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Old 11-19-2007, 09:40 PM   #1
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Top Films of the Decade -- The 1940's

Well, we're paring down the participants even further, I imagine.

Some directors to look up and search for films you may recognize (I know many people have seen Casablanca, It's a Wonderful Life, etc.)

John Ford
Orson Welles
John Huston
Howard Hawks
Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger
Alfred Hitchcock
Michael Curtiz
Fritz Lang
Jacques Tourneur
Leo McCarey
Otto Preminger
Preston Sturges
Vincente Minnelli
William Wyler
Billy Wilder
George Stevens

Again, scrolling through the Oscar noms from this decade won't hurt, either.

This is heavily biased toward American fillmmakers (including post-war European transplants to the U.S.); unfortunately I don't have much to suggest in the realm of foreign language/world cinema for the '40s. The early work of Kurosawa doesn't have much to speak of, and even someone established like Renoir did more of his masterworks in the '30s and '50s. Correct me if I've overlooked anyone.

I recognize that many won't have seen enough to form a very long list, but feel free to mention even a few that you liked, and this also a good place to start if you're looking to check out some older stuff. This is one of the best decades of filmmaking, and shouldn't be overlooked.
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Old 11-19-2007, 09:41 PM   #2
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I'll watch this thread for movies I ought to go rent and watch. The 50's are the last decade I could have made an honest list for.
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:43 PM   #3
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Yeah, this thread's gonna die pretty soon.

1. Citizen Kane (God, '41)
2. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Powell & Pressburger, '43)
3. The Third Man (Reed, '49)
4. The Big Sleep (Hawks, '46)
5. The Lady From Shanghai (God, '47)
6. The Magnificent Ambersons (God, '42)
7. It's a Wonderful Life (Capra, '46)
8. Notorious (Hitchcock, '46)
9. The Philadelphia Story (Cukor, '40)
10. The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (P. Sturges, '44)
11. The Pirate (Minnelli, '48)
12. Out of the Past (Tourneur, '47)
13. The Leopard Man (Tourneur, '43)
14. A Matter of Life & Death (Powell & Pressburger, '46)
15. She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (Ford, '49)

Wish I had room for Pinocchio, Lang's Scarlet Street, Ford's Treasure of the Sierra Madre & Grapes of Wrath, Sturges' Hail the Conquering Hero & The Lady Eve, Wilder's Double Indemnity, and Hitchcock's Under Capricorn.

And yes, I do enjoy watching Citizen Kane that much.
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by lazarus
Yeah, this thread's gonna die pretty soon.

1. Citizen Kane (God, '41)
2. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Powell & Pressburger, '43)
3. The Third Man (Reed, '49)
4. The Big Sleep (Hawks, '46)
5. The Lady From Shanghai (God, '47)
6. The Magnificent Ambersons (God, '42)
7. It's a Wonderful Life (Capra, '46)
8. Notorious (Hitchcock, '46)
9. The Philadelphia Story (Cukor, '40)
10. The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (P. Sturges, '44)
11. The Pirate (Minnelli, '48)
12. Out of the Past (Tourneur, '47)
13. The Leopard Man (Tourneur, '43)
14. A Matter of Life & Death (Powell & Pressburger, '46)
15. She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (Ford, '49)

Wish I had room for Pinocchio, Lang's Scarlet Street, Ford's Treasure of the Sierra Madre & Grapes of Wrath, Sturges' Hail the Conquering Hero & The Lady Eve, Wilder's Double Indemnity, and Hitchcock's Under Capricorn.

And yes, I do enjoy watching Citizen Kane that much.
I've seen #1, #3 (recently, Vienna fascinates me), #7 and #9. That's not a lot.
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:17 AM   #5
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Well you cerainly should see Notorious, as it's one of Hitch's best. Plus it has Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Raines. A no-brainer.

If you like The Third Man's cynical black humor type of noir, you'll probably like Welles' Lady From Shanghai a lot too. It's probably his most flat-out entertaining film, if not as "important" as Touch of Evil. You'll also like The Big Sleep, which I'm surprised you haven't seen. Bogie. Bacall. Raymond Chandler. 'nuff said.

Preston Sturges is just one of the funniest writer/directors ever. His Sullivan's Travels is where the title "O Brother Where Art Thou" comes from. In addition to those I mentioned above, there's also The Great McGinty and Unfaithfully Yours. There's a great boxed set that has most of his classics, save for "Miracle" which you can find for under $10. Really, really funny stuff, and very racy for its time.

