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

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People who added this item 185 Average listal rating (95 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4


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Notes: Even though Marlon Brando’s career has always been rather inconsistent, I have always been a huge fan of the guy and since this flick is considered as one of his classics, I was quite eager to check it out. Man, at the time, he was really on fire and gave one of his best performances, arguably one of the best performances ever given by an actor. Personally, I still prefer ‘A Streetcar named Desire’ but this flick is definitely not far behind. Anyway, 3 years after making this seminal classic, Elia Kazan was working again with Marlon Brando and the end-result was once again quite impressive. Basically, contrary to most of the movies produced by Hollywood at the time and still nowadays, the main character was not some kind of almighty hero but an average man who was deeply flawed. However, even though the guy was not a real hero, he still showed some dignity but it didn’t mean that the whole thing would end up with an happy ending and the grim tone remained from the beginning until the end.
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People who added this item 718 Average listal rating (407 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: I have seen this movie a very long time ago but I was very impressed and I never have forgot it. To be honest, even though I have watched many other movies directed by Fellini, very often, it didn’t really connect with them, even some massive classics like ‘La Dolce Vita’ and ‘8 ½’. I mean, I did like them and I could see why they were considered masterpieces but they simply didn’t really blow me away. This movie was an exception though and it remains my favorite one from this director. Indeed, with this movie, you still had the poetic side of Fellini but this feature was also pretty realistic and I just loved this combination. I was also really impressed by Giulietta Masina. I mean, Anthony Quinn was really good as well but Masina really stole the show portraying some kind of female Charles Chaplin character. Anyway, even though it is more than 60 years old, it remains a great classic.
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People who added this item 291 Average listal rating (146 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: Apparently, it is a very popular story and they have made already 4 different versions with the latest one coming out in 2018 directed by Bradley Cooper and starring Lady Gaga. In fact, this latest version actually turned out to be a big critical and commercial success. Even though we are only talking about the official versions, they are also so many movies following the same template such as the infamous 'Showgirls'. Anyway, back to the movie itself, I know it is a beloved classic and, indeed, it was quite entertaining but I honestly didn't care much about the whole thing. I don't know, like I said before, it is a very old standard story and maybe I have seen some similar tales too often before. I have to admit it though, Judy Garland was pretty good but, in fact, I was more interested in James Mason who is such a fine actor and eventually, I would rather have had the movie focusing on him. Anyway, it is and remains a classic, a very well made musical with an ageless story so it is definitely worth a look.
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People who added this item 2619 Average listal rating (1764 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.5


Notes: To be honest, even though I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, I must admit it, I was actually slightly disappointing. The point is that I wanted to watch this movie for so long and so badly that I had some massive expectations and I’m afraid it didn’t really fulfill those expectations. I mean, it is a very good thriller, no doubt about it, developing some interesting ideas around the fact we are all some peeping toms, especially us, the movie watchers. I also enjoyed the fact that the main character was pretty much an arrogant douchebag who can’t even be satisfied when the lovely Grace Kelly tells him that she loves him and wants to take care of him until the day he dies. The ending was also terrific and those last 10 minutes were completely nail-biting. Still, that’s the main issue, except for those last 10 minutes, there were a lot of unnecessary scenes distracting us from the obsessive behavior of the main character and the whole thing took forever to finally take off. Still, these were some minor flaws and even though it might not be the amazing masterpiece I was expecting, it remains an amazing thriller.
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People who added this item 164 Average listal rating (86 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: Even though Luchino Visconti started his career with ‘Ossessione’, the first Italian neorealist film, later on in his career he would become famous for his luxurious dramas involving the Italian aristocracy, the most famous one being ‘Il Gattopardo’. Surprisingly, I still haven’t watched ‘Il Gattopardo’ but I did watch his one which Visconti made 10 years after his directing debut. To be honest, I’m not sure if I really cared about the story. Basically, it was a rather standard doomed love story and the fact that I wasn’t really familiar with this time period didn’t help either. Eventually, what I really enjoyed about this movie was above all the mood created thanks to a gorgeous cinematography. On top of that, apparently, Visconti wanted Ingrid Bergman and Marlon Brando to play the lead roles but Alida Valli and Farley Granger were some great choices as well. Anyway, even though it might not be one of Visconti’s best movies, it was still a really solid period drama.
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People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (24 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0


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People who added this item 1980 Average listal rating (1108 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.7


Notes: To be honest, I didn’t remember that this movie was so long (it would be in fact Akira Kurosawa’s longest directing effort) but it didn’t matter since the damned thing was so entertaining. Thanks to the long running time, we had indeed the opportunity to understand what was going on with this village, what was their struggle and how they would try to find a solution. In the following acts, they really took their time to show the strategy developed by the samurais instead of giving us some non-sensical action scenes like you usually get in a Michael Bay movie for example. Eventually, it is one of these rare movies which, even though it is more than 60 years old, still feels so modern and it was basically a major milestone in motion picture history as it is usually considered as the first action movie ever made. At the end of the day, even though it might not be my favorite movie directed by Kurosawa, I still really enjoyed the damned thing and it is much better than its remake which was still a worthy movie though.
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People who added this item 284 Average listal rating (151 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.4


Notes: Well, to be honest, even though I did like it, I have to admit that I did struggle a little bit to get into this movie. I mean, it is a beautiful but terribly tragic tale and, sometimes, it felt like a sad poem using film instead of words. Sometimes, I also had the feeling that I was watching a Japanese version of 'Gladiator', except that they removed all the action scenes and replaced them with some really dramatic scenes. Anyway, the best way to describe this movie would be the scene involving the suicide of Anju. Indeed, it is probably the most famous and powerful moment in this movie and it was equally heartbreaking and unforgettable to behold but, to be honest, while watching it, I also felt that it was rather over-the-top. I mean, did it really make sense that she stayed behind and killed herself? Her argument was that Zushiô had more chances to escape without her but she then made him carry a dying woman. Wouldn't it then make more sense to go together and leave the poor woman behind? I guess that's what slightly bothered me with this movie was how everything was quite theatrical but I won't deny that it was still quite mesmerising nonetheless.
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People who added this item 96 Average listal rating (48 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.9
Carmen Jones (1954)


Notes: Well, to be honest, even though it was a decent watch, I actually had a hard time to really care about the damned thing. I don't know, maybe it was due to the fact that I saw it on the BBC without subtitles or maybe it was due to the fact that I have never been a huge fan of musicals. Furthermore, I couldn't shake the idea that the whole thing was trying to be too clever for its own good. I mean, they took a classic opera and they turned it into a modern musical with an African-American cast but did these changes really add something to this tale? Nothing much in my opinion. Still, the cast was pretty good and Harry Belafonte was fine, even if his character was rather thankless. Above all, Dorothy Dandridge was just so charismatic and really spellbinding to behold. Of course, I had heard about her but it was the first time I saw her in a movie and she was just downright amazing. Anyway, even if it didn't really blow me away, it was still a decent musical.
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People who added this item 280 Average listal rating (168 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of such old Westerns and I believe that at least half of them could or should be removed from this otherwise really awesome list. Anyway, in this genre, I have to admit it, this movie was not bad at all and I definitely had a weak spot for the damned thing. Indeed, I thought it was especially neat to see a Western with a woman playing the lead and, even though Joan Crawford always thought that Mercedes McCambridge was stealing the show in this movie, I was above all impressed by Crawford after all. Eventually, the biggest issue with this movie (or biggest draw, depending on who you would ask) is that the story was rather over-the-top and, in my case, I thought it was rather difficult to take it really seriously. Anyway, even though this movie didn’t completely work for me, I still think it is probably one of the most interesting Westerns they made at the time and it is definitely worth a look.
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People who added this item 635 Average listal rating (351 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: Eventually, I was really impressed by this movie and I think it completely deserves its stellar reputation. Apparently, back in those days, the biggest rival to Alfred Hitchcock was the French director, Henri-George Clouzot. They were actually both competing to make this movie but, eventually, Clouzot was the one who had the honor to adapt this best-seller and he did it with great success as it became an instant classic. Indeed, some older movies didn’t grow old very well but this one is still pretty damned amazing, even after all these years. Basically, the directing was quite amazing and provided a mesmerizing eerie atmosphere. The cast included one of the biggest French stars Simone Signoret and also Vérat Clouzot and they both gave some impressive performances. In my opinion, this movie is the perfect example that you don't need any shootings, explosions or chases to make a fascinating thriller. The characters, the dialogues, the shots, creating this huge tension, that's it and that's more than enough.
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Notes: Eventually, I thought it was pretty good but it is definitely an acquired taste, a taste obviously shared by Wes Anderson who was definitely inspired by this movie, especially when he made ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. Still, you have to admit it, for a movie which was made almost 60 years, it was quite bold and, unsurprisingly, it was a flop when it was released but it has become since then a French classic. Eventually, it looked all great and there were even some funny bits but, eventually, you never really got to know Lola Montès. Exactly like Wes Anderson, it seems that Ophuls didn’t care much for the character(s) and above all focused on the impressive scenes, full of colors, daft costumes and once again, it was all about the mood but not really about the substance. Anyway, even if I wasn't completely sold, it was still an intriguing flick.
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People who added this item 268 Average listal rating (135 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.4


