Sunday, January 08, 2017

10 Classics for 2017

It's time for my annual list of "10 Classics" which I plan to see for the first time this year!

This will be the seventh consecutive year I've undertaken this project. My reviews for 2016 are still in the process of being written and may be found linked here as they go up. I hope to have them finished in the next couple of weeks. As always, seeing the movies on the list has proved to be very rewarding.

The focus of this year's list is slightly different. There are still some well-known films and great directors, but the slant this year is somewhat less on some of the best-known classics and more on titles I've simply been wanting to finally catch up with -- many of which were strongly recommended by family and friends.

Here's the list of films I'm looking forward to seeing for the first time in 2017:

LAZYBONES (Frank Borzage, 1925)

IT (Clarence G. Badger, 1927)

STREET ANGEL (Frank Borzage, 1928)

DOCTOR BULL (John Ford, 1933)

BATTLEGROUND (William Wellman, 1949)

THE FLAME AND THE ARROW (Jacques Tourneur, 1950)


LIGHTNING (INAZUMA) (Mikeo Naruse, 1952)


RED SUNDOWN (Jack Arnold, 1956)

As I have done in previous years, I'll be returning to this post as I see each film, linking each title to its corresponding review.

I always enjoy seeing other lists! Kristina has posted one at Speakeasy, and Le also has a list up at Critica Retro.

If any readers have a list of films they're committing to seeing this year, feel free to share either a link or the list itself in the comments!

Happy movie viewing in 2017!

Previous "10 Classics" lists: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011 (the 2011 list is at the end of the linked review).

2018 Update: My schedule was so packed with festivals, screeners, and the like last year that I uncharacteristically didn't complete my list, so that's my goal for this year!


Blogger Seth said...

I have nearly 400 titles in my Classicflix queue, and quite a few unviewed discs in my own collection, but these are the 10 I want to be sure to see in 2017 (and who knows, I may even start blogging again and write about everything I watch):

3:10 to Yuma
42nd Street
Citizen Kane
Grand Hotel
The Letter
The Longest Day
Meet Me in St. Louis
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
Singin' in the Rain

Thanks to TCM, I should see Singin' on the big screen next week.

As always, I'm grateful for your reviews. A few of the films on my list are there thanks to you.

11:13 PM  
Blogger KC said...

Very interesting list! Looking forward to what you have to say about IT in particular.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Seth, thanks so much for sharing your list, and if you start blogging about these films, please come back and let us know! You have some real treats ahead of you; for me the special gem of your list is MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, which I will happily watch anywhere, anytime. :) Hope you enjoy it!

Nothing about blogging is more gratifying than knowing others try out movies I've mentioned (especially if they're enjoyed, grin). Thank you for telling me!

Thanks, KC! I had never seen Bow in anything until GET YOUR MAN last year, and I was so impressed with her screen presence and comic timing. I'm curious about IT!

Best wishes,

11:33 PM  
Blogger LĂȘ said...

I have seen 3 of these: It, Street Angel and The sun shines bright. I think you'll really like the last - it was a very pleasant surprise, so heartfelt!
Thanks for sharing my link :)
Happy viewing!

8:44 AM  
Blogger Raquel S. said...

Nice list Laura! I really enjoyed It and hope you like it too.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Kristina said...

This is a great mix of movies, and I've only seen 2 (RED SUNDOWN, BATTLEGROUND) so I'd love to watch a few myself.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks, Le! I appreciate you sharing your feedback. Looking forward to them!

I'm delighted you enjoyed reading it, Raquel! Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

Your review of RED SUNDOWN was a great impetus to put it on the list, Kristina, along with the great feedback from several other fellow Western fans. Would be fun if you watch some too. I love your own list!

Best wishes,

10:11 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Nice list, though I think it's a stretch to call some of those 'classics.' I mean, I like THE FLAME AND THE ARROW and RED SUNDOWN, but I'd never call them classics.

Most years I've seen all your list entries already. This year, though, there are two I haven't seen -- LAZYBONES and LIGHTNING. So I'll have to catch those just to keep up.

I also recently re-watched THE GOODBYE GIRL. Like you, I'd seen it many many times back in the day (it was one of the first movies I taped off TV when I got my first VCR in '78), but hadn't seen it in ages. It does indeed hold up very, very well. Great script and wonderful performances. Especially Dreyfuss, who managed to be hilarious and touching all while being totally "real."

10:13 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Rick!

Thanks for your note! I agree to an extent, I kept the "10 Classics" title for the sake of continuity, since my lists go back a few years, while laying out in the post itself that some of the films aren't "best-known classics" but rather movies I've been wanting to finally see.

Still, they're films by excellent directors which by many accounts are highly entertaining, so I wonder if some might be called classics in their genres, just with a somewhat different meaning to the sometimes the not-so-well-known movies prove to be more fun for me than the vaunted classics (grin).

Love that I found a couple movies you hadn't seen! LAZYBONES fits right in with my current interest in Buck Jones, along with helping me to delve deeper into Borzage's filmography, and LIGHTNING will help take my exploration of Japanese cinema beyond Kurosawa and Ozu. Would love to know your thoughts if you catch up with them.

Great to get your feedback on THE GOODBYE GIRL, glad you also enjoyed revisiting it and had a similar response to it.

Always good to hear from you!

Best wishes,

10:33 AM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

Ha! RED SUNDOWN. I just knew one of these days you'd find a way to finally see this and now you will.

I'm not sure Rick read your first piece carefully but I know I did and thought you made it clear about loosening up on that word "classics" and felt this was a good way to for the list. Personally, I sometimes get uncomfortable with some films being called classics while others are not; who is the gatekeeper for this?

I often love the less heralded gems that make classical cinema such an endless pleasure more than the "official" classics, and I'm sure many others do too., RED SUNDOWN isn't thought of as a classic, but maybe there is a coterie here who would argue, maybe it should be.

As for the lovely THE FLAME AND THE ARROW, it's not to be missed at the least, and that goes for any J. Tourneur movie.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for your note, Blake! Yes, I will finally see RED SUNDOWN, which has the strong endorsement of at least eight people whose opinions I respect. :)

Glad to also read your opinion of THE FLAME AND THE ARROW. I've seen so many Tourneur films, and I want to try to fill in the gaps. Plus any unseen Virginia Mayo film is one I need to see!

Best wishes,

8:35 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Looking forward to your impressions of BATTLEGROUND in particular; it's one of my favorites. I hope to discuss it sometime this year as well. The variety of your choices shows your great depth as a fan of classic films.

4:08 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks, Jacqueline! Jessica of Comet Over Hollywood is another who names BATTLEGROUND as a favorite film. It's got quite a cast, and I love William Wellman. I'm all the more interested in seeing it now that I know it's a favorite of yours. I'm looking forward to your post on it later in the year!

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and the kind words. Great to hear from you!

Best wishes,

7:13 PM  

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