My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (Full Version)

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siegfried -> My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (10/10/2012 12:06:39 AM)

I had originally intended to follow up the horror film list with my top 50 dramas.
However, I've been encouraged to go back and revise the decades lists which I originally posted over two years ago. This time, however, I've decided to make it a top 50 rather than a top 20, as it will allow me to include so many films that I love but had to leave out of the first lists. Also, obviously, I've seen a lot more films during the time from then to now, so there will be a number of changes in order, with some films moving up and others moving down from before, and also some new inclusions.
This is going to be a bit of a marathon effort, but I hope you'll stay with me through it, and as always I'm looking forward to your comments.

SILENT ERA (Part 1)


50. Speedy - Director: Ted Wilde
(Harold Lloyd, Ann Christy, Burt Woodruff, Brooks Benedict)

49. The Sheik - Director: George Melford
(Rudolph Valentino, Agnes Ayres, Ruth Miller, George Waggner)

48. Birth Of A Nation - Director: D. W. Griffith
(Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall)

47. Metropolis - Director: Fritz Lang
(Alfred Abel, Gustav Frohlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Brigitte Helm)

46. Nosferatu - Director: F. W. Murnau
(Max Schreck, Gustav Von Wangenheim, Greta Schroder, Alexander Granach)

45. Flesh And The Devil - Director: Clarence Brown
(Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lars Hanson, Barbara Kent)

44. The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari - Director: Robert Wiene
(Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover)

43. Battleship Potemkin - Director: Sergei Eisenstein
(Aleksander Antonov, Vladimir Barsky, Grigori Aleksandrov)

42. Faust - Director: F. W. Murnau
(Gosta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn)

41. The Man Who Laughs - Director: Paul Leni
(Mary Philbin, Conrad Veidt, Olga Baclanova, Brandon Hurst)






Gimli The Dwarf -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (10/10/2012 1:34:40 AM)

I cannot stand Metropolis or Nosferatu, but I love Potemkin.




Whistler -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (10/10/2012 4:34:22 AM)

I'm the opposite, Gimli. I love Nosferatu and Metropolis but not so keen on Potemkin.




siegfried -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (10/10/2012 5:50:46 AM)

And obviously I'm keen on all three, otherwise they wouldn't be there. [:D]




Rebel scum -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (10/10/2012 7:35:22 AM)

Metropolis is pretty good, and looks amazing for the time
Nosferatu is a classic
Caligari is visually impressive, but that's about it
Potemkin is one outstanding sequence tethered to an otherwise average film
Faust is an amazing piece of cinema undone once romance enters the story




siegfried -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (11/10/2012 12:09:46 AM)

SILENT ERA (Part Two)


40. The Lodger - Director: Alfred Hitchcock
(Ivor Novello, June, Marie Ault, Malcolm Keen)

39. Diary Of A Lost Girl - Director G. W. Pabst
(Louise Brooks, Andre Roanne, Josef Rovensky, Fritz Rasp)

38. Greed - Director: Erich Von Stroheim
(Zasu Pitts, Gibson Gowland, Jean Hersholt, Dale Fuller)

37. The Freshman - Director: Fred Newmeyer / Sam Taylor
(Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Brooks Benedict)

36. Son Of The Sheik - Director: George Fitzmaurice
(Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Banky, George Fawcett, Montagu Love)

35. Phantom Of The Opera - Director: Rupert Julian
(Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin)

34. Docks Of New York - Director; Joseph Von Sternberg
(Goerge Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova, Clyde Cook)

33. Tol'able David - Director: Henry King
(Richard Barthelmess, Gladys Hulette, Walter Lewis, Ernest Torrence)

32. The Last Laugh - Director: F. W. Murnau
(Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller)

31. The Passion Of Joan Of Arc - Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
(Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, Andre Berley)







Gimli The Dwarf -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (11/10/2012 12:14:06 AM)

Not seen any of those [:(]




siegfried -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (11/10/2012 11:26:55 PM)

SILENT ERA (Part Three)


30. Napoleon - Director: Abel Gance
(Albert Dieudonne, Vladimir Roudenko, Antonin Artaud, Gina Manes)

29. The Gold Rush - Director: Charles Chaplin
(Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman)

28. Les Vampires - Director: Louis Feuillade
(Musidora, Philippe Guerande, Marcel Levesque, Jean Ayme)

27. The Wind - Director: Victor Sjostrom
(Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love, Dorothy Cumming)

26. Peter Pan - Director: Herbert Brenon
(Betty Bronson, Mary Brian, Cyril Chadwick, Esther Ralston)

25. Way Down East - Director: D. W. Griffith
(Lillian Gish, Josephine Bernard, Lowell Sherman)

24. Intolerance - Director: D. W. Griffith
(Mary Alden, Monte Blue, Miriam Cooper, Bessie Love, Robert Harrron, Mae Marsh)

