Monday, January 14, 2013

1963:  SOME FAVOURITE FILMS FROM 50 YEARS AGO

For the last several years, I've been posting my top ten favourite films released a half century earlier.  This is not my list of "the greatest" films but simply those favourites which I revisit and rewatch again and again and again; slipping them on like a comfortable pair of slippers.  These are the films (in alphabetical order) which I like to live inside over the years and never tire of seeing.

THE BIRDS


  -  There are other, better Hitchcocks but the twisted charm of this one - a movie I've been watching since I was a kid - can't be denied.  The great Rod Taylor anchors this one.  And there's also another instance of Hitch "borrowing" from another film; this time its the birthday party scene which is VERY similar to one in NIGHT OF THE DEMON.  Compare and contrast, folks.

THE COMEDY OF TERRORS

  -  one of my most beloved films of all time.  Roger Corman and Jacques Tourneur gather Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone in a faux Poe comedy tour de force.  Joyce Jameson is blowsy and quite funny; her fight scenes with Vinnie are little jewels.


DONOVAN'S REEF

  -  I don't know what it is about this movie that I love so much.  Possibly it's the mere fact that it's just a silly excuse for John Ford and John Wayne to make another film together in a tropical paradise with scattered bar fights involving Lee Marvin and Victor McLaglen and yet another chance to knock the leading lady on her rump.


FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

  -  I've never been much of a James Bond fan but this movie is hard to argue with.  Of the Connerys, it's surely the best.


THE GREAT ESCAPE

  -  has anyone ever had more fun with a World War II prison camp movie???  Not me.


THE HAUNTING

  -  One of my favourite horror films of all time.  Robert Wise does his Val Lewton homage with an expertly judged and balanced touch.  Julie Harris and Claire Bloom give it major class and credentials.


HIGH AND LOW

  -  a modern-day contemporary Kurosawa and a tense kidnapping movie.  And don't forget the shot that was "homaged" from this film into SIN CITY.


JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS

  -  Is this the greatest Ray Harryhausen production.  It'll be hard to argue against it. 


THE SILENCE

  -  I wasn't too sure about this movie the first couple times I saw it.  It took several more viewings before I was totally immersed in Ingmar Bergman's bizarre otherworldy hotel with the air seemingly sucked out of it.  The concluding chapter in Bergman's so-called "God's silence" trilogy.  Part two is directly underneath this.


WINTER LIGHT

  -  The middle film in Bergman's "God's silence" trilogy is also my second favourite film (or sometimes my favourite . . . it and L'ECLISSE sometimes swap places at the top of my list).  Devastating and fascinating.

3 comments:

James wellyousaythat said...

Comedy of terrors not only has a great human cast it also stars the feline fatale of terrror Rhubarb the Cat!

Cerpts said...

Quite right! One of many films in the glittering career of this kitty. There was an article years ago in , I believe, FILMFAX tracing Rhubarb's career!

Weaverman said...

Great choices there. I couldn't argue against any of them. And a big cheer for Rhubard.