Galley Friend J.E. and I have been trading emails about the state of Hollywood--I'm more optimistic than he is. J.E. wanted to know how many movies in recent years could come close to touching classic status. I say that there aren't many, but that there are some. All of which is prelude to asking:
What are your Top 10 movies, all-time? I'll be interested to see how readers weight their lists and how modern cinema fares. I'd ask you to take your time a bit with these--spend a few minutes thinking about it. This post isn't going anywhere.
To help you out, there's the Oscar database, which is wonderful to browse, but that should only be a start. Anyway, to start things, here's my tentative list, which I reserve the right to edit at a later date:
(1) Casablanca - You may have something else in your top slot, but it's hard to argue against it.
(2) The Philadelphia Story - After more than 60 years, it's still laugh-out-loud funny. Not one joke relies on contemporary culture; the acting can't be touched; and if you aren't misty at the end, then you're a robot.
(3) North by Northwest - The best written of the Hitchcock films, it has genuine funny mixed with great suspense and incredible creative economy.
(4) The Godfather - Everything everyone says about it is true. Maybe the most quintessentially American story of the century. Beautiful and immersive.
(5) Citizen Kane - Amazing that a movie as durable and powerful as this hasn't become overrated. It's another classic American tale, told very, very well.
My top 5 is pretty locked down in a rough cardinality, but for the bottom half of my top 10, there's no real point to ranking them, so here they are in alphabetical order:
* Chinatown - So dark, so twisting, so startling. If it had included this line from the sequel--"In this town, I'm the leper with the most fingers."--then it might have been in the top 5.
* Fellowship of the Ring - In a few years I may want to drop this down, out of the top 10, but it's so taut, so exciting, so forceful, so exquisite that I'm just as likely to want to move it up. At the very least, it's the best film of the last 20 years.
* The Godfather, Part II - In many ways better than the first. Shows how well glamour and evil get along.
* The Insider - Very quiet, very unassuming, it creeps up on you. The glowing blue dots that become golf balls sitting on a range under the moonlight; Bruce McGill exploding in the courtroom; Christopher Plummer giving the most perfect and honest portrayal of vanity ever committed to celluloid.
* Sense and Sensibility - It teeters on the edge of sadness, but never goes over the brink. It's a happy movie that isn't "uplifting." And it features Alan Rickman, as a hero.
But that's just me. Now it's your turn. Discuss.
4 hours ago