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People who added this item 294 Average listal rating (159 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2


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People who added this item 237 Average listal rating (133 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7
Marty (1955)


Notes: I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this movie but since it won the Best picture Academy award back in 1955, I was quite eager to check it out. After watching the damned thing, the first thing I thought was how interesting that such a small and low key feature would actually win the Best picture Academy award. Indeed, do you think it would have a chance against our contemporary epics with a huge budget such as ‘Gladiator’, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, ‘Dance with the Wolves’, or ‘Titanic’? Even if some smaller productions did win the big prize recently like ‘Spotlight’, ‘Birdman’ or ’12 Years a Slave’, they were still much more ambitious than this movie. Eventually, the fact it was so small was definitely part of its charm and why it was fairly successful commercially and critically when it was released. For Ernest Borgnine, a character actor throughout all his lengthy career, it was definitely a all-time high and he even won the Academy award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance. Anyway, I thought it was charming movie.
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People who added this item 105 Average listal rating (46 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.7


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Notes: To be honest, I thought it was rather difficult to judge this movie because there is James Dean in it and everyone tends to overly praise his movies. I mean, by now, I have seen all 3 movies starring James Dean (see also ‘Giant’ and ‘East of Eden’) but, to be honest, I find it really weird that the guy became such a legend just after showing up in 3 movies. After watching this flick, I thought it became even more obvious. I mean, sure, I liked the damned thing and Dean gave a solid performance but I didn't think it was really a masterpiece. I don’t know, maybe, at the time, the teenagers thought it was fascinating as they were really able to identify themselves with the characters but, to be honest, I thought they were all rather whinny and even a little bit obnoxious. I mean, they are just really self-centered and I guess that’s what you are supposed to feel at this age but I thought they made it rather overly dramatic. Anyway, even though I wasn’t completely convinced by this feature, it was still a solid drama, James Dean was really charismatic, I have to admit it, and it is definitely worth a look.
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People who added this item 75 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.9


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People who added this item 37 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6


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People who added this item 399 Average listal rating (201 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.6


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People who added this item 67 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4


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People who added this item 301 Average listal rating (166 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7


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People who added this item 293 Average listal rating (152 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.2


Notes: With the first dance sequence, I got kind of worried and thought it would be a rather long and boring watch. Fortunately, as soon as Frank Sinatra and, above all, Marlon Brando showed up, it became much more enjoyable. I mean, Frank Sinatra was pretty good but I was above all impressed by Marlon Brando. Back then, the guy was really on fire, probably the best actor around and he shows he could take anything, even a musical, and make it really spellbinding to watch. Of course, he was incredibly charismatic but it goes further than this as he gave his character some extra layers which made him really stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, I actually liked the general ambiguous attitude towards gambling and drinking (after watching this flick, does it look really look so bad to you?). I still think it was too long for its own good but it remained quite entertaining and it is actually worth a look, especially if you like the genre.
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Notes: Since I kept hearing great things about this flick, I was really eager to check it out. Well, I have to admit it, it is a really odd feature, the only directing effort by Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum’s favorite movies of his one, and, unsurprisingly, it was a critical and financial flop when it was released. Honestly, could you expect such a weird dark tale to reach an audience back in the 50’s? Even myself, 60 years later, I find it difficult to grasp the whole thing. Roger Ebert had some interesting theories about this movie, that it was some kind of nightmare which was something I didn’t think of while watching it and he also described it as an horror feature but I didn’t really agree on this. Like I said before, the whole thing is rather odd and, sometimes, it jumps from one scene to another without much continuity but there is no denying that it was quite spellbinding to behold. Above all, it is not often that you will come across such a despicable messed up and yet somehow charismatic main character with a pitch perfect Robert Mitchum.
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People who added this item 398 Average listal rating (230 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8


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People who added this item 151 Average listal rating (85 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2


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People who added this item 251 Average listal rating (152 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.9


