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July 29, 2006


Yes, Citizen Kane is a damn good movie, but how many people pop it into the VCR DVD player (heh...dating myself) on a regular basis?

I do!!

If you haven't, you should read http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&isbn=0345348036&itm=2>The Princess Bride the book, it's much better than the film.

In no particular order:

8 1/2; Persona; Wild Strawberries; The Discreet Charm of the Burgeousie; That Obscure Object of Desire; The Dreamlife of Angels; Behind the Sun; Amores Perros; The Return; Monsieur Ibrahim.

Honorable Mention: Talk to Her.


Lonely Are The Brave -- Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands

Bridge Over The River Kwai -- William Holden, Alec Guinness

A Hard Day's Night -- well, yeah.

Picnic -- William Holden, Kim Novak

Something Wild -- Melanie Griffith

Red River -- John Wayne, Monty Clift

On the Waterfront -- Marlon Brando

David Lean's Oliver Twist -- Alec Guinness

The Swimmer -- Burt Lancaster

Mr. Deeds Goes To Town -- Gary Cooper

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the original) -- Kevin McCarthey.

Network -- Faye Dunaway, William Holden

That would be 12.

A lot of black and white; the depth of field in some of the shots is breathtaking.

And, yes, Citizen Kane, The Philadelphia Story amd Godfather I and II and Lord of the Rings would be in there, too, when I'm in the mood. As would Olivier's King Richard the III, Lawrence of Arabia, bits of The Graduate (some perfectly paced scenes). Chinatown for the same reason. Annie Hall. Ummm, JFK, for its depiction of preposterous, kinetically mounting American paranoia.

I realized I didn't include a single American film in my top 10. My bad. Woody Allen's Love and Death deserves Honorable Mention.

In no particular order:

The English Patient
Shall we dansu
Animal House
Schindler's List
Runaway Train
The Usual Suspects

Ask me tomorrow, and I might replace as many as five of these with something else.

Bringing Up Baby -- Kate Hepburn and Cary Grant.

Her character reminds me of an ex-girlfriend. I didn't remind her of Cary Grant.

These lists need more comedy, dudes.

Some Like It Hot

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Young Frankenstein

Dr Strangelove

-- and that's just the first few off the top of my head. Epic sweaping soul-searing drama is easy, special effects just means you threw money at the screen and some of it stuck, comedy is *hard*.

Where I've seen your choices, I agree with them - though that amounts to agreeing with you about Casablanca, The Philadelphia Story, and The Princess Bride. (I disagree with you about the first LotR movie, mainly because there is one important deviation from the Tolkien storyline in it but also because I think the trilogy has to be considered as one movie.)

My ten - bearing in mind that I am changeable as a very changeable thing and think "top ten lists" can only amount to "the top ten I can think of right now" - are:

Casablanca, despite having the most boring first five minutes: I love the sacrifice made by Louis at the end of the movie. Ah, true love.

The Brave Little Toaster, which IMO is dramatically more successful than many a non-animated movie and better than the current crop of modern animations. Brave appliances struggling through difficulty and danger to find the boy who loved them. Really, honestly, truly, worth watching.

The Truman Show. Oh yes. This film stays in my mind whether or not I rewatch it - what it would be like to be Truman: what it would be like to be Truman afterwards: what happened next?

Cyrano de Bergerac. Gerard Depardieu is brilliant as Cyrano, and this is a film where even the subtitles were well-written - they used a proper blank verse translation.

Notorious. Hitchcock's best movie: and another gift of the studio system, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains all in the same movie. (Yes, I'd rather watch this than The Philadelphia Story, adorable though that is.)

The Fugitive Admittedly the only reason Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones could be in a movie together is that Jones wasn't yet a star of Ford's stature/expensiveness, but wow the two of them make the movie rock. The sequel sucked.

The Lion in Winter. Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, and Timothy Dalton, and some of the most sizzling dialogue ever, ever written.

Aliens. It may not be the best of the four (though it's certainly not the worst: that's number three) but I really, really like it.

Nine to Five. Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and they're all having such a good time. I love this film.

And, yeah... The Princess Bride. Love the book, love the movie.

These lists need more comedy, dudes.

Life of Brian is one of the movies that could replace some of the ones I listed if you asked me tomorrow. Much, much better than Holy Grail, which was funny enough itself.

