Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Favorite Films Before My Lifetime: 1951

Here we are, the final year of this series.  Thanks to everyone who followed along the whole damn way.  I appreciate it.  Apology to Gary Swafford, as I am not continuing on past 1951 at this time.  Maybe in the future we'll crawl and scrape all the way to 20s or something.  Well, here we go, one last time for now.


WINNER - An American In Paris
Decision Before Dawn
A Place In The Sun
Quo Vadis
A Streetcar Named Desire


Abbott & Costello Meet The Invisible Man

This one is okay.  Its mainly getting the benefit of the doubt because I didn't make it to Meets Frankenstein.  But, this one is silly and fresh enough before the "Meets" series got old and stale for this comedy duo.

The African Queen

The film that won Bogey his Oscar.  Though, I feel like he deserved more and there's a couple other roles I liked him in better than this.  But...but! This isn't a slouch or anything.  Its a terrific movie.   John Huston and Bogey teamed to make some absolute greats and all-timers, this being one of them. And like last year's Foxcatcher, its got that distinction of being nominated for all major categories and not getting the Best Picture nom.

Cry Danger

A nice little film noir, that packs a wicked little twist in its ending.  An ex con, who was likely wrongfully accused, traces steps back to figure out what went wrong.  Its one of those great little thrillers where our protagonist is truly by his lonesome as the both the police and gangsters are after him while he solves this mystery.

The Day The Earth Stood Still

One of the all time greats.  The film's subject not only works really well, but its a beautifully crafted and shot film.  It was pretty against the grain in terms of its style at the time.  Robert Wise succeeded in spades with this movie, but somehow couldn't get his science fiction magic to work again when he tackled Star Trek almost 3 decades later.

Strangers On A Train

I told you about my #1 Hitchock waivers between Psycho and North By Northwest.  But my clear #3 is Strangers On A Train.  This is a magnificent thriller that starts as an innocent conversation, but then turns into a deadly game.  This movie features some of my favorite Hitch cinematography and some nightmarish stalking and imagery.  People always point to Psycho as John Carpenter's Hitchcock inspiration for Halloween, but if you look at the technical aspects of the film, you'll see this one was more influential.  I absolutely love this movie, and think it still works for any generation, as the key themes and idea aren't time sensitive.  And that remake with Affleck and Fincher?  I'm actually pretty down with that.

A Streetcar Named Desire

A wonderful ensemble film, and notably one of Brando's finest hours.  This film is one of the finest stage to screen adaptations of all time.  It also was one of the most decorated films in Academy Award history for the acting of the film. It won 3 of the 4 acting awards, which was something that had never been done until then.  The movie is incredibly iconic too.  Speaking of that, how iconic is that still of Brando "looking cool" in that white tee shirt and jeans?  

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