Favourite director of Hollywoods 'Golden Age'

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Favourite director of Hollywood's 'Golden Age'

John Ford
Alfred Hitchcock
Orson Welles
Fritz Lang
Nicholas Ray
Howard Hawks
Douglas Sirk
John Huston
Frank Capra
Preston Sturges
Billy Wilder
Vincente Minnelli
No votes
No votes
Total votes: 39

The Modernist

Favourite director of Hollywoods 'Golden Age'

Postby The Modernist » 20 Jul 2004, 11:59

Reading Zoom's Sturges thread made me think it would be interesting to have wider discussion on the key directors of this period, and all with a handy poll (because I know you love 'em). I've tried to restrict the list to those generally considered auteurs of the period (roughly 30's to 50's). Apologies for any ommisions, feel free to weigh in with any directors you feel should be there.
I won't be able to contribute much myself initially because I'm still marking those damned film papers :evil:

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Postby -- » 20 Jul 2004, 12:01

As Elia Kazan is not on there, I'd probably pick Billy Wilder.

(apologies for paucity of answer, but I'm hurrying atm)

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Postby Velvis » 20 Jul 2004, 12:04

Last edited by Velvis on 09 Apr 2005, 21:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby The Modernist » 20 Jul 2004, 12:06

Yeah I thought of Kazan, but I tried to restrict it to directors who emerged from the studio system. Kazan came slightly later.

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Postby Owen » 20 Jul 2004, 12:07

Got to be Howard Hawks, totally rewatchabale classics in all sorts of genres

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Postby Grollope » 20 Jul 2004, 12:08

Capra for me, and not just for "It's a Wonderful Life".

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Postby Cédric » 20 Jul 2004, 12:11

Fucking hell... How can you chose here ?

I know that I should vote for Hitchcock, because he's probably among my two or three favourite directors. But I'm gonna vote for Douglas Sirk because he was a genius. And if I don't vote for him, nobody will do it.
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Postby The Modernist » 20 Jul 2004, 12:35

neverknows wrote:Orsed Hitchelles.

Did he do Citizen Psycho :-)

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Postby -- » 20 Jul 2004, 12:40

TheModernist wrote:Yeah I thought of Kazan, but I tried to restrict it to directors who emerged from the studio system. Kazan came slightly later.

Absolutely fair enough, mate.

Besides, gave me the chance to vote for Billy Wilder - although the man certainly got plenty of recognition, too.

Still, look at this:
    1950 Sunset Blvd
    1951 Ace in the Hole
    1953 Stalag 17
    1954 Sabrina
    1955 The Seven Year Itch
    1957 The Spirit of St. Louis
    1957 Love in the Afternoon
    1957 Witness for the Prosecution
    1959 Some Like It Hot
    1960 The Apartment

That's not a bad ten years there, now is it?


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Postby Brother Spoon » 20 Jul 2004, 12:54

This is impossible. If this was a 'Desert Island Genre' thread for movies I'd pick Hollywood's Golden Age.

But Orson Welles has no votes so far. So basically it was very easy.


Postby K » 20 Jul 2004, 12:57

John Ford, if only for The Searchers.
But in fact:
Korea (1959)
Horse Soldiers, The (1959)
Last Hurrah, The (1958)
Gideon's Day (1958)
... aka Gideon of Scotland Yard (1959) (USA)
"Wagon Train" (1957) TV Series
... aka "Major Adams, Trail Master" (1957)
Rising of the Moon, The (1957)
Wings of Eagles, The (1957)
Searchers, The (1956)
Bamboo Cross, The (1955) (TV)
"Screen Directors Playhouse" (1955) TV Series (episode "Rookie of the Year")
Mister Roberts (1955)
Long Gray Line, The (1955)
Mogambo (1953)
Sun Shines Bright, The (1953)
What Price Glory (1952)
Quiet Man, The (1952)
This Is Korea! (1951) (as Rear Admiral John Ford USNVR Ret.)
Rio Grande (1950)
... aka John Ford and Merian C. Cooper's Rio Grande (1950) (USA: complete title)
Wagon Master (1950)
When Willie Comes Marching Home (1950)

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
Pinky (1949) (uncredited)
"Fireside Theatre" (1949) TV Series
3 Godfathers (1948)
Fort Apache (1948)
... aka War Party (1948)
Fugitive, The (1947)
... aka Fugitivo, El (1948) (Mexico)
My Darling Clementine (1946)
They Were Expendable (1945)
December 7th (1943)
We Sail at Midnight (1943)
Torpedo Squadron (1942)
Battle of Midway, The (1942)
Sex Hygiene (1942)
How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Tobacco Road (1941)
Long Voyage Home, The (1940)
Grapes of Wrath, The (1940)

Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
Stagecoach (1939)

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Postby Brother Spoon » 20 Jul 2004, 13:02

neverknows wrote:
Good Old Brother Spoon wrote:Orson Welles has no votes so far.

He had half of mine!

Half of something was never enough for Orson Welles.

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Postby zoomboogity » 20 Jul 2004, 22:19

Seeing as how I did just start a thread on Preston Sturges, he's clearly my favorite, simply because his work speaks most directly to me. But I rate Hawks, Capra, Wilder and Hitchcock equally high.


