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Your Favourite Foreign Language Films


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I watched this one last night and agree with Lawrence's assessment that it wasn't great.  But as I had not seen any other worthy films this became my number one choice of 1940 ...

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June Night (1940) Per Lindberg, Sweden.

This melodrama has a certain charm but seems a tad over wrought at times.  But Ingrid Bergman at twenty-four is worth the price of admission.

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My top FF film of 1941 of the 2 that I have seen are ….

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1.  Teresa Venerdi (1941) Vittorio De Sica, Italy

and I’ve also seen …

The 47 Ronin, Part One (1941) Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan.  I think I was expecting much more from Mizoguchi's "classic."  The combined two parts are 241 minutes long and there is no action whatsoever that I can recall.  It is perhaps best described as a samurai soap opera.  Call me crazy but 4 hours of a film where men with swords just talk ...  Part Two was released in 1942.

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The only foreign film from 1941 I have seen is....

1.) They Met in Moscow, Ivan Pyryev, Russia

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In this operetta comedy, a swineherd from Vologda in northern Russia (Marina Ladynina) and a shepherd from Dagestan (Vladimir Zeldin) meet at a Moscow exhibition and fall in love. They promise to meet again in one year. The shepherd writes her letters but a jealous suitor in the village intentionally mistranslates them from the Dagestan language to trick her. When the shepherd gets no replies he travels to her village where the suitor is about to marry her. He stops the wedding and explains the trickery and every one has a happy ending. There is a little propaganda bit at the end where the villagers all sing about how happy there life is now and that the invading Nazis will be stopped. Overall, it was a pretty good film with light operetta style music. I recommend it.

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These foreign language films won awards at the 1941 Venice Film Festival ….

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Uncle Kruger (1941) Hans Steinhoff, Germany

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La Carona Di Ferro (1941) Alessandro Blasetti, Italy

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On 3/17/2018 at 2:40 AM, Bogie56 said:

My top FF film of 1941 of the 2 that I have seen are ….

220px-Teresa_Venerd%C3%AC_poster.jpg

1.  Teresa Venerdi (1941) Vittorio De Sica, Italy

and I’ve also seen …

The 47 Ronin, Part One (1941) Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan.  I think I was expecting much more from Mizoguchi's "classic."  The combined two parts are 241 minutes long and there is no action whatsoever that I can recall.  It is perhaps best described as a samurai soap opera.  Call me crazy but 4 hours of a film where men with swords just talk ...  Part Two was released in 1942.

I love nothing better than a samurai movie but seriously ... slow. btw hard to choose but my favorite samurai movie is RAN

"Like Kurasawa, I make mad films, okay, I don't make films

But if I did they'd have a Samurai" - BareNaked Ladies

 

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Teresa Venerdì ("Teresa Friday") is a comedy of errors by Vittorio De Sica. He plays a doctor with debts and several girlfriends of diverse social background. Adriana Benetti plays an 18-year old orphan girl in a strict boarding school. Her piercing eyes reminded me of Paulette Goddard in the same era. 

There are jokes about the previous doctor, who prescibed wonder oil (castor oil) for anything. Here we see Teresa feeding the doctor himself in order to encourage a young patient.

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You wouldn't expect such an innocent comedy in Italy in 1941, but it must have served as escapism. It's no "telephone bianchi" comedy, because the telephones are black and there is a social element to the story of the orphan girl. Anna Magnani has a supporting role as Loletta, one of the doctor's girlfriends, whose theatrical behavior forms a contrast with Teresa's apparent innocence.

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The last year of the drought period. I managed to concoct a top 3, but nothing knocked me over.

  1. Four Steps in the Clouds, Alessandro Blasetti, Italy
  2. Mashenka, Yuli Raizman, USSR
  3. The Murderer Lives at Number 21, Henri-Georges Clouzot, France
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These foreign language films won awards at the 1942 Venice Film Festival ….

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Der Grosse König/The Great King (1942) Veit Harlan, Germany

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Bengasi (1942) Augusto Genina, Italy

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My top FF films of 1943 of the 8 that I have seen are ….

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1.  Day of Wrath (1943) Carl Theodor Dreyer, Denmark

2.  Ossessione (1943) Luchino Visconti, Italy

3.  Le Corbeau (1943) Henri-Georges Clouzot, France

4.  Sanshiro Sugata Part One (1943) Akira Kurosawa, Japan

5.  Goupi Mains Rouges (1943) Jacques Becker, France

6.  Carnival of Sinners (1943) Maurice Tourneur, France

and I’ve also seen …

Le Baron Fantome (1943) Serge de Poligny, France

Titanic (1943) Herbert Selpin, Werner Klinger, Germany

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1943

  1. Day of Wrath, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Denmark
  2. Le Corbeau, Henri-Georges Clouzot, France
  3. Ossessione, Luchino Visconti, Italy
  4. Carnival of Sinners, Maurice Tourneur, France
  5. It Happened at the Inn, Jacques Becker, France
  6. Sanshiro Sugata, Akira Kurosawa, Japan

 

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Distinto Amanecer (Another Dawn). Mexico. Directed by Julio Bracho. Pedro Armendáriz, Andrea Palma, Alberto Galán.

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A union activist (Pedro Armendáriz) is on the run from a corrupt politician. An old flame (Andrea Palma) takes him home to hide him from the killers. She is unhappily married to a low-ranking government employee (Roberto Galán), who has a mistress.

Superb film, one of the best Julio Bracho ever directed. Pedro Armendáriz and Roberto Galán give fine performances, portraying their inner conflicts with skill and conviction. Andrea Palma is riveting, giving one of her best performances as the disillusioned woman who is given an unexpected chance to find a better life.

The beautiful and moody cinematography is by Gabriel Figueroa.

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Visconti's Ossessione is the first of three films about the interesting Cora Smith, although the Italians changed her name to Giovanna Bragana. Massimo Girotti and Clara Calamai play the two secret lovers from James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice. She doesn't have the flamboyant entrance of Lana Turner, but it's a more down to earth version, sometimes considered the first neorealist film.

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Wenn die Sonne wieder scheint is a German adaptation of the novel De Vlaschaard (The Flaxfield) by Belgian writer Stijn Streuvels. It's controversial because it was made by the German occupier. The film was practically forgotten, until a restoration revived interest in 2007. The naturalist story depicts life on a farm over the four seasons. A farmer and his son disagree on when the flax needs to be harvested, which leads to an escalating conflict.

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The novel has a tragic ending with the farmer beating his son to death. The Germans changed it to a happy ending in which the son stays alive.

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