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Your Favourite Foreign Language Films


Bogie56
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My top FF films of 1952 of the 13 that I have seen are ….

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1.  Umberto D. (1952) Vittorio De Sica, Italy

2.  Casque D’Or (1952) Jacques Becker, France

3.  Ikuru (1952) Akira Kurosawa, Japan

4.  The White Sheik (1952) Federico Fellini, Italy

5.  Forbidden Games (1952) Rene Clement, France

6.  The Life of Oharu (1952) Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan

7.  The Golden Coach (1952) Jean Renoir, France

8.  The Overcoat (1952) Alberto Lattuada, Italy

9.  Le Plaisir (1952) Max Ophuls, France

10.  A Woman Without Love (1952) Luis Bunuel, Mexico

 

Secrets of Women (1952) Ingmar Bergman, Sweden

The Emperor’s Baker (1952) Martin Fric, Czechoslovakia

and I’ve also seen …

Europe ’51 (1952) Roberto Rossellini, Italy [though I saw the English language version]

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1952

  1. Ikiru, Akira Kurosawa, Japan*
  2. Umberto D., Vittorio De Sica, Italy
  3. Forbidden Games, Rene Clement, France
  4. Europe '51, Roberto Rossellini, Italy
  5. The Golden Coach, Jean Renoir, France

 

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

  • Europa '51, Roberto Rossellini, Italy
  • Forbidden Games, Rene Clement, France
  • The Golden Coach, Jean Renoir, France
  • Ikiru, Akira Kurosawa, Japan
  • Umberto D., Vittorio De Sica, Italy

 

*Ikiru is my favorite film, in any language, of 1952.

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The first year with a top 3 of absolute classics.

  1. Umberto D., Vittorio De Sica, Italy
  2. Forbidden Games, René Clément, France
  3. Ikiru, Akira Kurosawa, Japan
  4. Little World of Don Camillo, Julien Duvivier, Italy
  5. Heidi, Luigi Comecini, Switzerland
  6. Casque d'Or, Jacques Becker, France
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1. Umberto D. Vittorio de Sica, Italy

2. Ikiru, Akira Kurosawa, Japan

3. The Life of Oharu, Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan

4. Casque D'Or, Jacques Becker, France

5. Forbidden Games, Rene Clement, France

6. Europa '51, Roberto Rossellini, Italy

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My list for 1952-

  1. The Life of Oharu Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan
  2. Forbidden Games, René Clément, France
  3. Ikiru, Akira Kurosawa, Japan
  4. Umberto D., Vittorio De Sica, Italy
  5. Europe '51, Roberto Rossellini, Italy
  6. Casque D'Or, Jacques Becker, France
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8 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

  • Europa '51, Roberto Rossellini, Italy
  • Forbidden Games, Rene Clement, France
  • The Golden Coach, Jean Renoir, France
  • Ikiru, Akira Kurosawa, Japan
  • Umberto D., Vittorio De Sica, Italy

 

*Ikiru is my favorite film, in any language, of 1952.

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From the foreign editions-

Valkoinen peura (1952), Erik Blomberg, Finnish edition

Nekri politeia (1952), Frixos Illiadis, Greek edition

 

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The winner of the 1952 New York Film Critics Best Foreign Film was …

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Forbidden Games (1952) Rene Clement, France

The co-winner of the 1955 New York Film Critics Best Foreign Film was …

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Umberto D. (1952) Vittorio De Sica, Italy

Other New York Film Critics Foreign Film nominees for 1953 were …

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Don Camillo (1952) Julien Duvivier, France

Edited by Bogie56
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The 1953 Danish Bodil Award for Best European Picture went to …

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Forbidden Games (1952) Rene Clement, France

The 1954 Danish Bodil Award for Best European Picture went to …

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Umberto D. (1952) Vittorio De Sica, Italy

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I mentioned that Ikiru is my favorite film from 1952 regardless of language. The 1950's contain several years where a foreign language film would be my favorite.

