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1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

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1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 31, 2008 1:47 pm

1001 films you must see before you die
Part VI: 1950-1954



223
Orphée (Orpheus) (Jean Cocteau, 1950)




Orpheus (French: Orphée) is a 1949 French film directed by Jean Cocteau and starring Jean Marais. This film is the central part of Cocteau's Orphic Trilogy, which consists of The Blood of a Poet (1930), Orpheus (1949) and Testament of Orpheus (1960).
Set in contemporary Paris, the movie is a variation of the classic Greek myth of Orpheus. At the Café des Poètes a brawl is staged by acolytes of the Princess (Casares) and the young poet Cègeste (Edouard Dermithe), the rival of Orpheus the poet, is killed. Cègeste is taken to the car of the princess by her associates, and Orpheus is asked to accompany them as a witness. They drive to a chateau (the landscape through the car windows are presented in negative) acompanied by abstract poetry on the radio.




224
The asphalt jungle (John Huston, 1950)


The dark urban world of The Asphalt Jungle is one of the essential destinations in film noir, but be warned: despite tough guy Sterling Hayden's dreams of bucolic escape, there is no way out. John Huston directed this superbly calibrated crime classic, which displays his usual wry appreciation of fringies and down-and-outers. This time the task for Huston's eccentric ensemble is a jewel robbery, which--this being a Huston film--can't possibly work out as well as its plan. The cast includes Sam Jaffee, indelible as a criminal mastermind, and the pre-stardom Marilyn Monroe. Hayden plays the kind of mug he would revisit in Stanley Kubrick's The Killing, which is an informal homage to this film. And the film's look is definitive: both artful and gritty, it creates a noir landscape that traps its people just as surely as the tar pits trapped the dinosaurs. No wonder they call it noir.




225
Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)


This 1950 film by Akira Kurosawa is more than a classic: it's a cinematic archetype that has served as a template for many a film since. (Its most direct influence was on a Western remake, The Outrage, starring Paul Newman and directed by Martin Ritt.) In essence, the facts surrounding a rape and murder are told from four different and contradictory points of view, suggesting the nature of truth is something less than absolute. The cast, headed by Kurosawa's favorite actor, Toshiro Mifune, is superb.




226
Winchester 73 (Anthony Mann, 1950)


Winchester '73 is the first in a remarkable string of five classic westerns that James Stewart made with Anthony Mann in the 1950s (followed by Bend of the River, The Man from Laramie, The Naked Spur, and The Far Country). It is also distinguished for having helped revive the Western at the box office, and for being the first film in which the star forsook a huge up-front salary in favor of a share of the profits--a strategy that made Stewart rich and forever changed the way that Hollywood does business. The movie itself is pretty darned impressive, too. Stewart traces a stolen Winchester rifle through several owners until he finds the man he's looking for. The final spectacular shootout in craggy, mountainous terrain is justly famous.




227
Rio Grande (John Ford, 1950)


The last and least memorable of John Ford's famous cavalry trilogy (following Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon), Rio Grande nonetheless has an interesting continuity about the gentlemanly rules of military conduct. Here the focus is on the family. While creating a heated controversy over his handling of the Apache war, John Wayne must also contend with disgruntled wife Maureen O'Hara and estranged son Claude Jarman Jr., a new recruit trying to earn his father's love and respect. Ford seems to suggest that there are two conflicting codes of honor in every cavalry officer's life, the personal as well as the professional, and that it takes an act of heroism to maintain both. It's fascinating to observe Wayne's progression throughout the trilogy, as his personal stakes intensify. Also, this is the first of five onscreen appearances between the Duke and O'Hara, each filled with a competitive spirit and stormy sexuality.