Jones wasn't yet a star of Ford's stature/expensiveness

WhatImeanis, The Fugitive turned Jones into star-in-his-own-right, rather than supporting actor. Obviously, Jones still isn't in Ford's league.

* La Nuit Fantastique
* Cornered (1945)
* Radio Days
* Midnight Run
* The Graduate
* Animal Crackers
* Hiroshima Mon Amour
* Contempt
* 8&1/2
* The Hustler

I'm not sure I can count that high (at least in terms of movies). Andrew, I beg to disagree with your definition of great: my all-time favorite songs are all songs I listen to no more than once every 2 or 3 years, because their impact on me is so great. I'll go to great lengths to escape environments that are playing them when I don't want to listen. I feel the same way about movies. That said, I'd count among my favorite movies "Runaway Train", starring Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, and Rebecca deMornay (and based on a Kurosawa screenplay); "Grizzly Man", because I find Herzog so shockingly wise and humane in the way he made the film; "Yojimbo", "Sanjuro", and "Seven Samurai", cause of Toshiro Mifune and Kurosawa's eye; "Unforgiven", because of how ruthlessly and skillfully Eastwood guts any of the romance to be found in his earlier western films (I love all the Leone ones as well, but not as much as the Kurosawas they copied); "Casablanca"; that's all I can think of right now.

Schindler's List, Philadelphia Story, Sound of Music, Casablanca, Dr. Strangelove, The Great Escape, one of the Wallace and Gromit movies surely belongs there, so I'll use A Close Shave, because I like the noise the terrified little sheep make, thanks to Jes for reminding me of A Lion In Winter, The Year of Living Dangerously, and -- hmm, things aren't springing to mind as readily, why not Truly, Madly, Deeply.

Night of the Hunter
8 1/2
Band of Outsiders
Rules of the Game
The Passenger
Blue Velvet

Wild Bunch.
Phil. Story.
Little Big Man.
Godfather I & II.
Blue Angel.
Branaugh's Much Ado & Henry V.
The Shining.
Jeremiah Johnson.

I could go to 20, but then i could go to 50 too. These, though, I can be talked into watching just about any time.

It should also take on a larger truth, as it were. I don't mean it has to be a 'message' movie, but it should have a theme that resonates. And it has to be watchable: yes, Citizen Kane is a damn good movie, but how many people pop it into the VCR DVD player (heh...dating myself) on a regular basis? So if it's not something you can watch regularly, I don't consider it a truly great film.

I don't watch any movie on a regular basis, just like I don't read any book on a regular basis. Or if I do, it usually means that the book/movie is light, doesn't require a lot of attention, serves to kill time, or some such. The whole idea of something 'taking on a larger truth in a way that resonates' seems basically contradictory with the idea that you can pop it in the VCR (DVD player) just whenever. I mean, "Liar Liar" takes on a certain larger truth, but I would not say it resonates. I see a conflation here of favorite movies (sure, L.A. Confidential) and great movies (...but not Citizen Kane?). If 'watchability' is a measure of a greatness, you get Liar Liar over Citizen Kane, and (readability) Harry Potter over a Hundred Years of Solitude.

[Yeah, I know I'm taking this way more seriously than I'm supposed to, but this is important!]

How about movies released just in the last few years? I think these three reward repeated viewing:

Punchdrunk Love
Chuck and Buck
Shattered Glass

Lots of good ones named. I heartily endorse Casablanca.

I personally think "Blazing Saddles" belongs here.

off the top of my head (could’ve been different):

citizen kane
8 1/2
the sea inside
city of god
dr. strangelove
barry lyndon
the producers
through a glass darkly


I'm of the opinion that you can have resonance and still be entertaining. In fact, I forgot to put in The Full Monty, which is another favorite of mine. While it's a very funny comedy, it's also a very well done look at alienation and poverty. All of the movies I listed offer that, to varying degrees.

Whoops...Toadmonster. Sorry.

"The Stunt Man". Love that movie.

Many of my favorites have already been mentioned, so I'll just go with the ones that haven't

Jaws: This is such a perfect movie. You get three just stellar performances from Dreyfuss, Scheider and Shaw. Spielberg does such a tremedous job it makes you cry thinking of how he diminished his later work with overblown sentimentality.

Outlaw Josey Wales: I'm much more of a fan of the Clint Eastwood western than the John Wayne western and this is pretty much the best of the bunch. Clint plays the same character he does in all his westerns, but there's something just better about this one.

