014, 12:51 pm

1950: another very good year for Hollywood. Three films are so iconic that they have become part of our culture. THE ASPHALT JUNGLE is one of the most imitated films ever made. The plots, characters, and ambiance of ALL ABOUT EVE and SUNSET BOULEVARD are part of our common movie culture, although the imitators never come up with lines as good as “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night” or “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

Film noir continues to flourish, with IN A LONELY PLACE, THE BREAKING POINT, PANIC IN THE STREETS, TRY AND GET ME, NIGHT AND THE CITY, NO WAY OUT, WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS, and the “femme noirs” NO MAN OF HER OWN, THE DAMNED DON’T CRY, and MADELEINE adding to the darkness. ChiO has mentioned Anthony Mann’s transition to the western this year. I prefer THE FURIES and DEVIL’S DOORWAY to WINCHESTER ’73, but all three have their points. Add WAGON MASTER, RIO GRANDE, and TWO FLAGS WEST, and the western looks like a major genre this year. Its prominence will continue through the decade. (Some also consider STARS IN MY CROWN a western, but I would classify it as Americana.)

Two films which depict the human consequences of war, THREE CAME HOME and THE MEN, also add to the excellence of the year, as does a fine re-telling of the Paris Exposition story, SO LONG AT THE FAIR. On the lighter side, KING SOLOMON’S MINES is an enjoyable adventure tale; two hit Broadway comedies, HARVEY and BORN YESTERDAY, made it to the screen; and FATHER OF THE BRIDE pleases many Spencer Tracy fans.

Top 10 for 1950:

1. ALL ABOUT EVE – As the theater has become a more and more marginal part of American life, it’s interesting, and perhaps nostalgic, to watch films where it mattered greatly. With the witty lines of Joseph L. Mankiewicz perfectly delivered, this is perfect of its kind.
2. SUNSET BOULEVARD – The good folk of the contemporary Hollywood scenes inevitably seem a little dull compared to the creepy decadent types of the previous era. Those aspiring screenwriters could only dream of writing a script as great, and with as much resonance as, this one. William Holden, who seems like such a sturdy masculine type, does self-loathing better than any other actor. Billy Wilder at his best.
3. THE ASPHALT JUNGLE –I’d love to cut or at least trim some of Jean Hagen’s scenes; she’s almost as annoying here as in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, where’s she supposed to be annoying. Otherwise, this is perfection. My favorite Marilyn Monroe performance. I smile whenever Sam Jaffe or James Whitmore or Louis Calhern is on screen. Sam Jaffe delaying his escape to watch the teenage girl dance to the jukebox is one of my favorite moments in film. The silent robbery scene has been much imitated.
4. IN A LONELY PLACE – My favorite Nicholas Ray film, favorite Gloria Grahame performance, and perhaps my favorite Humphrey Bogart performance. Yet another film this year about an aspiring screenwriter. Is Bogie a killer? Or is he going to become one?
5. THE FURIES – The ending doesn’t quite work (and I wish it were Richard Widmark or Glenn Ford instead of Wendell Corey), but the rest of the movie is wonderful. The scenes between Barbara Stanwyck and Gilbert Roland are the heart of the film. Blanche Yurka is one of the most terrifying mothers or mothers-in-law you could have, and Judith Anderson is the stepmother Stanwyck loathes. Walter Huston is perfectly cast as the patriarch of the ranch.
6. THREE CAME HOME – Thanks to TCM, this film is beginning to attract a following. Claudette Colbert plays a writer who is interned in a Japanese prison camp in Borneo, along with her husband and son. Jean Negulesco underplays the dangers and horrors, so that when they do come, they arrive with even more of a punch. Sessue Hayakawa is excellent as the sometimes sympathetic camp commandant.
7. WAGON MASTER – I tend to feel suspicious of the pastoral impulses of John Ford, but this film, a sympathetic portrayal of a group of Mormons heading west, is an exception. One of his best films.
8. THE BREAKING POINT – Who could believe that this is based on the same Hemingway novel as TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT? Film noir Hemingway, with John Garfield in top form and Patricia Neal in one of her best roles as a good bad girl.
9. STARS IN MY CROWN – It’s hard to believe the scene where the handsome young preacher (Joel McCrea) makes up Uncle Famous’ will and saves him from hanging, but I certainly want to believe it. A mix of fable and realism, a gentle and episodic film with some painful parts, well directed and acted.
10. THE MEN – Hard to choose between THE MEN, DEVIL’S DOORWAY, PANIC IN THE STREETS, and MADELEINE for the last spot. Marlon Brando’s screen debut, but both the script and director Fred Zinnemann firmly place Brando and his character as one among the group of paraplegics in a hospital. Teresa Wright plays the fiancée who has difficulty coming to terms with the actual condition of the man she loves.

