May 25, 2005

Yeah, It's That Time 100 Best Movies List

I'm a bit slow this morning, having stayed up too late watching North By Northwest last night. It may be a sign of age, but I noticed that while, as usual, I daydreamed a bit about a young Eve Marie Saint seducing me, the first thing that I wished was that I could get my suits to stay as crisp and wrinkle-free as Cary Grant's.

Anyhoo, I've finally had a look at Time's 100 Best Movies list. God only knows how they put it together. Darts would be my guess. In any event, JohnL has cut n' paste the list and marked both the ones he's seen and the ones he intends to. Below the fold, I'll do the same thing (bold for seen, italics for want to see) and add some commentary as well.

Aguirre: the Wrath of God (1972)

The Apu Trilogy (1955, 1956, 1959)

The Awful Truth (1937) - I've a vague idea I saw this once long ago, but if so, I've completely forgotten.

Baby Face (1933)

Bande à part (1964)

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980)

Blade Runner (1982)

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Brazil (1985) - I first saw this in my college cinema, the architecture of which bore a remarkable resemblance to that of the city in the movie. Walking out was almost as surreal and scary as watching the movie itself.

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Camille (1936)

Casablanca (1942) - I hadn't paid much attention to this before, but while watching this recently it suddenly occurred to me that Dooley Wilson's Sam wasn't really playing the piano, at least the couple of times I watched his hands closely.

Charade (1963) - What fun it is when Cary flashes that charming smile of his and you're not absolutely sure which side he's really on.

Children of Paradise (1945)

Chinatown (1974) - For some reason, I've just never got around to this.

Chungking Express (1994)

Citizen Kane (1941)- I'm going to reveal my philistinism by admitting that I have never understood what all the fuss was about. A good movie, yes. Why it is called the greatest eludes me.

City Lights (1931)

City of God (2002)

Closely Watched Trains (1966)

The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936)

The Crowd (1928)

Day for Night (1973)

The Decalogue (1989)

Detour (1945)

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

Dodsworth (1936)

Double Indemnity (1944) - When Fred MacMurray first starts doing the film noir tough-guy shtick, calling Barbara Stanwyck "Baby", you're inclined to smile. It's Steve Douglas, fer cryin' out loud! But you quickly forget all the My Three Sons stuff once you get into it, a thing that is very easy to do.

Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) - As with most 60's and 70's anti-war movies, the message is hammerhanded. But the characters and dialogue are so entertaining that this really doesn't matter much.

Drunken Master II (1994)

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) - I must be the only person on the planet who's never actually seen this film. And frankly, I have no desire to do so.

8 1/2 (1963)

The 400 Blows (1959)

Farewell My Concubine (1993)

Finding Nemo (2003) - If Time was reserving a slot for a modern animated feature, surely there were some better choices? The Incredibles would be the gimme here. I'd probably also nominate Toy Story 2. Nemo was perfectly fine, but I didn't think it was that good.

The Fly (1986)

The Godfather, Parts I and II (1972, 1974) - Oh, if only they'd stopped there!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966) - I can't recall if Steve-O was around at the time, but one evening in college a bunch of us were watching this on tee vee and the local station cut to a commercial right in the middle of the climactic face off.

Goodfellas (1990)

A Hard Day's Night (1964)

His Girl Friday (1940) - Rosalind Russell - yow!

Ikiru (1952)

In A Lonely Place (1950)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

It's A Gift (1934)

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

Kandahar (2001)

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) - As fond as I am of Alec Guinness, I've never actually seen this one. Must take corrective action immediately.

King Kong (1933)

The Lady Eve (1941) - I believe Mom was talking about this the other day.

The Last Command (1928)

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) - Speaking of Alec Guiness, one of my favorite lines: "With Major Lawrence, mercy is a passion. With me, it is merely good manners. You may judge which motive is the more reliable."

Léolo (1992)

The Lord of the Rings (2001-03) - Must....resist....cranky....outburst....

