Happy Movies War Is Over
It's 1946. The War has ended, and Hollywood hopes to return to normal. Will it? (Little did it know that something truly devastating was just around the corner--television).
The only thing I know for sure is anyone's list from this year is likely to have a lot of film noir. Anyway, here's Jesse Walker's top ten:
2. My Darling Clementine
3. The Big Sleep
5. The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers
7. The Killers
8. The Hair-Raising Hare
9. Beauty And The Beast
10. The Postman Always Rings Twice
It's A Wonderful Life may be Capra's greatest, which is saying a lot. It's amazing it's as good as it is, considering how weak his oeuvre is after WWII. It also shows just how dark a vision he has.
Like so much other Ford, I'm not much of a fan of My Darling Clementine. It looks great, and some of the performers are good, but I find it fairly dull.
The Hair-Raising Hare is great, but is a Bugs Bunny short.
Then there's noir. The Big Sleep may be my favorite film of the year--it's certainly one of Hawks most entertaining films, and I don't know if Bogart has ever been better. Notorious, though a bit overrated, is top-notch Hitchcock. The Strange Love Of Mother Ivers is alright, but not top ten. Another okay yet overrated film is The Postman Always Rings Twice. The Killers, introducing Burt Lancaster, is a fine noir of the period. Gilda, though it features Rita Hayworth at her best, isn't really much of a film.
Let me note the absence of The Best Years Of Our Lives--the most honored film of 1946, as well as the biggest hit. For quite a while it was consider THE post-war film, and is still honored in many circles, and yet Jesse doesn't include it in his top ten (while I might). People would have laughed at you if you said back then that an exciting but trivial detective film like The Big Sleep is better, but reputations change.
Cluny Brown (lesser Lubitsch, but still pretty good)
Road To Utopia (the best road film along with Morocco)
Other films I like:
Other films of note:
Angel On My Shoulder, Anna And The King Of Siam, The Beast With Five Fingers, Because Of Him, Black Beauty, The Blue Dahlia, The Chase, Cinderella Jones, Cloak And Dagger, Crisis, Dragonwyck, Duel In The Sun, Easy To Wed, The Green Years, If I’m Lucky, The Jolson Story, Let There Be Light, Little Giant, Love Laughs At Andy Hardy (a failed comeback for the series, which was very popular, but never that great to begin with), Magnificent Doll, My Reputation, Of Human Bondage, The Razor’s Edge, San Quentin, Sioux City Sue, Sister Kenny, The Spiral Staircase, Spook Busters, Terror By Night, Till The Clouds Roll By, Three Wise Fools, The Time Of Their Lives (Abbott and Costello were experimenting), To Each His Own, Tomorrow Is Forever, Two Guys From Milwaukee, Two Years Before The Mast, Undercurrent, The Verdict, The Virginian, Wake Up And Dream, Without Reservations, The Yearling