Films in 2014: February

February is always a very Oscar-filled month, what with TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar marathon and trying to catch up with tomorrow’s ceremony. Unfortunately I didn’t do too well with the latter this year, but I at least finished watching all the films nominated for Best Picture this month. More of my thoughts on this year’s ceremony will come tomorrow before the festivities…or maybe even later tonight. So there’s that to look forward to!

New-to-Me: 29

Re-Watched: 7

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 3
  • 1930s – 6
  • 1940s – 6
  • 1950s – 4
  • 1960s – 4
  • 1970s – 2
  • 1980s – 0
  • 1990s – 0
  • 2000s – 1
  • 2010s – 3

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Of Mice and Men (1939)
  2. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
  3. The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927)
  4. Le notti bianche (1957)
  5. The Kennel Murder Case (1933)
  6. Day for Night (1973)
  7. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
  8. Auntie Mame (1958)
  9. Twelve O’Clock High (1949)
  10. Gate of Hell (1953)
  11. A Man and a Woman (1966)
  12. Three Smart Girls (1936)
  13. Nebraska (2013)
  14. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
  15. And the Oscar Goes to… (2014)
  16. The Pianist (2002)
  17. Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)
  18. The Great McGinty (1940)
  19. The V.I.P.s (1963)
  20. My Sister Eileen (1942)
  21. Disraeli (1929)
  22. Philomena (2013)
  23. The Love Parade (1929)
  24. Johnny Belinda (1948)
  25. Topper (1937)
  26. Four Daughters (1938)
  27. Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962)
  28. The Yearling (1946)
  29. Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Monthly Tallies

  • Best Picture Nominees Watched: 14
  • Movies Watched from The Criterion Collection: 6
  • Movies Watched via the Watch TCM app: 15
  • Movies Watched on TCM: 5
  • Movies Watched on Hulu: 1
  • Movies Watched in theaters: 0

Trends and Notes

  • Watched 17 movies from TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar.
  • Watched 3 films starring Gregory Peck (one was a re-watch).

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Day for Night (1973)

Day for Night (1973), directed by François Truffaut

A really great film about film-making, this actually almost felt like a documentary watching it (perhaps it’s because François Truffaut played the director in the film as well as actually directing it). I loved that the film included what seemed like any possible challenge a director and his production team may have to overcome when making a movie, and it all came together seamlessly. And apparently Truffaut was inspired by the likes of Singin’ in the Rain, The Bad and the Beautiful, and  when he made this, which are all favorites of mine. This definitely joins them among my favorite films about the film industry.

Auntie Mame (1958)

Auntie Mame (1958), directed by Morton DaCosta

Rosalind Russell is a pure delight in this, one of the best performances I’ve seen from her. I had a lot of fun watching this, and running at almost 2 and half hours it didn’t feel long because there was enough going on to keep my attention. A hilarious comedy with a great message.

Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)

Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), directed by Alexander Hall

After seeing A Matter of Life and Death and Heaven Can Wait (the 1943 film…not to be confused with the 1978 film that’s actually a remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan), I think it’s safe to say that I really enjoy movies where the powers-that-be give the presumably dead main character a second chance at life (or a second look in the case of Heaven Can Wait). Anyway, this film features some great performances all-around, and I especially loved Robert Montgomery in this. James Gleason was also great in a supporting role, and Claude Rains as Mr. Jordan is good as always with a subtle performance. This film is full of some good laughs and heartwarming moments.

Johnny Belinda (1948)

Johnny Belinda (1948), directed by Jean Negulesco

This film has been on my watchlist for quite some time, so I was happy to finally catch it on TCM, and it did not disappoint! A well-made film all-around, and what a performance from Jane Wyman, who as a deaf-mute girl, doesn’t speak one word throughout. She conveyed so much in just her face, it was a treat to see, and she’s quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses. The cast as whole is amazing too, with Oscar-nominated performances from Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford, and Agnes Moorehead.

Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Elevator to the Gallows (1958), directed by Louis Malle

Louis Malle’s film is a great blend of America’s film noir genre and the French New Wave. This film is pretty subtle with its suspense, I wasn’t quite on the edge of my seat but I was constantly wondering what would happen next as more conflicts arose. But it builds to a great climax, one of my favorites of the noir genre. I’d say this film is worth seeing for Miles Davis’ score alone, but it fortunately has other great things going for it.

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5 thoughts on “Films in 2014: February

    • Aw which ones were they? I’m sure Twelve O’Clock High was one, which I told you I enjoyed…just not as much as the few that made my top favorites.

      • Don’t get me wrong…your choices were good ones! But besides Twelve O’Clock High, which we both really liked, my favorites were The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Pianist, and Nebraska. But I should be fair: I’ve never seen Auntie Mame, Johnny Belinda, or Elevator to the Gallows…maybe my picks would’ve changed if I had!

      • I will say that The Pianist and Nebraska near made it! And I’ll admit it was a little late when I saw the other two, so those probably deserve a re-watch, though I did like those as well.

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