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What Year Produced The Most "Great" Films?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by SeanSKA, Oct 1, 2018.

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  1. trajan007

    trajan007 Second Unit

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    THE GREAT ESCAPE and SPARTACUS are great films.
     
  2. Message #22 of 77 Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    I stand by my statement that 1939 is NOT one of the "greatest" film years. I mean looking at it without the rose colored glasses of nostalgia and realistically. How many great films came out in 1939. Personal taste aside, I would not consider The Wizard Of Oz a great film but I do totally understand what others see in it. There's Gone With The Wind, of course, but as time passes its popularity seems to be diminishing (the "race" thing) as people are becoming more politically conscious (or politically correct if you prefer). Stagecoach definitely. Jean Renoir's superb Rules Of The Game. Okay, that's four. Hardly a great year.

    There's the sappy Mr. Smith Goes To Washington I suppose if CapraCorn is your bag (personally I'd rather get a root canal), there's an inexplicable fondness for the sexist The Women, Goodbye Mr. Chips has a certain charm I'll give you that (I prefer the 1969 remake), some would bring up the soap opera Dark Victory but that's an example of a genuinely great performance by a great actress (Bette Davis) making a movie seem great when it isn't. Imagine it with Irene Dunne or Loretta Young and it's just another weepie. Hunchback Of Notre Dame? Okay I'll give you that, it's good film making. Wuthering Heights is romanticism at its best even though it's hardly the definitive film version of the Bronte novel. Ninotchka? Watchable but much better in color and CinemaScope and Astaire and Charisse dancing to Cole Porter. Drums Along The Mohawk? Seriously. I gotta stop here :(
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    See that's the problem Thomas. Your personal opinion about the 1939 films runs counter to mine and a bunch of other people in regard to great films from that year. With that said, I don't see any resolution because you think the way you do, as do others, and it's the basic film appreciation quandary we're dealing with here which is subjectivity.
     
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  4. Message #24 of 77 Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    I saw all of those titles except for ALL THAT JAZZ in theaters back then and I haven't bothered to see any of them a second time. Doesn't mean I didn't like them. I just didn't like them enough to revisit them. So...not a great year for Hollywood in my opinion. Seemed like a good year at the time, though. But I judge films' longevity by how much I re-watch them.

    If I had to pick a year it would be 1956, for the reasons I outlined in this blog post, particularly the first paragraph:

    https://briandanacamp.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/the-best-films-of-1956/
     
  5. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Cinema is a popular art form. Which often causes confusion when defining what is a great film as so many people find if they derive great pleasure from a film that it is a "great" film as opposed to a film that is great through its artistry. A film can be both Art and popular (The Godfather comes to mind) but popularity in itself does not make a film great. Thus popular films like Star Wars, Forrest Gump, Casablanca or Raiders Of the Lost Ark are frequently and mistakenly labeled as "great" films while critical faculties are put aside. Genuine works of cinematic art like Citizen Kane, L'Avventura, The Seventh Seal, Nashville are often seen as "boring" which says less about the films than the audience. There are many films I'm crazy about from Pillow Talk to Grease for their pure entertainment value but I would never under any circumstance consider them great cinema. .
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Your post says it all as you have a more restrictive definition of greatness than other people.
     
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  7. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Then how are we (the generic we) ever going to define greatness in any art form? Not just cinema but music, theater, literature, art. There will always be differences of opinion and each of us have our own critical faculties that we apply to judging a film, a piece of music, a novel or play or a painting/sculpture. I think I am objective rather than subjective at what defines "great". For example, I don't care for Lawrence Of Arabia. I have problems with it. But I don't hate it, I can see its artistry in every frame. I just don't like it much. I don't see the artistry in a mess like Apocalypse Now. So going back to defining what is "great", do we go by consensus? If 90% of the film critics say XYZ is a great film then does that make it a great film? Democracy is a great form of government but a lousy way of judging art.

    If it all comes down to personal opinion, then there's no genuine definition of great films.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    There you go. By the way, I don't consider "Apocalypse Now" a great film either and I saw it on opening night and many times since then.
     
  9. Arthur Powell

    Arthur Powell Stunt Coordinator

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    May I submit as a dark horse candidate 1936:
    My Man Godfrey
    After the Thin Man
    Libeled Lady
    The Great Ziegfeld
    Dodsworth
    Modern Times
    San Francisco
    Show Boat
    Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
    Fury
    Swing Time
    Follow the Fleet
    The Charge of the Light Brigade
    Rose Marie
    The Story of Louis Pasteur
    The Petrified Forest
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    My opinion on which films from 1939 are "great" films in no particular order. There was about 5-6 others that I debated back and forth on.

