The Top Ten Films of All Time (Sort Of)

Later this summer Sight & Sound magazine will unveil the results of their once-a-decade poll of the greatest films of all time. In 2002 they queried 145 critics, writers and academics, who placed Citizen Kane #1, the same place it’s been since 1962.  Re-affirming the greatness of Citizen Kane, and ranking in general, tends to inflame Manichean arguments taking the form of “this over that”. Is Citizen Kane “better” than Tokyo Story or Vertigo? This attitude treats movies like sporting events, where one film is the clear “winner”.  These lists are intended to start conversations, but instead they end them (I find it’s far more fun to look at individual lists, where personal idiosyncracies shine through, as with James Tobacks’s selection of Jimmy Hollywood in the Director’s Poll). Part of the issue is seeing the same titles every time, embalming them in a canon of good taste, historical artifacts rather than living works of art. This ends up reducing the films the poll set out to glorify. So I am presenting an Alternate All Time Top Ten,  composed of films and directors that have never been represented on the Sight and Sound poll before. These aren’t better or worse than the films that will land on the S&S poll, just different, and hopefully will spark new conversations. I encourage you to post your own alternate lists in the comments.

The list is presented in alphabetical order.

Beau Travail (1999), directed by Claire Denis

When I saw this at the Market Arcade theater in Buffalo, probably in 2000, I was introduced to a new world of movie-making, one of sensuous power that proceeded by a logic of images rather words. An erotic reverie that transposes Herman Melville’s Billy Budd to the French Foreign Legion in Africa, it builds tension through the arch of bodies and the glint of hard sun on sand. A transformative moment for me, although my Dad didn’t like it.

***

The Clock (1945), directed by Vincente Minnelli

Minnelli’s first non-musical is still impeccably choreographed, as Judy Garland and Robert Walker meet-cute in NYC and fall into a whirlwind romance. Walker plays an earnest midwesterner on a two-day leave from the army, who falls instantly in love with Garland’s sophisticated urbanite. Compressing the entire wooing process into two nights, Minnelli heightens the tension of together-separate with big boom shots which pick the lovers out of the crowd, and then lose them in it.

***

Coeur Fidele, (Faithful Heart, 1925), directed by Jean Epstein

The current Jean Epstein retrospective at Anthology Film Archives in New York City has been my first exposure to this feverish stylist, and my goodness are they sensual viewing experiences (as much as Beau Travail, say). This one, available on UK DVD/Blu, is about a foundling girl (Gina Manes) whose cheap adoptive parents marry her off to an evil bastard named Little Paul (Edmond Von Daele). She’s in love with sensitive guy Jean (Leon Mathot), who seems to spend most of his time staring at the sea (as do most Epstein characters). Filled with looming close-ups, dreamy super-impositions and sequences of fast-cutting that would make Tony Scott blush, it’s an experimental melodrama that floored me with its earnest audacity.

***

Duck Amuck (1953), directed by Chuck Jones

Where Daffy Duck meets his maker. This modernist masterpiece finds the titular mallard go ballistic when the animator keeps changing the backgrounds to his scenes. A Three Musketeers pastiche all of a sudden becomes a folksy farm routine and then a mountain skiing escapade. Eventually Daffy goes ballistic, yelling at the screen, until the hand of Jones comes in with his eraser… One of the funniest films ever made, which also just happens to be a wittily self-reflexive essay on the author as sadist (or as Bugs Bunny, which amounts to the same thing).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH6i2Z6mTRE?rel=0&w=420&h=315]

***

Four Nights of a Dreamer (1971), directed by Robert Bresson

The funniest Bresson is also now my new favorite. Jacques (Guillaume des Forets) is an ascetic young painter enraptured by Marthe (Isabelle Weingarten), who attempts suicide after her boyfriend cuts off contact. Jacques promises to act as a go-between between Marthe and her man, as a way to get closer to her. They start strolling along the Seine most nights, zombies in unrequited love, hypnotized by a glass pleasure boat that sails down its waters, trailing its bossa nova tune.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34Ylq9jGdT4?rel=0&w=420&h=315]

***

The Green Ray (Le Rayon Vert,1986), directed by Eric Rohmer

The perfect summer movie! The wispy Marie Riviere plays Delphine, a neurotic young professional whose friend backs out of a trip to the Greek isles two weeks before departure. Already bummed out by her sometime (mostly never) boyfriend, she wanders from beaches to the mountains in a depressive state, forcing relaxation upon herself, but only ending up in tears. Riviere is a bewitchingly annoying presence, her sulkiness matched by her hectoring lectures on vegetarianism. She is an open wound, cringing at every touch. The healing process begins through another meet-cute in a train station (Rohmer must be a Clock fan!), and the intervention of a Jules Verne short story. There magic in books and sky, so Delphine finally chokes down her pain begins emerging into the world outside her head.

***

Make Way For Tomorrow (1937), directed by Leo McCarey

Bark (Victor Moore) and Lucy (Beulah Bondi) Cooper have lost their house, and depend on the kindness of their children to take them in. It doesn’t work out that way in McCarey’s devastating drama of aging and loss, which was the model for S&S poll mainstay Tokyo Story. Orson Welles famously said it could make a stone cry. It is so affecting because it is so clear-eyed and unsentimental, with no last act redemptions. It is simply a story of two people in love whose lives fall apart.

***

Me and My Gal (1931), directed by Raoul Walsh

The first movie I wrote about here at Movie Morlocks, and one of the most energetic every made. Each frame pops with invention, whether it’s Spencer Tracy’s slangy NYC argot, trick shots or parodies of popular movies of the day, there’s something happening every frame. The whole production seems drunk, from Walsh on down to the gaffer, tossing around ideas and shooting the bull until the shooting day ended. The result is chaotic, messy and joyful – filled with the most life per square inch of film stock in history.