23. Robin Hood - Director: Allan Dwan
(Douglas Fairbanks, Wallace Beery, Enid Bennett, Sam De Grasse)

22. The Thief Of Bagdad - Director: Raoul Walsh
(Douglas Fairbanks, Julianne Johnston, Anna May Wong, Sojin)

21. Orphans Of The Storm - Director: D. W. Griffith
(Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut)






Whistler -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (12/10/2012 12:59:19 AM)

Haven't seen any of the last twenty...




scarface666brooksy!! -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (12/10/2012 1:28:31 AM)

The Gold Rush is brilliant.

I've had Les Vampires and Intolerance to watch for ages but I can never find the energy to watch them! Lengthy silent films sound like a massive challenge but someday I'll do it. My best friend is a big Les Vampires fan too.




Gimli The Dwarf -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (12/10/2012 5:54:04 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: scarface666brooksy!!

The Gold Rush is brilliant.



Yep, probably my favourite Chaplin film.




Rebel scum -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (12/10/2012 8:19:41 AM)

I've only seen Phantom of the Opera from that last 20, and it's a damn good performance and some amazing visuals tied to an otherwise dull film.




siegfried -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (12/10/2012 8:58:17 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: scarface666brooksy!!

The Gold Rush is brilliant.

I've had Les Vampires and Intolerance to watch for ages but I can never find the energy to watch them! Lengthy silent films sound like a massive challenge but someday I'll do it. My best friend is a big Les Vampires fan too.


There are still a few very long ones to come. Once I started watching Les Vampires I found it quite compulsive.




Professor Moriarty -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (12/10/2012 1:42:44 PM)

How did I miss this???

Top listing Siegfried. There's a lot I've not seen so far. And some I hope make the top 20.




siegfried -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (12/10/2012 9:19:19 PM)

Thanks, Prof. I've been rather surprised not to have heard from you before now.




siegfried -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (12/10/2012 11:13:58 PM)

SILENT ERA (Part Four)


20. Judex - Director: Louis Feuillade
(Rene Creste, Musidora, Rene Poyen, Edouard Mathe)

19. Our Hospitality - Director: John Blystone / Buster Keaton
(Buster Keaton, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Keaton, Joe Roberts)

18. The Eagle - Director: Clarence Brown
(Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Banky, Louise Dresser, Albert Conti)

17. The Freshman - Director: Fred Newmeyer / Sam Taylor
(Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Brooks Benedict)

16. The Crowd - Director: King Vidor
(Eleanor Boardman, James Murray, Bert Roach, Estelle Clark)

15. Steamboat Bill Jr - Director: Charles Reisner
(Buster Keaton, Tom McGuire, Ernest Torrence, Marion Byron)

14. Pandora's Box - Director: G. W. Pabst
(Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer, Carl Goetz)

13. The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse - Director: Rex Ingram
(Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, Alan Hale, Pomeroy Cannon)

12. Die Nibelungen - Director: Fritz Lang
(Paul Richter, Hanna Ralph, Margarete Schon, Theodor Loos)

11. The Cat And The Canary - Director: Paul Leni
(Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Tully Marshall, Gertrude Astor, Flora Finch)







Gimli The Dwarf -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (13/10/2012 5:54:49 AM)

I've had The Eagle for about 4 years now but not seen it. Even worse, considering I love his other films, I've had Our Hospitality for about 8 years and not seen it. Steamboat Bill is superb.




siegfried -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (13/10/2012 11:27:31 PM)

I'd put Our Hospitality on a par with Steamboat Bill. The rescue sequence at the waterfall is genuinely thrilling.
As for The Eagle, it's just so much fun, with Valentino playing very much tongue in cheek as a sort of Russian Robin Hood.




siegfried -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (14/10/2012 1:49:29 AM)

SILENT ERA (Part Five)


10. The Black Pirate - Director: Albert Parker
((Douglas Fairbanks, Billie Dove, Donald Crisp, Sam De Grasse)

9. Safety Last - Director: Fred Newmeyer / Sam Taylor
(Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Bill Strother, Noah Young)

8. A Cottage On Dartmoor - Director: Anthony Asquith
(Norah Baring, Uno Henning, Hans Schlettow)

7. Dr Mabuse Der Spieler - Director: Fritz Lang
Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Gertrude Welcker, Alfred Abel, Paul Richter)

6. Broken Blossoms - Director: D. W. Griffith
(Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp)

5. Sherlock Jr - Director: Buster Keaton
(Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton, Ward Crane)

4. The Big Parade - Director: King Vidor
(John Gilbert, Renee Adoree, Hobart Bosworth, Claire McDowell)

3. Spione (Spies) - Director: Fritz Lang
(Willy Fritsch, Gerda Maurus, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Louis Ralph, Lien Deyers)

2. The General - Director: Clyde Bruckman / Buster Keaton
(Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender, Jim Farley)

1. Sunrise - Director: F. W. Murnau
(George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston, Bodil Rosing)







Gimli The Dwarf -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (14/10/2012 1:50:25 AM)

Seen 4 of those - Dartmoor, Sunrise, Sherlock and The General - and they're all amazing.




scarface666brooksy!! -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (14/10/2012 7:12:55 AM)

Sherlock Jr, The General, Safety Last and Sunrise are all amazing.




Rebel scum -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (14/10/2012 8:57:53 AM)

Steamboat Bill Jr is great
A Cottage On Dartmoor blew me away (Except for the last five minutes)
Sherlock Jr and The General are brilliant
While I'm not nearly as familiar with the era as you, Sunrise is my favourite silent as well




Whistler -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (14/10/2012 3:11:35 PM)

The General and Sunrise are both fabulous. Unfortunately they're the only two I've seen of the last forty [&o] I probably need to brush up on this era.




Professor Moriarty -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (14/10/2012 7:09:04 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: siegfried

Thanks, Prof. I've been rather surprised not to have heard from you before now.


I tend to frequent the film areas of the site less and less, which unfortunately means I miss gems like this.

I'm truly humbled by a list that comprises more silent films than I've seen. So lots of material in this to inspire future viewing. Fittingly imdb tells me it would have been Lillian Gish's birthday today.

I'm surprised Passion is so low, but at least it's on. Phantom Carriage, the Unknown and City Lights would be 3 favourites of mine that sadly didn't make your cut. But that is the nature of lists, cuts must be made. It's a shame Clara Bow doesn't make an appearance, but I think I'm a much bigger fan of Wings (insert McCartney joke here) than most. I'm hopeful that Lubitsch will appear in later decades. See, where lists are created, nit-picking will surely follow.

A few comments on your top films would be nice.

I can't disagree with your top rank. I was so expecting it to be Niebelung though. The first time I watched Sunrise I was so engrossed in the film I only realised at the end that it was silent. I think it stands as a pinnacle of story telling on film in any era. Some of the city shots are so beautiful they practically make me cry.




siegfried -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (14/10/2012 10:52:31 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Professor Moriarty


quote:

ORIGINAL: siegfried

Thanks, Prof. I've been rather surprised not to have heard from you before now.


I tend to frequent the film areas of the site less and less, which unfortunately means I miss gems like this.

I'm truly humbled by a list that comprises more silent films than I've seen. So lots of material in this to inspire future viewing. Fittingly imdb tells me it would have been Lillian Gish's birthday today.

I'm surprised Passion is so low, but at least it's on. Phantom Carriage, the Unknown and City Lights would be 3 favourites of mine that sadly didn't make your cut. But that is the nature of lists, cuts must be made. It's a shame Clara Bow doesn't make an appearance, but I think I'm a much bigger fan of Wings (insert McCartney joke here) than most. I'm hopeful that Lubitsch will appear in later decades. See, where lists are created, nit-picking will surely follow.

A few comments on your top films would be nice.

I can't disagree with your top rank. I was so expecting it to be Niebelung though. The first time I watched Sunrise I was so engrossed in the film I only realised at the end that it was silent. I think it stands as a pinnacle of story telling on film in any era. Some of the city shots are so beautiful they practically make me cry.


It's only over the past 10 - 15 years that I've been taking a real interest in silent films. The first one to really make me sit up and take notice was Dr Mabuse Der Spieler, which I saw at a film society screening. Until then I'd only known Fritz Lang for his American sound films, but Dr Mabuse prompted me to seek out others of his silent films, and from there I was led on to others.
Nowadays it's so much easier to get hold of so many of the silent classics, as they are being restored and released in greater numbers than ever before. Although I have about 70 silents in my collection, I still feel that I've barely scratched the surface - for example, I've never seen either The Phantom Carriage or The Unknown, and the only one of Clara Bow's films that I've seen is It.
As for Ernst Lubitsch, let's face it, it would be well nigh impossible to compile lists of 30s and 40s films wthout including a few of his.




