SunAndMoon

My top 25 movies released before 1960

24 posts in this topic

Heh----

Used to be a guy 'round these forums who felt 1960 was the CUT-OFF point for ANY movie to be TRULY considered a "classic".  Felt that any movie made AFTER then had NO BUSINESS being shown on TCM.  :o

Sepiatone

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41 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Heh----

Used to be a guy 'round these forums who felt 1960 was the CUT-OFF point for ANY movie to be TRULY considered a "classic".  Felt that any movie made AFTER then had NO BUSINESS being shown on TCM.  :o

Sepiatone

I think JamesJazzGuitar may have said that 1960 was the cut-off for being considered a "classic" film. I could be wrong about him saying this. But when you think about it, 1960 was one of those years where we were close to having the old classic studios start to fall away as far as releasing traditional films instead of more avant-garde and foreign releases.

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Just now, fxreyman said:

I think JamesJazzGuitar may have said that 1960 was the cut-off for being considered a "classic" film. I could be wrong about him saying this. But when you think about it, 1960 was one of those years where we were close to having the old classic studios start to fall away as far as releasing traditional films instead of more avant-garde and foreign releases.

No it wasn't me,  I believe it was Fred.   I try not to use the term 'classic' since to me it is vague and rather meaningless. 

Instead when I talk about American films,  I use studio-era,   or pre-code,  or production-code eras.   I.e. classifications that have more meaning (to me), than 'classic'.  

 

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Well, sorry. I thought it was you but now that I think about it you are probably correct that it was Fred. And you are correct that we probably should list films the way you mentioned it. Classic is a word that has caused many disagreements over the years on the boards.

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4 hours ago, SunAndMoon said:

I made a list of them on Dreamwidth and present said list for your perusal: https://betweensunandmoon.dreamwidth.org/41599.html

Nice list. Some unusual choices, like G-Men and The Crimson Pirate. Several of my favorites from the period as well: The Maltese FalconCaptain BloodThe Adventures of Robin HoodThe Mark of ZorroThe Big SleepJulius CaesarOn the Waterfront.

I haven't seen Cover Girl or Scaramouche.

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37 minutes ago, SunAndMoon said:

I hope I didn't just stir up a hornet's nest. 😟

Oh,  not at all.   I believe it is wise when discussing top-25,  or favorite films etc... to be more specific about era\time period.    Having 1960 as a 'cutoff' date is just as fine as any other cutoff,  and as fxreyman noted the ways films were made in America did change around that time.    

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Before 1960? 25 you want?

That's a toughy.

I guess I'd start with 'Frankenstein' (1931). And add 'Sweet Smell of Success' (1958). Also 'Of Mice and Men' (1939).

I'll have to wrack my brain for the other 22.

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Lemme give you a hand and mention a few of mine....

LADY FOR A DAY('33)--DEAD END('37)--WIZARD OF OZ('39) THE MALTESE FALCON('41) THE GRAPES OF WRATH(' 40)

To name but just a VERY few!  ;)   The three you mentioned are too, high up on my list.  In fact, what's difficult in this is that I NEVER BOTHERED to rate( in order) any of the movies I DO like, as to WHICH that I like BETTER than others to the point I can give them a numerical order.

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

Lemme give you a hand and mention a few of mine....

LADY FOR A DAY('33)--DEAD END('37)--WIZARD OF OZ('39) THE MALTESE FALCON('41) THE GRAPES OF WRATH(' 40)

To name but just a VERY few!  ;)   The three you mentioned are too, high up on my list.  In fact, what's difficult in this is that I NEVER BOTHERED to rate( in order) any of the movies I DO like, as to WHICH that I like BETTER than others to the point I can give them a numerical order.

The criteria I use is - which ones am I likely to want to watch again sometime?

And so far, I've only come up with those three. I could probably add 'The Wizard of Oz' - but I watched it a couple of months ago, so I'm not sure if I'll ever watch it again. Maybe in 10 years or so. It's possible.

Then again, I really haven't been thinking about it much. So, adding 'Wizard', that leaves 21 more to come up with.

