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Best Decade... 
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Post Best Decade...
Opinion, the best decade...why, the finest directors in film history were at there prime...

THE GREAT DICTATOR – CHARLIE CHAPLIN (1940).
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY – GEORGE CUKOR (1940).
PINOCCHIO – HAMILTON HUSKE & BEN SHARPSTEEN (1940).
THE SEA HAWK – MICHAEL CURTIZ (1940).
THE WESTERNER – WILLIAM WYLER (1940).
CITIZEN KANE – ORSON WELLES (1941).
THE GREAT LIE - EDMUND GOULDING (1941).
HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY – JOHN FORD (1941).
THE MALTESE FALCON – JOHN HUSTON (1941).
SERGEANT YORK – HOWARD HAWKS (1941).
CASABLANCA – MICHAEL CURTIZ (1942).
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS – SAM WOOD (1943).
THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS - ORSON WELLES (1942).
MRS. MINIVER – WILLIAM WYLER (1942).
THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES – SAM WOOD (1942).
YANKEE DOODLE DANDY – MICHAEL CURTIZ (1942).
THE OX-BOW INCIDENT – WILLIAM A. WELLMAN (1943).
GASLIGHT – GEORGE CUKOR (1944).
DOUBLE INDEMNITY – BILLY WILDER (1944).
THE LOST WEEKEND – BILLY WILDER (1945).
MILDRED PIERCE – MICHAEL CURTIZ (1945).
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES – WILLIAM WYLER (1946).
THE BIG SLEEP – HOWARD HAWKS (1946).
NOTORIOUS – ALFRED HITCHCOCK (1946).
A DOUBLE LIFE – GEORGE CUKOR (1947).
GENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT - ELIA KAZAN (1947).
HAMLET - LAURENCE OLIVIER (1948).
JOHNNY BELINDA - JEAN NEGULESCO (1948).
OLIVER TWIST – DAVID LEAN (1948).
RED RIVER – HOWARD HAWKS (1948).
THE TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE – JOHN HUSTON (1948).
ADAM’S RIB – GEORGE CUKOR (1949).
THE HEIRESS – WILLIAM WYLER (1949)
THE THIRD MAN – CAROL REED (1949)
TWELVE O’CLOCK HIGH – HENRY KING (1949).


Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:08 am
Post Re: Best Decade...
How about 1970s:

Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather 1 & 2, The Conversation, Apocalypse Now)
Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind)
Martin Scorsese (Mean Streets, Taxi Driver)
Roman Polanski (Chinatown)
William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist)
George Lucas (American Graffiti, Star Wars)
John Carpenter (Halloween)
Ridley Scott (Alien)
Woody Allen (Annie Hall, Manhattan)
Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon)
Sidney Lumet (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network)
Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter)
Robert Altman (MASH, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Nashville)
Terrence Malick (Badlands, Days Of Heaven)
Terry Jones/Terry Gilliam (Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Life of Brian)
Clint Eastwood (High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales)


Last edited by PAG on Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:54 am, edited 2 times in total.



Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:23 am
Post Re: Best Decade...
I recently made a list of the DVDs I own (in other words: a list of my favourite films) and was quite surprised that the decades from the 40ies onwards are represented roughly equally. Therefore, I don't think there is (or was) a best decade for films.


Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:25 am
Post Re: Best Decade...
I'd say that the eighties is certainly one of the weaker decades.

The movies woke up in the mid seventies to the idea of the summer blockbuster courtesy of Jaws and then the Star Wars movies.

Segment targeting, marketing and box office rose as the key criteria behind too many films and the industry changed for ever. It was in the eighties that this phenomena took hold.

As for a best decade? Can't answer that. The tens with silent movies and the twenties with the introduction of talkies were the great development era of the art form. The thirties was expansion and it's arguable that the forties and fifties were the golden era?

