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Is 1939 overrated? What are some other classic years? (1 Viewer)

benbess

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1939 has long been held up an an amazing year for Hollywood, and it's difficult to argue with that. After all, 1939 saw the release of not only The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind, but also Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Dark Victory, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Ninotchka, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, The Rains Came, etc., etc. 1939 has been called by Turner Classic Movies "Hollywood's Greatest Year." It's certainly a great year, but is it the greatest?

What I'm trying to say is that there are several years that have impressive lists of movies for that particular year. Take the next year, 1940, for instance. In 1940 two Disney classics were released that are still considered among the greatest Disney movies ever made—Pinocchio and Fantasia. Other movies from 1940 include two by Hitchcock, Rebecca and Foreign Correspondent. In addition, 1940 saw the release of The Philadelphia Story, The Great Dictator, Boom Town, The Grapes of Wrath, His Girl Friday, Kitty Foyle, The Letter, Knute Rockne, The Mark of Zorro, The Shop Around the Corner, Strike Up the Band, Waterloo Bridge, the Westerner, etc.

To me, anyway, the list from 1940 seems similar to 1939 in terms of my personal favorites.

But, you might be thinking, maybe it's that era? Could be. But let's take 1979, 40 years after Hollywood's "greatest year." In 1979 we saw: Alien, All that Jazz, And Justice or All, Apocalypse Now, Being There, The Black Stallion, Breaking Away, The Champ, The Frisco Kid, Going in Style, The Great Santini, The In-Laws, Kramer vs. Kramer, Manhattan, Norma Rae, The Onion Field, The Rose, Time After time, Wanda Nevada, etc. That's a pretty good list of movies too imho.

So, my question is not really: is 1939 the greatest? It is a great year, but I think there are other years that seem, if not equally great, then pretty close. But what are those other "great years"? As you can see, I think 1940 and 1979 would deserve to be on the list, but what other years would you nominate as "great years"? Please give evidence in the form of a list of at least 5 movies from that year to back up your claim....

Finally, since this is a blu-ray thread, what movies are missing on blu-ray from "your favorite year"?
 
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revgen

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1948 is one of my favorite years.

They Lived By Night
Fort Apache
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Red River
Rope
Yellow Sky
Sorry, Wrong Number
Call Northside 777
The Treasure of Sierra Madre
He Walked By Night
Cry of the City
The Red Shoes
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
Johnny Belinda
State of the Union
A Foreign Affair
 

Tino

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Star Trek The Motion Picture is also from 1979. The Black Hole too.
 

Mark-P

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As I've always had great affection for films from the 1950s, my pick would be 1954.

A Star is Born
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Rear Window
The Barefoot Contessa
Dial M for Murder
The Caine Mutiny
The Glenn Miller Story
On the Waterfront
 

rsmithjr

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1956 is one of my favorite years. Around the World in 80 Days, The King and I, The Ten Commandments, plus many others.

For more recent years, 1982 had a wealth of "summer movies". Poltergeist, Blade Runner, Star Trek II, and ET. Important movies that had a huge impact on the business. Also more appealing special effects than you see today.

1939 is still my vote for the best year.
 

Alan Tully

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So you think every year before 1987 was better than every year after??:wacko:

I had to think about that one. There's been some brilliant films in the past thirty years, but not nearly enough to get anywhere a best year. For me (me) they went off the boil around the late eighties.
 

Steve...O

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1939 is my vote. In addition to the films already mentioned Fox gave us the first two Rathbone/Bruce films: "Hound" and "Adventures" plus Bob Dorian's favorite film of that year: "Charlie Chan at Treasure Island" which is perennially considered one of the best of the series.

Now if one were to ask favorite decade, I'd have to go with the 40s.

Worst year looks like 2017 to me. After a lot of good films in 2016 there has been virtually nothing that has appealed to either my wife or me this year.
 

