Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My favorite movies/Your favorite movies

"A favorite movies post, Eric? How unimaginative can you get? What IS this, a desperate ploy for traffic?"

Well, it certainly couldn't hurt. And I admit the idea is not all that original. Besides, my 10 favorite movies are listed on Facebook for all to see.

So what's the point? Well, here's what I hope this post will spark:  This won't just be me naming MY favorite movies. That will be the launchpad for you naming yours.

Over the past year or so, thanks largely to Facebook, I have met or reconnected with a number of friends. It occurred to me that many of them don't know my list. More importantly, it occurred to me that I don't know many of their favorite movies. In fact, I have some friends I've known for many years, and I'm not sure what their favorite movies are. Heck, I don't even know what the favorite movies are of many of my family members. Rather shameful for a movie maven like me. I always meant to do this on my original newspaper blog and to my regret, never got around to it.

So here's how this will work:  I will list my 10 favorite movies of all time below. Then in the comments, you tell me what your favorite movies are. Name as many or as few as you wish. Then, what I will do is I will devote a post to your favorite movies. And even if I don't like your favorite movie I promise I will be civil. Unless maybe your movie is directed by Michael Bay. And if your favorite movie is directed by Michael Bay, how in the WORLD did we ever get to be friends?

I jest. Sort of. But that's the game, and I'm really looking forward to it. And by the way, this game is not limited to people who know me. If you're a stranger and you've wandered in here, you can play too. And there's no time limit on this. This can go on for weeks or months.

Here are mine:

1. Vertigo (1958): Alfred Hitchcock combines dizzying camerawork (the views down the staircase alone are spine-tingling), an emotionally wrenching story  of love lost and won, superb performances by James Stewart and Kim Novak, and Bernard Herrmann’s achingly beautiful score to create a spellbinding, dream-like masterpiece.

2. A Hard Day's Night (1964) — The greatest rock n’ roll movie ever made, the Beatles’ first film cannot be topped for pure, frenzied fun. The music’s pretty OK too.

3. Citizen Kane (1941) — Oh, to be 25 having never made a movie before, and to hit it out of the park on your very first try. Orson Welles’ seminal film features a stunning array of cinematic innovations that tell the fascinating and poignant story of a man who found out the hard way that money can’t buy him love — or save Rosebud.

4. Singin' in the Rain (1952) — This is the movie I watch whenever I’ve had an awful day. For a shining 103 minutes, this movie washes my troubles away, and all is right with the world. Musical numbers don’t get more joyous — or more perfect — than when they have Gene Kelly, an umbrella and a lamppost.

5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) — Stanley Kubrick may not have been very accurate in his predictions of the future, but this film remains a mesmerizing look at man’s journey beyond his earthly bounds. No edit in
cinema history speaks more volumes than the shots of the bone changing into  satellite.

6. Raging Bull (1980) — America’s greatest living director, Martin Scorsese, shows us an utterly despicable man, boxer Jake La Motta, and still makes his story electrifying through boundless filmmaking skill. De Niro’s work gets my vote for the best performance of all time.

7. Pinocchio (1940) — “Snow White” may have been first, but “Pinocchio” was better. The sheer beauty of the animation, combined with the story’s great gags and tremendous heart, makes this Disney’s masterwork.

8. The Wizard of Oz (1939) — It will remain eternally wonderful for Judy Garland’s performance alone.

9. Schindler's List (1993) — I will never forget going to see this movie in a packed theater in Cincinnati and marveling at how the audience was utterly silent at the end.

10. City Lights (1931) — Fall-down funny comedy and touching romance co-exist beautifully when Charlie Chaplin tries to raise money for the blind girl he loves. The ending is exquisitely moving.

So those are mine. Feel free to comment on my choices, and especially to list yours. Let the game begin. Maybe you could even invite your friends who don't know me to participate. We can learn something from each other - and have some great movie-watching to do. 


ME said...

It's tough for me as I'd like two lists, old movies and new. Old favs are: Philadelphia Story, Some Like it Hot, Modern Times, Anatomy of a Murder, Rear Window, Wizard of Oz, and Sound of Music. New favs are: Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Harry Potter Prisoner of Askaban, No Country Old Men, Poltergeist and many many more.

This is not easy to do. I like so many old and new movies. It's tough to really narrow the list. This is what I could think of right now. I'm sure I've forgotten some!

I agree with about four on your list Vertigo, Singin, Wizard and Shindler's. All top notch movies.

Rob said...

1. Casablanca (1942)
2. Amelie (2001)
3. Garden State (2004)
4. Roman Holiday (1953)
5. Vanilla Sky (2001)
6. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
7. Punch Drunk Love (2002)
8. Spirited Away (2001)
9. Mulholland Dr. (2001)
10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
11. Sabrina (1954)
12. Magnolia (1999)
13. Fight Club (1999)
14. Spider-Man II (2004)
15. Office Space (1999)
16. Pulp Fiction (1994)
17. The Princess Bride (1987)
18. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
19. The Matrix (1999)

It's been a few years since I made my list so I probably need to revisit it. (There was one in there I couldn't justify anymore, hence the Top 19 instead of a Top 20)

Anonymous said...