228
All about Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)


Showered with Oscars, this wonderfully bitchy (and witty) comedy written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz concerns an aging theater star (Bette Davis) whose life is being supplanted by a wolf-in-sheep's-clothing ingenue (Anne Baxter) whom she helped. This is a film for a viewer to take in like a box of chocolates, packed with scene-for-scene delights that make the entire story even better than it really is. The film also gives deviously talented actors such as George Sanders and Thelma Ritter a chance to speak dazzling lines; Davis bites into her role and never lets go. A classic from Mankiewicz, a legendary screenwriter and the brilliant director of A Letter to Three Wives, The Barefoot Contessa, and Sleuth.




229
Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)


Billy Wilder's noir-comic classic about death and decay in Hollywood remains as pungent as ever in its power to provoke shock, laughter, and gasps of astonishment. Joe Gillis (William Holden), a broke and cynical young screenwriter, is attempting to ditch a pair of repo men late one afternoon when he pulls off L.A.'s storied Sunset Boulevard and into the driveway of a seedy mansion belonging to Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), a forgotten silent movie luminary whose brilliant acting career withered with the coming of talkies. The demented old movie queen lives in the past, assisted by her devoted (but intimidating) butler, Max (played by Erich von Stroheim, the legendary director of Greed and Swanson's own lost epic, Queen Kelly). Norma dreams of making a comeback in a remake of Salome to be directed by her old colleague Cecil B. DeMille (as himself), and Joe becomes her literary and romantic gigolo. Sunset Blvd. is one of those great movies that has become a part of popular culture (the line "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up," has entered the language)--but it's no relic. Wow, does it ever hold up.




230
Los olvidados (The forgotten ones) (Luis Buñuel, 1950)


Los Olvidados (The Forgotten Ones) is a 1950 Mexican film directed by Spanish filmaker Luis Buñuel.
Óscar Dancigers, the producer, asked Buñuel to direct this film after the success of the 1949 film El Gran Calavera. Buñuel already had a script ready titled ¡Mi huerfanito jefe! about a boy who sells lottery tickets. However, Dancigers had in mind a more realistic and serious depiction of children in poverty in Mexico City.
After conducting some research, Jesús Camacho and Buñuel came up with a script that Dancigers was pleased with. The film can be seen in the tradition of social realism, although it also contains elements of surrealism present in much of Buñuel's work.
It is considered number two among the 100 best movies of the cinema of Mexico and earned Best Director and Best Film awards at the Cannes Film Festival.



Última edición por JM el Dom Oct 25, 2009 12:06 am, editado 3 veces

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 31, 2008 1:48 pm

224
The asphalt jungle (John Huston, 1950)




The dark urban world of The Asphalt Jungle is one of the essential destinations in film noir, but be warned: despite tough guy Sterling Hayden's dreams of bucolic escape, there is no way out. John Huston directed this superbly calibrated crime classic, which displays his usual wry appreciation of fringies and down-and-outers. This time the task for Huston's eccentric ensemble is a jewel robbery, which--this being a Huston film--can't possibly work out as well as its plan. The cast includes Sam Jaffee, indelible as a criminal mastermind, and the pre-stardom Marilyn Monroe. Hayden plays the kind of mug he would revisit in Stanley Kubrick's The Killing, which is an informal homage to this film. And the film's look is definitive: both artful and gritty, it creates a noir landscape that traps its people just as surely as the tar pits trapped the dinosaurs. No wonder they call it noir.



Última edición por JM el Dom Oct 25, 2009 12:09 am, editado 2 veces

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 31, 2008 1:49 pm

225
Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)




This 1950 film by Akira Kurosawa is more than a classic: it's a cinematic archetype that has served as a template for many a film since. (Its most direct influence was on a Western remake, The Outrage, starring Paul Newman and directed by Martin Ritt.) In essence, the facts surrounding a rape and murder are told from four different and contradictory points of view, suggesting the nature of truth is something less than absolute. The cast, headed by Kurosawa's favorite actor, Toshiro Mifune, is superb.