ScottHM

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1939 has long been held up an an amazing year for Hollywood, and it's difficult to argue with that. After all, 1939 saw the release of not only The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind, but also Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Dark Victory, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Ninotchka, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, The Rains Came, etc., etc. ...Other movies from 1940 include two by Hitchcock, Rebecca and Foreign Correspondent. In addition, 1940 saw the release of The Philadelphia Story, The Great Dictator, Boom Town, The Grapes of Wrath, His Girl Friday, Kitty Foyle, The Letter, Knute Rockne, The Mark of Zorro, The Shop Around the Corner, Strike Up the Band, Waterloo Bridge, the Westerner, etc.
I've watched and enjoyed all of these films.

In 1979 we saw: Alien, All that Jazz, And Justice or All, Apocalypse Now, Being There, The Black Stallion, Breaking Away, The Champ, The Frisco Kid, Going in Style, The Great Santini, The In-Laws, Kramer vs. Kramer, Manhattan, Norma Rae, The Onion Field, The Rose, Time After time, Wanda Nevada, etc. That's a pretty good list of movies too imho.
But I haven't watched any of these films. So IMO the "golden age" is of more interest.

Finally, since this is a blu-ray thread, what movies are missing on blu-ray from "your favorite year"?
The best represented year in my home video collection is 1940, and there are a number of those titles I would love to see on Blu-ray. Here are a few:

The Ghost Breakers
I Love You Again
The Letter
My Favorite Wife
The Philadelphia Story
Pride and Prejudice
The Shop Around the Corner
The Westerner

---------------
 

Cineman

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Only a couple of Great Movies in there, so it can't compare in that regard to 1939. But 1958 produced quite a number and variety of movies I still enjoy watching.

Among them...

1958:
VERTIGO
TOUCH OF EVIL
THE FLY
GIGI
THE DEFIANT ONES
THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD
HORROR OF DRACULA
NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS
SOME CAME RUNNING
DAMN YANKEES
CORRIDORS OF BLOOD
THE HAUNTED STRANGLER
THE GEISHA BOY
ROCK-A-BYE BABY
KING CREOLE
MACHINE-GUN KELLY
MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR
TOM THUMB
THUNDER ROAD
THE VIKINGS
 

Thomas T

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1939 is grossly overrated! The word "greatest" is tossed around as freely as legend and like that word, too often applied where it doesn't belong. There are some excellent films in 1939 but "great"? Perhaps but no more than 4 or 5 at most ... and please don't call that piece of junk Mr. Smith Goes To Washington "great". For me, the greatest year for cinema is 1960. Some truly landmark and influential films debuted that year that can legitimately be called great and also some excellent films that may not have achieved genuine greatness but are fine examples of film making, both artistically and commercially. For example:

L'Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni)
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock)
La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini)
The Apartment (Billy Wilder)
Breathless (Jean Luc Godard)
Spartacus (Stanley Kubrick)
Rocco And His Brothers (Luchino Visconti)
Shoot The Piano Player (Francois Truffaut)
Peeping Tom (Michael Powell)
The Bad Sleep Well (Akira Kurosawa)
Elmer Gantry (Richard Brooks)
Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman)
Purple Noon (Rene Clement)
Time Machine (George Pal)
Black Sunday (Mario Bava)
Magnificent Seven (John Sturges)
Eyes Without A Face (Georges Franju)
Exodus (Otto Preminger)
Late Autumn (Yasujiro Ozu)
Sons And Lovers (Jack Cardiff)
Saturday Night And Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz)
The Sundowners (Fred Zinnemann)
Two Women (Vittorio De Sica)
Comanche Station (Budd Boetticher)
When A Woman Ascends The Stairs (Mikio Naruse)
Wild River (Elia Kazan)
Zazie Dans Le Metro (Louis Malle)
Home From The Hill (Vincente Minnelli)
Village Of The Damned (Wolf Rilla)
Little Shop Of Horrors (Roger Corman)
Where The Boys Are (Henry Levin)
 
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