***

Mysteries of Lisbon (2010), directed by Raul Ruiz

A summation of Ruiz’s work, with its nested stories, unstable identities and swirling camera movements, and one that is endlessly pleasurable. I’m rather anxious to see the 6-hour TV version. Adapted from the 19th Century novel by Camilo Castelo Branco, it tells the circuitous story of an orphan and his parentage, one which spans lifetimes and consumes hundreds of identities. It is a a ballet where every step both reveals and conceals, Ruiz’s camera unveiling truth at one edge and a lie at the other.

***

When A Woman Ascends the Stairs(1960), directed by Mikio Naruse

Hideko Takamine’s face is one of the great monuments of cinema, and here she gives a performance of shuddering uncertainty. She plays Keiko, a fiercely independent bar hostess in Ginza forced intent on opening her own place. But the world of men keeps throwing up obstacles to her self-actualization, her impassive expressions intimating only hints of the roiling uncertainty inside.

0 Response The Top Ten Films of All Time (Sort Of)
Posted By shadowsandsatin : June 5, 2012 10:30 am

Okay, first of all, I found the image at the top of your post to be exceedingly haunting — I couldn’t stop scrolling back up to look at it! What is it from? Secondly, your list is so interesting to me — not the least of which because I have not heard of most of these films and would like to check them out to find out what caused you to include them on your list. I actually caught the last 10 minutes or so of Make Way for Tomorrow about a month or so, and the little bit that I saw had me kicking myself for not taping it. Thanks for this post!

Posted By shadowsandsatin : June 5, 2012 10:30 am

Okay, first of all, I found the image at the top of your post to be exceedingly haunting — I couldn’t stop scrolling back up to look at it! What is it from? Secondly, your list is so interesting to me — not the least of which because I have not heard of most of these films and would like to check them out to find out what caused you to include them on your list. I actually caught the last 10 minutes or so of Make Way for Tomorrow about a month or so, and the little bit that I saw had me kicking myself for not taping it. Thanks for this post!

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 5, 2012 10:47 am

Freaks 1932 Tod Browning
Shane 1953 George Stevens
El Dorado 1967 Howard Hawks
Il Mercenario 1968 Sergio Corbucci
Mean Streets 1973 Martin Scorsese
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid 1973 Sam Peckinpah
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 Tobe Hooper
Novecento 1976 Bernardo Bertolucci
Quadrophenia 1979 Franc Roddam
The Big Lebowski 1998 Coen Brothers

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 5, 2012 10:47 am

Freaks 1932 Tod Browning
Shane 1953 George Stevens
El Dorado 1967 Howard Hawks
Il Mercenario 1968 Sergio Corbucci
Mean Streets 1973 Martin Scorsese
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid 1973 Sam Peckinpah
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 Tobe Hooper
Novecento 1976 Bernardo Bertolucci
Quadrophenia 1979 Franc Roddam
The Big Lebowski 1998 Coen Brothers

Posted By R. Emmet Sweeney : June 5, 2012 10:50 am

The image is from COEUR FIDELE (FAITHFUL HEART, 1925), by Jean Epstein. If you have an all-region DVD player you can pick it up here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fidele-Format-Blu-ray-Masters-Cinema/dp/B004YJZ97M

ShadowsAndSatin, I’m so happy to hear you might check some of these out. It’s the whole reason I wrote the list! Make Way For Tomorrow is out in a great edition from Criterion…

Posted By R. Emmet Sweeney : June 5, 2012 10:50 am

The image is from COEUR FIDELE (FAITHFUL HEART, 1925), by Jean Epstein. If you have an all-region DVD player you can pick it up here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fidele-Format-Blu-ray-Masters-Cinema/dp/B004YJZ97M

ShadowsAndSatin, I’m so happy to hear you might check some of these out. It’s the whole reason I wrote the list! Make Way For Tomorrow is out in a great edition from Criterion…

Posted By dukeroberts : June 5, 2012 10:58 am

I have only seen Duck Amuck and Make Way for Tomorrow. I would not argue too vigorously against your inclusion of them in the top 10.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 5, 2012 10:58 am

I have only seen Duck Amuck and Make Way for Tomorrow. I would not argue too vigorously against your inclusion of them in the top 10.

Posted By Michael J. Anderson : June 5, 2012 12:56 pm

Fabulous post (and of course choices), Rob. I really need to see COEUR FIDELE as soon as possible!

Posted By Michael J. Anderson : June 5, 2012 12:56 pm

Fabulous post (and of course choices), Rob. I really need to see COEUR FIDELE as soon as possible!

Posted By swac44 : June 5, 2012 4:04 pm

I’m most excited for Me and My Gal because of the trio of a)Walsh b)Tracy and c)pre-code making for a most tempting movie experience. Now that I have a DVR and TCM, I’ll record anything with a pre-1934 date on it, and nine times out of ten I’m not disappointed by what I see. This sounds like it’ll be a real discovery for me. I see that it’s a Fox film, I hope that doesn’t prevent it from getting a TCM airing at some point (I find Fox pre-codes to be rarer than hen’s teeth these days).

Posted By swac44 : June 5, 2012 4:04 pm

I’m most excited for Me and My Gal because of the trio of a)Walsh b)Tracy and c)pre-code making for a most tempting movie experience. Now that I have a DVR and TCM, I’ll record anything with a pre-1934 date on it, and nine times out of ten I’m not disappointed by what I see. This sounds like it’ll be a real discovery for me. I see that it’s a Fox film, I hope that doesn’t prevent it from getting a TCM airing at some point (I find Fox pre-codes to be rarer than hen’s teeth these days).

