Friday, January 19, 2024

2023 Movie Stats

In the year 2023 I watched 158 new-to-me movies and 55 movies that were rewatches for a total of 213.

New to me: 158 (118 pre-1970, 40 post-1970)
Rewatches: 55 (31 pre-1970, 24 post-1970)
Total: 213 (149 pre-1970, 64 post-1970)

Where I watched them: 

TCM: 76 (11 rewatches)
Library (DVD & Apps): 8 (3 rewatches)
Personal DVD: 20 (13 rewatches)
YouTube & OK: 32 (6 rewatches)
Paid Streaming Services: 32 (15 rewatches) 
TV & Free Streaming Services: 44 (6 rewatches)
Theater: (1 rewatch)

Here are my top ten movie discoveries:

Q Planes (1939) - Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Valerie Hobson

Good Sam (1948) - Gary Cooper & Ann Sheridan

The Mating of Millie (1948) - Glenn Ford & Evelyn Keyes

A Woman of Distinction (1950) - Ray Milland & Rosalind Russell, Edmund Gwenn

The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951) - Lloyd Bridges, Carlton Carpenter, Ernest Borgnine

Heaven Knows Mr. Allison (1957) - Robert Mitchum & Deborah Kerr

The Admirable Crichton (1957) - Kenneth Moore, Sally Ann Howe

Advance to the Rear (1964) - Glenn Ford & Stella Stevens, Joan Blondell, Melvyn Douglas

Nickelodeon (1976) - Ryan O'Neal, Burt Reynolds, Tatum O'Neal, Brian Keith, Stella Stevens

The Cheap Detective (1976) - Peter Falk, Madeline Kahn, Ann-Margaret

Classics I finally watched: 

A Christmas Carol (1938) - Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart

Gilda (1946) - Glenn Ford & Rita Hayworth

Tokyo Story (1953-Japanese) - Setsuko Hara

The Big Heat (1953) - Glenn Ford & Gloria Graham, Lee Marvin

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1957) - Julie Adams, Richard Carlson

The Italian Job (1969) - Michael Caine

Airport (1970) - Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Van Heflin

Field of Dreams (1989) - Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta


Number of movies per decade:

1910s: 0 
1920s: 2 
1930s: 20 (9 rewatches)
1940s: 47 (9 rewatches)
1950s: 62 (10 rewatches)
1960s: 17 (3 rewatches)
1970s: 14 
1980s: 9 (4 rewatches)
1990s: 16 (4 rewatches)
2000s: 14 (7 rewatches)
2010s: 10 (8 rewatches)
2020s: 2 (1 rewatch)

Number of movies per month:

January: 17 (4 rewatches)
February: 17 (6 rewatches)
March: 9 (2 rewatches)
April: 13 (10 rewatches)
May: 18 (4 rewatches)
June: 19 (5 rewatches)
July: 15 (6 rewatches)
August: 30 (6 rewatches) 
September: 19 (2 rewatches)
October: 15 (1 rewatch)
November: 22 (4 rewatches)
December: 19 (5 rewatches)

Number of Foreign Language Films: 3 (1 rewatch)

Number of Documentaries: 6

Most Watched (Leading) Movie Stars: 

Glenn Ford - 19 films

Ray Liotta - 10 films

Alan Ladd - 9 films

Lloyd Bridges (+ season 1 of Sea Hunt), Orlando Bloom (LOTR, Hobbit, & Pirates) - 8 films 

Charles Boyer, Ronald Colman, Dennis O'Keefe, George Kennedy, Jane Wyatt (+ Father Knows Best) - 5 films

Sean Connery, Joan Fontaine, Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, Viggo Mortenson (LOTR), Kurt Russell, Robert Ryan, Barbara Stanwyck - 4 films

Stars I discovered/grew to love/crushed on: Lloyd Bridges, Glenn Ford, Ray Liotta

*To see last year's stats, click here.

Did you keep track of the movies you watched in 2023? Was there a star or movie you discovered that you can't live without now? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Double Feature: Two Hitchcock Remakes

I recently discovered British actor Kenneth More in The Admirable Crichton (1956) and, by searching Tubi to see what other films of his were available, that he had starred in a 1959 remake of Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (1935), which is a great favorite of mine. This led me to also discover that there was a 1979 remake of The Lady Vanishes starring Cybill Shepherd, Elliott Gould, and Angela Lansbury. I ended up watching them back-to-back and decided to jot down a quick post with my thoughts.

