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Yearly Roundup – 1957

Posted by martinteller on February 20, 2014

The Cream of the Crop

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This is an unusually excellent year, with four films in my top 100.  At the top is, of course, Bergman and his most iconic work, The Seventh Seal.  This is a film that catches almost everyone off guard the first time they see it, not expecting it to be so funny and have so much warmth.  It deserves a much better review than the ones I’ve given it.  Next is my favorite Fellini, Nights of Cabiria.  With an incredibly endearing performance by Giuletta Masina, it’s a film that sticks with you a long, long time.  Lastly, a pair of dynamite noirs.  Sweet Smell of Success absolutely sizzles with crackerjack dialogue, memorable characters and a deep vein of cynicism.  The Burglar is a personal favorite, one that no one seems to appreciate as much as I do.  I find it has an artful approach that elevates its rather pedestrian material, along with the performances by Duryea and Mansfield.

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Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

Not only four in the top 100, but an additional four in my top 101-250.  Incredibly, Bergman delivered Wild Strawberries this same year.  While I (obviously) don’t hold it in as high regard as Seventh Seal, it’s still a hell of a great movie.  My favorite by Andrzej Wajda is Kanal, his harrowing journey through the sewers of wartime Vienna.  Another stunning wartime drama is The Cranes Are Flying, with gorgeous cinematography.  And going back to the first World War, Paths of Glory is Kubrick’s first true masterpiece.  Outside of my top 250 (which is somewhat arbitrary anyway) but also marvelous are Lean’s vastly entertaining epic The Bridge on the River Kwai, a sci-fi classic in The Incredible Shrinking Man (really need to see this again, it’s been ages), and the tightly-honed heist noir Plunder Road.

*

Also Love

3:10 to Yuma
Baby Face Nelson
Don Kikhot
Nine Lives
Le Notti Bianche
Slaughter on Tenth Avenue
Tammy and the Bachelor
Tokyo Twilight
Witness for the Prosecution

*

Varying Degrees of Like

12 Angry Men
An Affair to Remember
Appointment With a Shadow
Bakumatsu taiyoden
Bitter Victory
The Brothers Rico
Edge of the City
Escape from San Quentin
A Face in the Crowd
Forty Guns
Funny Face
Il Grido
House of Numbers
I Am Waiting
The Lower Depths
Man on the Tracks
Mr. Sleeman Is Coming
The Mysterians
Night of the Demon
Nightfall
N.Y., N.Y.
The Pajama Game
The Tall T
The Tarnished Angels
The Tattered Dress
Throne of Blood
The Tin Star
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

*

Varying Degrees of Hate

20 Million Miles to Earth
The Amazing Colossal Man
The Garment Jungle
The Girl in Black Stockings
Old Yeller

*

Some Notable Films In The Middle

Chain of Evidence
Crime of Passion
The Curse of Frankenstein
Love in the Afternoon
Mother India
The Night Runner
Pyaasa
The Shadow on the Window
Short Cut to Hell
Teenage Doll
Time Without Pity
Zero Hour!

*

Uncharted Territory

The Abominable Snowman, Ana, Bayou, The Big Caper, The Crowded Streetcar, Danger Stalks Near, Decision at Sundown, Designing Woman, Desk Set, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Jailhouse Rock, A King in New York, Men in War, Miracles of Thursday, Pal Joey, Peyton Place, The Prince and the Showgirl, Quatermass 2, Run of the Arrow, Sayonara, Silk Stockings, The Spirit of St. Louis, The Three Faces of Eve, The Wings of EaglesThe Young Stranger

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