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This is not sooo hard...

Since I own quite a few films in my own library I know I can put together a list of 26 of my favorites representing each letter of the alphabet. Actually, this would then include one extra film beyond the 25 films needed. After looking over my list I do not have any films in my library representing the letters U, X and Z. In this case I will list three movies from random that are my favorites as well, taking the place of the three letters not listed in my library. Those are in bold.

The Adventures of Robin Hood, Michael Curtiz 1938
The Best Years of Our Lives, William Wyler 1946
The Big Sleep, Howard Hawks 1946
The Caine Mutiny, Edward Dmytryk 1954
The Day the Earth Stood Still, Robert Wise 1951
The Enemy Below, Dick Powell 1957
Foreign Correspondent, Alfred Hitchcock 1940
The Grapes of Wrath, John Ford 1940
Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Alexander Hall 1941
It’s a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra 1946
Julius Caesar, Joseph L. Mankiewicz 1953
King Kong, Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack 1933
Lost Horizon, Frank Capra 1937
A Matter of Life and Death, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger 1946
Notorious, Alfred Hitchcock 1946
Objective, Burma!, Raoul Walsh 1945
The Palm Beach Story, Preston Sturges 1940
Queen Christina, Rouben Mamoulian 1933
Random Harvest, Mervyn LeRoy 1942
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, John Ford 1949
The Talk of the Town, George Stevens 1942
They Were Expendable, John Ford 1945
Twelve O’Clock High, Henry King 1949

Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock 1958
Winchester ’73, Anthony Mann 1950
Yankee Doodle Dandy, Michael Curtiz 1942

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Interesting idea, fxreyman. I'll attempt to do the same: pick one pre-1960 film that I also have on disc from each letter of the alphabet. My variation is that I'll only chose from among my Criterion releases:

  • The Apu Trilogy (1955-1959)
  • Black Narcissus (1947)
  • City Lights (1931)
  • The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)
  • Eyes Without a Face (1959)* - some list this as 1960
  • Foreign Correspondent (1940)
  • Godzilla (1954)
  • The Hidden Fortress (1958)
  • Ikiru (1952)
  • Jubal (1956)
  • The Killing (1956)
  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
  • M (1931)
  • The Night of the Hunter (1955)
  • On the Waterfront (1954)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
  • No Criterion for "Q" - non-Criterion: Queen Christina
  • Rashomon (1950)
  • Seven Samurai (1954)
  • 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • The Uninvited (1944)
  • Vampyr (1932)
  • The Wages of Fear (1953)
  • No Criterion for "X" - non-Criterion: none from before 1960
  • No Criterion for "Y" - non-Criterion: The Young Lions (1958)
  • No Criterion for "Z" - non-Criterion: the only pre-1960 I have: Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952)!

 

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22 hours ago, darkblue said:

The criteria I use is - which ones am I likely to want to watch again sometime?

And so far, I've only come up with those three. I could probably add 'The Wizard of Oz' - but I watched it a couple of months ago, so I'm not sure if I'll ever watch it again. Maybe in 10 years or so. It's possible.

Then again, I really haven't been thinking about it much. So, adding 'Wizard', that leaves 21 more to come up with.

To each(and all that).

I don't watch movies I own all that frequently, not like my KIDS did, when VCRs were a new thing, and they would watch their "copy" of THE BREAKFAST CLUB on a daily basis.  :D  

But continuing a "tradition" started in 1956, I continue to watch THE WIZARD OF OZ at LEAST once a year, EVERY year!  ;)  This'll mark my 63rd year! 

Sepiatone

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1 minute ago, Sepiatone said:

To each(and all that).

I don't watch movies I own all that frequently, not like my KIDS did, when VCRs were a new thing, and they would watch their "copy" of THE BREAKFAST CLUB on a daily basis.  :D  

But continuing a "tradition" started in 1956, I continue to watch THE WIZARD OF OZ at LEAST once a year, EVERY year!  ;)  This'll mark my 63rd year! 

