Tuesday, January 06, 2004
IN LIEU OF A 2003 LIST: No, I haven't given up on these silly substitutions. Having already posted top-ten movie lists for 1993, 1983, 1973, and 1963, I might as well go back to 1953 too:
1. Glen or Glenda
Written and Directed by Ed Wood
An ineffable piece of outsider art.
2. Tokyo Story
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu
Written by Ozu and Kôgo Noda
Self-absorbed children grow emotionally estranged from their elderly parents. Quiet but devastating.
3. Duck Amuck
Directed by Chuck Jones
Written by Michael Maltese
Bugs and Daffy never had much use for the fourth wall to begin with, but in this cartoon they pretty much destroy it.
4. The Naked Spur
Directed by Anthony Mann
Written by Sam Rolfe and Harold Jack Bloom
Don't let the cowboys-and-Indians setting throw you. This is an intense psychological thriller, with James Stewart in one of his most complex and morally ambiguous roles.
5. Ugetsu Monogatari
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Written by Matsutarô Kawaguchi and Yoshikata Yoda, from stories by Akinari Ueda
It's a samurai movie about potters, not a potted movie about samurais.
Directed by Henry Hathaway
Written by Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch, and Richard L. Breen
A Hitchcockian nightmare about death and marriage.
6. I Vitelloni
Directed by Federico Fellini
Written by Fellini, Ennio Flajano, and Tullio Pinelli
It's like American Graffiti, only without all that nostalgia in the way.
7. Stalag 17
Directed by Billy Wilder
Written by Wilder and Edwin Blum, from a play by Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski
To be honest, I could do without some of the supporting cast. But it's still the funniest movie ever set in a wartime prison camp, and it has an admirably individualist outlook.
9. The Wages of Fear
Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Written by Clouzot and Jerome Geronimi, from a novel by Georges Arnaud
It's got politics, it's got suspense, it's got nitroglycerene.
10. The Big Heat
Directed by Fritz Lang
Written by Sydney Boehm, from a novel by William P. McGivern
"Listen, slob. Stop minding other people's business if you want to stay alive. Some big people are getting annoyed."
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