Further into 1947
What I have not done is revisit the two huge auteurist touchstones from 1947, Orson Welles's deeply disorienting Lady from Shanghai and Charlie Chaplin's rather broad and scabrously off-putting Monsieur Verdoux, which sprang from an idea by Welles and many, many people regard as a masterwork. I've screened them both in big-screen restored prints, recently enough to at least trust my basic distaste for both, and though I probably owe it to the geniuses behind each of them to take another stab at some point, I am so not up for it right now.
But what should I be up for? I love reader recommendations in cases like these, either because you've already seen some of the films I'm still anticipating or because something jumps off my pre-selected docket that sounds as tantalizing to you, sight unseen, as it does to me. Major actorly showcases with durable fan bases, like Carol Reed's Odd Man Out with James Mason, or Robert Rossen's Body and Soul with John Garfield? Anthony Mann double-feature Railroaded! and T-Men? Relative obscurities by Ozu (Record of a Tenement Gentleman) and Kurosawa (One Wonderful Sunday), and better-known but seemingly minor work by Sirk (Lured), Leisen (Golden Earrings), and Renoir (The Woman on the Beach - check!)? Black-cast musicals Juke Joint, New Orleans, with its much-touted Billie Holliday cameo, and the enticingly named Boy! What a Girl!? The brooding darkness of Brute Force, Nightmare Alley, or Quai des Orfèvres? Actressy vehicles for Joan Crawford (Daisy Kenyon) and, in a rare leading role, Teresa Wright (Pursued)? Actor-director Robert Montgomery's Lady in the Lake, a longtime pet of film theorists? (His Mexican noir Ride the Pink Horse is an under-heralded gem of the same year.) British cult favorite Brighton Rock, apparently ruined by the Rowan Joffe remake now completing its global festival tour? Box-office bonanzas Forever Amber, Welcome Stranger, Unconquered, Life with Father, and The Egg and I, the latter two with Oscar nods for acting? Notorious MGM boondoggle Desire Me, the Greer Garson vehicle from which George Cukor fought to efface his name? The movie Cukor made that year that he actually liked, as did AMPAS, was the Othello-obsessed thriller A Double Life, probably due for a rewatch. And speaking one last time of the Academy, what about inaugural Academy anointee for Best Foreign Language Film Monsieur Vincent? The Katharine Hepburn twofer of Sea of Grass (another Elia Kazan project) and Song of Love (a dread composer biopic), which even I, as a lifelong devotée, have thus far stayed away from? What other titles am I not clocking at all, though I should?
I probably have room between now and November to absorb three or four more of the above. If you were setting my agenda, what would you pick? Fire away in the comments, and we'll see if we can reach a gentle(wo)man's agreement, or whether we get stuck in a crossfire.