Memories of the old days before cable and VCR's and the network broadcasting of 'The Wizard of Oz' was a special annual event.

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I like the idea of presenting a list alphabetically.  It provides some sense of organization.  I'm going to base this list on the movies I watch the most frequently.  Despite having almost 500 movies recorded on my DVR (only 81% full), I find myself returning to these ones that I've watched over and over.

Adventures of Robin Hood, The

Ball of Fire

Casablanca

Devil and Miss Jones, The

Enchanted Cottage, The

Foreign Affair, A

Gidget

Heaven Can Wait (1943)

In a Lonely Place

Jailhouse Rock

Killers, The (1946)

Long Long Trailer, The

Mildred Pierce

Nightmare Alley

On the Town

Picnic

Q

Rear Window

Singin' in the Rain

Thin Man, The

Uncertain Glory

Vertigo

White Christmas

X

You Were Never Lovelier

Zorro, The Mask of

*I'm going to cheat as I cannot think of a Q or X movie that I even watch, and I kind of cheated already on Z.  I'd like to submit the names of A Summer Place and Pillow Talk for my final two spots.

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I don't own any pre 1960 films starting with "J" "Q" "U" "X" or "Z"

Arsenic And Old Lace (1944)

Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

Clock, The (1945)

Detective Story (1951)

East Of Eden (1955)

From Here To Eternity (1953)

Gunga Din (1939)

House Of Wax (1953)

Invaders From Mars (1953)

It's A Gift (1934)

Kiss Of Death (1947)

Lost In A Harem (1942)

Marty (1955)

Night Of The Hunter (1955)

On The Waterfront (1954)

Pigskin Parade (1936)

Place In The Sun,The (1951)

Roaring Twenties,The (1939)

Strangers On A Train (1951)

These Three (1936)

Vertigo (1958)

Window, The (1949)

Witness To Murder (1954)

You And Me (1938)

Young Lions, The (1958)

 

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Just commenting on the idea of 1960 being the dividing point between old and new, I would make the case for 1968 being that turning point, based on the following reasoning: Think of the finalization of the psychological western with "Once Upon a Time in the West" that year followed by "The Wild Bunch" the following year; of the mostly gung ho war films up to that point, with John Wayne making "The Green Berets" that year in large part continuing in that tradition, but despite the criticisms also being quite memorable for some scenes displaying the true horror of war, plus being countered around that time by the anti-war documentaries that were starting; of horror films notably "Night of the Living Dead" and "Rosemary's Baby" ceasing to have a happy ending where the monster dies and everyone says bye-bye, as Joe Bob Briggs used to say; of science fiction graduating to the serious level of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Planet of the Apes"; and comedies "The Producers" and "The Odd Couple" and "Take the Money and Run" starting the careers of three people who had started with Sid Caesar whose work would dominate the next decade and beyond ... Notice the common factor among these categories: If you presented one of these landmark films to a studio before 1968, in some cases it would be too taboo or before-its-time to get made, and if after 1968 you made any film in those genres resembling something made before these movies, they would appear so passe as to be laughable. To meet studio expectation of what an audience now wanted, Vincent Price rather than making a Poe classic would have to do a gory Phibes movie; a cop drama would have to be gritty and expose the slimy underside of the city; authority must be distrusted at all times, and as aforementioned, the good guys don't win all the time anymore.

In writing that, I was thinking of how before-its-time the 1965 film "Mirage" was when Jack Weston breaks into Gregory Peck's apartment holding him at gunpoint and, noticing the time, asks him to turn his TV to a certain channel so he doesn't miss the wrestling match. "Do you mind?" he asks... "It's the only way you could tell the good guys from the bad guys anymore now that the westerns have gone psycho!" Now how many psychological westerns had there been up to 1965? That could eradicate part of my reasoning about 1968.

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I used to consider '68 as the beginning of the Modern Era, as there were more movies using the rating system, and it became more common to see nudity, hear profanity, and see bloodier violence on screen. There were movies that did some or all of these things released before 1968, but it became more frequent from '68 on. For orderliness sake, I used both '65 and '70 as cut-off dates, too. Now I just go with whatever the conversation at hand is using.

