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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 177 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
The Letter (1940)


Notes: The introduction was just amazing, arguably one of the best intro ever put on the silver screen, and from this point on, I was basically hooked. However, to be honest, everything happening afterwards turned out out to be fairly generic and predictable after all. Indeed, it seems that this movie never managed to top its amazing opening scene but, fortunately, the damned thing still worked fine though. First of all, William Wyler was such a fine director and, even if the story was rather pedestrian after all, it was rather impressive how much he managed to get from it. In fact, he was even praised by Bette Davis who was usually rather dismissive towards her directors. Concerning Bette Davis, I have to admit that I discovered her work only recently but, once again, she was quite fascinating to behold. The funny thing is that she actually plays always pretty much the same character and usually the same way in all her movies and, yet, she is always interesting to behold. Concerning the rest of the cast, James Stephenson was also really solid and I was grateful that his lawyer character didn’t fall in love with his client which is too often the case in this genre.
johanlefourbe's rating:


Notes: Well, the damned thing definitely had some potential. Indeed, it was much more intriguing than the quaint movies from the 40’s I have seen recently, I really liked the social angle and the first act and the third act worked fine. Unfortunately, they took a rather weird left turn during the mid-section though. Indeed, even though the movie seemed to be about the struggles of some coal miners in England, for some reason, they instead seemingly dropped them and focused on Davey Fenwick going to university and ending up in some weird and above all really underwhelming love triangle. Seriously, even though I have to admit that Jenny did look lovely, it was so obvious that she was a terrible match for Davey and the fact that he didn’t pick up on that before dropping out of college, getting married with her, basically giving up all his dreams in the process, well, it made the guy look so naïve. Sure, you could argue that it made the character flawed and therefore more interesting but, as far as I was concerned, I thought he was actually rather pathetic. But, above all, what the hell did it have to do with these coal miners? It’s too bad because the rest of the movie was actually pretty good as it was a really solid and convincing vintage depiction of social struggle in the UK.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 28 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 6.8
Our Town (1940)


Notes: To be honest, I really struggled to care about the damned thing after all. Recently, I have been focusing on movies released in the 40’s and such quaint features were apparently quite popular back then. However, such films seems so outdated and this one was not an exception, I’m afraid. The other thing that bothered me was that William Holden (I have to admit that I didn’t recognize him while watching this flick) and Martha Scott were both just too old to play their respective characters. I have to admit that Holden was only 22 years old at the time but Martha Scott was almost 30 years old but the bottom line is that they both looked too old and the fact that they played their characters the most childish way possible probably didn’t help. Seriously, they sounded like they were 12 years old in the first scenes. And, yet, during the last act, they finally displayed a darker tone which was interesting and I especially enjoyed to hear the thoughts of the future newlyweds who were both suddenly getting some cold feet. After that, they made a huge switch in mood as it became suddenly some kind of surrealistic dream which was a massive contrast with the rest of the movie.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 652 Average listal rating (394 ratings) 7.9 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 3182 Average listal rating (1983 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5


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 816 Average listal rating (513 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 1526 Average listal rating (989 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 1219 Average listal rating (737 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 2246 Average listal rating (1391 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 214 Average listal rating (126 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: It turned out to be a piece of war propaganda which was released just before the US joined WWII and it was apparently a huge box-office success when it was released. Well, to be honest, I have to admit that I had a rather hard time to connect with the damned thing after all. On the other hand, I have to admit that the version I saw on YouTube was of very poor quality and the fact that it was without subtitles also didn’t help. Indeed, above all in the 1st half, everyone was talking with such a thick Tennessee accent so I was barely able to figure out what they were actually saying. Coming back on the story itself, Alvin York was apparently a real famous war hero during WWI and they tried to be accurate as possible because York himself was actually involved. On paper, the story of this poor barely literate farmer going from major village drunkard to born-again Christian to finally most famous US decorated WWI soldier absolutely had some potential but, as far as I was concerned, I was hardly impressed with the end-result and the whole thing felt rather clunky. Eventually, this movie did remind me of ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ which didn’t become such a classic but I thought it was much more superior though. At least, there is no denying that Gary Cooper did deliver a really solid performance and, in the process, he managed to win his first Academy Award.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 58 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 6.6