Última edición por JM el Lun Oct 26, 2009 1:37 pm, editado 3 veces

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 31, 2008 1:49 pm

226
Winchester 73 (Anthony Mann, 1950)




Winchester '73 is the first in a remarkable string of five classic westerns that James Stewart made with Anthony Mann in the 1950s (followed by Bend of the River, The Man from Laramie, The Naked Spur, and The Far Country). It is also distinguished for having helped revive the Western at the box office, and for being the first film in which the star forsook a huge up-front salary in favor of a share of the profits--a strategy that made Stewart rich and forever changed the way that Hollywood does business. The movie itself is pretty darned impressive, too. Stewart traces a stolen Winchester rifle through several owners until he finds the man he's looking for. The final spectacular shootout in craggy, mountainous terrain is justly famous.



Última edición por JM el Lun Oct 26, 2009 2:10 pm, editado 2 veces

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 31, 2008 1:50 pm

227
Rio Grande (John Ford, 1950)




The last and least memorable of John Ford's famous cavalry trilogy (following Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon), Rio Grande nonetheless has an interesting continuity about the gentlemanly rules of military conduct. Here the focus is on the family. While creating a heated controversy over his handling of the Apache war, John Wayne must also contend with disgruntled wife Maureen O'Hara and estranged son Claude Jarman Jr., a new recruit trying to earn his father's love and respect. Ford seems to suggest that there are two conflicting codes of honor in every cavalry officer's life, the personal as well as the professional, and that it takes an act of heroism to maintain both. It's fascinating to observe Wayne's progression throughout the trilogy, as his personal stakes intensify. Also, this is the first of five onscreen appearances between the Duke and O'Hara, each filled with a competitive spirit and stormy sexuality.



Última edición por JM el Lun Oct 26, 2009 9:14 pm, editado 4 veces

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 31, 2008 1:50 pm

228
All about Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)




Showered with Oscars, this wonderfully bitchy (and witty) comedy written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz concerns an aging theater star (Bette Davis) whose life is being supplanted by a wolf-in-sheep's-clothing ingenue (Anne Baxter) whom she helped. This is a film for a viewer to take in like a box of chocolates, packed with scene-for-scene delights that make the entire story even better than it really is. The film also gives deviously talented actors such as George Sanders and Thelma Ritter a chance to speak dazzling lines; Davis bites into her role and never lets go. A classic from Mankiewicz, a legendary screenwriter and the brilliant director of A Letter to Three Wives, The Barefoot Contessa, and Sleuth.



Última edición por JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 12:31 am, editado 2 veces

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 31, 2008 1:51 pm

229
Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)




Billy Wilder's noir-comic classic about death and decay in Hollywood remains as pungent as ever in its power to provoke shock, laughter, and gasps of astonishment. Joe Gillis (William Holden), a broke and cynical young screenwriter, is attempting to ditch a pair of repo men late one afternoon when he pulls off L.A.'s storied Sunset Boulevard and into the driveway of a seedy mansion belonging to Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), a forgotten silent movie luminary whose brilliant acting career withered with the coming of talkies. The demented old movie queen lives in the past, assisted by her devoted (but intimidating) butler, Max (played by Erich von Stroheim, the legendary director of Greed and Swanson's own lost epic, Queen Kelly). Norma dreams of making a comeback in a remake of Salome to be directed by her old colleague Cecil B. DeMille (as himself), and Joe becomes her literary and romantic gigolo. Sunset Blvd. is one of those great movies that has become a part of popular culture (the line "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up," has entered the language)--but it's no relic. Wow, does it ever hold up.



Última edición por JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 1:40 am, editado 2 veces

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Sáb Ene 03, 2009 8:23 pm

230
Los olvidados (The forgotten ones) (Luis Buñuel, 1950)




Los Olvidados (The Forgotten Ones) is a 1950 Mexican film directed by Spanish filmaker Luis Buñuel.
Óscar Dancigers, the producer, asked Buñuel to direct this film after the success of the 1949 film El Gran Calavera. Buñuel already had a script ready titled ¡Mi huerfanito jefe! about a boy who sells lottery tickets. However, Dancigers had in mind a more realistic and serious depiction of children in poverty in Mexico City.
After conducting some research, Jesús Camacho and Buñuel came up with a script that Dancigers was pleased with. The film can be seen in the tradition of social realism, although it also contains elements of surrealism present in much of Buñuel's work.
It is considered number two among the 100 best movies of the cinema of Mexico and earned Best Director and Best Film awards at the Cannes Film Festival.



