1954's Best Movies: 70 Years Later

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Rankings come from the overall list of the top 1,000 films at They Shoot Pictures, Don't They.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
REAR WINDOW (Alfred Hitchcock; USA) [#39] 14
SANSHO THE BAILIFF (Kenji Mizoguchi; Japan) [#84] 10
SEVEN SAMURAI (Akira Kurosawa; Japan) [#10] 9
JOHNNY GUITAR (Nicholas Ray; USA) [#185] 6
JOURNEY TO ITALY (Roberto Rossellini; Italy) [#68] 2
LA STRADA (Federico Fellini; Italy) [#73] 2
SENSO (Luchino Visconti; Italy) [#476] 1
ON THE WATERFRONT (Elia Kazan; USA) [#203] 1
GODZILLA (Ishiro Honda; Japan) [#1415] 1
TOUCHEZ PAS AU GRISBI (Jacques Becker; France) [#1264] 1
THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (Joseph L. Mankiewicz; USA) [#1142] 0
A STAR IS BORN (George Cukor; USA) [#426] 0
SALT OF THE EARTH (Herbert J. Biberman; USA) [#1901] 0
CHIKAMATSU MONOGATARI (Kenji Mizoguchi; Japan) [#817] 0
VERA CRUZ (Robert Aldrich; USA) [#1995] 0


Rich E. (Eric H.), Thursday, 7 March 2024 13:54 (one month ago) link

In keeping with previous polls, I've gone with the contenders in the top 2,000 films, but they now offer the entire starting spreadsheet. Here are the titles that carry through through the top 5,000 films ever.

2129	2067	Brigadoon	Minnelli, Vincente	1954	USA	108
2188 2124 Late Chrysanthemums Naruse, Mikio 1954 Japan 101
2307 2341 Sound of the Mountain Naruse, Mikio 1954 Japan 96
2474 2446 Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome Anger, Kenneth 1954 USA 38
2506 2430 Magnificent Obsession Sirk, Douglas 1954 USA 108
2585 2703 Creature From the Black Lagoon Arnold, Jack 1954 USA 79
2672 2599 Fear Rossellini, Roberto 1954 Italy 82
2681 2610 Wuthering Heights Buñuel, Luis 1954 Mexico 90
2839 2788 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Donen, Stanley 1954 USA 103
3109 3110 Silver Lode Dwan, Allan 1954 USA 81
3188 3000 Human Desire Lang, Fritz 1954 USA 90
3263 3139 Carmen Jones Preminger, Otto 1954 USA 105
3279 3158 Track of the Cat Wellman, William 1954 USA 102
3344 3225 Gold of Naples, The De Sica, Vittorio 1954 Italy 107
3382 3395 Them! Douglas, Gordon 1954 USA 94
3563 3449 Twenty-Four Eyes Kinoshita, Keisuke 1954 Japan 154
3645 3524 Dial M for Murder Hitchcock, Alfred 1954 USA 105
3782 3673 River of No Return Preminger, Otto 1954 USA 91
4160 3965 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Fleischer, Richard 1954 USA 127
4354 4223 Bread, Love and Dreams Comencini, Luigi 1954 Italy 90
4414 4274 Animal Farm Halas, John & Joy Batchelor 1954 UK 75
4630 4699 It Should Happen to You Cukor, George 1954 USA 87
4648 4510 Back of Beyond, The Heyer, John 1954 Australia 65
4907 6975 Crime Wave de Toth, André 1954 USA 74

Rich E. (Eric H.), Thursday, 7 March 2024 13:55 (one month ago) link

Top 5:

Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, USA)
Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan)
Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, USA)
Crucified Lovers (Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan)
Crime Wave (André de Toth, USA)

Rich E. (Eric H.), Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:04 (one month ago) link

The Italians have it this year: Senso over Viaggio in Italia. Found Salt of the Earth pretty clumsy. Haven't seen On the Waterfront among others.

A few days ago I had an idea for a remake of Rear Window where everyone keeps their blinds drawn.

I don't appear to have seen anything from the lower list, unless I saw the Kenneth Anger on a compilation tape sometime.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:10 (one month ago) link

I recently watched Brigadoon. That was a slog. Voting Rear Window.

Requiem for a Dream: The Musical! (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:15 (one month ago) link

A few days ago I had an idea for a remake of Rear Window where everyone keeps their blinds drawn.

Basically the opening shot of Rope repeated for 90 minutes. Probably Chantal Akerman already did this.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:17 (one month ago) link

I believe you can vote for Empire in another of these polls

rob, Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:19 (one month ago) link

Top five:

Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, USA)
Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan)
Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, USA)
A Star is Born (George Cukor)
Journey to Italy (Rossellini)

poppers fueled buttsex crescendo (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:23 (one month ago) link

I never vote in these because there's always a few major films I haven't seen; this time it's Sansho and, ouch, Seven Samurai. I've also yet to catch any Visconti.

I did happen to watch both Johnny Guitar and Voyage to Italy very recently. I was quite entranced by the former but a little perplexed by the latter's rep, though the more abstract new wave (or proto- in this case) stuff often leaves me cold. That said, I can still recall some of it rather vividly which probably means it affected me more than I consciously realized.

I had no idea Buñuel did a version of Wuthering Heights--anyone seen that?

rob, Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:26 (one month ago) link

Yup. One of his more erotic films so long as you're okay with the $14 budget.

poppers fueled buttsex crescendo (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:29 (one month ago) link

Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, USA)
Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan)
Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, USA)

So happy you're happy, amongst so many other quiet qualities

Rich E. (Eric H.), Thursday, 7 March 2024 15:35 (one month ago) link

On the Waterfront (Rear Window somewhat close). Nothing from the runners-up list.

clemenza, Thursday, 7 March 2024 16:47 (one month ago) link

Sansho is pretty much perfect.