Best Actor: William Holden, Sunset Boulevard
Best Actress: Bette Davis, All About Eve
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Jaffe, The Asphalt Jungle
Best Supporting Actress: Judith Anderson, The Furies

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ChiO
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Re: LISTS

Postby ChiO » March 14th, 2014, 4:29 pm

Film noir continues to flourish, with IN A LONELY PLACE, THE BREAKING POINT, PANIC IN THE STREETS, TRY AND GET ME, NIGHT AND THE CITY, NO WAY OUT, WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS, and the “femme noirs” NO MAN OF HER OWN, THE DAMNED DON’T CRY, and MADELEINE adding to the darkness.

And others (two of the above made my Top 10) that made my pre-cut-it-to-10 list: 711 Ocean Drive; Shakedown; Experiment Alcatraz; The Underground Story; The Man Who Cheated Himself and Bunco Squad. Just eyeballing Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style, it would appear that more film noir was released in 1950 than any other year.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

kingrat
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Re: LISTS

Postby kingrat » March 14th, 2014, 4:47 pm

ChiO, imdb lists The Steel Helmet as 1951. I had both it and Try and Get Me on the tentative 1951 honorable mention list, but you correctly had Try and Get Me on 1950. Two good movies, whatever year's list they belong on.

Thanks for adding some noir titles for future investigation.

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ChiO
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Re: LISTS

Postby ChiO » March 14th, 2014, 5:06 pm

Rats! I used Lee Server's book on Fuller, which had 1950. Upon further review, it was shot in 1950, released in February 1951. That changes everything!

Thanks for the catch.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

RedRiver
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Re: LISTS

Postby RedRiver » March 15th, 2014, 2:56 pm

I had never heard of TRY AND GET ME until I stumbled across it (No, I hadn't been drinking!) in a video store. This was during the VHS era. Thanks to good marketing, the picture on the box told me all I needed to know!

As for my own list, I'm working strictly from memory. (How do you all do it?) Undoubtedly, I will leave out some great ones. For the moment, my faves from the 1940s, in this order:

GRAPES OF WRATH. As good a movie as I've ever seen.
MEET JOHN DOE (I alternate this one with "Wonderful Life." Listmaker's prerogative!)
DOUBLE INDEMNITY. Best crime drama of them all. Followed by...
MALTESE FALCON. Who's doing what to who?
RED RIVER. That would be a nice nickname for somebody!
CITIZEN KANE. Take it, Chio!
WHITE HEAT. Are there other gangster films?
GUN CRAZY. Are there other "Lovers on the Run" films?
THEY LIVE BY NIGHT. Actually, there are!
OUT OF THE PAST. Put me higher on the list, Baby!
SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS. Great comedy is not just funny. This one has real meaning.
I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE. Val Lewton's least typical, but scariest movie.

Next weekend, the 50s! I don't have as much time during the week.

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Re: LISTS

Postby RedRiver » March 16th, 2014, 2:29 pm

I knew I'd do this. I forgot CRISS CROSS! That noir classic deserves official ranking. I could also tag on KINGS ROW, SABOTEUR and THE SEA HAWK. And about a dozen other great ones! This is hard.

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Re: LISTS

Postby RedRiver » March 16th, 2014, 2:56 pm

The 1950s. A decade dear to me and anyone else my age! Again, I might forget some of the great ones. That's what REPLY is for! In order of preference:

THE (wait for it) SEARCHERS. Is there any other choice?
ON THE WATERFRONT. Our greatest realistic drama.
SHANE. The decade's other great western.
ASPHALT JUNGLE. The measuring stick for heist films. Tough luck for all the others!
The one about the guy who gets really small. (My parole officer may be monitoring this thread!)
THEM! As my friend says, First and best of the big bug movies.
ADVISE AND CONSENT. Outstanding political drama, and Preminger's best work.
BEN-HUR. The epic of all epics. Better than any by Lean, DeMille, or for that matter, Lucas.
SUNSET BLVD. Mr. Wilder will make my list three decades in a row.
THE CAINE MUTINY. Adventure at sea and in court. Who can resist?

