Films in 2013: February

Most of the month was spent watching movies on TCM. I made a goal for myself to watch at least one movie every day from TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar schedule, no matter if it was new-to-me or a re-watch. And I was successful! I’ll be continuing that through March 3rd when the program comes to an end. On Valentine’s Day weekend, Criterion also streamed many of their movies for free on Hulu (most of which are normally only available to Hulu Plus users), so I watched a couple of movies on there.

New-to-Me: 38

Re-Watched: 10

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 2
  • 1930s – 8
  • 1940s – 6
  • 1950s – 6
  • 1960s – 10
  • 1970s – 1
  • 1980s – 2
  • 1990s – 1
  • 2000s – 1
  • 2010s – 1

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
  2. 42nd Street (1933)
  3. Groundhog Day (1993)
  4. Mister Roberts (1955)
  5. Once Upon a Time in the West (1969)
  6. Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
  7. Gypsy (1962)
  8. Rachel, Rachel (1968)
  9. Imitation of Life (1934)
  10. Junebug (2005)
  11. The Odd Couple (1968)
  12. Carmen Jones (1954)
  13. The Three Faces of Eve (1957)
  14. Peyton Place (1957)
  15. Alice Adams (1935)
  16. Love Affair (1939)
  17. None But the Lonely Heart (1944)
  18. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
  19. Kitty Foyle (1940)
  20. The Farmer’s Daughter (1947)
  21. That Hamilton Woman (1941)
  22. The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
  23. The Kid (1921)
  24. A Patch of Blue (1965)
  25. Breathless (1960)
  26. Jules and Jim (1962)
  27. Victor/Victoria (1982)
  28. Wings (1927)
  29. The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
  30. Alfie (1966)
  31. All the King’s Men (1949)
  32. Bell Book and Candle (1958)
  33. The Guns of Navarone (1961)
  34. Dead Poets Society (1989)
  35. Five Easy Pieces (1970)
  36. Wuthering Heights (1939)
  37. The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)
  38. Stagecoach (1939)

Trends and Notes:

  • As I noted earlier, I watched a movie on TCM every day, though not all of them were new to me.
  • Watched 4 movies featuring/starring Jack Lemmon.
  • Watched 3 of the Best Picture nominees from Hollywood’s greatest year, 1939.  I only have two movies from that year left to see: Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Of Mice and Men.

Five Favorite Discoveries:

Once Upon a Time in the West (1969)

Once Upon a Time in the West (1969), directed by Sergio Leone

Every year since 2010, I always watch a 3+ hour film instead of the Super Bowl (last year I watched Gone with the Wind all the way through for the first time!). This year I decided on Once Upon a Time in the West, a film I’ve been wanting to see after finishing Sergio Leone’s Dollars/Man with No Name trilogy. I loved seeing Henry Fonda as the villain Frank, a role that he doesn’t normally play. And that flashback with Frank and Harmonica was among one of my favorite scenes. I also have to mention how beautiful Ennio Morricone’s score was for this film, I listened to it a number of times after watching it.

Recommended if you enjoy: Sergio Leone’s Dollars/Man with No Name trilogy: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. And westerns in general.

The Three Faces of Eve (1957)

The Three Faces of Eve (1957), directed by Nunnally Johnson

Tremendous acting by Joanne Woodward in this film. I feel like Woodward is a bit underrated as an actress even though she won an Oscar for this movie; I don’t hear much about her in the Old Hollywood community unless it’s in relation to her great late husband Paul Newman. But anyway, she really holds her own in this, essentially playing three different characters and transitioning into them in a matter of seconds. She really brought the film to another level with her performance. Lee J. Cobb was great here as well where he played her psychiatrist.

Recommended if you enjoy: The only film that comes to mind is The Snake Pit.

Love Affair (1939)

Love Affair (1939), directed by Leo McCarey

I think I love this film a tiny bit more than its remake (also directed by Leo McCarey). It runs about a half-hour shorter than the remake, but it still engrossed me in the relationship between the two characters. Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer have wonderful chemistry together, and Boyer is especially charming! Would have loved to see Dunne win an Oscar for this, but seeing as this was released in 1939, the competition was tough, and the prize went deservedly to Vivien Leigh.

Recommended if you enjoy: An Affair to Remember, of course!

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), directed by Orson Welles

A lot of my love for this film comes from the cinematography by Stanley Cortez, who also filmed The Night of the Hunter, another beautifully captured film. Unfortunately, the film we have today of The Magnificent Ambersons isn’t the one that Orson Welles had in mind, but I still enjoyed it immensely (though the ending was obviously not directed by Welles himself, so it’s a bit of a contrast to the rest of the film). Really great acting from the cast all around, especially from Agnes Moorehead as the crazy aunt. The end credits are also worth noting, where Welles recited the names of the cast and crew.

Recommended if you enjoyCitizen Kane and The Night of the Hunter.

Breathless (1960)

Breathless (1960), directed by Jean-Luc Godard

My favorite of the Criterion films I watched this month on Hulu. I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did as there’s a lot of jump cuts and the narrative itself is a bit unusual. One of my goals for the year is to watch more foreign films, especially ones from the French New Wave, and after seeing this I look forward to watching more! Anyway, there’s not a lot I can say to properly express how I feel about it, I’ll just say it’s definitely worth checking out.

I don’t have any recommendations as I haven’t seen enough films from the French New Wave. Though after seeing this, I watched Jules and Jim, which is directed by François Truffaut. He also wrote the story (screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard) for Breathless. So what I’m saying is, if you enjoyed Jules and Jim, you should check out Breathless, or vice versa.

2 thoughts on “Films in 2013: February

  1. Nice work watching a movie a day from TCM…but it was funny to read that list of classics, and then have ‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ pop up with them! I own ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’, but haven’t watched it yet, so I’ll have to bump that one forward a bit on the list of movies to watch. And I like Irene Dunne in anything, including Love Affair, but I think my favorite of hers is My Favorite Wife.

    Nice list, Keisha…a lot of cool films!

  2. I needed to watch The Pirates! before the Oscars and I didn’t get a chance to last month, I always like to try to keep up with the Best Animated Feature nominees.

    My Favorite Wife was actually my first Irene Dunne film…pretty much fell in love with her after that. She and Cary Grant were a great pair!

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