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SeattleMovieCritic

It's time to do something from the 1940s.

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Of the 103 movies discussed so far, only 3 of them have been from the 1940s, which I would argue was one of cinema's greatest decades and certainly has a lot of movies worthy of the Canon.

 

How about a classic film noir like Out of the Past or The Third Man. Casablanca should be discussed at some point. A good VS. round would be The Lady Eve vs. Sullivan's Travels. All of these should be available on Amazon. Thanks.

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A difficult thing about the 1940s films (at least my favorites) are that so many of them rely on their visuals to sell the mood as an integral, some might say foundational, element of the film. Also, The Third Man. How do you talk about that one? You need the music. You need the shadows. The story is...fairly simple, actually.

 

Also, so many of these films are insanely well-written (the other foundation). How do you get that across, without just reading from the script?

 

Just a couple of reservations, really. I DO want more 1940s films (not as much as I want 1930s films, but I'm realistic). But this was the heyday of noir, the last days of black and white's dominance. I love the Double Indemnity episode, but I wonder if there's a reason Devin and Amy haven't seemed too keen to return to the days before color? Still focusing on growing that fanbase? I keep hearing about those damn kids today, with their tweets and their skateboards, and how they didn't grow up with old movies, and thus can't get into them.

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I think part of the difficulty in covering '40s films (especially the ones most people remember) is they're tough to debate. No one is seriously going to argue against Casablanca, Third Man, or Citizen Kane getting into the Canon, though it might be fun to look back at which elements still work and which don't.

 

That said, I think Preston Sturges deserves an episode (non-versus, please), as does The Best Years of Our Lives.

 

(side note - has there been a Cary Grant film inducted into the Canon yet? Or a Paul Newman?)

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(side note - has there been a Cary Grant film inducted into the Canon yet? Or a Paul Newman?)

 

Archie's Gunga Din got in, but Paul's still waiting.

 

Butch Cassidy, Cool Hand Luke, and The Sting are obvious first-ballotters. For an indulgence pick, I'd put up Harper, another one scripted by William Goldman. Fun look at the 60s, but from an older POV than you usually get. As a private eye flick, it feels like it still has one foot firmly in the 40s while the other is in a youthful California just about to go crazy. A fun watch if you're into movies like Bullitt. YouTube, Amazon, Vudu, and Google play all have it for $2.99.

 

As for 40s film, I would indulge on Only Angels Have Wings (1939, but it's more 40s than 30s, available on Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu for $2.99), or maybe a Joan Crawford - the 30s was her biggest decade, but the 40s was undoubtedly her best - Mildred Pierce or Humoresque especially. YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, and Google all have them for $2.99.

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