While enjoyable, The 39 Steps, directed by Ralph Thomas, had none of the suspense of the original. More acted as if he were simply on holiday and there was never any real feeling that his life was in danger. The women in the film - the lady who was murdered in his flat, the wife at the house he took refuge in, and finally Miss Fisher (Madeline Carroll's role) - weren't quite right either. The first was too matter of fact, the second a "fortune teller," and Miss Fisher not nearly annoyed enough. All of the tenseness of the original scenes simply wasn't present. The impromptu political speech Hannay gives in the original is replaced with a botany lecture at a girl's school that isn't nearly as tense or funny and the final scene fell a little flat. It's still worth a watch and the color scenery was lovely, though not as harsh and dramatic as in black and white. It helped lend to the more "holiday" feeling.

The Lady Vanishes, directed by Anthony Page, faired better. I've only seen the original once (as opposed to I think four times for The 39 Steps plus the book by John Buchan). Cybill Shepherd plays the heroine differently than Margaret Lockwood (I do wish Sheperd didn't talk so loud the entire time) but it was a fun film. Again, not as tense as the original but that film also had more of Hitchcock's humor. I would say the remake had a slight screwball element to it as well with Sheperd's portrayal as a seemingly flighty heiress with multiple marriages and on her way to another.  It was set in 1939 and had a stronger N*zi presence - our introduction to Shepherd's character is her doing a H*tler impression. There was on-location shooting in Austria, so this film had lovely scenery as well. 

Have you seen any remakes of Hitchcock films (aside from the one's he remade himself)? What did you think of them? Did you like them better than the original?

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Movies I Watched in December

Didn't watch as many Christmas movies this month as in past Decembers. I'm still watching Father Knows Best and started Frasier - I've been wanting to rewatch it for a while. Was very excited to receive Allison Macor's book, Making The Best Years of Our Lives, for Christmas! I also got the Wizard of Oz "Horse of a Different Color" Hallmark ornament (unfortunately the batteries it came with were already corroded and I haven't bought any new ones yet so I haven't actually seen it light up).

  1. A Christmas Carol (1938) - Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Ann Rutherford
  2. Q Planes/Clouds Over Europe (1939) - Ralph Richardson, Laurence Olivier, Valerie Hobson
  3. 49th Parallel (1941) - Laurence Olivier, Leslie Howard, Glynis Johns
  4. A Stranger in Town (1943) - Frank Morgan, Richard Carlson
  5. Black Angel (1946) - Dan Duryea & June Vincent, Peter Lorre, Broderick Crawford
  6. Gilda (1946) - Rita Hayworth & Glenn Ford
  7. Fun on a Weekend (1947) - Eddie Bracken & Priscilla Lane, Tom Conway, Allen Jenkins
  8. I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes (1948) - Don Castle & Elyse Knox, Regis Toomey
  9. Good Sam (1948) - Gary Cooper & Ann Sheridan
  10. *On Dangerous Ground (1951) - Robert Ryan & Ida Lupino, Ward Bond
  11. All I Desire (1953) - Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Carlson, Maureen O'Sullivan, Billy Gray
  12. *White Christmas (1954) - Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen, Rosemary Clooney, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes
  13. The Admirable Crichton (1957) - Kenneth More, Sally Anne Howes
  14. A Night to Remember (1958) - Kenneth More, Honor Blackman, David McCallum, Laurence Naismith
  15. *Sail a Crooked Ship (1961) - Robert Wagner & Dolores Hart, Ernie Kovacs, Carolyn Jones
  16. Experiment in Terror (1962) - Glenn Ford, Lee Remick, Stephanie Powers
  17. Prescription: Murder (1968) - Peter Falk, Gene Barry, Nina Foch
  18. *Elf (2003) - Will Farrall & Zoey Deschanel, Bob Newhart, James Caan, Ed Asner
  19. *The Holiday (2007) - Kate Winslet & Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Cameron Diaz & Jude Law
Least Favorite Film: I only watched the noir I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes because it was a "rarely seen film." I definitely expected to see some dancing though and there wasn't any. Also have no idea how they were going to condemn him to the electric chair literally on circumstantial evidence!

Favorite Movie: A very good month. I highly recommend The Admirable Crichton - think Downton Abbey meets Gilligan's IslandGood Sam was unusual but very funny. I also really enjoyed Q Planes. And of course 49th Parallel, being a Powell and Pressburger film, was beautifully shot. 

Favorite Line: "Less enthusiasm, please! This is Britain!" ~ newspaper editor in Q Planes.

Keep an eye out for my end-of-year movie stats post!