Those wanting a better look at Terence Davies should consider his Sight & Sound list of ten favorite films. This, more than any other collection, has the air of an encapsulation. For one thing, it covers a short period of time (1942-1961) that corresponds to the years immediately preceding his birth and those constituting his youth; for another, it alternates only between U.S. and U.K. productions; and of equal interest is the mixture of nostalgia — either in-the-moment, e.g. The Magnificent Ambersons as the story of a once-great family’s plight, or retrospective, e.g. the effect Singin’ in the Rain has upon millions of people (young and old) each year — and (or sometimes with) peril, particularly pertaining to children (e.g. The Night of the Hunter and The Searchers). On the latter end, I inevitably think of his great The Long Day Closes, but that’s a single example; one might be able to look at these films as seeds for the entirety of Davies’ oeuvre.

Have a look at the list below, along with various videos relating to their entries:

Great Expectations (David Lean, 1946)

The Happiest Days of Your Life (Frank Launder, 1950)

Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer, 1949)

Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948)

The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942)

The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)

The Searchers (John Ford, 1955)

Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1951)

Victim (Basil Dearden, 1961)

Young at Heart (Gordon Douglas, 1954)

See more directors’ favorite films.

Do you share any favorites with Terence Davies?

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