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Ten First Times


Kim Morgan has a list up of the top 10 old movies she saw for the first time in 2011. It’s an interesting list. The only one I’ve seen is “Other Men’s Women,” which has its limitations, but is enjoyable enough. Here’s my, probably less exotic, top 10 older movies I saw in 2011. For the sake of argument, we’ll say an older movie is at least 30 years old. I tend to mark 1967 as the dividing line between old and new movies, but I might as well play by the more expansive rules.

1. Victim, 1961
Basil Dearden’s brave film about anti-gay prejuidice in postwar Britain is incredible. Easily the best film old or new I saw in 2011.

2. La Jetée, 1962
The best science fiction film I’ve ever seen. Although to be fair, it’s not a genre I overly care for.

3. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920
As a silent film person, I don’t know how I had never gotten around to this before.

4. Rebecca, 1940
If anything, could Hitchcock be underrated?

5. Knife in the Water, 1962
I don’t know if this is Polanski’s best film, but it is pretty fantastic.

6. The Friends of Eddie Coyle, 1973
Fantastic and entertaining. Great role for Robert Mitchum.

7. The Mark of Zorro, 1920
True silent entertainment. The cheap amusements in their finest form.

8. Christmas in July, 1940
Preston Sturges–the best comedic director in film history?

9. In the Year of the Pig, 1968
Best old documentary I saw all year, powerful anti-war film.

10. Street of Shame, 1956
One of Kenji Mizoguchi’s great films about “fallen women.”

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