50 New Old Movies for the 51st Year (Masterlist)

Just recently, I turned 50 years old!  And to add to all the real life goals and challenges that that brings, I’ve created at least one as it relates to movies and this blog.  I’ve picked a film from each year of my life up to this point that I have never seen, that I want to watch and write up at least a few thoughts about.

Joe vs. the Volcano

In some cases, I’d never even heard of the film until I was researching for this, while other films I’ve wanted to see for a long time.  But each movie came out in a different year that I was alive (measuring a year from June 7 – June 6 of each year of the last 50 years.

Now, I’m reserving the right to change my selections depending on availability and shifting tastes, but at the moment, this is what I’m going for.  I’ll update this Masterlist as needed throughout the year.  (And now I have, having seen all fifty films, although some had substitutions.  The links are below)

Two Mules for Sister Sara

Year One – Two Mules for Sister Sara directed by Don Siegel–I recently watched Escape from Alcatraz and this is another collaboration between Siegel and Clint Eastwood, albeit ten years earlier. (Watched in late May–read about it here).

Year Two – The Hot Rock directed by Peter Yates–a comedy-drama caper film which I’ve never heard of before.

(The Hot Rock turned out to be quite difficult to find, so I ended up watching They Might Be Giants instead, on January 3–the first movie of the new year!  See commentary here.)

Year Three – Butterflies are Free directed by Milton Katselas–I was in the play this movie was based on years ago so I’ve always been curious to see it.  (And I finally did in May, as I wrote about here).

Year Four – The Golden Voyage of Sinbad directed by Gordon Hessler–it’s possible that I have seen a few minutes of this before, but I don’t really count it.  But it is an easy pick, with its Ray Harryhausen special effects and the fact that Tom Baker (Doctor who plays the villain.  (Watched in mid-November.  Read about it here).

Year Five – The Odessa File directed by Ronald Neame–a political thriller which I’m only aware of because it co-stars Mary Tamm, who played Romana (the first one) on Doctor Who back in the 1970’s.  (Watched late January…read about it here).

Year Six – All the President’s Men directed by Alan J. Pakula–a very well known drama that I have just never gotten around to watching, about the whole Watergate scandal which brought down President Richard Nixon.  (Watched in April–read about it here).

Year Seven – Rocky directed by John Avildsen–that’s right, I’ve never seen Rocky.  At least not all of it, and not all in a row.  (But now I have!  Watched in October, read about it here)

Year Eight – I Never Promised You a Rose Garden directed by Anthony Page–a fantasy drama about mental health that I don’t really know anything about.

(I couldn’t find this movie at all anywhere, so I ended watching Candleshoe from Disney, directed by Normal Tokar instead, in mid January.  Read about it here.)

Year Nine – Murder by Decree directed by Bob Clark–a Sherlock Holmes mystery featuring Christopher Plummer, which I’ve never heard of. (Watched on DVD one day in August–click for commentary)

Year Ten – Kramer vs. Kramer directed by Robert Benton–another classic that I have never seen.  (Watched in December.  Read about it here.)

Kramer vs. Kramer

Year Eleven – Kagemusha directed by Akira Kurosawa–sadly, I have almost seen none of Kurosawa’s work (Seven Samurai is the only one, and I don’t remember it well) so I thought I should include at least something of his on this list.

(Apparently I misremembered that I had put Raging Bull on this list.  It turns out I hadn’t.  But I went ahead and watched it for this series, in late October.  It fits into Year Eleven, so I’ve accidentally bumped Akira Kurosawa for Martin Scorcese.  Whoops!  See comments here!)

Year Twelve  – On Golden Pond directed by Mark Rydell–by this point I was watching the Oscars, and I remember hearing about On Golden Pond, though I never really knew anything about it.  (Watched in February–read the commentary here). 

Year Thirteen – The Verdict directed by Sidney Lumet–I was very tempted to choose Megaforce for how ridiculous it sounds, but I’ve been thinking of this legal drama with Paul Newman for a while now and now it’s my chance to make sure I see it. (Saw this movie in early January–read the commentary here).

