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Old 10-14-2010, 03:25 AM   #1
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Top 10 of the Decade: The 1950's

Another tough one. Lots of trimmings.


1. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
2. TOUCH OF EVIL (ORSON FUCKING WELLES, 1958)
3. Some Came Running (Minnelli, 1958)
4. Ordet (Dreyer, 1955)
5. Ugetsu (Mizoguchi, 1953)
6. The Searchers (Ford, 1956)
7. Ikiru (Kurosawa, 1952)
8. The River (Renoir, 1951)
9. Pather Panchali (Ray, 1955)
10. Park Row (Fuller, 1952)
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:33 AM   #2
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Finally, a list that I'm somewhat happy with:

1. Vertigo (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
2. Touch of Evil (dir. Orson Welles, 1958)
3. The Seventh Seal (dir. Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
4. Rio Bravo (dir. Howard Hawks, 1959)
5. Rashomon (dir. Akira Kurosawa, 1951)
6. Bigger Than Life (dir. Nicholas Ray, 1956)
7. Sunset Blvd. (dir. Billy Wilder, 1950)
8. The Tales of Hoffmann (dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1951)
9. The 400 Blows (dir. Francois Truffaut, 1959)
10. Singin' in the Rain (dir. Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1952)

Note: North by Northwest would've been my number 3.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:41 AM   #3
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Nice to see the love for Hoffmann. If you want to get your torrent on there's a hard-to-find musical comedy called Oh... Rosalinda!! which features P&P regular Anton Walbrook and comes right after Hoffmann in their filmography

Have you seen any other Nicholas Ray? You really should check out On Dangerous Ground if you haven't already.

I should note that I have yet to watch my Criterion Blu-Ray disc of Ophüls' Lola Montes; seeing the restoration in the theatre last year blew me away so there's a very good chance it will be on my list.

I'm bummed I didn't have room for any Jacques Tourneur or Otto Preminger.
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:17 AM   #4
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1. Sleeping Beauty - Reitherman, 1959
2. The Searchers - Ford, 1956
3. Lady and the Tramp - Geronimi, 1955
4. Vertigo - Hitchcock, 1958
5. Some Like It Hot - Wilder, 1959
6. East of Eden - Kazan, 1955
7. High Noon - Zinnemann, 1952
8. Rebel Without A Cause - Ray, 1955
9. Richard III - Olivier, 1955
10. The African Queen - Huston, 1951

Haven't seen nearly enough from this decade, including a lot of the big classics.

But for me, Disney owns the decade once again, making probably their most stunning movie in Sleeping Beauty. And Lady vs. Tramp, possibly their most adorable. Hitchcock also had himself a great decade, obviously. Wish I could have listed more than one. Kazan made a handful of classics in the decade, but I like East of Eden the best. It's gorgeous and, what can I say? I'm one of those people that actually does find James Dean as awesome and charismatic as his legend and mythical status suggests. Guy was a fucking bad motherfucker. I'll fight you.

A lot of nostalgia associated with some of these titles, clearly. Marilyn
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:01 AM   #5
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I definitely like East of Eden the most out of the James Dean films. And the only Kazan I like better is Wild River, which is from 1960 anyway.

Sleeping Beauty would definitely place higher than any other Disney film for me. Nice choice.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:06 PM   #6
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List forthcoming, but yes, Sleeping Beauty is the shit. It's everything that's good about Disney animation and a glaring example of why most kids movies suck now.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:31 PM   #7
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1. Vertigo – Hitchcock
2. Seven Samurai – Kurosawa
3. On the Waterfront – Kazan
4. Singing in the Rain – Donen
5. Giant – Stevens
6. Sunset Boulevard – Wilder
7. All About Eve – Mankiewicz
8. The Searchers – Ford
9. Ben Hur – Wyler
10. High Noon - Zinnemann

Hard to narrow to 10 but I guess that's the point Richard III is another good choice. Great acting.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazarus View Post
Nice to see the love for Hoffmann. If you want to get your torrent on there's a hard-to-find musical comedy called Oh... Rosalinda!! which features P&P regular Anton Walbrook and comes right after Hoffmann in their filmography

Have you seen any other Nicholas Ray? You really should check out On Dangerous Ground if you haven't already.
I'll do that, thanks.

