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Member Lists

Crash Course in Classic American Film (30s - 70s)
List creator: etaviotal
Created on: April 5, 2008 - 6:50 PM PDT
Description: This list is from Austin360.com's article about Paramont Theatre's Summer Classic Film series. I thought their list and brief descriptions were pretty good so I put it up for all to enjoy. (Of course there isn't room for all the classics on one list.)

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The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
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  To start off the 1930s part of the survey: Errol Flynn dashes, swashes and buckles in this joyous actioner directed by Michael Curtiz
Captain Blood (1935)
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Not Rated
  Curtiz also directed this high-seas adventure, which first paired Flynn with "Robin Hood" co-stars Olivia de Havilland and hiss-worthy Basil Rathbone. Filled with supple swordplay, the movie vaulted Flynn to heroic altitudes.
Hell's Angels (1930)
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  Bonkers billionaire Howard Hughes produced and directed this airborne epic, the making of which is dramatized in "The Aviator." Abuzz with breathtaking aerial footage, the movie deployed its own bombshell in Jean Harlow.
Scarface (1932)
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Not Rated
  A required gangster picture (with "Little Caesar" and "The Public Enemy") produced by Hughes, directed by titanically versatile Howard Hawks and starring a hammy Paul Muni, who blasts away with a maniacal smile.
The Public Enemy (1931)
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Not Rated
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
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Not Rated
  Lyrical and heartbreaking look at the hellish tolls of war, set during World War I, directed by Lewis Milestone. Best Picture winner.
City Lights (1931)
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Not Rated
  Charlie Chaplin wrings laughs, then tears in this pitch-perfect mingling of the silly and sentimental.
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
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Not Rated
  Social criticism disguised as melodrama, with Paul Muni as an innocent man ravaged by the penal system. (By the way, I love Paul Muni. He played the widest variety of characters and was always fantastic.)
Freaks (1932)
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Not Rated
  Once-banned horror movie starring actual sideshow human oddities, who take unthinkable revenge on a cruel "normal" person. Directed by master of the ghoulish Tod Browning.
King Kong (1933)
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  Groundbreaking special effects animate the big ape in a monster movie that bends nerves before cracking hearts.
Twentieth Century (1934)
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Not Rated
  Director Howard Hawks and stars John Barrymore and Carole Lombard (the proto-Cameron Diaz, but funnier) whip up a screwball frenzy with Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's hilarious, whipsawing screenplay.
My Man Godfrey (Criterion Collection) (1936)
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Not Rated
  Lombard in another blazing screwball, this time with William Powell, who plays a hobo masquerading as a rich clan's butler. Sophisticated riot with a uniformly great cast, including the frog-voiced Eugene Pallette.
The Awful Truth (1937)
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Not Rated
  And yet another screwball masterpiece. Cary Grant, Irene Dunne and Ralph Bellamy tangle and wrangle in the ashes of divorce. Leo McCarey directs them and a spirited doggie.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
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  Charles Laughton as the misshapen ogre made me cry as a kid ? not out of fear, but sympathy. Gorgeously atmospheric, star-studded horror from Universal. (Missing from the 1930's section is director-poet Josef von Sternberg and siren Marlene Dietrich's "Shanghai Express" (1932) because Green Cine doesn't have it yet.)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
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Not Rated
  This great one begins the 1940s part of the survey. Slick, sassy comedy bristling with badinage, romance and impeccable ensemble acting with the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart.
Woman of the Year (1942)
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Not Rated
  The first pairing of Hepburn and Spencer Tracy demonstrates why they'd make a bunch of whipsmart comedies together.
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
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Not Rated
  James Cagney snagged an Oscar for his portrayal of songsmith George M. Cohan. He still dances like a marionette.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
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Not Rated
  Pure apple pie, with a scoop of MGM's musical magic. Judy Garland stars and her future husband Vincente Minnelli, suave with a camera, directs.
The Lady Eve (1941)
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Not Rated
  Preston Sturges' sharpest romantic comedy, starring a dim Henry Fonda and flinty Barbara Stanwyck, who joust most dashingly.
Palm Beach Story (1942)
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Not Rated
  More romantic lunacy from Sturges, who lets loose some of his most inspired bits (two words: hunters, train). With Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea and more.
Double Indemnity (1944)
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  Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray are bad, very bad, in this ultimate film noir from the fanged Billy Wilder.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
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Not Rated
  Noir is rooted in Murphy's law, as Lana Turner and John Garfield learn when they knock off her hubby out of greed.
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
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Not Rated
  Remade ? horribly ? as "You've Got Mail," Ernst Lubitsch's legendary touch ? sheer grace, charm and heartstrings ? is all over this romantic-comedy about unwitting lovers Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart.
