Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Tonight's Movie in 2018: The Year in Review

Happy New Year!

Time for my annual look back at the movie viewing year that was! 2018 was yet another wonderful viewing year, filled with a wide variety of films, including a significant number of "big screen" experiences.

I saw 282 films in 2018, a quite satisfactory total, although I didn't make it to 300 as I'd hoped! Maybe I'll hit that number in 2019 -- in any event, it will be fun trying!

For comparison, I saw 284 films in 2017, 275 in 2016, 310 movies in 2015 (my record to date!), 286 movies in 2014, 277 films in 2013, 220 in both 2012 and 2009, 226 in 2011, and 211 movies in 2010.

I saw 116 films in a theater this year, besting my 2015 theatrical tally by one -- an all-time record for me; roughly 40% of all my 2018 viewing was in a theater. I saw 102 big screen films in 2017, 75 in 2016, 78 in 2014, 50 in 2013, and 55 in 2012. Well over 1/3 of my movie watching occurring in a theater is quite a happy statistic for me.

24 of my theatrical viewings were brand-new films, matching last year's tally. More information on the new titles seen follows below.

92 of this year's 282 films were repeat watches, with 45 of those repeat viewings coming on a big screen. Oftentimes my repeat watches occur at film festivals or in the many great series which run at UCLA, which this year included a pair of nitrate screenings.

The total of 92 repeats far surpasses previous years; for comparison, in 2017 there were 68 repeat films, 62 in 2016, 76 in 2015, 68 in 2014, 41 in 2013, 36 in 2012 and 2009, 15 in 2011, and only 13 in 2010.

Each hyperlinked title in this post links to my past review. While it's not possible to list every single movie seen or go into extensive detail here, it's my hope that the linked reviews will provide resources for further exploration and inspiration for future viewing.

Each linked review includes options available for watching each title, including DVD, Blu-ray, streaming, and even VHS, a format some of my readers continue to utilize, as do I!

Following my usual pattern, the next section of this post will look at some additional stats, including films seen at festivals and lists of most-seen actors. The final section of the post is a month-by-month review of additional notable titles not already mentioned.

Here's a look back at the great movie viewing year which was 2018!

...I attended five film festivals this year, starting with the Noir City Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. First-time viewings at Noir City: I LOVE TROUBLE (1948), L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997), DARK CITY (1950), and ACT OF VIOLENCE (1948). All these films were good, with ACT OF VIOLENCE probably the standout for me among a group of fine films.

...I also saw several previously reviewed films at this year's Noir City Film Festival: THE BLUE DAHLIA (1946) with Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake; an all-time fave, ARMORED CAR ROBBERY (1950), starring Charles McGraw; Jack Webb's DRAGNET (1954); and McGraw again in LOOPHOLE (1954), which like many of the films seen at this year's festival had fantastic Los Angeles location shooting.

...At this year's TCM Classic Film Festival I saw 17 films, 10 of which were new to me. I reviewed THE MERRY WIDOW (1935), THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK (1944), HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE (1953), and LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945). Additional films seen which I didn't have time to review thanks to a trio of back-to-back festivals: LOVE FINDS ANDY HARDY (1938), THIS THING CALLED LOVE (1940), WIFE VS. SECRETARY (1936), GIRLS ABOUT TOWN (1931), SHOW PEOPLE (1928), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (1935), MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939), and BULL DURHAM (1988).

...Previously reviewed films seen at the TCM Classic Film Festival were FINISHING SCHOOL (1934), STAGE DOOR (1937), THREE SMART GIRLS (1936), SPELLBOUND (1945), and BLESSED EVENT (1932). LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN, STAGE DOOR, and SPELLBOUND were all nitrate screenings! As always, the festival was a fantastic experience start to finish. I really enjoyed virtually everything I saw -- I do think I'm done with BULL DURHAM at this point -- with THE MERRY WIDOW, THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK, and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM probably being the standouts among a fine group of films.

