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Top Ten Films of the 1940's

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 

1.SCARLET STREET

2.THE THIRD MAN

3.UNFAITHFULLY YOURS

4.SLEEP, MY LOVE

5.THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT

6.THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

7.ON THE TOWN

8.THE BACHELOR AND THE BOBBY-SOXER

9.PHANTOM LADY

10.THE LOST WEEKEND

post #2 of 50

1. Citizen Kane

 

Then, in no particular order:

 

2. Casablanca

3. The Best Years of Our Lives

4. Laura

5. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

6. The Bicycle Thief

7. The Red Shoes

8. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

9. His Girl Friday

10. Shadow of a Doubt

 

Way too many others to name, but those were the first ones I thought of.

post #3 of 50

Yeah, but why?  Why did y'all pick those?  WE MUST KNOW...ya know, so for discussion's sake.  ;)
 

post #4 of 50

My Top 10:

 

1.RED RIVER

2. REBECCA

3. PURSUED

4. OUT OF THE PAST

5. WHITE HEAT

6. SHADOW OF A DOUBT

7. CAT PEOPLE

8. HIGH SIERRA

9. BALL OF FIRE

10 SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON

 

Honorable Mention: THE SET-UP, UNFAITHFULLY YOURS

post #5 of 50

Ha, John Carpenter didn't like CAT PEOPLE:

 

"Horror director John Carpenter, however, found the film and Lewton's techniques (in particular the Lewton bus and the theme of implying the monster's presence rather than showing it) highly overrated, quipping that "Jurassic Park done by Val Lewton would be nothing!" in the BBC documentary series 'A History of Horror'."

post #6 of 50

Underrated 40's Western - Errol Flynn's (with director Michael Curtiz) follow up to DODGE CITY, VIRGINIA CITY. I prefer it to THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON.

post #7 of 50
Am I the only one who kinda prefers Curse of the Cat People to Cat People? They're both great, but Curse really blew me away when I first saw it, starting with the fact that it's nothing like its predecessor -- it's a warm-hearted fantasy.

I might do a list here when I have more time, but there's gotta be Sturges on there, preferably Sullivan's Travels.
post #8 of 50

I hate CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE!

 

Can't believe I forgot Nicholas Ray's THEY LIVE BY NIGHT. A brilliant Noir "couple on the run" precursor to BONNIE & CLYDE.

post #9 of 50
Thread Starter 

I'd add The Palm Beach Story to my list, completely slipped my mind.

post #10 of 50

The Sea Hawk

Citizen Kane

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

The Palm Beach Story

King's Row

The Best Years of Our Lives

Ball of Fire

Black Narcissus

Fort Apache

Casablanca

post #11 of 50

I unabashedly love SERGEANT YORK.

post #12 of 50

Nice one on THE SEA HAWK.

post #13 of 50

Also, I love Curse of the Cat People. I just wish they hadn't had to write in the cat-people references in order to get it made.

 

ETA: and yeah, is The Sea Hawk perfection or what? I actually prefer it to The Adventures of Robin Hood. The Mark of Zorro comes close to splitting the difference.

post #14 of 50

1. Citizen Kane

2. Black Narcissus

3. The Mark Of Zorro

4. Red River

5. The Third Man

6. La Belle et la Bête

7. Casablanca

8. Kind Hearts and Coronets

9. Sullivan's Travels

10. Treasure of the Sierra Madre

 

Missed it by a hair: Dumbo

post #15 of 50

Favorite 40's film ending(s)? For me, TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE or Hitchcock's SABOTEUR. Edit: Oh yeah, of course, WHITE HEAT.

post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagboy92 View Post

1.SCARLET STREET

2.THE THIRD MAN

3.UNFAITHFULLY YOURS

4.SLEEP, MY LOVE

5.THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT

6.THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

7.ON THE TOWN

8.THE BACHELOR AND THE BOBBY-SOXER

9.PHANTOM LADY

10.THE LOST WEEKEND

 

Nice call on THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT. A favorite from one of my favorite directors, Walsh.

 

On the other hand, SLEEP, MY LOVE is the only listed movie I've never heard of.

post #17 of 50

Best ending? Red River.

 

Because not only did it demonstrate the inherent benefits of capitalism, it demonstrated how - in 1948 - a man wasn't allowed to show another man familial affection without several other men getting shot in the process.

post #18 of 50

Ending-wise, I go with Casablanca, using my "If you can recite the dialogue of an entire scene, that scene is probably really good" rule.

post #19 of 50

A couple favorites I haven't seen mentioned:

 

Meet Me in St. Louis (The best family film ever in my opinion.  Can probably recite/sing the whole thing.)

To Have and Have Not (Bacall is the sexiest dame.)

 

And did no one mention Double Indemnity yet?

post #20 of 50

Out Of The Past

 

A noir that is as tragic and poetic as anything Turneur did with Val Lewton. There's so much romanticism, and such a sad inevitability. Plus, so many great lines, from "there's a way of losing more slowly" right down to (obviously) "baby, I don't care".

