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Yearly Roundup – 1961

Posted by martinteller on May 6, 2014

The Cream of the Crop


My favorite of 1961 is one that I’ve written very little about.  Alain Resnais’s Last Year at Marienbad is haunting, memorable, beautiful and strange… and very difficult to get a hold on.  Is it a poetic rumination on the slippery nature of memory, or a look at fragile and fleeting romance, or a mystery waiting to be solved?  To say “it is what it is” feels like the ultimate cop-out, but what it is is a film that casts a hypnotic spell over me.


Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

Currently on my top 100, Yojimbo is actually ranked one spot higher than Marienbad.  That’s likely to change this summer when I shake up my list, but at the very least Kurosawa’s film will remain in my top 250.  Exquisitely constructed and wickedly entertaining.  One of my favorite noirs is Blast of Silence… a film which didn’t even make TSPDT’s list of 250 “Quintessential Noirs” but caught my attention due to Criterion’s release.  How many other movies can claim such fine use of second-person narration?  Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly is a given.  One of his most Bergman-esque films, with a powerhouse performance by Harriet Andersson.  Anthony Asquith gives us another of his wonderful dramas with the noir-ish character examination Two Living, One Dead.  And you can’t get irreverent social satire more cynical and hilarious than Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana.


Also Love

Chronicle of a Summer
The Human Condition III
Il Posto


Varying Degrees of Like

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Divorce Italian Style
The End of Summer
The Guns of Navarone
Hogs and Warships
The Hustler
The Innocents
Judgment at Nuremberg
Komal Gandhar
The Ladies Man
Leon Morin, Priest
Mr. Sardonicus
La Notte
A Raisin in the Sun
Splendor in the Grass
Teen Kanya
West Side Story
A Woman Is a Woman


Varying Degrees of Hate



In The Middle

101 Dalmatians
The Children’s Hour
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Misfits
One, Two, Three
Underworld U.S.A. 


Uncharted Territory

The Absent-Minded Professor, And Love Has Vanished, Babes in Toyland, The Beast of Yucca Flats, Bitter End of a Sweet Night, Blue Hawaii, El Cid, The Comancheros, The Curse of the Werewolf, King of Kings, Lover Come Back, Mother Joan of Angels, My Mother and her Guest, Mysterious Island, One-Eyed Jacks, The Parent Trap, Pit and the Pendulum, A Taste of Honey, Ten Dark Women, Too Late Blues, Two Rode Together, A Wife Confesses


One Response to “Yearly Roundup – 1961”

  1. mountanto said

    Oh, God, Babes in Toyland.

    I really need to rewatch that and review it. Because I’ve seen that movie way too much, and for all the wrong reasons.

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