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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 331 Average listal rating (191 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
The Quiet Man (1952)


Notes: I had to admit it, I'm not really familiar with John Wayne's work and, in my opinion, he basically always portrayed typical tough guys so I was rather surprised to see him being cast in a such a romantic feature. And the best thing is that it actually worked. Basically, it is a rather simple and very old-fashioned romantic feature. Still, the fact that it was so old-fashioned made it, at the same time, very cute and charming but also sometimes rather annoying to watch. Still, I thought it was quite enjoyable to watch and the whole thing had an extra personal dimension (indeed, my own father moved from the Netherlands to live in France and I myself moved from France to live in the Netherlands). Eventually, it remains a harmless romantic flick and I thought it was pretty good, even if it was nothing really mind-blowing.
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Notes: Eventually, it actually turned out to be definitely one of the saddest movies I have ever seen. First, they gave us this opening with this famous melancholic guitar tune which kept coming back throughout the whole thing. Then, in the very first scene, there was this 5 year old girl holding her dead dog while both her parents were being shot by a plane. I mean, it was just 5 minutes into the movie and I was already a total wreck... Then, they kept bringing again and again some heartbreaking scenes and, as expected, the end was also completely devastating. Around the same time period, I saw 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' as well and everybody seemed to think that it was a major tearjerker but even though it was indeed pretty heavy, compared to this feature, it was actually a piece of cake. A part from that, the acting by the kids was just really impressive and I also enjoyed the writing. Indeed, all the characters were three dimensional and felt really genuine in the sense that they were sometimes nice and sometimes pretty nasty, even this two children.
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People who added this item 162 Average listal rating (62 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.6
Europa '51 (1952)


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Notes: First of all, even though I never really cared for Fred Astaire, I always thought that Gene Kelly was very charismatic and he was, of course, a great dancer but, even though this movie was supposed to be his magnum opus, I have to admit that I had a rather hard time to really care about the damned thing. I mean, sure , I did like it but I can't say it really blew me away. Even though the story is usually the weakest point in most of the musicals I have seen, I actually enjoyed this plot but, to be honest, I expected more from the songs and dances. I know, it might sound surprising but most of these dance sequences didn’t really impress me and, eventually, I thought that the dance scenes in ‘An American in Paris’ were actually cooler than in this movie. Anyway, it probably had to do with the fact that I am not a fan of musicals and, at the end of the day, it remains a classic and it is definitely worth a look.
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People who added this item 684 Average listal rating (372 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.3


Notes: Well, even though I did like this movie, in my opinion, it turned out to be one of Akira Kurosawa's most difficult movies to grasp. It is not that it was really complicated, it was more that I’m not sure if I fully understood what Kurosawa was trying to achieve here. The best I can come up with was that we should all live as if today is going to be our last day on Earth but, eventually, very few people actually do it. Eventually, as a result, even though Takashi Shimura delivered a very strong performance, the other characters turned out to be actually more interesting. Indeed, even though we all wish to be like Kanji Watanabe, in fact, we act more like the other characters who are most of the time rather oblivious regarding Watanabe’s actions. The best example would be the final act taking place after his death during his wake. Eventually, it is one of these movies that I enjoyed more afterwards then when I was actually watching the damned thing but I should definitely re-watch it at some point. Anyway, even though I didn’t completely blow me away, it was pretty good and it is definitely worth a look.
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People who added this item 399 Average listal rating (239 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.2


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People who added this item 88 Average listal rating (38 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.2


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People who added this item 227 Average listal rating (136 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6


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People who added this item 197 Average listal rating (101 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6


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People who added this item 307 Average listal rating (177 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: Even though I did like this movie and even though it’s supposed to be be Jacques Tati’s best directing effort, I thought it was pretty good but still nothing really mind-blowing. I mean, sure, the whole thing was really sweet and clever but it was never really interesting or seriously entertaining. It is pretty obvious that Tati was some kind of French version of Charles Chaplin but the big difference was that Chaplin put so much poetry, drama in his stories and his characters, even if they were completely silent, were so much more developed than here. Indeed, Tati never really allows you to care about Hulot or the different characters involved and, as a result, I had a hard time to really care about what they were going through. Still, in contrary to ‘Jour de fête’ which I saw when I was a teenager, I was able to appreciate the tone delivered by Tati and the damned thing was also a great time capsule showing how it must have been to go on holiday in France back in the 50’s. Finally, it was pretty neat to see that this character was an obvious inspiration for Rowan Atkinson when he created his Mr. Bean.
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Notes: Eventually, I really liked this movie and I thought it was much more enjoyable than 'Lola Montès', another classic from Max Ophüls which I saw already twice. The tricky thing with this director is that his movies are always visually so elaborate, they are always a marvel to look at, but, as a result, they might seem really superficial. In this case, the fact that it was dealing with the frivolous romances of the Aristocrats didn't help either. And, yet, even though I usually don't care much for this genre, this story did work very well. It mostly had to do with the stellar performances from Charles Boyer, Danielle Darrieux and Vittorio De Sica but their characters were also very well written. Indeed, they really evolved through this tale and I actually cared about what these characters were going through. I have to admit that my rating might be slightly too harsh and I will probably re-watch it at some point.
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People who added this item 431 Average listal rating (255 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.2