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People who added this item 184 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: Of course, at first, this flick might seem really old, there was still a very modern feeling about it which is something always inherent to the great classics. Indeed, they are timeless and remains relevant even decades after they have been made. I'm pretty sure Steven Soderbergh saw this one before making Ocean's eleven and it must have been an inspiration. Anyway, it is definitely a great mesmerizing picture. Indeed, the directing was quite amazing and the story was completely entertaining from the beginning until the end. Personally, I always had a weak spot for heist movies, but this one is just definitely from another league than the typical Hollywood features in this genre. In 2002, they did make a decent remake with Nick Nolte, called 'The Good Thief', a remake which was directed by Neil Jordan, another fine director. Of course, the original was better but, for a remake, it was not that bad at all. Anyway, it is a classic and I really loved this flick.
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Notes: In 2014, Ridley Scott came up with ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ and I had some pretty high expectations but, unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the most disappointing movies released that year. The main reason was probably because this tale has been adapted so many times before and, above all, way better. This version directed by Cecil B. DeMille is already almost 60 years old but it still considered as one of the best. To be honest, from the same era, I actually prefer ‘Ben Hur’ which is truly an amazing picture. I mean, I don't mind an old movie from time to time, especially if it is well made like this one. Still, it is really over the top, lasts almost 4 hours and even though I find this subject interesting, I'm usually more interested by something more sober. At least, it was more fun than reading the actual Bible (I did try to read the damned thing but after a couple of 100s of pages, I got bored out of my mind and couldn’t finish it) and Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner were perfectly cast. Anyway, even though I’m not a huge fan, it is still a solid classic.
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Notes: First of all, this movie gives an interesting look on the settlers, these pioneers, who were finally starting to have a fairly ordinarily life but, at the same time, there was always the possibility of some swift burst of violence which could wipe them out within minutes. Then, you had this fascinating and complex main character, Ethan Edwards, who, maybe subconsciously, might never ever be able to settle with a farm and work on his land, and instead would rather spend 5 years roaming all the West to find his lost niece which seemed like an impossible mission. There was also the fact that the guy was more or less a psychopath who had such a hatred of the Indians that he might kill his beloved niece if she had the misfortune to choose to become an Indian. Still, to be honest, I have to admit that not everything really worked for me. For example, you never actual have the feeling that they have been so long on road or that they have covered so much territory. Furthermore, another problem I had was that, towards the end, Debbie seemed to change her mind way too easily which was very convenient to neatly wrap everything up for their happy-ending. Anyway, even if I'm still not a huge fan, it is definitely a really solid Western.
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People who added this item 154 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1


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Notes: Honestly, I find it rather difficult to judge this movie. Indeed, it is almost 60 years old and after watching 100s of more modern SF features like '2001: A Space Odissey ', 'Prometheus' or 'Interstellar' which had access to some more advanced technology and had some much bigger budgets, the whole thing looked pretty cheesy. On top of that, from the moment you see Leslie Nielsen showing up on the screen, you expect him to crack up some stupid jokes every 5 minutes. And yet, we shouldn't forget that this movie had a huge impact on all the Science-Fiction movies that came afterwards. Indeed, at the time, the studios didn’t care much for the genre and it was the very first time that a SF feature was given a large budget. On top of that, the story was actually pretty good and I was quite taken by this mysterious world. Indeed, they finally became aware that they should handle this kind of tales more or less seriously and it really worked. That’s the great thing about Science-Fiction, everything is possible and the only limitation is your own imagination (okay, a decent budget might help as well).
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People who added this item 187 Average listal rating (104 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5


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People who added this item 334 Average listal rating (194 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2


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People who added this item 181 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.6


