Films in 2014: August

This month my eyes were practically glued to TCM thanks to its fantastic Summer Under the Stars program. So far, August also has the highest number of new-to-me films I’ve watched this year, and I watched a little over 50 films in total, though May still holds the record for most films watched.

New-to-Me: 47

Re-Watched: 4

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 9
  • 1940s – 14
  • 1950s – 11
  • 1960s – 7
  • 1970s – 1
  • 1980s – 1
  • 1990s – 1
  • 2000s – 0
  • 2010s – 3

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Missing (1982)
  2. Penelope (1966)
  3. Klute (1971)
  4. The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)
  5. Bay of Angels (1963)
  6. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  7. Scandal at Scourie (1953)
  8. Mrs. Parkington (1944)
  9. Strike Up the Band (1940)
  10. Night Nurse (1931)
  11. Lady of Burlesque (1943)
  12. The Fisher King (1991)
  13. The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)
  14. Navy Blue and Gold (1937)
  15. Carbine Williams (1952)
  16. Firecreek (1968)
  17. The Naked Spur (1953)
  18. The Fire Within (1963)
  19. The Lovers (1958)
  20. Crossroads (1942)
  21. In Name Only (1939)
  22. True Confession (1937)
  23. It’s a Wonderful World (1939)
  24. The Bling Ring (2013)
  25. The Wild One (1953)
  26. Harper (1966)
  27. Conflict (1945)
  28. Every Girl Should Be Married (1948)
  29. Room for One More (1952)
  30. Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
  31. A Place for Lovers (1968)
  32. Green Mansions (1959)
  33. Murder! (1930)
  34. Battleground (1949)
  35. Tomorrow is Forever (1946)
  36. Skylark (1941)
  37. Until They Sail (1957)
  38. Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
  39. Dinner at Eight (1933)
  40. Begin Again (2013)
  41. The Catered Affair (1956)
  42. Bright Leaf (1950)
  43. Down Argentine Way (1940)
  44. I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
  45. He Ran All the Way (1951)
  46. Pitfall (1948)
  47. The Blue Dahlia (1946)

Monthly Tallies

  • Best Picture Nominees Watched: 3
  • Movies Watched from The Criterion Collection: 5
  • Movies Watched via the Watch TCM app: 34
  • Movies Watched on TCM: 9
  • Movies Watched on Hulu: 0
  • Movies Watched in theaters: 2

Trends and Notes

  • Watched 34 films from TCM’s Summer Under the Stars program, and I’ve made an effort to watch at least one film per star in the line-up this year. I haven’t watched any films from the days dedicated to Sophia Loren, Edmond O’Brien, Arlene Dahl, and Joseph Cotten yet, but I’ll get around to them this week thanks to Watch TCM.
  • Watched 4 films from the year 1953 (one was a re-watch).
  • Watched 3 films directed by William A. Wellman, 2 of which were in a row and starred Barbara Stanwyck.
  • Watched 2 films directed by Louis Malle that starred/featured Jeanne Moreau in a row.

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), directed by James Gunn

This may just be my favorite Marvel movie to date, alongside The Avengers (both Captain America films and the first Iron Man are in my top 5 as well, for those curious). It’s filled to the brim with comedy and action, as well as great chemistry between the cast of characters. And I’ve been constantly playing the soundtrack all month since I’ve seen it, I love all the ’70s and ’80s music used in the movie!

Night Nurse (1931)

Night Nurse (1931), directed by William A. Wellman

This film features what makes pre-codes so fun and enjoyable, such as Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Blondell undressing together and sharing a bed. The story soon unfolds into Stanwyck trying to stop a menacing Clark Gable from killing children. As usual, Stanwyck shines in this film and any fan of hers would enjoy this.

Battleground (1949)

Battleground (1949), directed by William A. Wellman

After seeing this film, I’ve now seen all the Best Picture nominees from 1949, which proved to be a really solid year as far as the nominees go. I enjoyed this a lot more than I anticipated too; it’s a great war film filled with camaraderie and interesting characters, played especially well by Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, James Whitmore, and Marshall Thompson. The film also features superb black-and-white cinematography by Paul Vogel, who also won an Oscar for his work on this film.

Begin Again (2013)

Begin Again (2013), directed by John Carney

This is a true feel-good movie, with light comedy, drama, and romance with New York City serving as a great backdrop. Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo are wonderful together, and it was nice seeing Hailee Steinfeld too (I haven’t seen any of her films since True Grit). It’s another movie that I saw this month that features a great soundtrack, all original songs too! The film also featured some classic songs in one of my favorite scenes (referenced in the picture), where the two leads wander around the city listening to Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and a certain song from Casablanca.

I Wake Up Screaming (1941)

I Wake Up Screaming (1941), directed by H. Bruce Humberstone

I watched a number of noir films this month, especially this past weekend. This film caught my eye by the title alone, and it’s actually been on my radar for a while. I finally got around to seeing it thanks to TCM and it really exceeded my expectations. It’s another film I saw this month with some marvelous black-and-white cinematography by Edward Cronjager; gotta love those noir shadows! Everyone in the cast was great as well, from Carole Landis’ femme fatale to Laird Cregar’s suspicious inspector. I also enjoyed the scenes Betty Grable and Victor Mature shared together. It’s a shame Grable didn’t want to do any other noir films though; she was good in this film and proved she had more to offer.

One thought on “Films in 2014: August

  1. I went down your list as always, looking for films you’d seen I really like, and at the bottom was ‘I Wake Up Screaming’, one I’d watched again recently, and one of my favorite ‘light’ noirs. I scrolled slowly down your Favorite Discoveries list, wondering if it would be there. Then…voila, there it was! Glad you liked it…it’s a fun one, and all the actors were good in their roles.

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