vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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My favorite year...movie-wise, that is

Carole Lombard and Cary Grant...with apologies to the wonderful William Powell, they are the actress and actor most identified with screwball comedy. Yet in a cruel irony, their only co-starring feature was a drama, albeit a good one: "In Name Only." It was one of two films Lombard made in 1939 (the other was "Made For Each Other" with James Stewart).

Neither figures prominently in any review of that year's movies; its two titans are probably "Gone With The Wind" and "The Wizard Of Oz," the former as pure epic, the latter growing into its cultural niche after generations have seen it on television.

But so many other gems were made in '39 -- "Stagecoach," the first modern western (and John Wayne's initial iconic role after several years in the oater wilderness); "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington," with Frank Capra guiding a bravura Stewart performance; "Ninotchka," where Ernst Lubitsch revealed Greta Garbo's comic charm; and so many more. It's no wonder 1939 is frequently cited as the apex year for Hollywood cinema.

Was it? The Washington Post decided to have some of its reviewers debate the topic. Other years in the running were 1946, 1955, 1974, 1982, 1999 and 2007. Their thoughts can be found at https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/?nid=top_nav_lifestyle&utm_term=.bbc81f5ebc07.

All have several classics going for them:

1946: "The Best Years Of Our Lives," "It's A Wonderful Life," "The Postman Always Rings Twice."

1955: "Marty," "The Seven-Year Itch," "Rebel Without A Cause."

1974: "The Godfather, Part II," "Chinatown," "Young Frankenstein."

1982: "Gandhi," "Tootsie," "E.T."

1999: "Shakespeare In Love," "The Sixth Sense," "The Iron Giant."

2007: "No Country For Old Men," "Juno," "There Will Be Blood."

Personally, I believe two pre-1939 years deserve to be valid contenders...

1932: The peak of the pre-Code era. "Grand Hotel," "Red-Headed Woman," "Red Dust."

1934: Pre-Code segues into screwball. "It Happened One Night," "Twentieth Century," "The Thin Man."

I'm surprised 1962 -- a year often cited by film buffs -- wasn't in the Post's mix.

Now, nominate your years, please.

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