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Notes: Since this movie has a really solid reputation, I was really eager to check it out. First of all, it is too bad that I saw before two really weak remakes ('Body Snatchers' and 'The Invasion'), without mentionning the countless copycats such as 'The World's End' as they slightly ruined the story for me. I mean, right from the very start, I already knew how the whole thing was going to play out and, as a result, it didn't have such a huge impact. Still, it must have been pretty neat to see this movie in the 50's when the formula was completely new. Furthermore, I wish they didn't force Don Siegel to add an introduction and this happy-end because the movie, above all with a bleaker ending, would have worked better. Still, it is a really solid horror flick, terribly effective and entertaining. Concerning the actors involved, to be honest, I didn't care much for Kevin McCarthy but he was not bad at all but, on the other hand, I was quite mesmerized by Dana Wynter who was simply quite gorgeous to look at. Anyway, even if it is 60 years old, it is still a classic.
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People who added this item 517 Average listal rating (305 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: Well, even though it turned out to be pretty good, I can't say it really blew me away though. I mean, there was some very good stuff and it could have been a great movie but it didn't completely worked in my opinion. First of all, this movie will be forever remembered for Dean's performance and while he was indeed very good, his character was actually the 3rd wheel in this romance. Indeed, the movie was in fact about Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson's love story and family life and, in spite of Dean's effort to steal the show, his complex character didn't have much impact after all. Concerning the main story, I was also bothered by the fact that Leslie had such an impact on her husband but it didn't work the way around, he didn't seem to have such an impact on her which was a failed opportunity. Furthermore, in the 3rd act, all the children had a specific sub-plot which was just too much. As a result, they tried to handle too many topics and they should have removed some elements to remain better focused. And, yet, in spite of its flaws, it was still a solid epic.
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People who added this item 401 Average listal rating (223 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.5


Notes: Eventually, even though it is not indeed one of Alfred Hitchcock's most famous features, I still thought it was actually pretty awesome. To be honest, it used in fact a rather standard gimmick used by Hitchcock, the story about an ordinary man stuck into a devilish plot but, this time, like many times before, it was quite flawless. First of all, the great Henry Fonda was playing the lead (I think it was the only time he worked with the great master) and he delivered a sober but great and totally believable performance. I really wish I would watch more movies with this guy, he is definitely one of my favorite classic actors. Furthermore, like I mentioned before, the plot was actually rather mundane but thanks to Hitchcock amazing directing, the whole thing was completely spellbinding to watch and I was captivated from the beginning until the very end.
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Notes: Even though I’m not a huge fan of musicals, since this one is a classic, I thought I might as well give it a try. Well, I really enjoyed the opening scene with Louis Armstrong, actually, all his scenes were pretty neat but, as soon as the actual story started, I got bored pretty quickly. It is only when it was finished that I realized that it was another version of ‘The Philadelphia Story’, a better classic which already didn’t really blow me away. Still, the cast was pretty nice and it was interesting to see Grace Kelly in her last part before she became Princess Grace of Monaco. To be honest, even though she was really amazingly charming as usual, I really had a hard time with her but I’m not sure if it was her acting which got on my nerves or her character. Eventually, only Frank Sinitra did manage to make something appealing with his character, the rest didn’t entertain me at all. At the end of the day, it is a mix between a musical and a screw-ball comedy and therefore the whole thing was just too fluffy for my taste.
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People who added this item 156 Average listal rating (80 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2


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People who added this item 508 Average listal rating (310 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: To be honest, it has been ages since I have seen this flick, I don't remember it in details and I should definitely re-watch it at some point. In fact, when I was much younger, there was a time when I saw a whole bunch of vintage movies directed by Akira Kurosawa and this movie was one of them. Well, this movie was quite unique as it was combining a typical Kurosawa Samurai tale with a classic from Shakespeare and, if I’m not mistaken, I think it was in fact the very first version of MacBeth that I have seen. By now, I must have seen about 5 versions of this tale and it would be pretty neat to see Kurosawa’s take after all these years but it is considered by many as one of the best adaptations. Anyway, back in those days, Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune were and actually still are one of the best director-actor combo and, once again, they definitely delivered something quite terrific here.
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People who added this item 1140 Average listal rating (686 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.4


Notes: Basically, the whole thing is just so shocking, heartbreaking and downright revolting. In my opinion, it is easily the best movie starring Kirk Douglas and one of the best directed by Stanley Kubrick. It is basically one of the greatest anti-war movies, it is as simple as that and even though it was only Kubrick's 3rd directing feature, he was apparently already one of the great masters. For example, the battle scene was just really impressive. It might not have been as bloody as 'Saving Private Ryan' but for a 55 years old flick, it was technically and visually quite brilliant. I above all loved the juxtaposition between the fancy headquarters, the nice little diners, the little chats, the nice dance parties the general have together and the dirt, the constant humidity, the hunger, the fear and the horror of the trenches. Also the way the generals talk about the soldiers was so despicable but, unfortunately, probably accurate. In the history books, this war was called 'The Great War' but there was nothing much great about it, except maybe the huge number of casualties.
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Many years ago, I actually discovered this website thanks to the awesome list 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die but, unfortunately, this list is not up to date anymore so I have decided to create my own version. I will try to add every day a new movie and, of course, I will keep it up to date.


(7th edition)


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

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

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