Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Petri
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Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

Post by Petri »

I guess it's time to think of Films of the 50s polls. Do you think we should start the thread of 1950 right away or wait till beginning of December. (If we start right away the poll could be open till 5th or 6th of December. However we could start the poll of 1951 in the beginning of December.)
Is someone willing to take care of these polls? If not I can host it but if anyone wants to do this job I don't resist :D

Do you think the score system is still fine or should we move to system where only top 10 will get points. I think we can still use that familiar score system (you can find it below). I think the rule of at least two people have voted the movie is necessary because I'm pretty sure at least in some years of 50s 50 points is enough to get to final (I don't want to be in situation that we were after 1969 poll when three movies @ #10-#12 had the same score from one #1 vote (and no one else but the voter had seen a single one of them).

I think this thread could be a place where you can recommend movies from (any year of) 50s. I think it's reasonable to recommend stuff people probably haven't seen or maybe don't even know.

My recommendation is Finnish movie Valkoinen peura (White Reindeer) (1952) by Erik Blomberg. It's very beautifully shotted horror film located in Lapland. It's always very high (in top 5) in the critics lists of best Finnish movies ever. Here's the link to IMDB where you can find good review by limshun.


Score system
#1. 50 points
#2. 40
#3. 30
#4. 20
#5. 15
#6. 10
#7. 9
#8. 8
#9. 7
#10. 6
#11. 5
#12. 4
#13. 3
#14. 2
#15. 1
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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I'm a huge fan of Classic American cinema, and the 50s were the peak of that style to me personally. I would be delighted to host this poll!
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Some I would mention that I would be concerned people haven't seen:

Los Olvidados (1950, Bunuel). I don't think this one has a US release, my copy is region 4, which is why I'm concerned people haven't seen it even though it is very highly rated by a lot of people.
Apu Trilogy (1955/1956/1959, Ray),
The Music Room (1958, Ray)
I mention four Sarygit Ray films because films from India haven't had a huge amount of success being nominated in the past, and I hope people will watch them.
La Pointe Courte (1955, Varda). One of the earliest New Wave films, five years before New Wave's official launch.
Diary of a Country Priest (1951, Bresson). I was surprised Bresson didn't get more films nominated in the 60s, but he has a few brilliant films including this and Pickpocket in the 50s.

JimmyJazz, you put Au Hasard Balthasar second. Can I count on your backup to get these other Bresson films nominated? :music-rockon:
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

Post by Henrik »

OK, this may not be a good idea at all, but I'm throwing it out. What if we use the decade formula for the yearly polls as well? What I mean is that we list all the films we have seen. For each ballot, JimmyJazz then applies an "unseen score" to every other film that someone else has voted for.

In this case I really think the "unseen score" would have to be lower than the medium score.

It would be more work for you JimmyJazz, so I understand if you don't like the idea. Thanks for hosting this by the way!

If we, however, agree that this is a good idea, then Petri could you please post the spreadsheet for the '60s decade poll, so that JimmyJazz could see how the scores are calculated.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Jirin wrote:JimmyJazz, you put Au Hasard Balthasar second. Can I count on your backup to get these other Bresson films nominated? :music-rockon:
You bet, Jirin! All three of the man's 50s masterpieces will get into the final 100 under my watch, come hell or high water!
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Henrik wrote:OK, this may not be a good idea at all, but I'm throwing it out. What if we use the decade formula for the yearly polls as well? What I mean is that we list all the films we have seen. For each ballot, JimmyJazz then applies an "unseen score" to every other film that someone else has voted for.

In this case I really think the "unseen score" would have to be lower than the medium score.

It would be more work for you JimmyJazz, so I understand if you don't like the idea. Thanks for hosting this by the way!

If we, however, agree that this is a good idea, then Petri could you please post the spreadsheet for the '60s decade poll, so that JimmyJazz could see how the scores are calculated.
Sounds like a good idea, Henrik. I will need this explained to me a little more, however. I'm not a whiz when it comes to stats. BTW, off topic, but knowing that a few of the people who frequent this section said they wanted to participate, I am curious as to how your ballots are going for the AMF Hall poll? So far I've had myself, luvulongTIM, Nassim, Acromor, Mindrocker, and Pierre contribute, plus DocBrown gave a backstage ballot.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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I think that system would penalize the less seen movies way too much, because it would make the movies a lot of people have seen and think are 'pretty good' get in over the movies only a few people have seen but all think are incredible.