 

The Big Sleep

 

Plenty dark, but Howard Hawk's gift for comedy and will to entertain make this one of the more glamourized noirs. Marlowe may be the put-upon, constantly-knocked-out loser figure that Altman's version focuses on, but he is also tough as nails, witty and (as was apparent even to a prepubescent DanielRoffle, watching the film with his dad) the envy of any man when it comes to his relationship with the ladies.

 

Black Narcissus

 

The Archer's colour explosion at its most manic, with a climax that I think prefigures the slasher genre way before Powell did Peeping Tom.

 

The Magnificent Ambersons

 

Call me a contrarian if you like, but despite this movie's standing as a compromised studio product, I find this a fitting sequel to Citizen Kane's meditations on power and camera angles. 

 

Drunken Angel

 

A rare instance of Kurosawa giving you a real glimpse into the misery that post-war Japan (and its American friends) was doing its best to keep hidden. Very ahead of its time when you consider how popular a motif this would become in 60's Japanese cinema.

 

The Wolf Man

 

The most underrated of the Universal classics? Certainly it's the one that comes closest to Lewton-style melancholia. Speaking of whom...

 

The Body Snatcher

 

The Lewton films are (almost, not too fond of that leopard one) all great. I picked this one because I find it the best showcase for Karloff's acting skills.

 

They Live By Night

 

A simple, poetic summing up of Nicholas Ray's major themes. Which is odd, since it's a debut.

 

Brighton Rock

 

Ok, so it's obvious: most of what makes this movie great comes from the novel. But that ending shot, and Richard Attenborough proving himself the British James Cagney - you can't take that away from it.

 

The Maltese Falcon

 

Huston shared Hawk's preocuppation with constant entertainment, but Maltese Falcon feels far more distant from heroism than The Big Sleep to me. Props to that great character actor team, Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet - and to yet another one of the great noir endings.

post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielRoffle View Post

 

The Magnificent Ambersons

 

Call me a contrarian if you like, but despite this movie's standing as a compromised studio product, I find this a fitting sequel to Citizen Kane's meditations on power and camera angles. 

 

 

 

The Maltese Falcon

 

Huston shared Hawk's preocuppation with constant entertainment, but Maltese Falcon feels far more distant from heroism than The Big Sleep to me. Props to that great character actor team, Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet - and to yet another one of the great noir endings.

 

I actually prefer THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS to CITIZEN KANE, so I'll back you up on your stance.

 

And THE MALTESE FALCON is one of my absolute favorite books and movies, so yeah...nice list.

post #22 of 50

Nice list, DR. Totally agree on THE BIG SLEEP & FALCON. Very well put.

 

THE BODY SNATCHER is one of the last Lewtons I have yet to see. Need to bump it up the queue. 

 

I thought about THE WOLF MAN. Love it, but I love the subtle horror of CAT PEOPLE just a little bit more.

post #23 of 50

Think I didn't enjoy Cat People as much as I could have because I'd already seen the best scene in Martin Scorsese's Journey Through American Movies or whatever that thing's called.

 

It actually took me a long time to appreciate Citizen Kane. I think it helps if a) you're interested in the formal aspects of cinema and b) you've seen a lot of 40's cinema to contrast it with. It's just shot, directed and edited in a way that's light years from any other Hollywood movie of the time. But Magnificent Ambersons is, I think, by far the more human of the two movies. 

 

Elvis, definitley check out The Body Snatcher. It's a bit more gothic, less mysterious than Cat People and I Walked With A Zombie (which probably would've been my Lewton pick, but I'm limiting myself to one per director and there's no way Out Of The Past wouldn't figure in).

post #24 of 50

My top ten favorite films of the 1940s:

 

 

1. Casablanca

2. Rope

3. His Girl Friday

4. Citizen Kane

5. Laura

6. Gentleman's Agreement

7. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

8. The Shop Around the Corner

9. Double Indemnity

10. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

 

This one was really hard for me - leaving off Lifeboat, Spellbound, Rebecca, Gaslight, Bicycle Thieves, etc.....

post #25 of 50

All y'all need to watch The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

post #26 of 50

I would but I have a real distaste for phantasms and the Irish.

post #27 of 50

My list:

 

1. THE THIRD MAN

2. BAMBI

3. THE MALTESE FALCON

4. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS

5. CASABLANCA

6. RED RIVER

7. CITIZEN KANE

8. DUMBO

9. THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI

10. THE SEA HAWK

post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Decade View Post

I would but I have a real distaste for phantasms and the Irish.

 

No Irish to speak of in it, aside from the Irish-American Gene Tierney. Got the right film?

post #29 of 50

.

post #30 of 50

I hate Gene Tierney!

 

I despise Gene Tierney!