Notes: To be honest, the whole thing was rather disjointed but it make sense since the production on this movie was rather chaotic. Indeed, if you think that this movie was rather dark and seedy, the play it was based on was so much worse involving a brothel instead of a casino and such fun things like nymphomania and drug addiction. As a result, it took more than a decade to adapt it and, after so many rewriting attempts, the end-result was slightly bewildering. Indeed, there was no real plot and too many characters involved which was probably not such a great idea since the damned thing lasted less than 100 mins. As a result, it was never really clear what the hell was going on with most of the characters. The best example would be the character played by the lovely Gene Tierney. Indeed, because of all the censorship going through all the script revisions, there wasn’t much left to characterize this woman so they never properly explained what was going on with her and what she was exactly doing in this casino. However, the other characters were probably even less developed than she was. And, yet, Josef von Sternberg who was working here on his final movie (he did work on some other movies such as ‘Macao’ in 1952 and ‘Jet Pilot’ in 1957 but he always managed to get fired), did create such a spellbinding mood. In fact, even though this movie was supposed to be about Shanghai, you actually almost never leaves this casino but it didn’t matter as, like all the players coming there, once you enter, you actually never ever want to leave this place.
johanlefourbe's rating:


Notes: Just a week ago, I actually saw ‘Heaven Can Wait’ (1943) but, even though this movie was adapted from a play also called ‘Heaven Can Wait’, both movies didn’t have much in common after all. Well, I was expecting another quaint movie from the 40’s but it didn’t last for long, fortunately. Indeed, it turned out to be a rather daft comedy with a rather silly concept and, yet, I have to admit that the damned thing was actually fairly entertaining. Above all, Robert Montgomery was quite fun, even if his character was not really interesting. In fact, even though this movie was dealing with the afterlife, it was rather nothing really deep after all. I mean, back then, it was competing with ‘Citizen Kane’ to win the Best Picture Academy Award (they actually both lost) but it’s clear that this movie was not from the same level. On the other hand, I did appreciate its lack of pretentiousness.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 86 Average listal rating (50 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.5
Hellzapoppin' (1941)


Notes: It was definitely one of the coolest movie names I have ever come across and, eventually, the damned thing turned out to be a really nice surprise after all. Indeed, it is probably one of the craziest and most freewheeling movies I have ever seen. It was apparently based on a very successful Broadway show and I can imagine how wild it must have been on stage back then. Obviously, they probably had to vastly modify this show to adapt it as a motion picture but I’m pretty sure this transition also allowed them to be really creative, at least, that’s what I would expect considering the end-result. Of course, the whole thing was really random and the endless succession of gags was also quite relentless but I was mostly entertained and even fairly impressed by the creativity displayed. In fact, they actually did include a plot involving a pretty basic love triangle. Well, to be honest, I have seen my share of classic vintage romantic-comedies with a similar plot and while many would argue that these movies are amazing, I always had a hard time to really care for them. Eventually, as far as I was concerned, I really did appreciate how they took such a typical romantic-comedy gimmick (especially back then in the 30’s and 40’s) and turned it completely upside down.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 482 Average listal rating (308 ratings) 7.4 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 2953 Average listal rating (1849 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:


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 2858 Average listal rating (1770 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.3


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 345 Average listal rating (215 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: Eventually, this movie will be mostly remembered for winning the Best Picture Academy Award at the expense of 'Citizen Kane' but I was still eager to check it out to see if it was actually any good. Well, while the reputation of 'Citizen Kane' has only increased through the years and it is usually considered by most as one of the greatest movies ever made, this movie on the other hand didn't grow old very well, I'm afraid. I can imagine that it had been a big commercial and critical success at the time when it was released but, nowadays, it seems terribly cheesy, at least, that's what I felt watching the damned thing. I mean, I have to admit that it was well made with some solid performances so it turned out to be OK but not much more than that. Sure, it was dealing with some nice and decent people but, as far as I'm concerned, I would rather have instead the complexity displayed in 'Citizen Kane'. At least, it was very neat to see the lovely Maureen O'Hara who must have been one of the most gorgeous actress ever.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 176 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5