Like I said in the 60 poll thread, we should go with systems that put positive votes as way more powerful than negative votes. Because when you're looking for music and movie recommendations, 10 + 0 > 5 + 5. Movies should get in because they impressed people, not just because they have the most exposure. That's why the nomination method has done us so well in BMAA, because it allows the albums that impressed people the most to get in.

It seems like the motive behind this change would be to keep out the esoteric gems.

Now, what I do think would be a great idea is for everybody to list all the films they've seen and then apply some version of Henrik's AM formula. So if you haven't seen a film, you aren't giving it some arbitrary point value somewhere on the low end, you're just not helping or hurting it at all.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

Post by Petri »

I think the idea sounds good. There's practically no chance that movies get the same final score. So no need to worry about impossible tie breaks.
Jirin wrote:I think that system would penalize the less seen movies way too much, because it would make the movies a lot of people have seen and think are 'pretty good' get in over the movies only a few people have seen but all think are incredible.
In my opinion this new point system could help less seen movies and in some cases maybe even too much.
I mean let's think about hypothetical situation where voter A has seen 20 movies. No one else hasn't seen his/her #1. Voter B has seen also 20 movies and no one else but one (voter C) has seen his/her #1. Voter C has seen only 5 movies but loves them all. (S)he put B's #1 at #5 in his/her list. And the result is that A's #1 gets more points because C must give that movie more points than his/her #5 (if we use median it's about same score than #3 would get, if something higher decile something like #4 would get ). So I don't know is it fair that movies less seen get more points just because it's possible that every one would like them if they had chance to see them (maybe it is) but I'm definitely sure that less seen movies shouldn't get more points than the median score (or not even the median score) (every movie that voter C hasn't seen would got same score than his/her #2 etc.). So I'm with Henrik that the not seen movies should get less than median rank score by voter is).

And thanks JimmyJazz for hosting these polls :P
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Jirin wrote:I think that system would penalize the less seen movies way too much, because it would make the movies a lot of people have seen and think are 'pretty good' get in over the movies only a few people have seen but all think are incredible.

Like I said in the 60 poll thread, we should go with systems that put positive votes as way more powerful than negative votes. Because when you're looking for music and movie recommendations, 10 + 0 > 5 + 5. Movies should get in because they impressed people, not just because they have the most exposure. That's why the nomination method has done us so well in BMAA, because it allows the albums that impressed people the most to get in.

It seems like the motive behind this change would be to keep out the esoteric gems.

Now, what I do think would be a great idea is for everybody to list all the films they've seen and then apply some version of Henrik's AM formula. So if you haven't seen a film, you aren't giving it some arbitrary point value somewhere on the low end, you're just not helping or hurting it at all.
Like Petri, I was thinking that it would rather penalize the much seen but not so much loved films. I'm not sure how you got the opposite impression. To give an arbitrary value on the low end to unseen films would help compared to give zero points, which is what we have always done in the past yearly polls.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

Post by Gillingham »

Good thinking here, but I also think we shouldn't make all this too complicated. One of the nice things of past decade polls is that the scoring system is simple and clear.

Of course with the decades going further back in time, we do have to take some things into account. Generally, people will have seen less films than in the previous polls. This has consequences that could be minimized by the scoring system. On the other hand I do like continuity and it would seem a little forced to change the system drastically now.

One thing I was thinking about is to take a poll for every two years in stead on every single year. This way, it's easier for voters to get to a proper list in stead of voting for all the four films one has seen in that year. I even think that the number of participating films in the final decade poll could be lower. Even in the 60s poll some voters had seen only about 20 films out of 100, thats really not a lot.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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I think that scoring method is something we might want to try out when we loop around back to the 00s where people will often have 30-40 films on their list. In the 50s people's lists are so filtered by what they think they'll probably like that no matter how low we set the 'zero' threshold, people will be casting downvotes for films they like.

Although I would still maintain that with this method, not watching a film is more of a 'downvote' than the current system. Because in the current system, it's only a downvote relative to your absolute favorites, whereas in the proposed system, it would be a downvote compared to 2/3 of all the films you've seen.

I like the idea of grouping years together, but if we're going that road, should we even continue with the pattern of one poll per decade? Make this a 40s-50s poll, make the next a start of film history-1939 poll, and then loop right back to the 00s.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Jirin wrote:I think that scoring method is something we might want to try out when we loop around back to the 00s where people will often have 30-40 films on their list. In the 50s people's lists are so filtered by what they think they'll probably like that no matter how low we set the 'zero' threshold, people will be casting downvotes for films they like.