Above all I recommend you try and have a look at Colonel Blimp, which to many is the best film ever to have come out of the British film industry. Look it up on IMDB, I can't do it justice by describing it here. But let it suffice to say that Scorsese worships the films of these guys, and their technicolor visuals have to be seen to be believed.
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Old 11-20-2007, 02:20 AM   #6
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Well, here's a bunch that won't make any top lists (a few would) but will entertain you regardless. You may even laugh a bit

I'll make an order, but it really doesn't mean much.

1.The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Bogey in my favorite role, John's dad Walter Huston stealing the show, classic bandit line "I don't have to show you any stinking badges" , and all heck breaks loose AFTER they get the gold) John Huston directed
2.It's A Wonderful Life
3. White Heat (James Cagney as bad boy Cody Jarrett with a serious mother complex, and she is part of his gang. Great ending includes the classic "top o' the world, ma!")
4. Kiss of Death (the original with Richard Widmark in one of the great bad guy roles. He snickers at danger, laughs as he pushes old ladies in wheelchairs down stairs, snaps his fingers out of time to "right uptown" jazz, and is set up by informer Victor Mature)
5.My Darling Clementine (the OK Corral with Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, Walter Brennan, Ward Bond...) John Ford directed
6.Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (probably the best A&C movie includes Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi reprising their Wolf Man and Dracula roles. Even the Invisible Man makes an appearance at the end. Fun, fun stuff)
7. The Maltese Falcon (I'm putting this with To Have & Have Not and The Big Sleep because they're all good. Bogey & great casts including Lauren Bacall, Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet, Walter Brennan, Hoagy Carmichael. They're not in all of them)
8.Mighty Joe Young (Mr Joseph Young of Africa is brought to USA by Max O'Hara, the same Max who brought Kong. This big ape doesn't have as bad an end. Ray Harryhausen's first use of his stop-animation and Joe loves listening to 'Beautiful Dreamer'.
9. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (John Wayne & John Ford. One of the great westerns)
10. Lifeboat (Survivors in a lifeboat try to survive during WWll. One of their shipmates is a Nazi. Another great one, though kinda forgotten, from Hitchcock, w/Tallulah Bankhead, William Bendix)
11.Fort Apache (Another great John Ford western with Henry Fonda, John Wayne, Victor McLaglen, Shirley Temple)
12.The Egg & I (screwball comedy with young couple Fred MacMurray & Claudette Colbert going to live on a farm with Ma & Pa Kettle)
13.Arsenic & Old Lace (Cary Grant finds out senior ladies of his family are murderers and it's a comedy)
14.Objective, Burma (Errol Flynn & company of soldiers are dropped into Japanese occupied Burma with a mission and then spend the rest of the film trying to get back safely) Raoul Walsh directed, I believe.
15. The Westerner (Gary Cooper sets up Walter Brennan's evil Judge Roy Bean. William Wyler directed.)

These are also faves: Miracle on 34th Street, The Best Years of Our Lives (WWll soldiers come back home and have a tough time adjusting), all Henry Aldrich (Henry is a young Jimmy Stewart type who gets into all kinds of high school hi-jinks. Light hearted laughs), Adventures of Francis the Talking Mule (the first of the Francis movies), The Mark of Zorro (first film I ever saw, so it's here. And I still like it), Here Comes Mr. Jordan (the original take on Joe Pendleton & Mr. Jordan), Buck Privates (another top notch Abbott & Costello, includes the Andrew Sisters, and they sing!), Wake Island (another great WWll movie, also see Bataan, Back to Bataan, Gung Ho, Air Force, A Guy Named Joe,+ a bunch more), Double Indemnity, All the King's Men, The Snake Pit, Bell's of St. Mary's(Bing Crosby & Ingrid Bergman in catholic school fun),The Third Man, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Sorry, Wrong Number, The Little Foxes (Bette Davis )



I'll be checking out some of Lazarus' picks. They sound good
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:20 AM   #7
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I knew I could count on you, and glad to see some more support for Mr. John Ford. For some reason I thought Clementine was 50's but your date is correct. I love that film.

I still have yet to see Kiss of Death, and I know I need to rectify that--love Richard Widmark.
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:54 AM   #8
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I'm a fan of The US Women's Army Corps presents: How to Rivet: Basic airplane construction principles for today's working woman. It's a cinema classic. My fav of the 1940s, bar none.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:13 AM   #9
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40s movies

Some of my faves.

