Tuesday, August 22, 2017

5 Off My Head: Siri Says 1961

I have something to tell you guys. I changed Siri's voice. Siri is no longer a woman - I found out you can have Siri sound like an Australian Man, and so Siri now sounds like an Australian Man, and it's every bit as hot as you expect that to be. I'm living the movie Her now, just the Crocodile Dundee version! Call it Mate! Ahem. Anyway I just thought y'all should know that since I have to switch pronouns now for these posts - now when I ask Siri to choose a number between 1 and 100, he will reply. 

And this week he replied with "61" and so we're visiting The Movies of 1961. After Siri gave us a stacked year last week with 1992 I was relieved this one's a bit simpler. And then after relief came panic because the list of movies I haven't seen is longer than the list of ones I have. Who knew 1961 held such a hole in my knowledge heap? And it seems like such a strong year for international cinema too. Y'all can tell me what to catch up on below but for now...

My 5 Favorite Movies of 1961

(dir. Robert Rossen)
-- released on October 22nd 1961 --

(dir. John Huston)
-- released on February 1st 1961 --

(dir. Blake Edwards)
-- released on October 5th 1961 --

(dir. Luis Buñuel)
-- released on May 17th 1961 --

(dir. Jack Clayton)
-- released on December 25th 1961 --


Runners-up: Judgement at Nuremberg (dir. Stanley Kramer),  Splendor in the Grass (dir. Elia Kazan), The Pit and the Pendulum (dir. Roger Corman),  The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (dir. José Quintero), The Curse of the Werewolf (dir. Terence Fisher), Victim (dir. Basil Dearden), 101 Dalmatians (dir. Wolfgang Reithermann), West Side Story (dir. Robert Wise), Mothra (dir.  Ishirô Honda)


Never seen: The Parent Trap (dir. David Swift), Raisin in the Sun (dir. Daniel Petrie), El Cid (dir. Anthony Mann), Yojimbo (dir. Kurosawa), Last Year at Marienbad (dir. Alain Resnais), Lover Come Back (dir. Michael Gordon), La Notte (dir. Antonioni), The Children's Hour (dir. William Wyler), Leon Morin, Priest (dir. Jean-Pierre Melville), Homicidal (dir. William Castle), Accattone (dir. Pasolini), Through a Glass Darkly (dir. Bergman)

What are your favorite movies of 1961?


joel65913 said...

Great picks although I still have to see Viridiana but all the others are aces.

Two big warnings in those you haven't seen: El Cid is a very handsomely produced thundering bore and Last Year at Marienbad was the most excruciating, pretentious 90 minute French perfume commercial I've ever endured. However I've had people tell me they love it, so it must be a love it or hate it movie.

On to happier things. '61 is a great year, so many terrific films to discover.

My top 10:

Pocketful of Miracles
The Pleasure of His Company
Breakfast at Tiffany's
The Hustler
The Misfits
One, Two, Three
The Innocents
Judgement at Nuremberg
Whistle Down the Wind

Come September
A Majority of One
Splendor in the Grass
Sail a Crooked Ship

Also worthwhile:

101 Dalmatians, Atlantis, the Lost Continent, The Big Gamble, The Canadians, The Children's Hour, Claudelle Inglish, A Fever in the Blood, Goodbye Again, The Great Imposter, The Honeymoon Machine, King of Kings, The King of the Roaring Twenties, The Last Sunset, Loss of Innocence , Lover Come Back, Mr. Sardonicus, Murder, She Said, The Parent Trap, Raisin in the Sun, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, The Second Time Around, Summer and Smoke, A Taste of Honey, A Thunder of Drums, Too Late Blues, Town Without Pity, Underworld U.S.A., Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, West Side Story, Wild in the Country, The Young Doctors

Pierce said...

First of all, with respect to your Never seen list: The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills, Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara is one of the best Disney movies of the 1960s. Raisin in the Sun is worth seeing for the talented African American actors in the cast; Yojimbo is an exciting film. I just saw Lover Come Back again and it's the best of the Doris Day/Rock Hudson comedies. You don't need to see The Children's Hour. Its really dreary. Homicidal is hilarious, and Through a Glass Darkly is hauntingly beautiful.

The Absent-Minded Professor, starring Fred MacMurray, the delightful movie about Flubber.
Blue Hawaii, starring Elvis Presley, with Joan Blackman and Angela Lansbury is great fun.
• Breakfast at Tiffany's, directed by Blake Edwards, starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen. Basedon Truman Capote's story. It's a terrific movie of the 60s that every gay man should see!
• Fanny, starring Charles Boyer and Leslie Caron, simply marvelous.
• Flower Drum Song, starring Nancy Kwan, screen version of the underrated Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.
• The Hustler, directed by Robert Rossen, starring Paul Newman, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott, Jackie Gleason. Great performances.
• The Innocents, starring Deborah Kerr - (U.K.) Based on Henry James' Turn of the Screw. Nice and creepy.
• Last Year at Marienbad, directed by Alain Resnais, starring Delphine Seyrig, very good adult love story
• Lola, directed by Jacques Demy, starring Anouk Aimée , this is an adult love story, too.
• The Misfits, directed by John Huston, starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable (in both their last screen roles) and Montgomery Clift, a heart-wrenching movie.
• Mothra, directed by Ishirō Honda - (Japan). Silly but vastly enjoyable.
• Mysterious Island, starring Michael Craig, Michael Callan, Joan Greenwood, exciting sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Gary Merrill has his shirt off through most of it, showing off his hairy chest.
• One Hundred and One Dalmatians, featuring the voices of Rod Taylor and Betty Lou Gerson, Great Disney with one of the best villains, Cruella DeVil
• One, Two, Three, directed by Billy Wilder, starring James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin, Arlene Francis, A treat.
• Paris Blues, starring Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Diahann Carroll, A great jazz love story.
• The Pit and the Pendulum, with Vincent Price, American International horror classic.
• Pocketful of Miracles, final film of director Frank Capra, starring Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, Hope Lange, Peter Falk, Ann-Margret, wonderful
• Return to Peyton Place, directed by José Ferrer, starring Carol Lynley, Tuesday Weld, Eleanor Parker. It's also Mary Astor's last film and she's the reason to see this sequel to Peyton Place.
• The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, starring Vivien Leigh and Warren Beatty, what more can I say?
• Splendor in the Grass, starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty, watch for Phyllis Diller in it.
• Summer and Smoke, starring Geraldine Page and Laurence Harvey, superb version of Tennessee Williams play.
• A Taste of Honey, directed by Tony Richardson, starring Rita Tushingham , a pregnant girl is looked after by a gay black man. Beautiful and challenging for the time.
• Victim, directed by Basil Dearden, starring Dirk Bogarde and Sylvia Syms, a masterpiece among gay classics.
• West Side Story, starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, one of the greatest musicals ever filmed.
Whistle Down the Wind, directed by Bryan Forbes, starring Hayley Mills and Alan Bates, Hayley Mills' mother wrote the book on which this is based and it's Alan Bates' first movie.

ernesto66 said...

Just that tiny little GIF of the dead governess from The Innocents standing in the reeds made my skin crawl! I don't think there's anything scarier-looking in any other horror movie of the 60s.

IMO this is Deborah Kerr's best dramatic role ever. She played prim and well-behaved so well that when she ramped it up into psychotically proper she really shined. In Black Narcissus and especially The Innocents she's so tightly wound you expect her to fly apart at the end.