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Added by johanlefourbe on 20 Dec 2019 08:42
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1001 Movies ... my own version (1940's)

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People who added this item 625 Average listal rating (378 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: To be honest, I always had a hard time to care for these old comedies, even the supposedly great ones, and this one was not an exception, I’m afraid. The point is that the plot was so fluffy, so unsubstantial, I really had a hard time to care about the whole thing. Somehow, this movie and the other classics in this genre are still considered as hilarious even today but, personally, I thought it was just amusing at best. Obviously, it is still a solid comedy though. Indeed, Cary Grant was one of the best actors at the time (at least, one of the most popular ones but I still think the guy was also great), he was very good here and he had some very good chemistry with the charming Rosalind Russell. Furthermore, even though nothing much happened during the whole thing, the dialogues were really witty and funny and they were definitely the biggest asset in this flick.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3100 Average listal rating (1916 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4
Pinocchio (1940)


Notes: Even though I was pretty sure that I saw this movie when I was a kid, when I finally re-watched it with my own children, I didn't remember much of it. For example, I was actually surprised that the most iconic trademark of Pinocchio, the fact that his nose is growing when he lies, actually shows up just once in the movie. It actually shows how powerful this tale is and how it will be forever linked to this Disney version. Indeed, after the tremendous success of 'Snow White', Disney decided to go for another well known tale and it became another major classic. What I personally enjoy the most about the whole thing, except for the amazing animation even after more than 80 years, was actually how dark the whole thing was. Indeed, back then, they were still pretty much experimenting, testing how far they could go, and they didn't develop yet their traditional formula of avoiding anything that could be possibly challenging in order to always reach the lowest common denominator. Here, you get a rather complex main character who makes some terrible decisions but this little guy was much more fascinating than the perfect princes and heroes that they would give us afterwards.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 258 Average listal rating (159 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5


Notes: Eventually, it wasn’t one of Alfred Hitchock’s most famous movies and it was definitely not one of my favorite but it was still a pretty good picture. In fact, even though the plot was taking place in Great Britain, it was Hitchock’s 2nd Hollywood feature after ‘Rebecca’ and it was in fact entirely shot in the USA. Anyway, the directing, as usual with Alfred Hitchock, was really solid and the story was entertaining enough but, to be honest, I thought it was just another spy feature, something he used to make rather often back in those days. I mean, sure, it was entertaining but it was nothing I hadn’t seen before. Maybe the fact that no big star was linked to this feature didn’t help either (in fact, Hitchcock wanted Gary Cooper to play the lead but Cooper turned down the offer) but I doubt it would have made a big difference. Anyway, even if it is not really a masterpiece, it is still a pretty good vintage spy feature though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 793 Average listal rating (498 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: In my opinion, there are two kinds of classics, some of them which remain untouched by time and which will always be great and amazing like ‘Citizen Kane’ , ‘M’, ‘ Rashomon’ or ‘A bout de souffle’ and the other sort which are still very well regarded but which seems rather dated like ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ , ‘The Wizard of Oz’ or ‘Gone with the Wind’ (Of course, it all depends what your taste is. You might find those movies still amazing and much better than the ones I mentioned before). Anyway, in my opinion, this movie belongs to the second category. Sure, it is a decent comedy with 3 amazing actors (Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart) and it was quite fun but also terribly fluffy and I really had a hard time to care about the whole thing. I’ll give you that it was much better than all those inane romantic-comedies you get nowadays but I can’t say I was really blown away by this flick though. You could argue that the whole fluffiness is inherent to the genre but I don’t agree, a comedy always has to be funny but I don’t think it has to be shallow, at least, that’s my opinion. Still, it is a classic though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1494 Average listal rating (955 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.4


Notes: To be honest, even though I enjoyed Chaplin’s later work like ‘Monsieur Verdoux’ and ‘Limelight’, I wasn’t exactly blown away by these movies. On the other hand, you won't hear me complaining about this amazing and timeless masterpiece. Where should I start? Even though it was released 13 years after the end of the silent era, this was Charles Chaplin's first all-talking, all-sound film so, in the contrary to some of his contemporaries, he didn't have much trouble with sound, that's for sure. But that's just a technicality, the damned thing is more almost 80 years old but it is still bright and shinning. I mean, the guy made this right in the middle of the WWII, making a parody of Hitler when the guy was still out there bringing his terror throughout Europe. Even the great Kubrick who made some of the most amazing features didn't ever do something similar. The only minor flaw was that there was no real plot and the whole thing was really episodic but it wasn’t a big deal. I especially loved the final scene when the barber gives his heartbreaking speech and it is easily one of my favorite scenes ever made.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1180 Average listal rating (710 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Rebecca (1940)


Notes: In my opinion, it is not one of Alfred Hitchcock's great masterpieces like ‘Psycho’, ‘North by Northwest’ or ‘Vertigo’ but it is still a very solid thriller nonetheless. It was actually a rather important movie in his career. Indeed, it was the first film he made in Hollywood and the only one that managed to win the Best Picture Oscar (that the guy never managed to win a Best Director Academy Award is quite mind-blowing). To be frank, I don’t think it is one of the strongest stories developed by the great master but it was greatly compensated by the awesome mood created and the very good cast. Honestly, I haven’t seen many movies starring Laurence Olivier but the guy was sure a fine actor and I will definitely check his other movies whenever I get the opportunity. Against him, you had Joan Fontaine, one of the many female stars we have seen in Hitchcock’s spellbinding thrillers. Fontaine was pretty good as well and together they had some great chemistry. Anyway, this first American feature was a success and Hitchcock's career which was doing already pretty well became even bigger, much bigger in the following years.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2204 Average listal rating (1360 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
Fantasia (1941)


