Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category

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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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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The Searchers (1956)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1956

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119 Min – PG – view video trailer

Director: John Ford
Starring: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Natalie Wood

Genres: Adventure, Western

IMDB 8.1 / Amazon 4.5 / MRQE 89 / Decent Films A

Oscars: none

Ranked #15 Greatest Movies Through 1960, included in 26 of 41 lists of best movies, a Zagat Top Movie

As a Civil War veteran spends years searching for a young niece captured by Indians, his motivation becomes increasingly questionable.  IMDB 8.1 rating from over 38,327 users

A favorite film of some of the world’s greatest filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, John Ford’s The Searchers has earned its place in the legacy of great American films for a variety of reasons. Perhaps most notably, it’s the definitive role for John Wayne as an icon of the classic Western–the hero (or antihero) who must stand alone according to the unwritten code of the West. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 355 users

The reputation of John Ford’s The Searchers as a classic but troubling Western in which John Wayne plays an Indian-hating racist is so widely accepted that it’s a bit of a surprise to discover that the film, and the character, are in fact more complex than the reputation suggests. A tense, unsettling tale of obsession and vengeance, The Searchers tells the story of Civil War veteran Ethan Edwards’s relentless pursuit of a Comanche band led by the war chief Scar (Henry Brandon), who has led a murderous raid on a settler household and kidnapped his young niece Debbie. Accompanying Ethan is the girl’s adopted brother Martin (Jeffrey Hunter), who hopes to rescue his sister, and, as years go by, begins to fear that Ethan would rather see the girl dead than living as a Comanche. Read full Decent Films review (rated A, Superior artistic-entertainment for Teens & Up)

MRQE 89% from over 63 reviews

Madison Public Library

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The Court Jester (1956)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1956

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101 min – view video clip (no trailer found)

Director: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama
Starring: Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family

IMDB 7.7 / Amazon 4.8/ Decent Films A+

Oscars: none

Ranked #70 Greatest Movies Through 1960

A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king. IMDB 7.7 rating from over 6,475 users

Danny Kaye spoofs Robin Hood and Scaramouche in this inventive slapstick swashbuckler. Portraying the clownish but good-hearted entertainer Hawkins, he infiltrates the court of the corrupt Basil Rathbone (up to his usual brand of cruel villainy) disguised as the legendary king of jesters, Giacomo… this is Danny Kaye at his comic best. Amazon 4.8 stars from over 214 users

See Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood — and then see Danny Kaye in The Court Jester. As the former is the ultimate Hollywood swashbuckler classic, the latter is the ultimate swashbuckler spoof, and one of Kaye’s finest, funniest hours. Not only does it terrifically succeed where movies like Mel Brooks’s Robin Hood: Men in Tights miserably fail, The Court Jester also as merry, high-spirited, and wholesome as the adventures it parodies, with none of the cynical, anarchic spirit (or content issues) of the likes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Decent Films A+ with superior artistic/entertainment value

MRQE over 16 reviews linked

Madison Public Library – my grade: A

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The Ten Commandments (1956)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1956

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220 min – rated G – view video trailer

Director: Cecil B DeMille
Starring: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter

Genres: Adventure, Drama, History

IMDB 7.9 / Amazon 4.5 / MRQE 69% / Decent Films A

Oscars: nominated for 7, won 1 (Best Effects)

Ranked #38 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

The Egyptian Prince, Moses, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people. IMDB 7.9 rating from over 28,155 users

Based on the Holy Scriptures, with additional dialogue by several other hands, The Ten Commandments was the last film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The story relates the life of Moses, from the time he was discovered in the bullrushes as an infant by the pharoah’s daughter, to his long, hard struggle to free the Hebrews from their slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 568 users

An aura of King-Jamesesque authority and grandeur hangs over Cecil B. DeMille’s last and arguably greatest film, the 1956The Ten Commandments. Suffused with all of DeMille’s considerable talent for archaic staginess, melodramatic pageantry, and opulent spectacle, The Ten Commandments is like an artifact of an earlier era, with something of the world of silent film about it. Charlton Heston’s statuesque presence and rumbling line readings in perhaps his best role complete the effect; he’s like Michelangelo’s Moses come to life. Read full Decent Films review (rated A, Superior artistic-entertainment for Kids & Up)

MRQE 69% from over 76 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Seven Samurai (1954) Japanese

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1954

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207 min – view video trailer

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama

IMDB 8.8 / Amazon 4.7 / ReelViews 4 stars

Oscars: nominated for 2, won 0 (Best Art, Costume)

Ranked #11 Greatest Movies Through 1960, in 23 of 41 lists of best movies, a Zagat Top Movie

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.  IMDB 8.8 rating from over 131,982 users

Hailed as the greatest film in the history of Japanese cinema, Seven Samurai is director Akira Kurosawa’s undisputed masterpiece. Arguably the greatest of all jidai-gecki (or historical swordplay films), Kurosawa’s classic 1954 action drama has never been surpassed in terms of sheer power of emotion, kinetic energy, and dynamic character development. Amazon 4.7 stars from over 513 users

Seven Samurai was influential not only in Japan and for foreign film enthusiasts, but it led to a popular and reasonably faithful remake, The Magnificent Seven. And, although Japanese critics during the ’50s were dismissive of the picture, it has since achieved an almost mythical status and was recently selected by a group of ’00 critics as the Best Japanese Movie of All-Time. ReelViews 4 stars