The Shootist: My favorite John Wayne western was his last. Wayne plays a aging gunfighter dying of cancer. The supporting cast is just outstanding and Wayne even figures out how to act a little bit.

Dragonslayer: Here's one out of left field. Probably the best swords and sorcery fantasy movie every made until Peter Jackson tried his hand at it. Ostensibly a story of a wizard's apprentice battling an ancient dragon, a close reading shows it to be a sly and cynical parable about politics and religion.

Annie Hall: Woody's best, in my opinion, and the movie that warped my view of male-female relationships at a very early age.

Excalibur: Forget this crappy current obsession with portraying a "historical" King Arthur. Any man who would be a knight, follow a king...follow me!

Ferris Bueller's Day Off: The best "teen movie" ever made and a cinematic love letter to the great city of Chicago.

Risky Business: Tom Cruise showed such promise in this movie. Who knew he would grow up to be totally insane?

The Empire Strikes Back: Six movies in the Star Wars universe and this is the only one that's worth a damn. It's amazing how having a decent script really improves a film.

Well, that's nine. I'll leave the ten spot open for luck.

Actually, my favorite Tom Cruise-containing movie was "Taps", which showed that he was already totally insane.

I'm not that much of a movie watcher and when questions like this come up I go aphasic. However these are movies I'd like to see again: Whistle Down the Wind, with Haley Mills, Little Big Man (never saw it the first time, actually) and McCabe and Mrs Miller.
There's another movie in my mind but I can't come up with the name . The plot concerned a minor English organized crime guy who was supppposed to be a bodyguard for a black call girl and ends up dying for love. Micheal Caine is in it. Anybody know what I'm talking about? I can remember individual scenes in it very vividly and I'd like to see it again.

Mona Lisa?

"The Stuntman"


And then if you require more comedy, go get "My Favorite Year", with Peter O'toole playing his best friend, Richard Harris.

A short comedy: W.C. Fields' "The Dentist", or the "The Dentist Visit", or whatever.

Speaking of dentists, Steve Martin and Bill Murray playing dentist sadist and patient masochist, respectively, in, you know, the musical remake of that cheesy sci-fi film about the man-eating plant. Also had the lead singer of the Four Tops doing the voice of the carniverous plant. "Feed Me!"

"Little Shop of Horrors".

I have a special place in my heart for "Miller's Crossing". Guys in hats. "What's the rumpus?" Plus, it contains the best cold-cocking by a little guy I've ever seen.


"The Producers." Yes. Glad to see someone else slipping Mel Brooks in.

Oh yes, Taps was a pretty good film.

There's been some disussion of Red Dawn over at Tacitus.Org. For a mind-bending double feature, watch them back-to-back.

It would be imilar to experience I had reading Johnny Got His Gun and Starship Troopers in the same week.

Hayley Mills?

All of that breathy Brit girl sustained me through puberty. And then along came Julie Christie.

Also, I've discovered Harold Lloyd recently. Very funny. But not breathy.

Now I am hearing:

"I thrill
When I drill
A bicuspid--
It's swell
Though they tell
me I'm mad"

I love Casablanca, but it always grates on my ear to hear Ilsa refer to Sam as "the boy at the piano".

And no other votes for The Maltese Falcon?


The Lion in Winter - Like Jes said, fantastic acting, witty dialog. Plus the young John Castle and Timothy Dalton, yum.

A Man for All Seasons - Eternal themes: power and loyalty. Too many immortal lines to quote.

Truly, Madly, Deeply - death! romance! Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman!

The Stunt Man - Mindf*ckery at its finest. Peter O'Toole as the Uber-Director: "If God could do the things we can do, he'd be a happy man."

Grosse Point Blank: Delicious black comedy. John Cusak as a hit-man, attending his 10th High School Reunion. Dan Ackroyd appears as a rival hit man who wants to form a labor union.

A Clockword Orange: Malcolm McDowell makes murderous thuggery sexy and sympathetic. Plus, one of the best soundtracks ever.

Old Yaller: A relic of a time when even Disney didn't think kids should be protected from traumatic death scenes. Along with Bambi (also from Disney, and also with a traumatic death scene), probably the real reasons my generation grew up to be animal-loving, anti-hunting eco-freaks.

Ben Hur (1950's version): Forget the Christian stuff. It's all about the chariot race, baby. And the subtext: the incredibly gorgeous Stephen Boyd, playing Massala as Charlton Heston's spurned gay lover.

The Princess Bride: Of course.

Contact: For the opening shot alone.

Close Encounters (original version): That musical signature. The scene in India, where the huge chanting crowd answers the question, "Where was it [the music] coming from?" by pointing ecstatically at the sky. The arrival of the mothership.

"Mona Lisa" ---I think so. Albert Finney was in it too, but I can't quite come up with the name of the actress.

Boy I love movies, this is just so tough, and just saw Erice's "Spirit of the Beehive" for the first time last night and "Serenity" this morning. But I must give an honest effort. So here goes:

Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer,The Terminator,Commando,Predator,The Running Man,Total Recall,Terminator 2,Rules of the Game,Out of the Past,Persona

Oh, and the original Fantasia.

#1 Dersu Uzala
#2 Cool Hand Luke
#3 McCabe & Mrs. Miller
#4 Contact
#5 MP & the Holy Grail
#6 Casablanca
#7 The Razor's Edge (Bill Murray version)
#8 Mockingbird
#9 Godfather 1&2
#10 Apocalypse Now

All films I never tire of watching. There are a few others... but these especially.

I think it's worthwhile to distinguish "favorite" and "best". These are among the films I turn to again and again for comfort, for delight, for joy, for stimulation, for courage, all kinds of things. Some of them are in detached critical terms much better than others, but I love them all. And in keeping with earlier comments...

9 of my favorite comedies (along with The Princess Bride, The Stunt Man, Tampopo, Grosse Pointe Blank, and others listed already):

The Blues Brothers. Basically a perfect movie, flawless at what it does, a rollicking musical, and theologically quite sound, too.

Raising Arizona. The Coen Brothers have made better movies, but this the best-hearted, I think.

Harvey. I've long thought that in a better world, Jimmy Stewart's performance here would be what bloggers aim to be, rather than the nasty independent soul.

The Three Musketeers, the Salkind one with Michael York as D'artangan and Charlton Heston as Richelieu. Not a comedy, but an extremely funny action drama, and the characters' humorous exploits make their dramatic triumphs that much sharper, I think. It's got the best carpet-pulling gag in the history of swashbuckling.

Brain Donors. Absolutely the finest Marx Brothers movie ever made not starring the Marx brothers. The young John Turturro is the literally ambulance-chasing lawyer of a Groucho figure. The story's a mash-up of A Day at the Races and A Night at the Opera, with ballet. Produced by the Zucker Brothers back when. I love this movie very very much.

Airplane!. Brash, vulgar, dense beyond description with visual asides and background humor, very smart, very crude, so much better than pretty much any trash-talking comedy that's followed.

A Night at the Opera. I think Duck Soup is probably the Marx Brothers' consummation in film, but honestly the political part is too damn close to the news for me right now. So I go with this one.

Mr. Hulot's Holiday. The nicest wimp in the world just tries to have a nice vacation. Trouble ensues. Almost-silent slapstick at a gentle perfect pitch.

Hopscotch. Walter Matthau is a brilliant CIA field agent pulled back to a desk job by his jerk boss, Ned Beatty. Matthau quits and goes for revenge, helped by the always-suave Glenda Jackson. This is a pure fantasy of the triumph of brains over all, and welcome it is.

Not Albert Finney. Bob something. Hoskins? Finey was in "Whistle Down the Wind". Some day I will be like my mom and my conversation will contain no nouns at all.

Not mentioned so far, from recent years:

Sex and Lucía.
High Fidelity.
Fight Club.

For the kids:

Rick Perlstein: What is Conservative Culture?

Ask a conservative activist to explain what anchors and unites their fractious movement, and he will point to ideas: to weighty tomes by Eric Voegelin, Russell Kirk, Wilhelm Roepke, Edmund Burke; to the development of the philosophy of "fusionism," by which the furrow-browed theorists at National Review cogitated their way past the conflicts between the traditionalist, libertarian, and anti-communist strains of the American right. They will make it sound almost as if the 87 percent of Mississippians who voted for Barry Goldwater did so after a stretch of all-nighters in the library.

