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Favorite Era for movies?


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You were wise to ask about 'era' instead of decade since there isn't any fixed definition of era.

 

But there are well defined movie eras like the silent era, pre-code era, Hays code era, post code era, but I'm sure that isn't the type of era you had in mind.

 

Ok, I know your saying; HEY, just give me an answer! Well if I had to pick a continuous 10 year period, I would pick the same one as you. See mid 30s to Mid 40s.

 

But if I was allowed 2 five years periods I would pick 37 - 41 and 46 - 50.

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the first best era was from 1924-30 in ussr.

 

then the next best was 1931 - 1935 horror movie cycle

 

a window opened in 1945-48 which ended by blacklist

 

after that there was a great british era from postwar to 1963

 

after jfk got bumped movies pretty much hit the toilet

 

and had another nice wave of great new york filmmaking 68-75

 

then tv took over and that was that.

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> {quote:title=LonesomePolecat wrote:}{quote}I love movies from all decades, but for some reason I am most inclined to watch a movie I have never heard of before if it's from the mid '30s - mid '40s. But one of my friends prefers the movies of the '50s. What decade/era is your favorite to watch?

American *black & white* movies from about 1944 to 1958, as long as they aren't biopics or westerns. Not only was that the Golden Era of film noir, but it was also when some of the best general dramas were made: Intruder in the Dust, All About Eve, Executive Suite, Time Limit, and too many others to count.

 

The black & white qualification is important, though, because most color movies of that period were too hung up on cinematography and spectacle, and not enough on story and character. Obviously there are plenty of exceptions, but not nearly enough of them.

 

 

 

 

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My favorite era is between 1929 and 1941. Close to the first half of that is the pre-Code period, when films had far more freedom to discuss issues, gender roles and so on. Much of that disappeared after mid-1934 thanks to industry self-censorship, but by that time the studio system was a well-oiled machne, and the romantic comedy was in its prime. The entire '29-'41 time was probably the best in history for actresses, as they carried more weight at the box office than they ever did again, and thus were given more substantial roles.

 

 

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What I have a problem with is the notion of LIMITING myself to a particular "era". In other threads of this nature, I usually pick the '30's to '40's, based on fashion and cars. But for overall moviemaking, EVERY era has it's gems AND junk.

 

 

If I had to give answer as to my favorite type of MUSIC, that answer would be similar.

 

 

I find that people who have limitd tastes, or deliberately limit their tastes, usually don't HAVE any taste to begin with!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Sepiatone--

Sorry I didn't explain it very well. I love movies from every era, from A TRIP TO THE MOON to IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT to THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES to THE APARTMENT to THE STING to THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER to THE KING'S SPEECH. Love every era. Not what I was trying to say. Sorry you don't think I have any taste. :)

 

I was trying to say, yes, we all love movies from all over the place, but if you given a choice between an unknown movie from 1926 vs 1937 vs 1949 vs 1958 vs 1969 vs 1977 vs 1988, which one would you pick? I've just found that for me the 1937 would win. And it's pretty cool that a lot of you agree. There's something about that era between when Hollywood started figuring out how to make sound movies til WWII-- love it. But, like I said, my favorite movies spread all over the place.

 

Edited by: LonesomePolecat on Jul 28, 2013 5:25 PM

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Yep, I too appreciate movies made in every era, however IF I'd have to pick just one era of American films that I find I especially like, I suppose I'd have to say it would be films made between 1946 and 1963, and during the time in which the Second World War had instilled a sense of "reality"(for want of a better term) in a world-weary American public's consciousness, and yet NOT so "world-weary" that the typically American trait of "Optimism" had also been completely washed away in the process.

 

And so, I believe THIS is why my top two favorites films have always been "The Best Years of Our Lives" and "The Apartment", which of course are films that while are very observant of the realities of human failings ALSO have uplifting and hopeful endings.

 

(...well, it's either THAT or I've always just been a sentimental young and now OLD fool) ;)

 

LOL

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> {quote:title=LonesomePolecat wrote:}{quote}Sepiatone--

> Sorry I didn't explain it very well. I love movies from every era, from A TRIP TO THE MOON to IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT to THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES to THE APARTMENT to THE STING to THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER to THE KING'S SPEECH. Love every era. Not what I was trying to say. Sorry you don't think I have any taste. :)

>

> I was trying to say, yes, we all love movies from all over the place, but if you given a choice between an unknown movie from 1926 vs 1937 vs 1949 vs 1958 vs 1969 vs 1977 vs 1988, which one would you pick? I've just found that for me the 1937 would win. And it's pretty cool that a lot of you agree. There's something about that era between when Hollywood started figuring out how to make sound movies til WWII-- love it. But, like I said, my favorite movies spread all over the place.