And many others; though frankly, this decade doesn't glitter with gems like the one before it. However we define The Golden Age, the 1940s are right in the middle of it!

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Re: LISTS

Postby CineMaven » March 17th, 2014, 6:45 am

I whole heartedly agree with you Brother Rat, about the three seminal works you've chosen. I also enjoy the way you write your overview of the year:

kingrat wrote:1950: another very good year for Hollywood. Three films are so iconic that they have become part of our culture. THE ASPHALT JUNGLE is one of the most imitated films ever made. The plots, characters, and ambiance of ALL ABOUT EVE and SUNSET BOULEVARD are part of our common movie culture, although the imitators never come up with lines as good as “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night” or “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

7. WAGON MASTER – I tend to feel suspicious of the pastoral impulses of John Ford, but this film, a sympathetic portrayal of a group of Mormons heading west, is an exception. One of his best films.

I went to see this film at the Museum of Modern Art strictly to meet and hang out with folks I’ve been writing to on these Message Boards. But I was quickly vested in what happened to these people in the film on their cross-country journey, and came away really liking “Wagon Master.”

* * * * *

ChiO wrote:I started jotting down so many movies that I got writer's cramp. Movies...I don't care what anybody says...they just get better and better.

I think I shall be struggling with the 1950's, but I love reading folks' choices and hope to make discoveries. You made me laugh out loud with this comment:
10. All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz) - My favorite George Sanders comedy.

And this is a movie I don't know...but want to know. I love being frightened by Lawrence Tierney. It's frightening. ( I think I know just how Claire Trevor felt in “Born To Kill.” But I know I know...he's no Timothy Carey. )

10. Shakedown (Joe Pevney) - As if Howard Duff and Brian Donleavy aren't enough as an opportunistic weasel and a slimy hood, respectively, add in Lawrence Tierney (playing the Lawrence Tierney role).


* * * * *

RedRiver wrote:As for my own list, I'm working strictly from memory. (How do you all do it?) Undoubtedly, I will leave out some great ones.

MEMORY? Are you mad, man? I use this method. I go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Am ... ms_of_1951 scroll down, looook at the list of films I’ve seen for that particular year and jot 'em down. Then I start picking ten that I really REALLY like. Easy, though there is some hair pulling. You’ve got a nice list for the 1940’s. The creme de la creme. I loved your pithy comments, especially:
RED RIVER. That would be a nice nickname for somebody!
WHITE HEAT. Are there other gangster films?
GUN CRAZY. Are there other "Lovers on the Run" films?
THEY LIVE BY NIGHT. Actually, there are!
SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS. Great comedy is not just funny. This one has real meaning.

* * * * *

Masha, I like how you broke up your list into categories. :) The film that intrigues me the most on your list is “RAPTURE.” To think Glenn Langan plays an Italian when he’s most famously known for being “The Amazing Colossal Man.”

* * * * *

RedRiver wrote:I knew I'd do this. I forgot CRISS CROSS! That noir classic deserves official ranking. I could also tag on KINGS ROW, SABOTEUR and THE SEA HAWK. And about a dozen other great ones! This is hard.

:lol: Ha, Red. This game ain't for the faint of heart! I love your 1040's choices.Come one! Come all!!
Last edited by CineMaven on March 17th, 2014, 6:51 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: LISTS

Postby CineMaven » March 17th, 2014, 6:45 am

ALL ABOUT EVE - Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Image
Anne Baxter & Bette Davis

WAR!

A masterpiece. Pure sparkling champagne. A script with the bite of vipers, scorpions and tarantulas. And I mean that in a good way. The casting is perfect. Oh? Not really? I’ve tried imagining others in their place, but I just can’t. George Sanders’ Machiavelli makes the Devil look like Little Lord Fauntleroy. Bette Davis is perfect. This movie is the jewel in the crown of her career. ( And maybe my favorite film of the decade, but we shall see ) And her second...Thelma Ritter...priceless! The eternal question: can a woman have both a career and love? ( I'll try to answer that in my own "MovieCHAT." )
__________