They will not mention an illustration popular among college conservatives in the 1960s: a peace symbol-shaped B-52 bomber with the words "Drop It" on the wings. Nor will they discuss the annual "McCarthy-Evjue" lecture that student conservatives in Wisconsin (among them, present-day right-wing luminaries David Keene of the American Conservative Union and Alfred Regnery, formerly of Regnery Publishing) put on to honor their favorite Wisconsin senator and to mock William Evjue, the editor of the Madison newspaper William F. Buckley labeled "Prairie Pravda." (They advertised the lecture on pink paper.) They will not mention the Southern Californians who flocked to church basements, high school auditoriums, and VFW halls to hear hellfire-and-brimstone lecturers like World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, author of The Socialistic Sixteenth — A National Cancer, or the Reverend Billy James Hargis ("Is the Schoolhouse the Proper Place To Teach Raw Sex?").


Oh movies, ah…

Apocalypse Now
Crimes & Misdemeanors
Reservoir Dogs
Los Angeles Plays Itself
(Do documentaries count?)

or, pretty much what xanax wrote.

Bruce's list works pretty well for me, but I'll add a few more:

The Sting
The Grifters (I seem to really like con artists much more than any other time of crime movies).
Network (at age 12, I was outraged that Rocky beat it for the Oscar).
Say Anything

Most of the above, with the addition of Memento and Sleuth.

Oef.... only 10.... in no specific order:

1- Birdy, which had an awfull description but was a beautifull and touching film.

2- six degrees of separation, because I loved who the mistrust crept in, how you were put on the wrong foot

3- The birdcage, because it made me laugh so much

4- the sting, for Pauls blue eyes and the wonderfull complications in it.

5- an american werewolf, I am not much of a horror fan, but this combination of gruesome and humor worked very well for me.

6- the world according to Garp, I can watch this film over and over again.

7-Spirited Away (or my neighbour Totoro... I cannot choose), for the beautifull animations and the nicely weird story

8- The Iron Giant, it's a kids film, but after seeing it 10 times I still get wet eyes near the end.

9- Dead Man Walking, because the convict is completely guilty, they did not take the easy way out (like the green mile, which I didn't like much) and they still mamage to show how awfull the system is.

10. Totall Recall. I'm a sucker for special effects, what can I say :)

But the list may be different tomorrow too.
I really liked the fight club, the full monty, shall we dansu and the original Star Wars trilogy from the films allready mentioned. And I hesitated about including sex, lies and videotapes or city of lost children.

I'm going for twelve, and adding To Kill A Mockingbird and Man For All Seasons. I am also tempted by Quiz Show, which I love.

Adam just made me think of Lovers of the Arctic Circle (from the director of Sex and Lucia). It has an enchanting ending. It alone makes the movie deserve an honorable mention.

Not going to add a list, but I have to say that The Truman Show blew me away. The whole concept was both disturbing and interesting.

I made up my list without looking at the comments; a good many of mine have already been named. I tend not to go for anything between comedy and dark documentaries, so on the Hollywood end this is my list.

Some Like It Hot
This Is Spinal Tap
Thelma and Louise
Play It Again Sam
Duck Soup
Blazing Saddles
Dr. Strangelove

I see we share a lot of favorites. I have to say I like "Help!" better than "A Hard Day's Night."

One not mentioned so far... "A Thousand Clowns."

"Casablanca," oh, yes.

It's definitely Mona Lisa (and definitely Bob Hoskins). When I think too hard about lists like this, I tend to start tyring to tweak the list to make myself look cooler, so here goes off the top of my head:

Paths of Glory
Breaker Morant
Five Easy Pieces
The Magnificent Seven
The Great Escape (yeah, Hilzoy!)
The Godfather I & II
Saving Private Ryan
Swimming to Cambodia
Silence of the Lambs
Raising Arizona

st: Oh, YES! Silence of the Lambs. For God's sake, Yes. How could I have forgotten? And other than Dersu my list is so American. Ran, Persona, Das Boot. So, so many more (my mind's a wall...)

xanax - oh, YES! Das Boot. For god's sake, how could I have forgotten?

Oh, and Akira, and Bullet in the Head. And Spirited Away. And Rosemary's Baby.

And Clerks.

And Rope.

I have to stop.

What, no one liked One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?

Don't watch that many movies so can't really add much. Love Marx Brothers movies, anything with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, most of the Audrey Hepburn movies (especially How to Steal a Million), and the old swashbucklers: The Sea Wolfe, Robin Hood....

