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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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Top Ten Films of...


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#2521 LawrenceA

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 04:19 PM

I've been away for awhile, mostly in reaction to the spamming and login problems, hopefully now resolved.  Bogie told me about this thread and I thought I'd check it out.
 
Would it be cheating to refer back to Top Billed's "Decade favorites" thread to refresh my memory about my favorites?   And are there any ground rules I should know about?   It looks as it we're treating all films as eligible, rather than just the Hollywood product, and a Big Thumbs Up to that.


No rules, just lists of ten favorite films of the year. We've been trying to keep to one year a day. 1940 will be up tomorrow. You can list more per year or less, as you wish. Some people list favorite stars or performances each year, or thoughts on individual movies, how you first saw them, whatever. It's pretty loose.
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#2522 AndyM108

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 03:55 PM

I've been away for awhile, mostly in reaction to the spamming and login problems, hopefully now resolved.  Bogie told me about this thread and I thought I'd check it out.

 

Would it be cheating to refer back to Top Billed's "Decade favorites" thread to refresh my memory about my favorites?   And are there any ground rules I should know about?   It looks as it we're treating all films as eligible, rather than just the Hollywood product, and a Big Thumbs Up to that.


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#2523 TopBilled

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 03:14 PM

...However, after all that, I'll say not one film from the 1930s made my top 25 of all time list!

Yeah, only one film (IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT) hit my top 20 list. Most of mine are in the 40s, with three of them from 1947. 

 

I think the movies were still finding themselves in the first half of the 30s after the transition to sound. Even a director whose work I admire like John Ford experienced growing pains. But by the time we reach 1939 and the 40s, things have crystallized. 


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#2524 FrankGrimes

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 02:40 PM

1938

 

1. Port of Shadows

2. Sidewalks of London

3. The Lady Vanishes

4. Holiday

5. Test Pilot

6. Room Service

7. The Dawn Patrol

8. Spawn of the North

9. You Can't Take It with You

10. Algiers

11. The Adventures of Robin Hood

12. Bringing Up Baby

13. La Bete Humaine

14. The Cowboy and the Lady

15. Vivacious Lady

16. Carefree

17. The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse

18. Of Human Hearts

19. Sinners in Paradise

20. Three Loves Has Nancy

21. Bluebeard's Eighth Wife

22. The Mad Miss Manton

23. Merrily We Live

24. Trade Winds

25. Charlie Chan in Honolulu

26. A Christmas Carol

27. Bank Holiday

28. Torchy Gets Her Man

29. En Kvinnas Ansikte (A Woman's Face)

30. If I Were King

31. The Shopworn Angel

32. Man-Proof

33. I Met My Love Again

34. A Slight Case of Murder

35. Always Goodbye

36. Blondes at Work

37. Santa Fe Stampede

38. Torchy Blane in Panama

39. The Divorce of Lady X

40. Jezebel

41. Angels with Dirty Faces

42. Blockade

43. The Texans

44. Four Men and a Prayer

45. The Devil's Party

46. Too Hot to Handle

47. Adventure in Sahara

48. A Yank at Oxford

49. Mystery House

50. The Adventures of Marco Polo

51. You and Me

52. The Renegade Ranger

53. The Invisible Menace

54. The Sisters


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#2525 LawrenceA

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 01:29 PM

The Thirties


Ten Favorite Films

1. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
2. BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN
3. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
4. THE ROARING TWENTIES
5. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON
6. MODERN TIMES
7. FRANKENSTEIN
8. KING KONG
9. M
10. THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD

Ten Favorite Male Stars

1. Spencer Tracy
2. James Cagney
3. Edward G. Robinson
4. Clark Gable
5. Cary Grant
6. Paul Muni
7. Boris Karloff
8. Jean Gabin
9. Gary Cooper
10. Errol Flynn

Top Ten Female Stars

1. Myrna Loy
2. Claudette Colbert
3. Katharine Hepburn
4. Marlene Dietrich
5. Jean Arthur
6. Olivia de Havilland
7. Bette Davis
8. Sylvia Sidney
9. Greta Garbo
10. Joan Crawford


Top Ten Directors

1. Fritz Lang
2. Jean Renoir
3. Charles Chaplin
4. Frank Capra
5. James Whale
6. Howard Hawks
7. John Ford
8. Rene Clair
9. Busby Berkley
10. Ernst Lubitsch


My favorite genre of the 30's is a three-way tie. Horror really had it's first big commercial and artistic renaissance, with films like DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUMMY, THE OLD DARK HOUSE, WEREWOLF OF LONDON, and many more. The Gangster movie reached creative heights. And Comedy films were, imho, better here than they would be for the next 40 years, with the Marx Brothers, Chaplin, Fields, Laurel & Hardy, the screwball greats, etc.

However, after all that, I'll say not one film from the 1930s made my top 25 of all time list!
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#2526 Bogie56

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 01:05 PM

You lucky sonuva...the theater experience does alter a film's impact. Growing up and living in a small town, I've had to rely on home video for classic, foreign and art house films. The little I lived in bigger cities (Jacksonville and Brooklyn), I never saw a movie at all.