MRQE has links to over 70 reviews

Madison Public Library

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The African Queen (1951)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1951

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105 min – view video trailer

Director: John Huston
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley

IMDB 8.0 / Amazon 4.4 / MRQE 87% / Decent Films A-

Genres: Adventure, Thriller

Oscars: nominated for 4, won 1 (Best Actor)

Ranked #31 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

In Africa during WW1, a gin-swilling riverboat owner/captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship. IMDB 8.0 ranking from over 41,252 users

John Huston made better, more powerful films, but none so universally beloved, on first appearance and over the decades since. In this adaptation of the C.S. Forester novel, Humphrey Bogart (who would win the best-actor Oscar) and Katharine Hepburn costar as an unlikely pair thrown together in German East Africa during the First World War. Amazon 4.4 stars from over 262 users

Crocodiles, tsetse flies, mechanical difficulties, African rains and burning sun, sickness, an erratic helmer — all these and more plagued the shooting of The African Queen. Other than the absence of hostile German troops in Africa circa 1950, the harrowing journey of the eponymous tramp steamer was mirrored by the legendary hardships faced by the production filming on location in the Congo. Decent Films A-

MRQE 87% from over 55 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Road to Utopia (1946)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1946

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90 min – view video trailer

Director: Hal Walker
StarringBing CrosbyBob HopeDorothy Lamour

IMDB 7.6 / Amazon 4.6 / Tomatometer 100%

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Oscars: nominated for 1, won 0

At the turn of the century, Duke and Chester, two vaudeville performers, go to Alaska to make their fortune. On the ship to Skagway, they find a map to a secret gold mine, which had been stolen by McGurk and Sperry, a couple of thugs. They disguise themselves as McGurk and Sperry to get off the ship. Meanwhile, Sal Van Hoyden is in Alaska to try and recover the map; it had been her father’s. She falls in with Ace Larson, who wants to steal the gold mine for himself. Duke and Chester, McGurk and Sperry, Ace and his henchmen, and Sal, chase each other all over the countryside, trying to get the map. IMDB 7.6 rating from over 2,287 users

Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour made seven “Road” films in total and all were great entertainment and worth seeing. However, “Road to Utopia” was one of the best and has not become dated over the years. The film is very fast moving with gag following gag, talking animals, Bob Hope’s remarks to the camera, and even has comedian Robert Benchley interrupting proceedings to give a running commentary on the film as it progresses! Dorothy Lamour provides the glamour and adds a song or two. Amazon 4.6 stars from over 16 users

The first “Road” picture in three years (the last was The Road to Morocco), Road to Utopia is set during the Alaskan gold rush. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby play a pair of third-rate San Francisco entertainers, Chester Hooton and Duke Johnson, who are obliged to skip town in a hurry. They book passage on a ship to Alaska, where they run afoul of escaped murderers Sperry (Robert H. Barrat) and McGurk (Nestor Paiva). Through a fluke, Chester and Duke overpower the killers, then get off the ship in Skagway disguised as Sperry and McGurk so that they themselves can evade the authorities. Rotten Tomatoes tomatometer 100% Audience 76%

MRQE 16 reviews – Madison Public Library

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-ON1Y_-uck]

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To Have and Have Not (1944)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1944

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100 min – rated G – view video trailer

Director: Howard Hawks
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan

Genres: Adventure, Romance, Thriller

IMDB 8.0 / Amazon 4.5 / Decent Films B+

Oscars: none

Ranked #135 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

Expatriate American Harry Morgan helps to transport a Free French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sexy lounge singer. IMDB rating: 8.0 from over 15,082 users

It strongly resembles Casablanca: French resistance fighters, a piano-playing bluesman (Hoagy Carmichael) and a Martinique bar much like Rick’s Cafe Americaine. But first and foremost, it showcases Bogart and Bacall, carrying on with a passion that smolders from the tips of their cigarettes clear through to their souls. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 117 users

To Have and Have Not, Howard Hawks’s more or less in-name-only adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s “worst novel,” has more in common with Casablanca (including nearly half a dozen players) than with its ostensible source material. Its real claim to fame, though, is the first pairing of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, who appeared together in only three other films but remained ever after linked off the screen. Read full Decent Films review: rated B+, Well Made artistic-entertainment for Teens & Up

MRQE – over 27 review links

Madison Public Library

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Pinocchio (1940) Disney

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1940

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88 min – rated: G – view video trailer

Starring: Mel Blanc

Genres: Animation, Adventure, Drama

IMDB 7.7 / Amazon 4.5 / MRQE 64% / Decent Films A+

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

Ranked #23 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy. IMDB 7.7 rating from over 37,542 users

A number of scenes make permanent impressions on young minds (just ask Steven Spielberg, who quoted the film more than once in Close Encounters of the Third Kind), and the songs (“When You Wish upon a Star”) can’t be beat. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 363 users

Emotionally resonant, visually dazzling, imaginatively captivating, thematically rich, Walt Disney’s Pinocchio may just be the greatest of all the early Disney masterpieces, possibly outshining Snow WhiteFantasiaand Bambi. Read full Decent Films review (rated A+, Superior artistic-entertainment for Kids & Up)

MRQE 64% from over 96 reviews

Madison Public Library

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