Última edición por JM el Mar Oct 27, 2009 2:13 am, editado 2 veces

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Sáb Oct 24, 2009 11:15 pm

231
In a lonely place (Nicholas Ray, 1950)




One of Humphrey Bogart's finest performances dominates this unusual 1950 film noir, which focuses less on the murder mystery at the center of its plot than on the investigation's devastating effect on a fragile romance. For Bogart, already a noir icon, the Andrew Solt script afforded an opportunity to explore a more complex and contradictory role--an antiheroic persona in line with the actor's most accomplished and absorbing triumphs throughout his career.
For maverick director Nicholas Ray, the film posed the challenge of taking crime dramas beyond their usual formulas and into a more mature realm, as well as a chance to cast a jaundiced eye on the film industry itself. Its protagonist is Dixon Steele, a Hollywood screenwriter with an acerbic wit and a violent temper. Tasked with adapting a bestseller, he meets a hatcheck girl who's read the book, hoping to glean its highlights before writing the script. When she's found murdered, Steele becomes the prime suspect, and a tightening knot of suspicion forms around the writer.
Steele's only, inconclusive witness is a pretty new neighbor, Laurel (Gloria Grahame), and the couple fall in love even as the pressure mounts. At first the new relationship is a tonic to the hard-boiled writer, who plunges into his script with a renewed vigor and discipline. But as the police continue to shadow him, Steele's own penchant for violence erupts against friends, strangers, and even Laurel herself, whose feelings are increasingly eclipsed by suspicion that her lover is a murderer, and fear that he'll harm her.
Bogart conveys Steele's world-weariness and underlying vulnerability, and manages the delicate task of making both his romantic yearning and sudden, murderous rages equally convincing. Ultimately, that performance and Grahame's sympathetic work elevate In a Lonely Place into what has been called "an existential love story" more than a crime drama.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Sáb Oct 24, 2009 11:19 pm

232
Ace in the hole (Billy Wilder, 1951)




The character of newspaperman Chuck Taylor (Kirk Douglas) is best summed up by an astonished bystander (herself no soft touch): "I met a lot of hard-boiled eggs in my time, but you--you're 20 minutes!" Meet the "hero" of Billy Wilder's corrosive 1951 classic Ace in the Hole (a.k.a. The Big Carnival), a former big-time reporter whose reputation is so tarnished he's now at an Albuquerque rag, chasing down local-interest stuff. Until, that is, a local miner gets stuck in a cave--a situation that Taylor not only exploits but actually manipulates, the better to improve his career chances. Wilder got the idea for the movie from the real-life media circus that followed the Floyd Collins story (Collins was trapped in a cave for over a week in 1925). Needless to say, the opportunities for displaying greed and venality are fully drawn out by Wilder; indeed, the film looks unbelievably prescient from a modern perspective of media overload.
Although Wilder had scored a success with Sunset Boulevard just a year earlier, he misread the public's ability to stare into the merciless mirror he held up to them in Ace in the Hole. The movie bombed. Paramount changed the title to The Big Carnival, thus wrecking one of Wilder's most acidic puns, but it didn't help. It also doesn't matter: Ace in the Hole is one of the truly grown-up movies of its time, and age has only improved it. Wilder's ear for cynical dialogue is honed to its sharpest point, and Kirk Douglas has one of his best parts, which he attacks with customary ferocity. Jan Sterling plays the hard-nosed wife of the trapped man, with Porter Hall as Douglas's publisher--the lone voice of decency in the film's cruel parade. Admirably, Wilder takes this all the way down the line: the ending of the movie might be the best in-your-face finish since Public Enemy.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Sáb Oct 24, 2009 11:23 pm