However, I have to get ready for class. I'll think about my list and post it later
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:38 PM   #10
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1. Citizen Kane (1941, Welles)
2. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948, Huston)
3. Brief Encounter (1945, Lean)
4. Notorious (1946, Hitchcock)
5. A Matter of Life and Death (1946, Powell & Pressburger)
6. Double Indemnity (1944, Wilder)
7. White Heat (1949, Walsh)
8. His Girl Friday (1940, Hawks)
9. The Third Man (1949, Reed)
10. The Bicycle Thieves (1948, De Sica)
11. It's a Wonderful Life (1946, Capra)
12. The Great Dictator (1940, Chaplin)
13. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949, Hamer)
14. Casablanca (1942, Curtiz)
15. Laura (1944, Preminger) *loves Gene Tierney*

Funny you should mention Colonel Blimp so highly laz, I only just watched it last week (see review thread). But ultimately I have to go with A Matter of Life and Death for my Powell and Pressburger as I'm still stubbornly limiting myself to one per director. The Red Shoes is also an amazing film by them.

This means I have to sadly omit The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon as well as Hitchcock's only Best Picture winner, Rebecca. I know you're not a big fan of Casablanca but it's one of the most iconic and memorable films of all time, not bad for one that's over 60 years old. Darn good fun to be had watching it too.

I'll have to add some from the previous two lists to my rental list, looks like there's some good stuff to be seen in those. Also, and this is if we even get that far, the 30s will be my last list in this series as I've only seen seven from the 20s. It'll be cool to see some of the earlier results once this is all over too.
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:59 PM   #11
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Sorry MS, I just asked you if you had seen any other Archer films in the other thread, before reading this. Nice to see you're a fan.

I've actually only seen AMOLAD once, because it has not been released on DVD in the U.S. One of the great revival houses in Los Angeles showed it on the big screen as part of an Archers retrospective, so I was able to experience it the first time that way, after about 5 years of hearing about the film. I loved it, but would need to see it again before even thinking of putting it ahead of Blimp.

I'm a bit partial to epics, though.

And I feel bad now for leaving Sierra Madre off my list, after you and hardyharhar ranked it so highly. And I do need to see Brief Encounter. I've only seen one B&W David Lean, and that was Oliver Twist, which I liked a lot.

I hope you're sharpening your memory for the 30's list (did you think I wasn't going back that far?).

20's might be a problem, though. I think we may have to stop with the next one.
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:51 PM   #12
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The BBC showed a few Archers films back in the summer along with a load of other British films. It was great You're lucky to see AMOLAD on the big screen though, I don't get too many re-releases like that near where I live.

Brief Encounter is a must see IMO, it reminded me of Before Sunrise / Sunset. Once you get past the ye olde Englishe of it all it's so engrossing. Haven't seen Oliver Twist but I did catch Great Expectations not too long ago. Made me appreciate that South Park episode a bit more afterwards hehe.

As for the 30s I figured we'd get to it provided this thread didn't die on it's feet. That list was a bit easier to make because I had less to choose from.
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Old 11-22-2007, 05:12 PM   #13
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30's sounds good to me, but it will definitely be a shorter list. Still some serious favorites of mine in there, probably be heavy on comedies.

Lazarus - I gotta say it is hard for me to put Sierra Madre above Yellow Ribbon, or Clementine, or Ft. Apache, etc.... which is why I downplay the order. But whereas the latter are pretty straightforward westerns, Sierra Madre has so much more going on with the greed, descent into utter insanity, distrust, on top of stellar performances. So I do consider it an overall better film.

And I kinda liked doing the brief reviews on the films, hopefully those who aren't familiar have a little better idea what they're about. Maybe you and MS can do the same on the 30's list so I can see where I might want to start, as far as the films I haven't seen that you guys list. I wish we had done that from the 50's or 60's lists also. Either way, it was a blast looking back on a lot of stuff I grew up with.

Hopefully, we're still gonna get U2Democrat's list. I believe she's an Arsenic & Old Lace fan.



Now.................................. back to the turkey
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Old 11-22-2007, 08:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Yeah, this thread's gonna die pretty soon.
Real pity. Is there going to be a 1930s thread? That's the one I've been looking forward to the most.
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:08 PM   #15
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There will be a 30s thread.
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