Best Anthology Movies: 1930s – 1960s
In the history of cinema, the genre of anthology is the most difficult. Episodic films often have multiple directors and writers, which gives them an inconsistent tone and quality. But the pitfalls of the genre have not stopped these filmmakers whose Akira Kurosawa (“Dreams”), the Coens (” The Ballad of Buster Scruggs “), Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez (“City of Sin”); Woody allen, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin scorsese (“New York Stories”); and Joe dante, Jean Landis, George miller and Steven spielberg (“Twilight Zone: The Movie”).
Wes anderson Joined them with his latest film “The French Dispatch”, which received a nine-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. The comedy brings to life three stories from an American magazine published in a fictional French town and presents his joint stock company of actors including Bill Murray, Jason schwartzman, Adrien brody and Owen Wilson.
If you’re a fan of the genre, here are the best anthology movies made between the 1930s and the 1960s.
“If I had a million” (1932)
Do you remember the old TV and radio series “The Millionaire”, in which a mysterious man gives people a super million from a wealthy unknown benefactor? This show was based on that classic anthology film starring Paramount’s top stars and directors. In each of the eight episodes, a dying millionaire randomly chooses a beneficiary of $ 1 million each. Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, George Raft, Jack Oakie, Charlie Ruggles, Francoise Dee and WC fields (who appears in best sequence) star. Directors include Ernst Lubitsch, James cruze, Norman Taurog and Norman Z. McLeod. A young Joseph L. Mankiewicz wrote the history of Fields.
“Manhattan Tales” (1942)
Several foreign directors spent WWII in Hollywood, including Julien Duvivier, best known for his exceptional 1937 black “Pepe Le Moko” with Jean Gabin. One of five films he made in the United States, this clever anthology film that follows several characters who come to possess supposedly cursed tailcoats. Charles Boyer, Rita hayworth, Henri fonda, Rogers Ginger, Charles Laughton, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Robeson and Ethel the waters Star. The Robeson sequence, in which the actor and Waters play sharecroppers, sparked controversy over racial stereotypes. The actor, who was later blacklisted for his social activism and political views, tried to change the script to no avail. He said he found the sequence “very offensive to my people. It makes the negro childish and innocent and fits into the old tradition of the plantation hallelujah criers… the same old story, the negro singing his way towards glory He has never made another film. “Tales of Manhattan” is the first film screened in Parisian theaters during the liberation of the City of Light by the Allies in 1944.
“Flesh and Fantasy” (1943)
Duvivier followed “Tales of Manhattan” with this production featuring three occult stories. Charles Boyer, Robert cummings, Edward G. Robinson and Barbara stanwyck Star. The New York Times called it uneven entertainment adding “It starts badly and ends in the same state, via a prologue in which Bob Benchley tries to overcome a case of nervousness engendered by conflicting glimpses of the future that has plagued him. been revealed, first by a seer and later in a dream.
“Death of the Night” (1945)
This British horror masterpiece is the “Citizen Kane” of anthology films. Better to watch with someone or with the lights on. Basil cherden, Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton the fame of “A Fish Called Wanda” and Robert haamera produced the six vignettes including “The Christmas party”, featuring a young Sally ann howes like a girl who meets a strange little boy while playing hide and seek; “The Hearse Driver”, featuring Anthony Baird as a racing driver who has nightmares after a hearse driver accident telling him “there’s room for one more”; “The haunted mirror” with Googie Withers tell the horrible story of her husband’s obsession with a mirror; and the best known of the six, “Ventriloquist’s Dummy” with a superb Michael redgrave like a ventriloquist with an evil dummy. It’s scary.
W. Somerset Maugham (“Of Human Bondage”, “The Razor’s Edge”) is the host of this acclaimed British anthology film based on three of his short stories. The film was so popular that two sequels were produced, “Trio” from 1950 and “Encore” from 1951.
“La Ronde” (1950)
BAFTA winner for best film and recipient of two Oscar nominations including that for best screenplay, this French film directed by Max ophuls based on Arthur schnitzlerThe 1897 play of the same name, “La Ronde” features 10 love stories with a character from the previous episode appearing in the next one. Anton Walbrook play the master of ceremonies by presenting these vignettes. Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani, Simone simon, Jean-Louis Barrault and Gerard Philippe Star.
“O. Henry’s Full House” (1952)
With the success of Maugham’s anthology films, Twentieth Century Fox went all out for their episodic film based on five short stories of the legendary O. Henry, including the popular “Ransom of the Red Chief” and “The Gift of the Magi. “. “Stars include Charles Laughton, Marilyn monroe (which is only in the film for about a minute), David Wayne, Richard widmark, Anne Baxter, Fred Allen, Oscar Levant and Jeanne Crain. None other than an influential American bestselling author John steinbeck appears offering a biographical prologue on O. Henry, the pen name of William Sydney Porter, as well as the introduction to each tale. “Ransom of Red Chief” did not receive great reviews on its initial release and was cut before being opened wide. It was edited when the film was on television.
“Tales of Terror” (1962)
The fourth of eight Roger corman–Edgar Allan Poe AIP series from 1962 based on the author’s “Morella”, “The Black Cat”, “The Barrel of Amontillado” and “The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar”. Vincent Price, who plays in the film, provides the narration. Pierre Lorre, Debra paget and Rathbone Basil also star. Richard Matheson writes the adaptations and Floyd crosby (David’s father) was the cinematographer.
“Yesterday, today and tomorrow” (1963)
Director Vittorio De Sica and Sophie loren created the magic of cinema. He has directed the Italian superstar in several films, guiding her to an Oscar for Best Actress for “Two Women”, released in the United States in 1961, and a nomination for Best Actress for “Marriage Italian Style” in 1964. He also directed Loren and the main actor of the actress Marcello Mastroianni in this 1963 comedy anthology (it was released here in 1964) which won the Oscar for Foreign Language Film. The comedy features three short stories about couples who live in Naples, Milan and Rome. The film was produced by Loren’s husband, Carlo Ponti.
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