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What Are Your 3 Favorite Movies Pre-1950?
Would love to share your "favourite" per-1940 movies from any genre and why. Here are mine...

1) King's Row (1942). A wonderful epic about pride catastrophe and redemption. A lot of very dark subjects are dealt with - suicide, possible incest, insanity, absolute corruption and an eerie analogy to the eugenics movement (rampant at the time and now the domain of infanticidists everywhere) overcome by religious faith, honesty, willpower, friendship, love and most everything good in the human nature. Also one of the most beautiful and powerful music scores ever composed by a refugee from Hitler's Germany. The great Ronald Reagan was cast as the supporting actor but after editing in response to the power of his performance it really became his film when released. Love it cry to it every time.

2) Casablanca (1942). If you have not seen this film you then you simply cannot cll yourself a cultured or educated person. There is nothing I can say about this movie others have not already but here is an interesting fact: there is the classic scene where the patrons in Rick's sing the Le Marseillaise drowning out the Nazi officers who were singing "Watch on the Rhine" it is tear inspiring always but at the movie premiere the audience reaction was overwhelming the projectionist replayed it! What makes it more poignant is that many of the cast in the movie were themselves refugees from Nazi Germany or occupied Europe including the actor who leads the Nazi officers singing Watch on the Rhine! If you can watch this without crying then I am truly sorry for you.


3) Adventures of Robin Hood/Double Indemnity (1939 and 1944). Okay so I cheated! As a little girl I thought Errol Flynn was a god. I don't feel any different now he is just so beautiful, so cool. And so tragic ... which is what makes this film extra perfect. Why did they ever bother to make another? They have all trash. So many great lines but my favourite is by Basil Rathbone as Sheriff of Nottingham

Flynn: "Surely you wouldn't kill a man merely for speaking the truth?"

Rathbone: "If it amused me, yes" ( Yeah...My kind of man!)

Rathbone hated Flynn out of jealousy but this is also the film where Flynn and the beautiful and perfect Olivia de Havilland finally made love off screen as well as on screen and discussed getting married which was not to be.

I think Double Indemnity (1944) is simply the best of the film noir. Sharp dialogue people used to associate only with Americans until they decided they could best express their thoughts by using only in obscenities.

Fred MacMurray: "Yeah...and for once I believe you because it's just rotten enough."

Barbara Stanwyck: "We're both rotten."

Fred MacMurray: "Only you're a little more rotten."

Fred MacMurray was a devout Catholic and when they asked him to take off his wedding ring because the character he played was single he refused. "It only comes off when I am dead" he replied which was very brave cause he was not an influential actor and this was his big chance ... and the studio backed down which is you see him wearing it in the movie.

So...there my three. Obviously I have many more which is why I put "favorites" in quotation marks.

So if you wish please share yours and thanks!
22-25, F
38 replies
Mar 16, 2019
Edited: 2 mths ago
MartinII · 61-69, M
Two of yours are the same as mine - Casablanca and Double Indemnity. I’ll add The Big Sleep - a classic example of how you can make a great film with two great actors, a fine director and a terrific script even when the plot is virtually incomprehensible.

With reference to Double Indemnity, by happy coincidence I am going to see a Barbara Stanwyck film this afternoon.
Abrienda · 22-25, F
[@268418,MartinII] Oh yes...I would have also listed The Maltese Falcon and Treasure at Sierra Madre as well"!

Stanwyck is the epitome of sex and evil in that film...with her "Wuhlter" pronunciation for Walter.

And yes the La Marseillaise moment in Casablanca is timeless!
MartinII · 61-69, M
[@5932,Abrienda] Yes, I love those two as well. In fact, nearly all my favourite films were made before 1950!
Abrienda · 22-25, F
[@268418,MartinII] Treasure of Sierra Madre is one of the two best protraits of psychopathy in film..."NOBODY makes a fool out of Fred C Dobbs!"

The other is George Peppard in "The Blue Max" (1966). "I claimed two planes he shot down. I shouldn't have done that. I CAN GET 20 VICTORIES WITHOUT ANYONE'S HELP!!
Kwek00 · 36-40, M
1. [b]M[/b] - Fritz Lang (1931) , really inteligent thriller made during the interbellum in Germany. The same person that made "[b]Metropolis[/b]" another great iconic SF movie made around the same time. Totally for free on youtube. The director had to flee germanny, went to hollywood and is considered to be one of the directors that pushed Hollywood into the golden age of cinema.

