IMITATION OF LIFE (1959)

This over-the-top melodrama about mothers and daughters from director Douglas Sirk was considered populist trash at the time and is today seen as high art.

THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (1954)

A Hollywood satire decades ahead of its time, but also in my opinion a total mess as an actual movie.

DET SJUNDE INSEGLET (1957)

Ingmar Bergman’s allegorical classic about the absence of God during a plague really, really hit home with me on this viewing. Wonder why?

SHANE (1953)

A (very) widescreen western about the consequences of violence, or something, which I would’ve enjoyed more if not for the super-whiny little kid.

SOME CAME RUNNING (1958)

A mid-century melodrama in which Frank Sinatra plays a soldier returning to a small town. It has some interesting shots but never really rises above its potboiler status.

THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (1952)

If you love circuses, good for you. This Best Picture winner is way too long and has way too much circus, and when the characters actually talk to each other it’s even worse.

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)

There are several great performances in this Southern Gothic adaptation of a famous stage play, but the whole thing is really not for me.

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957)

A famous war drama that is actually about something more interesting, told on a grand scale by David Lean and bunch of great actors.

THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951)

I still think this enjoyable adventure story holds up, though the story of its shooting in the Congo (including possible accidental cannibalism) is now at least as famous as the movie itself.

GOJIRA (1954)

With “Godzilla vs. Kong” trying to lure viewers back to theaters, we re-visit the giant lizard monster’s first on-screen appearance.