2015 in Review: Top Ten New-to-Me Movies

 

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

bfi-00n-85f

9.  Gion Bayashi (1953) – directed by Kenji Mizoguchi

gion

8.  Young Man with a Horn (1950) – directed by Michael Curtiz

YOUNG_MAN_WITH_A_HORN-6

7.  Umberto D. (1952) – directed by Vittorio De Sica

936full-umberto-d-poster

6. Death of a Salesman (1951) – directed by Laslo Benedek

death

5.  The Heart of the Matter (1953) – directed by George Moore O’Farrell

22057 - The Heart of the Matter

4.  The Heiress (1949) – directed by William Wyler

vlcsnap-238307

3. Le Plaisir (1952) – directed by Max Ophüls

le plaisir

2.  Brighton Rock (1947) – directed by Rowan Joffé

brighhton

1.  All the King’s Men (1949) – directed by Robert Rossen

1949

 

 

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?

1953 Recap and 10 Favorites

Tokyo_Story_poster

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

gateofhell.jpg

9.  The Band Wagon – directed by Vicente Minnelli

blog-locarno-2011-day-9-ter

8.  The Heart of the Matter – directed by George More O’Ferrall

the-heart-of-the-matter

7.  Mr. Hulot’s Holiday – directed by Jacques Tati

vac3

6.  The Big Heat – directed by Fritz Lang

big heat

5.  Pickup on South Street – directed by Samuel Fuller

pickup-on-south-street

4.  From Here to Eternity – directed by Fred Zinnemann

From Here To Eternity 3

3.  Wages of Fear – directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot

the-wages-of-fear

2. The Earrings of Madame de ... – directed by Max Ophüls

earringsofmadamede4

1. Tokyo Story – directed by Yasujirô Ozu

bfi-00o-2tp

1952 Recap and Ten Favorites List

Singin-in-the-Rain-Poster

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)

bad beautiful

9.  Umberto D. (Directed by Vittorio de Sica)

umberto-d-1952-5

8.  The Life of Oharu (Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi)

oharu2big

7.  Le Plaisir (Directed by Max Ophüls)

le plaisir 5

6.  The Importance of Being Earnest (Directed by Anthony Asquith)

the_importance_of_being_earnest_asquith_1952_5

5.  Casque d’or (Directed by Jacques Becker)

Georges Manda (left, actor Serge Reggiani) and Marie (right, actress Simone Signoret) in the movie Casque D'or. Courtesy of The Criterion Collection.

4.  Forbidden Games (Directed by René Clement)

FosseyPoujuouly

3.  High Noon (Directed by Fred Zinnemann)

16723920_640

2.  Ikiru (Directed by Akira Kurosawa)

still-of-takashi-shimura-in-ikiru-(1952)

1.  Singin’ in the Rain (Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly)

Singin' In The Rain-08

1951 Recap and 10 Favorites

1-the-day-the-earth-stood-still-1951-everett

I’ve now seen 57 films that were released in 1951.  A complete list can be found here.  A very few films were reviewed only here.  It was a good year on the high end but lacking somewhat in depth below that.

Any way,  I have fourteen 1951 films that I would call favorites.   I reluctantly left out The ProwlerThe RiverThe Man in the White Suit and The African Queen.  Another day I would probably slice and dice another way.  The ranking is fairly arbitrary as well.  Bottom line: These are all films I would watch again any time.

10.  A Christmas Carol – directed by Brian Desmond-Hurst

scrooge-1951-18

9.  An American in Paris – directed by Vicente Minnelli

american in paris

 

8. A Place in the Sun – directed by George Stevens

tumblr_kr856ctN0E1qzdvhio1_500

 

7.  Death of a Salesman – directed by Laslo Benedeck

salesman

6.  A Streetcar Named Desire – directed by Elia Kazan

streetcar 5

5.  Ace in the Hole – directed by Billy Wilder

ace 2

4.  Strangers on a Train – directed by Alfred Hitchcock

strangers

3.  The Browning Version – directed by Anthony Asquith

browning 1-tile 1

2.  Early Summer – directed by Yasujiro Ozu

summer

1. The Day the Earth Stood Still – directed by Robert Wise

vlcsnap2013032621h40m47

1950 Recap and 10 Favorite Films

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

I have now seen 64 films that were released in 1950. The complete list is here.  I decided to cut things a bit short and get on to the riches of 1951 since I don’t have long before I hit the road again.

This was a fantastic year for film on the high end.  The rankings of the first five films on my favorites list could be sorted in any number of ways on any given day.  There was only one new-to-me film on the list this time.  Several  of the films were reviewed here earlier as part of either Noir Month or the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die blog club.

