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Best Movie Year Ever


Brandon3k
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Hi. New to the forums, and thought I'd jump right in. I read an interesting review of the book "Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen" by Brian Raftery in the NY Times today. And it got me thinking that it would be a fun approach to rewatching some movies, by sticking to only a particular year theatrical releases. Having read only the review and not the book, it seems like 1939, 1979 and 1999 might all be contenders, but curious what other people might pick as the best movie year ever.  

Link to review below

https://nyti.ms/2MlJlIM

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1 hour ago, Brandon3k said:

Hi. New to the forums, and thought I'd jump right in. I read an interesting review of the book "Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen" by Brian Raftery in the NY Times today. And it got me thinking that it would be a fun approach to rewatching some movies, by sticking to only a particular year theatrical releases. Having read only the review and not the book, it seems like 1939, 1979 and 1999 might all be contenders, but curious what other people might pick as the best movie year ever.  

Written by someone who thought Fight Club was one of the Greatest. Films. Ever, and spends most of the book defining its '99 place in the annals of film history, next to American Beauty.  (And he slips in some "ironic" defenses of Phantom Menace.)   Yyyyyeah--Moving on.  😓

It's strange to realize, we now have an entire generation of Millennials--growing misty-eyed at the very mention of "Shawshank Redemption" and "Lion King"--who now genuinely look at the 90's the way our generation looked at the 80's.  Of which 1982 could easily rank as one of the Greatest Movie Years Ever, narrowly beating out 1981 and even 1984:

https://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=1982

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1947 is my personal favorite, though you wouldn't know it from the Oscar nominations, which don't track the best films very well. 1950 is another fine year, and most people consider 1962 the last great year of the studio era.

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3 hours ago, Brandon3k said:

"Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen"

I've read about half of this book, and I highly recommend for people who are interested in a concise snapshot of a moment in time in (mostly American, mostly mainstream) movie history. I thought about recommending it on here, but figured it would get a dismissive, yawning "meh" from 99 per cent of our members because the year being discussed is so recent (though it's already 20 years ago). People who express boredom with Star Wars are probably not going to want to read a book that devotes an entire chapter to The Phantom Menace. But I'm enjoying it.

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By coincidence, a TCM special theme for July is "1939: Hollywood's Golden Year," where each Friday TCM is only showing films which were released in 1939.  The list of films to be included is:


7-5
Four Feathers, The (1939)
Dodge City (1939)
On Borrowed Time (1939)
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
Old Maid, The (1939)
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
Ninotchka (1939)
Wizard of Oz, The (1939)
Hollywood's Greatest Year (2009) (documentary)
Hunchback of Notre Dame, The (1939)
Gunga Din (1939)

7-12
Little Princess, The (1939)
Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939)
Idiot's Delight (1939)
It's a Wonderful World (1939)
Fast and Loose (1939)
Lucky Night (1939)
Naughty But Nice (1939)
Another Thin Man (1939)
Dark Victory (1939)
Gone with the Wind (1939)

7-19
Girl From Mexico, The (1939)
Lady of the Tropics (1939)
Honolulu (1939)
Juarez (1939)
Roaring Twenties, The (1939)
Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)
Five Came Back (1939)

7-26
Private Detective (1939)
Tell No Tales (1939)
Jamaica Inn (1939)
You Can't Get Away with Murder (1939)
They Made Me A Criminal (1939)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The (1939)
In Name Only (1939)
Ice Follies of 1939, The (1939)
At the Circus (1939)
Women, The (1939)
Wuthering Heights (1939)
Love Affair (1939)

 

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I think it's hard for some people, who can't commonly think objectively, to think of any other year than the one they choose to be the "greatest" year for movies.  I always went along with the 1939 idea, but because too, many movies on the list of ones made in that year are also many of my favorites.  In fact, MANY years not ending in "9" have had a spate of movie excellence.  But it is odd how that happens.  For instance-----

Many agree that the year 1969 was the "greatest" year for music, seeing as many "iconic" rock groups and artists either began that year, or released what was considered their "masterpieces" that year. 

Now, I don't have a year I consider the "greatest" for movies, as I like movies from most years of movie making, but always did have a "thing" for movies made around the time I was born(1951) for the kick of seeing how the world supposedly looked back then.  And I'm flexible one or two years before OR after, as many styles, customs and such never change that radically from year to year.  Take WHITE HEAT( '49, wouldn'tcha know....  ;) ) for example...I first saw it on TV when I was about 14, which made the movie about 16, and to me(at the time), NOTHING in the movie really looked very OLD, as I easily remembered things looking pretty much the same to me not that long ago.  ;)  

I do think however, that picking the WORST year for movies might be a bit easier.  ;)  :D

Sepiatone

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14 hours ago, Brandon3k said:

Having read only the review and not the book, it seems like 1939, 1979 and 1999 might all be contenders, but curious what other people might pick as the best movie year ever.  

Having lived through a lot of bad minor motion pictures for most of summer '79--and an even worse Christmas, with Star Trek 1 and The Black Hole--I read that and thought "1979? The whole 70's, and you picked THAT one??"

And since there wasn't any BoxOfficeMojo listing to run down the year's hits, I had to look up the Oscar roster on IMDb:  Apocalypse Now, Kramer vs. Kramer, Alien, China Syndrome, Being There, The Black Stallion, All That Jazz...Okay.  I concede a point.  It's still no 1981, though.

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4 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Many agree that the year 1969 was the "greatest" year for music, seeing as many "iconic" rock groups and artists either began that year, or released what was considered their "masterpieces" that year. 

1959!

