Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 25 Older Films I Saw in 2014

The Wages of Fear is one of my new favorites.

Thanks for another great year, readers! My year-end top 10 list and CinSpec Awards posts won't be posted until late January at the earliest, so here are the best older films I saw this year.

25. Local Hero (Bill Forsyth, 1983)

24. The Naked Spur (Anthony Mann, 1953)

23. Sweet Sixteen (Ken Loach, 2002)

22. Night on Earth (Jim Jarmusch, 1992)

21. Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953)

20. The Quiet Man (John Ford, 1952)

19. Bloody Sunday (Paul Greengrass, 2002)

18. Day for Night (François Truffaut, 1973)

17. Tokyo Story (Yasujirō Ozu, 1953)

16. Man on Wire (James Marsh, 2008)

15. Onibaba (Kaneto Shindo, 1964)

14. Pennies from Heaven (Herbert Ross, 1981)

13. Under the Roofs of Paris (René Clair, 1930)

12. Meet John Doe (Frank Capra, 1941)

11. Ivan's Childhood (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1962)

10. A Swedish Love Story (Roy Andersson, 1970)

9. Pickup on South Street (Samuel Fuller, 1953)

8. The Wages of Fear (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953)

7. Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954)

6. Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984)

5. 42nd Street (Lloyd Bacon, 1933)

4. A Woman Is a Woman (Jean-Luc Godard, 1961)

3. Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)

2. Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990)

1. La Notte (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961)


  1. I've seen 8 of these...UGH, now I want to add all of these to my Netflix queue! Love that you love La Notte. I rewatched it for my 61 Fistis and it has a slew of noms right now. Such a marvelous film.

    1. Oh, you should add them then! ;) La Notte is a masterpiece. Hope it gets a ton of noms on your final ballot.

  2. I saw Wages of Fear for the first time this year too, although I saw the remake Sorcerer years ago, and agree it was truly excellent. I even thought Yves Montand was good in it and I usually can't stand him.

    Johnny Guitar is one strange, entertaining, weird movie and the acting fireworks between Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge makes it endlessly watchable.

    I love Pickup on South Street, especially for Richard Widmark and Thelma Ritter but the whole movie is phenomenal.

    1. I still need to see Sorcerer, but Wages of Fear was wonderful. I thought Yves Montand was good as well.

      Johnny Guitar was fascinating. Loved it more than I thought it would.

      Yeah, Widmark and Ritter make Pickup even better. I doubt I'd love it as much without them.

    2. I've seen 10 others of these aside from the three I mentioned. Peeping Tom was expertly made but so disturbing I don't think I'd ever watch it again.

      With all the positive feedback on La Notte I'm curious to see it now, it doesn't look readily available though so I'll have to keep an eye out on TCM.

      Just queued up Under the Roofs of Paris. I've loved the other Clair films I've seen, especially I Married a Witch.

      Both Richard Widmark and Thelma Ritter made anything they were in better. They are two of my absolute favorite classic actors, each in my respective top 10 actor/actress lists. Thelma was always Thelma being so distinctive but that was quite enough. Widmark however was so versatile, a top flight villain he was able to rework his energy somehow to be an engaging warm and charming hero when called on.

    3. Oh, I hope you like La Notte and Under the Roofs of Paris. So glad that Criterion released them.

      I've always liked Ritter, but I really grew to appreciate Widmark after watching Pickup and 3 of his films (No Way Out, Night and the City, Panic in the Streets) from 1950. Seeing that variety after watching him in Kiss of Death was wonderful.

  3. Sweet Sixteen was unforgettable for me. I like The Quiet Man too. Happy New Year, Josh!

    1. Happy New Year, Irene! Sweet Sixteen was so powerful, and I just love the humor in The Quiet Man.

  4. Interesting, diverse list! I was pretty sure La Notte and Close-Up would top your list. Glad to see The Naked Spur and Wages of Fear featured, great films, and are my #1 and #2 for 1953.
    Tokyo Story is a masterpiece which I rank #3 for 1953, still relevant today as a study of family dynamics.
    I've watched 12 from your 25, and hope to see some of the others during 2015.
    Great list!

    1. Thanks! Oh, glad to hear you love those 1953 films as well. Hope you get to check some of these out this year.

  5. GREAT list. Johnny Guitar... man, that movie doesn't get enough play nowadays. Just look at that still you embedded. The Trucolor look of that film is amazing.

    1. Thanks man! Johnny Guitar is amazing, and it definitely deserves more attention. Easily my favorite Ray film.