Adam's Rib (1949)
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Not Rated
  Better than "Woman of the Year," this Hepburn-Tracy comedy pits husband and wife lawyers on opposing sides of an attempted-murder case for a battle royal of the sexes.
I Walked with a Zombie/The Leopard Man (1943)
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Not Rated
  A voodoo thriller soaked in macabre atmosphere by Jacques Tourneur, who's better known for "Cat People." (This description refers to "I Walked with a Zombie," but "The Leopard Man" is well worth watching too.)
The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)
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Not Rated
  In this racy-for-its-time comedy by Preston Sturges, Betty Hutton is pregnant but forgets who the father is. Signs point to Eddie Bracken.
Detour (1946)
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Not Rated
  Ann Savage is the nastiest femme fatale ever in Edgar G. Ulmer's dirty and dirt-cheap film noir classic.
Mildred Pierce (1945)
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Not Rated
  Michael Curtiz directs an Oscar-winning Joan Crawford as a mother competing for the same man with her upstart daughter. Domestic noir. (Unlike "Queen Bee" and "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane" she plays a mature woman who is not intentionally the queen of misery.)
Unfaithfully Yours (Criterion Collection) (1948)
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  Preston Sturges ? again. Wildly sophisticated and somewhat underrated comedy about a conductor (Rex Harrison) who fantasizes about killing his wife in sync with musical themes.
Red River (1948)
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  Montgomery Clift leads a mutiny against a bullying John Wayne during an epic cattle drive, with exciting results. Howard Hawks directs one of the great westerns.
Force of Evil (1948)
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Not Rated
  A wrenching noir immaculately constructed by Abraham Polonsky, who was later blacklisted. John Garfield provides the emotional center. (Just one of the films that showcases John Garfield's greatness and the magnitude of McCarthy's and HUAC's devistation of the American film industry.)
The Set-Up (1949)
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Not Rated
  Robert Ryan is at his best as an incorruptible boxer in this taut noir by Robert Wise, who shot the film's 72 minutes in real time.
Rear Window (Special Edition) (1954)
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  The 1950s part of the survey starts with James Stewart getting caught up in two twisted mysteries only Hitchcock could subject him to.
Vertigo (Special Edition) (1958)
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20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
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Not Rated
  The great Ray Harryhausen provides alien beasties in both of these zeitgeist-ripe invader flicks.
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)
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Not Rated
An American in Paris (Special Edition) (1951)
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Not Rated
  Gene Kelly. Dancing. Singing. MGM works its toe-tapping sorcery again.
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
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Not Rated
  Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell glitter in the Howard Hawks musical-comedy, then Monroe joins Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable in the fun if aged comedy of female mettle.
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
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Not Rated
Winchester '73 (1950)
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Not Rated
  Anthony Mann's tense western rejuvenated the genre, with an unexpectedly tough James Stewart hunting down the man who stole his rifle.
The First Films of Samuel Fuller: The Steel Helmet (Eclipse) (1950)
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  A riveting, hard-bitten look at the Korean War from crusty genius Sam Fuller.
Kiss Me Deadly (Criterion) (1955)
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Not Rated
  A brazen take on the Mickey Spillane book, full of violenceand perversity, by Robert Aldrich. Recognize that glowing suitcase?
The Killing (Criterion) (1956)
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Not Rated
  A gas of a heist-noir by Stanley Kubrick, with Sterling Hayden as the unrepentant gang leader who wants to make a killing at the track. Inspired "Reservoir Dogs."
Sweet Smell of Success (Criterion) (1957)
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Not Rated
  Burt Lancaster is the meanest gossip columnist in the city, and he'll take you out in one spitting sentence ? especially if you're dating his sister. Tony Curtis has never been better than in this scabrous noir.
A Face in the Crowd (1957)
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Not Rated
  You've never seen Andy Griffith like this ? a country singer turned megalomaniac when his television fame mushrooms. Elia Kazan directs Budd Schulberg's biting script.
Written on the Wind (Criterion Collection) (1956)
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Not Rated
  Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone and Rock Hudson lather up lots of kitschy soap bubbles in Douglas Sirk's overheated, Texas-based melodrama. (This part of the list is missing Nicholas Ray's "Johnny Guitar," William Wyler's "Detective Story," and Budd Botticher's "The Tall T" because Green Cine is missing them.)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
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  and "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962) ? Ahead-of-their-time Cold War critiques, daring and dark. Stanley Kubrick's black comedy brings chuckles; John Frankenheimer's nervous drama brings chills.
The Beatles: A Hard Day's Night (1964)
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  This one isn't American (though director Richard Lester is), because it's all about the Beatles, who not only make us dance, but make us laugh.
