The Academy Awards take place Sunday night (yawn) so in dubious honor of that over-hyped, over-glammed, overly narcissistic event, I decided to list my ten favorite movies. Don’t give me any grief about my list because one, I’m not a rabid movie fan and don’t watch that many movies in a given year; two, I’m not a film scholar or expert of any kind so I don’t intellectually or academically know what makes a movie great; and three, I have not put an excess amount of research or effort into this list, so this list is for the most part off the top of my head. Here goes, in no particular order, with a brief comment of justification under each title:
Great tension from start to finish; fantastic cast; almost qualifies as a musical even though it wasn’t intended to be one; Ingrid Bergman when she first walks into Rick’s. (swoon!)
Raiders of the Lost Ark
I think a pioneer in modern action adventure movies. Great stunts, tension, excitement from the start; great casting of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Who else would have been better?
To Kill a Mockingbird
Quiet dignity, compassion, and moral fortitude personified in Atticus Finch. Held a mirror up to America in 1961 and forced us to look at ourselves. Has there been a better courtroom scene in the movies?
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Bravery and leadership overcome by the forced insanity of war. A career defining role for Alec Guinness. And the Colonel Bogey March was the perfect theme song for that movie–almost surreal.
West Side Story
Greatest musical ever written. Timeless tale. Leonard Bernstein’s magnum opus.
The African Queen
Bogey and Kate in one of the unlikeliest love stories ever written.
Saving Private Ryan
The best war movie I’ve ever seen. The greatest emotional drain I’ve ever felt during a movie. Might be overall the best movie I’ve seen, but not my favorite, and I don’t think I can ever watch those first 30 minutes again.
The Shawshank Redemption
One of the great scams of all time, how Andy broke out of prison and incriminated the warden at the same time. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are stellar in their roles.
The Bagdad Cafe
The quirkiest movie I’ve ever seen. Unique characters thrust together in the most unlikely location. Haunting theme song captured the mood perfectly
The funniest movie ever made. Has at least three of the funniest punch lines in moviedom. If you’ve got one funnier than these, let me know.
There you have my top ten faves. I’m sure I’ll think of two or three that totally slipped my mind when I was writing this, but I’ll take these ten with me to a remote cabin with a home theater and spend a very happy week watching all of these.
So what do you think? What did I miss? What movies are your faves?