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Apr 6, 2012

A Year On Film: 1959



A couple of weeks ago, I was messing around with the film list website LETTERBOXD, and came up with a list idea of posting a snapshot of a year in film (I started with 1973) and discussed it with my friend over at RUPERT PUPKIN SPEAKS. He took the idea a step further and posted a similar list to his blog for 1974.

So between the 2 of us (and anyone else, feel free to join in) we'll be giving a cinema snapshot of various years from various decades.

I love looking - especially years later - at a film line release schedule. How many times has a movie come out and just been forgotten, or it lives on as a cinema classic. Looking at a year in full gives an idea of what Hollywood was thinking, what and who was popular, and is a great reminder of just how many great films can come in 1 year's time.

I love the 1950s, so it being Easter weekend, I decided to start with 1959 the release year of BEN-HUR. It also ties in with the fact that the 1997 James Cameron movie TITANIC was re-released this weekend in 3D, and BEN-HUR and TITANIC share the honor of winning the most Academy Award wins (along with THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING) with 11.

In some cases I have made notes, or mentioned a director - and obviously this list is not a full list of everything that came out in 1959 - but as you can see it was a pretty great year overall.




THE 400 BLOWS (Francois Truffaut)


AL CAPONE



ANATOMY OF A MURDER (Otto Preminger)

ANATOMY OF A MURDER is nothing short of a masterpiece, and is on my list of top 10 movies of all time. Recently, THE CRITERION COLLECTION issued a Blu-Ray edition which should be in every movie lovers collection.



THE ANGRY HILLS




THE ATOMIC SUBMARINE




ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES

If the title doesn't grab you, that poster should!



BATTLE OF THE SEXES

I came across this movie years ago - either on AMC or TCM - and it's a delightful movie that has Peter Sellers threatened when a female executive is sent to the sock factory in Scotland where he works to shape things up.




THE BEAT GENERATION



BEN-HUR (William Wyler)



THE BEST OF EVERYTHING



BLACK ORPHEUS



A BUCKET OF BLOOD (Roger Corman)



CAREER



CARRY ON TEACHER



CARRY ON NURSE



COME DANCE WITH ME



COMPULSION



THE CRIMSON KIMONO (Samuel Fuller)



DANGER WITHIN



DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE



A DATE WITH DEATH



DAY OF THE OUTLAW



THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE



THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK



A DOLL'S HOUSE



DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP



EXPRESSO BONGO



FACE OF A FUGITIVE



THE FACTS OF MURDER



THE FBI STORY



FIRES ON THE PLAIN



THE FIVE PENNIES



FLOATING WEEDS



FOLLOW A STAR



GIDGET



GIRL'S TOWN



THE HANGING TREE



HAPPY ANNIVERSARY



HERCULES AND THE QUEEN OF LYDIA



HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR



A HOLE IN THE HEAD (Frank Capra)



THE HORSE SOLDIERS (John Ford)



THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES



HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL



IMITATION OF LIFE (Douglas Sirk)



IT STARTED WITH A KISS



JOHN PAUL JONES



JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH



THE KILLER SHREWS

Another fun movie that I discovered during last summer's TCM Drive-in movie programming. James Best (Roscoe P. Coltrane from THE DUKES OF HAZZARD) plays a particularly crusty ships captain forced to deal with some pretty big and nasty creatures. Worth it for the ending sequence where they turn washtubs into walking tanks.



THE LAST ANGRY MAN



LAST TRAIN FROM GUN HILL



THE LEGEND OF TOM DOOLEY



LES COUSINS (Claude Chabrol)



LIBEL



L'IL ABNER



MAKE MINE A MILLION



THE MIRACLE



THE MOUSE THAT ROARED

Truly one of my favorites. Worth checking out which is easy to do as TCM airs it regularly.



THE MUMMY

One of the best Mummy movies made, this one is from legendary Horror studio HAMMER FILMS.



NEVER SO FEW




NO NAME ON THE BULLET



NORTH BY NORTHWEST (Alfred Hitchcock)

Truly one of the great movies from this year and this decade! One of Hitchcock's best, and next to say PSYCHO, probably his most famous.



NORTHWEST FRONTIER



THE NUN'S STORY (Fred Zinnemann)

I recently caught this movie (again on TCM) and while it is heavy going, it is a very fulfilling movie and Audrey Hepburn really shines in it.



ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW



ON THE BEACH (Stanley Kramer)

A movie that I find is incredibly dated.



OPERATION PETTICOAT



PICKPOCKET (Robert Bresson)

Such a great movie from a master filmmaker.



PILLOW TALK

This movie has a following, and Universal is restoring it for a Blu-Ray release this summer as part of their 100th Year Anniversary.



PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE (Ed Wood)

Often cited as the worst movie ever made - so bad it's a masterpiece in badness. Not to mention, thanks to it we have Tim Burton's delightful ED WOOD.



PORGY AND BESS (Otto Preminger)

I had the opportunity to see a beautiful 35mm print of this at a gentleman's house in LA who had his own print collection and screening room. Worth seeing in all its Cinemascope glory.



PORK CHOP HILL



RIDE LONESOME



RIO BRAVO (Howard Hawks)

One of my all-time favorite westerns, and easily Dean Martin's best role. This movie is just great all around.



ROOM AT THE TOP



SHADOWS (John Cassavetes)



THE SHAGGY DOG

Disney live action at its best.



SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL



SLEEPING BEAUTY

Widescreen Disney animated feature which introduced the world to the very evil Malificent. Disney is working on a live-action feature about Malificent and I believe Angelina Jolie is attached to play the title role.



SOLOMON AND SHEBA



SOME LIKE IT HOT (Billy Wilder)

Probably Billy Wilder's most famous movie, and one of the films that made Marilyn Monroe and icon. Love Tony Curtis' imitation of Cary Grant, and the comedy subplot of Jack Lemmon (in drag) being romanced by another guy is very cutting edge given the period this film was released. The last line in the film is truly a classic.



SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER



THIRD MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN



TIGER BAY



TOMMY THE TOREADOR



WARLOCK



THE WORLD OF APU (Satyajit Ray)



THE WORLD, THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL



THE WRECK OF MARY DEARE



YESTERDAY'S ENEMY



THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS