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Favorite Film Era


dougiezerts
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Mine would probably be the 30's and 40's (I'm particularly into classic horror films of that period).

 

I find the 30's the most interesting because of the suggestion of what could not be clearly depicted on-screen. Some of those pre-code movies are outrageous with what they suggest and such. Sometimes the suggestion of naughtiness is more scintillating than the 60's era of permissiveness.

 

Try watching *Baby Face* with Barbara Stanwyck...it's outrageous how she basically screws her way to the top of the business world, even with guys in the office who are bow-wows. :D

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Much of this may depend on your definition of "era" and its length. My favorite movie period is between 1929 and 1941, but if I had to divide it into pre-Code (1929 to mid-1934) and post-Code, I'm uncertain which I would choose.

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I'd have to cite two that are of the most interest to me. The first is the 30s, but that is because when I started watching movies on TV, this was the decade from which most of the movies that appealed to me originated. The Warner and Universal films in particular spoke to me. I was also a fan of the old vehicles that were featured in such things, something about the pre-Raymond Loewy streamlined design revolution always attracted my attention.

 

Of equal appeal to me are the films of the 70s, the period in which the filmmakers were to a great degree my contemporaries and many of them raised on the films that appealed to me but who still had external influences from the school of life.

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Since I like many of the movies made in each of the eras mentioned, it would be hard for me to nail one down, too. I like many of the '30's movies(pre-code) for the designs of the sets and the furnishings, as well as the story content. Into the '40's, it's the improvements in cinematography and the advent of "noir". The '50's tried hard on the contemporary front, in spite of some still strict production codes, the lesser known and obscure studios succeeding better in that area. In the '60's, the codes loosened up a bit, and the story lines became more controversial. Although by the later '60's, cinematography became way too loose and grainy in some movies. By the '70's, all bets were off, people could talk like people, sex wasn't as taboo and portrayed more realistically. Although at times it seemed many went way overboard with their new freedom.

 

 

I'll play it safe and say my favorite film era is the 20th century.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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1891-2012+

 

But more specifically...a moment of interest, a genuine "favorite" period, and an endorsement.

 

1891-1910: I disagree with the notion that silent films are fundamentally different from sound films but these earliest ones certainly are. They're mostly novelties but they have a mysterious, otherworldly quality that I like.

 

America in the 1950s: The peak of artistic expression in the old studio system. Forget about HUAC, there was still more social criticism here, and deeper feeling about people and American life, than any of the prior decades and the Production Code was disintegrating well before Psycho.

 

The World 1990-Today: Because cinema is still alive and well.

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I'll play it safe and say my favorite film era is the 20th century.

 

I was originally going to post something very similar. About the only period that I dislike is the cinema of the last decade or so. It's not even the films, it's the way that they look. Something happened to production designers and they have suddenly decided that the world no longer exists with a full spectrum of color. Everything now is heavily tinted with amber and teal mostly, with movies stepping back to the two-strip Technicolor period.

 

I keep thinking that I have to remove my sunglasses.

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Films have only been around for about 100 years. So by "film era" do you mean decade?

 

If so, then I would say any movie from about 1933-1946. I think those movies were totally the best. Of course movies after that are also awesome.

 

Edited by: Jezebelle on Sep 25, 2012 1:21 PM

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I want to concur with JonasEB. My favorite film era is the 1890s thru today. I am totally amazed by the way film and cinema in general has captivated me from its infancy to the present day. Attempting to pick points in time which is my favorite era is very hard for me.

 

This thread reminds me of a thread I was thinking of starting last month. My thread was going to ask everyone in TCM Nation to pick one film from each decade as their favorite from 1900 to today. But I decided not to because we were having a spate of "favorite list" threads and I did not want to have another "favorite list" thread which would not receive traffic and participation.

 

I do know I would have more films to consider for my favorite film era if the senior managers of the studios had better decision-making skills and had some sort of historical sense by taking better care of the films they had produced and not allowed so many titles to deteriorate to dust, be misplaced due to negligence, and having the film negatives destroyed.

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> {quote:title=dougiezerts wrote:

> }{quote}What's your favorite film era? In other words, what period do you most enjoy watching films that were made during?

I like pretty much everything up to about 1959, with interest declining a bit from the mid-1940's on, but to pick out a ten-year period, I'd say my favorite would be about 1927 through 1937.

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Last night(or early this morning?), TCM showed two examples of what I disliked about some films made in the late '60's and early '70's. *The Landlord* (1968) and *The Lords of Flatbush* 1974). While good movies as far as content and performances go, they both LOOK as if filmed with a Super 8mm home movie camera, and sound as if recorded with a portable tape recorder. I suppose the directors were trying for something that wasn't successfully pulled off. I would blame TCM for getting bad copies if not for the fact I've seen both these flicks on other stations and they always looked bad.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Sepiatone, THE LORDS OF FLATBUSH was in fact shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm, according to Ben M's outro. I do not like the "70s sludge" look of so many films of this era--browns, greens and yellows predominate. "Natural sound" becomes a fetish at this time, so dialogue is often hard to hear. Joseph Gelmis collected interviews in a book called THE DIRECTOR AS SUPERSTAR, and directors at every skill level, including the non-existent, considered themselves the real stars of their films. Screenplays suffer because they are not seen as important; the story which makes sense could be seen as inauthentic. The more the directors tried to show off their genius, the more their films now tend to seem dated, examples of a not very interesting period style.

 

 

To my mind, the most interesting years are from, say, 1939-1965. The stylishness of 1940s cinematography amazes me, and there are many great stars and directors doing fine work. I agree with JonasEB about the 1950s, a rich period in Hollywood history. The 50s and early 60s was a great era for film in many countries.

 

 

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