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seeing as I did the post 1960 one, seems only fair that I give this one a crack

Paths of Glory (1957)

The 400 Blows (1959)

The Killers (1946)

Twelve Angry Men (1957)

I Remember Mama (1948)

A Man Escaped (1956)

Diabolique (1955)

The Set-Up (1949)

first 3 Thin Man movies  (1934, 1936, 1939) a bit of a cheat I know

The Cranes are Flying (1957)

Ikiru (1952)

Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

My Man Godfrey (1936)

Separate Tables (1958)

The Wages of Fear (1953)

Mon Oncle (1958)

Touch of Evil (1958)

Ace in the Hole (1951)

Caged (1950)

3:10 to Yuma (1957)

Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Casablanca (1943)

The Lusty Men (1952)

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

The Search (1948)

 

that was a lot harder than I thought it would be

period between 1957 - 1967 really needs its own separate list

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Couldn't whittle any further, anyway the Noir list (31).

I Wake Up Screaming (1942)

Dark Corner (The) (1945) 

Detour (1945)

Scarlet Street (1945)

Killers (The) (1946)

Desperate (1947)

Kiss of Death (1947)

Nightmare Alley (1947)

Out Of The Past (1947)

Act Of Violence (1948)

Criss Cross (1949)

Crooked Way (The) (1949) 

Third Man (The) (1949)

Set-Up (The) (1949)

Window (The) (1949) 

Asphalt Jungle (The) (1950)

Where The Sidewalk Ends (1950)

Cry Danger (1951)

Narrow Margin (The) (1952)

Big Heat (The) (1953)

Niagara (1953)

Pickup on South Street (1953)

Crime Wave (1954)

Hell's Half Acre (1954) 

Bad Day At Black Rock (1955)

Killer's Kiss (1955)

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Killing (The) (1956)

Touch Of Evil (1958)

Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)

Two Men In Manhattan (Deux Hommes Dans Manhattan) (1959) 

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A Western List (26)

Hell's Heroes (1930)

Viva Villa! (1934)

The Texas Rangers (1936)

20 Mule Team (1940)

The Westerner (1940)

Duel in the Sun (1946)

My Darling Clementine (1946)

Pursued (1947)

Blood on the Moon (1948)

Red River (1948)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Yellow Sky (1948)

Colorado Territory (1949)

The Gunfighter (1950)

Winchester '73 (1950)

High Noon (1951)

Rawhide (1951)

Westward the Women (1951)

The Searchers (1956)

The Tall T (1957)

3:10 to Yuma (1957)

The Bravados (1958)

The Law and Jake Wade (1958)

Man of the West (1958)

Day of the Outlaw (1959)

Ride Lonesome (1959)

 

 

 

 

 

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Here's my list of 27. It's alphabetical but begins with a number:

1. "The 39 Steps" (1935)

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2. "The African Queen" (1951)

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3. "La Belle et la Bête" (1946)

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4. "Casablanca" (1942)

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5. "The Defiant Ones" (1958)

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6. "East of Eden" (1955)

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7. "Foreign Correspondent" (1940)

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8. "La Grande Illusion" (1937)

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9. "The Hidden Fortress" (1958)

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10. "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946)

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11. "Jim Thorpe -- All-American" (1951)

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12. "The Killing" (1956)

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13."The Lady Vanishes" (1938)

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14. "The Maltese Falcon" (1941)

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15. "North by Northwest" (1959)

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16. "On the Waterfront" (1954) 

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17. "Paths of Glory" (1957)

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18. "Queen Christina" (1933)

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19. "La Règle du Jeu" (1939)

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20. "The Seventh Seal" (1957)

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21. "The Ten Commandments" (1956)

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22. "Ulysses" (1954)

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23. "Vertigo" (1958)

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24. "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)

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25. "X the Unknown" (1956)

By the end of the film, it's an ex-X.

26. "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942)

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27. "Ziegfeld Follies" (1945)

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