Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
LawrenceA

Top Ten Films of...

Recommended Posts

1940

 

1. His Girl Friday

2. The Shop Around the Corner

3. Foreign Correspondent

4. Waterloo Bridge

5. Christmas in July

6. The Thief of Bagdad

7. Remember the Night

8. The Westerner

9. The Philadelphia Story

10. The Grapes of Wrath

11. Contraband

12. I Love You Again

13. City for Conquest

14. The Bank Dick

15. Strange Cargo

16. The Letter

17. The Mark of Zorro

18. Night Train to Munich

19. Rebecca

20. Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise

21. Brother Orchid

22. Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum

23. The Sea Hawk

24. Black Friday

25. Seven Sinners

26. Kitty Foyle

27. It All Came True

28. Go West

29. British Intelligence

30. One Night in the Tropics

31. You'll Find Out

32. When the Daltons Rode

33. Chad Hanna

34. The Texas Rangers Ride Again

35. My Favorite Wife

36. They Drive by Night

37. The Invisible Woman

38. The Doctor Takes a Wife

39. Murder Over New York

40. The Invisible Man Returns

41. The Devil Bat

42. Johnny Apollo

43. Boom Town

44. Virginia City

45. Charlie Chan in Panama

46. All This, and Heaven Too

47. Stranger on the Third Floor

48. The Ghost Breakers

49. Green Hell

50. The Great McGinty

51. Dark Command

52. The Long Voyage Home

53. Babies for Sale

54. Torrid Zone

55. The Return of Frank James

56. Before I Hang

57. The House Across the Bay

58. Haunted Honeymoon

59. Gold Rush Maisie

60. The Lady in Question

61. The Mummy's Hand

62. Vigil in the Night

63. Third Finger, Left Hand

64. Road to Singapore

65. Arizona

66. I Take This Woman

67. Too Many Husbands

68. My Little Chickadee

69. Pride and Prejudice

70. North West Mounted Police

71. The Earl of Chicago

72. Congo Maisie

73. Half a Sinner

74. Brigham Young

 

Gosh, Scott, are these in order of like? Surprised to see P&P so far down the list. Good thing you-know-who is not around at present to scold you. ;-) In fact, maybe I'll scold you. Years ago the dear one had a thread devoted to the film and I had the impression that it was generally liked among the group. That was one of the first films I discussed at length on the boards.

 

I like your high ratings for The Letter, Remember the Night, and I Love You Again. Big faves chez moi.

 

Always admire your lists ... and to be able to rate them as you do. Great hair splitting (in a good sense) to determine the spot for each and every one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[bogie, There's an echo of the scene you're referring to in Two Women.]

 

I did find the quote I was thinking of, about The Grapes of Wrath novel/film. It's from Andrew Sarris' The American Cinema. He writes, "Where Steinbeck depicts oppression by dehumanizing his characters into creatures of abject necessity, Ford evoked nostalgia by humanizing Steinbeck's economic instincts into heroic champions of an agrarian order of family and community."

 

Of course the above makes sense -- if there's one thing that comes across in all of Ford's films, it's the centrality of community and family.

 

I'd forgotten about that scene in Two Women, Swithin.  I can't imagine Ford tackling that even in the 60's.

 

Anyway, it is a fool's game to start to compare a film to its novel when trying to judge one film against another.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually prefer the film to the novel.  I read a very interesting comparison between the two -- can't remember where, if I do, I'll post the source.

Oh, I don't agree. The ending of the novel is completely devastating. It really brings the point into focus that these people are doomed, because of the way the market economy is structured. Probably Steinbeck's most damning, most socialist commentary in all of his writings. So for the film to just neglect that means it never comes full circle and the story's true thesis never plays out no matter how great Ford and the players are. Every time I watch the movie, I have to turn it off when Tom disappears and imagine the rest the way the author intended.

 

If I could, I would hire Edward Scissorhands to cut out the truck scene at the end. Edward, if you're reading my post, call me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy, interesting choices. I'm glad to see your love for THE LETTER; you're not alone on that. Also another shout out to THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT.

 

I haven't seen CHRISTMAS IN JULY, BABIES FOR SALE, REMEMBER THE NIGHT, or GIRLS OF THE ROAD. More for me to look for.

BABIES FOR SALE is a Columbia B-film Glenn Ford made when he was just starting at the studio. 

 

REMEMBER THE NIGHT recently aired on TCM and will return to the airwaves in January for the Fred MacMurray Star of the Month tribute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I don't agree. The ending of the novel is completely devastating.