Posted By swac44 : June 5, 2012 4:07 pm

And The Clock is on tonight as well, better get to recording.

Posted By swac44 : June 5, 2012 4:07 pm

And The Clock is on tonight as well, better get to recording.

Posted By Kingrat : June 5, 2012 6:10 pm

I checked the Sight & Sound website and was delighted to discover that STRAY DOG, UN COEUR EN HIVER, THE NUN’S STORY and WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND had been already selected. However, none of these films has ever received a vote, and I’m quite shocked that the Olmi hasn’t been picked.

1. LE JOUR SE LEVE has been chosen on many ballots over the years, so I’ll begin with the American remake, THE LONG NIGHT (1947, Anatole Litvak) which is equally fine.
2. DEEP VALLEY (1947, Jean Negulesco)
3. PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (1951, Albert Lewin)
4. IL GRIDO (1957, Michelangelo Antonioni)
5. WILD RIVER (1960, Elia Kazan)
6. IL POSTO (1961, Ermanno Olmi)
7. LES AMITIES PARTICULIERES (THIS SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP) (1964, Jean Delannoy)
8. KING RAT (1965, Bryan Forbes). Hey, you didn’t think I’d leave this one out?
9. WELCOME TO L.A. (1976, Alan Rudolph)
10. EXOTICA (1994, Atom Egoyan)

I had trouble deciding between WELCOME TO L.A. and CHOOSE ME (1984) as the Alan Rudolph film, and I’m surprised that CHOOSE ME is also, well, unchosen.

Posted By Kingrat : June 5, 2012 6:10 pm

I checked the Sight & Sound website and was delighted to discover that STRAY DOG, UN COEUR EN HIVER, THE NUN’S STORY and WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND had been already selected. However, none of these films has ever received a vote, and I’m quite shocked that the Olmi hasn’t been picked.

1. LE JOUR SE LEVE has been chosen on many ballots over the years, so I’ll begin with the American remake, THE LONG NIGHT (1947, Anatole Litvak) which is equally fine.
2. DEEP VALLEY (1947, Jean Negulesco)
3. PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (1951, Albert Lewin)
4. IL GRIDO (1957, Michelangelo Antonioni)
5. WILD RIVER (1960, Elia Kazan)
6. IL POSTO (1961, Ermanno Olmi)
7. LES AMITIES PARTICULIERES (THIS SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP) (1964, Jean Delannoy)
8. KING RAT (1965, Bryan Forbes). Hey, you didn’t think I’d leave this one out?
9. WELCOME TO L.A. (1976, Alan Rudolph)
10. EXOTICA (1994, Atom Egoyan)

I had trouble deciding between WELCOME TO L.A. and CHOOSE ME (1984) as the Alan Rudolph film, and I’m surprised that CHOOSE ME is also, well, unchosen.

Posted By Shuvcat : June 5, 2012 7:24 pm

Yay Duck Amuck! Based on your excellent choice of that I will have to check out all your other (non-toon) selections.

Posted By Shuvcat : June 5, 2012 7:24 pm

Yay Duck Amuck! Based on your excellent choice of that I will have to check out all your other (non-toon) selections.

Posted By tdraicer : June 5, 2012 10:06 pm

My Alternate list in no order:

A Tale of Two Cities (the Ronald Coleman version)- one of the best adaptations of a novel for the screen.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein-manages to be very funny while honoring the classic Universal horror films of the 30s and 40s.

Sleuth- how to take a stage play with a very small cast and make a terrific film out of it.

The Naked Jungle-a feminist love story wrapped in an adventure movie with a horror movie in the wings.

The Jungle Book-my favorite Disney animated film.

Judgement At Nurmemberg-the best WWII film with no battle scenes.

Moby Dick-terribly underrated performance by Peck as Ahab.

Spartacus-spectacle, intelligence and heart.

Let Me In-superior (new)Hammer remake of very good Scandanavian horror movie.

Ed Wood-classic look at failure as a kind of success.

Of course, this is off the top of my head, and in an hour I’d come up with a different list.

Posted By tdraicer : June 5, 2012 10:06 pm

My Alternate list in no order:

A Tale of Two Cities (the Ronald Coleman version)- one of the best adaptations of a novel for the screen.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein-manages to be very funny while honoring the classic Universal horror films of the 30s and 40s.

Sleuth- how to take a stage play with a very small cast and make a terrific film out of it.

The Naked Jungle-a feminist love story wrapped in an adventure movie with a horror movie in the wings.

The Jungle Book-my favorite Disney animated film.

Judgement At Nurmemberg-the best WWII film with no battle scenes.

Moby Dick-terribly underrated performance by Peck as Ahab.

Spartacus-spectacle, intelligence and heart.

Let Me In-superior (new)Hammer remake of very good Scandanavian horror movie.

Ed Wood-classic look at failure as a kind of success.

Of course, this is off the top of my head, and in an hour I’d come up with a different list.

Posted By swac44 : June 6, 2012 8:39 am

I love the John Huston version of Moby Dick and Peck is fantastic in it. It’s hard to believe now that the film was considered a misfire when it first came out.

Posted By swac44 : June 6, 2012 8:39 am

I love the John Huston version of Moby Dick and Peck is fantastic in it. It’s hard to believe now that the film was considered a misfire when it first came out.

Posted By Susan Doll : June 6, 2012 1:42 pm

DUCK AMUCK makes its appearance in a Morlocks post twice within a month. Definitely a sign of its greatness.

Posted By Susan Doll : June 6, 2012 1:42 pm

DUCK AMUCK makes its appearance in a Morlocks post twice within a month. Definitely a sign of its greatness.

