1939

Your weekly fix of great movies made before you were born that you should check out before you die. All this month, Old Ass Movies will be celebrating the 103rd anniversary of Bette Davis‘s birthday. The iconic film star acted in far too many movies to care to count, but it seems as though she’s been reduced to a pair of eyes in popular culture. She’s the subject of a 80s pop tune, not the star that she should be recognized for being, and that needs fixing. The year 1939 is regarded by many to be the best year of cinema in recorded history (just in case there were neanderthals making films). It saw Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, Goodbye Mr. Chips, and this gem about a woman who is diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor. Bette Davis stars as a bold socialite who must decide how she wants to live her life in light of being able to count on a calendar the days until her death.

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Every  Sunday, Old Ass Movies presents a film that was made before you were born and tells you why you should like it. You probably noticed it’s not Sunday, but we’re taking the opportunity to shine the light on five vintage films that played at this year’s Butt-Numb-a-Thon. I’ve only slept for 8 of the past 48 hours, but the enthusiasm I feel for these films is difficult to numb even in the face of drastic sleep deprivation. I know the talking cartoon elephant sitting next to me would agree. Butt-Numb-A-Thon, the 24-hour movie festival celebrating the birthday of Aint It Cool founder Harry Knowles has been heralded as a Geek Christmas because of how incredible the experience is. My first was 7 years ago when Old Boy, Return of the King and early John Wayne spooky Western Haunted Gold graced the screen. That year is regarded as one of the best years on record, but the vintage choices this year – including a Gene Kelly musical, a classic noir that shaped most modern hitman movies, and an impossible to see Orson Welles flick – were devastating in their complete domination of year’s past.

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All month long we celebrate Best Picture Nominees that didn’t win. This week, we take a look at the Avatar of its time.

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This week’s Culture Warrior is getting its bunker ready for Y2K.

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oam-beaugeste

It seems like it might be difficult for people of the 1930s to wrap their minds around what modern war looks like, but it shouldn’t be hard for anyone of this age to connect with this flick – especially if they love action, adventure, and tales of honor.

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oam-gonewiththewind

In honor of Mother’s Day, I shine a spotlight on my mother’s favorite movie of all time, and let her explain why she loves it. Am I the best son in the world? Probably.

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Greta Garbo in Ninotchka

1939 is celebrated as one of the greatest single years of cinematic achievement in the history of the art. In honor of that Golden Era, I wanted to spotlight perhaps the least known Best Picture nominee of that year – Ninotchka.

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