Monday, November 12, 2012

Hitchcock, Wilder, Ford, Hawks, Bergman, Kubrick: Percentage of Good and Bad Films



This is my attempt to ‘score’ six great directors based on the films of theirs I’ve seen and can remember clearly. What I think are their ‘bad’ films i.e. really not worth watching- are marked with a #.  It’s very unscientific of course; I’m not really comparing like with like. I’ve seen nearly everything Hitchcock has done whereas with Ford or Hawks I’ve heard about some of their lesser films and deliberately avoided them. And the quality of the remaining good films varies too, so in that way it’s also not an indicator of ultimate worth. Billy Wilder scores high - has few duds - but I’d still put Hitchcock ahead of him because his greatest work has more variety and depth.

Still, it’s interesting I think to make these comparisons. Five of them are directors who had long and very productive careers starting in the 1940’s or before. I stuck Kubrick in there for contrast because I’ve heard him referred to as the only director who only ever made masterpieces. They probably meant from 1956 onwards; certainly the early film, Killer's Kiss (1955), is not very good. But to me Spartacus (1960) is definitely a bad film too and A Clockwork Orange (1971) was one of those films I liked a lot at first and on second viewing found really annoying. Maybe I should see it again. Anyway, it’s all just my very subjective opinions so please feel free to howl in disagreement.



Alfred Hitchcock
1. Family Plot (1976) #
2. Frenzy (1972) #
3. Topaz (1969) #
4. Torn Curtain (1966) #
5. Marnie (1964)
6. The Birds (1963)
7. Psycho (1960)
8. North by Northwest (1959)
9. Vertigo (1958)
10. The Wrong Man (1956)
11. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) #
12. The Trouble with Harry (1955) #
13. To Catch a Thief (1955)
14. Rear Window (1954)
15. Dial M for Murder (1954) #
16. I Confess (1953)
17. Strangers on a Train (1951)
18. Stage Fright (1950) #
19. Under Capricorn (1949) #
20. Rope (1948)
21. The Paradine Case (1947) #
22. Notorious (1946)
23. Spellbound (1945)
24. Lifeboat (1944)
25. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
26. Saboteur (1942)
27. Suspicion (1941)
28. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) #
29. Foreign Correspondent (1940)
30. Rebecca (1940)
31. Jamaica Inn (1939) #
32. The Lady Vanishes (1938)
33. Young and Innocent (1937)
34. Sabotage (1936) #
35. Secret Agent (1936) #
36. The 39 Steps (1935)
37. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) #
38. Blackmail (1929)
39. The Lodger (1927)

15 films (38%) not worth watching
24 films (62%) worth watching



Billy Wilder
1. The Front Page (1974)
2. Avanti! (1972) #
3. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
4. The Fortune Cookie (1966)
5. Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) #
6. Irma la Douce (1963) #
7. One, Two, Three (1961)
8. The Apartment (1960)
9. Some Like It Hot (1959)
10. Witness for the Prosecution (1957) #
11. Love in the Afternoon (1957)
12. The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) #
13. The Seven Year Itch (1955)
14. Sabrina (1954)
15. Stalag 17 (1953)
16. Ace in the Hole (1951)
17. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
18. A Foreign Affair (1948)
19. The Emperor Waltz (1948) #
20. The Lost Weekend (1945)
21. Double Indemnity (1944)
22. Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
23. The Major and the Minor (1942)

6 films (26%) not worth watching
17 films (74%) worth watching



John Ford
1. 7 Women (1966) #
2. Young Cassidy (1965) #
3. Cheyenne Autumn (1964) #
4. Donovan's Reef (1963) #
5. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
6. The Searchers (1956)
7. Mister Roberts (1955) #
8. Mogambo (1953) #
9. The Quiet Man (1952)
10. Rio Grande (1950)
11. Wagon Master (1950)
12. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
13. 3 Godfathers (1948)
14. Fort Apache (1948)
15. The Fugitive (1947)
16. My Darling Clementine (1946)
17. They Were Expendable (1945) #
18. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
19. The Long Voyage Home (1940) #
20. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
21. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
22. Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
23. Stagecoach (1939)
24. The Informer (1935) #
25. The Whole Town's Talking (1935)
26. Judge Priest (1934) #
27. The Lost Patrol (1934) #

11 films (40%) not worth watching
16 films (60%) worth watching



Howard Hawks
1. El Dorado (1966)
2. Hatari! (1962) #
3. Rio Bravo (1959)
4. Land of the Pharaohs (1955) #
5. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) #
6. Monkey Business (1952)
7. The Thing from Another World (1951)
8. I Was a Male War Bride (1949) #
9. Red River (1948)
10. The Big Sleep (1946)
11. To Have and Have Not (1944)
12. Air Force (1943) #
13. Ball of Fire (1941)
14. Sergeant York (1941)
15. His Girl Friday (1940)
16. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
17. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
18. Twentieth Century (1934) #
19. Scarface (1932)

6 films (32%) not worth watching
13 films (68%)worth watching



Ingmar Bergman
1. Saraband (2003)
2. After the Rehearsal (1984)
3. Fanny and Alexander (1982)
4. From the Life of the Marionettes (1980)
5. Autumn Sonata (1978)
6. The Serpent's Egg (1977)
7. Face to Face(1976)
8. The Magic Flute (1975) #
9. Scenes from a Marriage (1973)
10. Cries and Whispers (1972)
11. The Touch (1971) #
12. Shame (1968)
13. Hour of the Wolf (1968)
14. Persona (1966)
15. All These Women (1964) #
16. The Silence (1963)
17. Winter Light (1962)
18. Through a Glass Darkly (1961) #
19. The Devil's Eye(1960) #
20. The Virgin Spring (1960)
21. The Magician (1958) #
22. Wild Strawberries (1957)
23. The Seventh Seal (1957) #
24. Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
25. Sawdust and Tinsel (1953)
26. Summer with Monika (1953)
27. Secrets of Women (1952)
28. Summer Interlude (1951)

7 films (25%) not worth watching
21 films (75%)worth watching



Stanley Kubrick
1. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
2. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
3. The Shining (1980)
4. Barry Lyndon (1975)
5. A Clockwork Orange (1971) #
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
7. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
8. Lolita (1962)
9. Spartacus (1960) #
10. Paths of Glory (1957)
11. The Killing (1956)
12. Killer's Kiss (1955) #

3 films (25%) not worth watching
9 films (75%)worth watching


2 comments:

  1. What percentage would you give T. Malick?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd say they're all worth watching apart from the New World. What about you?

    ReplyDelete