Image 1 from one of our films

Films We’ve Seen

Tell us where else in the South West you would find such a wide range of extraordinary quality. No one has answered yet! You will see the 2012 S & S Critics Top 250 ratings, though many entries in and omissions from that list are perplexing.

No.

Film

Director Year

Country

What? Why?

S & S 2012 Top 250

When seen

137 Black Orpheus Marcel Camus 1959 Fr/It/Br A nearly all-black cast in the Orpheus-Eurydice legend reset in Rio de Janeiro at the time of Carnival. Vivid colour, dance with the threatening presence of Death, who ultimately succeeds.   3 Mar 14
136 Le Doulos Jean-Pierre Melville 1962 Fr/It With Jean-Paul Belmondo, Serge Reggiani. Melville was the great French director, admirer of American noir, of Le Cercle Rouge (seen Oct 03) and L'Armée des Ombres (seen May 07). The Paris underworld, with Belmondo as an informer and Reggiani, an ex-con, but nothing is quite what it seems. TOFG: "... a film devoted to the principle of duplicity ... terrific performances and equally terrific camerawork from Nicholas Hayer — more gris than noir - conjure a rivetlingly treacherous twilight world."   3 Feb 14
135 The Third Man Carol Reed 1949 GB Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard. With the dark, slanting photography of that genius, Robert Krasker. Set in Vienna about a US racketeer and his friend who he has invited over to work there. One of Reed's two finest films. Perhaps you know the other, set in Northern Ireland? 73= 6 Jan 14
134 Guys and Dolls Joseph L Mankiewitz 1955 US Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra. Brando as a gambler, Simmons as his seduction target. Sinatra later.

TOFG: "A musical fairly glittering with intelligence and invention."

  9 Dec 13
133 Wadjda Haifaa al-Mansour 2012 Saudi Arabia The first female Saudi-Arabian director to have a film shown, and this is very recent and topical. A young Saudi-Arabian girl longs for a particular green bicycle and, against all odds, finds ways to finance it, until ... Heart-warming, though we also have the sub-commentary about the status of women in Saudi Arabia.

Many awards, including Venice.

 

11 Nov 13

 