Notes: Eventually, even though some old classics sometimes don’t really live up to their reputation, this one certainly didn’t disappoint me. Indeed, even though the damned thing is almost 60 years old, it has aged very well and it is considered as one of the greasted classics produced in France. Well, it was definitely a fascinating picture. Back then, obviously, there was no CGI, no expansive special effects but still it really succeeds in being completely suspensful, in fact, it is much more exciting to watch than many recent Hollywood productions. Indeed, the directing by Henri-Georges Clouzot, probably one of the best French directors that ever lived was really impressive and Yves Montand, who was just starting at the time, delivered a really solid performance. A the end of the 70’s, William Friedkin who just had some massice success directing back-to-back ‘The French Connection’ and ‘The Exorcist’ decided to remake this but even though it might sound misguided and even though it turned out to be a flop, it still managed to have a decent reputation, especially for a remake. Anyway, coming back to our main feature, it is pretty much a classic and a must-see.
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People who added this item 75 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 6.8


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People who added this item 167 Average listal rating (94 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.4


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People who added this item 652 Average listal rating (324 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.2


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Notes: Eventually, I thought it was pretty good, even if it was in fact the weakest movie directed by Fred Zinnemann that I have seen so far. The point is that the cast was indeed quite impressive (Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Frank Sinatra, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Warden) and the story was not bad but that was in fact the issue, it was not bad but nothing really amazing in my opinion. Apparently, the book from which it was adapted was a best seller at the time and it was much darker and displayed a rather negative view on the army. Indeed, the night club was in fact a brothel and the hostesses were prostitutes. It was also much more violent especially when displaying the treatment in the stockade and there was lot of profanity. Honestly, it did sound much more compelling to me but, at the time, there was a strict censorship and the movie was still a big success. It was also rather funny to discover that ‘Pearl Harbor’ pretty much took its whole plot from this flick.
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People who added this item 409 Average listal rating (217 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2


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People who added this item 386 Average listal rating (257 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: Well, basically, even though the damned thing has a really solid reputation, I thought it was a rather standard Western story. Indeed, it was a generic tale about some simple farmers who are bullied by some evil cattle baron and, of course, a mysterious stranger passes by and saves the day. Seriously, it wasn’t original at all and it was completely predictable but I guess I shouldn't forget that this Western was made 60 years ago and it was made before many other Westerns would use afterwards the same template. Still, the directing and acting were solid and I did like the attention they gave to the details. It was also interesting to notice that there was barely any shooting during the whole thing, there was one big fight though. In fact, the main character was without a gun during the whole thing and it was a nice approach. Indeed, instead of making the shootings look cool like most other Westerns, they displayed here that, even though such shootings were sometimes inevitable, the consequences were usually dreadfull.
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People who added this item 693 Average listal rating (402 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2


Notes: To be honest, I wasn’t impressed. Indeed, slowly but surely, I’m coming to the conclusion that Monroe was a more a star, a tabloid item, than an actual talented actress. I mean, for example, I have seen two of the three movies starring James Dean and it is pretty obvious that the guy was the real thing with an electrifying presence and some real acting skills. With Marilyn Monroe, I keep watching movies after movies and I’m always rather underwhelmed. It is not that she was really bad but I always have the feeling I’m watching Monroe, the mega-star, some kind of alter ego she and the media created, and never the actual character provided by the script. This movie is a perfect example. I mean, it was not bad and fairly entertaining but I really had a hard time to care about the whole thing. I mean, Monroe was definitely charismatic, Jane Russel as well, but the whole thing was just way too frivolous for my taste.
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Notes: Since this movie is a classic, I was really eager to check it out. Eventually, even though I thought it was fairly enjoyable, I can’t say it was really my thing though. I think it has to do somewhat with my political beliefs. Indeed, I find it always difficult to care for the supposedly difficult romantic life of the rich and aristocrats. Sure, you could argue that since it is a romantic feature, I shouldn't take it so seriously but it is just too frivolous for me or maybe I'm just too cynical for this material. Eventually, the greatest thing about this flick was probably the fact that it introduced Audrey Hepburn to the world. Right away, she managed to win an Academy award for her performance and, above all, she became instantly one of the biggest movie stars in the world, a position she would keep during the following 10 years. Indeed, Hepburn was always nice to see in a movie, especially right there at the beginning of her career and she had some great chemistry with Gregory Peck.
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People who added this item 186 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 720 Average listal rating (408 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 298 Average listal rating (145 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 2623 Average listal rating (1765 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 60 Average listal rating (24 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0


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People who added this item 1986 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 287 Average listal rating (150 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 98 Average listal rating (49 ratings) 7.1 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 281 Average listal rating (167 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 637 Average listal rating (353 ratings) 8.2 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 270 Average listal rating (135 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.4


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People who added this item 296 Average listal rating (159 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2


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People who added this item 236 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 76 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 402 Average listal rating (201 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.6


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People who added this item 68 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4


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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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