Postby Guest » 20 Jul 2004, 22:44

Without hesitating I chose Frank Capra. He is my favorite director anyway.

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
Lost Horizon
You Can't Take It With You
It Happened One Night
Meet John Doe
Mr. Deeds Goes To Town
It's A Wonderful Life
Arsenic & Old Lace

Simply astounding what he did.


Postby Guest » 20 Jul 2004, 22:46

And you left out Victor Fleming and King Vidor also. (though people argue that Vidor was better during the silent era...whatever)

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Postby Muskrat » 20 Jul 2004, 22:53

How 'bout George Cukor?

Rich and Famous (1981)

Corn Is Green, The (1979) (TV)
Blue Bird, The (1976)
Love Among the Ruins (1975) (TV)
Travels with My Aunt (1972)

Justine (1969/I)
My Fair Lady (1964)
Something's Got to Give (1962)
Chapman Report, The (1962)
Let's Make Love (1960)
Song Without End (1960) (finished after Vidor's death)

Heller in Pink Tights (1960)

Hot Spell (1958) (uncredited)
Wild Is the Wind (1957)
Les Girls (1957)
Lust for Life (1956) (co-director) (uncredited)
Bhowani Junction (1956)
Star Is Born, A (1954)
It Should Happen to You (1954)
Actress, The (1953)
Pat and Mike (1952)
Marrying Kind, The (1952)
Model and the Marriage Broker, The (1951)
Born Yesterday (1950)
Life of Her Own, A (1950)

Adam's Rib (1949)
Edward, My Son (1949)
Double Life, A (1947)
Desire Me (1947) (uncredited)
I'll Be Seeing You (1945) (uncredited)
Winged Victory (1944)
Gaslight (1944)
Resistance and Ohm's Law (1943)
Keeper of the Flame (1942)
Her Cardboard Lover (1942)
Two-Faced Woman (1941)
Woman's Face, A (1941)
Philadelphia Story, The (1940)
Susan and God (1940)

Gone with the Wind (1939) (uncredited)
Women, The (1939)
Zaza (1939)
Holiday (1938)

Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The (1938) (some scenes) (uncredited)
I Met My Love Again (1938) (uncredited)
Camille (1936)
Romeo and Juliet (1936)
Sylvia Scarlett (1935)
No More Ladies (1935) (uncredited)
Personal History, Adventures, Experience, and Observation of David Copperfield, the Younger, The (1935)
... aka David Copperfield (1935) (USA: short title)
Manhattan Melodrama (1934) (uncredited)
Little Women (1933)
Dinner at Eight (1933)
Our Betters (1933)
Animal Kingdom, The (1932) (uncredited)

Rockabye (1932)
Bill of Divorcement, A (1932)
What Price Hollywood? (1932)
One Hour with You (1932)
Girls About Town (1931)
Tarnished Lady (1931)
Royal Family of Broadway, The (1930)

Virtuous Sin (1930)
Grumpy (1930)

(I have a pronounced feminine side sometimes -- but I voted for Howard Hawks).
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Postby geoffcowgill » 20 Jul 2004, 23:44

Howard Hawks. Brilliant. He wasn't a technological innovator like some of the others, but he made immensely smart and entertaining movies that were almost subtly perfect. He's directed some of my favorites in various genres. "Scarface" is my favorite 30s gangster film, "Bringing UP Baby" the best comedy ever, "Rio Bravo" the best western (or maybe "Red River", also by him), "The Big Sleep" one of the best noirs. The man had style and nerve and a helluva way with directing actors, making even a stiff bore like Gary Cooper appealing in "Sgt. York" and "Ball Of Fire."

Hawks is Buster Keaton to Billy Wilder's Charlie Chaplin.

William Wyler was pretty great, too, at least until the 50s.

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Postby Nikki Gradual » 20 Jul 2004, 23:53

Fritz Lang.
"He's thrown a kettle over a pub; what have you done?"

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Postby Matt Wilson » 21 Jul 2004, 00:03

Nobody was more talented than Orson Welles but nobody has a more impressive resume than Alfred Hitchcock.

Impossible to choose...


Postby marios » 21 Jul 2004, 01:29

This was excruciatingly difficult but in the end i voted for Wilder. Hitchcock is the big gun here but it's only 2-3 of his films i really love. Welles had talent but a very short resume. John Ford and John Huston are both hugely important but again i couldn't give them the top spot. Capra never clicked with me for some reason. Enjoyable enough but i just can't imagine him ever being a huge favourite of mine. Howard Hawks was successful in many genres and his impact was immense but again i passed.

The rest of the bunch are also excellent filmmakers but not my absolute favourites. Wilder wins it for me, if only for these films (in chronological order):

Double Indemnity
The Lost Weekend
Sunset Boulevard
Ace In The Hole
Stalag 17
The Appartment

Not that he didn't make more great films. These 6 are the best for me though.

Should we also consider Sidney Lumet? After all he did make his big screen debut with 12 Angry Men in 1957. The Pawnbroker, The Hill, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Prince Of The City and The Verdict are some of the films that guarantee him a place in the pantheon of filmmaking geniuses for eternity.