The end of the novel is devastating, I agree. John Ford and screenwriter Nunnally Johnson did indeed change the thrust of the book and created something quite different. But what they created is something special. There would have been no point for John Ford to have directed the film, if it was to be true to the novel. Frtiz Lang would have been a better choice.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The end of the novel is devastating, I agree. John Ford and screenwriter Nunnally Johnson did indeed change the thrust of the book and created something quite different. But what they created is something special. There would have been no point for John Ford to have directed the film, if it was to be true to the novel. Frtiz Lang would have been a better choice.

I still don't agree. Sorry. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, Lawrence -- Frank, there's a few high up on your list I haven't seen: CONTRABAND, and I LOVE YOU AGAIN.

Contraband is a pretty entertaining espionage pic by Powell & Pressburger.  I'm a big fan of Conrad Veidt, too.

 

I Love You Again is one of my very favorite Powell & Loy flicks.  Powell is a trip in this one.

We're going to wait a couple of days before we do 1941. Wednesday evening or Thursday, whichever is better for you.

 

It's your thread. I shall post whenever you do.

 

Hi, Swithin -- The end of the novel is devastating, I agree. John Ford and screenwriter Nunnally Johnson did indeed change the thrust of the book and created something quite different. But what they created is something special. There would have been no point for John Ford to have directed the film, if it was to be true to the novel. Frtiz Lang would have been a better choice.

 

Great comment.  Ford is poetic and mostly hopeful.  Lang is usually the opposite.

 

Bonjour, Laffite -- Gosh, Scott, are these in order of like?

 

Of course!  I'm that ridiculous.

 

Surprised to see P&P so far down the list. Good thing you-know-who is not around at present to scold you. ;-) In fact, maybe I'll scold you. Years ago the dear one had a thread devoted to the film and I had the impression that it was generally liked among the group. That was one of the first films I discussed at length on the boards.

 

:D  I don't dislike Pride and Prejudice.  It's just not my kind of film.  I'm just amazed Sweet T loves a horror film so much.

 

I like your high ratings for The Letter, Remember the Night, and I Love You Again. Big faves chez moi.

 

All are terrific films.  You exhibit good taste, as usual.

 

Always admire your lists ... and to be able to rate them as you do. Great hair splitting (in a good sense) to determine the spot for each and every one.

 

Thanks.  It's simply my sports background.  I'm used to ranking teams and players.  If you have ever done fantasy sports, you are forced to make decisions on individuals and live with those decisions.  You can't just say, "here are my favorite ten players, in no particular order."  You have to make a decision.  So you have my fantasy classic film draft board. :D

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I've been trying to do my runner-ups for the 50's and up, and it's been interesting. I'm up to '65 now, and I've picked some weird ones. It's imperative to remember that it's favorites and not necessarily the best films. The two don't always match up for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I've been trying to do my runner-ups for the 50's and up, and it's been interesting. I'm up to '65 now, and I've picked some weird ones. It's imperative to remember that it's favorites and not necessarily the best films. The two don't always match up for me.

 

I've been doing ten bests not favourites.  Not that it matters that much.

 

So, I really meant it when Tarzan and His Mate made my top ten of 1934!

 

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I've been trying to do my runner-ups for the 50's and up, and it's been interesting. I'm up to '65 now, and I've picked some weird ones. It's imperative to remember that it's favorites and not necessarily the best films. The two don't always match up for me.

It's kind of a balancing act...because if it's a favorite, then it has to be 'best' in some way (at least on a personal level). I've been trying to see, going over my lists, if I have any genre biases. But I haven't really found any, since I appreciate films in all genres. However, I am not really including non-fiction (documentary) films here..and when we get to the 70s, which I feel is the best decade for horror after the collapse of the production code, I do have more horror titles showing up on my lists during those years.

 

I am going to post my 1941 selections later this morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are no pure "bests." It's all favorites -- even the title of this part of the board is called "Your Favorites."  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Screen%2Bshot%2B2015-12-20%2Bat%2B6.30.5

 

My list:

 

1. CITIZEN KANE* (drama)
2. HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (drama)
3. BALL OF FIRE (screwball comedy)

4. THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES (romantic comedy)
5. THAT HAMILTON WOMAN (British historical biographical drama)
6. THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON (biographical western)
7. THE LADY EVE (screwball comedy)
8. THE SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS (literary adaptation)
9. SWAMP WATER (gothic drama)
10. THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER (literary adaptation) and THE WOLF MAN (horror)

 

Honorable mentions:

MEET JOHN DOE (drama)

COTTAGE TO LET (British spy thriller)

HELLZAPOPPIN' (musical comedy)

HERE COMES MR. JORDAN (romantic comedy fantasy)

BACK STREET (romance drama)

BEDTIME STORY (romantic comedy)

DIVE BOMBER (aviation drama)

 

Notable Performers: Jean Arthur; Charles Coburn; Barbara Stanwyck; Walter Huston; and Beulah Bondi. 