 

post #31 of 50

Haha, this brings us to an interesting question - are there any old-school movie actors that you truly dislike? I think that being so distant from an era makes it much harder to do that, because you don't have to deal with over-exposure or douchebag offscreen behaviour or anything like that. The oldest movie star that I can think of that truly annoys me is Peter Sellers (yes, yes, I know), but I can't think of anyone at all from this era.

post #32 of 50

Richard Widmark. I can't watch anything with that fucking guy. He's just...gross.

post #33 of 50

Just in case people really are that confused and/or uninformed, this is Gene Tierney.

 

1000

post #34 of 50

Imagine how confusing it would've been had she not shortened her name from Eugene Tierney.

post #35 of 50

I bet Jean Simmons got some really interesting fan mail starting around the late 1970s.

 

ETA: This may be the best/worst obituary ever

post #36 of 50

Jack Fucking Lemmon.  Guy was just fundamentally unlikable, y'know?

 

He's more 50's/60's, though.  How about that Jimmy Stewart?  What an asshole.

post #37 of 50

Seriously, though... I too am bothered by Widmark for some reason.  Weird.

post #38 of 50

Silly. He only made one movie during the 1940s and it was a bit part.

post #39 of 50

I ALREADY CLARIFIED MYSELF HAMMERHEAD, GEE WHIZ!

post #40 of 50

WE ARE PASSING SILENTLY LIKE SHIPS IN THE NIGHT!!

post #41 of 50

LONGFELLOW WAS LONG DEAD BY THE 1940'S SO THERE!

post #42 of 50

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bailey View Post

Seriously, though... I too am bothered by Widmark for some reason.  Weird.


Yeah, he makes me uneasy. He's too lizard-y to be the square jawed type he usually plays. I don't trust him. He looks like a child molester.

post #43 of 50

He got his start playing creeps. Check him out in Kiss of Death (1947).

post #44 of 50

Oh yeah.  He definitely fits that bill.  Maybe he's just too good at it, I just know I prefer it when he's not in old movies I watch.

post #45 of 50

Richard Widmark is so creepy, he makes Peter Lorre look like Henry Fonda.

post #46 of 50

Controversial Viewpoint: THE GRAPES OF WRATH > CITIZEN KANE

post #47 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post

Controversial Viewpoint: THE GRAPES OF WRATH > CITIZEN KANE

 

Either way Gregg Toland is aces.  The Roger Deakins of yesteryear. 

post #48 of 50

I am not on board with John Ford's sentimental streak and shudder to think how saccharine he must've gotten with Steinbeck's material. I'm sure I'll check it out one day regardless, Stagecoach was a really nice surprise.

 

Orson Welles idolised Ford fwiw.

post #49 of 50
Quote:
How about that Jimmy Stewart?  What an asshole.

 

I know you're joking and I don't think he was an asshole, but I seriously couldn't stand that goofball. I can't believe people considered him the ultimate 'everyman' or nice guy. I never found him a plausible hero or someone I could easily relate to or root for. And I'm constantly surprised by how hard it is to find others who feel the same way, because it's so obvious to me that on screen he was consistently an annoying doofus. At least last year I met someone who agreed that he always seemed to be "bumbling".

 

He's got this goofy voice and rickety way about him which makes it impossible for me to take him seriously. I'm especially irritated whenever he's supposed to play someone tough, passionate, or brave as in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", "Vertigo", "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", and "Anatomy of a Murder". I know he was tough in real life. He was undoubtedly tougher than I'll ever be, having fought in a war, but on screen, I still think he always came across like a wuss.

 

I also couldn't buy him as a dashing romantic lead. I'm not a huge fan of Cary Grant either, but I can understand women being attracted to him. Stewart being considered on an equal plane with him in "The Philadelphia Story" was absurd to me. I think he's okay in lighter, more comedic roles, or in a romantic comedy where he's supposed to be a little awkward, rather than a dashing type. The two movies I liked him most in were "Harvey" and "The Shop Around the Corner".

 

What frustrates me most about Jimmy Stewart is how well he picked his roles. Generally, I try to avoid anything he's in because he was such a wussy ham, but as someone constantly seeking out excellent older pictures, I have to inevitably run into Jimmy once in awhile. And I almost always (the two I just mentioned being exceptions) find that when I like something he was in, it succeeds in spite of him. Having recently become a Marlene Dietrich fan, I'll have to get to "Destry Rides Again" at some point, and I just hope Jimmy doesn't make that too painful.


Edited by Naisu Baddi - 12/15/12 at 9:13am
post #50 of 50

Most probably if I had been around for James Stewart - John Wayne, too - my leftism would've made my appreciation of him more ambigous.

 

I see where you're coming from, Naisu, and I took some time to warm to Stewart as well, but I think that the key here is that, in that era of american cinema, "doofus" and "everyman" kinda went hand-in-hand; the Donald Duck from the old cartoons is a everyman, too. His latter badass roles, I think, live considerably from that meta factor of his being cast against type - the crazyness in The Naked Spur or Vertigo hits harder because it's coming from this supposedly harmless place. As far as everymen go, he's closer to Seth Rogan than Gary Cooper.

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