132 Accident Joseph Losey 1967 GB Oxford, its colleges, its professorial rivalries, demonstratred in the sexual arena. It starts with a car accident, at dead of night in the country. There is only one survivor, a foreign undergraduate who has attracted the attention of several males. A sultry, psychological film. Slightly reminds me of Beerbohm's Zuleika Dobson. Script: Harold Pinter. Cast includes Dirk Bogarde, Michael York and Stanley Baker (not Baxter). Johnny Dankworth's music is more than a bonus.   14 Oct 13
131 Queen Christina Rouben Mamoulian 1933 USA A remarkable film about a girl who, at six years old, becomes Queen of Sweden in 1632. She is intelligent, determined and becomes, in time, a most able ruler. She is, however, politically pressured to marry; worse still, to one far older. The ambassador who must promote the suitor becomes her lover. Complications you can imagine. Greta Garbo, as the queen, was not simply a Nordic, enigmatic beauty. This is one of her finest films. You have to see to understand her attraction.   16 Sep 13
130 Deliverance John Boorman 1972 USA Four very different men decide to canoe the Chatanooga river, in the Appalachian Mountains, with their rapids, before it vanishes forever under a dam. Breathtaking scenery, with some violence — we issued a warning — because they encounter hill-billies. Interestingly, the women that came seemed most enthusiastic about it. I even had a phone call to say what a wonderful film it was (though she shut her eyes for the violence). Cast included John Voight and Burt Reynolds.   19 Aug 13
129 The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Vittoria de Sica 1970 It/WGer About an aristocratic Jewish family, which has lived securely in its large walled estate possibly since the Borgias, and its slow recognition, from 1938 to 1943, that Mussolini's Fascisti would change their lives forever. Beautifully photographed, but no cheerful ending. It links well with our film 122 below. de Sica, of course, was the director of Bicycle Thieves, which we saw in March 2009.   22 Jul 13
128 Wild Strawberries Ingmar Bergman 1957 Swe An old man, dessicated, journeys to receive an honorary degree, on the way dreaming, and meeting happy youth. This is a quiet and reflective film, the like of which there is no other. You see again that community of superb actors that Bergman so regularly used. One of the great pleasures is to watch each of them master so many different types of role. 63= 24 Jun 13
127 Pina Wim Wenders 2011 Ger A tribute to the German modern dancer and choreographer, Pina Bausch (died 2009), by an unusual and always interesting director; and the same from her troupe. This was a departure even from our normal wide range. Stunning in dancing, setting and use of colour. Highly recommended, even though we saw it in 2D when it is also available in 3D. If you follow the link above, you will find connections with Fellini and Almodóvar, in the latter case our number 34 below, which we showed in April 2006.   27 May 13
126 Pan's Labyrinth Guillermo del Toro 2006 Mex A phantasmagorical tale set in Spain, 1944, after the Civil War, telling of a girl who discovers a mystical labyrinth and a faun to guide her. To what? Her mother is pregnant and immobilized; her step-father is a dedicated Franco henchman, and cruel. Umpteen awards, including Oscar and BAFTA.   29 Apr 13
125 Cria Cuervos Carlos Saura 1975 Sp A slow, beautifully photographed film, about a mesmerising child who wants, at various points and perhaps in fantasy, her father dead, her mother's sister too, and herself. Many time-shifts. Nothing is quite what you expect. Just what a film society needs – but not too many of these.   1 Apr 13
124 Pierrot le Fou Jean-Luc Godard 1965 Fr/It The director, also Jean-Paul Belmondo. Pure 60s. There was some striking cinematography, and many surprises. Worth seeing once, though my impression was of an overlong film suggesting huge self-indulgence by the director. No more than 3 of the audience left before the end. But it's exactly the sort of film that a film society should show - occasionally. 42= 4 Mar 13
123 The Searchers John Ford 1956 US Whether you like or hate John Wayne, this remains the one of the most best dramas ever made, with wonderful settings and a complex psychology of near-extreme race-hatred, even for a man who is only one-eigth Indian, desire for your brother's wife. And a five-year search. You will have guessed that this is a western too. 7= 4 Feb 13
122 The Conformist (Il Conformista) Bernado Bertolucci 1970 It/Fr/WGer A strikingly beautiful and controversial film about a dysfunctional man, Marcello Clerici, about to get married, of a privileged but just as dysfunctional family, set in Mussolini's Italy. You may not - very probably won't - like the man, but the film is visually most stylish - gorgeous, in fact.

When I see it again I shall perhaps understand it a little better.

102= 7 Jan 13
121 The Wizard of Oz Victor Fleming 1939 US The long-lasting, magical tale of the girl - Judy Garland before her addictions - whose house is sucked up by a tornado and lands on the other side of the rainbow. 144= 10 Dec 12
120 I'm All Right, Jack Boulting Brothers 1955 Fr With its cast of 50s-60s actors (Peter Sellers, Denis Price, Ian Carmichael, Margaret Rutherford, John le Mesurier - the list goes on) this acute Ealing comedy was bound to be a success. Much more than simple comedy, it offered critical social comment on obdurate unions - but at least as strongly on devious management.   12 Nov 12
119 Les Grandes Manoeuvres René Clair 1955 Fr After Citizen Kane perhaps something a little lighter? In colour, even?

So it was, as the licentious lieutenant accepts the wager to seduce a woman determined by chance.

Charming, but can you guess the outcome?

  15 Oct 12
118 Citizen Kane Orson Welles 1941 US Why did we wait until Sight & Sound critics, after 50 years, downgraded this to the second best film of all time?

(We saw their new number 1, Vertigo, in Dec 2010.)

Features Joseph Cotten, who appeared with Welles in The Third Man, and also our film of March 2008, The Magnificent Ambersons.