>

> Edited by: LonesomePolecat on Jul 28, 2013 5:25 PM

>

Lonesome, If I were give a choice of an unknown movie, I too would pick 1937. It would be a Sure bet compared to the other decades.

 

 

I too like THE APARTMENT very much, love Jack Lemmon in that movie. It seems like a movie that has a 'good fit' where everything just comes together.

 

 

Twink

 

 

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Nineteen Thirty-Nine, Nineteen Thirty-Schmine. Give me this lineup from 1950 any day.

 

711 Ocean Drive,

All About Eve,

Armored Car Robbery,

The Asphalt Jungle,

Backfire,

The Baron of Arizona,

The Big Lift,

Born to Be Bad,

Born Yesterday,

The Breaking Point,

Bright Leaf,

Caged,

Convicted,

D.O.A.,

The Damned Don't Cry,

Dark City,

Dial 1119,

Edge of Doom,

The File on Thelma Jordon,

The Glass Menagerie,

Gun Crazy

Highway 301,

House by the River,

I Was a Shoplifter,

In a Lonely Place,

The Killer That Stalked New York,

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,

A Lady Without Passport,

The Lawless,

A Life of Her Own,

The Man Who Cheated Himself,

Mister 880,

Mystery Street,

Night and the City,

No Man of Her Own,

No Way Out,

One Way Street,

Outrage,

Panic in the Streets,

Quicksand,

The Secret Fury,

Shadow on the Wall,

Side Street,

The Sound of Fury,

Stage Fright,

Sunset Boulevard,

Tension,

Three Came Home,

Three Secrets,

To Please a Lady,

The Underworld Story,

Union Station,

Where Danger Lives,

Where the Sidewalk Ends,

Winchester '73, (I'll even throw in a western)

Woman in Hiding,

Woman on the Run,

Young Man with a Horn,

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Are you meaning an unseen movie WITHOUT knowing the cast, or even the subject matter? THOSE, before "era", would matter to me more. What YEAR it was made doesn't matter much to me if the subject isn't interesting. OR if the cast doesn't appeal to me.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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My favorite eras : '39 to '75. Half 'studio system' and half 'new Hollywood'. I'm also a fan of some silent films. Fritz Lang's Metroplois and F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu.

 

 

I watched 'Phantom' on TCM last night. I loved the color tinting and the score. Couldn't really understand the movie. But I watched it from beginning to end without leaving the room.

 

 

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> {quote:title=Sepiatone wrote:}{quote}

> Are you meaning an unseen movie WITHOUT knowing the cast, or even the subject matter? THOSE, before "era", would matter to me more. What YEAR it was made doesn't matter much to me if the subject isn't interesting. OR if the cast doesn't appeal to me.

>

> Sepiatone

>

I can't win. What I meant was that if none of them had any actors or filmmakers you were too familiar with and they were all the same subject matter. Let's see if that works.

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> {quote:title=AndyM108 wrote:}{quote}Nineteen Thirty-Nine, Nineteen Thirty-Schmine. Give me this lineup from 1950 any day.

>

Andy, those are awesome movies. The '50s were a good solid decade, especially, for me, the early pre-widescreen '50s.

 

Another great year for me is 1962 with classics like Lawrence of Arabia, The Miracle Worker, To Kill a Mockingbird, Dr No, Days of Wine and Roses, Birdman of Alcatraz, The Longest Day, Cape Fear, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and The Manchurian Candidate

 

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> {quote:title=LonesomePolecat wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=AndyM108 wrote:}{quote}Nineteen Thirty-Nine, Nineteen Thirty-Schmine. Give me this lineup from 1950 any day.

> Andy, those are awesome movies. The '50s were a good solid decade, especially, for me, the early pre-widescreen '50s.

>

> Another great year for me is 1962 with classics like Lawrence of Arabia, The Miracle Worker, To Kill a Mockingbird, Dr No, Days of Wine and Roses, Birdman of Alcatraz, The Longest Day, Cape Fear, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and The Manchurian Candidate

>

Even though I like (and even love) many movies from the 1960's to the present, I do think that the black & white pre-widescreen films before that were far less fixated on cinematic gimmickry, concentrated more on plot and character development, and hence were on average much more compelling. Since I believe that 1962 was the first year that the majority of films were shot in color, that year makes a convenient cutoff point to mark the end of my favorite era, an era which began roughly in 1944 with the coming of so many noirs.

