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2016 Centennials

Introduction

I'm happy that most of my writing now ties to projects, but I still wanted the opportunity to review a whole bunch of odd films that tie to an overt theme. I thought a lot about how I could accomplish that and remembered how much I'd enjoyed my Charlie Chaplin Centennial project in 2014.

So how about the idea of celebrating the centennials of other key players in the movie industry, not just actors but directors, producers and writers, along with anyone else who might have made a substantial impact and deserves to be remembered. I thought about other criteria I should hold the project to and decided on people who were notable within the industry, who had at least one film in their career that was interesting, at least mildly obscure and which I hadn't already reviewed at Apocalypse Later. I also wanted the titles to be suitably diverse by era and genre.

I did my homework and found 35 such people, two of whom I was surprised to find were still alive: Olivia de Havilland and Kirk Douglas. So there was my list for the year and I planned to post each review on what would have been (or actually would be) the 100th birthday of the person I was remembering. If I kept up to that schedule, I'd have a book at the end of the year and be ready to move onto 1917.

I enjoyed the project immediately and only gradually realised that I'd picked a set of films that also served to illustrate a variety of little chapters of film history like lavender marriages, the Communist witch-hunts and the birth of 3D, not to mention the treatment of actors of colour during the golden era. As the year progressed, the book felt more substantial as a whole than I had initially expected it would and this certainly played into my choices for the 1917 sequel.

To read the reviews here, just click on the posters below or the titles below them. These reviews also interlink if you want to read through them in order.

Posters

Titles

  1. The Inheritance (1962) for director Masaki Kobayashi
  2. The Brute Man (1946) for actress Jan Wiley
  3. Skidoo (1968) for actor Jackie Gleason
  4. Death Car on the Freeway (1979) for actress Dinah Shore
  5. Bwana Devil (1962) for producer Sidney W Pink
  6. Dance of the Vampires (1967) for actor Ferdy Mayne
  7. Angel Baby (1961) for actress Mercedes McCambridge
  8. Terror in a Texas Town (1958) for actor Sterling Hayden
  9. Behold a Pale Horse (1964) for actor Gregory Peck
  10. Babies for Sale (1940) for actor Glenn Ford
  11. Postal Inspector (1936) for actress Patricia Ellis
  12. The Ghost Breakers (1940) for actor Willie Best
  13. The Lost World (1960) for producer Irwin Allen
  14. The Spiral Staircase (1945) for actress Dorothy McGuire
  15. Deathtrap (1982) for actor Irene Worth
  16. Lady in a Cage (1964) for actress Olivia de Havilland
  17. The Night of the Grizzly (1966) for actor Keenan Wynn
  18. 23 Paces to Baker Street (1956) for actor Van Johnson
  19. Hellzapoppin' (1941) for actress Martha Raye
  20. The Iroquois Trail (1950) for actor George Montgomery
  21. Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965) for producer James H. Nicholson
  22. Dr. Syn (1937) for actress Margaret Lockwood
  23. Psychout for Murder (1969) for actor Rossano Brazzi
  24. The Shiralee (1957) for actor Peter Finch
  25. The Tattered Dress (1957) for director Jack Arnold
  26. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) for actor Anthony Dawson
  27. Carry On... Up the Khyber (1968) for writer Talbot Rothwell
  28. The Dark Eyes of London (1940) for actress Greta Gynt
  29. Johnny O'Clock (1947) for actress Evelyn Keyes
  30. Horrors of the Black Museum (1959) for actor Michael Gough
  31. Curse of the Queerwolf (1988) for icon Forrest J. Ackerman
  32. 10 Rillington Place (1971) for director Richard Fleischer
  33. The Villain (1979) for actor Kirk Douglas
  34. The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend (1949) for actress Betty Grable
  35. Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971) for director Roy Ward Baker


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