2 17 Sep 12
117 Casablanca Michael Curtiz 1942 US We simply had to, and it was very well attended. With Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Peter Lorre 84= 20-21 Aug 12
116 Les Quatre Cents Coups François Truffaut 1959 Fr A landmark film in the Nouvelle Vague, one of Truffaut's best, and a most sympathetic eye on rebellious youth. 39= 23-24 Jul 12
115 Ordet

 

Carl Theodor Dreyer 1954 Den Quite astounding, with remarkable, austere photography, using black and white to perfection and set almost entirely indoors. I should have seen it twice, as others did. 24= 25-26 Jun 12
114 Bagdad Café

 

Percy Adlon 1987 WGer A most unusual film, much requested (by one member) and it proved to be cinematographically unusual - and utterly joyous. Feel-good factor? Off the scale! With Jack Palance   28-29 May 12
113 Look Back in Anger Tony Richardson 1959 GB It was time for a spot of Angry Young Man, and we had it in spades from Burton, with a superb performance from Mary Ure. With Richard Burton, Mary Ure, Claire Bloom, Edith Evans   30 Apr - 1 May 12
112 The Manchurian Candidate John Frankenheimer 1962 US Disturbing. An attempt to brainwash a US serviceman, ex-Korean prisoner, greatly bemedalled, to kill a president-elect in the US. Who would wish this? With Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey   2-3 Apr 12
111 Jules et Jim François Truffaut 1961 Fr Just as good as when we last saw it. With Jeanne Moreau 127= 5-6 Mar 12
110 Pickpocket Robert Bresson 1859 Fr A well regarded film by a director whom we have not seen before - also most unusual. I wish that I had seen it on both nights. If you are considering becoming one (a pickpocket, I mean), see this film first about the techniques. Almost an instruction manual! 63= 6-7 Feb 12
109 Late Autumn Yasujirō Ozu 1960 Jap From this great Japanese director, a beautiful study of the traditional Japanese family as times change. Family friends decide that two women must be married: the mother, widowed, and her western-liberated, resisting daughter.   9-10 Jan 12
108 Singin' in the Rain Stanley Donen 1952 US The greatest of all musicals. With Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds 20= 12-13 Dec 11
107 The Lavender Hill Mob Charles Crichton 1951 GB We have not had an Ealing comedy before. We should have, from those vintage years. This is one of the best, with a glimpse of an early Audrey Hepburn. Excellent cinematography. With Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sid James, Alfie Bass   14-15 Nov 11
106 Les Diaboliques Henri-Georges Clouzot 1954 GB The chiller that is said to have inspired Hitchcock's Psycho. With Véra Clouzot, Simone Signoret   18 Oct 11 only
105 Dr Strangelove Stanley Kubrick 1964 GB The seminal black comedy about the nuclear confrontations of the Cold War and the inadequate systems and procedures to protect the human race. With Peter Sellers, George C Scott 117= 19-20 Sep 11
104 The Asphalt Jungle John Huston 1950 USA A really good heist movie with few big names but an early glimpse of Marilyn Monroe.   22-23 Aug 11
103 The Big Sleep Howard Hawks 1946 USA Film noir at its impenetrable best, with Bogart and Bacall in electric form. Even the author didn't understand the whole of it. With Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall 202= 25-26 Jul 11
102 The Grapes of Wrath John Ford 1940 USA Its ending is not faithful to the book - far more cheerful, but the film well captures greed and misery, through the extreme misfortunes of a single family. Excellent cinematography from Gregg Toland. With Henry Fonda 183= 27-28 Jun 11
101 Manon des Sources Claude Berri 1986 Fr The conclusion of Jean de Florette (March this year) without which there is no resolution. Whether you saw Part I or not, this is demanding and dramatic. With Yves Montand   30-31 May 11
100 In the Heat of the Night Norman Jewison 1967 USA A rather good thriller, examining racial prejudice in the southern states, wih fine performances from Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier. Cinematography and music weren't too bad either. With Rod Steiger, Sidney Poitier   2-3 May 11
99 Orlando Sally Potter 1992 GB/Rus/Fr/It/Neth Critics do not rate this eccentric film particularly highly - but for its luscious, sumptuous photography. So it proved. Our audiences were overwhelmed. With Tilda Swinton, Quentin Crisp   4-5 Apr 11
