Saturday, July 25, 2009

1939 -- The Greatest Year For Movies

1939 is often mentioned as the greatest year for movies in history. And no wonder -- the ten movies nominated for Best Picture at that year's Oscars are enough to quicken the pulse of any filmgoer. So I've decided that if 1939 is the greatest year for movies that I should watch ANY movie made in 1939. I've listed below the movies I've seen repeatedly in the past and now keep track of any new film I watch that's made in that year. I've undoubtedly failed to include some movies I saw years ago because they weren't memorable and I wasn't paying attention to when they were made. Since I've seen at least 100 movies released each year for the past 20 years, it will be a while before I can definitively say I've seen as many from 1939. But I'm getting there: I scan TCM every week and DVR anything from that year I come across. Below I list the movies alphabetically and by star rating, so the absolute classics come first. How many movies from 1939 have you seen?


Gone With The Wind ****
Gunga Din ****
The Hound Of The Baskervilles ****
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame ****
The Lady Vanishes ****
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington ****
Ninotchka ****
Rules of the Game ****
Stagecoach ****
The Wizard Of Oz ****
The Women ****

The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes *** ½
Love Affair *** ½
Of Mice and Men *** ½
The Roaring Twenties *** ½
Wuthering Heights *** ½

Bachelor Mother (Ginger Rogers w baby and David Niven) ***
Beau Geste ***
Charlie Chan in City In Darkness ***
Destry Rides Again ***
Dodge City ***
Drums Along The Mohawk ***
Five Came Back (Lucille Ball – plane crash in jungle) ***
Goodbye, Mr. Chips ***
Intermezzo: A Love Story ***
Invisible Stripes (Geroge Raft, William Holden, Bogie, ex-cons) ***
The Oklahoma Kid ***
Only Angels Have Wings ***
The Saint Strikes Back ***
The Story Of Vernon and Irene Castle ***
Union Pacific ***
Young Mr. Lincoln ***

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn ** 1/2
Calling Dr. Kildare ** ½
Captain Fury ** ½
Charlie Chan at Treasure Island ** ½
In Name Only ** 1/2
The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt ** ½
Night Nurse ** 1/2
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex ** ½
The Real Glory (Gary Cooper, Phillipines, Moro rebellion) ** ½
The Saint in London ** ½
The Secret of Dr. Kildare ** ½
Stanley and Livingstone ** ½

Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever **
Babes In Arms **
Charlie Chan in Reno **
The Falcon’s Brother **
Made For Each Other **
Maisie (Ann Southern) **
Sylvia Scarlett **

Espionage Agent * 1/2
Fast and Loose * ½
The Great Man Votes (scenery chewing John Barrymore) * ½
The Ice Follies of 1939 (Jimmy Stewart and Joan Crawford) * ½
It’s A Wonderful World (Jimmy Stewart and Claudette Colbert) * ½
Nancy Drew, Reporter * ½
They Made Her A Spy * ½

Jamaica Inn *
Naughty But Nice *
Nancy Drew, Trouble Shooter *
Nick Carter, Master Detective *
Rhythm Romance aka Some Like It Hot *
Topper Takes A Trip *
Way Down South *

Charley’s Big-Hearted Aunt (tired farce) no stars
Zenobia )Laurel & Hardy) no stars

67 movies

Updated as of 7/25/2009

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