Sunday, 19 February 2017

Under Sandet (Land of Mine) (2015)

Under Sandet
I have just returned from a trip back to Denmark during which I stayed over with a friend of mine who had prepared a few movies for us to watch. We ended up choosing “Under Sandet”, a Danish movie from 2015 which has received an Academy nomination in the Best Foreign Language category. If it sounds unfamiliar it might help to know that it is released abroad as “Land of Mine”. I am not in the habit of reviewing new movies, but both the timing and the quality of this movie is exceptional.

The backstory of the movie is that during second world war the German army fortified the entire Atlantic and North Sea coastline in anticipation of an allied invasion. This included the Danish west coast. The hulking bunkers are in many cases still there as silent, grim reminders of a violent past, but a more immediate problem after the war were the millions of mines buried just under the sand. These had to be removed.

The sentiment was that those who placed them there could please remove them again so some two thousand German soldiers were sent to Denmark to clean the beaches. From an outside perspective that sounds reasonable enough. However the German army in 1945 was a rag-tag collection of children and old men. Hardly the gruesome Nazi’s that people loathed. The movie follows such a group of children dressed up as soldiers who is sent to do mine cleaning service. Remove 45.000 mines in three months and they can go home.

Their supervisor Sgt. Carl Rasmussen (Roland Møller) hates the Germans. We see that in the opening where he assaults and beats some German soldiers in a convoy simply for being German. Sgt. Rasmussen receives his troop of German “soldiers” in the same spirit and openly declares that he does not care if they all die clearing mines. The same goes for Karin (Laura Bro), the farmer who is paid to feed the soldier. She takes her revenge by simply not feeding them while Lt. Ebbe Jensen (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), the pioneer of the engineering corps in charge of the operation, takes a sick pleasure in killing as many as possible.

And a deadly task it is. Even for skilled minesweepers this is tricky business and with an average of six mines per hour it does not take a genius to figure out that from time to time something will go wrong. The movie has this slow pace that almost lulls you into complacency and then, boom, somebody blows up and every time it happens the simple brutality is shocking.

As already mentioned the troop consists of boys, not men. They hardly need to shave, they are shaking with fear of their task and they are completely out of place. The only army training they seem to have gotten is to do what they are told and to reply correctly to shouting. Beside that they are just big school children. There is a quiet despair to them as if they are accepting their lot, but at the same time do not understand why fate has placed them where they are. Soon, very soon, they are transformed from German soldiers to individual, gentle characters. Sebastian, Helmut, Ludwig, Wilhelm and the twins Ernst and Werner (Louis Hofmann, Joel Basman, Oskar Bökelmann, Leon Seidel, Emil and Oskar Belton) and so on. We, the audience soon find it difficult to hate them and gradually Sgt. Rasmussen must recognize them for what they are. It is that phenomenon that it is easy to hate people as a group but very difficult to hate them as individual human beings that is at the heart of the movie. As the boys are broken down, reduced both in number and spirit they come into focus as human beings even to cold hearted Karin.

This is a deeply humanistic message that goes much further than the movie and the shame that is felt by Sgt. Rasmussen and Karin can easily be transferred to other issues where groups are hated collectively and that is why this movie feels relevant today rather than just poking to our bad conscience of something that happened 70 years ago.

“Under Sandet” is a slow-moving movie, but it is a movie that grabs you around the heart and moves you, especially if like me you cannot accept cruelty to children. In a world of fast paced movies, it is an almost shocking experience to watch a movie that takes its time to let you know the characters. And double shocking when it then blows them away.

As far as I can see the movies in the Best Foreign Language category are all strong and I doubt “Under Sandet” will win it, but it is a worthy candidate and I can only recommend it.     

Friday, 10 February 2017

Shoot the Piano Player (Tirez sur le Pianiste) (1960)

Skyd på pianisten
”Tirez sur le pianiste” or ”Shoot the Pianist” is the second installment on the List from Francois Truffault. It is quite a departure from “Les Quatre Cents Coups” in several ways. Gone is the social-realistic pathos and oppressive self-importance to be replaced by playfulness and a mischievous sparkle in the eye. ”Tirez sur le pianiste” is a movie by people having fun rather than burning to tell an important story.

I liked “Tirez sur le pianiste” a lot more than I did “Les Quatre Cents Coups”.