Notes: First of all, to be honest, I’m usually not a huge fan of such classic screwball comedies. In this case, there was also the issue that they developed the idea that, for a pretty woman like Gerry Jeffers, the best prospect was not to find an actual job to support herself but finding some rich guy who would support her. Sure, you might argue that I shouldn’t take this movie too seriously but it did make the damned thing look rather dated. And, yet, I have to admit that this movie actually worked for me. For starters, the intro was just so weird, I had no idea what this movie was actually about and I thought they were showing that would actually happen afterwards. However, the story was not about how this couple fell in love and got married. Indeed, instead, it was about how she tried to escape this marriage, not because they didn’t care for each other anymore but mostly because their marriage was a failure considering their financial and social status. Well, I have to admit that this approach was actually quite refreshing and I really enjoyed most of the jokes and most of the dialogues were just so fun and witty.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 276 Average listal rating (166 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: To be honest, I’m usually not a huge fan of such vintage Westerns but this one actually really grabbed me. Indeed, it might seem to be a short and simple Western without much action and lots of dialogues instead. It’s too bad I saw it on YouTube without subtitles and I did struggle to follow the dialogues so I will probably re-watch it at some point. Anyway, it turned out to be some kind of Western version of ‘12 Angry Men’ and even though it probably didn’t go so deep, it was still really effective and often quite fascinating to watch. Back then, it was actually quite a controversial movie, it was even a flop when it was released but I was amazed by how relevant it still is nowadays. Indeed, our digital world is dominated by fake news which did result, in the US, with the storming of the Capitol back in 2021. Sure, we don’t lynch people anymore (at least, I hope so) but, deep inside, we are apparently still the same. At least, in this movie, at the end, they all seemed to deeply regret their actions but I think, in reality, most people always find some excuse or some way to rationalize what they do or did. Concerning Henry Fonda, I should definitely watch more of his old movies because the guy was back then so charismatic and fascinating to behold. Unsurprisingly, it was one of his favorite movies.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 192 Average listal rating (107 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
Mrs. Miniver (1942)


Notes: Even though it was a big critical and commercial success when it was released, to be honest, I really had a hard time to care about the damned thing after all. Indeed, even though the beginning scenes were supposed to be sweet and gentle, I thought there were just too fluffy and even borderline silly, to be honest. For example, you had this deal with the roses competition which was seriously tedious. Then, the main plot was not bad but still nothing really amazing and, on top of that, it turned out to be some massive propaganda which was rather disappointing. In my opinion, the whole thing feels terribly dated and I’m rather amazed it is still getting so much credit nowadays. At least, I have to admit it, Greer Garson and Teresa Wright were both really lovely but it was certainly not enough. Anyway, in spite of its flaws, I have to admit it, it was still a decent watch.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3008 Average listal rating (1883 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 494 Average listal rating (275 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.2


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 378 Average listal rating (240 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 398 Average listal rating (253 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 241 Average listal rating (121 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9
Now, Voyager (1942)


Notes: Basically, back in those days, these movies were really tailor-made around Bette Davis, and, to be honest, it takes a while to get used to the fact that these movies didn’t have much else to offer, at least, as far as I was concerned. Still, I was more able to enjoy this one though. Sure, the gimmick of the ugly duckling transforming into a gorgeous woman has never been really interesting but there is no doubt that Davis absolutely made the best of it. Indeed, she was so good when playing this fragile and psychologically disturbed young woman. Later on, when she played the same woman but as strong and independent, it was obviously not such a stretch for Davis who was basically being herself but I have to admit that she was so charismatic. This movie was also a perfect example of toxic narcissistic behavior and the character of the mother was actually quite fascinating, even if her behavior could have been slightly more subtle. At least, the main character didn't fell in love with her doctor like she did in ‘Dark Victory’, the romance was here more convincing here and I think Davis had some pretty good chemistry with Paul Henreid. I have to admit that I was also really surprised that they didn’t end up together but it was actually a refreshing way to conclude this romance.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3362 Average listal rating (2056 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.5


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 148 Average listal rating (83 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: Following his directorial debut, 'L'assassin habite au 21', Henri-Georges 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). This ban also had to do with the fact that this movie was released during WWII by Continental Films, a German company. Anyway, because it was so dark, it was actually quite spellbinding to behold, especially for 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. Another funny thing, at least to me, was how Clouzot pretty much destroyed the idyllic idea that leaving in a small village where everyone pretty much knows everything about everybody might be such a wonderful thing. At least, in a big city, you can enjoy some anonymity, if you chose to. It was also impressive the fact that, even though there were so many characters involved, with only a few lines of dialogue, Clouzot was still able to give each one of them a fairly complex personality. To be honest, the ending did feel rather random but, fortunately, it didn't ruin the whole thing at all.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 167 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4