Here goes:

1. Jaws

2-10 (in some order)

Hoosiers, Shawshank, The Natural, The Bad News Bears (the original), Raiders of the Lost Ark, Dead Poets' Society, Rear Window, Superman The Movie, The Hangover (the last spot on this list could rotate over time ... but The Hangover deserves mention as my favorite pure comedy of all time)

ME said...

It's tough. I picked four I would put on my list. I forgot to put Toy Story 2 or Up. I think my favs too.. See you ask us to do the impossible narrow it down ;0) .... I look at other's lists and forgot Casablanca and To Have and to Have Not! Geez this is so hard!!

Anonymous said...

In no particular order:

Love, love, love Big Fish. I must have watched that movie 20 times when I first got it.

It's kind of cliched, but I love Citizen Kane and All the President's Men.

Pirates of the Caribbean is definitely most of the fun movies I've ever watched.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) is a definite favorite.

The Princess Bride is a classic. Love Beauty and the Beast and the animated Alice in Wonderland. I also love the animated Thumbalina, but that might be nostalgia for my childhood.

American Gangster. I watched that multiple times as well. And I just got turned onto Kingdom Of Heaven, that is slowly working its way in my favorites.

Martha Hardcastle said...

This is almost like appearing naked on TV because I have also listed my guilty pleasures. I truly examined my conscience before posting!

Values tier

Ride the High Country
Breakfast at Tiffany's
From Here to Eternity
Suddenly, Last Summer
The Green Pastures
Driving Miss Daisy
Fried Green Tomatoes
The Green Mile
It Happened One Night
Moulin Rouge (1952)
My Favorite Wife
Paper Moon
Sullivan's Travels
O Brother Where Art Thou?
Do the Right Thing
Peggy Sue Got Married
The Shawshank Redemption

A Streetcar Named Desire
The Wizard of Oz
Everything is Illuminated
American Grafitti
Rear Window
Top Hat
His Girl Friday
Silence of the Lambs
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Splendor in the Grass
The Last Picture Show
The Philadelphia Story
High Noon
Member of the Wedding
What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
The Great Gatsby
Reign Over Me
The Shining (1980)
Miss Firecracker
The Raggedy Man
Pulp Fiction
Reservoir Dogs

Guilty pleasures tier

An Officer and a Gentleman
Now and Then
Ruthless People
Stand By Me
Steel Magnolias
When Harry Met Sally
Forrest Gump
Gone With The Wind
Charlotte's Web (1973)
Red River
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Same Time Next Year
Days of Heaven
Saturday Night Fever
Bring it On
9 to 5
Working Girl
Against All Odds
The Big Easy

Allison Dickson said...

I love this topic and I hope I'm not too late to the party! Had to work all dang day! :) My Top 20 faves list:

1. The Shawshank Redemption

2. Rear Window

3. Chinatown

4. Pulp Fiction

5. The Big Lebowski

6. There Will Be Blood

7. The Matrix

8. The Godfather

9. Terms of Endearment

10. Vertigo

11. Singin' in the Rain

12. Citizen Kane

13. Amadeus

14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

15. Fight Club

16. Office Space

17. North by Northwest

18. The Dark Knight

19. Ghostbusters

20. Terminator II

Allison Dickson said...

Martha -- I see nothing to be guilty of on most of your guilty pleasures tier! :-D

Alethea said...

Just one this time, Eric...

Martha Hardcastle said...

Allison - thank you for your kind comment - I worked in record stores back in the day with Eric's dad Phil and although he was never a snob, we were surrounded by so many popular culture snobs that I was permanently intimidated. Yes, I was very young then! The worst on my list is The Big Easy - a movie ostensibly about Cajuns in New Orleans when New Orleans is decidedly not Cajun - it's Creole. And the most embarrassing factor with that is that I am Cajun and I know better. But the combination of the music and Dennis Quaid at his peak of sexy adorableness . . .

Also, your list reminded me that I forgot to put Chinatown on my list. My favorite part? "My Sister (slap) my daughter (slap)" repeat as necessary.

Zack said...

Here it is, bud:

1. Rear Window (1954, Alfred Hitchcock)
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)
3. Singin' in the Rain (1952, Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly)
4. All About Eve (1950, Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
5. The Four Hundred Blows (1959, Francois Truffaut)
6. Network (1976, Sidney Lumet)
7. The Night of the Hunter (1955, Charles Laughton)
8. 12 Angry Men (1957, Sidney Lumet)
9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956, Don Siegel)
10. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964, Jacques Demy)

David Allen said...

I tried doing this list by category last time this came up. I always seem to forget about some great movies. I'll just list a bunch of films, in no particular order, which for some reason really stick in my head and I can think of right now. Some of these are favorites when I was a kid:

Godfather Saga (I and II sliced together with the events in chronological order with some extra scenes to fill in the gaps in I. An absolute masterpiece). Clockwork Orange, Grease, The Music Man, the Ten Commandments, 7th Voyage of Sinbad (Harryhousen's greatest), the original King Kong, Invaders from Mars, & Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Bananas (my vote for funniest movie ever), In the Company of Men (best twist), The Children's Hour, American Grafitti (three characters I completely identified with in one movie), Thirteen, History of Violence, Aladdin, Toy Story 2, Lust: Caution, Last King of Scotland, Revolutionary Road, The Lives of Others, Officer and a Gentleman, Platoon, Vertigo, Wizard of Oz, Star Wars episodes 2,4, & 5, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lenny, Oklahoma, Frances, Chinatown.