siegfried -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (14/10/2012 11:16:59 PM)

THE 1930'S (Part One)


50. The Public Enemy - Director: William Wellman
(James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell, Donald Cook)

49. The Blue Angel - Director: Joseph Von Sternberg
(Marlene Dietrich, Emil Jannings)

48. Frankenstein - Director: James Whale
(Colin Clive, Mae Clark, John Boles, Boris Karloff)

47. Gone With The Wind - Director: Victor Fleming
(Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard, Hattie McDaniel, Thomas Mitchell)

46. Alexander Nevsky - Director: Sergei Eisenstein
(Nikolai Cherkasov, Andrei Abrikosov, Dmitriy Orlov, Vasili Novikov)

45. The Scarlet Empress - Director: Joseph Von Sternberg
(Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe, Louise Dresser)

44. A Star Is Born - Director: William Wellman
(Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou)

43. Vampyr - Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
(Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel, Sybille Schmitz)

42. Island Of Lost Souls - Director: Erle C. Kenton
(Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams, Bela Lugosi)

41. A Nous La Liberte - Director: Rene Clair
(Henri Marchand, Ramond Cordy, Rolla France, Paul Ollivier, Jacques Shelly)





Gimli The Dwarf -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (15/10/2012 12:14:46 AM)

I love Public Enemy and Gone With The Wind. Frankenstein is especially great.




siegfried -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (15/10/2012 1:24:11 AM)

The 1930s is one of my favourite decades for films, so compiling the list was a really difficult task as there were probably more films that I love and had to leave out than for any other decade. I could have quite comfortably extended it to 100.




Professor Moriarty -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (15/10/2012 9:54:25 AM)

No mention of City Lights in Siegfried's response leaves me wondering if he's going to include it as a 1930s film [;)]

And it truly is an amazing decade for film. Already with Laughton and Cagney there's two of the best screen actors of all time captured in this list. And I'm still expecting some big hitters like Cary Grant, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, Henry Fonda & Spencer Tracy to get a mention.

Interested to see how the top 40 pans out. I think The Blue Angel would be my pick from those listed so far. Its probably not the best film on the list either technically or in terms of story, but it just sucks me right in. I suspect that's from its heritage. Both as a German film (and I think German's do this almost metaphysical self-destruction so well - there's probably a 101 student essays on how the fall of the main protagonist mirrors the decline of the state in the same time). But also on the cusp of silent and talkie, it seems to still bangs up the emotions at level 11 on the screen. Which possibly shouldn't work, but its almost so dreamlike that it does.

I think Public Enemy is an interesting film. I quite like the weighty introduction at the beginning that this is a film depicting a problem in society that we must solve, lest the film be seen to be glamorising a gangster lifestyle. [:D] Its a solid film, but wouldn't be my favourite of the genre. I'm interested to see if the director gets a nod in the 1940s list though. I tend to swim against the tide and Little Caesar would be my pic of the famous 3 pre-code gangster flicks (Public Enemy and Scarface being the others). Its a weaker film, but Edward G Robinson is at his absolute best in it imo. The scene where he gets put back in his box is one of my favourite pieces of cinema.




siegfried -> RE: My Top 50 Favourite Films Per Decade (15/10/2012 10:28:52 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Professor Moriarty

No mention of City Lights in Siegfried's response leaves me wondering if he's going to include it as a 1930s film [;)]

And it truly is an amazing decade for film. Already with Laughton and Cagney there's two of the best screen actors of all time captured in this list. And I'm still expecting some big hitters like Cary Grant, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, Henry Fonda & Spencer Tracy to get a mention.

Interested to see how the top 40 pans out. I think The Blue Angel would be my pick. Its probably not the best film on the list either technically or in terms of story, but it just sucks me right in. I suspect that's from its heritage. Both as a German film (and I think German's do this almost metaphysical self-destruction so well - there's probably a 101 student essays on how the fall of the main protagonist mirrors the decline of the state in the same time). But also on the cusp of silent and talkie, it seems to still bangs up the emotions at level 11 on the screen. Which possibly shouldn't work, but its almost so dreamlike that it does.

Afraid I'm going to disappoint you as far as City Lights is concerned. I have to say that I'm not a Chaplin fan, with the exception of The Gold Rush; to me he has always come a distant third behind Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd as far as silent comedians are concerned.
However, I think you'll be pleased with the inclusion of a number of the others you have mentioned.
Pleased to see that you share my love of The Blue Angel. Marlene Dietrich was one of the great icons of the screen, and she features several times in the lists to come.




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