Notes: To be honest, eventually, I had a hard time to connect with the damned thing after all. Basically, it was the story of a man from his birth to his death and the guy was convinced that he should go to hell because he spent his whole life seducing pretty much every single woman he met. Well, the conclusion provided by this movie was that being a serial womanizer (maybe even a sex-addict?) was not such a crime after all, in fact, the guy did make many of this women really happy, according to Satan himself. Well, I’m not sure I would agree with this assessment. At least, it was really neat to see the lovely Gene Tierney who must be one of my favorite classic actresses, some kind of vintage version of Milla Jovovich, and she was just a perfect choice to play this character. However, the actor I enjoyed the most was Charles Coburn though. Indeed, I have been focusing recently on movies released in the 40’s and I kept seeing this guy in many of these movies. Well, he always steals the show and this movie was no different. Still, I have to admit that Don Ameche, in arguably his most famous role, was also pretty good but I’m afraid I didn’t care much for the old-fashioned and outdated views displayed in this movie.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 77 Average listal rating (45 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: I have to admit that I have never been a huge fan of screwball comedies and the fact that this one had a rather bewildering concept probably didn’t help. Indeed, while WWII was raging all over the world, especially in Europe, the biggest concern for the folks in Washington was apparently to find some housing. Sure, I can understand that the American audience needed something light during these dark times but what was displayed in this movie was just so remote from what was going on in the rest of the world that I found it rather hard to digest. If you would put aside the historical context, the movie itself was basically about the fact that it was (and still is?) considered indecent for a single woman to live with a single man if they are not in a romantic relationship, even preferably married. So, yeah, the concept was just so paper-thin and, yet, I have to admit that the damned thing still worked somehow and I think that the main reason was that Jean Arthur was just so charming and charismatic. The romantic relationship of her character with Charles J. Pendergast was rather pathetic and unconvincing but, fortunately, she had some solid chemistry with Joel McCrea. Sure, the seduction scene on the stairs came out of nowhere but it was actually quite daring and fascinating to behold and both actors really nailed it. Concerning Charles Coburn’s character, he was rather silly and probably the least likely matchmaker I have ever seen but I have to admit that he was actually quite fun.
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:


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 807 Average listal rating (505 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 331 Average listal rating (202 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: What a strange and beautiful movie. First of all, I have seen my share of silent movies (probably not enough though) but it was the first time I saw a movie without even some background music added afterwards, as it was apparently intended to be watched this way. To be honest, I thought it was incredibly difficult to focus without any sound or music whatsoever. Still, the damned thing was really neat. Indeed, I was above all impressed how it was visually completely different than anything produced back then in the 40's. Seriously, it felt so modern that it reminded me of many surreal videoclips that come out on a regular basis, except that this movie was made almost 80 years ago. I have to admit that this movie was rather hard to grasp, I'm grateful that it was so short as it would probably not work with a longer format. Anyway, maybe I should re-watch it at some point because the damned thing was so intriguing.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 730 Average listal rating (473 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 54 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.5


Notes: To be honest, I really had a hard time to care about the damned thing. Of course, the fact that I was really exhausted when I watched it probably didn’t help, even I did start to watch it at 17:00. Anyway, I still don’t think that this movie required almost 3 hours of running time. Seriously, nothing really much happened though the whole duration, there were only a handful of characters and none of them really evolved, except maybe Jane Hilton. Basically, it was some piece of propaganda showing how everybody back at home in the US was brave while most of the men were gone to fight during WWII. Not so long ago, I saw ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’ which was released only a few years later after and this movie was quite interesting in the sense that it delivered a more complex and actually rather bleak view on the impact this war had on the individuals who were directly involved. You won’t get any of this here though but, on the other hand, back in 1944, the US were still deeply involved in this conflict so I guess you can’t blame them to try to focus on the positive side of the American population. It was also pretty neat to see Shirley Temple when she was just a teenager and it’s a pity to think that her career would end only 5 years later.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 266 Average listal rating (142 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: Among Eisenstein’s prestigious track-record, this movie and its follow-up are considered as some of the best movies ever made and I could see right away why. Indeed, even if this movie was backed by Stalin himself, it clearly stood out from the propaganda movies made by Eisenstein during the 20’s. Above all, the damned thing was visually so impressive (it did help that the copy I saw on YouTube was pristine). On top of that, the performances were pretty good, especially by Nikolay Cherkasov who was just so strong here. Seriously, it is hard to believe that it was the same actor who played the Czar Ivan IV at the beginning and at the end of this movie. However, even if the scale was epic thanks to its visuals and the strong performances, to be honest, in my opinion, nothing much really happened after all. Basically, most of the duration was about the boyars either complaining or plotting against the Czar but, right from the start, Ivan was well aware of the fact that the boyars were against him but I don’t get why he didn’t do anything to get rid of them or, at least, diminish their influence since they were clearly his biggest enemies. Still, this movie did provide a very interesting balance showing at the same time that Ivan was a charismatic leader and visionary who set the foundations for modern Russia but also a paranoid delusional megalomaniac.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 70 Average listal rating (47 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4