To give some background, I had one year in the 1930's with a FLF (foreign language film) as my top choice: 1937 and Grand Illusion. There were no years in the 1940's with a FLF top pick (that may change, as I watched Shoeshine recently and loved it, but I'm not sure if it will overtake my current top choice for 1946, The Best Years of Our Lives).

Looking ahead at my annual top ten lists, there are 3 more years in the 1950's, 1 in the 1960's, and none in the following decades. So I either consider the 1950's the greatest decade for foreign language films, or else it was a weaker decade for English language films. Or both!

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1. Forbidden Games. René Clément. France.

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The innocence of two children turns the horrors of war into a game. Beautifully filmed showing the candor of the young leads and the irony of life.

With Brigitte Fossey and Georges Poujouly.

Fantastic film.

 

2. Umberto D. Vittorio de Sica. Italy

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A retired government employee struggles to make ends meet with dignity. De Sica avoids the sentimentality and optimism of his other films to emphasize the dignity of man.

With Carlo Battisti.

 

3. Europa '51. Roberto Rossellini.

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A wealthy woman devotes her life to helping the poor until she is declared insane. Rossellini's straightforward direction allows the images tell the story of pain and impotence.

With Ingrid Bergman and Alexander Knox.

 

I've never seen Ikiru, and it sounds like a great film that I' d like to see.

 

 

 

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I first saw Federico Fellini's The White Sheik (1952) at Toronto's beloved 99¢ Roxy theatre.  This movie house appealed to the college crowd.  It played at least two features a night plus shorts and its schedule changed daily.  You could smoke in the cinema in those days and at the Roxy many a joint was passed up and down the rows too.  But back to the movie ...

The plot involves a couple in Rome on their honeymoon.  The bride disappears to follow the stars of her beloved magazine serial who are on a location photo shoot.  The Italian magazine serial strip was something I was unfamiliar with.  It is just like a comic book but instead of drawings it featured b&w photographs of actors playing parts with accompanying captions.  No real acting was required of the "stars" of these serials yet the egos were just as large.

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Alberto Sordi plays the White Sheik.  A ham if there ever was one.  I read somewhere that Sordi was Robert De Niro's favourite actor.

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Alberto Lattuada's The Overcoat is a modern adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's short story about a poor city clerk who manages a tiny bit of good fortune and parlays that into a new overcoat which impresses his co-workers and bosses.  It is well cast and directed.  The fantasy ending is a bit iffy IMO but that's the story.

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Le Plaisir is another Max Ophuls anthology film as in his earlier La Ronde (1950).  It don't think this was as good but  if boasts a terrific cast: Jean Gabin, Danielle Darrieux, Pierre Brasseur, Claude Dauphin, Jean Servais and Simone Simon.

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Wikipedia commented on Luis Bunuel's A Woman Without Love (1952) that is takes pot shots at the bourgeoisie.  That was being kind.  It is really just a quota quickie soaper about a woman trapped in a loveless marriage with a much older man and the illicit affair she has.  Apparently Bunuel thought that this was his worst film.  Maybe so, but I enjoyed it though like Bergman's early low budget efforts A Woman Without Love is a bit static.

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Italy’s Nastro d’Argento Film Journalists 1951/52 Best Picture winner was …

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Two Cents Worth of Hope (1952) Renato Castellani, Italy

Italy’s Nastro d’Argento Film Journalists 1952/53 Best Picture winner was …

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The City Stands Trial (1952) Luigi Zampa, Italy

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Ingmar Bergman's Secrets of Women or Waiting Women as it is sometimes called is an anthology film of sorts.  While waiting for the arrival of their husbands, four women tell stories of their relationships.  It isn't nearly as good as some of Bergman's later efforts but it is another step in his becoming a master craftsman and his cast of regulars get better too.  Featuring Gunnar Bjornstrand, Eva Dahlbeck, Maj-Britt Nilsson and Anita Bjork.  I like the German poster too ...

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