My Gleanings

Thursday, October 18, 2007

10 best film list from 1952


In its May 1952 issue, Cahiers du Cinema published an article which it titled in English. "The best films of our life" (page 45). Le Comité du Festival Mondial du film et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique asked 100 filmmakers worldwide to submit a list of the 10 best films. 55 of those filmmakers returned their ballots. The following is a list of all films which appeared on at least 5 ballots.

32 ---- Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein 1925)
25 ---- The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin 1925)
20 ---- Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica 1948)
15 ---- City Lights (Charles Chaplin 1931)
15 ---- The Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir 1937)
15 ---- Le Million (René Clair 1931)
11 ---- Greed (Eric von Stroheim 1924)
10 ---- Hallelujah (King Vidor 1929)
9 ---- Brief Encounter (David Lean 1945)
9 ---- The Threepenny Opera (G W Pabst 1931)
9 ---- Man of Aran (Robert Flaherty 1934)
8 ---- The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer 1928)
7 ---- Les Enfants du paradis (Marcel Carné 1945)
7 ---- Foolish Wives (Erich von Stroheim 1922)
6 ---- L'Age d'or (Luis Bunuel 1930)
6 ---- The Birth of a Nation (D W Griffith 1915)
6 ---- Broken Blossoms
(D W Griffith 1919)
6 ---- Le Diable au corps (Claude Autant-Lara 1947)
5 ---- Ninotchka (Ernst Lubitsch 1939)
5 ---- Nanook of the North (Robert Flaherty 1922)
5 ---- Carnival in Flanders (Jacques Feyder 1935)
5 ---- Citizen Kane (Orson Welles 1941)
5 ---- The Best Years of Our Lives (Willilam Wyler 1946)

The magazine also published a limited number of individual lists:

Cecil B. De Mille
1.....Cabiria (Giovanni Pastrone 1914)
2.....The Birth of a Nation (D W Griffith 1915)
3.....Ben Hur (Fred Niblo 1925)
4.....The 10 Commandments (Cecil B. De Mille 1923)
5.....The King of Kings (Cecil B. De Mille 1927)
6.....The Big Parade (King Vidor 1925)
7.....The Sign of the Cross (Cecil B. De Mille 1932)
8.....Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming 1939)
9.....Going My Way (Leo McCarey 1944)
10...Samson and Delilah (Cecil B. De Mille 1949)

Vittorio De Sica

1.....Man of Aran (Robert Flaherty 1934)
2.....The Kid (Charles Chaplin 1921)
3.....La Chienne (Jean Renoir 1931)
4.....Le Million (René Clair 1931)
5.....L'Atalante (Jean Vigo 1934)
6.....Kameradschaft (G W Pabst 1931)
7.....Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein 1925)
8.....Storm over Asia (Vsevolod Pudovkin 1928)
9.....Hallelujah (King Vidor 1929)
10...Carnival in Flanders (Jacques Feyder 1935)

René Clément
1.....Intolerance (D W Griffith 1916)
2.....Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein 1925)
3.....A Woman of Paris (Charles Chaplin 1923)
4.....Greed (Eric von Stroheim 1924)
5.....L'Age d'or (Luis Bunuel 1930)
6.....Vampyr (Carl Theodor Dreyer 1932)
7.....Man of Aran (Robert Flaherty 1934)
8.....Que Viva Mexico (Sergei Eisenstein 1932)
9.....Dead of Night (Aberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer 1945)
10...Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer 1945)

Edward Dmytryk
1.....Sunrise (F W Murnau 1927)
2.....The Last Laugh (F W Murnau 1924)
3.....The Patriot (Ernst Lubitsch 1926)
4.....The Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir 1937)
5.....Give Us This Day or Christ In Concrete (Edward Dmytryk 1949)
6.....The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler 1946)
7.....The Kid (Charles Chaplin 1921)
8.....The Little Foxes (William Wyler 1941)
9.....All Quiet on the Western Front (Lewis Milestone 1930)
10...Regain (Marcel Pagnol 1937)

Orson Welles
1.....City Lights (Charles Chaplin 1931)
2.....Greed (Eric von Stroheim 1924)
3.....Intolerance (D W Griffith 1916)
4.....Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein 1925)
5.....Nanook of the North (Robert Flaherty 1922)
6.....Shoeshine (Vittorio De Sica 1946)
7.....The Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir 1937)
8.....The Baker's Wife (Marcel Pagnol 1938)
9.....Stagecoach (John Ford 1939)
10...Our Daily Bread (King Vidor 1934)

Louis Daquin
1.....Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein 1925)
2.....Storm over Asia (Vsevolod Pudovkin 1928)
3.....City Lights (Charles Chaplin 1931)
4.....The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford 1940)
5.....Les Enfants du paradis (Marcel Carné 1945)
6.....La Bataille du rail (René Clément 1946)
7.....Talpalatnyi föld (Frigyes Bán 1948)
8.....Padeniye Berlina (Mikheil Chiaureli 1949)
9.....Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica 1948)
10...Ostatni etap (Wanda Jakubowska 1948)

Luis Bunuel
1.....Underworld (Josef von Sternberg 1927)
2.....The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin 1925)
3.....Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica 1948)
4.....Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein 1925)
5.....Portrait of Jennie (William Dieterle 1948)
6.....Cavalcade (Frank Lloyd 1933)
7.....White Shadows in the South Seas (Woody S Van Dyke/Robert Flaherty 1928)
8.....Dead of Night (Aberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer 1945)
9.....L'Age d'or (Luis Bunuel 1930)
10...I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (Mervyn LeRoy 1932)

Robert Bresson
1.....The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin 1925)
2.....City Lights (Charles Chaplin 1931)
3.....Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein 1925)
4.....Brief Encounter (David Lean 1945)
5.....Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica 1948)
6.....Man of Aran (Robert Flaherty 1934)
7.....Louisiana Story (Robert Flaherty 1948)
Bresson wrote that he was "story to be unable to provide a more extensive list, but I only rarely go to the movies."

Pierre Laroche
1.....Der Müde Tod (Fritz Lang 1921)
2.....Nosferatu (F W Murnau 1922)
3.....Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein 1925)
4.....A Woman of Paris (Charles Chaplin 1923)
5.....Foolish Wives (Erich von Stroheim 1922)
6.....City Lights (Charles Chaplin 1931)
7.....Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (Jean Renoir 1936)
8.....Toni (Jean Renoir 1935)
9.....Le Million (René Clair 1931)
10...Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer 1945)

Robert Hamer
1.....L'Age d'or (Luis Bunuel 1930)
2.....The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir 1939)
3.....Duck Soup (Leo McCarey 1933)
4.....Crime Without Passion (Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur 1934)
5.....The Little Foxes (William Wyler 1941)
6.....Niemandsland (Victor Trivas 1931)
7.....Kameradschaft (G W Pabst 1931)
8.....Rome Open City (Roberto Rossellini 1945)
9.....On The Town (Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly 1949)
No tenth pick

Cahiers pointed out that De Mille had listed four of his own films -- The 10 Commnandments, King of Kings, The Sign of the Cross, and Samson and Delilah -- and identified six others who had cited films of their own.

Claude Autant-Lara -- Le Diable au corps
Luis Bunuel -- L'Age d'or
Edward Dmytryk -- Gives Us This Day (Christ in Concrete)
William Dieterle -- The Life of Emile Zola
Marcel L'Herbier -- El Dorado
King Vidor -- The Big Parade
Henry Hathaway -- The Lives of Bengal Lancers