Friday, May 24, 2013

Top 10 Movies of 1951

Part two of the first part of my list of many other parts. This time, instead of talking about movies from 1950... it's 1951.

10. The Lavender Hill Mob

One of the earlier comedic Alec Guinness performances I've seen, and though it is by no means what I might consider a "great" movie, it is still a very entertaining heist picture.

9. Detective Story

Featuring one of Kirk Douglas' first great performances, Detective Story is one of the many William Wyler movies that leaves you wondering whether or not there will be a happy ending. Simple, but surprisingly unpredictable.

8. A Streetcar Named Desire

Chock full of melodrama and hammy performances, A Streetcar Named Desire definitely doesn't deserve the massive amounts of praise it receives. But that doesn't mean it isn't engrossing, and though over-the-top, the acting is still very memorable -- particularly the powerhouse performance by Brando.

7. Alice In Wonderland

A surreal head-trip of a movie, Alice In Wonderland is one of the craziest Disney movies ever made. Beautiful animation, interesting characters, and full of non-linear bizarreness, I almost don't even like it, but I totally see its merit.

6. Strangers On A Train

Though the film's complete effect is somewhat bogged down by a very silly and lackluster ending, this well-paced thriller is still a very solid effort by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.

5. Death Of A Salesman

Not as much a great movie, as it is a great performace by Fredric March. A very dark, depressing film (as I'm sure fans of the play it was based on know all too well) with a single central performance that escalates it to a much higher level. March is just fantastic.

4. The Day The Earth Stood Still

Certainly appealling in its own, silly sort of way, The Day The Earth Stood Still is one of the most iconic sci/fi films of the '50s. Very much a product of its time, its interesting visuals and designs make this is a very fun movie to watch.

3. A Place In The Sun

Featuring strong performances by Clift and Taylor, A Place In The Sun is a very powerful drama with certain similarities to the silent classic Sunrise by F.W. Murnau. Not something that instantly comes to mind when I think of the great films of its time, but definitely does deserve to be brought into the conversation.

2. The African Queen

When it comes to great on-screen couples, the combination of Bogart and Hepburn is a hard one to overlook. The performances in The African Queen is what really makes the movie, and the wonderful chemistry is just the icing on the cake. A great movie, with great actors at the top of their game.

1. Ace In The Hole

I'm not totally sure if I can call this movie underrated, but I do feel it doesn't earn as much credit as it deserves. Kirk Douglas is at his slimiest in this, giving the strongest performance of his career in this fantastic Billy Wilder film. Pitch-black humor mixed with biting drama, social commentary and intriguing, well-developed characters all come together to make this fantastically-written masterpiece. One of the very best films to come out of the '50s, and clearly the best of 1951.

No comments: