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Added by johanlefourbe on 24 Nov 2015 08:47
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1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (1950's)

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Notes: First of all, this movie gives an interesting look on the settlers, these pioneers, who were finally starting to have a fairly ordinarily life but, at the same time, there was always the possibility of some swift burst of violence which could wipe them out within minutes. Then, you had this fascinating and complex main character, Ethan Edwards, who, maybe subconsciously, might never ever be able to settle with a farm and work on his land, and instead would rather spend 5 years roaming all the West to find his lost niece which seemed like an impossible mission. There was also the fact that the guy was more or less a psychopath who had such a hatred of the Indians that he might kill his beloved niece if she had the misfortune to choose to become an Indian. Still, to be honest, I have to admit that not everything really worked for me. For example, you never actual have the feeling that they have been so long on road or that they have covered so much territory. Furthermore, another problem I had was that, towards the end, Debbie seemed to change her mind way too easily which was very convenient to neatly wrap everything up for their happy-ending. Anyway, even if I'm still not a huge fan, it is definitely a really solid Western.
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People who added this item 147 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1


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Notes: Honestly, I find it rather difficult to judge this movie. Indeed, it is almost 60 years old and after watching 100s of more modern SF features like '2001: A Space Odissey ', 'Prometheus' or 'Interstellar' which had access to some more advanced technology and had some much bigger budgets, the whole thing looked pretty cheesy. On top of that, from the moment you see Leslie Nielsen showing up on the screen, you expect him to crack up some stupid jokes every 5 minutes. And yet, we shouldn't forget that this movie had a huge impact on all the Science-Fiction movies that came afterwards. Indeed, at the time, the studios didn’t care much for the genre and it was the very first time that a SF feature was given a large budget. On top of that, the story was actually pretty good and I was quite taken by this mysterious world. Indeed, they finally became aware that they should handle this kind of tales more or less seriously and it really worked. That’s the great thing about Science-Fiction, everything is possible and the only limitation is your own imagination (okay, a decent budget might help as well).
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People who added this item 181 Average listal rating (104 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5


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People who added this item 324 Average listal rating (192 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2


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People who added this item 180 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.6


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Notes: Since this movie has a really solid reputation, I was really eager to check it out. First of all, it is too bad that I saw before two really weak remakes ('Body Snatchers' and 'The Invasion'), without mentionning the countless copycats such as 'The World's End' as they slightly ruined the story for me. I mean, right from the very start, I already knew how the whole thing was going to play out and, as a result, it didn't have such a huge impact. Still, it must have been pretty neat to see this movie in the 50's when the formula was completely new. Furthermore, I wish they didn't force Don Siegel to add an introduction and this happy-end because the movie, above all with a bleaker ending, would have worked better. Still, it is a really solid horror flick, terribly effective and entertaining. Concerning the actors involved, to be honest, I didn't care much for Kevin McCarthy but he was not bad at all but, on the other hand, I was quite mesmerized by Dana Wynter who was simply quite gorgeous to look at. Anyway, even if it is 60 years old, it is still a classic.
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People who added this item 504 Average listal rating (305 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: Well, even though it turned out to be pretty good, I can't say it really blew me away though. I mean, there was some very good stuff and it could have been a great movie but it didn't completely worked in my opinion. First of all, this movie will be forever remembered for Dean's performance and while he was indeed very good, his character was actually the 3rd wheel in this romance. Indeed, the movie was in fact about Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson's love story and family life and, in spite of Dean's effort to steal the show, his complex character didn't have much impact after all. Concerning the main story, I was also bothered by the fact that Leslie had such an impact on her husband but it didn't work the way around, he didn't seem to have such an impact on her which was a failed opportunity. Furthermore, in the 3rd act, all the children had a specific sub-plot which was just too much. As a result, they tried to handle too many topics and they should have removed some elements to remain better focused. And, yet, in spite of its flaws, it was still a solid epic.
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People who added this item 392 Average listal rating (223 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.5


Notes: Eventually, even though it is not indeed one of Alfred Hitchcock's most famous features, I still thought it was actually pretty awesome. To be honest, it used in fact a rather standard gimmick used by Hitchcock, the story about an ordinary man stuck into a devilish plot but, this time, like many times before, it was quite flawless. First of all, the great Henry Fonda was playing the lead (I think it was the only time he worked with the great master) and he delivered a sober but great and totally believable performance. I really wish I would watch more movies with this guy, he is definitely one of my favorite classic actors. Furthermore, like I mentioned before, the plot was actually rather mundane but thanks to Hitchcock amazing directing, the whole thing was completely spellbinding to watch and I was captivated from the beginning until the very end.
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Notes: Even though I’m not a huge fan of musicals, since this one is a classic, I thought I might as well give it a try. Well, I really enjoyed the opening scene with Louis Armstrong, actually, all his scenes were pretty neat but, as soon as the actual story started, I got bored pretty quickly. It is only when it was finished that I realized that it was another version of ‘The Philadelphia Story’, a better classic which already didn’t really blow me away. Still, the cast was pretty nice and it was interesting to see Grace Kelly in her last part before she became Princess Grace of Monaco. To be honest, even though she was really amazingly charming as usual, I really had a hard time with her but I’m not sure if it was her acting which got on my nerves or her character. Eventually, only Frank Sinitra did manage to make something appealing with his character, the rest didn’t entertain me at all. At the end of the day, it is a mix between a musical and a screw-ball comedy and therefore the whole thing was just too fluffy for my taste.
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People who added this item 151 Average listal rating (79 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2


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People who added this item 489 Average listal rating (306 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: To be honest, it has been ages since I have seen this flick, I don't remember it in details and I should definitely re-watch it at some point. In fact, when I was much younger, there was a time when I saw a whole bunch of vintage movies directed by Akira Kurosawa and this movie was one of them. Well, this movie was quite unique as it was combining a typical Kurosawa Samurai tale with a classic from Shakespeare and, if I’m not mistaken, I think it was in fact the very first version of MacBeth that I have seen. By now, I must have seen about 5 versions of this tale and it would be pretty neat to see Kurosawa’s take after all these years but it is considered by many as one of the best adaptations. Anyway, back in those days, Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune were and actually still are one of the best director-actor combo and, once again, they definitely delivered something quite terrific here.
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People who added this item 1094 Average listal rating (681 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.4


Notes: Basically, the whole thing is just so shocking, heartbreaking and downright revolting. In my opinion, it is easily the best movie starring Kirk Douglas and one of the best directed by Stanley Kubrick. It is basically one of the greatest anti-war movies, it is as simple as that and even though it was only Kubrick's 3rd directing feature, he was apparently already one of the great masters. For example, the battle scene was just really impressive. It might not have been as bloody as 'Saving Private Ryan' but for a 55 years old flick, it was technically and visually quite brilliant. I above all loved the juxtaposition between the fancy headquarters, the nice little diners, the little chats, the nice dance parties the general have together and the dirt, the constant humidity, the hunger, the fear and the horror of the trenches. Also the way the generals talk about the soldiers was so despicable but, unfortunately, probably accurate. In the history books, this war was called 'The Great War' but there was nothing much great about it, except maybe the huge number of casualties.
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People who added this item 1542 Average listal rating (929 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.2


Notes: This masterpiece left a big impression on me and I should definitely rewatch it at some point. Indeed, the directing, the story and the acting, above all by Max van Sydow, was nothing short of amazing. I was above all impressed by the ominous chess game with Death, one of the most legendary film scenes ever put together. Still, like I said before, even though I was impressed, somehow, there were good chunks of the movie that literally went over my head. Later on, I watched ‘Fanny and Alexander’, another masterpiece directed by Bergman, and I had even a harder time to get into this flick. In fact, to be honest, I can’t say I’m a big fan of Ingmar Bergman's work and, after watching 6 of his movies, except for this great classic, none of them really blew me away. Anyway, it is probably one of the most thoughtful movies ever made and it is definitely a must see of any decent movie lover.
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People who added this item 2221 Average listal rating (1416 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 8.9


Notes: Well, sometimes, I have some huge expectations before watching an old classic and some of them turn out to be slightly disappointing but that was definitely not the case here. Indeed, what a great picture! Even though it is rather old, it has not lost any of its strenghts. I think it took me maybe 5 minutes to get into this story and, as a result, I thought it was just spellbinding from the very start until the very end. Nowadays, in a thriller, you have chases, shootings, improbable twists,... Fortunately, not in this movie. In my opinion, it must be one of the purest movies I have ever seen, you just have 12 guys stuck into a room, that's all what you will get but in spite of these limitations, it was just completely entertaining. Basically, it is just about the power of words and acting. No effects, no tricks, just an incredibly thoughtfull and smart picture and it is definitely one of my all-time favorites.
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People who added this item 1009 Average listal rating (566 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.2


Notes: Well, to be honest, as usual with Bergman, I had a rather hard time to connect with the damned thing. Still, the fact that I didn't connect with this movie was probably because I'm not smart enough and not because it wasn't a good movie, that's for sure. Eventually, as usual with Bergman's work, I enjoyed more thinking afterwards about his movies than actually watching them and this one was a perfect example. First of all, even though our Western world is getting older and older, we still get very few movies dealing with old age and this movie is easily one of the best about this subject. Indeed, through his whole life, the main character was really successful professionally but he didn't care at all about his relationship with the people around him but, in his twilight years, he is looking back to his past, which is rather usual, and starts to show more compassion towards the few people still around him. However, if this change of attitude and way of thinking made complete sense with the main character, I think it was rather unbelievable that Marianne would suddenly change her mind about him and think that he was a great guy just after spending one road trip with him. Anyway, even if it didn't completely blow me away, it is still a major classic.
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People who added this item 507 Average listal rating (289 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1


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People who added this item 360 Average listal rating (181 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.3


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Notes: Among the massive epics directed by David Lean, in my opinion, this movie must be the most accessible one. I think that the very best remains, by far, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, but this movie has a running time of almost 220 minutes and, therefore but also for some other reasons, it is a rather demanding flick. In my opinion, 'The Bridge on a the River Kwai' is more an exciting feature and, basically some kind of forefather to our own blockbusters. Basically, it is a really entertaining piece of work and I even remember watching this flick with my dad back in those days. I thought it was really good and I already enjoyed it back then. Apparently, even though David Lean and Alec Guiness worked together on many movies, they actually didn’t get along very well and it was the only movie he made for Lean for which Guiness had the lead. He was very good in this, and apparently, he believed it was his best work. To be honest, it has been a while since I saw this flick and I will definitely re-watch it in the future at some point.
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People who added this item 320 Average listal rating (199 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.2


Notes: I have to confess, I had no idea what the whole thing was actually about and the beginning was quite confusing, at least, to me. Furthermore, it took a while to take off. Still, it was definitely worth the wait after all. Indeed, I really enjoyed the realistic approach but, above all, I thought that the 2 characters played by Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster were just fascinating. Indeed, those 2 guys were some of the most slimy and conniving characters I have ever seen thanks to some really strong performances from Curtis and Lancaster. In fact, this movie didn’t get much love when it was released at least from the audience, it was mostly because both actors were playing such dark characters and it was apparently too difficult to swallow for the audience at the time. In my case, I just loved how bleak the whole thing was, the dialogues were really neat and the end was like a Greek tragedy.
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People who added this item 884 Average listal rating (539 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: Even though he did manage to direct arguably the greatest movie ever made, Orson Welles did have one very tumultuous career but some of his other directing efforts were still pretty damned amazing and this flick was definitely one of them. Like many other movies directed by the great master, he had once again some major issues with the studio producing this picture and they tempered with the end-results without consulting Welles who was fired during the post-production. Fortunately, at the end of the 90’s , the movie was re-cut following his wishes with some tremendous results. To be honest, I’m not so sure the story was really amazing, it was pretty much a dark and murky film noir but it was definitely entertaining and, above all, the directing was really impressive. Indeed, it has one of the best openings ever, a legendary 10 minutes take, something only a director like Welles could pull off. Seriously, if only to see this marvelous scene, it is already worth watching the damned thing.
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People who added this item 292 Average listal rating (168 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.8
Gigi (1958)


Notes: To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of musicals and it must be one of the few movie genres I enjoy the least but, still, I try to keep an open mind and I watch from time to time one of the classics in this genre. This time, I picked up a winner of the Best Picture Academy award directed by Vincent Minnelli, one of the masters in this genre so I thought it should be really good. Eventually, I thought it was indeed not bad but not much more I’m afraid. Many people argued that it was just a well made copy of ‘My Fair Lady’ but I didn’t bother me (I might have seen ‘My Fair Lady’ after this one though so it could explain why I didn’t spot the resemblance). Anyway, what really bothered me was the story itself. Indeed, you have this guy who was about 40 years old and who falls in love with this girl who must have been 16 years old and none of the characters seemed to find this rather odd whatsoever. Of course, it was something rather common back in those days but to watch it with our modern eyes and perspective makes the whole thing rather creepy while it was at the time, a rather innocent and harmless story.
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People who added this item 2653 Average listal rating (1656 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3


Notes: I have always been a fan of Alfred Hitchcock and this has always been my favorite movie of his. Basically, the whole thing looked amazing and I have never seen such a spellbinding progression in a thriller. Through the whole thing, you can’t help wonder what is going on with this mysterious woman and like James Stewart, you are pretty much getting obsessed with this lady. The other thing I loved about this flick is how well developed the main character was. Indeed, it was probably the most messed up lead character provided by Hitchcock through his whole career. Between his vertigo issues and his obsessions with the ladies, the guy was far from your usual perfect heroes. Unsurprisingly, like many other great movies, it was a flop when it was released, financially and critically, and it was a huge disappointment for Hitchcock. As far as I'm concerned, the only minor flaw was that they could have removed the flashback revealing the whole scheme. In my opinion, it would have been even better if we discovered the truth at the same time with the same character but it wasn’t a big deal.
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People who added this item 95 Average listal rating (45 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.8


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People who added this item 124 Average listal rating (60 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.1


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People who added this item 339 Average listal rating (196 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9


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People who added this item 107 Average listal rating (47 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.5


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People who added this item 397 Average listal rating (260 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4


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Notes: I actually already saw this flick but it was such a long time ago, I thought it was really time for a re-watch. The first time I saw it, I must have been a teenager and, even though I did like it, I can’t say it really blew me away. For many, it is considered one of the greatest comedies ever made and it has obviously become an inspiration for many other features, especially the ones about men dressed in drags like ‘Tootsie’ or ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the genre but, I have to admit it, they really nailed it here. Indeed, not only Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon were actually rather convincing as women but, above all, they were really hilarious and the whole thing is still really fun, even after more than 50 years. Still, I wasn’t entirely convinced by the whole thing. I mean, to start with, Marilyn Monroe looked positively charming but, honestly, her character was just a brainless sexpot and , even though it was indeed quite funny, the premise is still terribly silly.
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Notes: Since I'm a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock, I really had to watch this flick at some point. Eventually, I wasn't disappointed, that's for sure. Basically, it turned out to be one of his best and I absolutely loved the damned thing ('Vertigo' still remains my all-time favorite though). It was basically one of those typical Hitchcock thrillers during which an ordinary guy gets involved in some kind of conspiracy with some rather extraordinary circumstances. Nowadays, we live in an age where our heros are either some tough guys with no wit or sense of humor or some super-heros with super powers and, as a result, they are pretty much invincible but I think that Hitchcock’s approach was so much more interesting because you could really identify with this poor fellow who tried to get through this ordeal in one piece. I mean, of course, Cary Grant was really charismatic, witty and clever but he was definitely not a spy and he constantly had to use his brain to get out of trouble. So, the acting was really good, the directing was just awesome and the whole thing was just completely entertaining from the beginning until the end.
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People who added this item 1130 Average listal rating (687 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: It has been a while since I have seen this flick and I should definitely re-watch it whenever I have the opportunity. To be honest, in the same genre, I always preferred 'A bout de souffle' but this one is not far behind and it is definitely a huge masterpiece as well. By now, I have seen a bunch of the movies directed by François Truffaut’s movies and even though he had a more satisfying career than Jean-Luc Godard, it is definitely Truffaut's best movie by far. Indeed, even though he made afterwards some impressive movies, none of them reached the level of awesomness provided by this directing debut. Of course, Jean-Pierre Léaud was just really amazing and he easily gave one of the best child perfomances ever. Basically, nothing much really happen storywise but it doesn't matter as the whole thing is just spellbinding to behold. Indeed, even though this movie is more than 50 years old, it still has quite a modern perspective and I was really able to identify with the main character who was basically going through a rather messed-up puberty.
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People who added this item 358 Average listal rating (216 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8


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Notes: To be honest, it has been ages since I have this movie and I should definitely re-watch it at some point. Anyway, even though I was very young or maybe it was in fact because I was so young but I thought that this movie was just quite mesmerizing to behold. Basically, in my opinion, this movie is all about mood and either you’ll be hypnotized by this mood (what happened in my case) or I’m afraid the whole thing might bore you to death. Indeed, there is no real plot, there is definitely no action scenes, in fact, nothing much really happened during the whole thing. And, yet, I thought it was quite mesmerizing. We basically follow this 2 characters and their fascinating conversation filled with some beautiful dialogues. Indeed, in my opinion, this movie is the closest thing you will get of watching a poem instead of reading it. Alain Resnais did deliver a really impressive directing debut here but even though he always had a stellar reputation in France, I can’t say I really ever cared for the rest of his work (I still have to watch ‘L'année dernière à Marienbad’ though).
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Notes: Well, eventually, even though I it was a decent vintage Western, I thought it was also nothing really mind-blowing after all. I mean, I did like the directing and the acting was not bad either but, in my opinion, the story was very thin (with a running time of 70 minutes, it was not really surprising). I have to admit it, I did see it on the BBC without subtitbles so I may have missed some bits but I still don't think it was anything really amazing. Basically, you had about 5 characters, they talk a lot, ride their horses and shoot their guns a little bit and that was about it. Still, like I said before, the whole thing looked pretty good and the actors delivered some solid performances and it was pretty neat to see James Coburn in his acting debut. All in all, it is a forgettable but still well made Western.
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People who added this item 180 Average listal rating (96 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5