...The Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs is a favorite event each year. I saw 11 of the festival's 12 films; the only one I didn't watch was THE UNSUSPECTED (1948), which I had just seen at UCLA weeks earlier. Brand-new reviews written on films seen at this year's Arthur Lyons Festival: FAREWELL, MY LOVELY (1975), THE WEB (1947), THE RED HOUSE (1947), WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1957), UNDER THE GUN (1951), and FLAMINGO ROAD (1949). All but WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION were brand-new watches for me. It was an exceptionally interesting group of movies. I especially loved THE WEB, THE RED HOUSE, and FLAMINGO ROAD.

...Previously reviewed films also seen at the Arthur Lyons Fest: LARCENY (1948), THE TURNING POINT (1952), CHICAGO DEADLINE (1949), THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF (1951), and KISS OF DEATH (1947).

...I made my second trip to Cinecon at the Egyptian Theatre on Labor Day weekend and saw a dozen films: HELEN'S BABIES (1924), SWEET AND LOW-DOWN (1944), SCOTLAND YARD (1941), THE GOLDEN HORDE (1951), OUTSIDE THE LAW (1920), SEVEN SINNERS (1925), INSURE YOUR WIFE! (1935), GOLDIE (1931), THE SHAKEDOWN (1929), THE VIRGINIA JUDGE (1935), MISS TATLOCK'S MILLIONS (1948), along with the previously reviewed INFERNAL MACHINE (1933). It was a wonderful weekend seeing rare and obscure movies!

...Another dozen films were seen at October's 29th Lone Pine Film Festival: THE DIVIDE (2018), STRANGE GAMBLE (1948), UNDER WESTERN STARS (1938), JUST TONY (1922), TRAILING TROUBLE (1930), THE BIG TRAIL (1930), FRONTIER DAYS (1934), THE WILD HORSE STAMPEDE (1926), WILL JAMES' SMOKY (1933), OH, SUSANNA! (1936), and THE ARIZONA RANGER (1948), plus the previously reviewed BROKEN LANCE (1954), with special guest Robert Wagner in attendance! Lone Pine is always a highlight of the year, relaxing in a favorite little town, watching Westerns, visiting with friends, eating great food, and exploring movie locations.

...There were many other special screenings this year, with most taking place at UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater. This year's UCLA screenings kicked off for me with a Michael Curtiz Retrospective at UCLA, where I saw THE STRANGE LOVE OF MOLLY LOUVAIN (1932) for the first time, plus revisited FEMALE (1933), THE UNSUSPECTED (1948), and ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS (1948). I would have loved to attend more screenings in this series but surgery briefly interrupted my trips to L.A.

...In April I attended two evenings in UCLA's three-night tribute to Ida Lupino, where I saw THE HARD WAY (1943), HARD, FAST AND BEAUTIFUL (1951), OUTRAGE (1950), and THE BIGAMIST (1953). All but THE HARD WAY were brand-new to me. What a great weekend of movies!

...UCLA also hosted a fabulous Ernst Lubitsch Series, where I watched NINOTCHKA (1939) and the previously reviewed THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940); the silent films LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN (1925), SUMURUN (1920), THE OYSTER PRINCESS (1919), I DON'T WANT TO BE A MAN (1918), and FORBIDDEN PARADISE (1924); the previously reviewed TROUBLE IN PARADISE (1932); and finally ANGEL (1937). This series was both entertaining and educational, seeing so many films from early in the famed director's career.

...In the midst of UCLA's Lubitsch series I also saw his pre-Code comedy DESIGN FOR LIVING (1933) at the Egyptian Theatre. I originally reviewed it here in 2008 and liked it much better the second time around!

...In the summer UCLA hosted a Bob Fosse Retrospective, where I saw ALL THAT JAZZ (1979), THE PAJAMA GAME (1957), DAMN YANKEES (1958), and KISS ME KATE (1953), plus MY SISTER EILEEN (1955), originally reviewed here in 2012, and WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954), originally reviewed here in 2013.

...In UCLA's short Christmas series in December I saw LITTLE WOMEN (1994) in a new digital restoration and MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944) in 35mm. I found revisiting these two films to be very special experiences.

...I also saw two marvelous nitrate screenings at UCLA in 2018, William Wyler's COUNSELLOR AT LAW (1933) in the summer, starring John Barrymore, and the terrific 20th Century-Fox film A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949) in December. Combined with three nitrate prints seen at the TCM Classic Film Festival, my nitrate tally for 2018 was five films, matching last year's number.