 

I saw all of the Marx Brothers films at a large 99¢ Revue cinema that was always packed and full of smoke ... and it wasn't from cigarettes either.  The laughter was thunderous.  Great fun.


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#2527 LawrenceA

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 12:59 PM

1930 - 1939
 
 
With the exception of Westfront 1918 I have seen all of these films in a movie theatre with a full audience.  It does mean something.




You lucky sonuva...the theater experience does alter a film's impact. Growing up and living in a small town, I've had to rely on home video for classic, foreign and art house films. The little I lived in bigger cities (Jacksonville and Brooklyn), I never saw a movie at all.

#2528 Bogie56

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 08:08 AM

1930 - 1939

 

1.  Modern Times (1936)

2.  The Wizard of Oz (1939)

3.  A Night at the Opera (1935)

4.  Gone With the Wind (1939)

5.  Grand Illusion (1937)

6.  The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

7.  King Kong (1933)

8.  All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

9.  Westfront 1918 (1930)

10. Scarface: The Shame of a Nation (1932)

 

With the exception of Westfront 1918 I have seen all of these films in a movie theatre with a full audience.  It does mean something.


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#2529 TopBilled

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 07:47 AM

Screen%2Bshot%2B2015-12-19%2Bat%2B1.42.2

 

My list:


1. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (on my all-time top 20 classics)
2. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
3. LES MISERABLES
4. 42ND STREET
5. OF MICE AND MEN
6. SAN FRANCISCO
7. EN KVINNAS ANSIKTE
8. THE PUBLIC ENEMY
9. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS
10. A FAREWELL TO ARMS 

Notable Directors: Lewis Milestone; Busby Berkeley; Frank Capra; George Cukor; and Richard Boleslawski. 

 

Most Creative Studios: Warner Brothers; Paramount; Hal Roach; Walt Disney; and MGM.

 

Best Genres/Subgenres: the screwball comedy; the precode musical; and the literary adaptation.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#2530 Bogie56

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 03:05 AM

Swithin, I don't know THE LIGHT THAT FAILED. I'll need to hunt that one down.

 

Ronald Colman makes my top ten lead performance list of 1939 with The Light That Failed.  It's worth tracking down for sure.



#2531 TopBilled

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 12:15 AM

Swithin, I don't know THE LIGHT THAT FAILED. I'll need to hunt that one down.

It's one I haven't seen either.

 

I go back and forth on STANLEY AND LIVINGSTONE...it feels like it's a great movie, but I am not entirely convinced. 

 

I realised I didn't include JUAREZ or any other Bette Davis films on my list for '39 (she had four big films that year). Her screen persona usually turns me off, so I automatically discount her films, which is probably unfair. I do like her pairings with Miriam Hopkins, but that's because Hopkins upstages her. 


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#2532 LawrenceA

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 10:24 PM

Swithin, I don't know THE LIGHT THAT FAILED. I'll need to hunt that one down.

#2533 Swithin

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 10:19 PM

1939 Favorites

 

I like to limit my list to ten, but I've added two groups of two similar films.

 

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes/Hound of the Baskervilles

The start of the great Rathbone/Bruce collaboration. "Oh Watson, the needle!"

 

Beau Geste/Gunga Din

Two films with great male trios, plus Sam Jaffe schlepping along with the water and being heroic.

 

Drums Along the Mohawk

One of John Ford's great movies, with all his themes intact: importance of community, homes threatened, a dance, etc. This film features my favorite Edna May Oliver performance.

 

Juarez

The parts/scenes are greater than the whole in this movie, but what parts! 

 

The Light that Failed

A somber, low-key, wonderful film. My favorite movie of 1939.

 

The Little Princess

My favorite Shirley Temple movie. As a sometime South East Londoner, I can't resist her performance, with Arthur Treacher, of "Wot Cher! Knocked 'em in the Old Kent Road."

 

Only Angels Have Wings

One of Hawks' best, with a gay subtext plain as day.

 

The Roaring Twenties

"He used to be a big shot." Bravo Gladys and the whole cast! Big, entertaining, and even profound.

 

Stanley and Livingstone

Romance, adventure, and a socko courtroom-type finale.

 

Wuthering Heights

Justifiably won the New York Film Critics' Best Film Award over that bloated, sloppy movie about the South. 


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#2534 TopBilled

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 04:13 PM

I just went ahead and prepared my end-of-the-decade review of film in the 1930s. I will post it in the morning.

 

What I ended up doing was ranking my number ones for each year, because they were all strong films. And then instead of focusing on the actors again, I did a section called Notable Directors, plus a section called Most Creative Studios. At the end, I listed what I felt were the strongest genres or sub-genres of the decade. That way I could cover slightly new ground that I hadn't really commented on in the yearly posts. 

 

Make sense..?


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#2535 TopBilled

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 02:54 PM

Top, I actually saw all of these, except THEY SHALL HAVE MUSIC. Good choices!

Thanks. I probably should have added THE FOUR FEATHERS as an honorable mention because it is quite good and I do like watching it.