I have seen an analysis of the 200 greatest movies by decade:
10's - 3
20's - 8
30's - 41
40's - 44
50's - 39
60's - 23
70's - 28
80's - 11
- 96 - 7

Hope this helps a bit
Rob


Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:27 pm
Post Re: Best Decade...
PAG wrote:
How about 1970s:

Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather 1 & 2, The Conversation, Apocalypse Now)
Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind)
Martin Scorsese (Mean Streets, Taxi Driver)
Roman Polanski (Chinatown)
William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist)
George Lucas (American Graffiti, Star Wars)
John Carpenter (Halloween)
Ridley Scott (Alien)
Woody Allen (Annie Hall, Manhattan)
Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon)
Sidney Lumet (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network)
Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter)
Robert Altman (MASH, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Nashville)
Terrence Malick (Badlands, Days Of Heaven)
Terry Jones/Terry Gilliam (Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Life of Brian)
Clint Eastwood (High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales)


WIN.
(According to my tastes, that is)


Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:30 pm
Post Re: Best Decade...
The 40s do look pretty strong, but based on my favourite films, I'd say the 70s are my favourite decade. I fully agree that the 80s were the worst decade for films.

Rob, looking at your numbers I guess you agree with the OP?


Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:46 pm
Post Re: Best Decade...
ed_metal_head wrote:
The 40s do look pretty strong, but based on my favourite films, I'd say the 70s are my favourite decade. I fully agree that the 80s were the worst decade for films.

Rob, looking at your numbers I guess you agree with the OP?


Hi Ed

That data is from a great movies website.

I don't know how to argue this point. Trying to average scores with a database across decades is one approach. Counting the great movies within each decade is another. A generic comment is another. For me it would be either the 40's or 50's.

Rob


Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:15 pm
Post Re: Best Decade...
Ridiculously forgotten...

THE GRAPES OF WRATH – JOHN FORD (1940).
John Ford finest film and it wasn't a western...


The 70's in my list...

PATTON – FRANKIN J. SCHAFFNER (1970).
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE – STANLEY KUBRICK (1971).
FIDLER ON THE ROOF - NORMAN JEWISON (1971).
THE FRENCH CONNECTION – WILLIAM FRIEDKEN (1971).
THE GODFATHER – FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA (1972).
MEAN STREETS – MARTIN SCORSESE (1973).
THE STING – GEORGE ROY HILL (1973).
CHINATOWN – ROMAN POLANSKI (1974).
THE GODFATHER: PART 2 – FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA (1974).
DOG DAY AFTERNOON – SIDNEY LUMET (1975).
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST – MILOS FOREMAN (1975).
NETWORK – SIDNEY LUMET (1976).
ROCKY – JOHN G. AVILDSEN (1976).
TAXI DRIVER – MARTIN SCORSESE (1976).
ANNIE HALL – WODDY ALLEN (1977).
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND – STEVEN SPIELBERG (1977).
COMING HOME – HAL ASHBY (1978).
THE DEER HUNTER – MICHAEL CIMINO – (1978).
APOCALYPSE NOW – FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA (1979).
KRAMER VS. KRAMER – ROBERT BENTON (1979).


Although the 70's was a peachy decade, it was by no comparison to the 40's. As mentioned previously about certain directors in their highlighted form of career, the lead actor in most of these films are seriously better. So besides having better direction, my opinion will say there was also better performances...

Any individuals who consider placing Star Wars (1977) in a list of greatness is rather generous. A movie that has the woodest of dialogue to mediocre acting, is a far cry to be listed. One gets more delivery from Katherine Chancellor of the Young & the Restless, Star Wars was a very good genre movie...but it will never be great...


Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:52 pm
Post Re: Best Decade...
Judah wrote:
Opinion, the best decade...why, the finest directors in film history were at there prime...


I agree that the 40's was the richest decade. Based solely on personal taste though, I'd be inclined to choose the 60's as my favorite decade:

Psycho
The Good the Band and the Ugly
The Wild Bunch
Shoot the Piano Player
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Lawrence of Arabia
The Apartment
Dr. Strangelove
2001
Yojimbo
The Great Escape
Persona
The Manchurian Candidate
For a Few Dollars More
Once Upon a Time in the West
Divorce, Italian Style
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Cool Hand Luke
West Side Story
Night of the Living Dead
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Becket
Zulu
High and Low

I'd never try to argue that this is a superior set of films to the ones listed from the 40's, but in the oft-cited desert island scenario, I'd take the 60's over the 40's.


Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:15 pm
Post Re: Best Decade...
Tuco

You make a great case and simply reinforce why it's almost impossible to say which is best.