Posted By Rich Procter : June 6, 2012 3:01 pm

The Ten Films I Love Most, and Watch Most Often (as opposed to the 10 Best)

• The Kid Brother (Lloyd’s masterpiece)
• Plan 9 From Outer Space (hypnotic)
• The Lady from Shanghai (see comment for Plan 9)
• My Man Godfrey
• The Music Box (L & H)
• Cat Women of the Moon (but only in 3-D)
• Barton Fink
• My Neighbor Totoro
• Sherlock Jr. (Keaton)
• City Lights (best final minute in movie history)

Posted By Rich Procter : June 6, 2012 3:01 pm

The Ten Films I Love Most, and Watch Most Often (as opposed to the 10 Best)

• The Kid Brother (Lloyd’s masterpiece)
• Plan 9 From Outer Space (hypnotic)
• The Lady from Shanghai (see comment for Plan 9)
• My Man Godfrey
• The Music Box (L & H)
• Cat Women of the Moon (but only in 3-D)
• Barton Fink
• My Neighbor Totoro
• Sherlock Jr. (Keaton)
• City Lights (best final minute in movie history)

Posted By Brian : June 6, 2012 5:19 pm

Rich, I agree with you about the final minute of City Lights, no other single scene has moved me as much as that one.
Off the top of my head, here are 10 favorites of mine.
About A Boy
Gunga Din
Bride Of Frankenstein
Emma’s Shadow
Father Goose
On The Waterfront
The Human Comedy (my favorite Micky Rooney film)
The Flim Flam Mam (what a great cast of supporting actors)
Tugboat Annie
On The Waterfront.

Posted By Brian : June 6, 2012 5:19 pm

Rich, I agree with you about the final minute of City Lights, no other single scene has moved me as much as that one.
Off the top of my head, here are 10 favorites of mine.
About A Boy
Gunga Din
Bride Of Frankenstein
Emma’s Shadow
Father Goose
On The Waterfront
The Human Comedy (my favorite Micky Rooney film)
The Flim Flam Mam (what a great cast of supporting actors)
Tugboat Annie
On The Waterfront.

Posted By Jenni : June 6, 2012 11:18 pm

Les Visages d’Enfants,(Faces of the Children): A beautiful silent film from France.

The Wind: Silent film starring the great Lillian Gish and the excellent Swedish actor, Lars Hanson.

Life with Father: William Powell at his best with the lovely Irene Dunne as his wife.

The Quiet Man: John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, and Ireland.

The Parent Trap: Maureen O’Hara, Hayley Mills, Brian Keith version. As a mom of twins, this film draws me in!

On the Waterfront: Brando in one of his best roles, standing up to Union corruption

The Seven Samurai: Kurosawa

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: The musical that MGM didn’t put as much money into as Brigadoon, and guess which one was a major hit? Not the one with Gene Kelly in it! Love Howard Keel’s voice.

The Lady Vanishes: An early-ish Hitchcock, Michael Redgrave, Margaret Lockwood, Paul Lukas, and a great supporting cast.

49th Parallel: Interesting WWII tale from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, The Archers. Great cast: Laurence Olivier, Anton Wahlbrook, Leslie Howard, Niall MacGinnis, Eric Portman, Glynnis Johns,

Posted By Jenni : June 6, 2012 11:18 pm

Les Visages d’Enfants,(Faces of the Children): A beautiful silent film from France.

The Wind: Silent film starring the great Lillian Gish and the excellent Swedish actor, Lars Hanson.

Life with Father: William Powell at his best with the lovely Irene Dunne as his wife.

The Quiet Man: John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, and Ireland.

The Parent Trap: Maureen O’Hara, Hayley Mills, Brian Keith version. As a mom of twins, this film draws me in!

On the Waterfront: Brando in one of his best roles, standing up to Union corruption

The Seven Samurai: Kurosawa

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: The musical that MGM didn’t put as much money into as Brigadoon, and guess which one was a major hit? Not the one with Gene Kelly in it! Love Howard Keel’s voice.

The Lady Vanishes: An early-ish Hitchcock, Michael Redgrave, Margaret Lockwood, Paul Lukas, and a great supporting cast.

49th Parallel: Interesting WWII tale from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, The Archers. Great cast: Laurence Olivier, Anton Wahlbrook, Leslie Howard, Niall MacGinnis, Eric Portman, Glynnis Johns,

Posted By swac44 : June 7, 2012 10:25 am

Love The 49th Parallel, especially after getting the chance to see it in 35mm, hosted by Pressburger’s daughter. And it turns out this thrilling tale of German agents on the loose in Canada during the Second World War has some roots in local legend where I live, Nova Scotia, where German U-boat crew members were rumoured to come on shore and mingle with the crowds and even attend the movies at a Halifax theatre.

For years I thought this was an urban legend, but at the local war museum, they have on display Halifax movie theatre ticket stubs taken from the pocket of a crew member on a captured German U-boat (possibly an officer, some were educated in England and could do a passable accent). There is also a sizeable community of German descent in the nearby fishing town of Lunenburg, and they would have been able to mingle with them without much difficulty (which may have inspired the scenes in 49th Parallel where the German agents stay with a community of Mennonite farmers).

The 49th Parallel may not be an epic on the scale of Black Narcissus or The Red Shoes, but it is an extremely well-crafted thriller that any filmmaker would be proud to have on their resume. (Okay, Laurence Olivier’s French-Canadian accent got a few laughs at the screening, but I’m sure most who saw it in the ’40s didn’t notice.)

Posted By swac44 : June 7, 2012 10:25 am

Love The 49th Parallel, especially after getting the chance to see it in 35mm, hosted by Pressburger’s daughter. And it turns out this thrilling tale of German agents on the loose in Canada during the Second World War has some roots in local legend where I live, Nova Scotia, where German U-boat crew members were rumoured to come on shore and mingle with the crowds and even attend the movies at a Halifax theatre.

