I watched 108 films released in 1959. A complete list can be found here. I consider this to be one of the great years in both US and foreign cinema, This is true both at the very top end and for a number of films that straddled the border between very good and excellent. The bottom end was crammed with memorable bad movie classics!
The list is unranked. The top four films were all rated 10/10 by me. Films I rated 9/10 that did not make the cut were: Compulsion; Odds Against Tomorrow; and Good Morning. Le Trou is considered to be a 1960 release by IMDb.
10. Ballad of a Soldier – directed by Girgoriy Chukhray
9. Anatomy of a Murder – directed by Otto Preminger
8. Suddenly, Last Summer – directed by Joseph L. Manciewicz
7. Hiroshima Mon Amour – directed by Alain Resnais
6. Room at the Top – directed by Jack Clayton
5. Floating Weeds – directed by Yasujiro Ozu
4. North by Northwest – directed by Alfred Hitchcock
3. The World of Apu – directed by Satyajit Ray
2. The 400 Blows – directed by Francois Truffaut
- Some Like It Hot – directed by Billy Wilder
My viewing for 2016 spanned from 1954 to 1959. I watched 489 films, a few of which were reviewed only here. I have finished with the 1950s (1959 Recap coming soon). I had thought about reaching back to the ’30s to catch up on some films I missed the first time around in January. 1960 looks to be such an outstanding year, however, that I think I’ll just keep on going.
I saw too many great films to count. Since I’ve been seeking out classic movies for a long time many of the best were re-watches. Still there were many gems that were new to me. Films that I rated 9/10 that did not make this list are:Twenty-Four Eyes (1954); Secrets of Life (1956); Le mystere Picasso (1956); Patterns (1956); Attack! (1956); Street of Shame (1956); and The Ballad of Narayama (1958).
Here’s 10 of the favorite films I saw for the first time in 2016. They are not ranked but in chronological order.
The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955) – directed by Luis Buñuel
Baby Doll (1956) – directed by Elia Kazan
Bigger Than Life (1956) – Directed by Nicholas Ray
Kanal (1957) – directed by Andrzej Wajda
The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) – directed by Jack Arnold
The Music Room (1958) – directed by Sayajit Ray
Room at the Top (1959) – directed by Jack Clayton
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) – directed by Robert Wise
Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) – directed by Alain Resnais
Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) – directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Montage of clips celebrating the career of Debbie Reynolds
I have now seen 92 films that were released in 1958. While the year had its definite pleasures in the mid-range, it was a bit weak at the top end. I have only two films left over at 9/10 for the also-ran list. They are The Ballad of Narayama and The Defiant Ones. The ranking doesn’t mean much except for the top two. This is the first year in which the majority of films on my list were in living color! A complete list of the films I watched can be found here.
10. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – directed by Elia Kazan
9. Gigi – directed by Vincente Minnelli
8. Equinox Flower – directed by Yasujiro Ozu
7. The Music Room – directed by Satyajit Ray
6. Ashes and Diamonds – directed by Andrzej Wajda
5. Damn Yankees! – directed by George Abbott and Stanley Donen
4. Elevator to the Gallows – directed by Louis Malle
3. Vertigo – directed by Alfred Hitchcock
2. Mon Oncle – directed by Jacques Tati
- Touch of Evil – directed by Orson Welles
I have now watched 92 films that were released in 1957. They can be found here.
1957 was a year full of riches. The films proved to be impossible for me to rank so the numbers should be ignored.
Worthy favorites that did not make my list are: Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison; The Lower Depths; The Pajama Game; Curse of the Demon; Le Notti Bianche; 3:10 to Yuma; Tokyo Twilight; and The Incredible Shrinking Man.
10. Kanal – directed by Andrezej Wadja
9. Throne of Blood – directed by Akira Kurosawa
8. 12 Angry Men – directed by Sidney Lumet
7. The Bridge on the River Kwai – directed by David Lean
6. A Face in the Crowd – directed by Elia Kazan
5. Wild Strawberries – directed by Ingmar Bergman
4. Paths of Glory – directed by Stanley Kubrick
3. Sweet Smell of Success – directed by Alexander MacKendrick
2. Nights of Cabiria – directed by Federico Fellini
- The Seventh Seal – directed by Ingmar Bergman
I have now watched 102 films released in 1956. The complete list is here. My new randomized viewing schedule worked in keeping me interested. In fact, the random number generator saved some of the best films for last this time!
1956 is not noted as a “great” year in film history but I ended it with too many films I rated 9/10 or above to fit on my list of personal favorites. I had a hard time selecting among them or ranking them. Also rans were: Attack; Patterns; Somebody Up There Likes Me; Street of Shame; Le mystere Picasso; Early Spring; A Town Like Alice; and Secrets of Life. Note: I am saving my review of Moby Dick for the upcoming Animals in Film blogathon. Totals include that film. I will revise this post if necessary.
10. Baby Doll – directed by Elia Kazan
9. The King and I – directed by Walter Lang
8. Bigger Than Life – directed by Nicholas Ray
7. The Killing – directed by Stanley Kubrick
6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers – directed by Don Siegel
5. Aparajito – directed by Satyajit Ray
4. The Bad Seed – directed by Mervyn LeRoy
3. The Burmese Harp – directed by Kon Ichikawa
2. The Red Balloon – directed by Albert Lamorisse
- The Searchers – directed by John Ford
I’ve now seen 80 films that were released in 1955. A complete list of the films I have seen is here. A few were reviewed only here. It was quite a deep year with 59 available films rated 7/10 or higher by IMDb users. Lately, I have thought that it would never end! That’s not to say that I didn’t watch many fantastic films – too many to fit all the films I rated 9/10 or over in this favorites list. Also rans were: Richard III; The Desperate Hours; Night and Fog; All That Heaven Allows; Oklahoma!; Marty; and Rebel Without a Cause.