...I took my mom along to revisit ENCHANTED (2007) at Disney's El Capitan Theatre, as well as THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) and SOUTH PACIFIC (1958) at local Fathom Events digital screenings. It had been around 6-1/2 years since I last saw either Rodgers & Hammerstein film on a big screen so it was wonderful to see these favorite musicals in a theater again. My May 2012 post on THE SOUND OF MUSIC (also seen with my mom!) may be found here, and my July 2012 SOUTH PACIFIC review is here. Additionally, I caught Hayao Miyazaki's MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (1988) and CASTLE IN THE SKY (1986) thanks to Fathom Events screenings.

...I dropped MoviePass midway through the year when it ran into financial trouble and switched to Cinemark Movie Club, which I've found quite satisfactory. The 24 new movies seen in theaters in 2018: MOLLY'S GAME (2017), THE POST (2017), LADY BIRD (2017), THE COMMUTER (2017), BLACK PANTHER (2018), 7 DAYS IN ENTEBBE (2018), CHAPPAQUIDDICK (2017), AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (2018), SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (2018), OCEAN'S EIGHT (2018), INCREDIBLES 2 (2018), WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (2018), ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (2018), SKYSCRAPER (2018), CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (2018), THE MEG (2018), CRAZY RICH ASIANS (2018), INSTANT FAMILY (2018), RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (2018), MIRAI (2018), SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (2018), AQUAMAN (2018), and MARY POPPINS RETURNS (2018). Also included in this tally: The previously mentioned indie film THE DIVIDE (2018), seen at the Lone Pine Film Festival. A third of these 24 titles came from the various divisions of Disney, Marvel, and Pixar.

...I also saw last summer's MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT (2018) at home on Blu-ray.

...Kay Francis was my most-seen actress in 2018, with seven films. I've been working my way through all her yet-unseen Warner Archive releases (with more to come!) and also had the chance to see her on the big screen a couple of times this year.

...Also seen regularly in 2018 were Faye Emerson and Ida Lupino, with four films each; I also saw a pair of films Lupino directed but didn't appear in.

...Following at three films apiece: Janet Leigh, Genevieve Tobin, Marlene Dietrich, Miriam Hopkins, Janis Paige, Ella Raines, Frances Dee, Anita Louise, Dorothy Malone, and Jeanette MacDonald.

...My most-seen actor of 2018 was Van Heflin, with half a dozen films. While I suspected Francis was in the lead for actresses, I had no inkling until I started my tally that Heflin was going to come in first! I most recently saw him in B.F.'S DAUGHTER (1948).

...Heflin was closely followed by Clark Gable and Joel McCrea at five films apiece. Also seen frequently in 2018, with four films apiece: Edmond O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Melvyn Douglas, James Stewart, John Wayne, Tim Holt, Jack Carson, John Litel, Lewis Stone, and last year's most-seen actor, Richard Dix. I included Carson, Litel, and Stone in this count as while they are often seen in support, some of their roles seen this year were leads.

...Also seen regularly in 2018, at three films apiece: Fredric March, Robert Ryan, Gary Cooper, Robert Taylor, George Brent, Chester Morris, Robert Young, Franchot Tone, Claude Rains, and, in a nod to newer movies, action star Jason Statham. The majority of names on the frequently seen actor and actresses lists are different from 2017, which I find interesting.

...With so many theatrical films and festivals, screener reviews, and other writing commitments, something's had to give, and I'm still working on my 2017 "10 Classics" list of films I want to see for the first time! This year I did check off RED SUNDOWN (1956), which I loved, and I'm determined to complete this list, hopefully in 2019!

...For the same reasons I again participated in just one blogathon this year, the Fourth Annual O Canada! Blogathon. I try to never miss that one! I wrote about Russell Hayden in the "B" film RIDERS OF THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED (1943).

...Feature-length documentaries seen this year were IN SEARCH OF OZU (2018) and BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY (2017), along with the previously mentioned WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? which was seen theatrically.