It is a strange movie to describe because it is both very conventional and completely unconventional. The plot is something you would recognize from an American B-movie, but processed in a way that is not quite a parody but questions the very format of the film. I imagine that Truffaut and his team sat down and considered every scene of the movie and said: “Hey, wouldn’t it be totally awesome if instead of doing this or that the characters would do or be something entirely different?” In that sense the very format of the otherwise ordinary story becomes a playground.

Take for example the introduction. A man, Chico (Albert Rémy), is on the run from someone. He meets a complete stranger with flowers, chat him up and is told a lengthy story about a marriage grown from dislike to full blown love. He says good bye and continues to run to find his brother and ask for help. There is an obvious clash here that makes you wonder and even smile, but not enough of a clash to break the illusion. In the bar where Chico finds his brother Charlie (Charles Aznavour) people are dancing and having a great time, but when you look at the couples dancing they are outright bizarre. Again you raise your eyebrow and even smile, but not enough to break the illusion. Then Chico disappears out of the story only to reappear in the end and we now follow Charlie, who has a secret worthy of any B-movie, but taken that step further.

The only movie I can really compare “Tirez sur le pianiste” to is “Pulp Fiction”. Tarantino’s toying with the conventions of B-movies is entirely parallel to what Truffault does here. That makes it fun and entertaining and always surprising, but never so much that it brakes the frame of the larger story. Charlie and Chico are being hunted by two gangsters and it does end in a bloody shoot-out, but the road there takes some very peculiar turns. The gangsters are tough and persistent, but they are also talkative clowns who in the heat of things keep up conversations completely unrelated to what they are actually doing. Again not unlike Jackson’s and Travolta’s characters in “Pulp fiction”.

Another similarity are the sudden jumps in the story timeline introducing plotlines seemingly unrelated to the main plot. The jumps are very sudden and at times dizzying and reflect the play with the format. The situations in these often almost unrelated scenes are detailed and elaborate and I get the impression that much more attention was invested in getting these scenes right than in developing the main story and as such they often feel more like tableaux than parts of a progressive story.

Truffault actually manages to keep it all on track and never lets it slide too far and I think this is why it actually works. This could easily have become a spoof movie or a hopelessly arty movie, but it maintains the balance well enough to become neither.

That is until I saw the interview with Truffault in the extra material. His explanations to the movie were so highbrow and pretentious that I wondered if it was me who had completely misunderstood the movie. According to Truffaut “Tirez sur le pianiste” is an art project. In my understanding, it was a group of movie makers having a great time. I much prefer my version.

I would definitely recommend this movie to anybody with an affinity for early Tarantino movies. He must have watched this movie and been inspired. In its time “Tirez sur le pianiste” was not received well so I guess Truffault was about thirty years ahead of his time.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)

Lørdag aften søndag morgen
Back in the nineties I watched a number of British comedies that had that in common that they were all based in the British working class. Billy Elliot, Brassed Off, The Full Monty and Trainspotting to mention a few of them. They were quite enjoyable, at least I thought so, and I would gladly go to the cinema to watch them. These movies all hark back to “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” as the movie that introduced the working class in British cinema.

In its day “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” was quite revolutionary. I get the impression that British film until this point had little interest in what happened outside middle class and upper class circles, which considering the vastness of working class population was a bit of an oversight. “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” changed that practically overnight with provincial characters from the industrial hubs who spoke the local dialect and did not give a flying fart for the concerns of rich people. As such this movie has a lot of significance, but unfortunately it has not aged very well. Compared to its modern equivalents it lacks the comic levity that makes the harsher messages go down and the protagonist is from our modern point of view not likeable enough for us to root for him. The result is a movie that flounders and fail to engage me as much as it is obviously intended.

Central to the movie is Arthur Seaton (Albert Finney). He works at a factory in Nottingham and has only one concern in his life: To enjoy himself as much as possible. In fact his entire existence centers on that objective. The job is the means to it and the girls are the targets that bring him that gratification. He is way to self-centered to be concerned with other people and would mock or harass then without a flinch if it would make him laugh. Much of his escapades takes place over the weekends, hence the name of the move, though are not restricted to it.

