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Films from the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's

Page history last edited by Sean Desilets 10 years, 11 months ago





six films, two from each decade. Name of the film. Year of film. Country of film. director. Brief description 



The Big Sleep (1946, US, Hawks). In library. Quintessential film noir, a popular genre in the 40s. Humphrey Bogart plays a P.I. (surprise surprise) hired to get to the bottom of some family's mysteries. Cracks cases, gets the girl... and so on. Sweet fact: William Faulkner helped adapt the screenplay.


La Belle et La Bête (1946, France, Cocteau). In library (Under The Beauty and the Beast). A very early fantasy film and adaptation of The Beauty and the Beast. Noted for its filming techniques to create surreal and airy scenes.


Feldzug in Polen (1940, Germany, Hippler). Not in library. A Nazi propaganda film that eased many Germans into accepting the invasion of Poland. I thought it would be interesting to study a German film from around this time period since it was an important tool in Hitler's propaganda toolbox.




12 Angry Men (1957, US, Sidney Lumet). In Library. A courtroom drama adapted from a play. The story takes place almost entirely in the jury room where 12 men must decide the fate of the defendant on trial for murder. The trial appears to be open and shut but quickly changes in the jury room as we learn more about the jury and their many interesting personalities and how each affects the decisions made as a juror. Notable for the use of only a few sets, primarily the jury room.


Rashomon (1950, Japan, Akira Kurosawa). In Library. A woman is raped and her husband is murdered. The story is seen from the perspective of four different witnesses. Each witness contradicts the others and the truth is left up to the audience to decide. Flashbacks are used to tell accounts of the witnesses. The term "rashomon effect" in film jargon comes from this film and refers to multiple conflicting or differing interpretations or recollections of the same event, all of which can be seen as independently plausible.




Psycho (1960, USA, Hitchcock). In library. Basically redefined horror films and is considered to be the single greatest thriller of all time. Might as well throw it up here.


Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961, Blake Edwards, USA). In library. To be completely honest I have always wanted to see this movie and have never gotten around to doing it. Audrey Hepburn is fantastic....thats my only reason :)

A struggling writer moves into an apartment in New York City where he meets his adorable, quirky neighbor: Miss Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn. The writer is intrigued and confused by Miss Golightly as he learns more about her double life and separate personalities: the fancy, sexy party girl and the sweet, vulnerable girl who comes out when they are alone.


2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick). In library. An epic space adventure involving great graphics of the time and a somewhat ridiculous story line.



Comments (2)

Sean Desilets said

at 11:06 pm on Sep 2, 2009

Actually, the library has La belle et la bette, but it's unfortunately only searchable under the English translation of the title....argh.

Sean Desilets said

at 4:29 pm on Aug 21, 2009

Films the class studied last year: _His Girl Friday_ (Howard Hawks, US, 1940), _Bicycle Thief_ (Vittorio De Sica, Italy, 1948), _Touch of Evil_ (Orson Welles, US, 1958), _North by Northwest_ (Alfred Hitchcock, US, 1959), _Breathless_ (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1960).

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