14 of the Best Movies From Hollywood's Most Miraculous Year

In honor of the Oscars, we look back at the classics that made 1939 Hollywood's annus mirabilis
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At the Oscars this Sunday, there'll be a tribute to The Wizard of Oz, serving as a reminder that 2014 is a 75th anniversary—not just of the Judy Garland classic, but of the year critics often cite as the greatest year in movie history, 1939. In those days, the old studio system made Hollywood a factory town that was running at peak efficiency, cranking out well-written, wonderfully directed and impeccably acted films in breathtaking abundance. It was the year of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Stagecoach, and one of the most popular film of all time, Gone With the Wind—not to mention dozens of other sexy, sophisticated, lush movies that any 2014 filmmaker would kill to have made. Here are 14 of the best films from that landmark year, along with the reasons they're still worth watching today.—Gary Susman


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