98 Jean de Florette Claude Berri 1986 Fr/It Member's Choice, much requested before, with Yves Montand, shortly before he died, Gérard Depardieu, in his prime, and Daniel Auteuil. With Yves Montand, Gérard Depardieu   7-8 Mar 11
97 Five Easy Pieces Bob Rafelson 1970 US Jack Nicholson, of course, and not until our 97th film have you seen him in our programme, dominating - and uncomfortable. With Jack Nicholson   7-8 Feb 11
96 Amélie Jean-Pierre Jeunet 2001 Fr/Ger For its very different charm, its colour, and for the performance of Audrey Tautou. And Montmartre, of course. With Audrey Tautou   10-11 Jan 11
95 Vertigo Alfred Hitchcock 1958 US A psychological thriller in many critics' Top Ten. Said to be Hitchcock's best. Its reputation has only increased. I'm very sorry to have missed the opportunity. With James Stewart, Kim Novak 1 13-14 Dec 10
94 The Night of the Hunter Charles Laughton 1955 US Laughton's only directorial role, as the film was shunned at the time. Now it is recognized as great film noir, with Robert Mitchum's towering performance. With Robert Mitchum 63= 16-17 Nov 10
93 Tokyo Story Jasujirō Ozu 1953 Jap Our first from this great Japanese director. Should have had him before! A wonderful, moving, quiet film. 3 18-19 Oct 10
92 The Maltese Falcon John Huston 1941 US John Huston's first as director, Humphrey Bogart's opportunity, a title known to all, real film noir and almost impenetrable! So why not? With Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre   20-21 Sep 10
91 Ulzana's Raid Robert Aldrich 1972 US An intelligent Western, with hints of Vietnam, asking many moral questions. Wonderful scenery, and yet another fine performance from Lancaster – and the Indian scout. With Burt Lancaster   23-24 Aug 10
90 The Dresser Peter Yates 1984 GB Because of the huge performances from Finney, as the arrogant and aging Shakespearian actor, and Courtenay, his dresser. Described by audience members as "wonderful ... hugely enjoyed", "superb" (several). And what about Eileen Atkins? With Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Edward Fox   26 - 27 Jul 10
89 Like Water for Chocolate Alfonso Arau 1991 Mex Our first Mexican film. Well received, though in order to accommodate the subtitles aspect ratios were not quite right, and the cast appeared to be short and fat, unless they were lying down ...   28 - 29 Jun 10
88 Comrades Bill Douglas 1986 GB About the Tolpuddle Martyrs from Dorset, trying to found a union in the 1830s. It might seem insular, but it's also very different. And part of it is Australia. There are very fine performances, and not just from the big names. Douglas, the director, was a perfectionist. With Vanessa Redgrave, Michael Hordern, Freddie Jones, James Fox, Barbara Windsor   31 May - 1 Jun 10
87 Matador Pedro Almodóvar 1985 Sp Member's Choice. The first serious film by this director. In Spanish, of course. We feared that it may cause offence because of its very explicit scenes, but most who came were deeply impressed.   3-4 May 10
86 The Red Shoes Powell & Pressburger 1948 GB Too extraordinary to miss, especially as this ancient film went to Cannes last year. Let's just quote Time Out Film Guide 2006: "in texture it's nothing like the British cinema had ever seen: a rhapsody of colour expressionism ..." So it proved to be. With Moira Shearer, Marius Goring, Anton Walbrook 117= 5-6 Apr 10
85 The Lives of Others Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck 2006 Ger Cannes-winner, and recent, with a huge number of awards.   8-9 Mar 10
84 Sunset Blvd. Billy Wilder 1950 USA One of the best films of all time. And Gloria Swanson beat Bette Davis, in All About Eve that we showed in 2008, to the Oscar. You will also remember von Stroheim from Renoir's La Grande Illusion, which we showed in our first year, 2003-4. With Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich von Stroheim 63= 8-9 Feb 10
83 North by Northwest Alfred Hitchcock 1959 USA At this drab time of year [as it happens, especially this one], one of Hitchcock's most dynamic and entertaining films, set in midsummer below the 49th parallel and inducing the illusion of warmth. It's great! (And Eva Marie Saint was ... well ... not made of wood.) With Cary Grant, James Mason 53= 11-12 Jan 10
