1939 is the "Golden Year" for movies

Discussion in 'Movies' started by John_Berger, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    The BBC is reporting that British moviegoers have voted the following years as the "Golden Years" for movies:

    1. 1939
    2. 1974
    3. 1946
    4. 1941
    5. 1957 and 1971 (joint)

    Here is the original article. I don't know that I agree or disagree, but I figured that some of you would be interested.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3099234.stm
     
  2. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I would definitely agree that '39 was tops.

    1. Wizard of Oz
    2. Gone With The Wind
    3. Stagecoach
    4. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
    5. Rules of the Game
    6. Ninotchka
    7. Son of Frankenstein
    8. The Women
    9. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    10. Gunga Din
    11. Of Mice & Men
    12. Beau Geste
    13. Drums Along the Mohawk
    14. etc...

    15. Goodbye Mr. Chips (Hated it!)
    16. Wuthering Heights (Hated it!)
     
  3. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Makes me suspicious of the accuracy of the results. 39 was indeed a great year, but there were definitely better ones.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    As usual, I disagree with George and I feel that 1939 is probably the Golden Year of Film.





    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  6. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    I have no problem with them picking 1939. Now if they would have picked a year in the 1980's....
     
  7. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    although 39 was one hell of a year, I myself prefer 1941 if only because of How Green Was My Valley, Citizen Kane, The Lady Eve, and Sullivan's Travels, among many others I can't at the moment recall.
     
  8. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    I've heard for years that 1939 was considered the best year in movies. Way back in the 80's that's what I heard. This doesn't come as much of a surprise to me.
     
  9. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Well my suspicion arises since a Wizard of Oz (1939) group commisioned the survey, which then reports 1939 as the best year. If 1939 had come up 2nd, I'd be less suspicious. [​IMG]

    As far 1939 goes, I'd consider

    Another Thin Man
    Wizard of Oz
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
    Ninotchka
    Goodbye, Mr. Chips

    are all great but

    Gone With The Wind
    Stagecoach
    The Women
    Wuthering Heights

    are all very, very overrated IMO.

    There are actually a number of years I personally think are better.

    For example, 1940

    Rebecca
    The Great Dictator
    Pinocchio
    The Shop Around the Corner
    Fantasia
    The Philadelphia Story
    Road to Singapore

    or 1942

    Saboteur
    Bambi
    To Be or Not to Be
    Sullivan's Travels
    Road to Morocco
    The Talk of the Town
    Casablanca

    or skipping ahead to 1959

    Anatomy of a Murder
    Pillow Talk
    Ben-Hur
    North by Northwest
    Some Like It Hot
    Sleeping Beauty
    Operation Petticoat

    Frankly, while I like a number of years better than 1939, I really don't have anything against it, I just think the outcome, given the sponsor, is suspicious. It's kind of like if the Apartment Owners Association of America commissioned a poll of the greatest films ever made, and The Apartment won. I'd agree, but I'd be very suspicious of the honesty of the poll. [​IMG]
     
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  10. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Don’t ask a question to which you don’t want to know the answer!


    I must confess that I missed the sponsor. But once you have pointed it out, I share your suspicions George. Perhaps I’m just perverse, but nobody pays for a survey or study and publishes findings that are contrary to what they want the public to know (other than detached scientists and the like).

    And consultant types know this. Anyone who has ever had anything to do with polling knows that it is very easy to structure a poll that will result in predictable answers.

    Be that as it may, no question that 1939 was a great year and also a breakout year.
     
  11. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    I think people generalize 1939 because that is when the studio system was at its peak and working at its maximum efficiency. Years like 1912 (yes, 1912!), 1921, 1927, 1933 and 1936 get shadowed in the presence of the classics that exist of '39.
     
  12. andrew markworthy

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    A better way of putting it would be to say that 1939 gave the greatest concentration of movies that gave pleasure to the greatest number of people.

    We can all pick holes in any year that's chosen. E.g. from the 1939 list, I personally hate Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind. But I also know that a lot of people have these as personal favourites, and I seriously doubt if many of them would like my personal favourite from the year, which is Rules of the Game.

    However, this isn't the point. Taken overall, 1939 was a superb year for movies.
     
  13. Rick Blaine

    Rick Blaine Stunt Coordinator

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    1939 has always been considered one of the "Golden Years". Really this is not news.
    It is remembered for having a very large number of films that have since become part of many "classics" lists.

    I would also like to add
    "Hunchback of Notre Dame" (Charles Laughton) -best of them all and note that the Disney version borrowed heavely from it.
    "Destry Rides Again" - probably the best comedy western ever made.

     
  14. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Perhaps I am just being contentious Andrew (or else I just want to be first), but I love both The Wizard of Oz and Rules of the Game

    We are much closer on Gone with the Wind—while I think that it is an important film, it has way too many flaws for me to really ‘like’ it.
     
  15. andrew markworthy

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  16. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    While I don’t loathe Judy Garland (I thought that she was very good in A Star is Born, I would agree with your view of her singing—it is not just your ear.
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    The year of 1939, was a very good year for westerns too as a few of my favorite westerns that haven't been mentioned earlier in this thread were also released that year.
    • Union Pacific
    • Dodge City
    • Jesse James
    • The Oklahoma Kid (That's right, a western with Bogey and Cagney)
    Also, not a bad year for gangster films:
    • The Roaring Twenties
    • Each Dawn I Die
    • Invisible Stripes (Bogey, Holden and Raft)
    • Golden Boy
    Not to mention the following films:
    • Only Angels Have Wings
    • Dark Victory
    • The Hound of the Baskervilles
    • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
    • Midnight
    • Young Mr. Lincoln
    • Gulliver's Travels
    • You Can't Cheat An Honest Man
    • It's a Wonderful World




    Crawdaddy
     
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  18. Rick Blaine

    Rick Blaine Stunt Coordinator

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    Ahh Lew,
    I did not notice you are a Brit! The land of chin up and GREAT DRAMA, with a little Monty Python and Benny Hill thrown in the mix. Over half my DVD collection is BBC and British movies.

    I agree, Wizard of Oz, is a uniquely "American" movie, and maybe it takes American sensibilities, and our somewhat parochial outlook on the world, to see into the finer nuances of this masterpiece. Perhaps one day you can take another look at it and see beyond the simple story into it's Historical context (The Great Depression) and it's wonderful Art Deco set design. Maybe this is a good topic for a separate thread!!!

    Rick[​IMG]
     
  19. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Rick Blaine

    Is that your actual name or are you just a fan of Casablanca?
     
  20. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    As far back as I can remember 1939 was always cited as Hollywood's 'Golden Year', some great films that year, but one film overshadows them all, Gone With The Wind, if GWTW had been released in 1940 would 1939 still be tops?

    My personal 'Golden Year' is 1959, a fistful of favorites popped up in that year,
    North By Northwest, Some Like it Hot, Rio Bravo, Sleeping Beauty, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and my all-time no.1 Ben-Hur. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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