Year Fourteen – Streets of Fire directed by Walter Hill–it’s good to mix up the genres a bit.  Wikipedia refers to this film as. “neo-noir rock musical.” (Watched in April–read it here).

Year Fifteen – Breakin’ 2:  Electric Boogaloo directed by Sam Firstenberg–I feel like when you consider my own recent cinematic efforts that I could scarcely miss out on the chance to watch this thing. (Watched in October–see here for comments)

Year Sixteen – Real Genius directed by Martha Coolidge–actually, I was going to pick something more dramatic and more critically renown, but this movie also had a bit of influence upon my own film which is linked to above, so I thought I should include it. (I watched this is mid-May, on my first airplane flight of this whole birthday year.  Read about here).

Year Seventeen – Children of a Lesser God directed by Randa Haines– a romantic drama covering the topic of deafness.  A kid I used to play Little League baseball with was in this movie, apparently, but I’ve never seen it.  (I finally watched it near the beginning of May, as you can read about here).

Year Eighteen – Biloxi Blues directed by Mike Nichols–I wanted to watch something written by Neil Simon and this one has pretty good reviews.  (Watched in January–read about it here!)

Year Nineteen – Tap directed by Nick Castle–a dance / crime drama…again, it’s good to mix it up with the genres, although this is the second dance movie I’ve picked from this decade.  (Watched in March, read about it here).

Year Twenty – Joe vs. the Volcano directed by John Patrick Shanley–the other other Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan film, so that I can finally complete the set.  (Watched in November–see here for comments)

Quigley Down Under

Year Twenty-One – Quigley Down Under directed by Simon Trancer–Tom Selleck features in an Australian-American Western.  I want to see it just for the oddness of it, if for nothing else.  (Watched over several days in mid-June–click for commentary)

Year Twenty-Two – The Commitments directed by Alan Parker–a well received Irish musical comedy-drama.  I’m in! (Watched, finally, in June, just before my 51st birthday!  Read about here.)

Year Twenty-Three – Glengarry Glen Ross directed by James Foley–this is very well received drama written by David Mamet, adapted from his own play. (Watched at the end of April–read about it here).

Year Twenty-Four – Six Degrees of Separation directed by Fred Schepisi–another interesting sounding play-turned-movie that I have vague memories of being in the theatre back in the day.

(Ultimately rejected in favor of watching, in late February, What’s Love Got to Do with It–the biopic about Tina Turner.  Read all about it here!)

Year Twenty-Five – Before Sunrise directed by Richard Linklater–a romantic drama that I’ve always been curious about.  (Watched in January, see here for commentary)

Year Twenty-Six – Living in Oblivion directed by Tom DiCillo–an independent film about independent filmmaking, starring Steve Buscemi and debuting Peter Dinklage.  Sounds like something to give a go with.  (Watched in mid-May, and written about here).

Year Twenty-Seven – Secrets and Lies directed by Mike Leigh–years ago I think I tried to watch this well regarded British drama, but the VHS tape didn’t work properly.  Now it’s my chance!

(I looked around a bunch and have not been able to find this movie, so I ended up watching To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday instead, in early April.  Read about it here).

Year Twenty-Eight – Steel directed by Kenneth Johnson–I know this thing is supposed to be terrible, but after so many good movies I feel like I need to have a bad one or two in there, and since this is a DC Comics superhero adaptation, I feel like it’s right up my street.  (Watched on January 3–read about it here).

Year Twenty-Nine – Pi directed by Darren Aronofsky–a famously weird little movie that I have never dared put myself through before.  (Watched on June 10–click for commentary)

Year Thirty – Mumford directed by Lawrence Kasdan–I’d never heard of this comedy-drama before preparing for this post, but it’s directed by Lawrence Kasdan, who did The Accidental Tourist, and stars Loren Dean, an actor I’m interested in, so…okay.  (Watched in mid-December.  Read about here.)

Almost Famous

Year Thirty-One – Almost Famous directed by Cameron Crowe–another one of those movies I’ve always been aware of but have never seen.  Time to give it a go!  (I gave it a go in December–read about it here.)

Year Thirty-Two – Kate and Leopold directed by James Mangold–I don’t think I have that many romantic comedies on this list, and I’ve been curious about this one since I discovered James Mangold (Logan, Ford v. Ferrari) directed it.  (Watched early July–read about it here). 