Notes: I always had a weak spot for this feature. Indeed, there is one thing that always bothered me with Disney’s animated features and it is their terrible lack of originality. Basically, all their movies tend to follow the very same formulas and set of rules and even though it was fine when ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ was released, 80 years later, it has become seriously tedious. For this reason, I always had a weak spot for this flick because, even though it is flawed, it remains one of their most original productions and only for this, it should get much more credit. Take for example the ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ sequence, it is probably one of the creepiest things ever produced by Disney and, even though parents have been complaining about this sequence for decades, I wish Disney would go more often in this direction. Still, while I was rewatching the damned thing, I was actually surprised by how little I actually remember it. Of course, you could argue that it had been more than 20 years since I saw it but I'm afraid that most of these sequences, while they were all interesting and valuable just based on their pure experimental value, were not really remarkable after all. Anyway, even though it might not be Disney’s most heralded feature, it remains a fascinating blend of classic tunes with some top-notch animation.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 468 Average listal rating (299 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4
Suspicion (1941)


Notes: Honestly, it is not one of the most famous movies directed by Hitchcock but I still enjoyed it anyway. Basically, it is one of those very old Hitchcock thrillers which still feel very modern somehow and they always keep you on the edge of your seat from the beginning until the end, at least in my case. The major attraction in my opinion was that, for once, Cary Grant played against type and he portrayed the bad guy. I mean, not only it was really unexpected but I also thought that he was just amazing, at the same time, very charming and suave as usual, but also menacing and potentially lethal. After watching this, you see that Cary Grant really had some skills and it is rather too bad that he spent most of his career usually playing the same characters (on the other hand, I’m not a huge expert on his work, so I might be mistaken). Still, aside Grant’s intriguing performance, the rest of the movie was a little too pedestrian to become truly remarkable but it was still quite enjoyable.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2899 Average listal rating (1805 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2
Dumbo (1941)


Notes: This is the very first movie I have shown to my daughter, I have seen it countless times when she was just 2 or 3 years old. The funny thing about this production is that, even though 'Pinocchio' and 'Fantasia' were both critically heralded, they were also some really ambitious projects that had cost Disney a lot and they didn't turn out to be some huge box-office success like 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'. So, back then, they decided to come up with something smaller and cheaper and, surprisingly, it turned out to be a hit. To be honest, I think that the scope was too limited to make it one of my favorites and, with a running time of barely 60 minutes, and the fact that Timothy Q. Mouse was just a recycled version of Jiminy Cricket, it did feel a little bit cheap. And yet, this Dumbo character was really awesome. Indeed, it showed some guts to have a title character who didn’t say a word during the whole thing and there were a couple of scenes involving him and his mother that were just amazing and quite heartbreaking to behold. Also, you won't see any time soon in a Disney feature an infant getting drunk and hallucinating afterwards and a bunch of black crowns smoking some huge cigars. On top of that, they gave us their weirdest (also one of their most awesome) musical sequence with the legendary 'pink elephants on parade'.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1207 Average listal rating (770 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: To be honest, the circumstances I watched the damned thing were far from being ideal (I was really tired and the recording was seriously messed up). On top of that, this movie has the disadvantage of being already 80 years old and, by that time, I had already watched many other film noirs with or without Humphrey Bogart so I wasn’t completely blown away by the whole thing. Furthermore, it is always the same issue with this genre, the plot is terribly murky and, in fact, it never really matters which is always something that bother me a little. And, yet, it is still an awesome flick though. Indeed, it is historically quite priceless as it started the directing career of John Huston, the career of Humphrey Bogart and it pretty much launched the genre at the time. Indeed, even though Sam Spade might be the main character, he is not actually a hero, he is definitely not a nice guy and he pretty much dumps the female lead at the end without shedding a single tear. That’s the difficult thing with this flick, I have been accustomed with this archetype from the movies that came afterwards and while watching this movie, it is almost impossible to handle it as something new. Still, it is a huge classic.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2782 Average listal rating (1705 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.3
Citizen Kane (1941)


Notes: There always will be a debate about this movie. Some think it is indeed the best movie ever made and some will tell you it is the most overrated movie ever made. It is always the risk with such a huge classic that, if you watch it at a very young age (like I did the first time around) after building up some huge expectations, you might wonder what was the fuss all about. In my opinion, this movie is great because it is really subtle and also because it was much ahead of its time. I think it is something you can appreciate most of all if you have seen a lot of movies. Anyway, the second time I watched it, I was then able to see how modern and so well put together the whole thing was. It was simply mesmerizing. And think about it, Orson Welles was only 26 when he directed it... That's rather insane. To think that, at such a young age, this man who was much younger than me, managed to make possibly the best movie of all time. The thought is rather mind-blowing and it was also a curse for Orson Welles who always struggled as a director ever since, even though some of his following directing efforts were more than decent.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2956 Average listal rating (1842 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
Bambi (1942)