Oh, and the first three Thin Man movies.

Whatever happened to witty movies?

Love The Princess Bride but think the movie is much much better than the book which comes off to me as Too Bloody Arch For Words as well as Too Bloody Pretentious.

st - If you really like Saving Private Ryan, I highly recommend getting a hold of Stalingrad and watching that. It's Private Ryan, but cynical instead of patriotic.

I just watched Heaven's Gate again. Maybe it isn't the greatest movie ever made, but each moment of it is a quality experience. And you really gotta give it to Isabelle Huppert, skinny-dipping thigh deep in the North Fork of the Flathead. Walken plays nuance, and Waterston plays arrogant and wicked.

For more recent movies, I'd put Atanarjuat on my list too.

J. M. N. - thanks for the recommendation. I just can't get past that first twenty minutes of SPR. Just incredible. I'm not sure I breathed once the whole time. It's like the opening shot of the Deerhunter times a thousand with machine guns. Beautiful, gripping, textured, amazing.

Oh, hey, The Deerhunter. That's another good one.

CC - when I first read your comment, I thought you said "Heaven Can Wait," and I spilled something on my keyboard.

Another "How could I have forgotten!?"

Jean de Florette &
Manon of the Springs

Emmanuelle Béart. Lord have mercy.

Uh, just to clarify, as well formed as Ms. Huppert was at 27, I was referring to the fact that the water in the Flathead River is very cold, but she played the scene as if it was filmed in James Cameron's warm water Titanic pool.

- Birdy, which had an awful description but was a beautiful and touching film.
Posted by: dutchmarbel | July 29, 2006 at 09:18 PM

The music blew my little mind.

That soundtrack, the soundtrack to The Chocolate War and This Mortal Coil's It'll End in Tears rocked my world. I discovered them in the late ‘80s, for a semester or two, I became an obnoxious Anglophile!

Birdy (Alan Moore & Peter Gabriel)

This Mortal Coil

The Chocolate War

I meant Alan Parker not Alan Moore, but Alan Moore was another Brit who rocked my young mind.

Anybody see Man">http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006FMCS/104-5056870-0232720?v=glance&n=130">Man Bites Dog?

Whoa, what is up with that!?


Oh, how could I forget:
Wayne's World.
Rushmore. (I think someone mentioned this.)
The Big Lebowski.

Brain Donors.

YES. I haven't seen this in years and years, but it was just hilarious. Also way to go with Airplane!.

Also on reflection, I'd take Citizen Kane off my list, definitely one of the greatest but not one of my top personal favorites. Other possibilities, having read the thread:

seven samurai
blue velvet
silence of the lambs, sure
la strada
virgin spring
the iron giant - I saw this recently and it just killed me. Though I'm not sure how I feel about the very end.

Also, I mentioned them on my first list, but everyone should see City of God and The Sea Inside.

dos mas:

Paris, Texas
Down By Law

I am hopeless at lists of favorites cause they change so quickly, but I want to recommend Millenium Actress, which I saw and then got the DVD last week. I've been on a diet of Japanese movies recently (got the complete set of Yasujiro Ozu's works and have been going thru them.) so it might not have the same impact, but it uses some incredible animation techniques. see it if you can.


Mine have shifted over the years. And even now, looking over yesterday's list, I'd put Bull Durham in over When Harry Met Sally. That's why they're so hard to build.

But they're fun, and you get lots of good ideas in a good thread like this. I've seen a lot of movies, and there are still at least a few dozen listed here I haven't seen (and often haven't even heard of).

In no particular order (and noting that these are some of my favorite movies, which are not necessarily what I'd regard as the "best" movies that I've seen -- although some would make that list too):

Tora! Tora! Tora!

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Dr. Strangelove

Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle

The Empire Strikes Back

Do The Right Thing (once you get past the hype, you realize that it's a really well-made movie)

The Manchurian Candidate (original)

The Godfather

The Princess Bride


The weird thing is, I (like Andrew) have suddenly reconsidered my list. What about (for instance) all the great tough-guy movies? Eastwood's spaghetti westerns (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly? A Mule for Sister Mary? For a Fistfull of Dollars? For a Few Dollars More?)? Heck, I could almost do an all-Clint top 10 list if I include Kelly's Heroes, Pale Rider, Unforgiven, Where Eagles Dare -- as well as the movie that I always think of as an Eastwood movie (but ain't), The Dirty Dozen. Why have I forsaken Bogart -- Casablanca should be on that list, and maybe The Maltese Falcon as well. And were the heck is Indiana (Jones)?

