Monday, January 26, 2015

The Favorite Films Before My Lifetime: 1956

1956 was a year that I found to have some films (at least in my picks) that inspired a lot of filmmakers in the 70s and beyond.  Whether it be remakes, ideas, plots, or details, something of this group wound up coming back around.  Pretty neat.

Around the Best Picture nominees in 80 seconds

WINNER - Around The World In 80 Days
Friendly Persuasion
The King And I
The Ten Commandments

Let my picks go

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

This film has wound up spawning multiple remakes/reimaginings.  And for good reason.  This is a top of the line B-movie thriller and top of its class for back in the day.  While I think the 70s version is the best and scariest, this one is still incredibly fun and thrilling.

The Killing

One of Kubrick's kinda unseen films (It was his first real major release) is also one of his most influential.  My one wish for the film is that it didn't have a narration, but its a small small bug.  Sterling Hayden takes a lead role and commands this batch of a cast.  This film has found its paws on many films, from heavily influencing Reservoir Dogs, to a nice little nod at the opening of The Dark Knight, its one of the most important heist/crime films of all time.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Personally, my favorite version is Hitchcock's first stab at this movie.  But, having both makes for an interesting study.  And this one is different enough to not feel like too much of  retread.  Doris Day debuts her everlasting hit Que Cera which is probably the most memorable touch in the movie.  Jimmy Stewart is also really strong here as well.

The Ten Commandments

The Biblical epic of all Biblical epics!  I used to watch this movie once a year.  I'm not sure if it still does, but ABC used to air it every Easter and I would pop a squat and watch or check in and out of it while at a family function.  Charlton Heston takes on one of his most commanding and powerful roles as Moses.  This movie was a huge deal back in the day too, my mom told me her school got to go to it twice in the theater as a class function.

The Searchers

If you only see just a handful of Westerns in your lifetime, this certainly has to be one of them.  It might be a go to for John Wayne films as well.  This grand scale Joseph Campbellized Western has found itself being very influential.  Most notably, if you're a Star Wars fan, you know George Lucas borrowed as much from this film as he did Hidden Fortress.  

The Wrong Man

The closest thing Hitchcock ever came to doing a true story or a biopic.  This is some of his darkest material here and a film that caught the eye of a young Martin Scorsese who claims this film inspired him for Taxi Driver.

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