1939 Voted Hollywood's Greatest Year

Hollywood was better in the good old days - a new survey has found 1939 was the greatest year in the history of Tinseltown.

Movie classics GONE WITH THE WIND, GOODBYE MR CHIPS, WUTHERING HEIGHTS and THE WIZARD OF OZ, were all released in 1939 - prompting a poll of 2,000 American cinema-goers to vote it number one.

The survey is damning of contemporary Hollywood, with just three of the top ten years falling outside Tinseltown's 'Golden Age' of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

GODFATHER II, THE ODESSA FILE and CHINATOWN helped fans place 1974 second, ahead of 1946 - when THE BIG SLEEP, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE were all released.

CITIZEN KANE - often voted the greatest film ever - and THE MALTESE FALCON, both released in 1941, saw the year voted fourth.

BEN FREEDMAN, who commissioned the survey to promote a new version of THE WIZARD OF OZ, said results prove 1939 was "perhaps the greatest single year for any art form at any time".

Explaining the failure of modern movies to make any impact, he adds that in Old Hollywood "there was a simpler form of storytelling".

He adds, "There was more focus on the written word, on getting the scripts right. The studios did what it took to get the story right.

"Directors were disposable and studios often used teams of them. Nowadays, directors are all-powerful and studios are terrified of upsetting them."

The top ten with the leading films released in those years are as follows:

1: 1939 - GONE WITH THE WIND, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, THE WIZARD OF OZ

2: 1974 - GODFATHER II, CHINATOWN

3: 1946 - THE BIG SLEEP, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE

4: 1941 - CITIZEN KANE, THE MALTESE FALCON

5: 1957 - ZORRO, THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI

6: 1971 - A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, THE FRENCH CONNECTION

7: 1940 - THE GRAPES OF WRATH, FANTASIA

8: 1962 - TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

9: 1942 - CASABLANCA

10: 1955 - REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK.

11/09/2003 13:51

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Tags: Gone With The Wind - The Wizard of Oz - Chinatown - The Big Sleep - Its A Wonderful Life - Wizard Of Oz - Citizen Kane - A Clockwork Orange - The French Connection - The Grapes of Wrath - Fantasia - To Kill a Mockingbird - Lawrence Of Arabia - Casablanca - Rebel Without a Cause


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