For each of the last two years, I jotted down a goal list of 10 highly regarded titles that I wanted to be sure to finally cross off my "need to see" list. Though I regularly see at least a couple hundred films a year, I've found it worthwhile to have a short, manageable goal of significant "must see" films each year, and I've felt a sense of satisfaction completing the lists. Although I haven't cared for all of the films seen as part of this project, I'm glad to now have first-hand familiarity with some well-known movies I had previously missed seeing.
Reviews of the films on the 2011 list can be found linked at the bottom of my post on the final movie seen from that list, SUNSET BLVD. (1950), while my 2012 list is here.
The focus of this year's list has shifted somewhat, with less of an emphasis on popular, big name Oscar nominees -- though a film which won five Oscars can be found on this list too! (Considering how much I love John Ford, it's rather amazing that I have somehow never seen HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY.) That said, these are all well-regarded films which in some cases have grown in stature with the passage of time.
While the 2011 list included some comedies, the 2012 list was filled with long films which were dark in content, so I made a conscious decision to "lighten up" a little this year too.
Some movies on this list stretch me out of my comfort zone; I rarely watch foreign films and never watch silents, so I've included a couple silent films and a French movie on the list. (We'll see if I can get past the problem I have with title cards interrupting the action in silents...) I also don't "do" horror, but I'm a great admirer of Jacques Tourneur, and having watched Val Lewton films in 2011 and 2012, I think I'm ready for the famous Lewton-Tourneur collaboration listed below. I also wanted to make sure I finally catch up with one of Disney's most highly regarded live-action films this year!
I'm especially appreciative of ideas from both my father and my friend Blake Lucas, who each played a significant role in the creation of this year's list.
The list for 2013:
SAFETY LAST! (Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, 1923)
THE IRON HORSE (John Ford, 1924)
LITTLE CAESAR (Mervyn LeRoy, 1931)
HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (John Ford, 1941)
CAT PEOPLE (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Jean Cocteau, 1946)
LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN (Max Ophuls, 1948)
THE GUNFIGHTER (Henry King, 1950)
20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (Richard Fleischer, 1954)
SOME CAME RUNNING (Vincente Minnelli, 1958)
As I did last year, I'll be returning to this post as I see each film, linking each title to its corresponding review.
I'll be watching and reviewing a great many films this year beyond this list of ten titles, and I value my readers' feedback as I continue to explore the world of Golden Era films in 2013!
Happy New Year!