 

*On my Top-20 classics of all time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice list, Top. I haven't seen THE SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS, SWAMP WATER, COTTAGE TO LET, HELLZAPOPPIN', or BACK STREET.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are no pure "bests." It's all favorites -- even the title of this part of the board is called "Your Favorites."

 

 

The point I was trying to make is, if you've seen enough films, or read enough about them and their creation, or attended some kind of film school(I did not), or worked in film (I did not), you can determine if a film is better made in the sense of production value, quality of performances, use of editing, camera set-ups, sound design, quality and depth of the screenplay, etc. But all of those superlatives don't necessarily add up to an experience that moves you on a personal, emotional level. I was saying I chose films that move me in that fashion, as opposed to movies that may be technically better made. A prime example is my 1941 choices for 1 & 2. My number two choice is technically superior, not just in my estimation, but in that of virtually every other critic ever published. But my number one choice moves me more, connects more, and so, I placed it higher, despite whatever shortcomings it has.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice list, Top. I haven't seen THE SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS, SWAMP WATER, COTTAGE TO LET, HELLZAPOPPIN', or BACK STREET.

Thanks. TCM aired SHEPHERED OF THE HILLS when John Wayne was Star of the Month in 2014. It's a beautifully made film, with a wonderful cast of supporting players.

 

SWAMP WATER is a Fox title-- Jean Renoir's first American film. The studio remade it in the mid-50s in Technicolor. Walter Brennan plays the same part in both versions, but interestingly is billed lower in the remake. 

 

TCM aired BACK STREET a few years ago, and it is truly mesmerizing-- especially if you love Charles Boyer and Margaret Sullavan in romantic stories. 

 

HELLZAPOPPIN' was a big hit for Universal based on an even bigger Broadway stage show. It's silly but a lot of fun, and it has a great cast of talented musical performers and comedians. To my knowledge, TCM has never aired it.

 

COTTAGE TO LET features an excellent Alastair Sim performance. It's a good example of British films that were trying to show the early effects of war on the home front. And one of the plots, about a spy hiding out in a boarding house, is very well staged.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...my number one choice moves me more, connects more, and so, I placed it higher, despite whatever shortcomings it has.

I tend to agree with that sentiment. Tonight TCM is airing THE MIRACLE OF THE BELLS. Maltin gives it 1.5 stars. But it's number one on my list for 1948. Is it the best film Hollywood ever made? Probably not. But to me, it's very profound and moving. So it gets a high rating in my book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The point I was trying to make is, if you've seen enough films, or read enough about them and their creation, or attended some kind of film school(I did not), or worked in film (I did not), you can determine if a film is better made in the sense of production value, quality of performances, use of editing, camera set-ups, sound design, quality and depth of the screenplay, etc. But all of those superlatives don't necessarily add up to an experience that moves you on a personal, emotional level. I was saying I chose films that move me in that fashion, as opposed to movies that may be technically better made. A prime example is my 1941 choices for 1 & 2. My number two choice is technically superior, not just in my estimation, but in that of virtually every other critic ever published. But my number one choice moves me more, connects more, and so, I placed it higher, despite whatever shortcomings it has.

 

I agree (to a point). Though I should think one would want to stay away from films society or critics or award-bestowers tell us are "bests," unless of course we agreed with them.  After all, if there was such a thing as bests, there would be no need for this thread!

 

And, to quote Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, "I have known strange errors in that publication!" (I use that quote to refer to all critics).

 

 

I will post a few 1941 choices tonight.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1941 - 72 films seen

 

 

1. THE MALTESE FALCON

2. CITIZEN KANE

3. THE WOLF MAN

4. THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER

5. SERGEANT YORK

6. HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY

7. THE LADY EVE

8. SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS

9. HERE COMES MR. JORDAN

10. BALL OF FIRE

 

Runner-ups: HIGH SIERRA, 49th PARALLEL, THE DEVIL & MISS JONES, SUSPICION, and DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE.

 

 

Humphrey Bogart is my favorite film star of all time, and THE MALTESE FALCON is my second favorite Bogart film. I love every aspect of it; the performances, the dialogue, the cinematography, everything. It just gets to me more than the stylistic flourishes of KANE, which I still hold in enough esteem to rank it above the remaining 70 films I've seen from '41.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1941 - 72 films seen

 

 

1. THE MALTESE FALCON

2. CITIZEN KANE

3. THE WOLF MAN

4. THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER

5. SERGEANT YORK

6. HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY

7. THE LADY EVE

8. SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS

9. HERE COMES MR. JORDAN

10. BALL OF FIRE

 

Runner-ups: HIGH SIERRA, 49th PARALLEL, THE DEVIL & MISS JONES, SUSPICION, and DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE.

