Films in 2014: May

This post will be another brief one, because apparently I’m always busy on the first day of the month! But I did watch A LOT of movies this month (nearly 60!), the most I’ve ever watched in a 31-day period. Almost half of those movies were re-watches though, because there are a lot of movies I want to revisit (so I’m going to guess the rest of the summer will be similar to this so long as I’m not too busy). I’m also finishing up a class on Billy Wilder, and we’ve been watching (or in my case, re-watching) a number of his films.

New-to-Me: 35

Re-Watched: 24

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 4
  • 1940s – 12
  • 1950s – 11
  • 1960s – 4
  • 1970s – 0
  • 1980s – 1
  • 1990s – 1
  • 2000s – 0
  • 2010s – 2

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. A Room with a View (1985)
  2. An Ideal Husband (1947)
  3. Two Weeks in Another Town (1962)
  4. Angel Face (1952)
  5. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938)
  6. Duchess of Idaho (1950)
  7. The Stratton Story (1949)
  8. It Started with a Kiss (1959)
  9. A Millionaire for Christy (1951)
  10. The Gorgeous Hussy (1936)
  11. The Russians Are Coming the Russians are Coming (1966)
  12. Guys and Dolls (1955)
  13. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1962)
  14. State Fair (1945)
  15. Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (1938)
  16. Arise, My Love (1940)
  17. Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
  18. Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)
  19. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with You (1992)
  20. Oklahoma! (1955)
  21. Carousel (1956)
  22. Winchester ’73 (1950)
  23. Stars in My Crown (1950)
  24. My Love Came Back (1940)
  25. Lucky Partners (1940)
  26. The Emperor Waltz (1948)
  27. A Foreign Affair (1948)
  28. Apartment for Peggy (1948)
  29. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
  30. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  31. A Guy Named Joe (1943)
  32. The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)
  33. Bells Are Ringing (1960)
  34. No Time for Comedy (1940)
  35. 5th Ave Girl (1939)

Monthly Tallies

  • Best Picture Nominees Watched: 4
  • Movies Watched from The Criterion Collection: 0
  • Movies Watched via the Watch TCM app: 11
  • Movies Watched on TCM: 2
  • Movies Watched on Hulu: 2
  • Movies Watched in theaters: 2

Trends and Notes

There were a ton of trends this month! Hopefully I caught them all.

  • Watched 2 films directed by Sam Wood in a row (one was a re-watch). Both films were also baseball biopics!
  • Watched 5 films starring Gary Cooper, but only one was new-to-me.
  • Watched 5 films starring James Stewart.
  • Watched 2 films directed by George Marshall in a row (though I had a Star Wars marathon in between).
  • Watched 3 films from the year 1955 (one was a re-watch).
  • Watched 3 Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. Additionally, I watched the 2 starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones back-to-back.
  • Watched 2 films starring Claudette Colbert in a row. Both were also co-written by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett.
  • Watched 3 films starring Ray Milland (one was new-to-me). All were co-written by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett.
  • Watched 3 films starring Ginger Rogers (one was a re-watch).
  • Watched 15 films directed by Billy Wilder (11 were re-watches). Also watched his 3 films from the year 1957 in a row, with one of those being new-to-me.
  • Watched 4 films from the year 1950, with 3 of them in a row and one of those being a re-watch.
  • Watched 4 films starring William Holden, but only one was new-to-me (the other 3 were directed by Billy Wilder).
  • Watched 3 films from the year 1940, 2 of them in a row.
  • Watched 3 films from the year 1948 in a row (though I had a re-watch between the second and third film).
  • Watched 2 new releases in a row.

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

State Fair (1945)

State Fair (1945), directed by Walter Lang

This film really exceeded my expectations; I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did! It’s filled with some great music by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, and it’s definitely one of those feel-good films. Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews also make a fine pair.

Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938)

Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (1938), directed by Ernst Lubitsch

Another fine comedy from the great Ernst Lubitsch, featuring a wonderful screenplay by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. Gary Cooper’s always good, but I think I may love him most in comedy. I love the interactions between him and Claudette Colbert, they work very well off of one another. Edward Everett Horton and David Niven are also a delight as supporting characters. On a side-note, it was great to finally see the film that Eli Wallach’s character in The Holiday was referencing when he was describing “meet-cutes” in movies; the meet-cute here also serves as a great opening to the film!

Five Graves to Cairo (1943)

Five Graves to Cairo (1943), directed by Billy Wilder

This is one of those films that really grew on me upon reflection. It’s definitely underrated among Billy Wilder’s filmography; there’s a great blend of drama, suspense, and that Wilder humor. I really liked Franchot Tone’s performance in this as well, it was pretty subdued. It was also interesting to see Wilder in his first collaboration with Erich von Stroheim, who plays a character that is similar to the one he portrayed in Grand Illusion.

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