 

As a crude generality, I think that the split between those who favor the 1935-45 "era" and those like me who prefer the decade+ that followed it, primarily depends on whether one more enjoys screwball comedies, musicals, costume dramas, and "romantic" adventure stories, or whether one favors more realistic dramas that are far more graphic in dealing with the less glamourous side of present-day humanity. There's plenty of overlap between the two "eras" with regard to the dominant genres presented, but as a whole it's pretty obvious that with the end of the war there was a clear turn towards gritty and away from pretty, at least in the black & white films.

 

Of course the pre-codes gave us much realism, too, and at their best their take on political issues (Wild Boys of the Road; I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang; Heroes For Sale) can't be beat, but those are more the exceptions than the rule. And just to take another pair of outstanding examples from each of those periods, there's no way that The Public Enemy or Little Caesar, great (and I mean great) as they are, can seriously match films like The Killers or Out of the Past for either storyline or character depth.

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the 1st era was Birth of a Nation / Intolerence which showed what movies could do.

The 2nd era 1919 -1929 in germany was perhaps the best ever. German silents were the best in the world. USA tried every trick in the book to bring down germany & give USA credit they are great at destroying competition. 1. they will buy a movie & not show it 2. edit the movie to ruin it 3. buy the person who made the movie 4 buy the studio that made the movie...... Ol USA never say die spirit made bad awful formula movies & bought foreign stars & directors & forced them into formulas. One way or the other USA will destroy competition. German Expressionism turned into realism all done superbly. When all the german actors & directors/craft people came to hollywood they lifted hollywood onto their shoulders to create the greatest moments in hollywood

Lang, curtis berhardt, billy wilder, w lee wilder, robert siodmak, frank wisbar, edgar g ulmer, schuftan, william thiele, douglas sirk, william dietterle, peter lorre, and many more

to heights 1945-1950 after which began a slow decline into a dreadful depth in the mid 60's

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It's still basically the same thing. You can't win? I wouldn't say that. I've watched many an old pic that had a cast of actors/acresses that I never heard of, and STILL don't know who the hell they were. Usually pre-codes. Many I enjoyed, some that stunk to high heaven.

 

 

So in response, I'll say the subject matter is a bit more important.

 

 

In response to your 1962 comments: Great picks. And a great "talk-to-the-hand" retort to all those "I hate post 1960 movies" crumudgeons.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Andy has mentioned one of my favorite years, 1950 (and he didn't even mention THE FURIES), and LonesomePolecat has mentioned another, 1962.

 

 

1940-1966 would cover many favorite films from a variety of countries, but if you're talking about costumes, sets, and cars, the 30s are hard to beat.

 

 

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> {quote:title=AndyM108 wrote:}{quote} I do think that the black & white pre-widescreen films before that were far less fixated on cinematic gimmickry, concentrated more on plot and character development, and hence were on average much more compelling.

Other than the fact that the king of movie gimmickry, Citizen Kane, was in 1941, I agree.

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> {quote:title=Sepiatone wrote:}{quote}

> It's still basically the same thing. You can't win? I wouldn't say that. I've watched many an old pic that had a cast of actors/acresses that I never heard of, and STILL don't know who the hell they were. Usually pre-codes. Many I enjoyed, some that stunk to high heaven.

>

> So in response, I'll say the subject matter is a bit more important.

>

>

> In response to your 1962 comments: Great picks. And a great "talk-to-the-hand" retort to all those "I hate post 1960 movies" crumudgeons.

>

>

> Sepiatone

>

But if the subject matter was the same for every movie, which era would you pick, hmmmmm?

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> {quote:title=LonesomePolecat wrote:}{quote}

> I can't win. What I meant was that if none of them had any actors or filmmakers you were too familiar with and they were all the same subject matter. Let's see if that works.

 

I do not know if it would be popular here but there is a technique used in a forum which I regularly read.

 

There is a science fiction story in which aliens have captured people and given them jobs to perform in order to receive more-than-subsistence-level food. It is on this basis that posters will ask things of a nature: "If your job was to read aloud all of the books of a particular author then which author would you pick?"

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