Don’t really have much to introduce here for the month of June, other than it’s summer and I’ve spent much of it indoors watching movies (but that’s also partly because it’s been raining a lot where I live so there’s not much to do outside anyway). As you’ll see under the cut, I mostly watched movies from the 40s and 50s and didn’t diversify my selection as much as I’d have liked to…but I at least watched one movie from each decade, from the 1920s onward. I hope to watch more of a variety next month!
New-to-Me Films by Decade:
- 1920s – 1
- 1930s – 4
- 1940s – 8
- 1950s – 8
- 1960s – 4
- 1970s – 1
- 1980s – 1
- 1990s – 2
- 2000s – 1
- 2010s – 4
List of New-to-Me Films:
- The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
- The King of Comedy (1983)
- Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)
- Red River (1948)
- Stoker (2013)
- It’s Love I’m After (1937)
- What a Way to Go! (1964)
- Two Women (1960)
- Viva Las Vegas (1964)
- It (1927)
- The Search (1948)
- For Me and My Gal (1942)
- Imitation of Life (1959)
- The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
- Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)
- Man of Steel (2013)
- Born to Be Bad (1950)
- Julia Misbehaves (1948)
- It Happens Every Spring (1949)
- I Confess (1953)
- Before Midnight (2013)
- The Hours (2002)
- Monsters University (2013)
- Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)
- Postcards from the Edge (1990)
- Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)
- Cat Ballou (1957)
- A Hole in the Head (1959)
- A Damsel in Distress (1937)
- Dances with Wolves (1990)
- Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)
- The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)
- The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)
- Le cercle rouge (1970)
Trends and Notes
- Watched 4 movies from the year 1948.
- Watched 3 movies featuring/starring Joan Fontaine.
- Watched 3 movies starring Montgomery Clift (2 from the year 1948).
- Watched 3 movies featuring/starring Shirley MacLaine (2 of them in a row).
- Watched 2 movies starring Lana Turner in a row on TCM.
- Watched 3 movies starring/featuring Walter Pidgeon (2 of them in a row on TCM).
- Watched 2 movies from the year 1952 in a row on TCM.
- All the films I watched from the 2010s decade were 2013 releases.
- Watched 2 movies directed by Sam Wood in a row.
Five Favorite Discoveries:
This is one of those films for me that I can’t stop thinking about days after watching it. Besides her role in Rebecca, this is my favorite of Joan Fontaine’s roles (and I believe this is actually her favorite as well). The film is told in flashback through a letter given to Louis Jourdan from her, so we get to see Fontaine first as a young girl, and as usual, she plays the naive, young character very well. I love the way the movie was filmed too, with great lighting and camera angles that helped elevate the story.
Can’t think of any film at the moment that’s similar to this, but if you’re a fan of Joan Fontaine like I am, this is definitely one of her greatest efforts and is worth watching.
One of the films I had a fun time watching this month, this is a delightful screwball comedy with a wonderful cast. Leslie Howard is brilliant as a hammy actor and plays off of Bette Davis very well. Eric Blore, one of my favorite character actors, plays a great companion to Leslie Howard, and this may just be my favorite role of his. And Olivia de Havilland is just perfect as a starstruck fan. Speaking of fans, this is a real treat for anyone who’s a fan of Gone with the Wind, as there’s a surprising amount of connections to the film, which came out 2 years after this. Per IMDb trivia: “This film has an unusually high number of connections to Gone with the Wind: the first time Howard and de Havilland acted together before playing Ashley and Melanie; Davis, who at one time was considered for Scarlett; and the mention by de Havilland of Clark Gable near the end.”
Recommended if you enjoy: Though I have yet to see it, a few of the reviews/comments I read about this film compared it to Twentieth Century.
I’m shocked a movie like this isn’t talked about more or isn’t as well-remembered as other classics from this era. It’s a really beautiful story, with a mom searching for her son and Montgomery Clift (in an Oscar-nominated performance) taking said son under his wing for the time being. That wasn’t really a great explanation of the movie, but I don’t want to say a lot about it because, like any movie, the less you know before watching a movie the better. I really encourage anyone who hasn’t seen this wonderful film to watch it asap, in fact here it is in full on YouTube! The film won the Academy Award for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story, as well as the Juvenile Award for Ivan Jandl.
Recommended if you enjoy: Honestly can’t think of any other film I’ve seen that’s like this, but if you like WWII drama you should enjoy this. Or if you like From Here to Eternity, which is also directed by Fred Zinnemann and stars Montgomery Clift.
I saw the original back in February for TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar and liked that a lot, so I figured this would be good too, especially with Douglas Sirk at the helm. Great acting all around, especially from Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner, who are pictured above. And the technicolor is really nice in this, as well as the costume design. The film examines the social issues of race and gender roles well, it’s a definite must-see.
Recommended if you enjoy: Douglas Sirk’s melodramas (or melodramas in general).
And a new movie release makes my top 5! I fell in love with the two movies that came out prior to this when I finally watched them for the first time last year, so I had some pretty high expectations going into this. As a side note, I had maybe one of the best theater experiences watching this; I saw it on a Wednesday afternoon and came to a completely empty theater, so it was like a private screening just for me! Anyway, one review I read said the first two movies were about romance, and this one is about love, and I couldn’t agree more. Since Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) are no longer strangers, their discussions are much more personal as they travel through Greece. Much of the film felt so personal and intimate, I felt just like a fly on the wall watching them. Delpy and Hawke really live and breathe these characters, and I hope come awards season, Academy members recognize them with at least a nomination (they’re sure to get at least a writing one like they and the director did for Before Sunset, at least I hope so!).
Recommended if you enjoy: It’s predecessors of course: Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.