10.  Winchester ’73 (Directed by Anthony Mann)

James Stewart (Lin McAdam) rides into Dodge City with his friend Millard Mitchell (High Spade Frankie Wilson)

9.  Young Man with a Horn (Directed by Michael Curtiz)

horn2

8.  Panic in the Streets (Directed by Elia Kazan)

panic in the streets

7.  Harvey (Directed by Henry Koster)

james_stewart_harvey

6.  Gun Crazy (Directed by Joseph H. Lewis)

gun-crazy-1950-still-2

5.  The Asphalt Jungle (Directed by John Huston)

quand-la-ville-dort-1950-05-g

4.  All About Eve (Directed by Joseph L. Mankowicz)

all-about-eve-1950-001-00m-o9u-addison-eve

3.  In a Lonely Place (Directed by Nicholas Ray)

in-a-lonely-place-006-1000018401

2.  Rashomon (Directed by Akira Kurosawa)

roshomon 2

1.  Sunset Blvd.  (Directed by Billy Wilder)

gloria swanson & william holden 1950 - sunset boulevard. from jane's film noir series.

1949 Recap and Ten Favorites List

minimal poster late sprin

I have now seen 68 films that were released in 1949. The complete list is here. A few B movies were reviewed only here.

This time I had a hard time deciding the ranking toward the top of the list.  Ozu won but on another day I might have picked Reed.  I was unable to see Whiskey Galore this time around.  It is also a very good film but it’s been so long that I did not include it in my rankings.  Kurosawa’s The Quiet Duel, Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and Walsh’s White Heat were also-rans.

10.  The Rocking Horse Winner – directed by Jack Lee

The-Rocking-Horse-Winner-31629_0

9.  House of Strangers – directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

House-of-Strangers-33051_4

8.  Twelve O’Clock High – directed by Henry King

twelve o'clock high

7.  Stray Dog – directed by Akira Kurosawa

dvd_stray

6.  The Set-Up – directed by Robert Wise

vlcsnap-2011-12-16-17h18m27s95

5.  All the King’s Men – directed by Robert Rossen

All-the-Kings-Men-de-Robert-Rossen

4.  The Heiress – directed by William Wyler

2014_Cinematek_FebMar_heiress_613x463

3.  A Letter to Three Wives – directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Linda-Darnell-in-A-Letter-To-Three-Wives-1949

2.  The Third Man – directed by Carol Reed

le-troisieme-homme-grand-prix-du-festival-de-cannes-1949annex-welles-orson-third-man-the_03-

1.  Late Spring – directed by Yasujirô Ozu

late spring

 

1948 Recap – 10 Favorite Films

treasure italian poster

I have now seen 63 films that were released in 1948. The complete list is here.  A few shorts, documentaries, and other movies were reviewed here. The total also includes a few I’ve seen before that were not easily available this time around.  This was a great year for movies.  I cut it a bit short so that I can start fresh on 1949 when I return from vacation.

I usually make my list from films I have rated 10/10 or 9/10 on IMDb.  This time there are too many 9/10 movies to include all of them in the top 10.  Also rans were:  Rope; Raw Deal; Red River; Force of EvilIt Happened in Europe; Pitfall; and He Walked by Night.

These basically could have been placed in any order, though Treasure of the Sierra Madre would always come out as my favorite of the year.

10.  All My Sons (directed by Irving Reis)

erano_tutti_miei_figli_edward_g_robinson_irving_reis_008_jpg_mayk

9.  Hamlet (directed by Laurence Olivier)

still-of-laurence-olivier-in-hamlet-(1948)-large-picture

8.  The Snake Pit  (directed by Anatole Litvak)

snake pit 2

7.  Fort Apache (directed by John Ford)

39_apache

6.  The Red Shoes (directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger)

redshoes1

5.  Oliver Twist (directed by David Lean)

oliver twist

4. Drunken Angel (directed by Akira Kurosawa)

968full-drunken-angel-screenshot

3.  Bicycle Thieves (1948, directed by Vittorio de Sica)

Bicycle Thieves (1948)2

2.  The Fallen Idol (directed by Carol Reed)

MCDFAID EC033

1.  Treasure of the Sierra Madre (directed by John Huston)

treas_sm82

1947 Recap and 10 Favorites List

Poster - Out of the Past (1947)_03

What a great year for film noir it was!  I have now seen 75 films that were released in 1947.  A few shorts, documentaries, and B movies were reviewed only here.  The total also includes a few I’ve seen before that were not easily available this time around.  In that category, Raoul Walsh’s Pursued deserves special mention.  As of the time I first watched it, it probably would have made the top half of my favorites list.  It features gorgeous black-and-white cinematography by James Wong Howe and a cast that includes Robert Mitchum, Teresa Wright, and Judith Anderson.  Another film I liked several years ago that I did not see this time was The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer with Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple.