233
A streetcar named Desire (Elia Kazan, 1951)




Looking for a benchmark in movie acting? Breakthrough performances don't come much more electrifying than Marlon Brando's animalistic turn as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Sweaty, brutish, mumbling, yet with the balanced grace of a prizefighter, Brando storms through the role--a role he had originated in the Broadway production of Tennessee Williams's celebrated play. Stanley and his wife, Stella (as in Brando's oft-mimicked line, "Hey, Stellaaaaaa!"), are the earthy couple in New Orleans's French Quarter whose lives are upended by the arrival of Stella's sister, Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh). Blanche, a disturbed, lyrical, faded Southern belle, is immediately drawn into a battle of wills with Stanley, beautifully captured in the differing styles of the two actors. This extraordinarily fine adaptation won acting Oscars for Leigh, Kim Hunter (as Stella), and Karl Malden (as Blanche's clueless suitor), but not for Brando. Although it had already been considerably cleaned up from the daringly adult stage play, director Elia Kazan was forced to trim a few of the franker scenes he had shot. In 1993, Streetcar was rereleased in a "director's cut" that restored these moments, deepening a film that had already secured its place as an essential American work.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Sáb Oct 24, 2009 11:28 pm

234
Strangers on a train (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951)




From its cleverly choreographed opening sequence to its heart-stopping climax on a rampant carousel, this 1951 Hitchcock classic readily earns its reputation as one of the director's finest examples of timeless cinematic suspense. It's not just a ripping-good thriller but a film student's delight and a perversely enjoyable battle of wits between tennis pro Guy (Farley Granger) and his mysterious, sycophantic admirer, Bruno (Robert Walker), who proposes a "criss-cross" scheme of traded murders. Bruno agrees to kill Guy's unfaithful wife, in return for which Guy will (or so it seems) kill Bruno's spiteful father. With an emphasis on narrative and visual strategy, Hitchcock controls the escalating tension with a master's flair for cinematic design, and the plot (coscripted by Raymond Chandler) is so tightly constructed that you'll be white-knuckled even after multiple viewings. Strangers on a Train remains one of Hitchcock's crowning achievements and a suspenseful classic that never loses its capacity to thrill and delight.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Sáb Oct 24, 2009 11:39 pm

235
The lavender hill mob (Charles Crichton, 1951)




Britain's Ealing Studios was at the top of its game when this classic comedy was released in 1951--one of the all-time best crime-caper comedies and a quintessential example of the witty and subtly subversive Ealing style. Alec Guinness stars as a mild-mannered transporter of gold bullion who has spent 20 years moving gold bars to banks in an armored truck. Then one day he simply decides to help himself to a million British pounds' worth of the gold, but to pull off the heist he enlists and old friend (Stanley Holloway), who sculpts and manufactures paperweights. Once the gold is hijacked, it's molded into souvenir miniatures of the Eiffel Tower and shipped off to Paris, right under the noses of British customs officials on alert for the missing gold. Panic ensues when six of the gold miniatures are mistakenly sold to a group of English schoolgirls, and just when the amateur thieves think they've finally pulled off their heist without a hitch ... well, let's just say this classic comedy has a few climactic tricks up its sleeve. Guinness is in peak form here, and director Charles Crichton (who scored a late-career hit with A Fish Called Wanda over a quarter-century later) keeps the action moving with impeccable British efficiency. Along with The Ladykillers and The Man in the White Suit (both starring Guinness), The Lavender Hill Mob represents the golden age of British comedy, and it's still delightfully entertaining.