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
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  An epic snooze that looks lovely from David Lean. Omar Sharif, agitating Bolsheviks and lots of ice.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
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Not Rated
  Audrey Hepburn charms her way through these romantic comedies. ("Breakfast at Tiffany's is stylish but overrated -- "Charade" is the one that is actually a good movie, and it is one of the greatest movies of all times.)
Charade (Criterion Collection) (1963)
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The Hustler (1961)
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Not Rated
  Paul Newman deserved an Oscar for his pool sharp Fast Eddie, who's as tough as he is emotional. A great drama and fractured romance, co-starring Piper Laurie, Jackie Gleason and the exceptional George C. Scott.
The Nutty Professor (1963)
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Not Rated
  Yes, Jerry Lewis. The comedian is superb in dual roles ? a geeky science professor and the jerky cad Buddy Love ? as well as in the director's seat. (I personally don't see a "classic" in this one, not only is it not funny, but smarmy "Buddy Love" gives me nightmares.)
The Naked Kiss (Criterion Collection) (1964)
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Not Rated
  Sam Fuller's bizarre pastiche of moods makes this chancy melodrama about child molestation and a former prostitute unforgettable.
The Americanization of Emily (1964)
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Not Rated
  Paddy Chayefsky's beautiful dialogue galvanizes this cynical view of love and war, with James Garner (doing his best work) and Julie Andrews.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
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  Mike Nichols nails Edward Albee's conflagration of marital recriminations, aided by a scorching cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis.
Point Blank (1967)
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Not Rated
  Double-crossed by his partner and his wife, Lee Marvin is out for bloody revenge and exactly $93,000. John Boorman shoots with New Wave flair that gives it a '60s stamp.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
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Not Rated
  George A. Romero's seminal zombie grossout ? extra spooky in gooey black and white ? still rattles. (After seeing this one you will definitely feel sad about what Romero's career has become.)
The Swimmer (1968)
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  Bleak, offbeat character study in which a man (half-naked Burt Lancaster) swims through a series of pools, each triggering flashbacks to his sorry life.
Salesman (Criterion Collection) (1969)
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Not Rated
  The Maysles brothers' landmark of documentary verité presents a stark portrait of the American way, following a quartet of door-to-door Bible salesmen on their rounds to fascinating effect. (The 1960s section of the list is missing John Frankenheimer's "Seconds" because Green Cine is missing it.)
Grease (1978)
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  To start off the 70s part of the survey: John Travolta sings and dances, sometimes at the same time.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
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Chinatown (1974)
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  Roman Polanski's classic noir homage hasn't dimmed a single watt.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
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  Anthony Burgess' futuristic novel gets a controversial spin by bad boy Stanley Kubrick.
Two-Lane Blacktop (Criterion) (1971)
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  Classically ruminative '70s drama set among an eclectic cast ? James Taylor, Dennis Wilson and Warren Oates ? whose collective thirst for speed has them racing far and wide and fast.
The Hospital (1971)
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  George C. Scott is the beleaguered doc whose hospital is reaching unhealthy anarchy in this smart bureaucratic satire written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Arthur Hiller.
Harold and Maude (Criterion) (1971)
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  Suicidal boy (Bud Cort) meets life-drunk granny (Ruth Gordon). Love springs as lessons are sweetly, humorously learned. All to the hippie ditties of Cat Stevens and Hal Ashby's tone-perfect direction.
Last House on the Left (1972)
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Not Rated
  Wes Craven's supposed remake of Bergman's "Virgin Spring" is a bargain-basement revenge story shot in terrifying verité with questionable taste. Landmark horror.
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)
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  A gritty revisionist history of Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson) and the sheriff (James Coburn) shadowing him as only Sam Peckinpah could tell it ? with blood and lots of slo-mo.
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974)
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  A car-bound character study, with Peter Fonda's wannabe NASCAR racer ripping through California alongside his crime accomplices in a '69 Dodge Charger. The cops are in hot pursuit, leading to a shocker finale.
A Woman Under the Influence (Criterion Collection) (1974)
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  Gena Rowlands got the Oscar for her squirm-inducing role as a housewife cracking apart in John Cassavetes' remorseless look at suburban ennui and domestic turmoil.
Harlan County USA (Criterion Collection) (1976)
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  Barbara Kopple's Oscar-winning documentary is a rowdy chronicle of striking Kentucky mine workers, a gripping window into real human struggle.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
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  Al Pacino lets loose as a desperate robber cornered inside a bank by police, with an array of hostages. Director Sidney Lumet enlarges a true incident into thrilling character drama.
3 Women (Criterion Collection) (1977)
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  Funny, heartbreaking and weird, Robert Altman's meditation on female relationships, starring Sissy Spacek and Shelley Duvall, has the prickle of reality and the haze of dreams.

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