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1942 - thoughts


dagoldenage
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Several months ago, I started a post about 1940, and a few posters voted for their favorites of other years. So here are some thoughts of mine on 1942.


Overall, I thought it was a good year with anywhere from 15-20 movies that were at least very good, if not better. There was a good variety as the war movies hadn't hit hard yet.


 


NOTE: I did NOT include Casablanca and In Which We Serve because they were eligible for the Academy Awards the following year.


 


 


Top 10 movies: 


 


1. Yankee Doodle Dandy


2. Holiday Inn


3. Pride of the Yankees, The


4. Mrs. Miniver


5. Kings Row


6. Random Harvest


7. Now, Voyager


8. Man Who Came to Dinner, The


9. For Me and My Gal


10. Johnny Eager


 


Best of the rest: In This Our Life; Saboteur; Desperate Journey; All Through the Night; To Be or Not to Be; Roxie Hart.


Overrated: Magnificent Ambersons


Underrated: All Through the Night


 


 


Best Actor: James Cagney (Yankee Doodle Dandy)


Best Actress: Bette Davis (Now, Voyager)


Best Supporting Actor: Ronald Reagan (Kings Row)


Best Supporting Actress: Susan Peters (Random Harvest)


 


Titles watched: 99


 

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1942 was a very good year (the year that Geneviève Bujold was born) 

My two favorite films from 1942 were The Major and the Minor and To Be or Not to Be.

Beside Genevieve we said hello to a few others:

 

Roger Ebert

Harrison Ford 

Sir Paul McCartney

Barbra Streisand

Martin Scorsese and 

Madeline Kahn among others.

 

We said good bye to:

 

Carole Lombard

John Barrymore

George M. Cohan

Edna May Oliver 

Buck Jones....

 

A few other films that opened:

 

"Bambi" debuted and scared the daylights out of some kids.

 

Gary Cooper bought us to tears in "Pride of the Yankees"

 

Tracy and Hepburn fell in love on screen in "Woman of the Year" and also off screen..

 

Alan Ladd shot to stardom in "This Gun for Hire"

 

and a minor classic premiered "Went the Day Well" { can you say "The Eagle Has Landed" }. If you have never seen the excellent film, do yourself a favor....

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While 1942 was a good year for films, I think there was an overall dropoff in quality compared to the previous three years in Hollywood.

 

To go with just one film as my favourite of the year, it would probably be Gentleman Jim, one of the most exuberant, high spirited "feel good" films I've ever seen, with a infectious energy courtesy director Raoul Walsh and an enthusiastic cast. Errol Flynn may have given the performance of his career in the title role, and Ward Bond is bombastically magnificent as John L. Sullivan.

 

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I'll have to agree with Tom, Gentleman Jim is also my favorite film of 1942.  Because, of course, my boy Errol.  I also agree with Tom that this is probably Errol's best performance of his career.  I've read that Errol considered this film his own personal favorite of all the films he made during his illustrious career.  It is definitely among my top 5 Errol Flynn films. 

 

In addition to Gentleman Jim, I also liked these 1942 offerings:

 

Saboteur

Holiday Inn

For Me and My Gal

The Talk of the Town

Bambi (even though this, Dumbo and The Lion King might be the saddest Disney movies ever)

The Big Street

Desperate Journey

The Man Who Came to Dinner

Now, Voyager

The Palm Beach Story

Saludos Amigos

Woman of the Year

Tarzan's New York Adventure

You Were Never Lovelier

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The Gentleman Jim choice is interesting.

 

I always think it says much when a big fan of someone chooses a specific performance as their favorite, as in the case of Errol Flynn here.

 

I also enjoyed his performance and the movie, and think it was the best performance by Ward Bond.

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Several months ago, I started a post about 1940, and a few posters voted for their favorites of other years. So here are some thoughts of mine on 1942.

Overall, I thought it was a good year with anywhere from 15-20 movies that were at least very good, if not better. There was a good variety as the war movies hadn't hit hard yet.