82 Born Yesterday George Cukor 1950 USA From this great director a happy film before Christmas, with that Oscar-winning performance from Judy Holliday, beating Bette Davis in All About Eve, which we saw in 2008. Audience applauded at the end. With Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford, William Holden   7-8 Dec 09
81 Belle de Jour Luis Buñuel 1967 Fr/It One of the greatest and most puzzling films from this extraordinary director, surrealist friend of Salvador Dali. With Catherine Deneuve too! Audience reaction? “An awful film”, said one; “wonderful”, another. I'd stick with perpetually perplexing.   9-10 Nov 09
80 Les Quatre Cents Coups François Truffaut 1959 Fr A landmark film in the Nouvelle Vague, one of Truffaut's best, and a most sympathetic eye on rebellious youth. 39= 12-13 Oct 09
79 Some Like It Hot Billy Wilder 1959 USA Almost certainly the best crime/comedy of all time - from the USA, at least. The many who came applauded afterwards. The big screen, of course. With Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe, even George Raft. Wow! 42= 15 Sep 09
78 It's a Wonderful Life Franka Capra 1946 USA It's just a very good, heart-warming film about small-town America and decency versus greed. With James Steward, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore   17-18 Aug 09
77 Annie Hall Woody Allen 1977 USA In nearly 6 years we had not had a Woody Allen, so it seemed high time to feature one of his more requested. 127= 20-21 Jul 09
76 A Streetcar Named Desire Elia Kazan 1951 USA Surprisingly, we have not had Brando before, and this is the intense film that made him. To one scribbler it was a considerable surprise – far broader than the reviews read suggested. And Brando brilliantly played a character for whom one felt considerable sympathy. With Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh   22-23 Jun 09
75 Sweet Smell of Success Alexander Mackendrick 1957 USA As a contrast to Mackendrick's Ealing comedies, a 5* film with superb performances from the two principals. This is true film noir. Dilys Powell: “... so superbly is the thing done that one skin crawls.” With Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis 171= 25-26 May 09
74 The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp Powell & Pressburger 1943 GB At last it had become available for screening. One of the great films from the extraordinary Powell-Pressburger pair who so much influenced British and international cinema. With Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr 93= 27-28 Apr 09
73 Jules et Jim François Truffaut 1963 Fr Anyone who watched real films in the ’60s knows why. This was an iconic film of the time and, of course, it featured one whom Orson Welles described as “the greatest actress in the world”. With Jeanne Moreau 127= 30-31 Mar 09
72 Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di Biciclette) Vittorio de Sica 1948 It The Italian Neo-Realist film that we had been seeking since the start of TWFS, frequently requested by members. Superbly orchestrated, and the acting, by non-professionals, was marvellous. 33 2-3 Mar 09
71 Cinema Paradiso (Director's Cut) Giuseppe Tornatore 1989 It/Fr In what turned out to be a bleak early February, a heart-warming, sentimental film about cinema in a small town. Actually, much more than that, as it was the Director's Cut.   3 Feb 09
70 The Marriage of Maria Braun Rainer Werner Fassbinder 1978 WGer High time for a German film, for we have seen only one before, in 2005. This prolific director died before he was 40 and left, according to David Thomson (qv), “at least half a dozen extraordinary pictures”. This is unquestionably one of them.   5-6 Jan 09
69 42nd Street LLoyd Bacon 1933 USA A ground-breaking and cheering musical, by the great choreographer, Busby Berkeley.   8-9 Dec 08
68 The Servant Joseph Losey 1963 Italy A most disturbing film about class, weakness, subversion and decay, with very fine performances indeed, particularly from Bogarde, a typically slender script by the late Nobel Prize winner, Harold Pinter, and excellent cinematography. Some thought it, by today's standards, too long. Another never wished to see it again, because it was too powerful. With Dirk Bogarde, James Fox   10-11 Nov 08
67 Roma Città Aperta (Rome, Open City) Roberto Rossellini 1945 Italy The defining example of Italian Neo-realist cinema, by the man who above all defined and developed the style. A very powerful film which introduced new techniques to the cinema screen. With Fellini, Anna Magnani