Arthur is having an affair with the wife (Rachel Roberts as Brenda) of one of his colleagues at the factory, a nice fellow who Arthur actually likes. Arthur and Brenda does a lot of illicit humping (another first for British cinema!), but that does not stop Arthur for hitting on other girls. One day he meets Doreen (Shirley Anne Field) and he moves straight into action. Doreen is way above his level, not economically, but in terms of integrity and sheer human quality and should by all rights be unattainable for a scumbag like Arthur. Yet Doreen gets charmed and they start a relationship in parallel to his relationship with Brenda.

Then two things happen. Brenda gets pregnant with Arthurs child and Doreen would like to get their relationship more into the open. The seriousness of both hits Arthur like a hammer. To his credit he obliges both, helps Brenda with support to get an abortion (which she eventually does not go through with) and he gets serious with Doreen. The consequence is that he gets caught in his double game. In the dramatic scenes at the fair I am so certain that his entire world will come crashing down spectacularly, but the only thing that really happens is that he gets beaten up by the friends of Brenda’s husband. The rest is handled by some well-placed lies. Doreen seem not to mind, Brenda is out of his life and even her husband is happy to let it pass.

To watch a guy who is essentially an asshole get off so easy is frankly disappointing, not to mention that the climactic scenes actually fizzle. I had expected things to get a lot worse. The real penalty for Arthur seems to be that Doreen has tamed him and let him into a life of home and marriage and some degree of respectability, the antithesis of his previous prerogatives.

If Arthur had been funny or at least his pranks had been fun rather than mean and egoistic this could have been an enjoyable movie in line with its counterparts thirty years later. Instead I get increasingly irritated by Arthur’s irresponsibility and also maybe I also feel it is a bit unfair that he gets a nice girl like Doreen considering that he absolutely does not deserve her. The world is not fair, but it is annoying to be reminded of it.

I admit it is refreshing to see a different population segment than the usual, but that would probably be more appreciated by a local audience, not to mention an audience in 1960, where such things were very unusual. The same goes for youth rebellion. It is a timeless theme, but more of a novelty in 1960.  

All in all this is a movie whose quality is its significance in movie history, for what it set in motion, but not for what it brings an audience today. Everything interesting here really relates to the historic aspect. And then of course Doreen. She is a surprisingly pretty girl.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

La Dolce Vita (1960)

Det søde liv
Me and Fellini are not the best of friends. His movies are highly acclaimed, but generally fails to drag me into their universe. Usually, it would seem, I simply get annoyed with the characters and start shouting at them to get their act together, something I doubt was the intention with the movies. With “La Dolce Vita” I get the feeling that this is exactly the intention.

I would not go so far as to say that I liked “La Dolce Vita”, but at least I see the point and it is a point well made. It is comedic, but so bitter and acerbic that the laughter gets stuck in the throat. The rich and famous, the public and their intermediaries, the journalists, all get skewered in this biting satire, to the extent that I feel sorry for the lot rather than amused.

“La Dolce Vita” has no story arc, at least none that I could recognize, but is instead a 2 hours and 47 minutes tour through the idle depravity of the rich and famous and the sycophantic and parasitic envy of the public. Our eyes are those of Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni). He had aspirations of being a writer of novels, but earns a living as a gossip journalist. In that function he insinuates himself into the lives of the idle rich, but as an outside observer. It is clear from the beginning that a large part of him wants their lives and even pretends that he is part of it. This despite that he has a conventional fiancé at home (Yvonne Furneaux as Emma) burning with frustration that Marcello is out there partying instead of being home with her.

Marcello’s aspiration is pathetic and naïve as demonstrated by his infatuation with the over-dimensioned Sylvia (Anita Ekberg). He is virtually invisible to her, only to be used as a mirror of her own vanity. Later, in the course of the movie Marcello gets sucked into that world so that by the end he is no longer an observer but an integral part of it.

Is it then all he ever dreamt of? Who is to say. Marcello has clarity enough to care for his fiancé and appreciate the life she stands for. He has an encounter with his father that makes him realize what he has been missing in his life and most importantly he and Emma makes a visit to Marcello’s friend Steiner (Alain Cuny), a man who seems to have found all the true values in life: his children, nature, poetry and science. Marcello and especially Emma are full of admiration. Yet Marcello throws it all away for an empty, idle and ultimately stupid life in the fast lane. The glamour is simply too alluring.