Although I would still maintain that with this method, not watching a film is more of a 'downvote' than the current system. Because in the current system, it's only a downvote relative to your absolute favorites, whereas in the proposed system, it would be a downvote compared to 2/3 of all the films you've seen.
True and good points. I still think that movies that are less seen would more likely benefit of the new rule. I don't know how many movies from 50s most of the forumers have seen but if it's something like five per year there's possibility that the results of the new scoring system can be very irrelevant (it's possible that the movie which appears only one list and it's even hated by the voter (let's say someones #50/50 of the year) gets higher score than movie that almost everybody has seen and liked (practically at #5/5 in every list by voters who have seen only 5 movies) So I think we can try the new system but if the results are irrelevant we should go back to the old good scoring. I think its JimmyJazz's decision. The new scoring system would mean (much) more work for the host.

GIllingham's suggestion about combining years is considerable. If majority of decade poll voters have seen much less than 100 movies per decade (or even something like 20-30) we maybe should start think of that (combining). But I think the time isn't now. Let's continue one year/ poll at least for the 50s (and maybe even till 1920s). The best part of these polls is that we create a need to watch great old movies. For a year ago I had seen maybe about 70 of the future finalists of 1960s poll. But I tried to watch every movie that went to final (and now I've seen 89 of them) and many others that were nominated by some voters but didn't go to final. There's is a year to watch those movies so everyone who wants to invest to these polls (and movies) will be able to watch at least 20 old movies they haven't seen. (I watch 250-300 movies per year and next year at least 10 % of them will be from 50s.). If we combine the years the time to watch those movies in the final will lessen.
Gillingham wrote: Even in the 60s poll some voters had seen only about 20 films out of 100, thats really not a lot.
Those weren't regular voters but three people who noticed the poll and voted after Henrik had moved the topic to the music music music section. It was still great they voted and I hope they will start to follow the monthly polls (or even participate in to those).
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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If we do continue with one poll/year we should at least combine 20s with pre-20s, but I agree with your point.

Before 1928 or so the only real players in the poll will be Chaplin, Keaton, Murnau, Griffith.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Jirin wrote:If we do continue with one poll/year we should at least combine 20s with pre-20s, but I agree with your point.

Before 1928 or so the only real players in the poll will be Chaplin, Keaton, Murnau, Griffith.
True, but hopefully masters like Feuillade, Sjostrom, and Lang will get some recognition as well.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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I was about to edit my post to include Lang, Sjostrom and Eisenstein. :)

And if course the brilliant Cabinet of Dr Caligari. But the point stands that these do not fill 10 films/year.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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A top 100 of the 20s (even with pre 20s included) would seem a bit useless. If we would be able to make a proper top 100 at all (which I dont, frankly), it would just be a list of film we have seen, not a selection of the best films of the decade.

50s will be doable still, but even now, most individual year list will be rathet short and a summation of all films people have seen. That really quite different from the 90s and 00s polls.

Its good to discuss this.
I will go along anyway, of course, but these are just my two cents.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

Post by Henrik »

Perhaps you want stats from someone who wants to participate in the polls but who haven't seen so many films. There are a few of us.

For me, the '50s and '60s are about equal. I will manage to list 5 films most of the years but that's about it. There will be a drop when we get to the '40s and when we get to the '30s there will be years where I haven't seen a single film.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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So what about if the 50s will be same as the previous decade polls (10 per year to the final, same scoring system than in 60s). And after that - 20s-40s will be hold like a previous decade polls but we take three years combined as a one poll (20-22,23-25...,47-49). From every three years 15 movies go to the final. And finally we rank 150 movies from 20s-40s and release the top 100 (and later top 150) of the three decades. I think this would be close enough of the spirit of our decade polls (I really like them and there were just few months ago all straight decade polls in rym). Also this wouldn't harm better years (5 of my top 10 movies from 20s are from 1927). If 150 sounds too much (remember we are talking about three decades not just one) ten finalists per three year would be fine too. So it would take only one more year and after that we could to restart from 00s with new scoring system.