2. [b]Citizen Kane[/b] - Orson Welles (1941)

3. [b]The Great Dictator[/b] - Charlie Chaplin (1940)

Honorable mentions:

[b]Metropolis[/b] - Fritz Lang (1927)
[b]King Kong[/b] - M.C. Cooper & E.B Shoedshack (1933)
[b]Mr. Smith Goes to Washington[/b] - Frank Capra (1939)
[b]Mr Deeds Goes to Town[/b] - Frank Capra (1936)
[b]Cassablanca[/b] - Michael Curtiz (1942)
[b]The Invisible Man[/b] - James Whale (1933)
Abrienda · 22-25, F
[@421865,Kwek00] Ummmm...the evil doppelganger! In the beginning the town of the workers and the homes of the elites...I cannot help but see similarities today as anyone who has seen Petrazalka in Bratislava, Slokania or North City in Prague or any of the Stalinoid atrocities built by the Communists in formerly Soviet occupied Europe where the elites hop that if they keep the people there supplied with enough cheap plastic crap made by slave-labort in China they will obey.
Kwek00 · 36-40, M
[@5932,Abrienda] I have no idea what we are talking about now. If we are talking about "Metropolis", it's been quite a while since I saw it. So going in depth without rewatching it is almost impossible. I just know it was an intresting movie that made an impression, mainly because of it's visuals. I think when it comes to the story, M was way better (hence why I recommended M and not Metropolis.

I can't talk about specific stuff that happened in Eastern Europe... Because I just don't know. But didn't this film has a specific "class" logic behind it? With the workers in the under city while the rich live in wealthy situations? Also a narrative of industrialisation and technological process, where the underclass is always feeding the moloch which is industrial progress without really getting the fruits of their labor (since it goes to the upper class). There is a social criticism going on, just believe M was better... and Metropolis is still captivating for it's visuals.
Abrienda · 22-25, F
I believe I wrote "Metropolis" has a "class" know, elites? Workers? As for having "no idea what I am talking about" that does not mean I DON'T KNOW what I am talking about, since as you wrote it has been long time since you saw the film. As for you writing you know nothing about CENTRAL Europe I am not asking for your commentary on it...I am informing you about it.

You needn't recommend "M" to me since as I wrote I already saw it - my reference to Grieg? You know,"Peer Gynt"...Peter Lorrie whistling "In the Hall of the Mountain King"? - and yes it is by far the better film.
CASABLANCA!~ yes! a seminal work of fiction AND reality
"shocked, shocked to find gambling going on here."

face in the crowd,, 57 andy griffith,, is that too old for this list?
a story of political manipulation, via personality cult.

the Claudett Colbert "cleopatra" I like the era's take on old egypt, purely for the art.
so you LIKE Errol Flynn? I studied the sword, [i]with his fencing master[/i]![/c]

Jamaica Inn, Hitchcock film starring Charles Laughton

I cannot stop at 3,,,
so I will
Abrienda · 22-25, F
[@378529,plaguewatcher] Also two years almost alone in Saudi? Reading and watching documentaries and movies and listening to music is all there is for me to DO!
[@5932,Abrienda] I watch a lot of film moir,, so many on you tube

pardon my default position of others, no knowing,, it is ever so rare to find literate persons.
Abrienda · 22-25, F
[@378529,plaguewatcher] Move to Central Europe. Actually some of the deepest conversations I ever had were with Russians and Americans
Ahhh I haven't watched any in so long! Probably All Quiet on the Western Front and The Wizard of Oz.
Abrienda · 22-25, F
[@232861,MrBlueSky] She said the movie was an analogy for American isolationist feelings prior to Pearl Harbor. She filled these points for me much more but these are some of them in thei essence

Europe is Oz, Kansas is of course America.

1)Oz is in color...till fabulous and new in 193 but also garish and unsettling: Kansas is in good comfortable b & w.

2) Oz is weird and foreign...and the witch the terrible school lady takes on the appearance of is taken from European fairy tales.

3) The horse of a different color. Nothing is as it seems in Oz (Europe) nothing is HONESTLY what it is represented to be (like in cannot do that color changing thing in b & w.

4) The militarism of Oz...marching soldiers in Oz and the WWW palace
guard (I STILL remember having nightmares about those guys as a little girl!)...but the palace guard are just mindless slaves waiting to be freed...unlike the decent and honest and self-sufficient farm family Dorothy is from.

5)There's no place like home WITHOUT the "humble" part!What more needs be said about that? Ox/Europe might seem inviting but it is exotic,creepy, dangerous, exciting, false and altogether ALIEN.

In other words war is coming so America (what POSSIBLT could be more American than a farm in Kansas?)STAY OUT OF IT THIS TIME!

I still have her thesis but it is in Slovak are there more examples and are better presented than I can.
[@5932,Abrienda] That's a very interesting interpretation! I've never heard that before, it does make sense though. Thank you for sharing!
Abrienda · 22-25, F
[@232861,MrBlueSky] Yes I think she is brilliant an told her to make it book-sized or else I will steal the idea from her & do it myself!

She wasn't being anti-American she is pro-American like me but when she saw it the FIRST TIME in 1992 (the movie was realised the tear the Germans finally finished off Czechoslovakia in 1939) she was stunned by how clear it all was to her...America DONT!

And if you consider it the whole color/b & w thing is unusual but does make Oz look very unfamiliar and "foreign" even today.
Heartlander · 70-79, M
Joan of Arc w/ Ingrid Bergman 1948

And a 20 way tie for 3rd :)

I was about to say Maltese Falcon but then remembered another 19 old movie I loved.
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