I had a really hard time choosing among the top three films. I based my decision on the one I would want to watch again first.
10. Diabolique – directed by Georges-Henri Clouzot
9. The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz – directed by Luis Buñuel
8. Rififi – directed by Jules Dassin
7. Bad Day at Black Rock – directed by John Sturges
6. The Big Combo – directed by Joseph Lewis
5. Night of the Hunter – directed by Charles Laughton
4. The Ladykillers – directed by Alexander Mackendrick
3. Pather Panchali – directed by Satyajit Ray
2. Ordet – directed by Carl Th. Dreyer
- Smiles of a Summer Night – directed by Ingmar Bergman
I have now seen 55 films that were released in 1954. The complete list can be found here. The year is known as one of the best in film history and is very strong on the top end. Oddly enough, however, I had to dip down into the films I rated 8/10 to complete my list of favorites and there were less films than usual available for me to view. I could not find Becker’s Touche pas au Grisbi for a rewatch. If I had it likely would have made my favorites list. On to 1955!
10. Sabrina – directed by Billy Wilder
9., The Caine Mutiny – directed by Edward Dmytryk
8. Twenty-Four Eyes – directed by Keisuke Kinoshita
7. Gojira – directed by Ishirô Honda
6. French Cancan – directed by Jean Renoir
5. Hobson’s Choice – directed by David Lean
4. La Strada – directed by Federico Fellini
3. Rear Window – directed by Alfred Hitchcock
2. On the Waterfront – directed by Elia Kazan
- Seven Samurai – directed by Akira Kurosawa
My viewing for 2015 spanned from 1945 to 1954. I saw 508 movies this year, about 320 of which I had never seen before. There were many gems among them, far too many to include in a top ten list!
There were no new-to-me films that I rated 10/10. The 9/10 “new” films I did not have room for here were: Samurai Rebellion (1967); No Regrets for Our Youth (1946); Night and the City (1950); She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949); Red Army (2014); Twelve O’Clock High (1949); All My Sons (1948); Gate of Hell (1953); The Quiet Duel (1949); White Mane (1953); Morning for the Osone Family (1946); and Directed by John Ford (1971).
Many thanks to all of my readers. You keep it fun.
10. Last Holiday (1950) – directed by Henry Cass
9. Gion Bayashi (1953) – directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
8. Young Man with a Horn (1950) – directed by Michael Curtiz
7. Umberto D. (1952) – directed by Vittorio De Sica
6. Death of a Salesman (1951) – directed by Laslo Benedek
5. The Heart of the Matter (1953) – directed by George Moore O’Farrell
4. The Heiress (1949) – directed by William Wyler
3. Le Plaisir (1952) – directed by Max Ophüls
2. Brighton Rock (1947) – directed by Rowan Joffé
1. All the King’s Men (1949) – directed by Robert Rossen
Just for fun, here is a mash-up of clips from about 300 films that had appeared on the IMDb Top 250 by November 2012. How many can you spot?
I have now seen 72 movies that were released in 1953. Some of the B pictures were reviewed only here. It was a fairly strong year with 20 of the films rated as 9/10 or higher. The complete list of the movies is here.
Except for the top film, I found these extremely difficult to rank. I should mention that I gave Luis Buñuel’s El a perfect 10/10 when I saw it several years ago. I didn’t remember it well enough to include in my 10 favorites. The other also-rans, in no particular order, were: Little Fugitive; The Naked Spur; The Hitch-Hiker; Ugetsu; Calamity Jane; I Vitelloni; White Mane; Gion Bayashi (A Geisha); and Summer with Monika.
10. Gate of Hell – directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa
9. The Band Wagon – directed by Vicente Minnelli
8. The Heart of the Matter – directed by George More O’Ferrall
7. Mr. Hulot’s Holiday – directed by Jacques Tati
6. The Big Heat – directed by Fritz Lang
5. Pickup on South Street – directed by Samuel Fuller
4. From Here to Eternity – directed by Fred Zinnemann
3. Wages of Fear – directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
2. The Earrings of Madame de ... – directed by Max Ophüls
1. Tokyo Story – directed by Yasujirô Ozu
I’ve now watched 57 movies from 1952. Finishing off almost all of the available movies rated by IMDb users at over 7/10 plus a few more was enough for me this time around.
1952 is not necessarily known as a great year overall for movies but film makers in Europe and Japan went from strength to strength and ended up dominating my favorites list. Two of the films, both foreign, were new to me from this last round of viewing. You can find a complete list of the movies I watched here.
10. The Bad and the Beautiful (directed by Vincente Minnelli)
9. Umberto D. (Directed by Vittorio de Sica)
8. The Life of Oharu (Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi)
7. Le Plaisir (Directed by Max Ophüls)
6. The Importance of Being Earnest (Directed by Anthony Asquith)
5. Casque d’or (Directed by Jacques Becker)
4. Forbidden Games (Directed by René Clement)
3. High Noon (Directed by Fred Zinnemann)
2. Ikiru (Directed by Akira Kurosawa)
1. Singin’ in the Rain (Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly)