(As with all of my lists – other than the Rewatch list – these are all films I saw in 2017 for the first time.)
This has definitely the hardest list to compile so far. The 1940s is my favorite cinematic decade largely due to the fact that so many film noir titles came from this era. Yet for this list I’ve tried to avoid most of the noir movies (although you might find a few, depending on your definition of film noir). I’ve also eliminated many British films, saving most of those for a separate category later. Eliminating those two categories takes a big chunk out of what I watched in the 40s, so don’t be surprised if you find a few British films and a few noir titles.
Like the silent films in yesterday’s post, movies from the 1930s remain something of a blindspot for me. As you’ll notice from this list, most of these films are horror-based. (Those that are more noir-stained will be included in my film noir list.) I hope to see more 1930s films in 2018 and not just horror. But for 2017, these were the best films I saw from the 30s, all for the first time.
Probably like most of you reading this blog, I rewatch movies all the time, some on a more-or-less yearly basis. This list doesn’t cover any of those films, but rather movies I hadn’t seen for at least 10 years. (Okay, I bent this rule a couple of times…)
Some of these films I hadn’t seen in over 30 years. Rewatching a film you haven’t seen in a long time can be nostalgic, reaffirming, or possibly devastating. Should you run the risk of destroying what was a good memory of a film by discovering that it is, in reality, a turkey? Such are the gambles one takes…
So here are the 20 best or most interesting films I rewatched this year in the order I saw them:
2017 has been an incredible year for movies on a personal level. So many people I know have watched far more movies this year than I have, but right now I’m on target to go well beyond 400 films in 2017 and that doesn’t include TV shows. That’s more movies than I watched last year (a mere 280) and probably more than I’ve ever seen in an entire calendar year. It does, however, come at a cost. I’ve read fewer books than usual this year, have taken time from other projects, and have made my wife shake her head more than a few times. My friends and co-workers laugh when I say this (and I understand how it sounds), but it’s a real dilemma trying to see all the films I’d like to see just from any one decade. I could easily spend the rest of my life confining myself to one decade, category or genre and still not even come close so seeing everything in it. Plus there’s new stuff coming out all the time. I know some of you understand.