Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

Archive for January, 1939

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1939

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121 min – view video trailer

Director: Howard Hawks
Starring: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur

Genres: Drama

IMDB 7.7 / Amazon 4.2 / Tomatometer 100%

Oscars: Nominated for 2 Won 0

At a remote South American trading port, the manager of an air freight company is forced to risk his pilots’ lives in order to win an important contract. IMDB 7.7 from over 6,261 users

Hands down, Only Angels Have Wings is one of the most buoyantly entertaining movies in the American cinema. It is also a razor-sharp example of the action-oriented films of Howard Hawks. A band of mail pilots struggle daily to get their planes through a treacherous mountain pass. They don’t care about the mail so much as they live by the rules of adventure, professionalism, and friendly rivalry. Cary Grant is the leader of this daredevil group, a man who won’t be pinned down to anything except his own code of stoicism. His cool style is tested by the arrival of a wisecracking blonde (Jean Arthur) and an ex-mistress (Rita Hayworth); Rita’s now married to a pilot, disgraced by a single act of cowardice. Hawks always got great mileage from throwing a bunch of colorful characters together in an enclosed space, where death could strike in a moment. The great secret about Hawks is that although his feel for action was crackling, he was really more interested in the way people exchanged sidelong glances or lit each other’s cigarettes–there’s a lot of both in Only Angels Have Wings. Amazon 4.2 from over 41 users

Virtually a textbook example of Howard Hawks’ “macho” mode, Only Angels Have Wings takes place high in the Peruvian Andes. Cary Grant heads a ramshackle airmail and freight service, forced to fly in the most perilous of weather conditions to the most treacherous of destinations. Facing death on a near-hourly basis, Grant and his flyers have adopted a casual, all-in-day’s-work attitude towards mortality. Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 100% Audience 79%


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Gone With The Wind (1939)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1939

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238 min – rated G / PG – view video trailer

Director: Victor Fleming
Starring: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Hattie McDaniel, Olivia de Haviland

Genres: Drama, History, Romance

IMDB 8.2 / Amazon 4.5 / MRQE 92% / MovieGuide 4 stars

Oscars won 8 of 13: Best Picture, Actress (Vivien Leigh), Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel), Director (Victor Fleming), Art (Lyle Wheeler), Cinematography (Ernest Haller, Ray Rennahan), Film Editing (Hal Kern, James Newcom), Writing/Screenplay (Sidney Howard) / nominated: Actor (Clark Gable), Supporting Actress (Olivia de Haviland), Effects (Jack Cosgrove, Fred Albin, Arthur Johns), Music (Max Steiner), Sound (Thomas Moulton)

Ranked #3 Greatest Movies Through 1960, in 34 of 41 best movies lists, a Zagat Top Movie

American classic in which a manipulative woman and a roguish man carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction. IMDB rating: 8.2 from over 114,260 users

Period romance. War epic. Family saga. Popular fiction adapted with crowd-pleasing brilliance. Star acting aglow with charisma and passion. Moviemaking craft at its height. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 1,052 users

An American masterpiece, this evergreen giant will forever reign as the king of Hollywood productions. Scarlett O’Hara gains husbands and money, but not happiness as her lifestyle crumbles around her. Not only does this movie feature some of the most intricate plotting and masterful acting ever portrayed on screen, it documents America’s greatest tragedy, the Civil War. Movie Guide 4 of 4 stars with light language, light violence, light sex, no nudity.

MRQE 92% from over 103 reviews linked

Madison Public Library

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The Rules of the Game (1939) French

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1939

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110 min – view video trailer

(in French, title: La regle du jeu)

Director: Jean Renoir
Starring: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Foreign

IMDB 8.0 / Amazon 4.4 / MRQE 96 / Tomatometer 100%

Oscars: none

Ranked #19 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

Renoir’s look at bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II. An assorted cast of characters – the rich and their poor servants – meet up at a French chateau.  IMDB 8.0 rating from over 12,546 users

Consistently cited by critics worldwide as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir’s bittersweet drama of life, love, class, and the social code of manners and behavior (“the rules of the game”) is a savage critique undertaken with sensitivity and compassion. Renoir’s catch-phrase through the film, “Everyone has their reasons,” develops a multilayered meaning by the conclusion. Amazon 4.4 stars from over 72 users

Now often cited as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir’s La Règle du jeu/Rules of the Game was not warmly received on its original release in 1939: audiences at its opening engagements in Paris were openly hostile, responding to the film with shouts of derision, and distributors cut the movie from 113 minutes to a mere 80. It was banned as morally perilous during the German occupation and the original negative was destroyed during WWII. Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 100% (audience 90%)

MRQE 96% from over 45 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Wizard of Oz (1939)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1939

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101 min – G – view video trailer

Director: Victor Fleming
Starring: Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley

Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy

IMDB 8.2 / Amazon 4.6 / MRQE 93 / Decent Films A+

Oscars: nominated for 6, won 2 (Best Music Score, Music Song)

Ranked #5 Greatest Movies Through 1960, in 32 of 41 best movies lists, a Zagat Top Movie

Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home. IMDB 8.2 rating from over 147,725 users

When it was released during Hollywood’s golden year of 1939, The Wizard of Oz didn’t start out as the perennial classic it has since become. The film did respectable business, but it wasn’t until its debut on television that this family favorite saw its popularity soar. Amazon 4.6 stars from over 1,293 users

The Wizard of Oz is one of a very few shared experiences that unite Americans as a culture, transcending barriers of age, locale, politics, religion, and so on. We all see it when we are young, and it leaves an indelible mark on our imaginations. We can hardly imagine not knowing it. It ranks among our earliest and most defining experiences of wonder and of fear, of fairy-tale joys and terrors, of the lure of the exotic and the comfort of home. Read full Decent Films review (rated A+, Superior artistic-entertainment and for kids & up)

MRQE 93% rating with links to over 121 reviews

Madison Public Library

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