1952: Movies Sorted By Tier

  • Loved

  • Ikiru

    ... There have been several polls here on Listology that try to pin down the best decade for movies. It usually boils down to the 50s, 70s, or the dark horse 90s. I am now going to do something grossly unfair: I dub Martin Scorsese the champion of the 70s, Kurosawa the champion of the 50s, and I command them to do battle for the honor of their decades. After a furious battle of clashing swords and hailing bullets Kurosawa is left standing, so clearly the 50s are the best decade for movies. What to say about this movie except it's yet another great one from the great one? A government paper-pusher discovers his days are numbered due to stomach cancer, he realizes he's been as good as dead for the the past 20 years anyway, and struggles to find meaning in his remaining days. Our awakened government drone is brought to life brilliantly by Takashi Shimura, and I'm ashamed to admit that until now the only name I've taken away from Kurosawa's movies was Toshiro Mifune's, and not Shimura's. Finally, the film manages to convey all the complexity, depth, and tragedy of an atrophied father/son relationship, even though they only appear together in the scantest handful of scenes. Such economy!
  • Singin' in the Rain

  • Really Liked

  • High Noon

  • Umberto D.

    ... It's safe to say that if you liked De Sica's The Bicycle Thief you'll like this effort of his as well. A very simple story told compassionately: a pensioner tries to scrape by as his inability to pay the rent closes in on him. The best scenes rise out of conflict (don't they all?), as the old man struggles to reconcile his dignity with begging, and his temptation to just give up with his need to protect his beloved dog. The nonprofessional actors, including the dog, are all amazing.
  • Glad I Saw

  • None Yet
  • Guilty Pleasures

  • None Yet
  • Could Have Missed

  • None Yet
  • Should Have Missed

  • None Yet
  • El Sucko Grande

  • None Yet
  • Unranked

  • The Quiet Man

Ah, so glad you enjoyed Ikiru, one of the sensei's greats! Toshiro Mifune was undoubtedly Kurosawa's MVP, but Shimura was the ace utility man, taking on a very wide variety of supporting roles dating back to AK's first feature. What a terrific actor.

I'm gonna see The Wages of Fear tonight!

I hope you like it! Be sure to post your thoughts.

Now I agree with you on all the points you have mentioned above. It doesn't look like a film dating back to 1952 and its message is not easy to define. It is emotionally quite cold, but the acting (above all Montand) is intense. The film has really got some incredibly intense moments, and the end is excellent.

Glad you liked it! You might want to also check out Clouzot's other big one, Diabolique, which I believe I preferred, although it's a close call.

Thanks for the tip. I'll keep it in mind.

Just saw Diabolique and I agree. It is better than Wages of Fear. Thank you very much for the tip.

You're welcome, so glad it worked out!