Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

Archive for the ‘Mystery’ Category

Psycho (1960)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1960

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109 min – TV14 – view video trailer

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles

Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

IMDB 8.7 / Amazon 4.7 / MRQE 90% /

Oscars: nominated for 4, won 0

Ranked #8 Greatest Movies Through 1960, in 32 of 41 best movies lists, a Zagat Top Movie

A young woman steals $40,000 from her employer’s client, and subsequently encounters a young motel proprietor too long under the domination of his mother. IMDB 8.7 rating from over 206,556 users

More than just a first-rate shocker full of thrills and suspense, Psycho is also an engrossing character study in which director Alfred Hitchcock skillfully seduces you into identifying with the main characters–then pulls the rug (or the bathmat) out from under you. Amazon 4.7 stars from over 545 users

MRQE 90% rating from more than 77 reviews

Notes: Hitchcock’s cameo appearance is early in the movie. Look for him wearing a big cowboy hat outside Marion’s office.

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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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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Rear window (1954)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1954

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112 min – PG – view video trailer

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly

Genres: Mystery, Romance, Thriller

IMDB 8.7 / Amazon 4.7 / MRQE 97 /

Oscars: nominated for 4, won 0 (Best Director, Writing, Sound, Cinematography)

Ranked #7 Greatest Movies Through 1960, in 24 of 41 best movies lists, a Zagat Top Movie

A wheelchair bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.  IMDB 8.7 rating from over 168,196 users

None of Hitchcock’s films has ever given a clearer view of his genius for suspense than Rear Window. Events in the movie ultimately lead to one of the most memorable and gripping endings in all of film history. Amazon 4.7 stars from over 372 users

MRQE 97% from over 108 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Diary of a Country Priest (1951) French

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1951

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(French:  Journal d’un cure de campagne)

115 min – view video trailer

Director: Robert Bresson
Starring: Claude Laydu, Nicole Ladmiral, Jean Riveyre

Genres: Drama, Mystery

IMDB 7.9 / Amazon 4.4 / Decent Films A+

Oscars: none

Ranked #83 Greatest Movies Through 1960

A young priest taking over the parish at Ambricourt tries to fulfill his duties even as he fights a mysterious stomach ailment. IMDB rating: 7.9 from over 3,916 users

The film locks in to the mind of a sickly, ineffective young priest trapped in an unfriendly rural area. Bresson charts the priest’s collapse with a series of brief scenes, a minimalist style that makes the slightest touch of a hand or far-off sound of a dog barking seem magnified in importance. (This is a movie that must be watched and listened to–it is not a casual experience.) Amazon 4.4 stars from over 31 users

Faithfully adapting its source material, Catholic novelist Georges Bernanos’ fictional autobiography of a soul, the film profoundly contemplates the spiritual meaning of suffering and persecution, conversion and incorrigibility, and the dark night of the soul with a rigor and insight evocative of Augustine’sConfessions or Thérèse’s Story of a Soul. Read full Decent Films review: rated A+, Superior artistic-entertainment for Teens & Up

MRQE – over 29 review links

Madison Public Library

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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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The Third Man (1949)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1949

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104 min – view video trailer

Director: Carol Reed
Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli

Genres: Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

IMDB 8.5 / Amazon 4.6 / MRQE 91% / ReelViews 4 stars

Oscars: nominated for 3, won 1 (Best Cinamatography)

Ranked #17 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie, included in 19 of 37 lists of Greatest Movies

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime. IMDB rating 8.5 from over 66,630 users

Zagat summary snippet: Hailed as all around perfect with a memorable final fade, this masterful postwar noir simmers with shadowy intrigue as an alienated Cotten encounters romance and betrayal while searching bombed out Vienna for a mysterious black marketeer (Welles).