183=

 

13-14 Oct 08
66 Jésus de Montréal Denys Arcand 1989 Can/Fr A thought-provoking film and our first from Quebec, that state which produces so much original cinema. And what a superb film it turned out to be. Would you believe that we were transfixed in our seats and therefore had to watch the trailer credits? [You must be joking. Ed.] We were. Extraordinarily powerful, and it is a long time since we had such comment from those who came.   15-16 Sep 08
65 The Man Who Knew Too Much Alfred Hitchcock   GB Only our second Hitchcock, and a very highly rated film. Many critics prefer it to Hitchcock's own remake of 1955, which was much longer. Some may have thought that it was dated. As the film was made 74 years ago, that is unquestionable and unavoidable. We are here to see how cinema has developed from its sudden changes.   18-19 Aug 08
64 Blowup Michelangelo Antonioni 1966 GB Our first Antonioni, and a celebration of the late 60s in swinging London in this quite mystifying film. With David Hemmimgs, Vanessa Redgrave 144= 21-22 Jul 08
63 The Big Country William Wyler 1958 USA Simply a great western which needs a full-size screen, with some excellent performances from top stars. Not to mention the music. Pity about the quality of the picture, which was not the fault of the cinema whose equipment had just been serviced! The DVD supplied to them had obviously been created from a fairly poor print. With Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston, Burl Ives   23-24 Jun 08
62 Whisky Galore Alexander Mackendrick 1949 GB One of the Ealing Studio greats, and Member's Choice.   26-27 May 08
61 Amarcord Federico Fellini 1973 It/Fr Fellini, of course! But, as RT says, “a superb introduction to the work of a great artist.” Comical, bawdy, but very sympathetic to its characters. 117= 28-29 Apr 08
60 All About Eve Joseph L. Manckiewicz 1950 USA Bette Davis gave one of her finest performances in a very powerful film which has not dated in substance and never dulled, hugely deserving of all its Oscars and nominations. George Sanders was vintage. With Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Marilyn Monroe   31 Mar, 1 Apr 08
59 The Magnificent Ambersons Orson Welles 1942 USA But for RKO, the studio, this would have been the finest Welles film, better than Citizen Kane. Even so, it is masterly, by the egocentric, unreliable man now considered to be a genius of the cinema. With Joseph Cotten 81= 3-4 Mar 08
58 The Seventh Seal Ingmar Bergman 1956 Swe The best-known and seminal Bergman film, which brought him to the forefront and expressed his own doubts about a God. Astonishing photography, and superb performances from the able actors with whom he regularly worked. Cannes, of course. Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand 93= 4-5 Feb 08
57 Duck Soup Leo McCarey 1933 USA The notorious band (the last as a foursome), whom we had not seen since our first year. We thought that they deserved another show in this, reputedly the best of their films, though it was a flop when it first came out. The Marx Brothers   7-8 Jan 08
56 Meet Me in St Louis Vincente Minnelli 1944 USA Christmas is near. This was a Christmas film. More importantly, it was a ground-breaking musical by this director, with Judy Garland at her stunning best. The little sister was amazing. With Judy Garland 127= 10-11 Dec 07
55 A Bout de Souffle Jean-Luc Godard 1960 Fr Seminal nouvelle vague film featuring Jean-Paul Belmondo and the troubled Jean Seberg. Ranked 15th in the Sight & Sound Critics' Poll 2002. 13 12-13 Nov 07
54 The Spirit of the Beehive Victor Erice 1973 Sp Films from the 70s have been under-represented recently, as have Spanish films. This has a remarkable reputation. Though slow, it provided some wonderful cinematography.

81=

15-16 Oct 07
53 Black Narcissus Powell & Pressburger 1946 GB Our first Powell & Pressburger, and a remastered copy. We always try to start our new year with an exceptional film, and this was visually stunning. With Deborah Kerr 154= 17-18 Sep 07
52 My Darling Clementine John Ford 1946 USA Time for a Western too, and of many films about the OK Corral this seemed the most classic. And so it proved. Greatly enjoyed for its lighting, its humour and its uncomplicated morality. With Henry Fonda 235= 20-21 Aug 07
51 La Règle du Jeu Jean Renoir 1939 Fr By the great French director, who has a prominent part in it. Rated by many cognoscenti in the top 10 films of all time, and one deserving of several viewings. [Two Renoirs in a season? Tut! Tut! Ed.] 4 23-24
Jul 07
50 Burnt by the Sun Nikita Mikhalkov 1994 Rus/Fr Time for another Russian film, and a very striking one with an excellent performance from the director as actor, and from his daughter. In colour too. Two awards. “Wonderful” was on the lips of many who came.   25-26
Jun 07
49 L'Armée des Ombres Jean-Pierre Melville 1969 Fr/It Perhaps the finest film from this truly great and surprisingly unknown French director. A tribute to the French Resistance without sentimentality, glamour, or the remotest hint of Hollywood. Incomparable! A footnote ... 202= 28-29
May 07
48 Before Sunrise Richard Linklater 2004 USA Member's Choice: asked for by the TWFS member who won the draw for the right to choose this month's film. By an increasingly respected director, intensely personal.   30 Apr -
1 May 07
47 The Innocents Jack Clayton 1961 GB We haven't had a horror film before, and this is one of the very best. With Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave   2-3
Apr 07
46 Pather Panchali Satyajit Ray 1955 India The first Indian realist film, which won huge acclaim at the time and is still high in critics' top 100s. [One of the very finest films that I have ever seen. Ed.] With Ravi Shankar 42= 5-6
Mar 07
45 Lili Charles Walters 1952 USA As a contrast to the sterner stuff we quite often see, for the very considerable charm of the film, and for Leslie Caron’s delicious performance. With Leslie Caron, Mel Ferrer, Jean-Pierre Aumont   5-6
Feb 07
44 Hiroshima mon amour Alain Resnais 1959 Fr/Jap Big stir when it first came out — a new kind of film, non-linear, about memory and time 127= 8-9
Jan 07
43 The Philadelphia Story George Cukor 1940 USA Christmas cheerfulness, with Hepburn, Grant and Stewart at their best in a superbly directed film. With Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant   11-12 Dec 06
42 Angels with Dirty Faces Michael Curtiz 1938 USA Curtiz's expert direction, Hollywood's moral period, the diminutive but electrifying gangster actor, James Cagney   13-14 Nov 06