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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Sáb Oct 24, 2009 11:46 pm

236
Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (Albert Lewin, 1951)




There are few films that can be acclaimed as truly mad, but Pandora and the Flying Dutchman stands rather wonderfully in this category. Its combination of lust and erudition is inspired by mythology but seems peopled by characters from some hybrid novel co-authored by Somerset Maugham and Ernest Hemingway. Pandora Reynolds (Ava Gardner) is a singer in a coastal town in Spain, where her hobby is attracting the devoted love of powerful men made helpless in her presence. (A race-car driver blithely pushes his one-of-a-kind vehicle over a cliff, just to earn her trust.) While fending off other suitors, including a bullfighter, she becomes intrigued by the mystery man (James Mason) whose yacht is moored offshore. Since he is Dutch, perhaps he is related to the mythical, immortal Flying Dutchman? Don't think it can't happen in this overheated affair. Gardner and Mason are not at their best (she looks ultra-glamorous, of course), but their movie-star wattage is high. The real star is the Technicolor cinematography by the great Jack Cardiff (The Red Shoes); the throbbing colors are just right for the unreal scenario playing out before us. Writer-director Albert Lewin, probably best known for his Picture of Dorian Gray, had a literary bent, and in this movie that means people are constantly planting their feet and reciting snippets of poetry toward the moonlit sea. Somehow this fits in perfectly with the rest of the delirium.


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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Sáb Oct 24, 2009 11:55 pm

237
The African Queen (John Huston, 1951)




The African Queen is a 1951 drama film directed by John Huston and produced by Sam Spiegel and John Woolf. The screenplay was adapted by James Agee, John Huston, John Collier and Peter Viertel from the 1935 novel by C. S. Forester. It was photographed in Technicolor by Jack Cardiff and had a music score by Allan Gray. The film stars Humphrey Bogart (who won the Academy Award for Best Actor - his only Oscar), and Katharine Hepburn with Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Walter Gotell, Richard Marner and Theodore Bikel.
Robert Morley and Katharine Hepburn play Samuel and Rose Sayer, brother and sister British missionaries in a village in German East Africa in 1914. Their mail and supplies are delivered by the rough-and-ready Canadian boat captain Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) of the African Queen, whose coarse behavior they tolerate in a rather stiff manner.


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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Dom Oct 25, 2009 12:01 am

238
Journal d'un curé de campagne (Diary of a country priest)
(Robert Bresson, 1951)




Diary of a Country Priest is the first masterpiece by the great Robert Bresson, a towering and slow-working figure in French cinema. Starkly adapted from a successful novel by Georges Bernanos, the film locks in to the mind of a sickly, ineffective young priest trapped in an unfriendly rural area. Bresson charts the priest's collapse with a series of brief scenes, a minimalist style that makes the slightest touch of a hand or far-off sound of a dog barking seem magnified in importance. (This is a movie that must be watched and listened to--it is not a casual experience.) Bresson's luminous portrait of faith and worldly humiliations takes on the intensity of a saint's notebook. In the central role is Claude Laydu, one of Bresson's early experiments with non-actors; his sad, open face is often in close-up, lighting our way into a world of private salvation.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Dom Oct 25, 2009 11:19 am

239
An American in Paris (Vincente Minnelli, 1951)




A GI (Gene Kelly) stays in Paris after the war to become an artist, and has to choose between the patronage of a rich American woman (Nina Foch) and a French gamine (Leslie Caron) engaged to an older man. The plot is mostly an excuse for director Vincente Minnelli to pool his own extraordinary talent with those of choreographer-dancer-actor Kelly and the artists behind the screenplay, art direction, cinematography, and score, creating a rapturous musical not quite like anything else in cinema. The final section of the film comprises a 17-minute dance sequence that took a month to film and is breathtaking. Songs include "'S Wonderful," "I Got Rhythm," and "Love Is Here to Stay."