Notes: Back then, they spent years and a fortune to get it right. Basically, Walt Disney really wanted to make the animals look realistic but he still wanted to keep the cartoony feeling at the same time which was pretty tricky. Eventually, the end result was quite gorgeous and it is to this day still one of their most beautiful productions. Furthermore, they also managed to seamlessly combine drama and humor. Also, back in those days, they were still willing to take some risks and the iconic scene involving the death of Bambi's mother must be one of the most heartbreaking animated moments ever produced. It's too bad that this tragic event seemed to be rather quickly forgotten and the rest of the movie with a teen-aged Bambi didn’t work as well as when he was just an infant which was just pretty much enchanting. Furthermore, this movie also introduced one of their most enduring and annoying trademarks, the talking animals. To be honest, with this movie, it was ok but I still think it made the whole thing rather childish and condescending. On top of that, they would keep using this gimmick over and over again with their following production and the results would be always disappointing. However, in spite of its flaws, it is still pretty much a great achievement and another timeless classic from Disney though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 474 Average listal rating (261 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.3
Cat People (1942)


Notes: First of all, when you watch this flick, you have to keep in mind that you are actually watching one of the first ancestors of our contemporary horror movies and it was pretty neat to see how much have changed in 70 years. Back then, there was basically no sex, no blood, in fact, to be honest, nothing much happened during the whole thing when you think about it. Pretty muck like today, they made this choice mostly because they basically had no money but it made the whole thing even more effective. There was indeed constantly this eerie atmosphere which was not really frightening but it still made me uneasy throughout the whole duration. To show the impact of this flick, you should know that the horror movie technique of slowly building tension to a jarring shock which turns out to be something completely harmless is actually called a ‘Lewton bus’ after a famous scene from this movie. How amazing is that? Anyway, even if it didn’t grow old very well, it is still a decent watch though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 364 Average listal rating (230 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: To be honest, it has been ages since I have seen this flick and I should definitely re-watch it at some point. Well, even though Orson Welles will always be remembered for ‘Citizen Kane’, this follow-up was actually more representative of his career. Indeed, following the tremendous success of ‘Citizen Kane’, there was a huge buzz about his next directing effort and you would have expected that the guy would receive pretty much ‘carte blanche’ but, instead, his movie was famously butchered by the studio. From then on, Welles would struggle through his whole career to get his directing projects from the ground. It was especially sad with this movie because, in spite of the studio meddling, it was actually still a very good movie and Welles for example really loved the damned thing. Eventually, it could have been a great masterpiece and you can only wonder what his career could have turned out to be if this movie had been released intact. Anyway, even in this form, I still liked this movie a lot and it is definitely worth a look.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 374 Average listal rating (237 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2


Notes: To be honest, usually, even though I have a lot of respect for such old classic comedies, I find most of them rather dated and they never really blow me away (a notable exception would be the greatest masterpieces directed by Charles Chaplin which are just amazing and hilarious). This movie was however an exception and I seriously enjoyed it a lot. First of all, the whole thing was actually slightly weird as the makers tried to combined seamlessly a comedy and a thriller. It was a really tricky mix but I was really amazed about how well it worked. Indeed, as a result, half of the time, I was laughing my ass off and, the rest of time, I was actually wondering if the characters were actually going to make it. The whole thing is even more impressive when you think that it was made in the middle of WWII and released just a few months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Anyway, to conclude, even though I have usually a hard time to care about such old comedies, I thought this one was very good.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3299 Average listal rating (2017 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.5
Casablanca (1942)


Notes: I have actually seen this one when I was younger but I can’t say I was really blown away so I thought it was time for a re-watch, to make up my mind for good. And, indeed, I now understand why it is so loved. I mean, it still is not one of my favorites but it is sure a really solid feature which completely deserves its reputation. It is interesting to notice that nobody involved, the director, the actors, the producers thought it would be a success and it was just yet another small production which was supposed to disappear pretty quickly at the box-office. Of course, it turned out to be a huge blockbuster. Personally, I really enjoyed the look of the whole thing. Some people don’t like black and white pictures but they really don’t know what they are missing, especially these everlasting gorgeous masterpieces. Furthermore, there was this tremendous chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman which has become a blueprint for many doomed love stories that came afterwards. The story was also pretty good, some typical film noir / spy intrigue with those always reliable bad guys, the Nazis.
johanlefourbe's rating:


Notes: Even though it might not belong to Henri-Georges Clouzot's most prestigious movies, it was still a really solid directorial debut from the French master and I really loved the damned thing. Indeed, right from the start of his career, Clouzot became of a Master of Suspense and m, in fact, Hitchcock himself considered Clouzot to bea very serious rival. Anyway, the guy definitely displayed his thriller skills already with his first movie. Basically, it is a rather straightforward but the realistic approach and really dark tone made the damned thing quite spellbinding to behold. It's also quite impressive that he managed to make this movie during WWII when France was occupied by Nazi Germany.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 141 Average listal rating (77 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9
The Raven (1943)


Notes: To be honest, it is another movie I have seen ages ago and I should definitely re-watch at some point. Well, following his directorial debut, 'L'assassin habite au 21', Clouzot didn't waste any time and delivered another classic film noir only a year later. In fact, the damned thing was so dark, it gave such a negative of French people, that the director was initially banned for life from directing in France after WWII (Fortunately, this ban was lifted a few years later). Anyway, because it was so dark, it was actually quite spellbinding to behold, especially from a Frenchman like me. Indeed, the fact that it was made right in the middle of the WWII and that it was dealing with denunciation, something which many French people were guilty of during WWII, made the whole thing even more intriguing to behold.
johanlefourbe's rating:


Notes: At some point, I started to watch the classics directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, especially since their movies were considered as the Golden Age of British cinema. This one was the 2nd movie they directed together and it would be their first critical and commercial hit. Well, to be honest, it actually took me a while to get into this story but it was eventually really worth it. Indeed, the whole thing turned out to be some rather fascinating study of a character with a 40 years span. I was first of all blown away by the make-up but it was also a very nuanced movie. The directing was also quite impressive and the actors were top notch. It was also rather amazing that they dared portray a German character in a postive light (It seems that Churchill hated this flick). And, yet, like most of the movies directed by these guys, even though I was able to admit the work done, I still had a hard time to connect with the damned thing. At the end of day, it is all a matter of taste and, if you are into this kind of movies, you will love it, otherwise, it might actually bore you.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 288 Average listal rating (171 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.1


Notes: With such a title, you would get nowadays something really cheesy but more than 70 years ago, it was a really different kind of ball game. Indeed, with this movie, they gave a completely different approach to the zombie concept than the bloodsuckers we are used to get today. To be honest, the story was rather unfocused from time to time but, even so, the whole thing was usually quite mesmerizing to watch. In my opinion, it was above all thanks to the eerie directing with some great use of black and white and the shadows and lights. I have to admit it, it was also sometimes borderline discriminating (for example, the natives were either some obedient servants or some primitive savages) but it was tolerable and it was not surprising for a movie produced back in the 40's.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 776 Average listal rating (479 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: It was apparently Hitchcock’s favorite movies so I was expecting a lot from the damned thing. Well, to be honest, I was rather amazed by how little I actually cared about this movie. I mean, sure, it was still a decent thriller but I really couldn’t see what was supposed to be so amazing about this feature. Indeed, during the first half, nothing much really interesting happened and it took the damned thing forever to take off. Then, in the second half, it started to become slightly more entertaining but it was too little, too late. Basically, the main idea is that the ominous Uncle Charlie goes to his relatives and the viewers are supposed to be charmed by this sweet family living in this nice little town. Well, to be honest, I didn’t care much for them. Furthermore, I never really understood their fascination and obsession towards this Uncle Charlie. I mean, they haven’t seen him for years, they have no idea what he has been up to and it doesn’t seem that he has done anything really amazing for them in the past. At least, I have to admit it, Joseph Cotten gave a strong performance and he had some very nice chemistry with the lovely Teresa Wright. Anyway, even if it didn’t really work for me, it still a classic.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 714 Average listal rating (463 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: To be honest, I have to admit that I always had a hard time with the screwball comedies and, even though this movie is probably one of the most famous in this genre, I still had a hard time to really care for it. I mean, it's not that the damned thing didn’t have some potential, in the contrary. Indeed, it was dealing with a rather lugubrious concept and it could have been an awesome dark comedy. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the tone was just too whimsical for my taste. As a result, the whole insanity angle which was quite fascinating was in fact rather poorly developed. Furthermore, even though Cary Grant was a great choice to play the main character, he didn’t deliver one of his best performances (in fact, Grant himself often called it his least favorite of all his movies). On the other hand, Peter Lorre was basically born to play such characters and even though Priscilla Lane didn’t have much to do, she looked really lovely.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1003 Average listal rating (664 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3


Notes: It turned out to be a spellbinding film noir, easily one of the best movies in this genre, and it completely deserved its stellar reputation. What I loved the most was the simple and minimalistic way this story was told. Indeed, most of the movie was just about Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck only together in one room talking with each other and giving us some of the best dialogues ever written for a movie. Nowadays, they would give us some boring climax with some huge action scene and, of course, the usual tedious twist at the end but, here, the whole thing remained focused and sharp from the beginning and until the end. It was like the plan they came up with, it was not so far-fetched at all and it made the whole thing even more spellbinding to behold. I also loved the fact that the main character was not fooled by this girl and at first simply walked away when he found out what she was up to, even if he felt terribly attracted to her. That's another great thing about this movie, the characters were all rather shaddy and you could never be sure what they were actually thinking.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 423 Average listal rating (256 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: To be honest, even though I’m a huge movie buff, I'm not really familiar with Humphrey Bogart. I mean, I have seen a couple of his movies but not that many. Anyway, I try to catch his movies every time I get the chance and this time, I was really not disappointed. Indeed, this movie is really the stuff of legend. First of all, it was the first movie starring Lauren Bacall. Back in those days, she was only 20 years old when she made it and it was also the first movie she made with her future husband, Humphrey Bogart. Furthermore, it was directed by the great Howard Hawks and it is an adaptation of a novel written by Ernest Hemingway. Basically, it doesn't get more prestigious than this, does it? Anyway, the acting was really solid, the directing was very good and I just really enjoyed the story, basically one of those typical film noir they used to make back then. I mean, it was a rather typical film noir but it was full of awesome one-liners and the tone was just really well set and I thought it was completely entertaining.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 520 Average listal rating (343 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8
Laura (1944)


Notes: In fact, the first time I saw the damned thing, it was at school when I was a teenager. Basically, like anyone else, I got to watch some movies with my teachers but, most of these attempts were rather disastrous. Indeed, instead of making us watch such modern classics like ‘Pulp Fiction’ or ‘Fight Club’, they would make us watch some old movies which were usually very poorly received. For example, one teacher made us watch ‘Johnny Got His Gun’ and even though it is in fact a great classic, can you imagine watching this with a classroom filled with 30 brainless teenagers? However, there was this one English teacher who actually did manage to show us some very old flicks and, surprisingly, those old classics turned out to be really interesting and entertaining. This movie turned out to be the best of the bunch. Indeed, for each class, we would watch like 15-20 minutes and then we would have a discussion about what actually happened and what could happen next. Eventually, the damned thing was so spellbinding that we would still talk about it even after the class during the break. On top of that, Gene Tierney was easily one of the best femmes fatal I had ever seen.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 502 Average listal rating (317 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: I have to admit that I'm more familiar with David Lean's later work, composed of great epic adventures such as 'Doctor Zhivago', 'Lawrence of Arabia' or 'The Bridge on the River Kwai'. Here, it was something quite different entirely, in fact, it was the complete opposite. Indeed, it was in black and white and it was dealing only with two characters, a man and a woman dealing with some rather mundane predicament. However, if the scale was smaller, the whole thing was nonetheless quite fascinating. Indeed, basically, it was a very simple story about love and adultery but so human, so recognizable, so relevant which is something quite amazing considering the fact that this movie is now more than 70 years old! Honestly, I can't pretend I was really familiar with the actors portraying the two main characters but they both did a really good job. Above all, I was really impressed by the directing by David Lean. Indeed, like I said before, we were here far from his epic work but he still managed to share with us the tormented life of those two lost souls and it was quite impressive to behold.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 660 Average listal rating (400 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5
Spellbound (1945)


Notes: Honestly, a movie about mental diseases and the psychiatric world directed by Alfred Hitchcock sounded great but, unfortunately, the whole thing was rather disappointing and it is not a match to the great flicks made by the master. The main issue is that even though the psychoanalysis elements were really intriguing (as a matter of fact, it was one of the first Hollywood films to deal with this subject), they felt compelled to add a crime story and a romance on top of that. Those plots were really far-fetched and hardly convincing which was disappointing, especially coming from Hitchcock who was responsible for some of the smartest thrillers I have ever seen. It seems that he didn’t take the story really seriously as himself referred to it as "just another manhunt wrapped up in pseudo-psychoanalysis". Still, I liked it because there were definitely some touches of greatness. Indeed, I loved the directing and the mood was created. Furthermore even though their love story was far from being convincing, I thought that Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck both gave some solid performances. Finally, there was this marvelous dream sequence based on Salvador Dali’s designs. Even though this scene was only 2 minutes (it was scheduled to last about 20 minutes originally), it was really impressive and makes worth it to watch the movie.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 367 Average listal rating (211 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: Even though it was indeed pretty good, to be honest, it didn't completely blow me away. First of all, even though Joan Crawford delivered a solid performance and won at the time the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, in my opinion, her character should have been more complex. Indeed, even though Mildred Pierce was first presented as a possible murderer, Crawford slowly removed any evidence that this woman was anything else than perfect and it backfired as it made this woman much lesser interesting then when the movie started. Eventually, the more complex character turned out to be actually Veda Pierce thanks to a really strong performance by Ann Blyth but even this character didn't really work after all. Basically, all what Mildred Pierce did was to give a better life to her children, especially Veda. However, at some point, she managed to become really rich which should have been more than sufficient but Veda kept on being impossible to deal with with no real explanation whatsoever except to provide some conflict to move the story forward. Anyway, even though it didn't completely work for me, i have to admit that it was still a solid film noir though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 306 Average listal rating (152 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.4


Notes: Since it is considered one of the greatest classics of the French cinema, of course, I was really eager to check it out and eventually, I wasn’t disappointed, that’s for sure. Indeed, first of all, you have to check the great people who were involved in this production (it was directed by Marcel Carné and written by French poet Jacques Prévert). When you dig into its history, it is even more amazing as you have to think that they managed to make this flick during the height of the Nazi occupation and, apparently, it seems that many members of the resistance were actually involved in this production. I have to admit it, it is a rather long feature but, with some gorgeous black and white cinematography, some really impressive actors, the whole thing was still pretty damned mesmerizing. By now, I have seen my share of movies directed by Marcel Carné and this must be the most prestigious one, not sure if it is my favorite though but it is still pretty amazing.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 521 Average listal rating (306 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7
Gilda (1946)


Notes: Since this movie had a really solid reputation, I was really eager to check it out. Eventually, to be honest, even though I thought it was a decent flick, I can’t say I was really blown away by the whole thing. Indeed, at the end of the day, it was pretty good but not really great either. I mean, it was well done but also rather predictable and the story was quite pedestrian. Sure, I have to admit it, Glenn Ford was a fine leading man and, above all, Rita Hayworth looked really stunning as the title character and this movie would be her best-known feature. In my opinion, it is one of these movies which are well known above all for one specific scene. In this case, it was when Rita Hayworth removed her glove while singing (in fact, she wasn't singing at all and was lip-synching throughout the whole thing which was something she remained bitter about for the rest of her life). The point is that, except for this famous scene, the movie was not really amazing. Anyway, even though I thought it was sligthly disappointing, it is still a decent film noir.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 289 Average listal rating (166 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: First of all, I have to confess that I was actually really tired even before I started to watch the damned thing and I actually struggled not to fall asleep through most of the duration. It’s too bad because it was actually pretty good, in fact, it was easily one of the best movies I have seen so far directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and I guess I should check it again at some point in the future. Anyway, it was probably their most ambitious and most surreal picture, some kind of surreal romantic take on the PTSD syndrom. That was probably the most interesting thing about this flick the fact you can watch it as something quite literal but also as something quite metaphorical but, on both levels, it actually worked fine. Furthermore, it was visually really striking and they definitely went all the way to deliver something really original, especially for the time period. Eventually, the only critic I might have was that since the concept was pretty far-out, the characters were barely developed but maybe that’s what the material needed. Anyway, the cast involved still delivered some solid performances.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 325 Average listal rating (190 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.5


Notes: I have already seen two other versions of this story ('Ossessione' (1943), 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' (1981)) and this version is best one I have seen so far. Indeed, even though you didn't have the explosive sex scenes from the Jack Nicholson-Jessica Lange version, John Garfiel and Lana Turner had together some very nice chemistry and they made one of the best doomed couples I have ever seen. Basically, they were not really good, they were not really bad either, they were both continuously fighting the feelings they had but they couldn't get rid off each other. Even though it was already the 3rd time around I watched this story, it was just spellbinding and it is definitely one of the best film noir I have seen so far. It tends to drag a little bit towards the end but it might have to do with the fact that I already knew the whole thing by heart at this point.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1056 Average listal rating (645 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8
Notorious (1946)


Notes: I actually already saw this movie but it was a long time ago, when I was a teenager but even though I enjoyed it, I didn't see what was so great about it. Indeed, I thought that the story was interesting but I didn't care much about the love story. However, since I kept hearing good things about this movie, I was really intrigued and needed to watch it again. Eventually, this time, I was able to realize how marvelous the love story was. Indeed, when I was young, I didn't see how subtle it was. Indeed, when those characters say something, their faces actually tell a different story, with some amazing performances by Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. I always had a weak spot for Cary Grant who always makes me think of Georges Clooney but his best work was always with Hitchcock who was the only director who really managed to use his charisma, going the extra mile to make his characters darker and more interesting than his usual suave womanizers. Not only was it one of the best love stories I have seen but it was also a very good spy thriller and the combination of those two was just lethal.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 873 Average listal rating (555 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9
The Big Sleep (1946)


Notes: Well, from the 4 movies involving Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, it was probably the best one they made together. To be honest, it was a rather confusing story. As a matter of fact, while working on the script, the writers William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett couldn't figure out from the novel who murdered a particular character. So they phoned Raymond Chandler, who angrily told them the answer was right there in the book and they returned to their work. Later on, Chandler soon phoned them to say that he looked at the book himself and he himself couldn't figure out who killed the character, so he left it up to them to decide. So, it was indeed a rather complicated story with some smart characters and some really juicy dialogues. Another enjoyable aspect was that, during the whole thing, Bogart didn't have to face one femme fatale but 5 of them! Of course, this flick was all about the confrontation between Bogart and Bacall and they had some tremendous chemistry. Eventually, it was one of the best film noir I have seen and the whole thing was just spellbinding to watch.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 244 Average listal rating (159 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.4
Detour (1947)


Notes: Well, even though this movie has a very good reputation, it turned out to be a decent watch but, to be honest, not much more than that. I mean, sure, it was a solid film noir, no doubt about it, but there are some much better movies in this genre, at least, that's my opinion. Eventually, nothing much really happened through the whole thing and it was basically about the unluckiest main character I have ever seen or maybe, as it was argued by some critics, just a thief telling a bunch of lies to the audience but I think it would be giving this movie too much credit. Eventually, I was actually more interested in Vera thanks to Ann Savage who gave such a strong performance. In my opinion, she completely stole the show from the moment she got involved. Anyway, even if it didn't really blow me away, it was still pretty good though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 355 Average listal rating (191 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: Since I’m a huge fan of David Lean’s work, of course, I had to see this flick at some point and since it is considered as one of his best movies, I had some rather great expectations (pun intended). Eventually, even though I did like it, I can’t say I was really blown away by the whole thing. I don’t know, maybe it has to with the fact that I never really loved those Charles Dickens’ movie adaptations. Maybe I should try the books instead, if I recall correctly , the late Roger Ebert was a massive fan of these books. Anyway, it remains a pretty good flick though. Indeed, the cinematography was really nice, something expected from a David Lean production, and the acting was really solid as well. Another interesting element in the movie was that it featured Alec Guinness' first major screen role and it was also the first film he made with Lean (they would make eventually 6 movies together). Also, the fact that I first watched first Alfonso Cuaron’s version might I have influenced my views on this much older version. Anyway, even if this movie didn’t really quite blow me away, it is still a classic.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2242 Average listal rating (1447 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.6