    Stagecoach
    Gunga Din
    The Four Feathers
    Of Mice and Men
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    The Rules of the Game
    Young Mr. Lincoln
    Gone with the Wind
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Sorry Thomas)
    Wuthering Heights
     
  11. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    1978

    Halloween

    <end list>
     
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  12. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    While I would not classify it as the year that produced the most great films, so it doesn't really fit the topic at hand - I've always been a fan of 1996 with films such as:

    2 Days In The Valley
    Courage Under Fire
    The English Patient
    Fargo
    Fly Away Home
    Jerry Maguire
    Lone Star
    Michael Collins
    Microcosmos
    The People Vs. Larry Flynt
    Romeo + Juliet
    Sling Blade
    That Thing You Do
    A Time to Kill

    - Walter.
     
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  13. Worth

    Worth Cinematographer

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    "Great" may be pushing it, but I think 1999 had a number of really good films...

    All About My Mother
    Audition
    Being John Malkovich
    East/West
    Election
    Eyes Wide Shut
    Fight Club
    Ghost Dog
    Girl on the Bridge
    Magnolia
    The Matrix
    Office Space
    The Sixth Sense
    The Straight Story
     
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  14. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    Again its really hard to argue with 1982

    Atomic Cafe
    Barbarosa
    Blade Runner
    Cat People
    Chan is Missing
    Conan The Barbarian
    The Dark Crystal
    E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
    Fanny and Alexander
    Fast Times at Ridgemont High
    First Blood
    Fitzcarraldo
    Gandhi
    Koyaanisqatsi
    Liquid Sky
    Missing
    My Favorite Year
    An Officer and a Gentleman
    Pink Floyd - The Wall
    Poltergeist
    The Secret of NIMH
    Sophie's Choice
    Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan
    That Championship Season
    The Thing
    Tron
    Veronika Voss
    Victor/Victoria
    The World According to Garp
    The Year of Living Dangerously
     
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  15. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    The 1990s and "great" is an oxymoron. :) And it's easy to argue with 1982. For me, it's very simple. I just always default to 1962. For me, the greatest year in movie history, but that's just me. I always have my handy-dandy list at the ready and there are more than these. No, not all of these are "great" but an awful lot of them are.

    To Kill A Mockingbird

    Lawrence of Arabia

    Days Of Wine and Roses

    The Miracle Worker

    David and Lisa

    Birdman of Alcatraz

    The Music Man

    Gypsy

    Mutiny On The Bounty

    Sundays and Cybele

    Advise and Consent

    All Fall Down

    Pressure Point

    Bachelor Flat

    Billy Budd

    Jumbo

    The Brain That Wouldn’t Die

    Cape Fear

    Carnival of Souls

    The Counterfeit Traitor

    The Chapman Report

    Day of the Triffids

    Dr. No

    L’Eclisse

    Experiment in Terror

    Freud

    Hatari

    How The West Was Won

    The Wonderful World of The Brothers Grimm

    The Interns

    If A Man Answers

    Damn the Defiant

    La Jetee

    Jules and Jim

    The L-Shaped Room

    Light In The Piazza

    Lolita

    Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

    Lonely Are The Brave

    Long Day’s Journey Into Night

    The Longest Day

    The Manchurian Candidate

    Mondo Cane

    The Trial

    Requiem For A Heavyweight

    Ride The High Country

    Harakiri

    State Fair

    Sweet Bird Of Youth

    That Touch of Mink

    Two For The Seesaw

    Two Weeks In Another Town

    Walk On The Wild Side

    Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
     
  16. MartinP.

    MartinP. Second Unit

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    And vice-versa: I would also say that if you "derive 'no' great pleasure" from a film, or worse, that you'd also be disinclined to consider a film great, regardless of the artistry. Great artistry, by definition, would include a number of people that would derive great pleasure from them, wouldn't you think?

    I worked in various capacities at a small chain of video stores for twenty years and once, for amusement, I asked employees and others to make a list of what they would have wanted to win Best Picture for each year of the Academy Awards, using the actual nominees that had been selected for each year. I had a few dozen lists from those who chose to participate and, as you might expect, the results were like fingerprints or snowflakes...there were not two lists that were the same. The one thing I learned most of all from the exercise was that nearly all the lists of great films are very male centric. If there were greater female input in these areas you'd have some vastly different lists of great films out there.
     
  17. MielR

    MielR Advanced Member

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  18. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Very easy. First Blood? Really? :eek: Conan The Barbarian? An Officer And A Gentleman? Star Trek II: Wrath Of Khan? I'll stop there.
     
  19. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Not necessarily. Is Schindler's List a great film? I think it might be but I derive no pleasure whatsoever from it. In fact, I doubt Spielberg wants us to derive pleasure from or be "entertained" by it. It affects us emotionally and that can be an indication of greatness. It could also mean we're being shamelessly manipulated by the film makers. I think that's why (at least when it was first released) a crappy movie like Love Story is thought of as great. "Hey, it made me cry so it must be great." I saw it opening night and I was dry eyed as I heard sobs and sniffles through out the theater!
     
  20. bujaki

    bujaki Cinematographer

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    Why, Thomas, you have a hard heart (and you love June Bug)! My eyes were crying copious tears during Love Story, but it was from uncontrollable and insensitive laughter to all the sniffles around me. Horrible, crappy movie.
     
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