For years I thought this was an urban legend, but at the local war museum, they have on display Halifax movie theatre ticket stubs taken from the pocket of a crew member on a captured German U-boat (possibly an officer, some were educated in England and could do a passable accent). There is also a sizeable community of German descent in the nearby fishing town of Lunenburg, and they would have been able to mingle with them without much difficulty (which may have inspired the scenes in 49th Parallel where the German agents stay with a community of Mennonite farmers).

The 49th Parallel may not be an epic on the scale of Black Narcissus or The Red Shoes, but it is an extremely well-crafted thriller that any filmmaker would be proud to have on their resume. (Okay, Laurence Olivier’s French-Canadian accent got a few laughs at the screening, but I’m sure most who saw it in the ’40s didn’t notice.)

Posted By Jenni : June 7, 2012 1:35 pm

swac44-How cool to have seen 49th Parallel at a 35mm screening with Mr. Pressburger’s daughter! I am envious! I saw it on TCM a couple years ago, having never heard of it before, and it held my unswerving attention-I did wonder about Olivier’s French-Canadian accent. I also learned about the Hutterites, not knowing their similarities to the Amish that live in the U.S. Very interesting that the Germans on the U-boats mingled with the Nova Scotians- Yikes! I was thinking the other day it was probably a blessing for Queen Victoria to not have lived to see her first grandchild emerge as the Kaiser during WWI, with her love for her husband, Albert, a German, etc.
I love The Archers productions, and Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes are compelling stories with rich technicolor, but to me, 49th is one of their best b/w films, maintaining a compelling story. One last Archer film I enjoy and wrote a blog about via WordPress was about The Life and Times of Colonel Blimp.

Posted By Jenni : June 7, 2012 1:35 pm

swac44-How cool to have seen 49th Parallel at a 35mm screening with Mr. Pressburger’s daughter! I am envious! I saw it on TCM a couple years ago, having never heard of it before, and it held my unswerving attention-I did wonder about Olivier’s French-Canadian accent. I also learned about the Hutterites, not knowing their similarities to the Amish that live in the U.S. Very interesting that the Germans on the U-boats mingled with the Nova Scotians- Yikes! I was thinking the other day it was probably a blessing for Queen Victoria to not have lived to see her first grandchild emerge as the Kaiser during WWI, with her love for her husband, Albert, a German, etc.
I love The Archers productions, and Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes are compelling stories with rich technicolor, but to me, 49th is one of their best b/w films, maintaining a compelling story. One last Archer film I enjoy and wrote a blog about via WordPress was about The Life and Times of Colonel Blimp.

Posted By muriel : June 7, 2012 11:03 pm

Regarding Olivier’s accent in 49th Parallel: I have heard people familiar with the accent say that he did a good job. Remember he wasn’t playing a french man, he was playing a Quebecois. And many of the character’s lines were pretty heavy handed propaganda, I’d say Olivier rose to the challenge quite well. I won’t offer any spoiler specifics but Olivier’s final scene was very touching.

Posted By muriel : June 7, 2012 11:03 pm

Regarding Olivier’s accent in 49th Parallel: I have heard people familiar with the accent say that he did a good job. Remember he wasn’t playing a french man, he was playing a Quebecois. And many of the character’s lines were pretty heavy handed propaganda, I’d say Olivier rose to the challenge quite well. I won’t offer any spoiler specifics but Olivier’s final scene was very touching.

Posted By Peter Denman : June 8, 2012 3:05 am

“The Little Foxes”
“The Best Years of Our Lives”
“Marty”
“To Kill A Mockingbird”
“Some Like it Hot”
“My Darling Clementine”
“City Lights”
“Dead Poets Society”
“It Happened One Night”
“Notorious”

Posted By Peter Denman : June 8, 2012 3:05 am

“The Little Foxes”
“The Best Years of Our Lives”
“Marty”
“To Kill A Mockingbird”
“Some Like it Hot”
“My Darling Clementine”
“City Lights”
“Dead Poets Society”
“It Happened One Night”
“Notorious”

Posted By Juana Maria : June 8, 2012 1:43 pm

Wow! There are some really great films listed here!

Posted By Juana Maria : June 8, 2012 1:43 pm

Wow! There are some really great films listed here!

Posted By dukeroberts : June 8, 2012 2:43 pm

Okay, I’ll throw mine in:

It’s a Wonderful Life
The Searchers
Rear Window
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Spider-Man/Spider-Man 2
Casablanca
The Empire Strikes Back
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Airplane!

Posted By dukeroberts : June 8, 2012 2:43 pm

Okay, I’ll throw mine in:

It’s a Wonderful Life
The Searchers
Rear Window
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Spider-Man/Spider-Man 2
Casablanca
The Empire Strikes Back
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Airplane!

