Tuesday, April 04, 2017

5 Off My Head: Siri Says 1954

Well we've finally worked our way out of the late 60s this week - when asked to choose a number between 1 and 100 today Siri has sent us time-machining back to the year and the Movies of 1954. Coincidentally two weeks back when we did the year 1968 I offered up what I called "my favorite movie ever" Rosemary's Baby - well that wasn't exactly true, because I actually have two favorite movies of ever (I could never choose and you cannot make me) and the other one was released right here in 1954, and it also begins with the letter R, hmm whatever could it be...

My 5 Favorite Movies of 1954

(dir. Hitchcock)
-- released on August 4th, 1954 --

(dir. Billy Wilder)
-- released on October 15th, 1954 --

(dir. George Cukor)
-- released on October 16th, 1954--

(dir. Federico Fellini)
-- released on September 23rd, 1954 --
(dir. Douglas Sirk)
-- released on August 7th, 1954 --


Runners-up: Dial M For Murder (dir. Hitchcock), On the Waterfront (dir. Kazan), Gojira (dir. Ishirô Honda), Johnny Guitar (dir. Nicholas Ray), Seven Samurai (dir. Kurosawa), Journey to Italy (dir. Rossellini), Them! (dir. Gordon Douglas)

Never seen: Senso (dir. Luchino Visconti)
Fear (dir. Rossellini)


What are your favorite movies of 1954?


Tom M said...

I want to jump into a bath of movies from 1954 and luxuriate in all the technicolor psychosis.

JA said...

AGREED, Tom - I love the color palette
of color movies of the mid 50s so so very much

Dave R said...

Rear Window is the greatest intro to Hitchcock Psych

Anonymous said...

You need memories of Senso in your life

Pierce said...

Rear Window – Outstanding Hitchcock
White Christmas – My favorite Christmas movie
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Great adventure and great cast
Caine Mutiny – Again, a great cast and great story
Barefoot Contessa – Probably Ava Gardner’s best movie
A Star is Born – the best version, Judy Garland and James Mason!
River of No Return – Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum, great acting
On the Waterfront – Brando wore an Oscar for this, but Eva Marie Saint is better
It Should Happen to You/Phffft – Judy Holiday and Jack Lemmon, great pairing
Hobson’s Choice – Charles Laughton’s delightful comedy
Belles of St. Trinian’s – One of thefunniest British comedies of all time.
Brigadoon – A charming film version of the classic musical
Glenn Miller Story – James Stewart is fantastic in it and it’s one of the few June Allyson is good in
La Strada – Fellini’s masterpiece, a beautiful, sensitive movie!

joel65913 said...

Ya!! One of my very favorite movie years! Love all your picks with the exception of Magnificent Obsession, which I have to say I’m shocked to see included knowing as I do your utter disdain for Jane Wyman. It has the wonderful Sirkian touches, is beautifully mounted and appointed but the new age preachy gibberish that the characters spout puts a damper on the whole movie for me. I’d turn to All That Heaven Allows, The Tarnished Angels or Written on the Wind in a hot second over Obsession.

Fear is my favorite of the Ingrid Bergman/Rossellini films. Journey to Italy is a good one, with the bonus of George Sanders, but Fear just pulled me in more. Senso is a visual treat with both Alida Valli and Farley Granger breathtaking in their individual beauty.

For this year it’s gotta be a top 10:

Rear Window-My third favorite Hitch after Saboteur and Lifeboat

A Star is Born-Such an amazing entertainment in its restored form. Judy, James Mason, Jack Carson, Charles Bickford and Tommy Noonan are all just tops.

White Christmas-Schmaltzy and silly at times which I could care less about because it’s a big bon-bon of joy for me. When the safety gays are throwing Vera-Ellen around like she’s a feather as she contorts herself into inhuman shapes covered in spangles it just doesn’t get any better. Oh wait it does Mary Wickes is sitting there watching!

Woman’s World-Lush, plush and so much fun with Betty Bacall making sly asides, June Allyson pert and a bit daffy and Arlene Dahl a Texas she-cat all currying after Clifton Webb, as acidic as ever, for the top corporate job for their hubbies.

There’s No Business Like Show Business-I can’t help it I love the bright and shiny! Ethel Merman at her brassiest pumping out one Irving Berlin tune after another while Marilyn Monroe lounges on a divan singing “Lazy” and I adore widescreen be it Vista Vision, Cinemascope, Warner Scope what have you.

The Glenn Miller Story-Jimmy & June and Miller music…Heaven!

Executive Suite-More corporate intrigue and June Allyson was just everywhere this year.

It Should Happen to You-Judy Holliday never made a movie that isn’t enjoyable but paired with Jack Lemmon in this it’s one of her best. Giving her a great chance to share her special radiance.

About Mrs. Leslie-One of Shirley Booth’s few features. A lovely film told in remembrance about a hopeless love affair between Shirley and Robert Ryan. She even sings!!

This is My Love-The taglines say it all: “Get Out! My wife is what she is... because of what you are!” And “Sister Against Sister…for the Love of the Same Man!” It’s all rather lurid but has two great performances by Linda Darnell and Dan Duryea.

And my many, many runner-ups:

Black Tuesday
Broken Lance
Casanova’s Big Night
The Caine Mutiny
Demetrius and the Gladiators
Dial M for Murder
Down Three Dark Streets
Elephant Walk
Hobson’s Choice
Johnny Guitar
La Strada
Mad About Men
Make Haste to Live
Private Hell 36
River of No Return
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
The Sleeping Tiger-Perhaps Alexis Smith’s best performance as a woman whose passion for Dirk Bogarde drives her to desperate measures.
Witness to Murder

Anonymous said...

Great year!
Now please watch Senso, we need more love to Luchino!