The public fascination with the Dolce Vita of the idle rich is represented by the ever-present photographers who like insects swarm around them, latching on to everything they do. They manipulate and they are manipulated in that common interest of providing a show for the public. No more clearly demonstrated than in the scene of miracle in the fields. To me this was straight out of “Ace in the Hole”. The media here has no decency what so ever and it is no coincidence that the term paparazzi was originally a name of one of the photographers in this movie.

Fellini is spot on. History has proven him right except in one point. The depravity of the world was not complete by 1965. It could and would get a lot worse. Yet, I am not entirely sold by the movie. It is an uncomfortable movie to watch. The fun is not fun at all and the movie is so long that I got the point a long time before it ends. It is also rather depressing to watch. There is no redemption for these people. Even Steiner succumbs in the end and in this closed world of Fellini we are all heading straight for Armageddon. From an artistic point of view you cannot but admire Fellini, but this is no Sunday afternoon watch.

If we forget the story a bit there is a lot to enjoy in “La Dolce Vita”. First of all sheer amount of beautiful women. Anita Ekberg is way over the top, but for all the other roles Fellini has really gone out of his way to find quality actresses for this movie. That is of course part of the message. Beauty is surface and surface is all these people have. It is a bitter sweet truth, but quite enjoyable nonetheless.

There is also a strange fascination with all this depraved entertainment. Some of the costumes are really out there and the characters are quite imaginative. In their boredom they are really exploring the fringes of entertainment.

I doubt Fellini and I will ever be truly good friends, but at least with movies like this one I can respect him and that counts for something.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

The Young Ones (La Joven) (1960)

Mands begær
”La Joven” or ”The Young One” (or “White Trash”) was a difficult film to find. As this is a Luis Bunuel movie, produced in Mexico, I was not surprised to find it only available is Spanish, but it was soon clear to me that this is a movie with American actors speaking English and the Spanish on my version was dubbed, poorly. With the help of a subtitle file I did makes sense of it, but it was definitely an example of crossing the river to get water.

Bunuel was a surrealist / anarchist / socialist why developed in that direction through his career. I do not mind any of that had his movies in general been as good as the List editors seem to think. With “La Joven” his is definitely in his social consciousness phase and more lucid than usual. His “case” is racism and bigotry from white trash and as such it is hitting a nerve that I suppose is still valid. White trash as a population segment has become quite important.

Miller (Zachary Scott) is a game warden on a small island, presumably in the American South. His elderly partner has died leaving his young granddaughter, Evvie (Key Meersman) as his only company. Miller is a confident brute who sees himself as supreme leader of his little kingdom. Evvie is hardly more than a nuisance that he can boss around, that is until he realizes she is becoming sexually attractive. That gives her an entirely new value to him, something that baffles and scares the girl who is frankly little more than a child.

Into this child abuse story steps Traver (Bernie Hamilton). He is a musician on the run from a false charge of rape who has run out of gas near the island. Traver has one trait against him for a fellow in this part of the world: He is black. As such he is in the eyes of white trash like Miller a condemned man already.

Miller knows nothing about the rape charge against Traver. For him it is enough that he is black and has entered his kingdom. He is vermin that needs to be hunted down. Evvie has no racial bias and is fascinated by the civil and cordial treatment from Traver. This is obviously very different from the dominance and sexual advances of Miller. She is baffled by the hatred Miller is having towards the black man and tries hard to understand.

These are the two themes of the story: child abuse and racism, and for most of the movie that is basically what is on display. The movie draws a connection between the two, saying that both are founded in the character type that is Miller and as such the movie is one, long exposé of Miller’s flaws.

This could have become awfully boring if it had not been for the lethal tension between Miller and Traver and the constant danger hoovering over Evvie. But the story also takes some twists to reveal that racism is not a constant. When Miller learns that both men served in the army in Italy, Traver becomes more than just a black intruder and later on self-preservation relegates animosities to the backseat.

I was okay with this movie. It was not the greatest movie I ever saw and often it is rather ham-fisted, but it grew on me as I watched it. I needed to see Evvie getting off this island, out of the clutches of Miller and his kind and that tension, more than the almost fatalistic racism, was what drove the story forward for me.

Probably the best I have seen from Bunuel so far, but that is not really praise I suppose.


Friday, 13 January 2017

Rocco and His Brothers (Rocco e i suoi Fratelli) (1960)

Rocco og hans brødre

1960 starts off with an Italian movie, which is symptomatic for this year. As far as I can see there are four Italian movies on the List for 1960, so either Italian cinema went through a golden age or the general level was rather poor. As this is my first movie of the year that has yet to be decided. That is still the case after watching “Rocco and His Brothers”.
Luchino Visconti’s movie borrows into neorealist tradition by taking its departure in real and relevant issues, notably the migration of poor south-Italians to the prosperous northern Italy, but adds drama, almost melodrama to the story, which helps alleviate the dullness often associated with neorealism, but, in my opinion, it probably gets too much of that. Visconti uses the story of the everyday struggle to demonstrate some larger, philosophical issues and, as is often the case with such agenda’s, almost overplays his cards to make his points.

A discussion of the movie will be full of spoilers, so a warning right away, this review is aimed at those who have already seen it. There be spoilers ahead. For that reason I will also dispense with the summary as you will already know the story.

The movie centers on the Parondi family, consisting of five brothers and their mother. Each brother and the mother represents a value or property that is relevant for Italians. Combined they (may) represent the different directions Italy can take, though that may be a stretch. Their migration from south to north is both a very real window into a persistent issue in Italy (North versus South and internal migration) but also a journey from the past to the future.

The mother (Katina Paxinou) represents family, family at all costs. For her her family is everything. She defines her life as the matriarch of the five brother family and her prerogative is to keep the family united. What the brothers do or want is unimportant as long as they stay in the family and support the idea of a close knit family. The break-up of her family is her constant worry and when she cries and screams it is not for her sons, but what her sons do to the coherence of her family. All independence is evil. And she screams a lot! Twenty minutes in I had enough and with a sinking heart realized there was another two and a half hours to go.

Vincenzo (Spiros Focás) represents new family and is therefore a threat to the existing family. He is the first one to go to Milano and is already in the process of forming his own family when the rest of the lot shows up. The mother barges in and expects to join the party and is at once at odds with the bride-to-be’s family who will have none of that. Vincenzo has to choose and choses at first stay with his old family, but drifts back to that new family he wants to make. This is a cause of conflict with the mother.

Simone (Renato Salvatori) is a brute, a smartass who tricks or bully people to get what he wants. His motives are strictly egocentric and narcissistic and represents another classic Italian type. Visconti lets him fly high and crash, clearly letting us know that this attitude has severe consequences. Dramatically he is the bad guy causing trouble and exploiting the gullible. To the mother all that does not matter. It is a much bigger concern that he is being ostracized by the other brothers and therefore excluded from the family and he is hanging around with a prostitute, damaging the reputation of the family. When he finally kills the girl the mother cries not for the murder, but for the loss of her son.

Rocco (Alain Delon) is a saint. Everything he does is motivated by doing good and sacrifice himself in the process. This is particularly the case with Simone. Simone does what he can to exploit and dominate Rocco and in return Rocco forgives him everything and does all in his power and more to help Simone. Yet every time Rocco makes a sacrifice there is a backlash and good intent have terrible consequences. A case in point is the prostitute Nadia (Annie Girardot). She is revitalized by Rocco’s attention, but when Simone rapes her as punishment Rocco orders Nadia to return to Simone to help him because he thinks Simone needs her. The rape and being treated like an item that can be possessed and given away destroys Nadia and Simone is only the worse for her attention. Is this the Italian concept of Furbo and Fesso?

Ciro (Max Cartier) represents realism. He embraces the future, takes an education and gets a good job. He is also the one who both realizes Rocco’s sainthood and Simone’s evil and advocates practical and sensible solutions. Yet this is also a threat to the family-at-all-cost. Ciro is not about forgiving as Rocco and the mother but a mechanic or a doctor who fixes things, and who in a traditionalist world would be burned on the stake. Maybe he represents Italy’s painful transition into modernity.

Luca (Rocco Vidolazzi) is the future. He is much younger than the other four brothers and has yet to decide his path. Which of his four brothers will he follow? 

From a northern perspective the conflict in the movie can feel alien. The mother’s family at all cost is way too much, but is also very much reality in the Mediterranean context. The same is the brute and saint of Simone and Rocco and my guess is that an Italian watching this movie will get a lot more out of this relationship. 