Notes: To be honest, it turned out to be rather hard to judge this movie after all. Indeed, the first issue was that I saw a very nasty version on YouTube (seriously, the first scenes taking place during the night were borderline unwatchable). The other issue was that I wasn’t familiar with Canterbury’s pilgrimage and, even though I heard about the Tales of Caunterbury written by Chaucer, I knew pretty much nothing about it either. Apparently, Powell and Pressburger thought it would be a great idea to combine this material with a contemporary story taking place during WWII but this mix was rather bewildering, at least, to me. Eventually, as a result, it was probably their most complicated movie to decipher and I might have to re-watch it at some point to really make up my mind about the damned thing. However, even if this movie, like most of the movies delivered by these two masters, seem to have a strong reputation, I still think that the plot was rather weak though. Basically, for about 2 hours, you have the main characters chasing some mysterious ‘glue man’ which wasn’t exactly fascinating. The fact that this ‘glue man’ was so easy to spot right from the start probably didn’t help but, all in all, it was a rather lame story going at a terribly sluggish pace. Concerning the characters, at least, it was a nice time bubble showing the British people living in Kent around WWII but, even if it was interesting, none of these characters was really charismatic or entertaining enough.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 157 Average listal rating (79 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.1
Henry V (1944)


Notes: Nowadays, they usually adapt the classic Shakespeare plays with a modern setting but I really did appreciate that Laurence Olivier set the story in the 15th century like it was in Shakespeare’s original work. I was also impressed to discover that it was actually Olivier’s directorial debut as this lavish production was quite ambitious for a first time effort. Still, to be honest, it has been a while since I have seen such a challenging movie though. Indeed, even if I did watch it with some English subtitles, I still struggled with these 2 hours of non-stop vintage Shakespearean dialogues. Furthermore, is it me or was the story actually super simple? In fact, I actually saw Kenneth Branagh’s version but it was ages ago and I can’t say I remember much about it though. Anyway, it seemed that Henry V, for some rather dubious reasons at least to me, went to France, kicked their ass, and married the daughter of the French king, Charles VI, but I thought it all seemed rather thin for more than 2 hours of running time. Eventually, the whole point was obviously not the plot but the intricate but still marvelous dialogues written by the Bard. On top of that, it was probably the most faithful adaptation of a Shakespeare’s play I have seen so far. Indeed, Olivier went as far as having the first scenes taking place as an actual play in some theater in 1600 and this approach was unexpected but really neat. The rest of the story was then handled in a much more straightforward way but it still worked though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1038 Average listal rating (686 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 440 Average listal rating (265 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 541 Average listal rating (357 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:


