1950 as a year feels pretty noir heavy. Even the top films have a darkness and cynicism to them. The two big films of the year are, of course, Sunset Boulevard and All About Eve. That pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the year.
You’re gonna see a lot of noirs and westerns here, because those are what were mass produced during this era. But what you’ll also find a a couple of really great hidden gems, including one of my favorite movies that absolutely nobody knows about.
That might be the theme for this year and the 50s in general — a lot of the obvious choices are there at the top, but some of the stuff below the line is some of the best stuff that you don’t know about, but really ought to. (more…)
The 40s is a complete, perfect decade. In a way, possibly the best decade in cinema. I know we all love the 70s, and I get that. But the 40s, at the top, has, quite possibly, the greatest set of films ever made.
Putting this one together was pretty simple. I didn’t even have to blink and I’d have at least seven of the ten films. Really all I had to do was make a difficult decision with the final film on the list. But then, when I think about which are actually among my favorite films of all time, the decision actually became easier.
For methodology purposes, the way I compile these Top Tens of the Decade lists: I take my top ten for each year of the decade, throw them all together, and simply whittle it down until I find what I feel are my ten favorites from that decade. Not the best, my favorite. That’s really all it is. I feel like if I can figure out what my favorite films of all time are, then I can figure it out by specific decades. (more…)
1949 is a year that has some great films. The best thing about them is that they all feel like hidden gems, even though they’re probably all classics.
Of course we need to start with the obvious film — one of the absolute greatest films ever made, a benchmark in its genre, one of the most gorgeously photographed films of all time and a film that remains one of my five favorite films of all time. So that’s of course gonna lead the pack. But the rest of them are all great films that I feel most people don’t see often enough. It’ll increase as the list goes on.
I’ve always had a real affinity for this year. This is the year that’s rife with stuff that I’d jump to recommend to people. (more…)
1948 might be my favorite year of the 40s. Just because the top ten list feels like a complete list of ten that I out and out love.
There’s also a lot of great stuff below the line, but the key to this one is the top ten. The top three are straight up “best films ever made” material. And the others are just straight classics and/or great films by great directors who are right in their prime.
Get ready for this one, guys. It’s a very good year. (more…)
So 1944 for me was about the rise of the noirs. 1947 is the year of the noir. There are 22 of them on this list. 22! This is as cynical as it got for Hollywood.
That’s really the overwhelming theme for 1947: dark and cynical. Which is funny, because one of the most uplifting Christmas movies ever made (I guess, actually… two of them) came out this year. But man, there’s not a lot of uplift in here. Even the major film of the year about how awful society is.
But hey, alongside the darkness, we also have one of the most beautiful films ever shot. So there’s that. (more…)
This may be the strongest year of the 40s. At least at the top. I’ll probably also make that case for 1948, but this year feels so strong because quite legitimately, the top four films on my list would be #1 films in just about ANY other year. And they’re also all-time greats. Two of them are legitimately two of the top 50 American movies ever made.
Aside from that, you have a smattering amazing movies. This is the kind of list where you get to a film and just think, “Ohh…. yeah.” And it gives you that feeling of happiness because it’s just so great. I love years like this.
I really don’t have a whole lot more to add. Just… look at these ten films. How great are they? (more…)
I like 1945 because of the history surrounding it. World War II was basically over. It ended in June, though it had been a long time coming. By Christmas, 1944, it was pretty inevitable that the Allied countries would win. So you don’t really see a whole lot of war-oriented films out there. We’re returning to classical Hollywood storytelling.
There’s not a major overarching theme for this year. All things considered, it’s actually a pretty ho-hum year. Good stuff, but the overall quality of the films feels diminished from most of the other years of the 40s.
Though this is actually the year where foreign cinema started rising. Italian Neorealism began with Rome, Open City and that led to a lot of the major European movements over the next two decades. (more…)