Why, too, the glaring lack of romantic comedies? Harry/Sally is deserving, as Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Geez, von: Two Mules for Sister Sara!

I should probably also note that there is some intentional diversity to my picks, so The Maltese Falcon and the African Queen are not on the list because I've already got Bogart and Hepburn films. (Although I probably need an Audrey Hepburn film...so many good movies, and so little time.)

Well, after 70+ comments all my favorites (that I can think of at the moment) have been mentioned by someone else except for "Rob Roy" with Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange and evil personified by Tim Roth.

And although it probably doesn't count, "Lonesome Dove" has spent more time in my DVD played than anything else.

Geez, von: Two Mules for Sister Sara!

One, two; Mary, Sara. It's all pretty much the same, right? ;-)

(Whoops. Thanks, CC.)

I'm certainly using this thread to fill up my Netflix queue.

Here's a different sort of slice:


Streets of Fire. "Another time, another place", the movie tells at the outset, and it is - it's the '50s and the '80s run together into a seamless garment and set to some mighty fine '80s rock and pop. It's also got Willem Dafoe in the scariest overalls ever.

The Warriors. Walter Hill sure worked this vibe well. The conceit of rendering an event from Greek history in terms of gang warfare is a good one, and there never were gangs like that, nor DJs.

Trouble In Mind. One of a bunch of unjustly neglected Alan Rudolph movies, set in a near-future rainy noir city, featuring Kris Kristofferson as the ex-cop just coming out of jail and running headlong into a bunch of people's troubles. It includes Divine's only non-drag role, as the awesomely creepy crime boss, and makes wonderful use of Seattle. (Equinox does the same thing for the southwestern desert.)

The Rook. A police procedural set in a Calvinistic, Gnostic land that may be Britain in some other history. Dark, quiet, intense, no happy outcomes.

Six String Samurai. Set forty years after the Soviets dropped the big one and won World War III, with Las Vegas as the last bastion of freedom, Elvis dead and Death among those wanting to take his place as the new king of rock and roll, and a whole lot more. Just a gloriously deranged fantasy. The music of the Red Elvises helps.

Just about all my favorites have been named. I will add two Mel Gibson films for consideration:



I'm certainly using this thread to fill up my Netflix queue.

Here's a different sort of slice:


Streets of Fire. "Another time, another place", the movie tells at the outset, and it is - it's the '50s and the '80s run together into a seamless garment and set to some mighty fine '80s rock and pop. It's also got Willem Dafoe in the scariest overalls ever.

The Warriors. Walter Hill sure worked this vibe well. The conceit of rendering an event from Greek history in terms of gang warfare is a good one, and there never were gangs like that, nor DJs.

Trouble In Mind. One of a bunch of unjustly neglected Alan Rudolph movies, set in a near-future rainy noir city, featuring Kris Kristofferson as the ex-cop just coming out of jail and running headlong into a bunch of people's troubles. It includes Divine's only non-drag role, as the awesomely creepy crime boss, and makes wonderful use of Seattle. (Equinox does the same thing for the southwestern desert.)

The Rook. A police procedural set in a Calvinistic, Gnostic land that may be Britain in some other history. Dark, quiet, intense, no happy outcomes.

Six String Samurai. Set forty years after the Soviets dropped the big one and won World War III, with Las Vegas as the last bastion of freedom, Elvis dead and Death among those wanting to take his place as the new king of rock and roll, and a whole lot more. Just a gloriously deranged fantasy. The music of the Red Elvises helps.

Random thoughts

Ferris Bueller - just about every scene is perfect, I love the cuts between Cameron and Ferris before they leave their houses

Braveheart - only movie I've scene more than three times in the theater (other than the star wars trilogy)

Princess Bride - like Ferris, just about every scene is perfect (Fred Savage: "Can we stop with the kissing")

Empire Strikes Back - most shocking twist in movie history; plus I love the saber fight at the end with Vader getting more and more vicious

E.T. - unbelievable performance by Henry Thomas; if you've seen the tape of his audition that was attached to one of the recent additions, Spielberg is just flabbergasted by him

The Ten Commandments - just something about the sweep of the film is stunning

Last night I remembered I had forgotten to put "Un Coeur en Hiver" on my list. Did you see that? I was in love with Mmme. Beart for months after that.

