Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

Archive for January, 1950

Rashomon (1950) Japan

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1950

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88 min – view video trailer

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori

IMDB 8.4 / Amazon 4.5 / MRQE 93% / Tomatometer 100%

Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Foreign

Oscars: nominated for 2, won 1 honary award (most outstanding foreign language film)

Ranked #33 Greatest Movies Through 1960

A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view. IMDB 8.4 rating from over 55,424 users

Brimming with action while incisively examining the nature of truth, Rashomon is perhaps the finest film ever to investigate the philosophy of justice. Through an ingenious use of camera and flashbacks, Kurosawa reveals the complexities of human nature as four people recount different versions of the story of a man’s murder and the rape of his wife. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 158 users

This landmark film is a brilliant exploration of truth and human weakness. It opens with a priest, a woodcutter, and a peasant taking refuge from a downpour beneath a ruined gate in 12th-century Japan. The priest and the woodcutter, each looking stricken, discuss the trial of a notorious bandit for rape and murder. Rotten Tomatoes tomatometer 100% Audience 93%

MRQE 93% from over 58 reviews

Madison Public Library

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All About Eve (1950)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1950

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138 min – PG – view video trailer

Director: Joseph Mankiewicz
Starring: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders

Genres: Drama

IMDB 8.4 / Amazon 4.8 / MRQE 93% / Zagat 28

Oscars: nominated for 14, won 6, including Best Picture, Actor, Director, Sound, Writing and Costume Design

Ranked #18 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie, included in 23 of 37 lists of Greatest Movies

An ingenue insinuates herself in to the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends. IMDB 8.4 rating from over 46,560 users

Zagat summary snippet: Fasten your seatbelts – the ladies lunch on each other in this scalding, wickedly funny look at the vicious world of showbiz. Davis is electrifying as the fading star, opposite a strong Baxter as the rising one. Both are indebted to Mankiewicz’s perfect script and a catty catalog of sharp-tongued dialoge that puts today’s scenarios to shame. Zagat Ratings: Overall 28 / Acting 29 / Story 27 / Production 26 / Total 110

Showered with Oscars, this wonderfully bitchy (and witty) comedy written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz concerns an aging theater star (Bette Davis) whose life is being supplanted by a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing ingenue (Anne Baxter) whom she helped. This is a film for a viewer to take in like a box of chocolates, packed with scene-for-scene delights that make the entire story even better than it really is. Amazon 4.8 stars from over 288 users

This movie, with one of the most literate scripts ever written (by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who also directed) is not just the finest backstage drama ever filmed, but also a compelling parable of ambition and loyalty. Bette Davis is brilliant as Margo, bringing both the ferocity and the vulnerability of Margo to life. No one can forget her at the beginning of her party: “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” BeliefNet grade: A+ with content advisory: no profanity, no nudity/sex, no violence/scariness, some alcohol social drinking

MRQE 93% rating with over 67 reviews linked

Notes: Marilyn Monroe has one of her earliest movie roles in this film as Miss Casswell

Madison Public Library

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Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1950

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110 min – view video trailer

Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim

Genres: Drama, Film-Noir

IMDB 8.7 / Amazon 4.7 / MRQE 94% / Zagat 28

Oscars: nominated for 11, won 3 (best art, music and writing)

Ranked #13 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie, included in 23 of the 37 lists of Greatest Movies

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity. IMDB rating 8.7 from over 76,072 users

Zagat summary snippet: Some of the greatest dialogue ever (most famously, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille”) graces this hybrid of “Gothic” and “film noir”, a scabrous take on Hollywood from the standpoint of a struggling screenwriter trying to resurrect the career of a silent movie star who’s not exactly in touch with reality, with an inside joke laced script and pitch-perfect performances from a larger than life Swanson and hunky Holden. Zagat Ratings: Overall 28 / Acting 28 / Story 27 / Production 27 / Total 110

Joe Gillis (William Holden), a broke and cynical young screenwriter, is attempting to ditch a pair of repo men late one afternoon when he pulls off L.A.’s storied Sunset Boulevard and into the driveway of a seedy mansion belonging to Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), a forgotten silent movie luminary whose brilliant acting career withered with the coming of talkies. The demented old movie queen lives in the past, assisted by her devoted (but intimidating) butler, Max. Amazon 4.7 stars from over 293 users.

SUNSET BOULEVARD is the sad recounting of the tale of silent movie queen Norma Desmond, played by Gloria Swanson. Receiving several Academy Awards, this classic movie deserves a dramatic A+, even if the story is a bit melancholic. MovieGuide gave it 4 stars, A+ grade with content light violence, light sex, no nudity and no bad language

MRQE gave it 94% rating with links to more than 87 reviews

Madison Public Library (note: three of us watched it and it was unanimous that none of us like the movie at all)

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