As we move to the older decades I'm pretty sure there will be some debate about eligibility of short films. I don't have anything relevant to say about that (In my opinion movies like Un chien andalou or Partie de campagne [A Day in the Country] should definitely be eligible but I'm not sure is there point to vote for all Looney Tunes or Disney short.) but maybe we shouldn't change to the scoring system in which we vote for all the movies we have seen anyway.

edit. And I've seen about 90 feature films from 50s and little less from earlier decades.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Petri's idea sounds fine to me (although I really am a massive movie buff and can probably list a Top 10 for each year except for the early 20s and going back). I've given it some thought and, because my schedule is somewhat busy, the original scoring system that Petri utilized in the 60s poll will be easier for me. If people want something else, though, I'll try my best (once again, I'm not that great when it comes to Statistics, a subject which I'm currently taking and kind of struggling through. If anybody wants to assist me with it, it would be appreciated).
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Sounds like an alright idea Petri. Although I do think that voters will generally have seen more 40s films than early 20s films, but oh well... Maybe we should just start with this idea.

When it comes to stats, I've seen 88 films of the 50s, 54 of the 40s, 33 of the 30s, and then it drops to 16 of the 20s and very few before that.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Jirin wrote:Some I would mention that I would be concerned people haven't seen:

Los Olvidados (1950, Buñuel). I don't think this one has a US release, my copy is region 4, which is why I'm concerned people haven't seen it even though it is very highly rated by a lot of people.
great recommendation, Jirin!
Los Olvidados, (“The Young and the Damned” in the USA) aka Mr. Movie!
Buñuel's masterpiece. One of the few films declared part of the “Memory of the World” registry of UNESCO.
See that movie, seriously.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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So, I've been looking at the highest TSPDT ranked movies I haven't seen from the 50s, any recommendations for what I should prioritize the most?

Imitation of Life (1959)
Ivan The Terrible Pt 2 (1958)
Johnny Guitar (1954)
In A Lonely Place (1950)
Diary of Oharu (1952)
Orpheus (1950)
All That Heaven Allows (1955)
Shadows (1959)
Pyaasa (1957)
Le Plaisir (1952)
A Star Is Born (1954)
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
El (1953)
Stromboli (1950)
The Flowers Of St Francis (1950)
An Affair To Remember (1957)
French Cancan (1954)
Senso (1954)
Wagon Master (1950)
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Ooh boy, Jirin, I don't know where to start! All of those films are definite must-sees! I'm a big auterist, so I would definitely recommend the films by Sirk, Nick Ray, Mizoguchi, Visconti, Ford, Bunuel, McCarey, Renoir, Cukor, and, possibly most importantly, the masterworks of Rossellini. Rossellini's 3 films with Ingrid Bergman have been released by Criterion on an amazing blu-Ray box set that is probably the must-have home video release of the year.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Blanco wrote:
Jirin wrote:Some I would mention that I would be concerned people haven't seen:

Los Olvidados (1950, Buñuel). I don't think this one has a US release, my copy is region 4, which is why I'm concerned people haven't seen it even though it is very highly rated by a lot of people.
great recommendation, Jirin!
Los Olvidados, (“The Young and the Damned” in the USA) aka Mr. Movie!
Buñuel's masterpiece. One of the few films declared part of the “Memory of the World” registry of UNESCO.
See that movie, seriously.
Of all possible films, they've included The Wizard of Oz, so I don't value that registry a lot when it comes to films.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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What's so wrong about the Wizard of Oz being included, however? It is a film loved by a large portion of people from around the world. Even Salman Rushdie wrote an acclaimed book for the BFI about it. I have to say, Gillingham, not to sound rude, but your and my tastes in film often seem to be from opposite sides of the spectrum. Although we both share a passionate love of Tarkovsky it seems, as well. Just an observation, though.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Do not think I'm very nationalistic or something, it's just that living in Mexico, my sources are obviously closer to what occurs here.

Top 10 Mexican films from the 50s:
1. Luis Buñuel - Los Olvidados / The Young and the Damned (1950)
2. Luis Buñuel - Él / This Strange Passion (1952)
3. Luis Buñuel - Nazarín (1958)
4. Alberto Gout - Aventurera/The Adventuress (1950)
5. Luis Buñuel - Ensayo de un crimen / The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955)
6. Gilberto Martínez Solares - El Rey del barrio /The King of the Neighborhood (1950)
7. Emilio Fernández - Víctimas del pecado / Victims of Sin (1951) *
8. Alejandro Galindo - Doña Perfecta (1951)
9. Ismael Rodríguez - Dos tipos de cuidado / Two Careful Fellows (1953)
10. Fernando Méndez - El Vampiro /The Vampire (1957)

* An interesting fact: Emilio "El Indio" Fernández, is the model on which is based the "Oscar" statuette of the Academy Awards.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Great list, Blanco!
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

Post by Blanco »

Thank you James! A very buñuelistic list, but that's the way it is... The guy was good at what he did.