Posted By AL : June 9, 2012 6:32 pm

THE RED SHOES
LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES, ORPHEUS
CITIZEN KANE, TOUCH OF EVIL
A STAR IS BORN
THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
THE BANDWAGON
SUNSET BOULEVARD
VERTIGO, N x NW
UNFAITHFULLY YOURS
THE KILLING, 2001
LIFE OF BRIAN
THE MECHANIC
DEAD OF NIGHT
THE CHANGELING
THE SIXTH SENSE
THE THIRD MAN
THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES
SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER
THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
ROSEMARY’S BABY
SECONDS
GONE WITH THE WIND
ALL ABOUT EVE
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN
I MARRIED A WITCH
MR. HULOT’S HOLIDAY
THEY LIVE!
MIKE’S MURDER
COLLATERAL
DOUBLE INDEMNITY
NOSFERATU, VAMPYR
THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD
GILDA, COVER GIRL
THE BANDWAGON
THE GIRL MOST LIKELY
ODD MAN OUT
BRINGING UP BABY
HOME SWEET HOMICIDE
HAROLD AND MAUDE
EYES WIDE SHUT
NEAR DARK, THE LOST BOYS
THE INNOCENTS
DRACULA, MUMMY, WOLF MAN
A&C MEET FRANKENSTEIN
TOPPER, TOPPER RETURNS
CARNIVAL OF SOULS
FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE
MY FAIR LADY
A COLD WIND IN AUGUST
THE GODDESS
RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER
HARRY POTTER series
FUNNY FACE
NETWORK
BONNIE & CLYDE
and and and…

Posted By AL : June 9, 2012 6:32 pm

THE RED SHOES
LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES, ORPHEUS
CITIZEN KANE, TOUCH OF EVIL
A STAR IS BORN
THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
THE BANDWAGON
SUNSET BOULEVARD
VERTIGO, N x NW
UNFAITHFULLY YOURS
THE KILLING, 2001
LIFE OF BRIAN
THE MECHANIC
DEAD OF NIGHT
THE CHANGELING
THE SIXTH SENSE
THE THIRD MAN
THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES
SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER
THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
ROSEMARY’S BABY
SECONDS
GONE WITH THE WIND
ALL ABOUT EVE
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN
I MARRIED A WITCH
MR. HULOT’S HOLIDAY
THEY LIVE!
MIKE’S MURDER
COLLATERAL
DOUBLE INDEMNITY
NOSFERATU, VAMPYR
THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD
GILDA, COVER GIRL
THE BANDWAGON
THE GIRL MOST LIKELY
ODD MAN OUT
BRINGING UP BABY
HOME SWEET HOMICIDE
HAROLD AND MAUDE
EYES WIDE SHUT
NEAR DARK, THE LOST BOYS
THE INNOCENTS
DRACULA, MUMMY, WOLF MAN
A&C MEET FRANKENSTEIN
TOPPER, TOPPER RETURNS
CARNIVAL OF SOULS
FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE
MY FAIR LADY
A COLD WIND IN AUGUST
THE GODDESS
RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER
HARRY POTTER series
FUNNY FACE
NETWORK
BONNIE & CLYDE
and and and…

Posted By Juana Maria : June 9, 2012 8:26 pm

Duke Roberts:Thank you thank you thank you! I’m so glad you mentioned one of my all time favorites with “Liberty Valance”! I am surprised I have’nt seen “High Noon” or “Treasure of Sierra Madre”. They are a couple of my favorites,I have held back from listing a lot of movies for this article because it so hard for me to keep it just to ten. Though AL seems to not worry about that. There are some great movies listed here! I have seen most of them listed by the other posters.

Posted By Juana Maria : June 9, 2012 8:26 pm

Duke Roberts:Thank you thank you thank you! I’m so glad you mentioned one of my all time favorites with “Liberty Valance”! I am surprised I have’nt seen “High Noon” or “Treasure of Sierra Madre”. They are a couple of my favorites,I have held back from listing a lot of movies for this article because it so hard for me to keep it just to ten. Though AL seems to not worry about that. There are some great movies listed here! I have seen most of them listed by the other posters.

Posted By AL : June 11, 2012 4:55 pm

It’s hard, because you have to decide by considering both the truly “great” films and the one’s that have a personal meaning to you.

Posted By AL : June 11, 2012 4:55 pm

It’s hard, because you have to decide by considering both the truly “great” films and the one’s that have a personal meaning to you.

Posted By Dolores Sweeney : June 12, 2012 7:28 pm

Some of my favorites because whenever I catch a glimpse of one I have to finish seeing it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the Apartment,Somewhere In Time,Auntie Mame,Showboat,The Secret Garden,On The Town,Singing In the Rain,Magnolia,Angels In America,and my favorite Some Like It Hot!!!!

Posted By Dolores Sweeney : June 12, 2012 7:28 pm

Some of my favorites because whenever I catch a glimpse of one I have to finish seeing it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the Apartment,Somewhere In Time,Auntie Mame,Showboat,The Secret Garden,On The Town,Singing In the Rain,Magnolia,Angels In America,and my favorite Some Like It Hot!!!!

Posted By Grand Old Movies : June 12, 2012 9:05 pm

in no particular order:
The Third Man
Nightmare Alley
A&C Meet Frankenstein
Five Graves to Cairo (just saw it; impressive Wilder film)
Mask of Dimitrios
The Passionate Friends (Lean’s direction and Claude Rains)
The Mummy (Karloff version)
Bride of Frankenstein
High and Low
Day of Wrath

Posted By Grand Old Movies : June 12, 2012 9:05 pm

in no particular order:
The Third Man
Nightmare Alley
A&C Meet Frankenstein
Five Graves to Cairo (just saw it; impressive Wilder film)
Mask of Dimitrios
The Passionate Friends (Lean’s direction and Claude Rains)
The Mummy (Karloff version)
Bride of Frankenstein
High and Low
Day of Wrath

Posted By Juana Maria : June 12, 2012 10:09 pm

Dolores Sweeney: I know what you mean! I am the same way with my favorite movies and worse! I have actually gotten up in the middle of the night to go and watch “High Noon”. I watched “Johnny Cool” with the sound off for the entire picture because it was only 3 o’clock in the morning or there abouts. I have come into “Fall of the Roman Empire” on the History Channel late at night or the early morning hours and had to watch it anyway! I love that movie and very few people seem to. I wish we were discussing TV shows too,because when the Syfy Channel has a marathon of “the Twilight Zone”,I can’t stay away! I’ll watch it into the wee hours of the morning. For certain movies I watch the schedule like a hawk for the next opportunity to see my favorite movies! I was going to make a list of my favorite movies but maybe I am afraid of the critisim I would recieve.