Notes: I have to admit that I didn’t know it before watching this movie but it was actually a sequel to ‘Going My Way’ which I haven’t seen. Apparently, this sequel was a big box-office success when it was released. Anyway, I really had a hard time to care about the damned thing, to be honest. Of course, the fact that I’m not a religious man probably didn’t help but I actually find religious movies in fact often quite interesting, at least, when they turn out to be slightly challenging but it was definitely not the case here. I won’t blame Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman though. Indeed, Bergman was so lovely and delivered here another solid performance. Concerning Bing Crosby, it was actually the first movie I have ever seen with this guy, I have to admit that he was quite charismatic and I’m not surprised that he was quite popular back then. So, the lead actors were fine but, well, pretty much everything else felt rather flat, I’m afraid. Sure, it was all rather cute and harmless but it was also really episodic without an actual plot. The tone also kept bothering me. Indeed, it is usually considered as a comedy but I’m not sure if this genre really fit this movie. On the other hand, nothing seriously dramatic really happened through the whole duration. Eventually, it was basically a really bland feel-good movie but not much more than that, I’m afraid.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 236 Average listal rating (145 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: Even though I had never heard of this movie before, it is actually considered as one of the best movies delivered by Fritz Lang, no less than that, but I would have to agree with this assessment. Indeed, it must be the most intriguing film noir I have seen. What stroke me the most was the fact that all these characters were rather pathetic. Indeed, I don’t think this movie displayed much love towards its characters since it was basically about a couple of losers trying to con another loser, not really much more than that. To make the whole thing even darker, you had not one but two maybe even three really toxic ‘romantic’ relationships. It was also interesting to see Edward G. Robinson to play something else than his usual tough guys, in fact, he was actually playing exactly the opposite which was really unexpected but definitely neat. Concerning the rest of the cast, Joan Bennett was also pitch-perfect playing the most vapid and delusional femme fatale I have seen as she was desperately in love with her pimp who seemed to be really worthless. After all these, I have to admit that the whole might not sound really appealing and, indeed, it was all rather bleak, filled with some fairly unlikable characters and, yet, that’s probably why I liked the damned thing so much. A nice touch which was unexpected was when, towards the end, Christopher Cross’s boss fired him after he stole some money but didn’t press charges because, somehow, the guy understood that we are all capable of doing crazy things when we are in love.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 200 Average listal rating (104 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: I have to admit that I was actually quite impressed by the damned thing. First of all, I’m not sure if it was the first one but it was definitely one of the first horror anthologies ever made and it is easily the best one I have seen, not less than that. To be honest, the beginning was rather clunky with Walter Craig showing up at this farm and acting like some kind of zombie. However, as soon as he explained why he was acting so oddly, I was completely hooked though. As pointed out by another Listal member, this anthology really felt reminiscent to ‘The Twilight Zone’ and, basically, each tale felt like some ‘Twilight Zone’ episode and it’s definitely a compliment. Another interesting thing with this anthology was the fact that, even though it was involving 3 directors, it felt really homogenous in style and quality which is something so rare with such anthologies. Concerning each separate segment, they all focused on things which were inherently creepy by nature (car accidents, hide and seek, mirrors, dummies and… golf!) and I was surprised that each one of them turned out to be actually quite entertaining. However, even if the first scenes slightly bothered me, I think I enjoyed above all the overarching story taking place at the farmhouse. Indeed, there is nothing more unsettling that a total stranger telling you that they have seen you in their dreams and predicting all kinds of ominous things.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 524 Average listal rating (334 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 434 Average listal rating (247 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5


Notes: Well, I have to admit that the whole thing looked really nice and the production value was quite impressive. Judy Garland, who was only 21 years old at the time, was also at the top of her game. Indeed, she was really quite charming and, even if I didn’t care much about the songs in this movie, her voice was still quite marvellous. Unfortunately, those were pretty much the only things I did enjoy in this flick. Sure, Margaret O'Brien did give a decent performance as Tootie Smith but I still didn’t care much about her character and the rest of the characters were even more tedious, at least, to me. Above all, the story was just so flimsy and shallow. Seriously, what did really happen during this movie after all? Not much. Nobody loses his job, Nobody gets sick, nobodies dies,… I mean, the most and only dramatic event was for the family to move from St Louis to New York but even this ‘tragic’ event didn't occur after all. Sure, I’m well aware it is inherent to the genre to give 2 hours of entertainment with songs and dance with very little drama or without even a basic plot. However, in my opinion, the best movies in this genre still manage to do something original or at least interesting with this formula but it wasn't the case here.
johanlefourbe's rating:


Notes: I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this movie but since it was directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, I was quite eager to check it out. Indeed, those guys are some of the most highly regarded directors ever and they are usually considered responsible for what many calls ‘The Golden Age of British Cinema’. By now, I have seen 4 movies directed by them and, from all those movies I have seen, this is the only one I didn't really enjoy. I mean, the title was pretty good but the scope was rather small this time, compared to their other productions which were much more ambitious and, to be honest, I didn't care much about the story and the characters involved. I mean, the whole thing was well directed and it was not bad at all but I didn't really enjoyed it probably because it was not my cup of tea, I guess. Still, it is a real classic though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 687 Average listal rating (418 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.
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