Films in 2019: October

This past month I ended up watching dozens of movies, more so than usual at least. That’s partially due to TCM’s spotlight on movies that run at 75 minutes or less, so I was able to squeeze in a number of short movies. But I also found myself watching a bunch of movies back to back on the weekends, including a marathon of films co-starring Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow, and pre-codes starring Barbara Stanwyck (all of which I watched on the Criterion Channel). In between, I caught up with a few movies featuring Paul Muni (TCM’s Star of the Month), a couple new releases, and of course, several horror-themed films. With all that said, let’s take a look at what I watched in October.

New-to-Me: 49

Re-Watched: 8

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 5
  • 1930s – 19
  • 1940s – 4
  • 1950s – 2
  • 1960s – 5
  • 1970s – 5
  • 1980s – 0
  • 1990s – 1
  • 2000s – 0
  • 2010s – 8

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. The Alamo (1960)
  2. Man’s Castle (1933)
  3. No Greater Glory (1934)
  4. Judy (2019)
  5. Personal Shopper (2016)
  6. Vampyr (1932)
  7. Employees’ Entrance (1933)
  8. Union Depot (1932)
  9. The Skin I Live In (2011)
  10. Under the Skin (2013)
  11. High Life (2018)
  12. Trapped (1949)
  13. The Valiant (1929)
  14. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)
  15. I See a Dark Stranger (1946)
  16. The Emigrants (1971)
  17. The New Land (1972)
  18. Hour of the Wolf (1968)
  19. Shame (1968)
  20. The Passion of Anna (1969)
  21. Hell’s Heroes (1929)
  22. The Eagle and the Hawk (1933)
  23. Straw Dogs (1971)
  24. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
  25. The Man Who Laughs (1928)
  26. Joker (2019)
  27. The Witch (2015)
  28. The Good Earth (1937)
  29. Black Fury (1935)
  30. The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932)
  31. Dillinger (1945)
  32. The Hoodlum (1951)
  33. White Zombie (1932)
  34. Party Wire (1935)
  35. If You Could Only Cook (1935)
  36. Illicit (1931)
  37. So Big! (1932)
  38. The Purchase Price (1932)
  39. Ever in My Heart (1933)
  40. Gambling Lady (1934)
  41. Häxan (1922)
  42. The Phantom Carriage (1921)
  43. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)
  44. The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953)
  45. High Pressure (1932)
  46. Cry Wolf (1947)
  47. The Night Visitor (1971)
  48. Trouble for Two (1936)
  49. The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Shame (1968)

Shame (1968), directed by Ingmar Bergman

Shame had been on my radar for a while, so I’m glad I finally got around to watching it in midst of a spontaneous sort of marathon of movies co-starring Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow. After watching much of the movies the two Scandinavian stars starred in together, I think it’s safe to say that this one is among their very best, if not the greatest. It’s especially great seeing them under Ingmar Bergman’s direction, who directed both stars numerous times separately in other films, though this wasn’t the first time all three worked together. Here Bergman looks at the effects of war, and how the violence can influence the way people act and feel, even as they try to stay away from it all. Ullmann and von Sydow are terrific in their roles as they try to make sense of the confusion around them. And the black-and-white cinematography by frequent Bergman collaborator Sven Nykvist is gorgeous, even in more uneasy scenes.

If You Could Only Cook (1935)

If You Could Only Cook (1935), directed by William A. Seiter

It’s a shame Jean Arthur and Herbert Marshall didn’t make another movie together because they are simply charming in this underrated screwball comedy. If You Could Only Cook follows Marshall as an auto engineer that runs into an unemployed Arthur at the park, who then convinces him to pose as her husband so they could be employed as servants in a mansion. As can be expected of the genre, some hijinks ensue as it turns out they’re working for a mobster played by Leo Carrillo, whose right-hand man played by Lionel Stander is suspicious of the supposed married couple. The movie doesn’t overstay its welcome, with a brisk runtime under 75 minutes. I definitely recommend this for anyone who’s a fan of Arthur!

So Big! (1932)

So Big! (1932), directed by William A. Wellman

The Criterion Channel had a wonderful collection of films focusing on pre-codes starring Barbara Stanwyck expiring at the end of October, so I made sure to catch the few I hadn’t seen before. So Big! was easily my favorite of the bunch I saw, though it’s surely not like the typical films she was more known for in that era. While this follows her character from when she’s a young girl to when she’s a much older woman with an adult son, it’s all told within a fairly short amount of time, but it’s just enough to really connect with her. It’s now one of my favorite of Stanwyck’s performances from her early films, as she gets to convey so much throughout much of her character’s life.

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