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These are the pre-1950 movies I have on the current draft of my list.


The General

City Lights

The Great Dictator


Wizard of Oz

Citizen Kane

Bride of Frankenstein

King Kong


The Three Musketeers (1948)

On the Town


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Just saw The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) this weekend and it was incredible - one of the most powerful movies I've ever seen.

The problem is that it's a silent film, but this was with a custom live score and I have no clue how I'm going to separate and vote for the film itself vs the whole experience with the new score.  

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Here are the films that are in my current draft:

Nosferatu [1922]

The Passion of Joan of Arc [1928]

City Lights [1931]

M [1931]

Duck Soup [1933]

Modern Times [1936]

Grand Illusion [1937]

The Rules of the Game [1939]

Fantasia [1940]

Citizen Kane [1941]

Double Indemnity [1944]


I've seen quite a few heavy hitters but I really need to dig deeper into this era.  Particularly the 1940s.

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My favorite earlier fare in weird order

It’s A Wonderful Life (Capra, 1946): In the pole position for my #1 spot.  A wonderful fable on just being a good person.  If you don't watch it every year, then you might have forgotten just how dark it is with death, suicide, sickness, war, the selling of one's soul all lurking along the edges.  But it's a monument to hope and love and what's not to love about that?

Make Way For Tomorrow (McCarey, 1937): One of the saddest movies I've ever seen, the precursor to Ozu's 'Tokyo Story' about an older couple who lose their money trying to help out their children, then are forced to live apart when none of their kids are able to take them in.  Staggering acting.  Per IMDB, when director Leo McCarey won the Oscar that year for 'The Awful Truth' he said that he won it for the wrong film, meaning this one.

Sullivan’s Travels (Sturges, 1941) : Terrific comedy with Joel McCrae as a popular film director who decides to experience what the common man does by dressing as a hobo and riding the rails.  It's silly, has some neat political commentary and is all-around well-made.

All Quiet on the Western Front (Milestone, 1930): I think this is probably the best war film ever made.  It's so haunting and violent and sad.

Kind Hearts and Coronets (Hamer, 1949): Insane and dark British comedy about a guy who seeks to inherit a fortune by murdering all the relatives of a famous family, all played by Alec Guinness to perfection.  It's dark, it's silly, it's weird, it's great.  Steve Coogan called it the funniest movie he's ever seen, and who are you to doubt Steve Coogan?

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Capra, 1939): Like 'It's A Wonderful Life', it's a monument to goodness as smalltown scout leader is brought into the US Senate as a patsy before realizing and trying to make things right.  'Mr. Deeds...' is also from this time period but I'm not as big a fan of that one, finding Deeds to be kind of a self-centered moper, in all honesty.

Fort Apache (Ford, 1948): Surprisingly progressive 1940s John Wayne western where new leader Henry Fonda comes in and looks to make a name for himself by going after local native tribes, whereas Wayne tries to reason with him and respects the natives.  Also, has a bunch of Johny Wayne buddies and Shirley Temple (Who was a perfectly decent actress after growing up!).

Young Mr. Lincoln (Ford, 1939): I LOVE Henry Fonda.  His voice and acting is just so effortless and natural.  This is the Henry Fonda show here, playing Abraham Lincoln as a lawyer trying to defend a man in a murder trial.

The Ox-Bow Incident (Wellman, 1943) : Another surprisingly progressive western, and another Henry Fonda flick.  Three men are arrested and suspected of stealing cattle, and the posse who caught them disagrees on whether or not they should be hanged.

Fury (Lang, 1936): This is a real blistering indictment of mob mentality that doesn't seem to have a lot of attention.  Spencer Tracy plays a man who is wrongfully suspected of a crime and the target of a lynch mob.  It maybe gets a little outlandish, but Tracy is good as always.


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  • 1 month later...

3 others I haven't seen anyone pimp:


1: The Third Man (1949) - Classic Noir, with Welles going all out in the bad guy role,  really great movie that I got shown in the one film class I took in college.

2: A Night at the Opera (1935) - I love Marx Brothers, but I dug this more than Duck Soup.

3: Casablanca (1942) - My favorite movie.

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Some blind spots that I haven't seen, but I'm sure people will consider for their list that haven't been mentioned:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari


Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (made the top 10 of the Sight and Sound list).

Battleship Potempkin

Late Spring


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1 minute ago, Chaos said:

Some blind spots that I haven't seen, but I'm sure people will consider for their list that haven't been mentioned:

I think you are giving this board a lot more credit than it deserves

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Just now, RIPPA said:

I think you are giving this board a lot more credit than it deserves

I look at a lot of the suggested films here, and I would agree with that but I too need to be more diverse in my film watching. I tend to skip blind spots in favor of seeing as many current year stuff as possible. Add the TV boom that we're currently in and my film watching in recent years has been embarrassing. You look at my

This weekend I'm having to debate between playing catch up on 2016, watching some stuff I have for this list, or just working through a couple of games I'm playing.

It's been a long time since I've done a weekend marathon of my "to watch" list, so I may just do that when I'm not cleaning house. I don't feel super compelled to watch football this weekend.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Miracle of Morgan's Creek: I love Sullivan's Travels and The Lady Eve but Miracle is the best. The real miracle is how a film about a small-town girl who goes out to to entertain the troops going off to war and after a night of drinking, ends up apparently married and definitely pregnant, somehow got past the Hay's office. Way, way, way ahead of it's time and still funny as hell. With the great, great, great William Demarest as  her policeman father, and who wouldn't want to rescue Betty Hutton from shame? This and Sturges' Unfaithfully Yours make the cut for me.

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