41

Rebecca Alfred Hitchcock 1940 USA

One of Hitchcock's most famous films, which needs to be seen - like most films - on a proper cinema screen. With Laurence Olivier

 

17 Oct 06

40 The River Jean Renoir 1984 USA/France

Visually beautiful, gradually developing film by the Impressionist's son about India in the last days of the Raj

127= 18-19 Sep 06

39

Point Blank John Boorman 1967 USA

Extremely stylish post-noir thriller by the British director, with a fine performance from Lee Marvin

  21-22 Aug 06

38

The General Buster Keaton 1926 USA

Probably the greatest silent film comedian, a remarkable comedy, and his personal favourite

34= 24-25 Jul 06

37

La Kermesse Héroique Jacques Feyder 1935 France

A classic of French comedy

 

26-27 Jun 06

36 Glengarry Glen Ross James Foley 1992 USA Its reputation for the excellence of the acting, its complete difference from anything else that we have shown, and the important fact that it was licensed and available for exhibition. In fact, it turned out to be a most interesting choice, as some detested it, while more thought it was excellent. Exactly the sort of film to stir a discussion group! With Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin   29-30 May 06
35 Paths of Glory Stanley Kubrick 1957 USA Kubrick's first great film, and Douglas's first big opportunity, which he successfully embraced. A strongly moral film about war and the military, based on a real incident in the French Army during the First World War. With Kirk Douglas   1-2 May 06
34 Talk to Her (Hable con Ella) Pedro Almodóvar 2002 Spain Highly acclaimed film (lots of awards) by the Spanish director.   3-4 Apr 06
33 La Dolce Vita Federico Fellini 1960

Italy

Fellini's great film about decadence and morality in late 50s Italy, featuring Marcello Mastroianni and many beautiful women.

39=

6-7 Mar 06

32

Out of the Past

Jacques Tourneur 1947 USA

Aka as “Build My Gallows High”, one of the greatest noirs, with fine performances from Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer. From a Frenchman.

183=

6-7 Feb 06

31 The Wages of Fear Henri-Georges Clouzot 1953 Fr/It Requested by many members. Perhaps the greatest suspense movie of all time.   9-10 Jan 06
30 His Girl Friday Howard Hawks 1939 USA Howard Hawks's inspired and lightning-fast comedy about ruthlessness in the newspaper business and an editor’s wish to re-acquire his former wife. Cary Grant at his finest and Rosalind Russell matching him.