...At home I enjoyed delving into Hallmark films in a significant way, and of the 13 titles I saw, they ranged from "worth seeing" to absolute gems -- more frequently leaning toward the latter end of the range. This year's Hallmark viewing consisted of CHRISTMAS UNDER WRAPS (2014), A ROYAL WINTER (2017), A VERY MERRY MIX-UP (2013), MURDER, SHE BAKED: JUST DESSERTS (2017), LOVING LEAH (2009), CHRISTMAS AT CARTWRIGHT'S (2014), HITCHED FOR THE HOLIDAYS (2012), MISS CHRISTMAS (2017), HOW TO FALL IN LOVE (2012), CHASING LEPRECHAUNS (2012), TRULY, MADLY, SWEETLY (2018), LOVE YOU LIKE CHRISTMAS (2014), and LOVE AT THE THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE (2012). I recommend Hallmark films for classic film fans; I'll definitely be watching more in 2019!

...There were happily very few nominees for Worst Movie of the Year, which was probably GOLDIE GETS ALONG (1933), starring Lili Damita; NUTCRACKER: THE MOTION PICTURE (1986) was definitely in the running. Past "winners" in this category: HULLABALOO (1940) from my 2009 list, FORT BOWIE (1958) in 2011, INHERIT THE WIND (1960) in 2012, a tie between DAVY CROCKETT, INDIAN SCOUT (1950) and FLYING BLIND (1941) in 2013, FORT YUMA (1955) in 2014, THE ROBIN HOOD OF EL DORADO (1936) in 2015, MAKE MINE LAUGHS (1949) in 2016, and DEJA VU (1985) in 2017. Fortunately it's quite rare when I don't find at least some things in a film to enjoy!

...Below is a month-by-month look at some additional titles not already listed above which I found especially memorable viewing in 2018.

...January began revisiting SINCE YOU WENT AWAY (1944) on New Year's Day; what a beautiful movie, with a wonderful cast headed by Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, and Joseph Cotten...I also revisited a favorite Western costarring real-life husband and wife Joel McCrea and Frances Dee, FOUR FACES WEST (1948). A lovely film which I highly recommend...THE YOUNG IN HEART (1938) was another favorite rewatch. All three of these just-mentioned titles were released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber!...I enjoyed Scott Brady, Peggy Dow, John Russell, and Dorothy Hart in the crime film UNDERTOW (1949)...I paid tribute to Dorothy Malone when she passed away by watching her costar as a doctor in the Tim Holt Western SADDLE LEGION (1951)...TUMBLEWEED (1953) was a solid Audie Murphy Western costarring a remarkable horse.

...In February I found BIG CITY (1948) better than its reputation and really enjoyed it; Margaret O'Brien starred with Robert Preston, Danny Thomas, George Murphy, and Betty Garrett...Richard Conte starred in HOLLYWOOD STORY (1951), a nifty murder mystery with some great L.A. locations and Julie Adams as leading lady...I thoroughly enjoyed going back to Reese Witherspoon's SWEET HOME ALABAMA (2002) for the first time since it was initially released on DVD...I rewatched John Ford's SERGEANT RUTLEDGE (1960), which I had seen at the preceding fall's Lone Pine Film Festival, to refresh my memory prior to writing about it, and I enjoyed it all over again...STRICTLY DISHONORABLE (1951) with Janet Leigh and Ezio Pinza was an unexpected delight, with great dialogue and wonderful chemistry between the leads despite a significant age gap...THE SEA WOLF (1941) is a tough watch in some ways, but the new Blu-ray from Warner Archive, including restored footage, was a special release...and another Warner Bros. film, ACROSS THE PACIFIC (1942), reunited THE MALTESE FALCON stars Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, and Sydney Greenstreet; it was a lot of fun.

