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1939 - is it your favorite


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I have three questions about 1939:

did the year live up to expectations for you

is it your favorite year for movies

and what were your favorites?


For me:


Top 10 movies:


1. Gone With the Wind

2. The Wizard of Oz

3. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

4. Ninotchka

5. Love Affair

6. Stagecoach

7. Dark Victory

8. Goodbye, Mr. Chips

9. Wuthering Heights

10. Beau Geste


Best Actor: James Stewart (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington)

Best Actress: Vivian Leigh (Gone With the Wind)

Supporting Actor: Brian Donlevy (Beau Geste)

Supporting Actress: Claire Trevor (Stagecoach)


Titles watched: 120

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There's a lot to like about 1939 for movies. Along with some of the usual suspects mentioned I love the 2 Basil Rathbone / Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes films, Son Of Frankenstein (Rathbone again) and especially The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Charles Laughton gets my best actor Oscar for sure). P.S. 1939 was also the comeback year for my favorite actor William Powell after having some very serious health issues.


Edited by: mrroberts on Nov 5, 2013 1:04 AM

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I'm amazed by your having seen 120 films for 1939! That's quite a lot.


*did the year live up to expectations for you*


Yes, I'd say 1939 deserves its title as the "best year in film."


*is it your favorite year for movies*


No, not at all. Like "finance," I'm a film noir fan, so that makes it impossible for me to like 1939 the very best. My favorite year would have to be one of the post-WWII years.


*and what were your favorites?*


This is what I have seen:


1. Only Angels Have Wings

2. Destry Rides Again

3. Stagecoach

4. Gunga Din

5. The Hound of the Baskervilles

6. The Roaring Twenties

7. Son of Frankenstein

8. Frontier Marshal

9. The Cat and the Canary

10. Gone with the Wind


11. Midnight

12. Ninotchka

13. Love Affair

14. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

15. The Man They Could Not Hang

16. The Return of Doctor X

17. Dark Victory

18. Five Came Back

19. Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence

20. Maisie

21. Each Dawn I Die

22. Another Thin Man

23. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

24. Day-Time Wife

25. Invisible Stripes

26. Wuthering Heights

27. Drums Along the Mohawk

28. Reno

29. Dodge City

30. At the Circus

31. Young Mr. Lincoln

32. The Rains Came

33. Beau Geste

34. Jamaica Inn

35. The Real Glory

36. Let Us Live

37. The Women

38. Remember?

39. Allegheny Uprising

40. The Wizard of Oz

41. Blind Alley

42. They Made Me a Criminal

43. In Name Only

44. Tower of London

45. Made for Each Other

46. The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

47. Goodbye, Mr. Chips


Best Actor: James Stewart (Cary Grant, Henry Fonda)

Best Actress: Vivien Leigh (Greta Garbo, Bette Davis)

Supporting Actor: Thomas Mitchell (Nigel Bruce, John Barrymore)

Supporting Actress: Gladys George (Edna May Oliver, Hattie McDaniel)

Best Director: John Ford (Victor Fleming, Howard Hawks)

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Yes I would say that 1939 could be listed as the greatest year, since I like most classic film genres....but any year pre 1950 or so could be in my book. While I think that screwball comedy was past it's peak, the year had many great comedies. Besides NINOTCHKA, I would rank also, IDIOTS DELIGHT, THE WOMEN, and especially MIDNIGHT,.among others.

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I had no expectations of 1939, because when I started watching movies, I don't recall it having the label of "best year" for movies.


I have no year that I think is the best. I like and dislike films from every year.


Favorites are THE WIZARD OF OZ and GONE WITH THE WIND, Easily.

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There are four movies from 1941 that I consider great, not merely very good:


Citizen Kane -- the greatest of them all

The Lady Eve

The Maltese Falcon

The Shanghai Gesture


The last one is debatable. It's an odd number, but so fascinating that I have to include it.


If the very good movies are included, I think 1941 rivals 1939.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great list of favorites, dagoldenage. There are other years which seem equally good. 1962 was great, 1950 was also very good, and the excellence of 1941 has already been mentioned. 1958 was strong, although the Oscar nominations didn't reflect the best films.


If you're a film noir fan, however, 1947 has claims to being one of the top years.

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