I see much support on this thread for the 40's through to the 70's. But not much else.

For debating purposes - anyone want to try and propose the eighties as a great decade?

Rob


Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:52 pm
Post Re: Best Decade...
I certainly can't argue for the 80's, which I agree is probably the most-lacking decade in film. I would like to make a case for the 90's though, with the 70's a close second. I appreciate the great films of the 40's, but most of my favorite movies seem to be from the 90's (which raises the issue of how one can judge a movie as "great" instead of just as a "favorite"). Anyways, a lot of my favorite directors made some great movies (with the possible exception of Kubrick, who only made one in the 90's):

Spielberg - Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan
Scorsese - Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence, Casino
Tarantino - Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown
Coen bros. - Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, Fargo, The Big Lebowski
PT Anderson - Boogie Nights, Magnolia
Kubrick - Eyes Wide Shut

Some more of my favorites, in no order:
LA Confidential, The Usual Suspects, Quiz Show, The Sweet Hereafter, American Beauty, Fight Club, American History X, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Thin Red Line, Bottle Rocket, Silence of the Lambs, Shawshank Redemption, Groundhog Day, The Matrix, Se7en, Unforgiven, Forrest Gump

Even animated movies were getting pretty good:
Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Toy Story (which changed everything)

Another interesting topic might be what the best year was for movies? I'd have to think about that one.


Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:34 am
Post Re: Best Decade...
Robert Holloway wrote:
For debating purposes - anyone want to try and propose the eighties as a great decade?

Rob


I will.

ET
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Empire Strikes Back
Local Hero
Blade Runner
Ran
Hannah and Her Sisters
Crimes and Misdemeanors
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Fanny and Alexander
Glory
A Christmas Story
Brazil
Alien
The Right Stuff
Amadeus
Time Bandits
The Princess Bride
Hoosiers
Eight Men Out
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Grave of the Fireflies
Castle in the Sky
Silverado
A Fish Called Wanda
Ghandi
Raging Bull
The King of Comedy
Das Boot

Hmmmm. I have two reactions as I look at that list: one, there are some very good films on that list, and in fact some are among my all-time favorites. That said, this list has a few great films and a lot of good films (and probably a couple that I just like).

I give . . .


Last edited by Tuco on Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:00 am, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:53 am
Post Re: Best Decade...
It depends on what you're looking for. The 1940s is a brilliant decade, because that's when people had figured out what movies were. Films like The Rules of the Game, The Third Man, and Citizen Kane had codified all the experimental techniques and all the different formats into a cohesive vocabulary. In a way, the '40s is when you started getting really quintessential movies, as we came to know them in the ensuing decades.

In the '60s and '70s, there was a revolution. People started making movies about subjects that were previously thought to be either too unappealing or too complex to capture in cinema, with performances that were much more personal and visceral. A bunch of young upstarts--Kubrick, Scorcese, and so on--were using the same old medium to tell stories that were new and different.

If you were to twist my arm, I would pick the mid-'60s to the mid-'70s. That's the 10 year period that begat the movies that, in my opinion, are the best made and most affecting.


Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:21 am
Post Re: Best Decade...
Tuco

Please humor me on this one.

Thanks for taking the bait. I'm looking forward to discussing this.

For purely debating purposes because I think you can see that I'm genuinely not sure about this argument it might help if you could rank a top twenty. I'll argue for a different decade and put up a list against your list and we can go from there.

It would be cool if others would weigh in. How about a twenty round slugfest. You choose a film fro the eighties and i'll choose one from another decade. Aftwr 20 choices we'll see where we stand based on others opinions?

Whatdayathink?

This is for fun - I really do beleieve that the 80's was a weak decade but I'm very happy to be proved wrong.

Are you up for it? Please PM me if you'd like to refine this off line.
Rob


Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:18 am
Post Re: Best Decade...
have you ever seen that cooking show Iron Chef

We could have a movie version :-)

You would be Iron Critic 80's!

Rob


Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:20 am
Post Re: Best Decade...
I am on a roll.

We each submit a movie from the decade and make a case in under 200 words for why it's great. the members decide

First to reach ten wins

I'm curious on this one but think that the yonger gae of our membership will favor the eighties versus an older decade which I will represent

Whaddya think?

Rob


Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:22 am
Post Re: Best Decade...
Judah wrote:

Any individuals who consider placing Star Wars (1977) in a list of greatness is rather generous. A movie that has the woodest of dialogue to mediocre acting, is a far cry to be listed. One gets more delivery from Katherine Chancellor of the Young & the Restless, Star Wars was a very good genre movie...but it will never be great...


I'll take the bait...

Maybe I look upon the original trilogy (or rather, the first two films) with rose coloured glasses, but I never noticed the wooden dialogue or bad acting. The dialogue is adequate and there are enough quotable lines to make up for the missteps. Incidentally, I wonder if the people who call Lucas the 'king of wooden dialogue' have ever seen American Graffiti...

As for acting, I agree that the leads weren't fantastic, but the supporting cast is good. Who could forget Alec Guiness as Obi-Wan? Most people don't even know about any of his other work!

Mind you, I love Star Wars, but it just missed my 'great' list.


Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:52 am
Post Re: Best Decade...
Tuco wrote:
Robert Holloway wrote:
For debating purposes - anyone want to try and propose the eighties as a great decade?

Rob


I will.

ET
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Empire Strikes Back
Local Hero
Blade Runner
Ran
Hannah and Her Sisters
Crimes and Misdemeanors
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Fanny and Alexander
Glory
A Christmas Story
Brazil
Alien
The Right Stuff
Amadeus
Time Bandits
The Princess Bride
Hoosiers
Eight Men Out
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Grave of the Fireflies
Castle in the Sky
Silverado
A Fish Called Wanda
Ghandi
Raging Bull
The King of Comedy
Das Boot

Hmmmm. I have two reactions as I look at that list: one, there are some very good films on that list, and in fact some are among my all-time favorites. That said, this list has a few great films and a lot of good films (and probably a couple that I just like).

I give . . .


Kudos for trying, but no Elephant Man :shock:

I like the sound of this Tuco / Rob challenge...Allez cuisine!


Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:55 am
Post Re: Best Decade...
Robert Holloway wrote:
For debating purposes - anyone want to try and propose the eighties as a great decade?

Rob


In addition to the films listed by Tuco, I would add the following 80ies films, which could qualify as great films:

Fitzcarraldo (1982)- Werner Herzog drags a real ship (and Klaus Kinski) over a mountain and through rapids in the Amazonian Jungle. If this isn't a great film I don't know what constitites one.

Quest for Fire/La Guerre du Feu (1982) - highly underrated film by Jean-Jacques Annaud about three Neanderthals on, well, a quest for fire. Anthony Burgess developed primitive languages specifically for the film. Best depiction of a stone age world in the movies and simply unique.

Scarface (1983) - Arguably Brian de Palma's best film and one of Al Pacinos best (if over the top) performances. Could qualify as a great film because of its influence on the genre and wider culture (gangster rap).

Birdy (1984) - Alan Parker film featuring a young Nicholas Cage and great music by Peter Gabriel. Extremely underrated.

This is Spinal Tap (1984) - The first "Mockumentary" and a classic parody of "Rockumentaries".

Blue Velvet (1986) - Love it or hate it, it's a must see for filmbuffs. Arguably David Lynch's finest film.

The Last Emperor (1987) - Bernardo Bertolucci's biopic about the last emperor of China is one of the best epics ever made and the first (Western) film made in the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Akira (1988) - The best Anime ever, a milestone in animated films by Master Katsuhiro Otomo. Any lover of animation must watch is.

I think the 80ies have a bad reputation because most mainstream Hollywood fare was rubbish. But let's face it - nobody remembers the rubbish films made in the 40ies or 50ies anymore. And if you take foreign and indie films (oh,. forgot Jim Jarmusch's films) into account, the 80ies were actually quite good. If action and horror films can be considered great (I think they can), there's even more - Terminator, The Thing or Die Hard come to minc.


Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:36 am
Post Re: Best Decade...
ed_metal_head wrote:
Kudos for trying, but no Elephant Man :shock:


Personal taste is a funny thing. Apart from 'The Straight Story,' there will never be a David Lynch film on any best-of list compiled by me.

Lots of people who know a lot more about film than I do really like him, but . . . I do not.


Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:02 pm
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