Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Breathless (1960) French

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1960

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(French: A bout de souffle)

90 min – view video trailer

Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Genres: Foreign, Crime, Drama, Romance

IMDB 7.9 / Amazon 4.3 / MRQE 86% / Tomatometer 96%

Oscars: none

Ranked #85 Greatest Movies Through 1960

A young car thief kills a policeman and tries to persuade a girl to hide in Italy with him. IMDB 7.9 rating from over 29,460 users

The movie that heralded the French New Wave movement, this lean and exciting 1959 film directed by Jean-Luc Godard (A Woman Is a WomanWeekend) broke new ground not only in its unorthodox use of editing and hand-held photography, but in its unflinching and nonjudgmental portrayal of amoral youth. Amazon 4.3 stars from over 93 users

Breathless uses the famous techniques of the French New Wave: location shooting, improvised dialogue, and a loose narrative form. In addition Godard uses his characteristic jump cuts, deliberate “mismatches” between shots, and references to the history of cinema, art, and music.  Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 96% Audience 89%

MRQE 86% from over 80 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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To Catch a Thief (1955)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1955

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106 min – PG – view video trailer

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly

Genres: Crime, Mystery, Romance

IMDB 7.5 / Amazon 4.6 / MRQE 76 / Tomatometer 94%

Oscars: Nominated for 3, won 1 (Best Cinematography)

When a reformed jewel thief is suspected of returning to his former occupation, he must ferret out the real thief in order to prove his innocence. IMDB 7.5 from over 30,591 users

Cary Grant plays John Robie reformed jewel thief who was once known as The Cat in this suspenseful Alfred Hitchcock classic thriller. Robie is suspected of a new rash of gem thefts in the luxury hotels of the French Riviera and he must set out to clear himself. Meeting pampered heiress Frances (Grace Kelly) he sees a chance to bait the mysterious thief with her mother’s fabulous jewels. His plan backfires however but France who believes him guilty proves her love by helping him escape. In a spine-tingling climax the real criminal is exposed. Amazon 4.6 stars from over 384 users

A jewel thief is at large on the Riviera, and all evidence points to retired cat burglar Cary Grant. Escaping the law, Grant heads to the Cote D’Azur, where he is greeted with hostility by his old partners in crime. All of them had been pardoned due to their courageous activities in the wartime Resistance, and all are in danger of arrest thanks to this new crime wave. But Grant pleads innocence, and vows to find out who’s been copying his distinctive style. Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 94% Audience 82%

MRQE 76% from over 68 reviews

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfyrCCcZFlc]

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On the Waterfront (1954)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1954

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108 min – PG – view video trailer

Director: Elia Kazan
Starring: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee Cobb

Genres: Crime, Drama

IMDB 8.3 / Amazon 4.7 / MRQE 91 / Metascore 88 / Decent Films A+

Oscars: nominated for 12, won 8 (Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, Writing, Editing, Art, Cinematography)

Ranked #22 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses. IMDB 8.3 rating from over 56,061 users

For all its great dramatic and cinematic qualities, and its fiery social criticism, Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront is also one of the most gripping melodramas of political corruption and individual heroism ever made in the United States, a five-star gut-grabber. Amazon 4.7 stars from over 188 users

Based on a true story of racketeering on the New York waterfront religion and social action finally meet in Hollywood… Cigarette-smoking, alcohol-drinking Father Barry (Karl Malone), based on real-life Jesuit Fr. John M. Corridan, takes on the corruption and strong-arm tactics of the mob bosses who control the lives of hardworking longshoremen… In his great “sermon on the docks” speech, Fr. Barry puts the moral issues of the waterfront in a christological light: “Some people think the Crucifixion only took place on Calvary. They better wise up… every time the mob puts the crusher on a good man — tries to stop him from doing his duty as a citizen — it’s a crucifixion… Christ is always with you… And He’s saying with all of you, if you do it to the least of mine, you do it to Me!” (Jewish screenwriter Budd Schulberg, who spent time on the waterfront with Fr. Corridan in preparation for writing the screenplay, has said that the sermon is “eighty percent” Corridan’s own words, from a speech he heard Corridan give numerous times.) Read full Decent Films review (rated A+ , Superior artistic-entertainment for Teens & Up)

MRQE 91% from over 55 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1951

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81 min – view video trailer

Director: Charles Crichton
Starring: Alec Guiness

IMDB 7.8 / Amazon 4.2 / Decent Films A-

Genre: Comedy, Crime

Oscars: nominated for 1 won 1

A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eifel Towers. IMDB 7.8 rating from over 7,674 users

According to Entertainment Weekly, “one of the greatest comedies ever made!” Sir Alec Guinness received his first Oscar nomination as Best Actor for his delightful performance as Henry Holland, a meek clerk who devises an ingenious plan to rob a fortune in gold bullion from his own bank. But when Henry and his odd accomplice melt the gold into souvenir Eiffel Towers to smuggle to France, their perfect crime becomes a disastrous caper of Cockney crooks, customs chaos and an ill-timed group of British schoolgirls, all leading to some of the most hilarious and unexpected surprises in criminal history.  Amazon 4.2 stars from over 43 users

