Best Movies (that I watched, not that came out) of 2011

Movies, Reviews, Television

Bunched Undies inadvertently gave me the idea to do a post on the top movies I’ve watched in 2011. I meant to post this sooner, but we decided to re-tile the bathroom and that’s taken all my time (I’m slow and methodical and we picked this complicated pattern). I don’t think I went to the theater this year (at least not that I remember), so most of my movies are older. Much older. These are all movies that I had never seen. No particular order. As you can see, I have pretty idiosyncratic taste. I’m not looking at acting, directing, “art,” grittiness, depressing themes, or anything else critics tend to focus on. The main thing I look for is entertainment. Did I really enjoy my time watching this?

Don Camillo (1952) A pugilistic priest named Don Camillo and a Communist mayor bicker and fight and learn to respect each other even though they vehemently disagree about everything. If only we were allowed some fisticuffs to express our aggression in the real world, perhaps there would be less killing and more grudging respect. The crucifix with Jesus talks to the Priest and he argues with Jesus.I read about this at Bunched Undies. IMDB Amazon

The King’s Speech (2010) The Oscar winner from last year. IMDB Amazon Amazon

Brick (2005) An excellent example of genre blending. Take film noir and mix it with a high school drama and you come out with one of the best movies of all time. Highly recommended. IMDB Amazon

The Yakuza (1974) I did a short review of this Robert Mitchum movie. IMDB Amazon

A Colt is My Passport (1967) See the above for a review of this one too. Super cool movie. IMDB Amazon

Network (1976) I had never seen this classic and while it wasn’t perfect, I can sure see why it caused such a stir back in the 1970s. Well worth your time to watch it. IMDB Amazon

The Woman in the Window (1944) Edward G. Robinson is one of the best actors of all time. This Fritz Lang movie twists the screws on an innocent professor (Robinson) who finds himself in a lady’s apartment with a dead man. He tries to cover it to keep his job and his family but can he? IMDB Amazon

Temple Grandin (2010) Claire Danes plays an autistic woman who figures out more humane ways to treat cattle. Fabulous movie if you like biopics. IMDB Amazon

The Inheritance (1997) This is a made-for-TV movie based on a Louisa May Alcott novel. Period Drama, costume drama, class conflict in the 1800s drama, however you want to call it, I liked it. Stars Meridith Baxter. IMDB Amazon

Lorna Doone (2000) Another made-for-TV, but holy cow, this was outstanding! An emotional roller coaster. Based in 1675 England, there’s a clan of thieves and an honest farmer boy. He hates the clan but falls in love with the leader’s granddaughter. Really top notch. IMDB Amazon

Knight and Day (2010) Yes, this is the third 2010 film in my 2011 list. That’s the way we roll here at I fully enjoyed this Tom Cruise pic, but it immediately became one of my wife’s top 10 all time. Just a really fun movie. IMDB Amazon

House of Bamboo (1955) You want to see a movie with real men? This Sam Fuller directed Noir has Robert Ryan and Robert Stack as cynical tough gangsters in occupied Japan. IMDB Amazon

Street People (1976) Make no mistake, this is an Italian B movie. I’d be very surprised to see this on anyone else’s top list, but it was very entertaining. Roger Moore is half-Sicilian, Stacy Keach is half-crazy, and they are looking for some stolen drugs in San Francisco. My wife came in while I was watching it and said “There are 500 movies you want to watch and you choose this crap?” It’s so good it’s VHS and Netflix streaming only, no DVD. IMDB Amazon

One, Two, Three (1961) James Cagney is a Coca-Cola executive in Berlin during the Cold War. This fast-talking, wise-cracking comedy makes fun of capitalism as well as communism. IMDB Amazon

Jackie Brown (1997) I’ve wanted to see this since it came out and never have till this year. Maybe it took so long because I read the book. At least waiting this long I forgot what happened. What a great movie I’ve been missing, it’s my favorite Tarantino movie. Robert Forester turned in an Oscar worthy performance. IMDB Amazon

Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) A dark Noir (is that redundantly repetitive?). Dana Andrews is a cop who’s very hard on crooks is warned to stop being so violent. When a guy he was looking for is dead, he tries to cover it. IMDB Amazon

The Young Victoria (2009) Another biopic, but one not frequently told about Queen Victoria and her rise to the throne and becoming her own person while falling in love with Prince Albert. IMDB Amazon

The Endless Summer (1966) A surfing documentary that is narrated in a very dry humor. I loved it. IMDB Amazon

A now a few TV shows that I first watched this year and have loved. As I’ve mentioned before, I went many years without a TV, so I’m now catching up thanks to my wife.

“Hart to Hart” (1979-1984) Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers are married and crazy about each other. Together they solve crimes, usually murder. Plus, he wears a pinky ring. IMDB Amazon

“Scarecrow and Mrs. King” (1983-87) My wife loves this show. In the first season Kate Jackson looks so good I can’t stand it. Kinda cute show where a suburban divorced mom gets into the C.I.A. IMDB Amazon

“The Persuaders!” (1971-72) Roger Moore and Tony Curtis. 1971. It’s kinda cool, kinda crazy. Hollywood Dreamland brought this to my attention. IMDB Amazon

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5 thoughts on “Best Movies (that I watched, not that came out) of 2011

    1. Thanks Bunchie, Endless Summer is one I’ve wanted to watch for a long time.

      I overlooked a couple others, Control (2007) about Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis, and Absence of Malice (1981).


  1. Cool beans, daddy-o! I started making a day-by-day list of things I’ve watched back in July 2011 and still update it daily. Here are the best/most interesting movies I watched in 2011 (from July to December, anyway…)

    – Taxi 2
    – Blackwell’s Island
    – The Mouse that Roared
    – Dial M for Murder
    – The Last Gangster
    – The Naked Spur
    – The Wild Child
    – The Miracle Worker
    – Flash of Genius
    – Mutiny on the Bounty (1935 and 1962)
    – To Sir, With Love
    – The Buddy Holly Story
    – What! No Beer?
    – Bigger than Life
    – Catching Hell (TV doc on Steve Bartman)
    – Ken Burns’ Prohibition
    – Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
    – Painted Faces
    – Ip Man
    – Willow (finally!)
    – Brute Force
    – What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
    – Moby Dick (1956)
    – The Next Voice You Hear
    – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    – Bob Ross: The Happy Painter (PBS doc)
    – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
    – The Prestige
    – Paprika
    – High Strung
    – Payment Deferred
    – Tsotsi
    – The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
    – The Window
    – Gentlemen Broncos
    – Strangers on a Train
    – A Town Called Panic

    On a not-entirely-unrelated note, I LOVE TCM!


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