 

Another one that deserves a shout-out is HONEYMOON IN BALI, a charming rom-com from Paramount starring Fred MacMurray & Madeleine Carroll. https://en.wikipedia...neymoon_in_Bali

 

THEY SHALL HAVE MUSIC was producer Sam Goldwyn's big film of '39. The musical sequences are beautifully presented.

 

I think FIVE CAME BACK is the best B-film of the 30s. 


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#2536 LawrenceA

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 02:52 PM

Screen%2Bshot%2B2015-12-18%2Bat%2B6.08.5
 
My list:

1. OF MICE AND MEN
2. THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
3. GONE WITH THE WIND
4. DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK
5. WUTHERING HEIGHTS
6. THE WIZARD OF OZ
7. JESSE JAMES
8. LOVE AFFAIR
9. MIDNIGHT
10. GOLDEN BOY and YOUNG MR. LINCOLN (tie)Honorable Mentions: THEY SHALL HAVE MUSIC; THE ROARING TWENTIES; DODGE CITY; FIVE CAME BACK; THE RULES OF THE GAME; and INTERMEZZO. 
 
I think the best performers of 1939 were: Charles Laughton; Claudette Colbert; Henry Fonda; Vivien Leigh; Judy Garland; and Burgess Meredith.


Top, I actually saw all of these, except THEY SHALL HAVE MUSIC. Good choices!
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#2537 LawrenceA

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 02:49 PM

For 1939 - 83 films seen
 
1.  The Wizard of Oz
2.  Gone With the Wind
3.  Of Mice and Men
4.  Stagecoach
5.  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
6.  Goodbye Mr. Chips
7.  The Four Feathers
8.  Destry Rides Again
9.  Gunga Din
10. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
 
Here are just some from my runner up list: The Stars Look Down, Ninotchka, Rules of the Game, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Only Angels Have Wings and Beau Geste.
 
This time I've seen all of the films on your list, Lawrence.  Son of Frankenstein is a favourite too.


As big of a fan of both Rathbone and Holmes as I am, I have never seen ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. I don't know THE STARS LOOK DOWN. MR. CHIPS, FOUR FEATHERS, and NINOTCHKA are all great too, imho.

#2538 TopBilled

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 02:17 PM

Screen%2Bshot%2B2015-12-18%2Bat%2B6.08.5

 

My list:


1. OF MICE AND MEN
2. THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
3. GONE WITH THE WIND
4. DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK
5. WUTHERING HEIGHTS
6. THE WIZARD OF OZ
7. JESSE JAMES
8. LOVE AFFAIR
9. MIDNIGHT
10. GOLDEN BOY and YOUNG MR. LINCOLN (tie)

Honorable Mentions: THEY SHALL HAVE MUSIC; THE ROARING TWENTIES; DODGE CITY; FIVE CAME BACK; THE RULES OF THE GAME; and INTERMEZZO. 

 

I think the best performers of 1939 were: Charles Laughton; Claudette Colbert; Henry Fonda; Vivien Leigh; Judy Garland; and Burgess Meredith.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#2539 TopBilled

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 02:13 PM

1939 - 74 films seen


1. THE ROARING TWENTIES
2. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON
3. STAGECOACH
4. GONE WITH THE WIND
5. THE WIZARD OF OZ
6. GUNGA DIN
7. ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS
8. THE RULES OF THE GAME
9. DESTRY RIDES AGAIN
10. THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

Runner-ups: OF MICE AND MEN, SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, BEAU GESTE, DARK VICTORY, and EACH DAWN I DIE.


THE ROARING TWENTIES is a controversial choice for tops of 1939, I know, but it's my favorite. I think it's the perfect culmination of the entire 30's gangster cycle. I have a love/hate relationship with GONE WITH THE WIND, but I can't deny it's status as the peak of studio-era filmmaking. WIZARD OF OZ is one of the few children's movies I can tolerate, perhaps because I acted in an amateur theatrical version as the Tin Woodsman. And STAGECOACH is one of the greatest, archetypal Westerns ever made.

I think your comment about GWTW is an honest one. It's not my number one choice either, and I felt sacrilegious ranking it a bit lower. The stereotypes about southern whites (especially the Irish) and the way the slaves are depicted (glamorized almost) is all quite problematic for me. Plus I don't think overall the film holds up as well as a solid piece of entertainment as some fans would like. It's showing its age in my opinion and is increasingly dated.

 

THE WIZARD OF OZ is on my top ten but it is not in the top five. I think it deviates too much from Baum's original stories to be totally authentic. 

 

I have never seen BEAU GESTE but would like to when I get the chance. I like EACH DAWN I DIE, DESTRY RIDES AGAIN and DARK VICTORY though none of them make my list. There really were too many excellent choices to pick from in '39.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#2540 Bogie56

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 02:10 PM

My current choices for performances for 1939 are:

 

Best Actor

 

Robert Donat, Goodbye, Mr. Chips

 

Best Actress

 

Vivien Leigh, Gone With the Wind

 

Best Supporting Actor

 

Claude Rains, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

 

Best Supporting Actress

 

Hattie McDaniel, Gone With the Wind






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