THE ASPHALT JUNGLE - John Huston

Image
Sterling Hayden, Brad Dexter, Louis Calhern & Sam Jaffe

THE Heist Film. We watch the planning, and the execution. Should’ve worked. But to err is human. And that’s where things fall apart. John Huston’s direction is tight as a drum as we watch each man picked off one by one. Loved Sam Jaffe’s predilection for the ‘female form divine.’ But then there’s Marilyn Monroe laying on Louis Calhern’s couch. What does that have to do with a heist or anything? Who cares.
__________

BORN YESTERDAY - George Cukor

Image
Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford & William Holden

I have to say I really enjoyed Cukor’s version of “Pygmalion.” It does all hang together on Judy Holliday ( I’m a recent convert to her ) and she carries it well. She stays true to her character and doesn’t take her over the line to characterization. I think we agonize with her. We watch Learning and Education and how these tools can enrich and be painful. You can not unring a bell. Kudoes to the terrifying ( and very lost ) Broderick Crawford and the Egghead-In-Shining-Armor: William Holden. I have resisted this movie for as long as I have watched classic films. How can I make up for my stubbornness?! :oops:
__________

CAGED - John Cromwell

Image
Eleanor Parker

Eleanor Parker’s just a gem of an actress. She paints the perfect picture of anguish and the harrowing experience a stretch in prison can give a gal. The other ‘inmates’ did a great job too. This is an all-round good story ( with other stories weaving throughout the film ) with a strong cast. Lovin' Agnes Moorhead in this and the brutish Hope Emerson. << ( Sigh! ) >> They don't make gals like them two anymore.
__________

D.0.A. - Rudolph Mate

Image
Frank Gerstle & Edmond O’Brien

Taut thriller. And what a thrilling idea....you need to find the person that has murdered you. Edmond O’Brien is very good. I get lost following the case... but I enjoy the chase.
__________

GUN CRAZY - Joseph L. Lewis

Image
John Dall & Peggy Cummins

Love may be a battlefield like Pat Benatar sang, but never was there a gal as equipped as Peggy Cummins to be ON that battlefield. The title says it all as we watch the relationship of these lovers spiral down into a swamp like mad dogs. Hats off to Peggy Cumins. She is rabid. She is a pistol.
__________

IN A LONELY PLACE - Nicholas Ray

Image
Gloria Grahame & Humphrey Bogart

Bogie as Othello. His jealousy gets the better of him as we watch him ruin the best thing he ever had. Mistrust and lying by omission all contribute to love’s downfall during a murder investigation. Bogie and the gloriously glamorous Glo-lo do a grand job. I love this movie so much. It does a beautiful dance between danger and a light touch; terror and tenderness. I love how the movie sits inside the milieu of that dog-eat-dog world: HOLLYWOOD. :) :( Oh...and did I mention Gloria Grahame. This film is subject to a nice MovieCHAT as well.
__________

KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE - Gordon Douglas

Image
Barbara Payton & James Cagney

Cagney does what Cagney does. CAGNEY. He’s a sadistic killer. No, this film is no “White Heat” but it doesn’t have to be. It's hard and fine in its own right. Alright alright alright. So maybe I picked the film ‘cuz it has a greatest title since "Kiss the Blood Off My Hands." I love the irony of Cagney’s death.
__________

NO WAY OUT - Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Image
Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell & Sidney Poitier

A noble young doctor has to stand tall in the face of venomous racist hate. “No Way Out” pulls no punches. Mark my words when I tell you if people stop marching and protesting and carrying signs against these “Stand Your Ground” laws that dot our country now, all America could look like the last 20-minutes of this movie. Poitier and Widmark go mano-a-mano: pure irrational racism vs. integrity.
__________

SUNSET BOULEVARD - Billy Wilder

Image
William Holden & Gloria Swanson

The only thing that could have topped Bette Davis’ performance this year is the blood, sweat and tears Gloria Swanson poured into the role of Norma Desmond. Over the top maybe? But I don't think so. She was exposed. She was magnificent. This is a spooky tale. An unseen electronic force field prevents William Holden from leaving...the past.

...And there is only one way out for him. A nice dip in a Hollywood pool.
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RedRiver
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Re: LISTS

Postby RedRiver » March 17th, 2014, 4:59 pm

Thank you for the link, Teresita! I looked all over for something like that. A project such as this should not be trusted to cine-memory!

GUN CRAZY has turned up on several lists. Pretty impressive for a movie most people have never heard of!


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