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Dom Oct 25, 2009 11:35 am

240
A place in the sun (George Stevens, 1951)




George Stevens won an Oscar for his 1951 adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's novel An American Tragedy, though the film seems a little overwrought today and even self-parodying at times. Still, Montgomery Clift's performance as a poor lad so drawn to a rich, beautiful girl (Elizabeth Taylor) that he contemplates killing his lower-class fiancée (Shelley Winters) is powerful, sympathetic, and mesmerizing. Taylor makes a strong impression, but Winters is awfully good in the less-glamorous role. The tone of the film is oppressive--the film doesn't exactly breathe with possibility--but there are lots of good reasons to give this movie a visit.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Dom Oct 25, 2009 11:38 am

241
The day the Earth stood still (Robert Wise, 1951)




A hallmark of the science fiction genre as well as a wry commentary on the political climate of the 1950s, The Day the Earth Stood Still is a sci-fi movie less concerned with special effects than with a social parable. A spacecraft lands in Washington, D.C., carrying a humanoid messenger from another world (Michael Rennie) imparting a warning to the people of Earth to cease their violent behavior. But panic ensues as the messenger lands and is shot by a nervous soldier. His large robot companion destroys the Capitol as the messenger escapes the confines of the hospital. He moves in with a family as a boarder and blends into society to observe the full range of the human experience. Director Robert Wise (West Side Story) not only provides one of the most recognizable icons of the science fiction world in his depiction of the massive robot loyal to his master, but he avoids the obvious camp elements of the story to create a quiet and observant story highlighting both the good and the bad in human nature.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Lun Oct 26, 2009 12:04 pm

242
The quiet man (John Ford, 1952)




Probably the best movie in the world,as Orson Welles may have said during his later work doing lager adverts for Carlsberg.
Blarney and bliss, mixed in equal proportions. John Wayne plays an American boxer who returns to the Emerald Isle, his native land. What he finds there is a fiery prospective spouse (Maureen O'Hara) and a country greener than any Ireland seen before or since--it's no surprise The Quiet Man won an Oscar for cinematography. It also won an Oscar for John Ford's direction, his fourth such award. The film was a deeply personal project for Ford (whose birth name was Sean Aloysius O'Fearna), and he lavished all of his affection for the Irish landscape and Irish people on this film. He also stages perhaps the greatest donnybrook in the history of movies, an epic fistfight between Wayne and the truculent Victor McLaglen--that's Ford's brother, Francis, as the elderly man on his deathbed who miraculously revives when he hears word of the dustup. Barry Fitzgerald, the original Irish elf, gets the movie's biggest laugh when he walks into the newlyweds' bedroom the morning after their wedding, and spots a broken bed. The look on his face says everything. The Quiet Man isn't the real Ireland, but as a delicious never-never land of Ford's imagination, it will do very nicely.


The Quiet Man (Trailer)

Barry Fitzgerald | MySpace Video

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Lun Oct 26, 2009 12:09 pm

243
Jeux interdits (Forbidden games) (René Clement, 1952)




Forbidden Games (French: Jeux interdits), is a 1952 French language film directed by René Clément and based on François Boyer's novel, Jeux interdits.
The film recounts the death of five-year-old Paulette's (Brigitte Fossey) parents and of her pet dog in a Nazi air attack on a column of refugees fleeing Paris, France during World War II. In the chaos, the traumatized child meets ten-year-old Michel Dollé (Georges Poujouly) whose peasant family will take her in. She quickly becomes attached to Michel and the two attempt to cope with the death and destruction that surrounds them by secretly building a small cemetery where they bury her dog and then start to bury other animals, stealing crosses from the local graveyard.
Film critic Leonard Maltin has said: "Jeux interdits is almost unquestionably the most compelling and intensely poignant drama featuring young children ever filmed." This is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made. While not initially successful in France, it was a hit elsewhere and is still one of the most popular French films in the US. Criterion released the film on DVD in 2005.
The film is also notable for its vibrant musical score, composed and performed by legendary Spanish classical guitarist Narciso Yepes.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Lun Oct 26, 2009 12:10 pm

