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Yearly Roundup – 1962

Posted by martinteller on July 24, 2012

The Cream of the Crop

1962 is a hell of a good year for movies.  Buñuel graced us with what I consider his finest work, The Exterminating Angel, a hilarious and surreal satire about an inescapable dinner party.  And we have my favorite Truffaut, his playfully crafted and resonant Jules et JimAnd my favorite Welles!  The Trial is as fine a Kafka adaptation as you’re likely to see, faithful enough to evoke the disorienting feel of the original, but with a distinctive personal stamp.  And lastly, not my favorite by Bergman but probably top 5: Winter Light, a bitter and incisive work with stunning performances by Bjornstrand and Thulin.

 *

Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

This year is so good that a lot of these films would be “Cream of the Crop” in most other years.  I need a second viewing to be sure (Blu-Ray coming later this year!) but David Lean’s beautifully composed epic Lawrence of Arabia is potential top 100 material.  Likewise, the deliciously campy What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is way, way up there for me.  Another one that I really need to revisit is Kobayashi’s elegiac samurai film Harakiri. Perhaps the best of French noir, the dark and jazzy Le Doulos is my favorite by Melville.  For late-period American noir (perhaps “post-noir”), you’ve got Cape Fear, brutal and powerful with a killer performance by Mitchum.  J&J isn’t the only Truffaut product this year, there’s also his continuation of the Antoine Doinel series, Antoine et Colette.  And another short, Brakhage’s Window Water Baby Moving, one of his most beautiful and well-known works.  One of a very very small handful of Godards that I actually enjoy: Vivre sa vie.  And finally, Dino Risi’s eccentric road trip movie, Il Sorpasso.

Update 3/18/2014: Another tasty one is Sundays and Cybele

 *

Varying Degrees of Like

Abhijaan
Adieu Philippine
Advise & Consent
All Night Long
An Autumn Afternoon
Carnival of Souls
Chushingura
Cleo from 5 to 7
La Commare secca
Dog Star Man
Dr. No
L’Eclisse
I Hate But Love
Ivan’s Childhood
La Jetée
Kanchenjungha
Knife in the Water
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Lonely Are the Brave
Mamma Roma
The Manchurian Candidate
Pitfall
Ride the High Country
Salvatore Giuliano
Sanjuro
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Trial of Joan of Arc
The World’s Greatest Sinner

 *

Varying Degrees of Hate

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

 *

Some Notable Films In The Middle

Being Two Isn’t Easy
Birdman of Alcatraz
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Hatari!
Lolita
Mafioso

*

Uncharted Territory

The Day of the Triffids, Days of Wine and Roses, Hakai (The Outcast), How the West Was Won, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Longest Day, Love Thy Name Be Sorrow, The Miracle Worker, The Music Man, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Tale of Zatoichi, That Touch of Mink

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11 Responses to “Yearly Roundup – 1962”

  1. Your Ford hatred is so weird.

  2. I debated whether I should put LIBERTY VALANCE in that section or the “middle” section. Hate is a somewhat strong word for that film. But since it’s “varying degrees” I figured it was appropriate. But yes, I do (mostly) hate John Ford. And I’m okay with that. Everyone has their tastes, and I try to be honest about mine.

  3. Sandy said

    I watched Days of Wine and Roses many years ago and it still affects me in how I make decisions. Hope to see a review down the road. I haven’t seen any of your top four, which is a real shame.

    • Hopefully you’ll get to a couple of them soon! Obviously they have my highest recommendation. As for DoWaR, it’s not really on my radar but I’ll keep it in mind.

  4. JamDenTel said

    The Music Man is delightful, with great songs and a wonderful performance by Robert Preston. I very highly recommend it.

    Otherwise…The Longest Day, How the West Was Won, and Mutiny on the Bounty are varying shades of ok–but especially the latter two are decidedly flawed.

    • I think I’ve seen some small portion of The Music Man (it’s got the “and that rhymes with T and…” song, right?) and was uninterested, but that would have been quite some time ago. I keep seeing Longest Day on the library shelf and considering it, but it never ends up coming home with me. Might check out Mutiny eventually, not a priority though. HtWWW is very unlikely.

      • JamDenTel said

        Yeah, you’re thinking of the “Trouble” song.

        Mutiny’s best elements are the music and the final shot.

  5. Bondo said

    Weird, I’m no great fan of Westerns or Ford and I love Liberty Valence, the best film I’ve seen from the year so far.

    • Not so weird when you consider how little our tastes usually overlap. My Ford is My Darling Clementine, there’s a couple I kinda like and after that it’s all “meh” or “ugh”.

  6. I love The Manchurian Candidate! I don’t love The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, but I don’t hate it.

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