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Yearly Roundup – 1944

Posted by martinteller on February 17, 2014

The Cream of the Crop

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve done one of these.  But I hate unfinished projects, so I’m jumping back into it.  1944 has two of my absolute favorites.  After a recent third viewing, Meet Me in St. Louis will be entering my top 100 the next time I revise it.  A gorgeous film loaded with heartfelt nostalgia and sentimentality, it fills me with joy every time.  Great cast, great songs, great emotions.  The other is likely to be a permanent fixture on my top 100, Double Indemnity.  In a year of fantastic noir, Billy Wilder’s classic seems to define the genre, with nary a misstep along the way.  Barbara Stanwyck is almost always fantastic, but I don’t know if she’s ever better than she is here.  Can’t wait for the upcoming Blu-Ray release.

*

Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

As I said, it’s a fine year for noir.  Three more of my favorites are Gaslight (although its “noir” status is debatable), Betrayed (a.k.a. “When Strangers Marry”), and The Lodger (like Gaslight, another period noir).  All four appear on my top 100 noirs list.  There’s also a noir influence of sorts at work in the Ingmar Bergman-penned (directed by Alf Sjoberg) Torment.  And lastly, any feline-lover ought to check out the delightful short The Private Life of a Cat, directed by Maya Deren’s husband, Alexander Hammid.

*

Also Love

A Canterbury Tale
Dark Waters
Laura
Phantom Lady
This Happy Breed

*

Varying Degrees of Like

Arsenic and Old Lace
Bluebeard
Christmas Holiday
The Curse of the Cat People
Guest in the House
Henry V
Ivan the Terrible, Part I
The Mask of Dimitrios
Ministry of Fear
Murder, My Sweet
Sherlock Holmes in Pearl of Death
Sherlock Holmes in The Scarlet Claw
Sherlock Holmes in The Spider Woman
The Suspect
To Have and Have Not
The Woman in the Window

*

Varying Degrees of Hate

The Children Are Watching Us
The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek

*

Some Notable Films In The Middle

Experiment Perilous
Going My Way
Lifeboat
The Most Beautiful
Strangers in the Night

*

Uncharted Territory

Bon Voyage, Cover Girl, Hail the Conquering Hero, House of Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, Miyamoto Musashi, Mr. Skeffington, National Velvet, This Happy Life, The Three Caballeros, The Thin Man Goes Home, The Uninvited

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