 

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4 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Many agree that the year 1969 was the "greatest" year for music, seeing as many "iconic" rock groups and artists either began that year, or released what was considered their "masterpieces" that year. 

 

Sepiatone

And yet, Sepia, according to Billboard the most popular song of 1969 was . . . . "Sugar Sugar" by the Archies.

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1955 was a pretty great year. Here's just a small sample:

Artists & Models
Guys & Dolls
Pather Panchali
Bad Day at Black Rock
Les Maitres Fous
Hill 24 Doesn't Answer
Marty
Ordet
Bob Le Flambeur
Kiss Me Deadly
The Man from Laramie
Rebel Without a Cause
The Phenix City Story
Smiles of a Summer Night
Night & Fog
The Night of the Hunter
Lola Montes



 

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18 hours ago, Michael Rennie said:

1959!

 

Really, the '69 thing was based on(like I said) the debut of many "iconic" rock artists took place that year, and others released what was considered their "masterpieces".  PLUS the advent of that WOODSTOCK thing....  ;)

Groups and artists like, 

JOE COCKER

SANTANA

ALLMAN BROTHERS

LED ZEPPELIN

CROSBY, STILLS, and NASH

KING CRIMSON

YES

JAMES GANG

The JACKSON 5

among many others, made their recording debuts in '69 and  masterpieces "Abby Road" and The Who's "Tommy" ,  JOHNNY WINTER'S unique 3-sided SECOND WINTER and some others  too.  ;) 

Sepiatone

 

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17 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

1955 was a pretty great year. Here's just a small sample:

Artists & Models
Guys & Dolls
Pather Panchali
Bad Day at Black Rock
Les Maitres Fous
Hill 24 Doesn't Answer
Marty
Ordet
Bob Le Flambeur
Kiss Me Deadly
The Man from Laramie
Rebel Without a Cause
The Phenix City Story
Smiles of a Summer Night
Night & Fog
The Night of the Hunter
Lola Montes



 

From 1955, I'd add:  East of Eden, Picnic, I'll Cry Tomorrow, Love Me or Leave Me, Mister Roberts, Summertime, The Man with the Golden Arm, Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing, The Rose Tatoo, Trial, Blackboard Jungle, The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell, The Private War of Major Benson, To Catch a Thief, Oklahoma!, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, It's Always Fair Weather, The Seven Year Itch, Queen Bee, Daddy Long Legs, Not As a Stranger.  Whew!

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5 hours ago, Michael Rennie said:

I was never a fan of Rock music. In the 1960's, I listened to Mom's favorite radio station. The format was called MOR. Middle Of The Road. Sinatra and Company. About 1975, I went another direction. There are two kinds of music Sepiatone. Country & Western. 🎸

 

Is C & W considered music in your part of the country?

 

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On 6/3/2019 at 4:21 AM, Sepiatone said:

Many agree that the year 1969 was the "greatest" year for music, seeing as many "iconic" rock groups and artists either began that year, or released what was considered their "masterpieces" that year.

Sepiatone

I actually have a folder on my phone called 1970 that contains music in and around that year. My zone is 1966-1973 for that genre of music so I can't disagree with you.

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Quote

Having read only the review and not the book, it seems like 1939, 1979 and 1999 might all be contenders, but curious what other people might pick as the best movie year ever. 

I don't believe any particular years post 1970 can compete with the classic era. Because for the first 50 years or so, the majority of a family entertainment budget went to going to the movies. So they were much more important. The best of best appeared on the screen. Its hard for me to choose a year because I like so many eras for so many reasons.

But, it wouldn't be 1979 nor 1999. I would say 1948 is superior with: The Red Shoes, The Three Musketeers, Red River, The  Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largo, and plenty of noirs like Pitfall and Raw Deal.

But, most years in that era were like this.

     
       
       
       
       
   
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18 hours ago, Michael Rennie said:

I was never a fan of Rock music. In the 1960's, I listened to Mom's favorite radio station. The format was called MOR. Middle Of The Road. Sinatra and Company. About 1975, I went another direction. There are two kinds of music Sepiatone. Country & Western. 🎸

 

:D  Always liked that line from THE BLUES BROTHERS!  :P Actually, it was (in the movie) "We play BOTH kinds....Country, AND Western!"  ;) 

By the '60's( and '69 if getting specific) I was not only immersed in a love of rock music, but too, still a fan of '40's "big band", '30's "swing" and much of what was around from 1950 to '69.  STILL am, as I neither discard cultural likes and friends due to age. And by '69 too, was just taking an interest in the then obscure but steadily growing FUSION.  ;)

Sepiatone

 

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16 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Is C & W considered music in your part of the country?

 

James. Really. Nobody plays Jazz 'round here, that I know of. C&W is no different than Jazz. They have both changed. By the time I started enjoying Country music, Western was already rare. '70s Country was much different than '50s-'60s.

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17 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Is C & W considered music in your part of the country?

James, have you ever checked out the "Western swing music" of Bob Wills? He was clearly influenced by black jazz orchestras - he worked side by side with black men in the West Texas cotton fields and was exposed to the blues along with traditional fiddle music and the pop songs of the day. Sometimes, his band would feature a large horn section, and the fiddle, piano or guitar at any given moment might go into a solo not entirely dissimilar to something you might hear from a member of the Basie Orchestra. His band even did a cover of Goodman's "White Heat". He had to find his audience where he could get it. He was mostly too eccentric for mainstream hillbilly tastes, and jazz fans probably looked down their noses at him. But "New San Antonio Rose" became enough of a pop standard, even Bing Crosby covered it.

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