Oh, and High Noon.

Erm, "recent editions" that is.

Blade Runner!
Lawrence of Arabia!
Dazed and Confused!

And double amen to Gallipoli and the original The Manchurian Candidate.

In no particular order, I’ve watched almost all of these multiple times

The Third Man

Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors

Les Enfins du Paradis

The Rules of the Game

La Strada

Apocalypse Now

Derzu Uzala

Blade Runner

Pulp Fiction

The Bad Lieutenant

True Romance

"Les Enfins du Paradis"


-- Mais -- ou sommes nous? Pourquoi y-a-t'il tant des nuages? -- Ah! Je comprends! Paradis: enfin!

I want to apologize, in advance, for any grammatical mistakes in the above. Already the s on 'des' looks very dubious to me. Grammar was never my long suit.

And I apologize for spelling - just not in advance- but a good quick call Hilzoy - a least a better enfins than the other possibilities! Of course it should have been Les Enfants du Paradis with the incomparable Arletty.

oh, and also I think unmentioned above is Black Orpheus, which along with Les Enfants and a number of other great films - The Rules of the Game, too - has been completely redone with new "prints?" on Criterion DVD's. The colors in Black Orpheus have made it a new movie, adding detail that I had never seen before.

Looking for a first-rate Sunday afternoon weeper? Try "Iphigenia."

If Irene Papas' heart-broken Clytemnestra doesn't get you, you may be ungettable.

And Jake B. "I was in love with Mmme. Beart for months after that."

You mean you got over it?

grackel: I could have gone with: enfin! un enfant! et a quatre-vingt-dixsept ans d'infécondité!

but I desisted.

apres quatre-vingt-dixsept ans, not a.

I should quit now.

You didn't notice I spelled it "Mmme."?

Actually, she broke my heart when she starred in a movie with Tom Cruise (just as Kelly McGillis and Elisabeth Shue already had).

About 80% of the foregoing titles would be on my list (long list), but Bull Durham belongs at the top of the list of any great comedies. Annie Savoy is the best part for a woman in the last hundred years--and Susan Sarandon was perfect. Pride and Prejudice is wonderful in all three versions. I love the first one for Laurence Olivier's Darcy, the second for the fact that they took their time and let it build (and for Colin Firth in a wet shirt), and the last most recent Keira Knightly version for its headlong romantic fire. Persuasion is the best Jane Austen film of them all. That's one I watch when the world is going to hell and taking me with it.

JakeB: I'm illiterate in a variety of languages including French so your meaning is lost on me. Hell, I just thought you meant "Mmmmmmm!"

don't worry, you got the meaning.

I rewatched Bull Durham last year and I realized that it's not nearly as good as I thought it was and it's pretty much all Costner's fault.

He's really much too much of a pretty boy to be Crash Davis and he ambles and smirks his way through the role instead of showing the mix of contempt and love he has for the game that used him up and eventually tosses him away. The "I Believe" monologue is a great piece of writing, but the line-reading Costner gives almost kills it.

It includes Divine's only non-drag role . . .

The devil, you say! He played male roles in both Female Trouble and Hairspray!


I like "Bull Durham", but I agree with you on Costner. To my mind, his best role was as dead Alex in "The Big Chill". There is a flatness in the way he delivers his lines in all of his roles that worked perfectly as, you know, a corpse.

I think this is why his better performances are as athletes.

von: Thanks for reminding me of Four Weddings and a Funeral. The Rowan Atkinson marriage ceremony (which included such classics as "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spigot"... also, as I recall, "The Father, The Son and The Holy Goat"). That one scene was malapropist humor at its best. All these years hence, can't even think of it without laughing out loud. Much like the "Someday, son, all this will be yours!" ... "What, the curtains?" line from MP & the Holy Grail.
And, of course, the Knights who say, "NI!"

And if I can put in a plug for most subtle comedy moment evar! (IMHO) - in The Naked Gun, there's a scene where Leslie Nielsen walks around the wall of the set (i.e., the other actors go through the door between offices and he just walks around the wall). The camera work is so smooth if you're not paying attention you miss it.

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