Tuesday, March 07, 2006

MOVIES: Top Ten Films

Well, from the comments to yesterday's post about my top ten directors (and the discussion there is by no means finished, please keep speaking up), Dale has given me today's assignment: top ten movies.

Again, this will be mostly off the top of my head. I don't think there are a great many surprises to be found here, especially considering which directors I named in the last post.

  • Chinatown

  • Citizen Kane

  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller

  • The Godfather

  • Casablanca

  • Ran

  • Sunset Blvd.

  • The Wild Bunch

  • The Philadelphia Story

  • Goodfellas

That's a damn good ten movies. If there's any one of 'em you haven't seen, go see it now. RIGHT NOW!!

Here's ten more:

  • Unforgiven

  • Rio Bravo

  • It Happened One Night

  • The Apartment

  • Rear Window

  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  • Fargo

  • The Quiet Man

  • Dead Ringers

The problem isn't coming up with ten great films, it's limiting it to only ten. Look, here's ten more without even trying:

  • The Man Who Would Be King

  • O Brother, Where Art Thou?

  • Apocalypse Now

  • The Searchers

  • Raging Bull

  • A Clockwork Orange

  • Some Like It Hot

  • Pulp Fiction

  • Lawrence of Arabia

  • Robocop

Yeah, I said Robocop! If you know me at all, you knew that had to show up on here somewhere. It's a great personal favorite, and I would argue that it is in fact a great movie, period. I expect many of you will disagree, but that is why you have thumbs: so you can go sit on them.

I'd say the first ten are pretty solidly confirmed as my actual top ten. I might, depending on what day you met me, switch The Apartment for Sunset Blvd., say, or The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for The Wild Bunch. But it's a pretty firm top ten, and the first five are probably my actual, permanent, no foolin' top five, in that order.

So thirty great movies, and I didn't even touch on some on the great directors I named. No Woody Allen? (For the record, I'd put Crimes and Misdemeanors as my favorite from him, followed by one of his lesser known works, The Purple Rose of Cairo.) No Soderbergh? (Out of Sight.) No Spielberg? (Saving Private Ryan.) No Gilliam (whose name only came up in the comments, but whom I should have included in my second ten)? (I'd take a personal favorite, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, over the more obvious Brazil.)

I intentionally tried to spread the bottom twenty films out between several directors, so I didn't have, say, five titles by one person. There are still some repeats, but I easily could have made a list of twenty using only Altman, Wilder, and Huston. But again, as with yesterday's list, there are probably many blatant errors I'm making. You probably think I'm crazy for saying McCabe is Altman's best, as opposed to The Player, or Nashville. Maybe you think only a lunatic would list Ran but not The Seven Samurai. Well, aren't you a bold one! Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

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