Year Thirty-Three – Spirited Away directed by Hayao Miyazaki–I have never seen anything by Miyazaki, so it’s time to rectify that.  (Watched in early August–see here.)

Year Thirty-Four – The Last Samurai directed by Edward Zwick–I’m not convinced about this historical action movie with Tom Cruise, but I’m willing to give it a go.  I’m currently interested in things connected to Japan as well.  (Finished, finally, in September–read about it here). 

Year Thirty-Five – I Heart Huckabees directed by David O. Russell–an existential comedy about detectives hired to discover the meaning of their clients lives?  What?  Ok, count me in! (And so we did, in March or so.  Read about here).

Year Thirty-Six – Thank You for Smoking directed by Jason Reitman–a satirical black comedy abuot a guy trying to spin cigarettes as a good thing.  Could be interesting.  (Was it?  I found out when I watched it in March.  Read about here).

Year Thirty-Seven – Lady in the Water directed by M. Night Shyamalan–this is not supposed to be any good but it still has its supporters, and I’ve always been curious about this “fantasy drama psychological thriller” of a movie. (I checked this out in May, and wrote about it here).

Year Thirty-Eight – The Grand directed by Zak Penn–an improv comedy about poker which I’m completely unfamiliar with, but willing to try out.  (Watched in January–read all about it here).

Year Thirty-Nine – Gran Torino – A film in Clint Eastwood’s canon of work that I have never seen. (Watched in late August–click for commentary)

Year Forty – The Perfect Game directed by William Dear–a true-story sports movie about Little League baseball. (Watched in early February…read about it here!)

The Perfect Game

Year Forty-One – The Social Network directed by David Fincher–a movie I have long been interested to watch, seeing as it combines the talents of both David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin. (Watched in September–click for commentary)

Year Forty-Two – Haywire directed by Steven Soderbergh–Soderbergh is a usually interesting, and though I’ve never heard of this action film, it’s gotten generally good reviews.  (Watched early July–see comments here).

Year Forty-Three – Supporting Characters directed by Daniel Schechter–a smaller film about a couple of guys editing an independent film.  I’ve never heard of it before this.  (Watched in late January, you can read about it here).

Year Forty-Four – Inside Llewyn Davis directed by the Coen brothers–unofficially, the Coen brothers are my favorite directors, so it’s good to include at least one film of theirs that I haven’t seen.  (Watched in July–see comments here).

Year Forty-Five – Advantageous directed by Jennifer Phang–I’ve heard some interesting but unspecific things about this science fiction film  Amongst its cast are Jennifer Ehle (Pride and Prejudice) and Ken Jeong (Community) so I’m super-curious.  (Watched in July–see comments here)

Year Forty-Six – Eddie the Eagle directed by Dexter Fletcher–this movie sounds like the British Cool Runnings, but more acclaimed. (I watched this in November–read about here.)

Year Forty-Seven – The Girl on the Train directed by Tate Taylor–this is a mixed-review mystery film but I like both Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson, so I’d like to give it a go.

(I did give it a go, but it had so much inappropriate stuff in it, that I didn’t feel I could finish it.  In late November, I ended up watching Masterminds instead, directed by Jared Hess.  It had some off-color humor, to be sure but nothing that was too difficult to watch.  Read about it here.)

Year Forty-Eight – Darkest Hour directed by Joe Wright–Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill.  I’m in.  (Watched early in the new  year…see the commentary here!)

Year Forty-Nine – Won’t You Be My Neighbor? directed by Morgan Neville–I should have at least one documentary in there, and I definitely am interested in seeing this.  (I watched this one in late May, and I wrote about it here).

Year Fifty – The Farewell directed by Lulu Wang–I was drawn to this mostly be the presence of Awkwafina, with whom I was very impressed in the recent Jumanji movie, of all things. (Watched over several days in late-June–click for commentary)

The Farewell

2 thoughts on “50 New Old Movies for the 51st Year (Masterlist)

  1. Curiously, there are more than a few of these I haven’t seen either, but the ones I have seen that you have not convince me you have some few viewing ahead of you.

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