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People who added this item 1286 Average listal rating (781 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: After all these years, it remains such an entertaining epic, even if it takes hours to finally reach the finish line. Nowadays, almost 60 years after this movie was released, you can see that it was actually seriously ahead of its time and preceded all the huge blockbusters which are currently ruling the box-office. It was also rather interesting that at least half of the storyline in 'Gladiator', a seriously overrated 'classic' in my opinion, was pretty much lifted from this movie. Anyway, it is such a strong story with some tragedy, some romance, some impressive action scenes (the legendary chariot scene remains after all these years easily one of the best action scenes ever displayed), some historical elements and they even managed to squeeze a biblical tale in the mix. In fact, the scope was so huge that it might better work if it was developed as a TV-show, especially nowadays, since the quality of our current TV-shows is pretty much exceeding the quality of what you get to see in the movie theaters. Anyway, even if it was maybe not completely flawless, it is still a great classic.
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Notes: Basically, it is actually a really simple story but it was still completely spellbinding and I thought it was pretty awesome to behold. In my opinion, this movie is pretty much the proof that you can make a movie without any explosions, shootings, CGI or whatsover but still remain compulsively watchable. Not so long ago, I saw ‘Witness for the Prosection’, another classic courtroom drama made in the 50’s and while I really enjoyed this movie as well, there was a very far-fetched twist towards the end which was rather underwhelming. Fortunately, there was no such gimmicks in the flick. Indeed, I believe it is one of the most straightforward thriller ever made and therefore, you don’t get the usual BS involved in this genre which resulted in a much more rewarding experience. Of course, you could argue that James Stewart was basically playing his typical righteous guy but it didn’t bother me whatsoever. Eventually, it is an impressive classic which completely deserves its reputation.
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People who added this item 258 Average listal rating (135 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4


Notes: I have seen this movie but it was ages ago and, to be honest, I don’t remember much about it and I should definitely re-watch it at some point. Basically, even though John Cassavetes was fairly famous in the 70’s as an actor in fact, pretty much like Orson Welles, the guy actually took most of his acting jobs only to finance his directing efforts. Well, this movie was Cassavetes’s directing effort and, even though it has a decent reputation, it actually pretty obscure and definitely doesn’t have the status of ‘A Woman Under the Influence’, probably his most famous movie (which I still haven’t watched as a matter of fact), but it was still a decent watch. Anyway, it is considered to be a rather experimental, even jazzy, feature and it is definitely worth a look.
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People who added this item 167 Average listal rating (86 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3


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People who added this item 553 Average listal rating (382 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: To be honest, I’m not really a fan of John Wayne, but since this movie is a real classic, I was definitely eager to check it out. In fact, I completely forgot it when I was watching the damned thing but I realized afterwards that this movie is actually regarded as one of the best Western ever made, inspiring such movies like ‘Assault at Precinct 13’ and many movie makers such as Quentin Tarantino. Personally, I thought it was a pretty good flick but I can’t say it was really mind-blowing though. I mean, it was definitely well made, the acting was solid and I thought it was entertaining but I guess it is just not my style of Westerns and I’d rather see the movies made by Sergio Leone. Concerning John Wayne, I thought he was pretty good but I thought there was not much chemistry between him and Angie Dickinson and I never really believed in their relationship. Above all, I thought that the story was all right but it was nothing really amazing, at least, in my opinion.
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People who added this item 157 Average listal rating (87 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8


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Many years ago, I actually discovered this website thanks to the awesome list 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die but, unfortunately, this list is not up to date anymore so I have decided to create my own version. I will try to add every day a new movie and, of course, I will keep it up to date.


(7th edition)


Furthermore, if you're like me and you don't feel like browsing through the whole list, you can now use this index :

- MAIN LIST
- 1001 Movies ... (2010's)
- 1001 Movies ... (2000's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1990's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1980's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1970's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1960's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1940's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1930's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1920's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1910's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1900's)

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7 votes
1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (2000's)
34 item list by johanlefourbe
5 votes
1001 movies
162 item list by LegMa
2 votes

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