No other Ray yet. I'll check that out. Did he also do In a Lonely Place?
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:57 PM   #9
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1. On The Beach (1959, Stanley Kramer)
2. Gojira (1954, Ishiro Honda)
3. The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951, Robert Wise)
4. The World, The Flesh and The Devil (1959, Ranald MacDougall)
5. Throne of Blood (1957, Akira, Kurosawa)
6. 12 Angry Men (1957, Sidney Lumet)
7. The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954, Richard Brooks)
8. The African Queen (1951, John Huston
9. War of The Worlds (1953, Byron Haskin)
10. Some Like It Hot (1959, Billy Wilder)

Many of the films on this list are quite dark and apocalyptic. Perhaps the memorable imagery elevated their rankings. Some notes on a few films. I picked On The Beach as the top film of the decade for the emotional effect, its ability to disturb you for days after and its thought provoking themes (most notably how one faces an oncoming death.) No movie delivers Cold War fear and paranoia as well as On The Beach. The Japanese film Gojira is another film that deals with nuclear weapons but this time for a country that experienced it firsthand. It is in my opinion the pinnacle of black & white science fiction and supernatural horror which puts it in the top ten. What elevates it to number two is that for a genre that is rarely critically praised this movie has elements that could rival basic dramas of the same decade. The quality of the writing, directing, acting and most notably musical score in Gojira are top notch. The depth, symbolism, detail and characters, notably the Oppenheimer-esque Dr. Serizawa, are also standout. If not for the terrible state of the Japanese film industry at the time director Ishiro Honda, composer Akira Ifukube, the various actors and effects personnel could do work in a more respected genre and it shows.

As for the rest:
The Day The Earth Stood Still: Most influential black and white science fiction film.
The World, The Flesh and The Devil: Underrated apocalyptic film and race relations metaphor. A Forgotten classic.
Throne of Blood: It is nearly impossible to pick one Kurosawa but in the end his version of Macbeth (one of my favorite plays) makes this one stand out.

12 Angry Men: Small in scope but still captivating after multiple viewings.
The Last Time I Saw Paris: A beautiful romantic tragedy that stands out as the class of its genre.
The African Queen: The best acting duo for any film this decade.
War of The Worlds: A special effects masterpiece and without question the best adaption of an H.G. Wells work.
Some Like It Hot: Best comedy of the decade.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:07 PM   #10
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Yes. A decade I'm finally strong in and adore. A lot of difficult choices this time around. Also, this is the first time where release date might become an issue. I meant to bring it up earlier but now is probably a good time. I think for the decade lists, it might be best if everyone just went with the "official" IMDB release dates for films, instead of their own regional dates, which isn't usually how I do things for new yearly lists. But I figure we're dealing with posters from all over the globe here, so release dates around the change of a decade could shift films from one list to another, so we might be better off going with something uniform. Plus we're dealing with historical rankings, far removed from "new releases" so it hardly matters exactly when a particular country would have received it, so I'm going with original release dates from here on out (as we'll see in my #1 pick). Of course there's no really reason to get up in arms over release-date nit picks, so I'm just saying.

I'll post my list a little later.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:08 PM   #11
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Vertigo seems like it's going to be the easy winner this decade, heh. Deservedly so of course.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:20 PM   #12
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1. Giant ( Stevens,56)
2. Alice In Wonderland (Geronimi,Jackson,Luske,51)
3. Some Like It Hot (Wilder,59)
4. The Blackboard Jungle (Brooks,55)
5. Summer With Monika (Bergman, 53)
6. Lust For Life ( Minnelli,56)
7. Wind As The Wind (Cukor, 57)
8. A Steertcar Named Desire (Kazan,51)
9. Sleeping Beauty (Reitherman,59)
10. The 400 Blows (Truffant, 59)
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwtape2 View Post
The World, The Flesh and The Devil: Underrated apocalyptic film and race relations metaphor. A Forgotten classic.
I read about this about a year ago and acquired it somewhere online; very cool movie. Nice to know someone else here has seen it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwtape2 View Post
Throne of Blood: It is nearly impossible to pick one Kurosawa but in the end his version of Macbeth (one of my favorite plays) makes this one stand out.
I need to see this film. All I know about it aside from the Macbeth source is that Lucas paid homage to it in The Phantom Menace (the shot of the warriors coming out of the fog).

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Originally Posted by Screwtape2 View Post
The African Queen: The best acting duo for any film this decade.
A Streetcar Named Desire with Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh begs to differ. And that's from the same year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancemc View Post
Yes. A decade I'm finally strong in and adore. A lot of difficult choices this time around. Also, this is the first time where release date might become an issue. I meant to bring it up earlier but now is probably a good time. I think for the decade lists, it might be best if everyone just went with the "official" IMDB release dates for films, instead of their own regional dates, which isn't usually how I do things for new yearly lists. But I figure we're dealing with posters from all over the globe here, so release dates around the change of a decade could shift films from one list to another, so we might be better off going with something uniform. Plus we're dealing with historical rankings, far removed from "new releases" so it hardly matters exactly when a particular country would have received it, so I'm going with original release dates from here on out (as we'll see in my #1 pick). Of course there's no really reason to get up in arms over release-date nit picks, so I'm just saying.
I can get behind that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancemc View Post
Vertigo seems like it's going to be the easy winner this decade, heh. Deservedly so of course.
Yeah. I was already a big Hitchcock fan by the time I first saw Vertigo (I had an uncle who got me hooked on old films), but I wasn't overly impressed with my first viewing. It was a shitty print, but more to the point it wasn't what I normally expected from his work and didn't really understand its allure.

A few years later, I saw the restored version in the theatre and was absolutely floored. Of course I had become much more of a cinephile in the interim, and was more able to appreciate what is so unique about it.


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6. Lust For Life ( Minnelli,56)
Not my favorite Minnelli, but a visual triumph with powerful performances from Douglas and Quinn.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:58 PM   #14
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  1. Strangers on a Train (Hitchcock, '51)
  2. The Seventh Seal (Bergman, '57)
  3. Sunset Boulevard (Wilder, '50)
  4. The Killing (Kubrick, '56)
  5. Touch of Evil (Welles, '58)
  6. 12 Angry Men (Lumet, '57)
  7. Harvey (Koster, '50)
  8. Alice in Wonderland (Geronimi, etc., '51)
  9. The 400 Blows (Truffaut, '59)
  10. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Donen, '54)

Pretty damn happy with this list actually. I was amused when I realized that in spite of what I said about Sleeping Beauty I went with Alice in Wonderland instead. Forgot that one came out in the '50s as well, and there's just not enough room for all of the Disney films I love (something that will pose a problem in the 60s/70s possibly).

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers is a bit of a ridiculous pick, especially since it kept Rashomon off my list, but when I remembered that film came out in the '50s, I couldn't leave it off. A lot of memories of that film from childhood, I've seen it more times than I could count, and just, very emotional connection for one reason or another.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:50 PM   #15
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1. Hiroshima Mon Amour (Resnais, 59)
2. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 58)
3. Singin' in the Rain (Donen, 52)
4. The Earrings of Madame de... (Ophuls, 53)
5. Tokyo Story (Ozu, 53)
6. The Searchers (Ford, 56)
7. The Human Condition (Kobayashi, 59-)
8. Il Grido (Antonioni, 57)
9. Ugetsu (Mizoguchi, 1953)
10. Shadows (Cassavetes, 59)

There.
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