171=

12-13 Dec 05
29 Viridiana Luis Buñuel 1961 Sp/Mex A film which greatly shocked at the time, with its occasionally subdued sexuality and much symbolism. Banned in Spain and opposed by the Church, it nevertheless won Palme d'Or at Cannes. 110= 14-15 Nov 05
28 La Strada Federico Fellini 1954 Italy One of the most approachable films by the Italian master, with a superb performance from Giuletta Masina, Fellini's wife. 202= 17-18 Oct 05
27 Andrei Rublev Andrei Tarkovsky 1966 USSR By the great Russian director a film, very highly rated by critics, offering a superb if lengthy glimpse of mediaeval Russia through the eyes of a monk turned icon-painter. Deeply impressive. 26 19-20 Sep 05
26 The Wild Bunch Sam Peckinpah 1969 USA A western to change westerns, offering new levels of violence, but also a different view of the morality of outlaw and his adversary. 84= 22-23 Aug 05
25 The Apartment Billy Wilder 1960 USA A sharp comedy of the time. Wilder’s direction. The superb combination of Lemmon, MacLaine and MacMurray. Some Academy Awards, as expected. 127= 25-26 Jul 05
24 La Ronde Max Ophüls 1950 France A film of great charm and unusually circular construction.   27-28 Jun 05
23 M Fritz Lang 1931 Germany Remarkable and brave film about the hunt for a serial killer. A landmark. 56 30-31 May 05
22 Orphée Jean Cocteau 1950 France Impossible to ignore. First prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1951.   2-3 May 05
21 When We Were Kings Leon Gast 1996 USA Member’s Choice: the Oscar-winning documentary of a remarkable fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman   4-5 Apr 05
20 Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot Jacques Tati 1952 France Tati in perhaps his best-loved film   7-8 Mar 05
19 To Kill a Mockingbird Robert Mulligan 1962 USA From Harper Lee’s superb novel, with Gregory Peck   7 Feb 05
18 The Draughtsman’s Contract Peter Greenaway 1982 GB English director with cult following   10-11 Jan 05
17 Babette's Feast Gabriel Axel 1987 Denmark Danish, Academy Award, Best Foreign Film   6-7 Dec 04
16 Rashomon Akira Kurosawa 1951 Japan The first Japanese director to be highly regarded in the West 26= 8-9 Nov 04
15 Rififi (aka Au Rififi chez les Hommes) Jules Dassin 1955 France Classic French noir, by an American-born director, with Jean Servais in the lead role   11-12 Oct 04
14 Death in Venice Luchino Visconti 1971 GB/Italy Visconti’s grandiose vision, with Mahler's music, with Dirk Bogarde in the lead role.   13-14 Sep 04
13 Get Carter Mike Hodges 1971 GB Michael Caine in a gangster film to match the best of American.   16-17 Aug 04
12 Red River Howard Hawks 1948 USA The director’s first and great Western. John Wayne and Montgomery Clift. 235= 19-20 Jul 04
11 La Belle et la Bête Jean Cocteau 1946 France A beautiful and surprising exposition of the fairy tale, with Jean Marais in several roles.   21-22 Jun 04
10 The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie Luis Buñuel 1972 France One of the finest comedies from this surreal director, friend of the artist, Salvador Dali. 183= 24-25 May 04
9 Cabaret Bob Fosse 1972 USA Liza Minnelli's great hit, and the even more astonishing performance of Joel Grey.   26-27 Apr 04
8 Alexander Nevsky Sergei Eisenstein 1938 USSR Because no film society of this sort can neglect the man, and Prokofiev scored ...   29-30 Mar 04
7 A Night at the Opera Sam Wood 1935 USA Vintage Marx Brothers   1-2 Mar 04
6 La Grande Illusion Jean Renoir 1937 France The great war-prisoner and escape movie, by the son of the Impressionist painter, featuring Erich von Stroheim (who directed the remarkable film, Greed, originally meant to last 10 hours). 73= 2-3 Feb 04
5 O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Coen Brothers 2000 USA The Odyssey brought up to date, with humour and George Clooney.   6 Jan 04
4 Top Hat Mark Sandrich 1935 USA Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' all time favourite - with the odd drifting feather.  

2 Dec 03

3 The Great Dictator Charlie Chaplin 1940 USA One of Chaplin's best-known films, with some remarkable satire on Hitler. 144= 4 Nov 03
2 Le Cercle Rouge Jean-Pierre Melville 1970 France Superb gangster movie, by the master, not to mention Alain Delon and Yves Montand.   7 Oct 03
1 Fanny & Alexander Ingmar Bergman 1982 Sweden One of the great director’s finest films, and gorgeous. 84= 9 Sep 03

 


Back to home page

© The Wells Film Society 2003-13

To the top