Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

Archive for January, 1959

Ben Hur (1959) A Tale of the Christ

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1959

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212 min – PG – view video trailer

Director: William Wyler
Starring: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins

Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama

IMDB 8.2 / Amazon 4.7 / Decent Films A

Oscars: nominated for 12, won 11 (Best Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor, Director, Art, Cinematography, Costume, Effects, Editing, Music, Sound)

Ranked #28 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge. IMDB 8.2 rating from over 83,799 users

Ben-Hur scooped an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards and, unlike some later rivals, richly deserved every single one. This is epic filmmaking on a scale that had not been seen before and is unlikely ever to be seen again.  At four hours it’s a long haul (especially given some of the portentous dialogue), but all in all, Ben-Hur is a great movie, best seen on the biggest screen possible. Amazon 4.7 stars from over 489 users

The grandest of Hollywood’s classic biblical epics, William Wyler’s Ben-Hur doesn’t transcend its genre, with its emphasis on spectacle and melodrama, but it does these things about as well as they could possibly be done… The sheer scale of the picture, in the days before digitally created crowds and computerized process shots, is astounding. The central set piece, the classic chariot race, remains a brilliant action sequence, with Heston and Boyd doing their own riding and nearly all their own stunts. Read full Decent Films review (rated A, nearly Superior artistic-entertainment for Kids & Up)

MRQE links to over 75 reviews

Madison Public Library

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The 400 Blows (1959) French

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1959

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(French: Les Quatre cents coups)

99 min – view video trailer

Director: Francois Truffaut
Starring: Jean-Pierre Leaud, Albert Remy, Claire Maurier

Genres: Crime, Drama, Foreign

IMDB 8.2 / Amazon 4.5 / MRQE 93% / ReelViews 4 stars

Oscars: nominated for 1, won 0 (Best Writing)

Ranked #32 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie, included in 13 of 37 lists of Greatest Movies

Intensely touching story of a misunderstood young adolescent who left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime. IMDB rating 8.2 from over 35,277 users

Zagat summary snippet: Anyone who survived adolescence can relate to thie French coming-of-age filme which depicts the pain and joy of growing up. The movie earned its place in film history by breaking a lot of rules whie demonstrating a true love of movies. Zagat Ratings: Overall 27 / Acting 26 / Story 25 / Production 24 / Total 102

The 400 Blows sensitively recreates the trials of Truffaut’s own difficult childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, petty crime, and a friendship that would last a lifetime. The film marks Truffaut’s passage from leading critic of the French New Wave to his emergence as one of Europe’s most brilliant auteurs. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 111 users

There’s no question that The 400 Blows stands out when compared to other coming-of-age dramas. Even though more than forty years have elapsed since the film’s release, its effect has neither faded nor been duplicated. The 400 Blows remains a remarkable film. As with all of the great classics, the passage of time only causes us to appreciate it more. ReelViews highest 4 star rating

MRQE gave it 93% rating with links to more than 65 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Some Like It Hot (1959)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1959

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120 min – PG – view video trailer

Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon

Genres: Comedy

IMDB 8.4 / Amazon 4.7 / MRQE 87 / BeliefNet Movie Mom A+

Oscars: 6 nominations, 1 win (Best Costume)

Ranked #12 Greatest Movies Through 1960, in 28 of 41 lists of best movies, a Zagat Top Movie

When two musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.  IMDB 8.4 rating from over 94,930 users

Maybe “nobody’s perfect,” as one character in this masterpiece suggests. But some movies are perfect, and Some Like It Hot is one of them. In Chicago, during the Prohibition era, two skirt-chasing musicians, Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), inadvertently witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. In order to escape the wrath of gangland chief Spats Colombo (George Raft), the boys, in drag, join an all-woman band headed for Florida. Amazon  4.7 stars from over 310 users

This is one of the wildest farces ever filmed, but it has a lot of heart as well, with brilliant performances by all three stars. BeliefNet Movie Mom A+ with content warnings

MRQE 87% from over 91 reviews

Madison Public Library

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North by Northwest (1959)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1959

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136 min – view video trailer

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason

Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Romance

IMDB 8.6 / Amazon 4.6 / MRQE 91 /

Oscars: nominated for 3, won 0

Ranked #10 Greatest Movies Through 1960, in 21 of 41 best movies lists, a Zagat Top Movie

A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.  IMDB 8.6 rating from over 125,053 users

A strong candidate for the most sheerly entertaining and enjoyable movie ever made by a Hollywood studio. Amazon  4.6 stars from over 457 users

MRQE 91% from over 89 reviews

Notes: Hitchcock’s cameo appearance is early in the movie.  A bus driver slams the door in his face as he rushes to catch the bus

Madison Public Library

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