Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

Archive for the ‘History’ Category

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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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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She Done Him Wrong (1933)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1933

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66 min – view video trailer

Director: Lowell Sherman
Starring: Cary Grant, Mae West

Genres: Comedy, Drama, History

IMDB 6.5 / Amazon 4.7 / Tomatometer 95%

Oscars: Nominated for 1 (Best Picture) won  0

New York singer and nightclub owner Lady Lou has more men friends than you can imagine, unfortunately one of them is a vicious criminal who’s escaped and is on the way to see “his” girl, not realizing she hasn’t exactly been faithful in his absence. Help is at hand in the form of young Captain Cummings, a local temperance league leader, though. IMDB 6.5 from over 2,765 users

“Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?” Screen legends Mae West and Cary Grant heat up the screen in the racy comedy She Done Him Wrong! Nominated for Best Picture, this classic from the pre-code Hollywood era follows a brash saloon singer (West) with a penchant for troubled men – especially the mission director (Grant) who wants to reform her. The unabashed queen of the double-entendre shines in her first starring role, in what has been called “Mae West’s best film” – Amazon 4.7 stars from over 48 users

“I’m the finest woman who walked the streets,” declares bejeweled, hip-swishing Lady Lou (Mae West) at the beginning of She Done Him Wrong. Lou works as a singer at the Gay Nineties saloon of Gus Jordan (Noah Beery Sr.), who plies her with diamonds to keep her by his side. She runs afoul of stalwart mission captain Cummings (Cary Grant), who warns her that she’s on the road to perdition. Mae West’s first starring film, She Done Him Wrong literally saved Paramount Pictures from bankruptcy.  Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 95% Audience 57%

MRQE has links to 15 reviews


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The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) French

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1928

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(French: La passion de Jeanne d’Arc)

110 min (with English subtitles and optional music track) – view video trailer

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Writers: Carl Theodor Dreyer, Joseph Delteil
Starring: Renee Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, Andre Berley

Genres: Biography, Drama, History, Foreign

IMDB 8.2 / Amazon 4.8 / MRQE 98% / Decent Films A+

Oscars: ??

Ranked #53 Greatest Movies Through 1960

A chronicle of the trial of Jeanne d’Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions. IMDB 8.2 rating from over 16,008 users

Dreyer’s film is most devastating in its central performance by Falconetti (née Renee Falconetti), a French stage actress who made her only screen appearance here–one critic Pauline Kael has suggested “may be the finest performance ever recorded on film.” Through Falconetti, Joan’s spiritual devotion, simple dignity, and suffering become utterly real; even without a dialogue track and only sparse inter-titles, the film achieves a fevered eloquence. Amazon 4.8 stars from over 168 users

To witness Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc is to glimpse the soul of a saint in her hour of trial. The film is more than a dramatization, more than a biopic, more than a documentary: It is a spiritual portrait, almost a mystical portrait, of a Christ-like soul sharing in the sufferings of Christ… The key to the film’s sense of authenticity, though, is the haunting face of Maria Falconetti, whose transcendent evocation of the Maid of Orleans has been called the greatest performance ever filmed. Read full Decent Films review (rated A+, Superior artistic-entertainment for Kids & Up)

MRQE 98% from over 50 reviews (the highest rating of any movie)

Notes: This was a silent film with French text screens.  The DVD includes a music track that is excellent in itself and also includes English subtitles.

Madison Public Library

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Battleship Potemkin (1295) Russian

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1925

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75 min – view video trailer

Director: Sergei Eisenstein
Starring: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barsy, Grigori Aleksandrov

IMDB 8.1 / Amazon 4.3 / MRQE 86% / Tomatometer 100%

Genres: Drama, History, War, Foreign

Oscars: pre-Oscars

Ranked #36 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

A dramatized account of a great Russian naval mutiny and a resulting street demonstration which brought on a police massacre. IMDB 8.1 rating from over 23,573 users

For eight decades, Sergei Eisenstein s 1925 masterpiece has remained the most influential silent film of all time. Yet each successive generation has seen BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN subjected to censorship and recutting, its unforgettable power diluted in unauthorized public domain editions from dubious sources. (now  it has been restored!) Amazon 4.3 stars from over 98 users

The film’s centerpiece is staged on the Odessa Steps, where in 1905 the Czar’s Cossacks methodically shot down rioters and innocent bystanders alike. To Eisenstein, this single bloody incident was the crucible of the successful 1917 Bolshevik revolution, and the result was the “Odessa Steps sequence,” which is often considered the most famous sequence ever filmed; it is certainly one of the most imitated, perhaps most overtly by Brian De Palma in The Untouchables (1987). Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer 100% Audience 85%

MRQE 86% from over 44 reviews

Madison Public Library

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