In this all-time classic thriller with stunning cinematography, twisting plot and unforgettable zither score, Martins searches for Lime through the seedy underworld of postwar Vienna and gets caught up in a web of love, deception, racketeering, and murder. Amazon 4.6 stars from over 338 users

From a visual standpoint, The Third Man consistently impresses. The black-and-white cinematography is crisp and clean. Orson Welles is credited as once saying that every performance is better in black-and-white, and, viewing something like The Third Man, it’s not hard to understand why. The atmosphere is deeper and the images are more striking. ReelViews highest 4 star rating

MRQE gave it 91% rating with links to more than 114 reviews

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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Citizen Kane (1941)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1941

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119 Min – rated PG – view video trailer

Director: Orson Welles
Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten

Genres: Drama, Mystery

IMDB 8.5 / Amazon 4.0 / MRQE 97% / Decent Films A+

Oscars won (1 of9): Best Writing/Screenplay (Orson Welles, Herman Mankiewicz) / nominated: Best Picture, Best Actor (Orson Welles), Best Director (Orson Welles), Art/Interior (Perry Ferguson, Van Nest Polglase, A Roland fields, Darrell Silvera), Cinematography (Gregg Toland), Film Editing (Robert Wise), Music (Bernard Herrmann), Sound (John Aalberg)

Ranked #1 Greatest Movies Through 1960, in 37 of 41 best movies lists, a Zagat Top Movie

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance. IMDB rating: 8.5 from over 177,676 users

Arguably the greatest of American films, Orson Welles’s 1941 masterpiece, made when he was only 26, still unfurls like a dream and carries the viewer along the mysterious currents of time and memory to reach a mature (if ambiguous) conclusion: people are the sum of their contradictions, and can’t be known easily.  Amazon 4.0 stars from over 806 users

At the height of the Hollywood studio system, when studio bosses controlled every aspect of filmmaking from production to exhibition, this film was made by a handful of brilliant artists who were given virtually the unprecedented creative freedom to do whatever they wanted. Incredibly, the film was spearheaded by an extraordinary triple-threat talent (Welles, who co-wrote, directed, and starred in addition to producing) who, at only 25 years old, had cut his teeth on radio and stage, but had never before made a film… Controversy surrounding the release of the film has become an enduring part of its legend. The character of Charles Foster Kane was widely recognized at least in part as a fictionalized version of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, and Hearst furiously did his best to suppress the picture and have it destroyed. Read full Decent Films review (rated A+, Superior artistic-entertainment for Teens & Up)

MRQE 97% rating with over 121 reviews linked

NOTE: this is arguably the greatest movie ever made and it shows up in more lists of great movies than any other movie – usually in the top ten and often in the top three!  What is interesting is that it was written and directed by Orson Welles who also starred in it!  But most interesting is that it was his first feature movie – all at the old age of 25!  It is said that this movie resembled a bit too much the life of William Randolph Hearst who tried to stop the film from being made and then from being shown in theaters.  Apparently the movie was actually booed at the Academy Awards ceremony and the only award it won was for best screenplay.

Madison Public Library

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The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1941

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100 min – view video trailer

Director: John Huston
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George

IMDB 8.3 / Amazon 4.6 / MRQE 93% / Movie Mom A+

Genre: Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

Oscars: nominated for 3, won 0

Ranked #30 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette. IMDB 8.3 rating from over 67,453 users

Still the tightest, sharpest, and most cynical of Hollywood’s official deathless classics, bracingly tough even by post-Tarantino standards. Humphrey Bogart is Dashiell Hammett’s definitive private eye, Sam Spade, struggling to keep his hard-boiled cool as the double-crosses pile up around his ankles.  Amazon 4.6 stars from over 252 users

One of the most interesting aspects of this classic movie is the way that Sam Spade thinks though the moral dilemmas. When he is deciding whether to tell the police about Brigid, he is very explicit about weighing every aspect of his choices. It is not an easy decision for him; he has no moral absolutes. BeliefNet Movie Mom A+

MRQE 93% from over 69 reviews

Madison Public Library

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