My 12 (or so) Favourite Classic Films First Seen in 2011

 Quoting the words of one of the Film critics that inspired me to do this Blog, Kevyn Knox of The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World:

"Inspired by the always charming, always enjoyable and always cinematically knowledgeable (and always alliterative, nomenclaturally speaking) Self-Styled Siren, I send forth a list of my 25 favourite classic films seen for the first time in 2011.  Classic, of course, being any movie made prior to 1960.  And in keeping with the Siren's choice of keeping the descriptions to a bare bones minimum (actually inspired in turn by Clara at Via Margutta 51...)   So without further ado, here are my favourite classic films seen for the first time in 2011."

Since I've seen fewer films than the latest years I've decided to make a list of 12 films instead of the 25 that my colleagues did on their own niches. To keep up with the format of this exercise I will be writing one-line presentation of each film and add the link to the full review of them on this blog.
1. To Have and To Have Not (Howard Hawks, 1944)
Since one or two years I've been meaning to watch the entire films of the great Howard Hawks, this Bogart-Bacall flick is all about Hawksian comedy-thrill and probably one of the best films I've seen in 2011, it became a personal favourite rightaway. Full review.

2. Les yeux sans visage (Georges Franju, 1960) 
A filmmaker friend of mine talked to me many times about this masterpiece of French Cinema, as of today I don't understand why I've never watched this before, a frightening yet very human film. Full review.

3. Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954)
Ray's freudian Western masterpiece with the amazing Joan Crawford, it redefined the classic Hollywoodian Western genre. Full review.

4. Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955)
A cult classic of bad guys, guns, girls, atomic disaster, and gritty fun. Full review.

5. Land of the Pharaohs (Howard Hawks, 1956)
Hawks' underrated egyptian grand spectacle is all about excess and filmmaking extravaganza, one of Martin Scorsese's guilty pleasures. Full review.

6. To Be Or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942)
The Lubitsch touch and one of the many inspirations on Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, the last film by the beautiful Carole Lombard. Full review.

7. The Long Voyage Home (John Ford, 1940)

A war picture by of the most American filmmakers of all-time, John Ford, shot by Citizen Kane's cinematographer Gregg Toland. Full review

8. The Naked Jungle (Byron Haskins, 1952)
A guilty pleasure of mine, the 1950's and 1960's films shot in jungles/studios are a subgenre I really for no reason love, Haskins an underrated director of Film Noir does a great job with a nice script full of subtext and symbolism. Full review. 

9. Partie de campagne (Jean Renoir, 1936)
Probably the most beautiful unfinished film of all time, Renoir's film is shot like a short story directed by an early Terrence Malick, full of visual poetry and humanity. Full review.

10. Mon oncle (Jacques Tati, 1958)Tati has kept the Silent comedy tricks alive with his M. Hulot, without really much words Tati manages to make us laugh out loud many times in his subtle but enjoyable comedy. Full review.

11. Madame de... (Max Ophüls, 1953)

Max Ophüls, what more can I say than it is one of the most beautiful films ever made from one of the best directors of all-time. Full review.

12. Rio Grande (John Ford, 1950)

The last installement of the Ford Calvalry trilogy, a freudian film starring the ultimate American father figure; JohnWayne. Full review.


  1. I recently saw To Be, or Not To Be... but it was the Mel Brooks re-make from the 1980's. I didn't even realize it was a re-make. So that means now I have to see the original. For what it's worth, the Brooks film wasn't awful.

    Mon Oncle is my favorite Tati film.

  2. I'm ashamed to admit pre 1960 is a very weak area for me, out of all those, I've only seen #2 and #10.

  3. fun post such a amazing one i really love it a lot

  4. Thank you everyone but as stated before this is an idea borrowed from the Blogs mentioned.

    @John, I know you are looking to watch more films from Lubitsch and to discover more of his "Touch". Well, his To Be or Not To Be is a must! I really really loved MON ONCLE too!


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