Monday, January 02, 2012

10 Classics for 2012

In January 2011 I jotted down a list of 10 classic films I wanted to make a particular point to finally catch up with that year. Although I've seen countless movies over the years, I'd never gotten around to seeing certain well-known classics, particularly those with darker themes.

I decided on a short, manageable goal to help fill in a few significant titles I'd never seen, and I successfully completed watching all 10 films on the list as of New Year's Day, 2012. The titles and links to reviews can be found at the end of my post regarding the final film on the list, SUNSET BLVD. (1950).

I've made a fresh list of 10 classics to be sure to see this year, and unlike last year, I thought I'd post it in advance. Several of the titles were recommended by family members and commenters here at my blog; other than that, it's a fairly random list. Like last year's list, the films are for the most part fairly dark in theme, which helps explain why I've put off seeing them!

The list for 2012:

DARK VICTORY (Edmund Goulding, 1939)

THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (Orson Welles, 1942)

THE RAZOR'S EDGE (Edmund Goulding, 1946)

BLACK NARCISSUS (Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell, 1947)

HAMLET (Laurence Olivier, 1948)

CRISS CROSS (Robert Siodmak, 1949)

STALAG 17 (Billy Wilder, 1953)

12 ANGRY MEN (Sidney Lumet, 1957)

THE APARTMENT (Billy Wilder, 1960)

THE BIRDS (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)

I'm looking forward to exploring these films in 2012 and will value your comments as I see them. I expect to watch and review a couple hundred additional films this year as well!

Happy New Year!

Update: I'll be turning the above titles into hyperlinks to the reviews as I see each film.

11 Comments:

Blogger marya said...

I need to see The Razor's Edge myself, but the rest of the films on this list are fabulous. I hope you enjoy them!

12:35 AM  
Blogger Matthew Coniam said...

I envy anyone their first encounters with Ambersons and The Apartment.
I can see why the latter in particular might have put you off in precis, but my money's on you loving both.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Raquelle said...

I know you have discerning taste, but out of these 10 I think you will enjoy Stalag 17. Personally, I enjoyed Dark Victory, 12 Angry Men and The Apartment. I didn't care for Black Narcissus at all!

It's nice you set yearly goals for yourself of the big classics!

7:34 AM  
Blogger Cliff Aliperti said...

Will be looking forward to your reaction on The Razor's Edge. Love it myself!

8:08 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I think "12 Angry Men" and "Stalag 17" are two of the most compelling movies I've ever seen.

If you don't love "The Apartment" - well, I'll be very surprised.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you all so much for the feedback! It's a fun project, especially as my tastes have always run more towards musicals, romantic comedies, Westerns, and "B" movies. It's only in the last few years I've become a fan of film noir. I think I'm at a point in life where I'm ready to check out these films and hopefully appreciate many of them.

Cliff, your strong endorsement of THE RAZOR'S EDGE, along with my dad's positive comments, helped induce me to add that title to the list. Plus I'm a big fan of Tyrone Power. :)

Marya, if you see THE RAZOR'S EDGE perhaps we can compare notes! Thanks for the feedback.

Matthew, having become a fan of Fred MacMurray over the last couple years, it was time for THE APARTMENT, having seen him this past year in DOUBLE INDEMNITY. It's interesting to me how many Billy Wilder films have been contenders for my lists. William Holden is another name that has come up several times, both in the films I've chosen and those I didn't put on the list but will see anyway at some point!

Raquelle, I'm especially looking forward to STALAG 17 after seeing Richard Erdman speak at a screening of CRY DANGER at UCLA last year. And I thought of your Jack Klugman week when I chose 12 ANGRY MEN, which is my 13-year-old son's very favorite film. I've always been busy working when he's watched it!

Caftan Woman, I've taken particular note of your favorites as our tastes are so often similar. Looking forward to trying them out!

Best wishes and Happy New Year to all,
Laura

12:54 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

I've been wanting to see The Magnificent Ambersons since I read the book (which, incidentally, was one of my top ten favorite reads of 2011). Netflix has been listing it for a while but it stills says 'DVD availability date unknown.' Any idea why they do that?

3:06 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Elisabeth,

Currently the AMBERSONS DVD is only available as an extra with the purchase of CITIZEN KANE on Blu-ray. It's expected it will be released on its own at some point but there's been no information that I'm aware of as to the release date.

Best wishes,
Laura

3:38 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

12 Angry Men is one of my all-time favorite movies. Shows how easy it can be to make a movie with a good story, a room, and twelve good actors.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Vienna said...

I look forward to hearing what you think of DARK VICTORY and STALAG 17, both of which I like a lot, though they are so different. I ' m so glad Billy Wilder saw William Holden's potential .Although William made a lot of movies in the 40s, I think the 50s were his best period.
Dark Victory belongs to Bette Davis and I like Geraldine Fitzgerald and George Brent .

7:10 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks, Vienna! Like you I'm a fan of Brent & Fitzgerald so I'm hoping I'll enjoy DARK VICTORY, as well as William Holden in STALAG 17.

Best wishes,
Laura

8:31 AM  

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