On the Vatican’s 1995 list of 15 selected important files. While the caper-gone-wrong comedy genre has been done to death in recent decades, The Lavender Hill Mob avoids most of what became the clichés of the genre. In fact, up to a point things actually go quite a bit more smoothly than the characters fear they are going, and more than once the perpetrators almost give themselves away because they think the jig is already up. Decent Films A-

MRQE 89% from over 32 reviews – Madison Public Library

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nccqW6Y4O4]

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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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Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1949

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106 mins – view video trailer

Director: Robert Hamer
Starring: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson

Genres: Comedy, Crime

IMDB 8.2 / Amazon 4.8 / MRQE /

Oscars: none

Ranked #75 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

A distant poor relative of the Duke of D’Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession. IMDB 8.2 rating from over 18,082 users

Set in Victorian England, Robert Hamer’s 1949 masterpiece Kind Hearts and Coronets remains the most gracefully mordant of the Ealing comedies. Dennis Price plays Louis D’Ascoyne, the would-be Duke of Chalfont whose mother was spurned by her noble family for marrying an Italian singer for love. Louis resolves to avenge his mother by murdering the relatives ahead of him in line for the dukedom, all of whom are played by Alec Guinness. Amazon 4.8 stars from over 75 users

MRQE

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Bicycle Thieves (1948) Italian

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1948

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(Italian: Ladri di biciclette -English dubbed)

93 min – view video trailer

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Starring: Lamberto Maggiorani

Genres: Crime, Drama, Foreign

IMDB 8.4 / Amazon 4.6 / MRQE 90% / Decent Films A

Oscars: nominated for 1, won 0

Ranked #25 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

A man and his son search for a stolen bicycle vital for his job. IMDB 8.4 ranking from over 43,107 users

Shot in the streets and alleys of Rome, De Sica uses the real-life environment of contemporary life to frame his moving drama of a desperate father whose new job delivering cinema posters is threatened when a street thief steals his bicycle. Too poor to buy another, he and his son take to the streets in an impossible search for his bike. Amazon 4.6 stars from over 139 users

A defining landmark of Italian neorealism and a haunting fable of want and desperation, Vittorio De Sica’s Ladri di Biciclette, tells a story of such simplicity and power that one could sum up the key events in a single sentence — as in fact many reviews of the film do, though this one will not — and someone who had never seen the film might read the sentence and remember the premise forever. Read full Decent Films review (rated A, Superior artistic-entertainment for Teens & Up)

MRQE 90% from over 54 reviews

Notes: An honest, non-corporate portrait of the struggle for life and self-respect… one of the finest films ever made.

Madison Public Library

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The Big Sleep (1946)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1946

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114 min – rated PG – view video trailer

Director: Howard Hawks
Writers: William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely

Genres: Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

IMDB 8.2 / Amazon 4.5 / MRQE 92% / Decent Films A

Oscars: none

Ranked #56 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he’s seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love. IMDB 8.2 rating from over 38,595 users

Legendarily complicated (so much so that even Chandler had trouble following the plot), the film is nonetheless hugely entertaining and atmospheric, an electrifying plunge into the exotica of detective fiction. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 163 users

The dialogue is hard-boiled and crackles with wit, the plot is fast-paced and nearly impenetrable, and Humphrey Bogart is coolly unflappable in Howard Hawkes’s stylish noirclassic The Big Sleep, based on the Raymond Chandler novel. Read full Decent Films review (rated A, Superior artistic-entertainment for Teens & Up)

MRQE 92% from over 45 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Double Indemnity (1944)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1944

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107 min – view video trailer

Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Robinson

Genres: Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

IMDB 8.5 / Amazon 4.7 / MRQE 91% / Zagat 28

Oscars: nominated for 7, won 0 (Best Picture, Actress, Director, Cinematography, Music, Sound, Writing)

Ranked #29 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie, included in 19 of 37 greatest movie lists

An insurance rep lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator’s suspicions. IMDB 8.5 rating from over 52,595 users

Zagat summary snippet: The story of another dumb cluck done in by a woman, it features a fast-talking MacMurray, knockout Stanwyck (love the anklet) and fantastic Robinson, with plenty of plot twists. Best scene: shopping at the supermarket. Zagat Ratings: Overall 28 / Acting 27 / Story 28 / Production 25 / Total 108

As the would-be lovers plot the unsuspecting husband’s murder, they are pursued by a suspicious claims manager (Edward G. Robinson). It’s a race against time to get away with the perfect crime in this heart-racing Academy Award-nominated masterpiece. Amazon 4.7 stars from over 187 users

MRQE 91% rating with over 67 reviews linked

Madison Public Library

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