Reconsidering Hollywood’s greatest year: 1939 vs. 1959
Many consider 1939 to be the Hollywood’s finest year in terms of classic film production, the year that gave us “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz” among others. But in this article from the Seattle Times, the year 1959, during which “Ben-Hur,” “North by Northwest,” “Some Like It Hot,” were all released, also was a very comparably significant year in film history.
But my favorite movie year is 1959, the 12-month period when Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe, Billy Wilder, Fred Zinnemann, Otto Preminger, Jimmy Stewart and William Wyler all hit career peaks. Simultaneously, art houses were flooded with some of the best work from Francois Truffaut, Ingmar Bergman, Satyajit Ray and Alain Resnais.
It was a year that seemed to sum up many careers (several veteran filmmakers directed their last pictures), while anticipating the innovations and disruptions of the 1960s.
Read the full story in the Seattle Times.