...What a delight to revisit Alice Faye in the colorful THE GANG'S ALL HERE (1943) in March via a beautiful Twilight Time Blu-ray...SUNSET PASS (1946) was a strong RKO Western based on a Zane Grey story, starring James Warren, Nan Leslie, and Jane Greer...the original version of STRICTLY DISHONORABLE (1931), with Paul Lukas, Sidney Fox, and Lewis Stone was fun...FORSAKING ALL OTHERS (1934) with the star power of Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, and Robert Montgomery is very enjoyable...the genial musical LOVE AND LEARN (1947) was quite a nice surprise, starring Jack Carson, Martha Vickers, and Janis Paige...WARLOCK (1959) was a terrific discovery, a strong Western starring Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Dorothy Malone, and Anthony Quinn...I enjoyed Diane Keaton in the giddy Woody Allen comedy MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY (1993)...I really love the cheaply made but highly entertaining HIGHWAY DRAGNET (1954), out in a beautiful Kino Lorber release; it has a great cast in Richard Conte, Joan Bennett, and Wanda Hendrix, plus terrific locations.

...As was the case last year, much of April was spent at film festivals, not to mention UCLA screenings. At home I enjoyed the new Blu-ray release of WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1956), with Dana Andrews heading a great cast...DANGER SIGNAL (1945) was one of a few films I saw this year starring Faye Emerson; it's one I really enjoy. Zachary Scott, Mona Freeman, and Rosemary DeCamp costar...COMET OVER BROADWAY (1938) was a quintessential Kay Francis melodrama, as she suffers divinely in Orry-Kelly gowns.

...There was another film festival in May, but I managed to see quite a number of films at home, including SINGING GUNS (1950), a really enjoyable Western with Vaughn Monroe, Ella Raines, Walter Brennan, and Ward Bond, out on a beautiful Kino Lorber Blu-ray...WOMAN CHASES MAN (1937) is a fun romantic comedy starring frequent '30s costars Joel McCrea and Miriam Hopkins...I revisited the delightful Deanna Durbin musical SOMETHING IN THE WIND (1947), starring Deanna Durbin, John Dall, and Donald O'Connor...There were so many good Kino Lorber releases this year! A LADY TAKES A CHANCE (1943) starring John Wayne and Jean Arthur is another longtime favorite I enjoyed seeing again...I rewatch Pressburger & Powell's I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING! (1945) every few years; what a wonderful "warm and cozy" film...More Kay Francis melodrama was seen in STOLEN HOLIDAY (1937), as she again suffered nobly in Orry-Kelly gowns...and DESIRE (1936) was quite an enjoyable romantic comedy with Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper.

...June viewing included ESPIONAGE AGENT (1939), starring Joel McCrea and Brenda Marshall; it's a kind of forerunner to McCrea's much better thriller for Alfred Hitchcock the following year, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940)...EVERY GIRL SHOULD BE MARRIED (1948) with Cary Grant, Betsy Drake, and Franchot Tone was quite amusing...SECRET ENEMIES (1942) was a fast-paced 57-minute "B" film starring Craig Stevens and Faye Emerson...I, JANE DOE (1948) was an engrossing tale with Ruth Hussey and Vera Ralston dealing with the aftermath of the shooting of no-good John Carroll...ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC (1943) was a fine Warner Bros. tribute to the Merchant Marine starring Humphrey Bogart and Raymond Massey...and FLAVOR OF GREEN TEA OVER RICE (1952) was an excellent film about a long-married couple eventually reconnecting; it was directed by Yasujiro Ozu and seen on the late, lamented FilmStruck.

...July was a wonderful viewing month which included some favorite discoveries, starting with THE GAY DECEPTION (1935), a charming romantic comedy directed by William Wyler, starring Frances Dee and Francis Lederer...Hayao Miyazaki's lovely animated film MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (1988) was such a delight that I went to see it again on a big screen just three months later...A four-film action marathon with our daughter included a pair of DIE HARD films...Kay Francis stars with George Brent and Warren William in a good drama, LIVING ON VELVET (1935)...THE BOY FROM OKLAHOMA (1954) stars Will Rogers Jr. and Nancy Olson in a delightful film which reminded me of both DESTRY RIDES AGAIN (1939) and SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF! (1969)...5 STEPS TO DANGER (1957) is "movie comfort food," a "road mystery" starring Sterling Hayden and Ruth Roman, released on a lovely Blu-ray by ClassicFlix.

