Monday, January 30, 2012

10 Classics Of 2011: Old To The World, New To Me

This last year I have had the chance to watch a lot of movies that I have never seen before. Going through best movies of all time lists and Oscar Best Picture lists, I have watched some incredibly classic movies. With that in mind, here are ten of them, in no particular order, that I would recommend that everyone should see.

First up is probably one of the oldest movies I have ever seen, the groundbreaking...
Nosferatu has to be one of the most famous horror movies ever, as well as an amazingly classic movie. It is truly one of the cornerstones of silent film history and if you are lucky enough to see the restoration version that was recently made you know how innovative and creative film makers could be, even back then. A must see for any film buff.

Next up is the first of two from the king of noir, Humphrey Bogart, in...
The Maltese Falcon is a classic double cross, triple cross, quadruple cross, (well, maybe not quadruple cross, I kinda lost count, but you get the point) movie with a great performance from Humphrey Bogart, (man can that guy talk fast), although it seems a little anticlimactic at the end, but maybe that was just me.

Moving from noir to war, we have one of the best movies about bombers ever made, in....
Twelve O'Clock High is a brilliant war movie about the first day time bombing runs in the 2nd World War. Gregory Peck does an outstanding job leading the cast as the hard nosed General who tries to turn around a bomber squadron that seems to have lost all its direction. The story is great, and the inclusion of all the real war footage from both sides is absolutely fantastic and really helps make the movie feel authentic.

Keeping with the number twelve, next on my list is one of the best legal dramas ever made, and it is all
I first saw the remake of 12 Angry Men before I actually saw the original, so in that, as I kept comparing the two as I watched it, and I have to say, both versions are outstanding, but this classic just has a little something more. It is incredibly taut, tense and well cast and acted, with an amazing story and script and is unlike and probably better then any other legal based movie ever made.

Remaining in the black and white mode, next we come to a movie made more recently, yet uses the lack of a color pallet to its full advantage in...
Brilliantly acted by John Hurt (as John Merrick, The Elephant Man) and Anthony Hopkins (the doctor who say more then deformity) and a touching true story, The Elephant Man is a well put together movie and for some reason having it filmed in black and white totally helps get across the bleakness that John Merrick must have lived in until his life was completely changed. I give John Hurt credit for his performance in this, cause you really couldn't see him at all, yet he did an awesome job of acting with all the make up and prosthetics applied, just proving again what an amazing actor he is.

Back to Boggy and another noir, for any one who is tired, here is...
This is another noir movie that allows Humphrey Bogart to shine in all his utter coolness. He is just awesome like he always seems to be and the story of murder, love, sex and betrayal moves at a decent pace, keeping you attention throughout, plus it has a young Loren Bacall, so that is pretty cool too.

2011 is the year I became a fan of all the leads of the following movie, so I was thrilled when I found they were all in a movie together, in...
Jimmy Stewart, Katherine Hepburn and Carry Grant all being awesome with each other, what more do you really need? Well, add a really fun story, sharp fast dialogue and a romance angle and you have yourself greatness on celluloid, plus Stewart and Hepburn flirting with each other in a drunken stupor is worth watching any day.

Next on the list is a movie that unfortunately doesn't exist in its entirety anymore, which could be considered irony considering it has the word Lost in the title, with the black and white master piece...
Lost Horizon is a outstanding classic movie directed by Frank Capra of "It's A Wonderful Life" fame. Capra does an incredible job conveying a feeling of well being throughout the film about a group that has been taken to Shangri La against their will, only to find that there is nowhere else they would rather be, well, most of them anyway. As I said earlier, Lost Horizon is a movie where a full print of the original film stock has been lost to time. Yet they have been able to put together most of it, including some scenes where they only have film stills but they still have the audio track. Although it is not perfect, it still lets you experience that part of the story and helps round out some of the loose ends that otherwise would exist. Who knows maybe someday a full print will show up, maybe in Shangri La, or Cleveland. What, it could happen.

Second last on my list is the story of a king and his best friend who was torn between loyalty to his friend and to God in...
Becket is the story of the English king who lives only for himself and his friend, and when facing a power struggle with the church he decides to appoint his best friend to the head of the church in England to fix it, only to find that due to his faith Becket takes the job much more seriously then he was expected to. Becket boasts brilliant acting, (how is that for alliteration) from Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole, a great story about friendship and conviction, and was up for 11 Oscars, which used to mean something, so all in all it is an outstanding film.

Now onto the last movie on my list, which is one of the best true stories I have ever seen put to film, in...
Sergeant York is one of the best movies I have ever seen for showing how God can turn a life around. York, played by Gary Cooper (incidentally, when the real Sergeant York was asked for the rights to turn his life into a movie, one of his conditions was that Gary Cooper would play him) is a rough housing drunk who is a crack shot with a rifle and has a temper to match. But that all changed when in a fit of anger York goes to kill a man and God hits him with lightning, and I mean literally, and sets him down the path were he would become a reluctant national hero when war breaks out. Gary Cooper is excellent as York, having a great metamorphosis from drunkard and angry young man to an honest Christian, living out his faith, and the rest of the cast does a great job too.

So there they are, 10 classic movies that if you haven't seen I highly recommend you check out. Now I know it has been a while since my last post, and truth be told I actually started writing this post back in November, but for some reason it has taken me a long time to finish it, so I hope to post a bit more often this year, (that's 2012, for those of you reading this in the future, which would be your present, but my past, wait a minute, I think I just confused myself, man I hate time travel paradoxes) so with that said I will end this post and remind you all to be safe out there, cause you are your brothers keepers, and your sisters keepers, and most important of all, you are your bees keepers, so watch out for honey and stingers. Until next time, blog at you later.


  1. very good blog my brother i actually read it all this time lol.

  2. I read the Maltese falcon. Probably the most confusing book I have ever read. Didn't like it too much because of that. Heard that nosferatu was supposed to be good, but aside from those two I haven't heard of any of them.

  3. Believe it ir not, i actually have read teh majority of your posts (the others i looked at the pretty pictures). I have been wanting to check out Nosferatu and the Elephant Man for a long time, but have been unable to find any decent copies on dvd. I also wouldnt mind checking out Sargent York and Lost Horizons (even if it is incomplete).

  4. Good list mate!

    Regards from the UK!