Posted By Juana Maria : June 12, 2012 10:09 pm

Dolores Sweeney: I know what you mean! I am the same way with my favorite movies and worse! I have actually gotten up in the middle of the night to go and watch “High Noon”. I watched “Johnny Cool” with the sound off for the entire picture because it was only 3 o’clock in the morning or there abouts. I have come into “Fall of the Roman Empire” on the History Channel late at night or the early morning hours and had to watch it anyway! I love that movie and very few people seem to. I wish we were discussing TV shows too,because when the Syfy Channel has a marathon of “the Twilight Zone”,I can’t stay away! I’ll watch it into the wee hours of the morning. For certain movies I watch the schedule like a hawk for the next opportunity to see my favorite movies! I was going to make a list of my favorite movies but maybe I am afraid of the critisim I would recieve.

Posted By Doug Dibbern : June 13, 2012 12:10 am

TOP ALTERNATE 13 (Today only)

Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, 1939)
The Land (Chahine, 1967)
All My Babies (George Stoney, USA, 1951)
The Human Condition (Masaki Kobayashi, Japan, 1959-1961)
Joyless Streets (GW Pabst, Germany, 1925)
Voyage to Jupiter (Segundo de Chomon, 1909)
Junior Bonner (Sam Peckinpah, USA, 1972)
Leon Morin, Priest (Jean-Pierre Melville, France, 1961)
Lonesome Cowboys (Andy Warhol & Paul Morrissey, USA, 1969)
Manila in the Claws of Neon (Lino Brocka, Phillipines, 1975)
Out 1 (Jacques Rivette, France, 1973)
Ride Lonesome (Budd Boetticher, USA, 1959)
A Tale of the Wind (Joris Ivens, The World, 1989)

Posted By Doug Dibbern : June 13, 2012 12:10 am

TOP ALTERNATE 13 (Today only)

Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, 1939)
The Land (Chahine, 1967)
All My Babies (George Stoney, USA, 1951)
The Human Condition (Masaki Kobayashi, Japan, 1959-1961)
Joyless Streets (GW Pabst, Germany, 1925)
Voyage to Jupiter (Segundo de Chomon, 1909)
Junior Bonner (Sam Peckinpah, USA, 1972)
Leon Morin, Priest (Jean-Pierre Melville, France, 1961)
Lonesome Cowboys (Andy Warhol & Paul Morrissey, USA, 1969)
Manila in the Claws of Neon (Lino Brocka, Phillipines, 1975)
Out 1 (Jacques Rivette, France, 1973)
Ride Lonesome (Budd Boetticher, USA, 1959)
A Tale of the Wind (Joris Ivens, The World, 1989)

Posted By dukeroberts : June 13, 2012 12:31 am

Ride Lonesome. Good one.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 13, 2012 12:31 am

Ride Lonesome. Good one.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 13, 2012 5:19 am

Ride Lonesome is a Masterpiece.
Definitive in my Top 20.
It has the most beautiful ending,of all Budd Boetticher westerns.
When Randolph Scott leave the killer to Pernell Roberts
and James Coburn,so that they can start a new Life.
Great.
Did you see the Django Unchained Trailer.
It seems that Tarantino shot a few Scenes in Lone Pine.
As a Hommage to Boetticher,i guess.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 13, 2012 5:19 am

Ride Lonesome is a Masterpiece.
Definitive in my Top 20.
It has the most beautiful ending,of all Budd Boetticher westerns.
When Randolph Scott leave the killer to Pernell Roberts
and James Coburn,so that they can start a new Life.
Great.
Did you see the Django Unchained Trailer.
It seems that Tarantino shot a few Scenes in Lone Pine.
As a Hommage to Boetticher,i guess.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 13, 2012 9:17 am

The Django Unchained trailer looks very interesting. Ride Lonesome is great, but I actually prefer The Tall T.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 13, 2012 9:17 am

The Django Unchained trailer looks very interesting. Ride Lonesome is great, but I actually prefer The Tall T.

Posted By Ringrrl : June 13, 2012 12:42 pm

THE CLOCK is one of my favorite films of all time. I’m a big Judy fan, and when my friends say to me that they want to watch more of her films, it is always the first one I recommend. The whole film is beautiful and takes you back to another time, and shows you that Garland really did have the acting chops, and not just a beautiful voice/face.

Posted By Ringrrl : June 13, 2012 12:42 pm

THE CLOCK is one of my favorite films of all time. I’m a big Judy fan, and when my friends say to me that they want to watch more of her films, it is always the first one I recommend. The whole film is beautiful and takes you back to another time, and shows you that Garland really did have the acting chops, and not just a beautiful voice/face.