244
Angel face (Otto Preminger, 1952)




Robert Mitchum was already a dab hand at film noir when he stepped into the delicious trap of Angel Face, Otto Preminger's 1952 addition to the genre. Here Mitchum plays an amazingly seducible guy who falls under the spell of spoiled rich girl Jean Simmons; a former race-car driver, he'd like to open his own sports-car garage, and her money would come in awfully handy. But she's got a few quirks to work out first, including her hostility for her stepmother, who doesn't stand a chance against this poker-faced vixen. True to its title, the film has an absolutely deadpan approach to this material, as Preminger's calm style recalls more the clinical courtroom proceedings of Anatomy of a Murder than the perverse lushness of Laura. Mitchum's in absolutely top form, and Jean Simmons has just right amount of intensity behind her porcelain beauty. The supporting cast is led by Herbert Marshall, as Simmons' father, a writer who's been sponging off his wife for years, and Leon Ames does a skillful turn as a crafty lawyer. The ending is as pre-ordained as can be, and the film moves toward its sinister conclusion without turning its head to explore other options. But that's why we love film noir.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Lun Oct 26, 2009 12:12 pm

245
Singin' in the rain (Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen, 1952)




Decades before the Hollywood film industry became famous for megabudget disaster and science fiction spectaculars, the studios of Southern California (and particularly Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) were renowned for a uniquely American (and nearly extinct) kind of picture known as The Musical. Indeed, when the prestigious British film magazine Sight & Sound conducts its international critics poll in the second year of every decade, this 1952 MGM picture is the American musical that consistently ranks among the 10 best movies ever made. It's not only a great song-and-dance piece starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and a sprightly Debbie Reynolds; it's also an affectionately funny insider spoof about the film industry's uneasy transition from silent pictures to "talkies." Kelly plays debonair star Don Lockwood, whose leading lady Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) has a screechy voice hilariously ill-suited to the new technology (and her glamorous screen image). Among the musical highlights: O'Connor's knockout "Make 'Em Laugh"; the big "Broadway Melody" production number; and, best of all, that charming little title ditty in which Kelly makes movie magic on a drenched set with nothing but a few puddles, a lamppost, and an umbrella.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Lun Oct 26, 2009 12:14 pm

246
Ikiru (To live) (Akira Kurosawa, 1952)




Blessed with timeless humanity, grace, and heartbreaking compassion, Ikiru is one of the most moving dramas in the history of film. Legendary director Akira Kurosawa is best remembered for his samurai epics, but this contemporary masterpiece ranks among his greatest achievements, matched in every respect by the finest performance of Takashi Shimura's celebrated career. Shimura, who nobly led the Seven Samurai two years later, is sublimely perfect as a melancholy civil servant who, upon learning that he has terminal cancer, realizes he has nothing to show for his dreary, unsatisfying life. He seeks solace in nightlife and family, to no avail, until a simple inspiration leads him to a final, enduring act of public generosity. Expressing his own thoughts about death and the universal desire for a meaningful existence, Kurosawa infuses this drama with social conscience and deep, personal conviction, arriving at a conclusion that is emotionally overwhelming and simply unforgettable.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

Mensaje  JM el Lun Oct 26, 2009 1:41 pm

247
Europa 51 (Roberto Rossellini, 1952)




Europa '51 (also known as The Greatest Love) is a 1952 Italian neorealist film directed by Roberto Rossellini, starring Ingrid Bergman and Alexander Knox.
Having a fascination with Francis of Assisi, Roberto Rossellini decided to create a film that placed a person of Francis of Assisi's character in post-war Italy and showed what the consequences would be.
Irene (Ingrid Bergman) and George Girard (Alexander Knox) are a wealthy couple living in post-war Rome with their son Michele (Sandro Franchina). During a dinner party, Michele constantly tries to get his mother's attention, but Irene is more interested in being a good hostess to her guests than being an attentive mother. As a result, Michele attempts suicide by falling through a stairwell several stories, fracturing his hip.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part VI: 1950-1954

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