...In August I enjoyed the film noir I WALK ALONE (1947) starring Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, and Kristine Miller...Miller also starred in THE STEEL FIST (1952), a surprisingly strong low-budget Cold War thriller also starring Roddy McDowall...it was time to see another Tim Holt Western with GUNPLAY (1951)...A STRANGE ADVENTURE (1956) was a highly watchable low budget thriller, perhaps not exactly good, but very entertaining...FLIGHT FROM GLORY (1937) is a favorite RKO "B" film starring Chester Morris, Whitney Bourne, and Van Heflin...EYES OF THE UNDERWORLD (1942) was an entertaining little "B" with Richard Dix and Wendy Barrie...I thought BLACK SHEEP (1935) was quite a nice discovery, starring Edmund Lowe and Claire Trevor...FOUR FAST GUNS (1960) was a superior "B" starring James Craig and Martha Vickers; I really enjoyed it and will happily watch it again at some point...I also loved DAY OF THE OUTLAW (1959) with Robert Ryan.

...September brought another delightful discovery, THIS COULD BE THE NIGHT (1957), in which schoolteacher Jean Simmons takes a second job working evenings at a nightclub...THREE DARING DAUGHTERS (1948) with Jeanette MacDonald and Jane Powell is colorful entertainment...I thoroughly enjoyed Jean Muir in AS THE EARTH TURNS (1934) based on a favorite novel...the restored film noir THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF (1950) was a treat for the third time, now on Blu-ray...I love DOWN THREE DARK STREETS (1954) with Broderick Crawford as an FBI man...COUNTRY (1984) is an absorbing '80s drama about struggling farmers, starring Jessica Lange and the late Sam Shepard...MERRILY WE LIVE (1938) is a delightful comedy which deserves to be better known. Constance Bennett and Brian Aherne lead a great cast...EXPERIMENT ALCATRAZ (1950) was another entertaining "B" movie running a brisk 57 minutes; this film starring John Howard and Joan Dixon took an unexpected turn...PERSONAL MAID'S SECRET (1938) is a terrific 58-minute melodrama with Ruth Donnelly as the maid, Margaret Lindsay as her employer, and Anita Louise as her secret daughter...THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER (1947) is a romantic/political comedy which remains surprisingly relevant today. Loretta Young, Joseph Cotten, and Charles Bickford star.

...It was time to head off to another film festival in October, but I also fit in MISSING WITNESSES (1937) and OVER THE WALL (1938), a pair of short Warner Bros. crime films featuring John Litel...I'd never seen THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1946) before! Dorothy McGuire and George Brent head the cast of a Hitchcock-like suspense film...Musical comedy meets spy thriller in CAIRO (1942), an amusing film starring Jeanette MacDonald and Robert Young...and TEN THOUSAND BEDROOMS (1957) was an engaging minor musical with Dean Martin and a good cast.

...November started off with the entertaining Yasujiro Ozu film WHAT DID THE LADY FORGET? (1937)...SANGAREE (1953), starring Arlene Dahl and Fernando Lamas, had an interesting story and stunning color, a visual high point of the year...WALLFLOWER (1948) is a delightful family comedy starring Joyce Reynolds and Janis Paige...QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE (1958) was delightfully ridiculous sci-fi seen on a great-looking Blu-ray...THE COWBOY AND THE INDIANS (1949) was a particularly strong Gene Autry Western with a lovely Christmas finale.

...I watched a number of films in theaters again in December, while at home I saw Joseph Calleia in a rare lead role in MAN OF THE PEOPLE (1937)...a favorite Western, Ray Milland's A MAN ALONE (1955), is now out on Blu-ray...JANIE (1944) was a fun homefront WWII family comedy starring Joyce Reynolds and a fine cast...the marital melodrama B.F.'S DAUGHTER (1948) was interesting thanks in large part to Barbara Stanwyck...and another marital melodrama, MADE FOR EACH OTHER (1939), showcased the fine acting of Carole Lombard and James Stewart. MADE FOR EACH OTHER has a New Year's Eve sequence, which made it perfect for me to close out my viewing year.

...Coming soon: My annual Favorite Discoveries piece for Rupert Pupkin Speaks. I'll be adding the link here as soon as that post is up! (January 10th Update: Please visit my Favorite Discoveries of 2018, posted at Rupert Pupkin Speaks.)

