Films Watched in December 2014

I ended December 2014 with 12 films: four re-watches and eight new-to-me films, including one theatrical release:

mask_theatrical

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The Mask of Dimitrios (1944) Jean Negulesco
(1:35)
(2x rewatch 1992)
Warner DVD

Nifty mystery/noir about a renegade named Dimitrios whose body is discovered washed up on the shore. Or is it him? A novelist named Leyden (Peter Lorre) desperately wants to find out. The film also stars frequent Lorre film partner Sydney Greenstreet as well as Zachary Scott in his film debut.

4/5

ali

ali_fear

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) Michael Fassbinder
(1:34)
Hulu Plus

An German woman and a Moroccan migrant worker 20 years her junior fall in love and marry, to the astonishment and disgust of their friends and families. The way people look at each other in this film is stunning and Fassbinder conveys a lot in just those images. The ending is abrupt and doesn’t quite work for me, but overall the film is spellbinding.

4/5

niagara

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Niagara (1953) Henry Hathaway
(1:28)
Fox Blu-ray

Previously discussed here.

3/5

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Blue Ruin (2013) Jeremy Saulnier
(1:30)
Netflix streaming

Previously discussed here.

4.5/5

return_king

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Peter Jackson
(4:11)
(2x rewatch 2003)
Extended edition, Blu-ray

5/5

it-happened-on-fifth-avenue-poster

5th_ave

It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947) Roy Del Ruth
(1:56)
Warner Archive Instant

A homeless man (Victor Moore) stays in an mansion that the owner thinks goes unused every winter, but now others emerge who lay claim to the place, including the owner’s daughter. Charming, funny and well-acted – also stars Don DeFore, Ann Harding, Charles Ruggles and Gale Storm. Add this one to your yearly Christmas movie list.

4/5

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snowpiercer

Snowpiercer (2013) Bong Joon-ho
(2:06)
Netflix streaming

Look for an upcoming review of this film soon.

4.5/5

born_to_kill

Born-to-Kill

Born to Kill (1947) Robert Wise
(1:32)
Netflix – Fox DVD

Lawrence Tierney plays a hot-headed, impulsive man who commits a murder in Reno, flees, and marries a wealthy woman he doesn’t love, only to be near the woman’s sister. Hard-hitting noir with a commentary by the always interesting Eddie Muller.

4.5/5

elephant

The Elephant Man (1980) David Lynch
(2:04)
(3x rewatch, circa 1983)
Paramount DVD

Previously discussed here.

4/5

It-s-A-Wonderful-Life-its-a-wonderful-life-32920427-1600-1205

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Frank Capra
(2:10)
(at least 25x rewatch 2013)
Paramount Blu-ray

A holiday tradition for me. I’m always amazed how dark this film really is after Clarence arrives.

5/5

International-House-Poster

international-house

International House (1933) A. Edward Sutherland
(1:08)
Universal DVD

A man named Wong invents a television device and invites a whole cast of characters to see (and finance) it at China’s International House Hotel. An “illness” breaks out and the hotel must be quarantined, which is when the fun really starts. The plot is ridiculous – including Professor Quail (W.C. Fields) dropping empty beer bottles from his auto-gyro plane – but is frequently funny. You can’t beat the cast, which consists of Fields, Peggy Hopkins Joyce, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Bela Lugosi, Rudy Vallee, Cab Calloway, and more. International House is included in the W.C. Fields Comedy Favorites Collection.

3.5/5

Poster-art-for-The-Imitation-Game_event_main

imitation

The Imitation Game (2014) Morten Tyldum
(1:54)
Bow Tie Cinemas Harbour 9

Another film I hope to review in the near future…

3.5/5

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