Films: The Movies of 1939

 

The Wizard of Oz is universally regarded as one of the best movies of all time - yet you could argue that there were at least a half dozen better in 1939. Uploaded by jreynoldsart321.wordpress.com.

For unknown reasons, some years just happened to feature more great movies than others. From time to time, we’ll feature the films of a particularly outstanding year as a Great American Thing. We’re starting with 1939, which some consider the best year ever in movies. Once you look at the films released that year, you may find yourself in agreement. Some of the best, in alphabetical order:

Uploaded by wikimedia.org

Beau Geste – Gary Cooper in the French Foreign Legion. With Ray Milland, Robert Preston, and Susan Hayward.

Destry Rides Again – A Western, directed by George Marshall and starring Jimmy Stewart and Marlene Dietrich.

Gone With the Wind – Winner of the Academy Award, from amongst all these films, for Best Picture. See Great American Things, April 28, 2009.

Uploaded by telefonica.net.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips – A British film, directed by Sam Wood and starring Greer Garson and Robert Donat as Mr. Chips.

Gunga Din – Cary Grant fighting for the Empire in Colonial British India. With Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Joan Fontaine, and Sam Jaffee as the title character.

Hound of the Baskervilles – One of two films in 1939 (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was the other) pairing Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson.

Uploaded by allocine.fr.

Hunchback of Notre Dame – The best of many versions of this story. With Charles Laughton as Quasimodo and Maureen O’Hara as Esmerelda.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – One of Frank Capra’s common man rises to heroic status films, starring Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur. Nominated for eleven Academy Awards.

Ninotchka – Greta Garbo laughs! A great comedy, co-written by a young Billy Wilder and directed by Ernest Lubitsch.

Uploaded by s3.amazonaws.com.

Of Mice and Men – The Steinbeck classic brought to life by William Wyler. Aaron Copland composed the score. Nominated for four Academy Awards.

Stagecoach – Another John Ford western, featuring Claire Trevor and starring John Wayne in his breakout role.

Wizard of Oz – Judy Garland takes us down the yellow brick road, and ultimately somewhere over the rainbow. Only a modest hit upon its release, you can understand why when you see its competition here. Won three Academy Awards.

Wuthering Heights – Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon in the Emily Bronte classic. Earned eight Academy Award nominations.

Young Mr. Lincoln – Directed by John Ford, starring Henry Fonda as Abraham Lincoln.

Advertisements

3 responses to “Films: The Movies of 1939

  1. I never realized what a great year for movies…Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Wuthering Heights… all on my list of top 100 movies. FABULOUS!!

  2. I often wondered about 1939 – based just on GWTW and Wizard of Oz. Wow! Perhaps a GAT film festival is called for?

  3. Yeah, 1939 really stands out especially because of Gone with the Wind and Oz. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was also outstanding. One of the biggest years for sure.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s