Posted By AL : June 13, 2012 7:04 pm

TIME recently printed a new list of the ALL TIME TOP TEN FILMS, based on tickets sold at domestic box-office:
GONE WITH THE WIND
STAR WARS
SOUND OF MUSIC
E.T.
TEN COMMANDMENTS
TITANIC
JAWS
DOCTOR ZHIVAGO
EXORCIST
SNOW WHITE Disney

Posted By AL : June 13, 2012 7:04 pm

TIME recently printed a new list of the ALL TIME TOP TEN FILMS, based on tickets sold at domestic box-office:
GONE WITH THE WIND
STAR WARS
SOUND OF MUSIC
E.T.
TEN COMMANDMENTS
TITANIC
JAWS
DOCTOR ZHIVAGO
EXORCIST
SNOW WHITE Disney

Posted By Thomas Sweeney : June 13, 2012 8:17 pm

Harold and Maude
Everything is Illuminated
Shoah
The Thin Red Line
The Apartment
The Searchers
Hannah and Her Sisters
The Straight Story
Paths of Glory
Patton

Posted By Thomas Sweeney : June 13, 2012 8:17 pm

Harold and Maude
Everything is Illuminated
Shoah
The Thin Red Line
The Apartment
The Searchers
Hannah and Her Sisters
The Straight Story
Paths of Glory
Patton

Posted By Juana Maria : June 15, 2012 4:20 pm

Dule Roberts:It would be impossible to talk about favorite movies with you and for you not to mention “The Tall T”. I’m on your side! Though I like “Ride Lonesome” too. Sure I like them! They’re Westerns with great Western bad guys. Enough said. That and “High Noon” is better than “Shane” or all the Howard Hawks’ films in response to “High Noon”, yes people really can be spineless! That movie is an allegory on mankind. So deep. I said I wouldn’t make a list,but I have to talk about my favorite films! Mostly there about history or in a foreign language or both.

Posted By Juana Maria : June 15, 2012 4:20 pm

Dule Roberts:It would be impossible to talk about favorite movies with you and for you not to mention “The Tall T”. I’m on your side! Though I like “Ride Lonesome” too. Sure I like them! They’re Westerns with great Western bad guys. Enough said. That and “High Noon” is better than “Shane” or all the Howard Hawks’ films in response to “High Noon”, yes people really can be spineless! That movie is an allegory on mankind. So deep. I said I wouldn’t make a list,but I have to talk about my favorite films! Mostly there about history or in a foreign language or both.

Posted By Juana Maria : June 15, 2012 7:02 pm

Duke Roberts: I’m sorry those ugly typos messed up my message to you.

Posted By Juana Maria : June 15, 2012 7:02 pm

Duke Roberts: I’m sorry those ugly typos messed up my message to you.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 16, 2012 8:50 am

Dissing Shane seems to be an american Specialety.
No european Western Fan would get the Idea to call Shane
overrated.
Shane is the Quintessence of the Western Mythologie.
The lonesome Stranger,the Landscapes and wild Nature,Allan Ladd,
the immortal Badass Slick Wilson(Jack Palance),Ben Johnson,
Elisha Cooke Jr.
That epic Bar Brawl.The unmatched Finale.
That was the Movie Leone,Bertolucci and Argento got in mind when
they wrote “Once upon a Time in the West”.
One of the greatest american Masterpieces ever.
But like we used to say in Germany:
The Prophet dont get honoured in his owen Country.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 16, 2012 8:50 am

Dissing Shane seems to be an american Specialety.
No european Western Fan would get the Idea to call Shane
overrated.
Shane is the Quintessence of the Western Mythologie.
The lonesome Stranger,the Landscapes and wild Nature,Allan Ladd,
the immortal Badass Slick Wilson(Jack Palance),Ben Johnson,
Elisha Cooke Jr.
That epic Bar Brawl.The unmatched Finale.
That was the Movie Leone,Bertolucci and Argento got in mind when
they wrote “Once upon a Time in the West”.
One of the greatest american Masterpieces ever.
But like we used to say in Germany:
The Prophet dont get honoured in his owen Country.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 16, 2012 8:53 am

Please excuse the bad English.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 16, 2012 8:53 am

Please excuse the bad English.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 16, 2012 6:33 pm

Did somebody diss Shane? Them’s fightin’ words! Shane is one of the greatest movies ever. I would put it in the top 5 westerns of all-time.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 16, 2012 6:33 pm

Did somebody diss Shane? Them’s fightin’ words! Shane is one of the greatest movies ever. I would put it in the top 5 westerns of all-time.

Posted By Juana Maria : June 17, 2012 6:35 pm

Ghijath Naddaf & Duke Roberts: Before you blow me to Kingdom come,let me explain I am not dissing “Shane”! It’s just not as beloved to me as “High Noon”. Yes,”Shane” is a great Western! I know I’ve only watched it countless times! Ghijath,your pharse is familiar to me,”A prophet recieves no honor in his own country”.Yes,that’s Biblical,it can be found at Matthew 13:57 and John 4:44.

Posted By Juana Maria : June 17, 2012 6:35 pm

Ghijath Naddaf & Duke Roberts: Before you blow me to Kingdom come,let me explain I am not dissing “Shane”! It’s just not as beloved to me as “High Noon”. Yes,”Shane” is a great Western! I know I’ve only watched it countless times! Ghijath,your pharse is familiar to me,”A prophet recieves no honor in his own country”.Yes,that’s Biblical,it can be found at Matthew 13:57 and John 4:44.

Posted By sweensryche : June 26, 2012 9:23 pm

So, I’m way late to the game here, and pathetically unqualified to make this list, having never picked up an issue of Sight and Sound in my life. But this is the Internet, and R., you are my brother, so I’m going to annoy you with it!

I’d imagine that none of these ever made the top 100:

The Devil’s Backbone
Brain Donors
Another Year
Little Otik
WIthnail & I
Paradise Lost
Let the Right One In
Attack the Block
The Bad and the Beautiful
Black Dynamite

Posted By sweensryche : June 26, 2012 9:23 pm

So, I’m way late to the game here, and pathetically unqualified to make this list, having never picked up an issue of Sight and Sound in my life. But this is the Internet, and R., you are my brother, so I’m going to annoy you with it!

I’d imagine that none of these ever made the top 100:

The Devil’s Backbone
Brain Donors
Another Year
Little Otik
WIthnail & I
Paradise Lost
Let the Right One In
Attack the Block
The Bad and the Beautiful
Black Dynamite

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