Monday, May 27, 2013

Top 10 Movies of 1953

Only 4 lists in, and I've already run out of "clever" opening lines... Pathetic.

10. Mr. Hulot's Holiday

Well-constructed, though not particularly entertaining, Mr. Hulot's Holiday has more to offer as a social and political commentary than as a comedy.

9. Jigokumon

A relatively forgotten film, Jigokumon (or Gate Of Hell) is often consider one of the first great Japanese color films. Not great, but very solid.

8. I Vitelloni

The first film on this particular list that I can safely call great, I Vitelloni is a poignant drama by arguably the greatest Italian director of all-time, Federico Fellini.

7. Roman Holiday

Most of the greatness to be found in this pseudo-romantic comedy comes from the fantastic performances from Peck and Hepburn, who have surprisingly great chemistry. It may not leave a huge impact, but this is an incredibly lovely movie.

6. From Here To Eternity

A film that earns its praise mostly from its incredible cast, From Here To Eternity is iconic, wonderfully-constructed, and heartbreaking. A Zinnemann classic.

5. The Wages Of Fear

One of the most tense movies ever made, The Wages Of Fear is a nail-biter if I've ever seen one. Slow-building and incredibly nerve-wracking, this movie may be 2½ hours long, but doesn't feel longer than 100 minutes.

4. El

Probably one of the most underrated Bunuel films I've seen, El is a creepy and disturbing psycho-drama that seems to never have gained the accolades it deserves.

3. Tokyo Story

One of the quietest and most poignant films of the era, Tokyo Story is maybe even too methodically-paced for its own good. But it's beautiful and incredibly touching, so that doesn't even matter.

2. Stalag 17

One of Wilder's stronger dramatic efforts, Stalag 17 is an incredible POW film with the best performance of William Holden's career (for which he won his only Oscar). Well worth a watch, even if just for Holden.

1. Ugetsu

Seamlessly blending the gritty realism of the effects of war on a poor family and surrealist spiritualism, Ugetsu is one of my favorite Japanese films, and one of the very best of any movies from the 1950s. One of the most beautiful, emotional, and unforgettable films I've ever seen, and much the same as with my previous lists, an easy pick for my favorite of the year.

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