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 7 March 2024 16:55 (one month ago) link

Sansho gets my vote, but what a tremendous year.

birdistheword, Thursday, 7 March 2024 17:18 (one month ago) link

It Should Happen To You (down low on the runners-up list) really deserves serious reappraisal in this time of influencers and social media.

Grisbi becomes a real OTT action spectacular towards the end, fucking love it.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 7 March 2024 17:22 (one month ago) link

Sansho without a second's hesitation

Morris O’Shea Salazar (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 7 March 2024 17:27 (one month ago) link

(xposts) I saw It Should Happen to You once a long time ago, but you've made me want to see it again. There's a whole genre in American films of the '50s about rampant consumerism: that, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, A Face in the Crowd, others I'm sure.

clemenza, Thursday, 7 March 2024 22:29 (one month ago) link

Shocked Them! isn’t in the top 2000.

Dan Worsley, Thursday, 7 March 2024 22:51 (one month ago) link

Dial M for Murder's kind of a drag except for the detective.

clemenza, Friday, 8 March 2024 00:50 (one month ago) link

What Hitchcock tries to do with 3D - not as a gimmick but a way of rethinking how you compose a frame - makes it a very worthy film. Unfortunately, that's the catch - you need to see it in 3D. Without that element, there's not much to recommend. I heard the 3D Blu-ray might be too dark or something to that effect, but theaters can still rent an actual 3D film print - highly recommended if you ever get the chance.

birdistheword, Friday, 8 March 2024 02:45 (one month ago) link

Forgot the 3D--I've only seen it on TV.

clemenza, Friday, 8 March 2024 02:57 (one month ago) link

I find the 50s Mizoguchi beautiful but distant, like everything is happening on the other side of a sedative screen. Also, except for Street of Shame, they all blend together in my head and become a single blur of bamboo houses, samurai, elaborate robes, and exploited women. The 30s films of his I've seen are way more exciting and jolting (which admittedly and obviously wasn't his latter-day goal).

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 8 March 2024 17:17 (one month ago) link

no one even considering voting for seven samurai? seven samurai?!?!?!? come on. that's my vote

takashi shimura is in seven samurai and godzilla, he had to have been japan's biggest box office star of 1954

na (NA), Friday, 8 March 2024 17:51 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 31 March 2024 00:01 (three weeks ago) link

rear window ahead of waterfront, with a third pick coming from the reserve list in the form of seven brides

close encounters of the third knid (darraghmac), Sunday, 31 March 2024 00:10 (three weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 1 April 2024 00:01 (three weeks ago) link

There's at least one big Godzilla fan lurking out there.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Monday, 1 April 2024 01:08 (three weeks ago) link

the political intent behind waterfront is idiotic and it makes me unable to enjoy the movie

formerly abanana (dat), Monday, 1 April 2024 17:38 (three weeks ago) link

SANSHO THE BAILIFF (Kenji Mizoguchi; Japan) [#84]	10
CHIKAMATSU MONOGATARI (Kenji Mizoguchi; Japan) [#817] 0

Impressive grouping

Rich E. (Eric H.), Monday, 1 April 2024 17:47 (three weeks ago) link

The best one is Johnny Guitar.

plax (ico), Monday, 1 April 2024 18:10 (three weeks ago) link

the political intent behind waterfront is idiotic and it makes me unable to enjoy the movie

Orson Welles mentioned this when someone asked about Kazan in 1982. (I think it was at a guest lecture for a French film school):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6DC4AjTG2M

I voted for Sansho the Bailiff, but FWIW, Rear Window, Seven Samurai, Johnny Guitar and Journey to Italy are all possibly my favorite films from those respective directors, and Chikamatsu Monogatari is a masterpiece too. It really was a tremendous year.

birdistheword, Monday, 1 April 2024 18:34 (three weeks ago) link

OTW so shrewdly inverts what actually happened that its ersatz leftism impresses me in the right circumstances.

I went Hollywood this year and voted for Rear Window last week b/c it's the film I would've watched at that moment -- the only lodestar in these exercises.

poppers fueled buttsex crescendo (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 1 April 2024 19:21 (three weeks ago) link

I loved Rear Window,Seven Samurai,Johnny Guitar and Sansho the Bailiff, but ended up voting for La Strada, a sentimental favorite film from a director I know you all hate

haven't seen Chikamatsu Monogatari (The Crucified Lovers) yet, but it is on the Criterion Channel

Dan S, Monday, 1 April 2024 22:22 (three weeks ago) link

La Strada is crushingly sad in the end, not many films do that so effectively for me.

I was kinda shocked by ILX’s low regard for Fellini in the Morbsies poll.

Josefa, Monday, 1 April 2024 22:36 (three weeks ago) link

missed this poll, Sansho The Bailiff would have got +1 otherwise. I have had dreams about this movie, it's totally imprinted on my subconscious self.

vodkaitamin effrtvescent (calzino), Monday, 1 April 2024 22:57 (three weeks ago) link

I feel like Fellini is easy to fall in love with particularly as a budding young film enthusiast and then also easy to fall out of love with, as sentimental or facile or self-indulgent. I love at least four of his movies including La Strada. He's defensible for bringing Giulietta Masina to the world alone.

I like I Vitelloni without reservation.

poppers fueled buttsex crescendo (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 2 April 2024 01:30 (two weeks ago) link


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