Notes: Before watching the damned thing, I have to admit it, I was a little bit skeptical at first. Indeed, I had seen a couple of movies directed by Frank Capra such as ‘It Happened One Night’ and ‘Mr. Deeds Goes to Town’ and, to be honest, even though I did like those movies, I can’t say I was really blown away by them. Indeed, I have noticed that some classics don’t really age that well, at least, that’s my opinion and sometimes I have a hard time to connect with them. However, this movie was definitely an exception. Indeed, even though I’m just an old cynical bastard and there is no way something so cheesy should have worked with him, I was actually touched by the whole thing. Eventually, it must be the greatest classic directed by Frank Capra and even though I'm not a huge fan of his work, I have to recognize that this movie is a great achievement.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 401 Average listal rating (234 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: Back in the 40’s, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger made some really lavish productions during which what was considered by many movie viewers as the Golden Age of British cinema. With this movie, once again, the production value was quite impressive and it is hard to believe that the whole thing was shot in a studio and not on location. Indeed, the decors, the sets, the colors were just amazing to watch. I was also amazed that Kanchi, supposedly a native girl, was actually played by Jean Simmons, a British actress. Unfortunately, to be honest, the story didn’t turn out to be anything really mindblowing. Basically, it was about 5 nons who went to live in a convent in the Himalaya and they all became more or less crazy. Even though this set-up could have been interesting, they spent just too much time to make sure that the whole thing looked great instead of expanding the psychological turmoil of the characters. I was also bothered about their attitude towards the natives who were described as either 'primitive', 'childish', 'stupid' or 'ignorant'. Such a patronizing and discriminating attitude was unfortunately rather common back then. Anyway, even if it didn’t really blow me away, it was still a very well made drama.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 363 Average listal rating (214 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: Apparently, the film was originally meant to be directed by Orson Welles and starring Charles Chaplin, but Chaplin backed out at the last moment, saying that he had never had anyone direct him before and didn't want to start. Can you imagine this combination?!? Eventually, Chaplin directed the thing himself and regarded the film as the cleverest and most brilliant film of his career. Unfortunately for him, it was a huge flop when it was released which was not really surprising when you think about it. Indeed, Chaplin was beloved for a playing the same character for years and, suddenly, he decided to do something entirely different and, a usual, the ruthless audience wouldn't have it. Personally, even though I didn't enjoy it as much as his previous movies, I still think it was pretty good and it is now highly regarded. You can't deny that it was way ahead of its time, some kind of lugubrious dark comedy. As a result, it is much more cynical and dark than his previous work but I really enjoyed it and I will probably re-watch it some day to make up my mind about it.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 164 Average listal rating (88 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
Odd Man Out (1947)


Notes: Eventually, even though I thought it was indeed pretty good, I failed to see what was so great about this movie. Apparently, I have read somewhere that it is even Roman Polanski’s favorite movie of all time. Basically, it is a very old movie and the most striking element about this movie is how dark and gloomy the whole thing was. It was still pretty good though , especially if you compare it to the garbage we usually get nowadays. One of the biggest asset in this flick was James Mason who was fine here (Mason himself thought it was the best performance of his career) and it was pretty neat to see him playing the lead for once. The directing by Carol Reed was decent and, eventually, a few years later, Reed would make ‘The Third Man’ which would get much more noticed than this flick.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 134 Average listal rating (90 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6
Brute Force (1947)


Notes: Honestly, I wonder how I actually ended up watching this flick. I guess I was mostly interested because Burt Lancaster was involved. Indeed, it is a rather old movie that Burt Lancaster made just at the beginning of his career. If I’m not mistaken, it was in fact his 2nd movie and it is in fact rather rare that an actor, especially back in those days, would start right away with a lead part. On the other hand, if you are awesome like Burt Lancaster, why shouldn’t you? Anyway, coming back to our main feature, I thought it was a decent film noir (Jules Dassin made several of them during the postwar period) bu even though it was certainly entertaining, I can’t say I was really blown away by the whole thing. Indeed, it must have seemed pretty badass when it was released at the end of the 40’s but, in the last 70 years, they have made many jail dramas who has left a bigger impression on me. Anyway, I think it was not bad at all after all.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 60 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: I have just discovered that, after WWII, Henri-George Clouzot wasn’t allowed to make another movie following the release of ‘Le corbeau’, a movie which was very quickly criticized in France for the way it portrayed the French people very negatively. After 4 long years, following a very long fight from his defenders, Clouzot was able to get back to work coming up with this feature which was once again a massive critical and commercial success. Basically, you had most of Clouzot’s trademark here. Indeed, it is a film noir, a detective story, and most of the characters involved had some rather dubious morality. Ultimately, this movie never reached the level of his greatest movies ‘Les diaboliques’ and ‘Le salaire de la peur’ but since those are two are among the very best French movies ever made, that would be asking a lot. Eventually, after this movie, Clouzot would direct 2 rather obscure features (‘Manon’ and ‘Miquette et sa mère’) but he would make eventually a massive come-back with the really impressive ‘Le salaire de la peur’.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 467 Average listal rating (284 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: Since I'm a huge fan of Orson Welles, I try to watch all his flicks whenever I get the chance and I was really eager to check this one out. Eventually, this one was not as good as his masterpieces such as 'Citizen Kane' but it was still a damned fine picture. As usual with Welles, there was some major tempering from the studio and, as a matter of fact, Orson Welles only made this movie in the first place because he really need some quick cash at the time. Still, even though the whole thing was flawed, the directing was quite awesome and there was also a great mood. At the time, it caused some controversy that Orson Welles decided to have Rita Hayworth cut her hair and bleach it but I thought she looked great. On top of that, she gave a solid performance and stole the show every time she was on the screen. In my opinion, the main weakness was with the story which was nothing original and actually rather pedestrian. Anyway, in spite of its flaws, it is still a solid film noir feature.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 415 Average listal rating (257 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: It is probably the most essential film noir ever made. Indeed, you basically had all the usual trademarks : the raincoats, the hats, the omnipresent cigarettes, the gansters, the detective, the femmes fatale and the double-crossing intrigues. Considering the directing, I saw as well a couple of other movies directed by Jacques Tourneur (‘Cat People’, ‘I Walked with a Zombie’) but, even though these movies were decent, this feature was definitely much more impressive. Seriously, when you watch the damned thing, it makes you wish that they still made such black and white movies. Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas were just awesome but Jane Greer and Rhonda Fleming were both very good as well. I have to admit that the story was actually rather convoluted but, for once, it didn’t really bother me. Indeed, it is inherent to the genre and the dialogues were such a treat, every 5 seconds, those characters were delivering some amazing one-liners.
johanlefourbe's rating:


Notes: The first thing that really stroke me is the character portrayed by Humphrey Bogart. Indeed, so far, even though I thought he was a pretty good actor, he seemed to have a rather limited range since he always played the same character over and over again, the cool no-nonsense anti-hero with the heart in the right place. Not this time though, that’s for sure. Indeed, this time, he was something completely different, some kind of pathetic paranoid back-stabbing SOB and he did it brilliantly. He definitely showed some balls to portray such a character against his usual image and at the height of his popularity. I was quite blown away by his performance and it is his best performance, at least among the movies I have seen. Walter Huston was also really awesome and, apparently, John Huston was immensely proud of the fact that his father finally won an Academy award in his own movie. So, indeed, it is a movie dealing with gold searching and they do find some gold but that was evidently not the point here. No, what makes this movie so fascinating, were the characters and their evolution, especially the evolution of the now infamous Fred C. Dobbs. I also liked the way Huston’s character always stay cool under the circumstances as you can imagine that this guy has been down this road many times before.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 322 Average listal rating (206 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.8
Red River (1948)


Notes: Eventually, I have to admit that it is a real solid Western and it definitely deserves its reputation as a major classic in this genre. First of all, even though I haven't seen many movies starring Montgomery Clift, he was a really fine actor and it was really neat to see him in his acting debut. Concerning John Wayne, in my opinion, he is usually seriously boring but this movie belongs to the few exceptions in which he played a much more complex character than usual. In fact, his character was at the same time the hero but also the villain of this tale and it made him quite spellbinding to behold. Concerning the story itself, it was a solid classic tale of cowboys moving some cattle through miles and miles and it worked fine except for the ending which was just way too cheesy. Anyway, even if it didn't completely blow me away, I still enjoyed this movie.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1154 Average listal rating (770 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8
Rope (1948)


Notes: I remember very well the first time I saw this movie. Indeed, I had actually never heard of it but since it was directed by Alfred Hitchcock, I thought I should give it a try. Back then, I was quite blown away by the whole thing and I kept thinking about it through the years and more than 10 years later, I thought it was really time for a re-watch. Well, this time again, I was really impressed. Indeed, I would go as far as saying that it is definitely one of the best movies directed by the great master. Personally, I always had a weak spot for movies with a simple set-up, you know, just one location, usually a house or an apartment, a handful of characters and a very smart plot. It is pretty straightforward but spellbinding when done properly. In this genre, it might be the best one I have ever seen and I thought it was just amazing. Basically, the two main characters are not likeable whatsoever (something terribly refreshing and fascinating) and even though you are not rooting for them, you wonder if they are going to pull it off resulting in some nail biting suspense.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 112 Average listal rating (56 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5
Macbeth (1948)


Notes: Unfortunately, I had a hard time to get into the damned thing because I was really tired and it is the kind of movies which require a lot of focus and concentration. Furthermore, I saw it on the BBC without subtitles so I’m afraid I missed half of those damned convoluted Shakespearian dialogues. Still, there were lots of things to enjoy here. First of all, it must be the gloomiest play ever written by William Shakespeare. Indeed, between the darker than dark version by Orson Welles and the gore fest by Roman Polanski, it is not what you could call a merry affair and compared to this, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ seemed like a picnic. Personally, I didn’t bother me, in the contrary, and I really enjoyed this dark tale, reinforced by the great impressionist directing by Welles. Furthermore, the acting was really awesome and I enjoyed the dialogues, even if I hardly could follow them. To be honest, nothing much actually happen, it is pretty much the characters talking to each other (or even on their own) from the beginning until the end and I was torn between boredom and fascination during the whole thing.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 172 Average listal rating (123 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.5
Fort Apache (1948)


Notes: First of all, I'm not a big fan of those old Westerns but, on the other hand, I haven’t seen many of them so maybe I just missed the better ones. Anyway, I’m not sure if this one is actually a classic but it definitely had a prestigious director (John Ford) and 2 great actors (John Wayne and Henry Fonda) so I thought I might as well check it out. To be honest, I have never really understood the appeal of John Wayne but, I have to admit it, I have seen only a handful of his movies so far. On the other hand, even though I have seen just as many movies starring Henry Fonda, right from the start, I always thought he was quite fascinating and he was pretty good in this movie. It was also rather funny to see Shirley Temple all grown-up and, even though at 20 years old, she was still quite charming but, apparently, she never managed to be really successful as an adult. Anyway, coming back to our main feature, I thought it was rather well made and fairly entertaining.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 78 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 6.7


Notes: Basically, it is a really obscure flick but I think it is really intriguing to watch a very old and rather forgotten feature. In this case, I really liked the black and white photography and there were some amazing shots. Unfortunately, I saw it online streaming on archive.org and the quality of this video was really poor so it was rather frustrating to watch this blurry black and white feature. So, it took me a while to get into it but I sure liked it. Basically, it is not really a fiction and it is not really a documentary either, it is some kind of really sober and realistic account of the life of a young boy living in the Bayou. Not surprisingly, I found out it was one of Robert Bresson's favorite movies. So, there is no plot, no good guy, no bad guy and I thought it was really refreshing. It is never really clear what the director tried to achieve here but it was definitely intriguing. For example, at first sight, you might assume that this young boy is really ignorant but there is also something rather angelic about his behavior and instead of ignorance, you might call it pure innocence.
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