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Your Favourite Foreign Language Films from 1959

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The winner of the 1958 Prix Jean Vigo was …

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Le Beau Serge (1958) Claude Chabrol, France

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The 1958 Argentinian Film Critics Association Best Picture Award went to …

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The Boss (1958) Fernando Ayala, Argentina

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theyshootpictures.com top 1000 for 1958

Ashes and Diamonds  Andrzej Wajda, Poland #221

The Music Room  Satyajit Ray, India #285

Mon Oncle  Jaques Tati, France #421

Nazarin  Luis Bunuel, Spain #578

The Tiger of Eschnapur  Fritz Lang, Germany #643

Big Deal on Madonna Street  Mario Monicelli #792

Moi, Un Noir  Jean Rouch, France #927

Cairo Station  Youssef Cahine, Egypt #958

 

Jonathan Rosenbaum top 1000 movies for 1958  (An asterisk means the movie is one of Rosenbaum's top 100 movies)

Ajantrik (Pathetic Fallacy)   Ritwik Ghatak,  India
Ashes and Diamonds  Andrzej Wajda, Poland
*India   Roberto Rossellini, Italy
Mon oncle  Jacques Tati, France
Une simple histoire  Marcel Hanoun, France

Note that dates are not exact for either

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Italy’s Nastro d’Argento Film Journalists 1958/59 Best Picture winner was …

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Man of Straw (1958) Pietro Germi, Italy

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The 1958 winner of the Japan Blue Ribbon Award was …

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The Hidden Fortress (1958) Akira Kurosawa, Japan

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1.) Mon Oncle. Jacques Tati. France.

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2.) I Soliti Ignoti -Big Deal on Madonna Street. Mario Monicelli. Italy.

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3.) The Hidden Fortress. Akira Kurosawa. Japan.

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4.) La Venganza - Vengeance. Juan Antonio Bardem. Spain.

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5.) Les Amants - The Lovers. Louis Malle. France.

 

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The 1958 winner of the Mainichi Film Award was …

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Ballad of Narayama (1958) Keisuke Kinoshita, Japan

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This foreign language film won at the 1958 Venice Film Festival ….

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The Rickshaw Man (1958) Hiroshi Inagaki, Japan

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220px-Es_geschah_am_hellichten_Tag_1959.

It Happened In Broad Daylight is a German film by Ladislao Vajda.  It stars Heinz Ruhmann (seen in The Captain From Kopenick 1956) as a retiring police detective.  When a young girl is found murdered in a forest he makes a pledge to the grief stricken family to find the killer.  This may sound familiar.  The story was used as the basis of Sean Penn's The Pledge (2001) and prior to that the Hungarian film Twilight (1990) by Gyorgy Feher.  I have to say that I thought the German original was superior to both of those remakes.

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Gert Frobe plays the child killer.  I had heard that it was this film that impressed the James Bond producers which lead to casting him in the title role of Goldfinger (1964).it-happened-in-broad-daylight-1958-001-l

But for me the best performance came from Michel Simon who plays the homeless man who discovers the girl's body, reports it to the police only to find himself tragically accused of the crime.

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Cairo Station is an excellent multi-character drama centered around the various employees and customers of the title train depot. A crippled young man (director Youssef Chahine) becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman to the point of violence. This is one title that I might not have ever heard of if not for the 1001 Movies books. It was shown on TCM at least once. Highly recommended.

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Underworld Beauty is a quality example of Japanese exploitation from gifted if eccentric filmmaker Seijun Suzuki. A paroled criminal looks for hidden loot and ends up involved with the title bad girl. It's an indicator of Suzuki's later stuff, although not nearly as crazed and avante-garde.

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The H-Man is more Japanese science fiction from director Ishiro Honda. It's an odd mix of cops-and-robbers crime drama and "monster created by science-gone-wrong" horror, with a people-dissolving "creature" on the loose. 

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The 1959 Locarno International Film Festival foreign film winners included …

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I, a Negro (1958) Jean Rouch, France

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The Captain’s Daughter (1958) Vladimir Kaplunovskiy, Russia

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Lydia Ate the Apple (1958) Wojciech Has, Poland

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This foreign language film won the 1958 San Sebastian Film Festival ….

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Eva Wants to Sleep (1958) Tadeusz Chmielewski, Poland

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The winner of the 1959 Mar del Plata Film Festival Best Picture was ….

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The Boss (1958) Fernando Ayala, Argentina

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My Wife Makes Music - Beautiful musical from DEFA studios and in glorious Agfacolor. Gerda Wagner (Lore Frisch) is a house wife who wishes to become a singer much to the disgust of her husband Herr Wagner (played by Gunther Simon the famous actor known for portraying Ernst Thalmann. Probably the most famous German actor at that time). After her daughter gets a cold she sings at her recital and it turns out she's great. Greda sings with the famous Italian opera singer Fabiani which strokes jealousy in her husband who goes on a drinking binge and storms into one of her shows. He goes to a bar with his friend Daisy which causes her disgust too. The two are now angry at each other when Herr Wagner takes their two children to the next show where his wife sings "You're so young, You're so beautiful" their song from when they first met. Herr Wagner now realizes how foolish his jealousy was and is happy with his wife's new singing career. This was a great musical with lots of beautiful sets and catchy songs. Even if you don't speak German you will probably hum along. I give this movie a 9/ 10. 