The Man With a Camera (1929)

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Metropolis (1927)

Miller's Crossing (1990)

Mon oncle d'Amérique (1980)

Mouchette (1967)

Nayakan (1987)

Ninotchka (1939)

Notorious (1946)

Olympia, Parts 1 and 2 (1938)

On the Waterfront (1954)

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) I believe Clint Eastwood was supposed to star in this Sergio Leone spaghetti western in the part that eventually went to Charles Bronson. Frankly, the movie is too long, but it's great to watch any way. And Henry Fonda as a cold-blooded gun-slinger is one of the most alarming things you'll ever see on the screen.

Out of the Past (1947)

Persona (1966)

Pinocchio (1940)

Psycho (1960)

Pulp Fiction (1994) - Another one of those films that, when I finally saw it, I didn't understand why it had got so much hype.

The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) - This one mystifies me a bit. Again, if there's an obligatory Woody Allen slot on the list, surely there are some better candidates?

Pyaasa (1957)

Raging Bull (1980) - My wife's cousin is married to a member of the La Motta family. Spookiest. Wedding. I've. Ever. Been. To.

Schindler's List (1993) - I confess that I haven't yet nerved myself to see this.

The Searchers (1956) - Again, I suspect that Time felt there should be a "John Wayne" slot on the list. This is the Wayne movie always tagged for such slots by people who don't like Wayne movies because it is somewhat different from most of his work - harsher and darker. I happen to love John Wayne westerns, even the goofier ones. But if you want a Wayne movie of the first caliber, so to speak, I'd go with The Shootist.

Sherlock, Jr. (1924)

The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Singin' in the Rain (1952)

The Singing Detective (1986)

Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

Some Like It Hot (1959) - As I've said before, I've no interest in Marilyn Monroe.

Star Wars (1977)

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Sunrise (1927)

Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Swing Time (1936)

Talk to Her (2002)

Taxi Driver (1976)

Tokyo Story (1953)

A Touch of Zen (1971)

Ugetsu (1953)

Ulysses' Gaze (1995)

Umberto D (1952)

Unforgiven (1992) - Perhaps Time felt that one aging gunslinger movie on the list was enough. (See The Searchers above.) When people were talking about favorite Gene Hackman movies the other day, did anyone mention this one? His Little Bill is superb.

White Heat (1949)

Wings of Desire (1987)

Yojimbo (1961)

Posted by Robert at May 25, 2005 09:54 AM

Marilyn Monroe isn't the real star of Some Like it Hot -- any pretty girl would do just fine in her role, that movie is a pleasure to watch because Tony Randall and Jack Lemmon are so good together.

Posted by: Jordana at May 25, 2005 10:58 AM

The list is better than I expected from Time, not that that's saying much. Still, here are a few titles off the top of my head that really should have made the cut:

All about Eve
Andrei Rublyev
Battleship Potemkin
Five Easy Pieces
Forbidden Planet
The Magnificent Ambersons
The Philadelphia Story
Splendor in the Grass

And I could easily throw a dozen titles off that list to make room. This is a fun game, but basically kind of silly. Time magazine's gigantic sense of self-importance, combined with its opinionated, uninformed articles, led me to remove it from my personal list of 100 Things Worth Paying Attention To a long time ago.

Posted by: utron at May 25, 2005 01:24 PM

That was Tony Curtis, not Tony Randall.

Posted by: jd watson at May 25, 2005 02:37 PM


Posted by: Jordana at May 25, 2005 02:41 PM

Toy Story 2??!!! Bah! Toy Story (the original) was sooo much better. And of course The Incredibles would go there. If not that, then Lilo and Stitch. That was the best Disney before The Incredibles (my favorite was Toy Story, but I have to admit Lilo and Stitch is better).

And I have seen some of these that aren't the obvious ones! I have seen Metropolis! I don't see how Time can put it on this list, as likely none of them have never seen it in its entirety. I do not think that there even exists a whole copy of that movie anymore. It was chopped up severely from the original German when it was brought to America (it was too long, even for back then). The most complete version around still looks like it was edited with a rusty machete.

Posted by: TheRoyalFamily at May 25, 2005 06:10 PM


Posted by: night heron at May 26, 2005 10:06 AM
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