There were many, many films that could as easily have filled the bottom three slots on my top-ten list.  The ones I selected mostly reflect my bias for film noir.  As usual, the list represents my personal favorites and does not attempt to arrive at the “best” films of the year.

10.  They Made Me a Fugitive – directed by Alberto Cavalcanti

large_they_made_me_a_fugitive_blu-ray_069. Ride the Pink Horse – directed by Robert Montgomery

et-tournent-les-chevaux-de-bois_375640_20493

8.  Crossfire – directed by Edward Dmytryk

crossfire-1947-robert-ryan-robert-montgomery

7.  Miracle on 34th Street – directed by George Seaton

miracle 5

6.  Quai de Orfevres – directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot

009-quai-des-orfevres-theredlist

5.  Brighton Rock – directed by John Boulting

brighton rock montage

4.  Nightmare Alley – directed by Edmund Goulding

nightmare_alley_1

3.  Black Narcissus – directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

black narcissus

2.  Odd Man Out – directed by Carol Reed

odd-man-out-1947-restored-carol-reed-james-mason-dvd-315ec

1.  Out of the Past – directed by Jacques Tourneur

Annex - Mitchum, Robert (Out of the Past)_04

The Bishop’s Wife, Body and Soul, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer and Pursued dropped out of my predicted favorites list to make way for They Made Me a Fugitive, Ride the Pink Horse, Crossfire, and Brighton Rock.  All but Crossfire were new to me.  The complete list of films I viewed for 1947 can be found here and here.

1946 Recap – 10 Favorite Films

I saw 80 films that were released in 1946, including shorts, documentaries, and B films reviewed here.  Sadly, I discovered only one new-to-me favorite to add to my top ten list.  Perhaps that was to be expected in this year full of classics.

Here are my favorites in reverse order.  (I added the Kurosawa film and dropped The Blue Dahlia from my original list.)

10.  No Regrets for Our Youth (directed by Akira Kurosawa)

no regrets 3

9.  Great Expectations (directed by David Lean)

great

8.  Shoeshine (directed by Vittorio De Sica)

shoeshine-1

7.  My Darling Clementine (directed by John Ford)

my darling clementine

6.  The Big Sleep (directed by Howard Hawks)

the_big_sleep_1946_1024x768_596301

5.  The Killers (directed by Robert Siodmak)

the-killers-1946

4.  Beauty and the Beast (directed by Jean Cocteau)

MP_PH_06_TE_XXX_XXX_BD

3.  It’s a Wonderful Life (directed by Frank Capra)

its-a-wonderful-life-1946-james-stewart-zuzu2.  Notorious (directed by Alfred Hitchcock)

Notorious-1946-RKO-Cary-Grant-and-Ingrid-Bergman

1.  The Best Years of Our Lives (directed by William Wyler)

best years 3

Bonus:  I gave the Academy Award-winner for Best Short, Cartoon, The Cat Concerto, a 10/10.  I think this is simply the best Tom and Jerry cartoon ever made.  A couple of versions are currently available on YouTube.

1945 In Review – Top Ten Favorites

Well, it was what it was.  I saw 83 movies released in 1945, including shorts, documentaries and B movies that I reviewed here.  Although there was a lot of dross, the following favorites were anything but.

10. The Lost Weekend (Directed by Billy Wilder)

The-Lost-Weekend-1945

9.  They Were Expendable (Directed by John Ford)

855f56a1e6493f779277e7f741c78d82

8.  The Clock (Directed by Vicente Minnelli)

clock1-e1311695870298 ver. 27.  I Know Where I’m Going!  (Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger)

i know where i'm going!

6.  Mildred Pierce (Directed by Michael Curtiz)

mildred-pierce_joan-crawford-4

5.  Scarlet Street (Directed by Fritz Lang)

scarlet street 3

4.  Rome, Open City (Directed by Roberto Rossellini)

rome-open-city

3.  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Directed by Elia Kazan)

A-Tree-Grows-in-Brooklyn

2.  Children of Paradise (Directed by Marcel Carné)

ChildrenofParadise1

1.  Brief Encounter (Directed by David Lean)

BriefRaam

 

A complete list of the movies I saw can be found on IMDb or Letterboxd.