Contenders for Favorite Older Films First Viewed in 2013

Here is where I will assemble the titles that will have an opportunity to make a list wherein I chronicle my favorite vintage titles that I first saw during the last calendar year. It is a concept introduced to me by Brian Saur that I have done two times prior. Here is the 2011 version. The 2012 version was published in five parts: you can get to them here, here, here, here and here.

I have debated renaming this list Favorite Film Discoveries and being rather semantical about it, meaning if and when I correct gross sins of omission in my cinematic repertoire, it will not exclude lesser known titles from getting their due on this list. In other words, if you note the first two titles below, I expected them to be great and everyone knows they are. My adding them to the 2013 list is a formality and not news to anyone. If the list is inundated with previously unseen, but fairly obviously great films, I may siphon them off into a separate post.

I have not finalized that decision, but I reserve that right. Unlike my BAM considerations where I will now post a new entry monthly, I will have this list run through the entire year, but will denote when titles were added.

Without much further ado the contenders.

January (9)

The Godfather
The Godfather Part II
The Divorcée
Tarzan of the Apes
The Marriage of Maria Braun
Rio Das Mortes
The Great Ghost Rescue

February (8)

Tarzan the Ape Man
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The Narrow Margin
Imitation of Life
A Dog of Flanders
The Life of Emile Zola
Bad Day at Black Rock
Blossoms in the Dust

March (8)

Muppet Treasure Island
Babes in Toyland
Death Valley
The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band
A Wicked Woman
Atta Girl, Kelly!

April (11)

Veronika Voss
Time of My Life
The Ghost Walks
Tangled Destinies
Hearts of Humanity
The Phantom Express
In Love with Life
Dick Tracy
Peter and the Wolf (1995)

May (10)

A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin
Tarzan and His Mate
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blood Car
Life Boat
Little Tough Guy

June (6)

Mon Oncle Antoine
The Merchant of Four Seasons
Rainbow on the River
Tarzan’s Desert Mystery
The Smart Set

July (2)

Wake In Fright
Blondie (1938)

August (3)

Stolen Kisses
The Little Prince (Great Performances)
Love on the Run

September (9)

Miss Annie Rooney
To The Left of the Father
Asylum (1972)
Orphans of the Storm
The Return of Dr. X
Dead of Night
The Case of the Bloody Iris
Trilogy of Terror

October (12)

Demonic Toys 2
Dracula (1931 -Philip Glass Score)
Dracula (1931 – Spanish Version)
R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour – Don’t Think About It
Dracula’s Daughter
Dead Souls
Hell Night
The Ghosts of Buxley Hall
Dead Ringer
Return of the Fly
The Fly

November (1)

The Neverending Story (German Cut)

Short film candidates: Selections by Georges Méliès, Little Rascals, The Show (1922), The New York Hat, Captain Eo and Alice Guy, Louis Feuillade.

60 total features so far and the aforementioned shorts.

Adding To Your Classics Library

A while back on Twitter, Bill Milner a great young actor, as well as past nominee and honoree, asked a simple yet important question: it was about bolstering his library of classics.

This is a fascinating question for me, and for any cinephile I feel, because it brings up the elusive question of “What are the essentials?”

My response was, and is, one that I think is not only apropos, but one I think a lot of people can use. Now, a reminder this is not a piece that aims to be a starter kit by cherry-picking milestones in film history, but rather one that will augment your collection when you think to yourself: “Well, what should I be getting now?”

My proposition is simple and personal, we all have our favorite directors throughout the various eras of cinema. I suggest getting the oft-overlooked works of these greats. More often than not these are the films I’ll point out as being a personal favorite.

Anyone, and everyone, can, and has, write, speak or opine on the greatness of Jules and Jim or The 400 Blows, but the film of Truffaut’s that affected me most was The Green Room (aka The Vanishing Fiancee), and its absence from DVD for so long bothered me. Hitchcock would be another good example. Everyone knows the widely recognized masterpieces he made. However, few of his films ever engaged me on first viewing like Rope did, even though he wasn’t too fond of his no-cut experiment, or for that matter Dial M for Murder, though I’ve never seen it in 3D.

Those are just two quick examples with a few films to illustrate my point. Who the directors are that you seek out the oft overlooked works in their ouevre is your choice entirely, but when one has the staples you’re filling in the pages, and, I for one have always been one to seek things out that are a little off the beaten path even amongst the most highly regarded cineastes.