 

 

Humphrey Bogart is my favorite film star of all time, and THE MALTESE FALCON is my second favorite Bogart film. I love every aspect of it; the performances, the dialogue, the cinematography, everything. It just gets to me more than the stylistic flourishes of KANE, which I still hold in enough esteem to rank it above the remaining 70 films I've seen from '41.

Lawrence--

 

Glad you mentioned HIGH SIERRA. Have you seen the Technicolor remake I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES..? I tend to like it a bit better, because Jack Palance and Shelley Winters are doing their method-acting thing and it draws me in more.

 

I feel 49TH PARALLEL, which I don't dislike, is overlong. I wish it was about twenty or thirty minutes shorter. It wouldn't be so bad if the slower spots weren't so ponderous. 

 

We all have classics that everyone loves but us. For me, it's SERGEANT YORK. I truly despise that film. LOL And I feel THE MALTESE FALCON is convoluted and overrated. I prefer the precode original which doesn't have to disguise all the meanings.

 

SUSPICION's botched ending wrecks an otherwise perfect film. Shame on RKO for caving to test audiences and compromising Hitchcock's vision.

 

I get a kick out of SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS and it should have been one of my honorable mentions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I haven't seen Kane for quite some time I can understand the camp that appreciates its technical virtuosity but find it a bit cold and alienating.  But when I am watching it again I am totally engrossed in every aspect of it and really enjoy it without reservations of any kind.  Just my take on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For 1941 - 78 films seen

 

1.  Citizen Kane

2.  The Maltese Falcon

3.  How Green Was My Valley

4.  Sullivan's Travels

5.  Swamp Water

6.  The Devil and Miss Jones

7.  The Lady Eve

8.  All That Money Can Buy

9.  Never Give a Sucker an Even Break

10. Dumbo

 

Here are just some from my runner up list: High Sierra, You'll Never Get Rich and Tobacco Road.

 

This time I've seen all of the films on your list, Lawrence.  

 

I saw the restored How Green Was My Valley in the theatre a few years ago and there were all sorts of young people wiping away tears with tissues.  It still packs a punch in that environment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think CITIZEN KANE (and Orson Welles himself) engenders a love-or-hate kind of reaction among audiences. Sort of an acquired taste. There is seldom middle ground with this film or this actor-director.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My current choices for performances for 1941 are:

 

Best Actor

 

Orson Welles, Citizen Kane

 

Best Actress

 

Bette Davis, The Little Foxes

 

Best Supporting Actor

 

Sydney Greenstreet, The Maltese Falcon

 

Best Supporting Actress

 

Dorothy Comingore, Citizen Kane

 

​Personally I would put Mary Astor's performance in The Great Lie which won her a supporting Oscar in the lead category.  I think she ended up in Support due to her billing and not the size of her role.  We see this all the time today as studios put lead performers in the supporting categories to try to increase their Oscar chances.  And it usually works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bogie, good choices as usual. I haven't seen NEVER GIVE... or YOU'LL NEVER... but I know of them. If I want to see TOBACCO ROAD in real life, I just go to the next county east. That was another film trotted out as an example of anti-American communist propaganda by HUAC and their right-wing cronies.

 

I guess my takeaway from your and Top's comments is that I have terrible taste. Just kidding! I think part of my issue with KANE goes to my anti-authoritarian tendencies. I was told, in books and documentaries etc,for so many years that CITIZEN KANE was unquestionably the greatest achievement in cinematic art, striding like a colossus amongst the chaff of lesser films, and when I finally saw it, not only was I expecting a near-religious experience, but that part of my brain that hates being told how to think kicked in. Like I said earlier, I love the film. The technical achievements are astounding. But I can also say I couldn't care less about what happened to Charles Foster Kane. He reminds me too much of Trump and his ilk. And, if given a choice, I'd rather hang out with Sam Spade than Donald Trump.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess my takeaway from your and Top's comments is that I have terrible taste. 

Or maybe it means you haven't fully acquired Wellesian cinema as one of your personal tastes. :) Some of Welles' other films make my later lists, like THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (despite its butchered ending); THE STRANGER; THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI; and TOUCH OF EVIL. But overall, he's kind of hit or miss...for every "masterpiece" there is an epic failure from him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


© 2019 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...