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The 1958 winner of the Asia Pacific Film Festival Best Picture Award was …

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The Town Hero (1958) Tadashi Sawashima, Japan

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My top FF films of 1959 of the 24 that I have seen are ….

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1.  The 400 Blows (1959) Francois Truffaut, France

2.  The Bridge (1959) Bernhard Wicki, Germany

3.  Fires on the Plain (1959) Kon Ichikawa

4.  Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1959) Alain Resnais, France

5.  The World of Apu (1959) Satyajit Ray, India

6.  General Della Rovere (1959) Robert Rossellini, Italy

7.  Nazarin (1959) Luis Bunuel, Mexico

8.  Black Orpheus (1959) Marcel Camus, Brazil

9.  Letter Never Sent (1959) Mikhail Kalatozov, Russia

10. Night Train (1959) Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Poland

 

Pickpocket (1959) Robert Bresson, France

Ballad of a Soldier (1959) Grigori Chukrai

Les Cousins (1959) Claude Chabrol, France

Floating Weeds (1959) Yasujiro Ozu, Japan

Le Signe du Lion (1959) Eric Rohmer, France

The Ghost of Yotsuya (1959) Nobuo Nakagawa, Japan

Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1959) Roger Vadim, France

 

and I’ve also seen …

The Last Days of Pompeii (1959) Sergio Leone, Mario Bonnard, Italy [dubbed]

Lotna (1959) Andrzej Wajda, Poland

Good Morning (1959) Yasujiro Ozu, Japan

Hercules Unchained (1959) Pietro Francisci, Italy.  [dubbed]

Magic Boy (1959) Akira Daikuhara, Tajii Yabushita, Japan

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1959) Jiri Trnka, Czechoslovakia

Le Testament du Docteur Cordelier (1959) Jean Renoir, France [TVM that premiered at the Venice Film Festival]

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My top FF films of 1959...

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1.) Black Orpheus, Marcel Camus, Brazil

2.) Ballad of a Soldier, Grigori Chukrai, Russia

3.) Hiroshima, Mon Amour, Alain Resnais, France

4.) The 400 Blows, Francois Truffaut, France

5.) Pickpocket, Robert Bresson, France

6.) The Soldiers of Pancho Villa, Ismael Rodríguez, Mexico

7.) The World of Apu, Satyajit Ray, India

8.) Floating Weeds, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan

9.) The Ghost of Yotsuya, Nobuo Nakagawa, Japan

10.) Les Cousins, Claude Chabrol, France

11.) Letter Never Sent, Mikhail Kalatozov, Russia

12.) Farewell to Spring, Keisuke Kinoshita, Japan

13.) Good Morning, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan

14.) The Indian Tomb, Fritz Lang, West Germany

15.) The Punch Bowl, Gunter Reisch, East Germany

16.) Santa Claus,  René Cardona, Mexico

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1959

  1. Fires on the Plain, Kon Ichikawa, Japan
  2. Pickpocket, Robert Bresson, France
  3. Ballad of a Soldier, Grigoriy Chukhray, USSR
  4. Floating Weeds, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
  5. Good Morning, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
  6. Hiroshima Mon Amour, Alain Resnais, France
  7. Black Orpheus, Marcel Camus, Brazil
  8. The 400 Blows, Francois Truffaut, France
  9. The Man and the Monster, Rafael Baledon, Mexico

I've also seen:

  • Battle in Outer Space, Ishiro Honda, Japan
  • The Living Coffin, Fernando Mendez, Mexico
  • Hercules Unchained, Pietro Francisci, Italy
  • Checkerboard, Claude Bernard-Aubert, France
  • The White Warrior, Riccardo Freda, Italy
  • Herod the Great, Viktor Tourjansky, Italy
  • The Head, Victor Trivas, West Germany
  • Nebo zovyot/The Sky Calls, Mikhail Karzhukov & Aleksandr Kozyr, USSR
  • Prince of Space, Eijiro Wakabayashi, Japan

1001 Movies You Must See

  • Black Orpheus, Marcel Camus, Brazil
  • Floating Weeds, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
  • The 400 Blows, Francois Truffaut, France
  • Hiroshima Mon Amour, Alain Resnais, France
  • Pickpocket, Robert Bresson, France
  • The World of Apu, Satyajit Ray, India
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5 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

1001 Movies You Must See

  • Black Orpheus, Marcel Camus, Brazil
  • Floating Weeds, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
  • The 400 Blows, Francois Truffaut, France
  • Hiroshima Mon Amour, Alain Resnais, France
  • Pickpocket, Robert Bresson, France
  • The World of Apu, Satyajit Ray, India

There aren't any foreign additions for 1959 by the way. However, there will be some for 1960.

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1.) Nazarín. Luis Buñuel. Mexico.

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2.) Los Jueves, Milagro/Miracle on Thursdays. Luis García Berlanga. Spain.

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3.) El Esqueleto de la Señora. Morales/The Skeleton of Mrs. Morales. Rogelio A. González. Mexico.*

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4.) Hiroshima Mon Amour/Hiroshima My Love. Alain Resnais. France.

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5.) Orfeu Negro/Black Orpheus. Marcel Camus. Brazil.

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6.) Les Quatre Cents Coups/The 400 Blows. François Truffaut. France.

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*The release date in some websites is 1959, in some others is 1960. I included it because most articles in Spanish date it as a 1959 release.

 

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