...I also anticipate my annual "year in review" movie poster video will post sometime in January. (Update: The video is now posted!)

...This year I was delighted to be invited to contribute a monthly Westerns column for the terrific Classic Movie Hub site. My Western Roundup columns may be found here. I'm anticipating that my January column for CMH will cover a 35mm screening of a favorite film, CANYON PASSAGE (1946), which I'll be seeing at The Autry in a couple of weeks. It's being shown as part of the Autry's ongoing "What is a Western?" movie series, and it will be hosted by film historian Jeremy Arnold.

In closing, I'd like to thank everyone who visits this blog, both occasional visitors and "regulars." Your readership, friendship, and support are appreciated more by me with every passing year.

I wish everyone health, happiness, and many wonderful movies in 2019!

Previously: Tonight's Movie in 2009: The Year in Review; Tonight's Movie in 2010: The Year in Review; Tonight's Movie in 2011: The Year in Review; Tonight's Movie in 2012: The Year in Review; Tonight's Movie in 2013: The Year in Review; Tonight's Movie in 2014: The Year in Review; Tonight's Movie in 2015: The Year in Review; Tonight's Movie in 2016: The Year in Review; Tonight's Movie in 2017: The Year in Review.


Blogger Jerry Entract said...

Phew! That's a lot of work you put in here, Laura, with a lot of interesting stats and reminders of films you mentioned or recommended across the year. Thanks for all that work to help your readers.
I love that you celebrated New Year with "SINCE YOU WENT AWAY" but also "FOUR FACES WEST". Both are favourites with me but the McCrea western especially. A strong personal favourite that I was introduced to by a TV viewing on Boxing Day 1957. (I can't believe I just admitted to that- it's over 60 years ago!!)

2:28 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

It's such a pleasure to share this, Jerry -- I appreciate you taking the time to read all the way through it!!

FOUR FACES WEST is so special -- I love that it's been an important part of your life for so long and that you specifically remember how and when you first saw it.

Best wishes,

4:55 PM  
Blogger DKoren said...

Happy New Year! Wow, your yearly wrap-ups are so amazing to read. This reminds me of just how much can be accomplished if you just do a little bit every day. Thank you for continuing to blog about all the movies you see. I love how many films you were able to see on the big screen! I always look forward to reading your posts and yoru film festival coverage. Hope 2019 is a great year for you!

7:11 PM  
Blogger Walter S. said...

Laura, amazing amount of movie viewing and writing during 2018 and previous years. As a reader, Thank you so very much.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you, Deb, and Happy New Year! Thanks so much for reading it! :)

It's so true about a little bit every day -- while watching movies in one setting is my preferred choice, during the workweek it sometimes takes me three days to finish a movie, squeezing in 20 or 30 minutes while I eat lunch. Whatever works! Similarly, I try to save some of the links for this review as I go during the year, which makes it easier to write when the time comes.

Thank you for your longtime friendship, and best wishes for a wonderful 2019!!

8:32 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you so much, Walter. I wouldn't have a reason to do this if it weren't for readers like you. I'm very grateful being able to share what I love with an audience!

Happy 2019!!!

Best wishes,

8:33 PM  
Blogger mel said...

I just don't know how you do it, Laura - and still find time to do your other work...

Looking forward to your Year In Review movie poster video.

All the very best for 2019!

11:09 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you, Mel! Truth to tell sometimes I don't know how I fit it all in either, LOL. Liking movies and what I do here is a powerful motivator, though!

Very best wishes to you and yours for the New Year!

7:07 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

I love these epic year-end wrap posts, and always bookmark for ideas on what to watch and pick up. So helpful, easy to refer back to your posts on each, and it also makes a nice record of notable new discs, events, and what was shown at fests over the year.

A bunch of these movies I happily discovered this year because of your reviews, including UNDERTOW, so thanks for doing as many reviews as you do, and turning us on to all this good stuff. All the best for another great movie year!!

10:19 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you so much, Kristina, I appreciate that feedback immensely! I'm so glad to know the roundup is helpful along with the original reviews!

You've given me many good ideas as well -- thank you!!!

Happiest wishes for 2019,

3:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older