For these reasons I had the feeling that this movie was not really aimed at me. I appreciate what Visconti was trying to do here, but from outside the cultural context it loses quite a bit of its bite and if you add to that my aversion for Italian screaming I end up being on the fence. The middle part was good, but the beginning and the end was too over the top for me.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Finishing the fifties

Finishing the Fifties

Another decade in the bag!

As of last Sunday I am done with the fifties. It has taken me two years and three month and 134 movies.


The fifties was a formative decade that in many way formed the world we live in today. The Second World War was finally behind us and the world was looking forward again. There was growth on the horizon, at least in America where the fifties still seem to be considered a golden age, but also Europe was recovering, planting the seeds of what would eventually become the European Union, heralding an age of prosperity and peace. Yeah, for the record I am strongly pro-EU.

It was a world dominated by the East-West divide and a growing fear of what lurked on the other side. Across the pond that caused the communist scare with the blacklist of anybody with a socialist inclination, which turned out to have a massive influence on the movies produced in this decade. In Europe it marked a crossroad where the Eastern countries took a different way than the West, but also a growing social consciousness that shaped the welfare system and produced movies that defied conventions.

In the world of cinema there was one thing that stood out as the game changer: the television!

Invented in the thirties, in regular operation from the forties, television became commonly available in the fifties and changed the way average people sought entertainment. No longer did cinemas have a monopoly on movies, you could just turn on your home altar and check what was on. For the film studios that meant that they had to provide something else. Color, widescreen, massive budgets, even 3D. Things that would make the cinema experience something special, give you something you could not get at home. The result is a decade that brought increasingly impressive movies. There is nothing like pressure to invigorate an industry.

Hollywood produced some of its most famous movies during this decade and was technical and financially way ahead of the rest of the world. Europe was more like a laboratory of new ideas, often hit or miss, but usually interesting. However, surprisingly, the country that shined on the movie sky in this decade was Japan. Kurosawa, Mizuguchi and Ozu are just a few of the directors the West came to know in this decade.

Anyway, it is time to present the ten movies of the decade I loved the most. As it turned out that was a very difficult exercise. When I was down to twenty movies I had a list of movies that would all qualify and it was a painful process to reduce it even further.

Yet, ten it must be. In chronological order:

1.       Sunset Boulevard

A noir classic that never gets old. Last Sunday I went to the cinema to watch “Sing” with my wife and son and, lo and behold, it is still being referenced! Amazing movie.

2.       Singin’ in the Rain

I am not your average musical fan, but “Singin’ in the Rain” is simply the best musical ever. Not placing it on this list would be criminal.

3.       Roman Holiday

A sweet romantic comedy about a princess that falls in love in Rome, how on Earth did that make my top ten? Well, if you add that the princess is Audrey Hepburn and the script was made by Dalton Trumbo I believe you have your explanation.

4.       Rear Window

Why two Hitchcocks on my top ten? Because including every one of them would exclude everything else. I have always loved “Rear Window” and somewhere between the economy of the set and the messing with our heads this is one of Hitchcock’s best movies.

5.       The Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai)

“The Seven Samurai” may well be the best movie ever made and I love every minute of it. Kurosawa was more versatile than many people know, but this is why he is remembered as the master of the samurai movie.

6.       The Searchers

In a decade madly in love with westerns “The Searchers” stand out as grittier, tougher and more intense than any of its contemporaries. It feels modern in every sense.

7.       The Bridge on the River Kwai

Again a top movie of the decade that has stood the test of time. I watch it every few years and love it every time. How can this movie not be on my top ten?

8.       My Uncle (Mon Oncle)

This may be a surprising choice, but it was the pleasant surprise of the decade. Hulot was a master of physical comedy and “Mon Oncle” is hysterically funny. What more do you want?

9.       Some Like it Hot

Another classic that has stood the test of time. More than fifty years later this is still better than any comedy you can find in the cinema. Wilder was a genius!

10.   North by Northwest

Maybe Hitchcock’s best movie ever, certainly his most complete. This movie have to be in top ten.


The rest of my twenty best movies will have to be honorable mentions, but they are still amazing movies. I can recommend every one of them.


 To Live (Ikiru)

High Noon

Bad Day at Black Rock

The Night of the Hunter

The Ladykillers

A Man Escaped (Un Condamne a Mort S'est Echappe ou le Vent Souffle ou il Veut)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Paths of Glory

12 Angry Men

Touch of Evil