The list is really a top 30, all movies from the 50s. I didn't transcribed all so as not overdo titles and oversaturate everyone, but if anyone is interested in the other titles, do not hesitate to tell me.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Blanco wrote:Thank you James! A very buñuelistic list, but that's the way it is... The guy was good at what he did.
That's an understatement if I've ever heard one!
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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By the way Jimmy. When will the poll of the best movies of 1950 start?
I can't wait any more :mrgreen: :wink:
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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JimmyJazz wrote:What's so wrong about the Wizard of Oz being included, however? It is a film loved by a large portion of people from around the world. Even Salman Rushdie wrote an acclaimed book for the BFI about it. I have to say, Gillingham, not to sound rude, but your and my tastes in film often seem to be from opposite sides of the spectrum. Although we both share a passionate love of Tarkovsky it seems, as well. Just an observation, though.
If you include just a handful of films when the choice is any film ever made, I think it's rather odd to pick a rather annoying and childish musical with possibly one of the most obnoxious characters in film history (the lion). It's just my opinion, but even Salman Rushdie won't change my view about that movie.

I kind of see The Wizard of Oz as the opposite of Tarkovsky's work (although it's fine of course if you love opposites in art, I guess I do too in other instances).
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Oh and don't be too hard on us, just because I dislike The Wiz of Oz JimmyJazz. In the 60s poll we both had 2001, Once upon a Time in The West, Otto e Mezzo and Andrei Rublev (yes, Tarkovsky!) in our top ten, were both haters of the Sounds of Music and were one of the few fans of Belle the Jour. Furthermore, I'm a huge fan of auteurs too! My Wiz of Oz is just your Dr. Zhivago and vice versa. Opposites sides of the spectrum seems to be stretching it.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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To each their own, I suppose. The Wizard of Oz is not one of my personal favorites, either, I was simply making an observation. Furthermore, and completely off topic, I don't even care for Rushdie's work that much.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

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Looking forward to 1957, what a great year for films that was!
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

Post by PlasticRam »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unknow ... 55_film%29

The Unknown Soldier. The greatest Finnish movie of all time. I really should see a few movies from 1955, cos I wanna give points at least to this movie.

Edit: Can anyone give five to ten well critically received movies from 1955?
I feel like that
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JimmyJazz
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

Post by JimmyJazz »

PlasticRam wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unknow ... 55_film%29

The Unknown Soldier. The greatest Finnish movie of all time. I really should see a few movies from 1955, cos I wanna give points at least to this movie.

Edit: Can anyone give five to ten well critically received movies from 1955?
PlasticRam, here is an (Unranked) version of my top ten for 55, most of which are on the TSPDT list:

- All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk)
- The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (Luis Bunuel)
- Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse)
- Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich)
- Lola Montes (Max Ophuls)
- The Man from Laramie (Anthony Mann)
- Night and Fog (Alain Resnais)
- The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton)
- Ordet (Carl Dreyer)
- Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray)

BTW, I will definitely look into that movie you mentioned.
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Re: Films of the '50s: Prep and recommendations

Post by Henrik »

JimmyJazz wrote:
PlasticRam wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unknow ... 55_film%29

The Unknown Soldier. The greatest Finnish movie of all time. I really should see a few movies from 1955, cos I wanna give points at least to this movie.

Edit: Can anyone give five to ten well critically received movies from 1955?
PlasticRam, here is an (Unranked) version of my top ten for 55, most of which are on the TSPDT list:

- All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk)
- The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (Luis Bunuel)
- Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse)
- Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich)
- Lola Montes (Max Ophuls)
- The Man from Laramie (Anthony Mann)
- Night and Fog (Alain Resnais)
- The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton)
- Ordet (Carl Dreyer)
- Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray)

BTW, I will definitely look into that movie you mentioned.
Wow Jimmy, we really are different. The only film I've seen that you listed is "The Night of the Hunter". Perhaps we shouldn't turn this into a 1955 voting thread but here's my top 3:

Les diaboliques [Diabolique]
Lady and the Tramp
The Trouble With Harry
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.
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