Thursday, April 15, 2010

Favorite Films: The 1950's

Rear Window (1954) Alfred Hitchcock - Jimmy Stewart may be the most lovable leading man in the history of Hollywood. Alfred Hitchcock may be the greatest suspense director in the history of cinema. The two teamed up several times and made several great films. But 1954's Rear Window is the mother of them all. The film takes place, almost exclusively, in one room and from one vantage point. This can be maddening, and I have a nagging suspicion that that is the point. Why should we as the audience get any better view than the leading man? After all, it is his story, and it is his camera lens that we're seeing the picture through. Hitchcock once said that it is the director's job to "play the audience like a piano," and there is not a better example of his doing so than in Rear Window. Many say that Vertigo is the master's opus and some may add Psycho, It seems to me, however, that this gem is his most overlooked, with the possible exception of one a little further down the list.

The Rest:

12 Angry Men (1957) Sidney Lumet
400 Blows (1959) Fran├žois Truffaut
Beat the Devil (1953) John Huston
Dial M for Murder (1954) Alfred Hitchcock
Rashomon (1950) Akira Kurosawa
Seven Samurai (1954) Akira Kurosawa
Seventh Seal (1957) Ingmar Bergman
Strangers on a Train (1951) Alfred Hitchcock
Sunset Blvd. (1950) Billy Wilder
Wild Strawberries (1957) Ingmar Bergman

Honorable Mention: Bob Le Flambeau, Elevator to the Gallows, I Confess, Ikiru, North by Northwest, On the Waterfront, Rebel Without a Cause, The River, Smiles of a Summer Night, Vertigo

1 comment:

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