 

 

 

I like your list, 1942 was indeed a good year. I would give the Best Actress Oscar to the actual winner, Greer Garson in Mrs. Miniver.  I'm not sure about your choices for supporting awards, either. I liked Susan Peters well enough, but I thought King's Row, which I love, would have been a much better film with other actors -- apart from Ann Sheridan, who is terrific! For supporting actress, I would go with the actual winner, Teresa Wright, or, if not her, than Dame May Whitty in the same film (Mrs. Miniver). For supporting actor, I think one of the great supporting performances of all time is Frank Morgan in 1942's Tortilla Flat. I would also give some sort of award to Jimmy Durante for The Man Who Came to Dinner. Other enjoyable films of 1942 included My Gal Sal, The Magnificent Ambersons, and To Be or Not to Be. And in horror, The Ghost of Frankenstein and The Mummy's Tomb.

 

And Tortilla Flat should get an award fothe best dog scene in any movie, ever: the dogs in the Redwood Forest having a vision of St. Francis.

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The Gentleman Jim choice is interesting.

 

I always think it says much when a big fan of someone chooses a specific performance as their favorite, as in the case of Errol Flynn here.

 

I also enjoyed his performance and the movie, and think it was the best performance by Ward Bond.

 

I'm also a big fan of Gentleman Jim and it may well be Flynn best all around (balanced) performance.    Ward Bond was very good it it also,  but I'm not so sure about best performance.  I mean Bond was in around 100 movies so with someone with so many films it makes it very difficult for me to say which one was best.   But I don't remember Bond ever giving a poor performance.

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Okay, also counting CASABLANCA and IN WHICH WE SERVE as 1943 pictures, here are  my Top 10:

 

#1 CAT PEOPLE

#2 THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS

#3 YANKEE DOODLE DANDY

#4 THE PALM BEACH STORY

#5 TO BE OR NOT TO BE

#6 NOW, VOYAGER

#7 WOMAN OF THE YEAR

#8 MRS. MINIVER

#9 BAMBI

#10 GENTLEMAN JIM

 

Best Actor: James Cagney, YANKEE DOODLE DANDY

Best Actress: Agnes Moorehead, THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS

Best Director: Preston Sturges, THE PALM BEACH STORY

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1942 wasn't great, but it wasn't as bad as 1943.

 

1942 Top 10:

 

1. The Hard Way (my favorite Lupino movie) 
2. The Glass Key
3. This Gun For Hire
4. Casablanca

5. In This Our Life (Bette Davis as pure evil)
6. Johnny Eager
7. Tales of Manhattan (another movie that TCM needs to get from Fox)
8. Moontide (I'll take Gabin and Lupino over any screen couple)
9. Orchestra Wives
10. Rings on Her Finger (another great Laird Cregar performance)

Best of the rest: Now, Voyager, Juke Girl, The Man Who Came to Dinner, To Be Or Not To Be, All Through the Night (dirty Nattzis and Fifth Col-yoo-mists!)

Underrated: Everything from 5 through 10 on the above list

Worst Movie: The sound version of The Gold Rush. What on Earth was Charlie Chaplin thinking? It's as if he took a perfect prime rib and dunked it in cold brine and mayonnaise.

Best Actor: Humphrey Bogart (Casablanca)
Best Actress: Ida Lupino (The Hard Way)
Supporting Actor: Laird Cregar (This Gun For Hire)
Supporting Actress: Joan Leslie (The Hard Way)

 

But 1943 was like jumping off a cliff:  Even if you moved Casablanca from 1942 it wouldn't change things very much.

 

1. Old Acquaintance - the only movie of 1943 I'd have put on a top 10 list in any other year.
2. Crime Doctor - the first of the highly enjoyable Warner Baxter series
3. Mr. Lucky
4. Stormy Weather - a piece of fluff, but what a cast!

5. Frank Capra's Why We Fight series - propaganda, but at least it was up front about it and hence much more interesting 
6. The Dark Tower
7. After Midnight With Boston B l a c k i e - another great comic detective series, featuring one of my favorite B-movie actors (Chester Morris)
8. Heaven Can Wait - damn, did Laird Cregar ever die way too young!
9. Thank Your Lucky Stars - no plot whatever, but of course that wasn't the point for this all-star cast
10. What a Woman! - only because of Roz Russell's performance

Best of the rest: none
Underrated: none
Overrated: Shadow of a Doubt

Best Actor: Cary Grant (Mr. Lucky)
Best Actress: Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins (Old Acquaintance)
Supporting Actor: Fats Waller (Stormy Weather)
Supporting Actress: can't think of any that stood out



 

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