Films in 2016: May

May was another movie-filled month, as I watched the equivalent of a new-to-me movie a day, plus several re-watches. I suspect the coming months will see smaller numbers as I start an internship next week, so we’ll see if I’ll have the energy to watch as many movies as I usually do. Plus I’ve been revisiting more movies lately, so maybe one of these months I’ll have more re-watches than new discoveries. But anyway, as May is filled with birthdays for some of my top favorite stars, I watched some old favorites of theirs as well as ones I haven’t seen (such as The Rainmaker for Katharine Hepburn, which was the last of her Oscar-nominated performances I hadn’t seen). And of course, I celebrated James Stewart’s birthday throughout the month and watched a few new-to-me titles. While he’s my most watched actor (which you can read more about in my birthday tribute to him here), Cary Grant is close behind, and this month I watched my 40th film starring the charming actor. Another actor I saw a lot of this month was TCM’s Star of the Month Robert Ryan, an underrated favorite of mine. And with that, onto what I watched this past month.

New-to-Me: 31

Re-Watched: 8

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 1
  • 1930s – 1
  • 1940s – 2
  • 1950s – 10
  • 1960s – 8
  • 1970s – 5
  • 1980s – 1
  • 1990s – 1
  • 2000s – 0
  • 2010s – 2

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Children of a Lesser God (1986)
  2. La piscine (1969)
  3. Robin and Marian (1976)
  4. Beware, My Lovely (1952)
  5. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  6. Seven Days in May (1964)
  7. I Remember Mama (1948)
  8. When Tomorrow Comes (1939)
  9. The Rainmaker (1956)
  10. Mansfield Park (1999)
  11. The Cheyenne Social Club (1970)
  12. Another Man’s Poison (1951)
  13. Dear Brigitte (1965)
  14. Back from Eternity (1956)
  15. The Thrill of It All (1963)
  16. Where the Boys Are (1960)
  17. The Marrying Kind (1952)
  18. Pot o’ Gold (1941)
  19. The Truth About Women (1957)
  20. La ronde (1950)
  21. Le plaisir (1952)
  22. Crisis (1950)
  23. The Parallax View (1974)
  24. Executive Action (1973)
  25. The Producers (1967)
  26. The Longest Day (1962)
  27. Men in War (1957)
  28. Unbroken (2014)
  29. Song Without End (1960)
  30. Sisters (1973)
  31. Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness (1927)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

The Truth About Women (1957)

The Truth About Women (1957), directed by Muriel Box

I watched this as a part of the 52 Films by Women challenge, and it’s become one of my favorite discoveries through the project so far, and I’ll definitely try to seek out more of Muriel Box’s work because of it. The film looks back at the life of Sir Humphrey Tavistock (Laurence Harvey) as he recalls his past relationships to his son-in-law in an effort to understand the opposite sex. Though the plot doesn’t sound like much on the surface, it’s actually quite a witty period piece that features a lot of great commentary on feminism, and it blends exceptionally well with the film’s pathos and comedic elements without feeling heavy-handed. The Truth About Women is a severely underseen movie that deserves to be rediscovered (it only has three views on Letterboxd, including me). I urge you to check it out, especially if you have Amazon Prime as it’s streaming on there now. The print they have isn’t always the best but hopefully it’ll get restored in the future as more and more people see it.

La ronde (1950)

La ronde (1950), directed by Max Ophüls

I’ve seen a number of Max Ophüls’s films by now, though probably a little more of his Hollywood films than the ones he made in Europe. But after watching La ronde and Le plaisir back-to-back I think it’s evenly split. Anyway, I do enjoy his films a lot, but while his films lean more on the dramatic side, La ronde is the most amusing one I’ve seen so far. The film follows an assortment of characters whose relationships are linked with one another, with the chain essentially forming a circle of love and infidelity as the title suggests. All the relationships are guided by an all-knowing figure in the form of Anton Walbrook, who is so much fun to watch in this role as he interacts with other characters and watches their relationships unfold with us from a distance.

The Longest Day (1962)

The Longest Day (1962), directed by Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, and Bernhard Wicki

The Longest Day is one of those films I’ve been meaning to see for a long time but never put aside enough time to watch. TCM showed it as a part of Robert Ryan’s Star of the Month line-up, which transitioned into their Memorial Day weekend marathon. Ryan is just one of the many stars to be found in this war epic. Along with spotting my favorite actors throughout the film, I love that it shows D-Day from the perspectives of the Americans, English, French, and Germans (and the latter two have characters speaking in their native language, so it feels much more authentic). The different perspectives were also filmed by different directors, but the segments all blend together really well and it doesn’t at all feel like you’re watching three or four different movies in one package. The film also has some of the best cinematography I’ve seen (such as some really breath-taking aerial shots), and I’m very glad it won an Oscar for it.

The Producers (1967)

The Producers (1967), directed by Mel Brooks

I posted my monthly entry for the 2016 Blind Spots series a few days ago on The Producers, another fantastic film I watched this month. My thoughts on the film can be found here.

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6 thoughts on “Films in 2016: May

  1. Good luck on your internship!

    I have Muriel Box’s Simon and Laura bookmarked, I’ll add The Truth About Women to my queue as well. 🙂

  2. I’ve wanted to check out Muriel Box’s work for a few months now but haven’t gotten around to it, so I appreciate the recommendation. Hope your internship goes well!

    • Thank you! 🙂 TCM will be playing a couple of her films in August: The Passionate Stranger and So Long at the Fair (she only worked as a screenwriter; it’s also playing this month).

      • Thanks for the tip! I’ve added The Passionate Stranger to my TCM list for August. Oddly enough, I already have my DVR set for this month’s airing of So Long at the Fair — not because of Box, as I didn’t know she was involved, but just because it sounds interesting.

      • I initially had my eye on So Long at the Fair for the same reason! I only recently learned that she co-wrote it, so her involvement is another incentive to check it out.

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