As another brief respite from serious matters of politics, and as I appear to be in ‘Pop Culture’ mode today…
British entertainment magazine Empire has provided its list of the 500 greatest films of all time. The list was prurportedly put together through interviews with film professionals, critics and readers. The Top Ten, according to the magazine, is as follows:
1 The Godfather (1972)
2 Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
3 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
4 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
5 Jaws (1975)
6 Goodfellas (1990)
7 Apocalypse Now (1979)
8 Singin’ In The Rain (1952)
9 Pulp Fiction (1994)
10 Fight Club (1999)
Um, yeah. I agree that most of them are great, but this in no way resembles my top ten. I mean, come on, Fight Club?
Seriously. Some of the other 500 films include:
410 – A Hard Day’s Night
397 – Night of the Living Dead
395 – Casino
381 – Monty Python and the Holy Grail
350 – Planet of the Apes (1968)
311 – American History X
296 – All the President’s Men
290 – Rashomon (A. Kurosawa)
283 – Ran (A. Kurosawa)
273 – The Maltese Falcon
263 – Das Boot
235 – Battle Royale (You need to see this – trust me. The most f*cked-up movie watching experience you’re likely to have for a while.)
212 – M (Fritz Lang, 1931)
195 – It’s a Wonderful Life
189 – Ghostbusters
181 – Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (WTF? Piece of trash written by Roger Ebert)
173 – Memento
172 – The Wizard of Oz
166 – Goldfinger
138 – Cool Hand Luke
135 – Duck Soup
133 – Double Indemnity
127 – The Sting (More Paul Newman!)
109 – Touch of Evil (Brilliant and underrated Orson Welles noir)
How some of these flims were rated where they are is a complete mystery to me. The Maltese Falcon at 273? This is only a partial list of the films from 500 to 100 – the rest were not available online yet, but I was annoyed enough by the time I got to 101 anyway. It got me to thinking – what would my top ten be? I think a preliminary list would look like this (in no particular order):
Ghostbusters (1984)- Yeah, seriously. I’ve seen it so many times that I’ve practically memorized all of the dialogue.
The Thin Man (1934) – William Powell and Myrna Loy – the first of six movies in total – absolutely brilliant dialogue and good mysteries as well.
Yojimbo (1961) – It doesn’t get much better than Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune – coincidentally, like The Thin Man, based on a Dashiell Hammett novel.
Metropolis (1927) – Silent Fritz Lang classic – now restored, it is still a visual wonder.
The Man Who Laughs (1928) – Another German silent masterpiece, with Conrad Veidt (the nasty Nazi from Casablanca) as Gwynplaine, who is disfigured in childhood by criminals to have a permanent grin. The film, as the legend goes, inspired Bob Kane to create The Joker.
Casablanca (1942) – Speaking of Conrad Veidt. And Humphrey Bogart. And Claude Rains. And Ingrid Bergman…
Seven Samurai (1954) – Again, another Kurosawa masterpiece.
Citizen Kane (1941) – Well, duh.
War of the Worlds (1953) – Produced by the ever-reliable George Pal, the best of the 1950’s alien invasion genre.
Them! (1954) – The (I think) first and best of the giant monster genre (in this case, ants). Eeny-weeny bit part for Leonard Nimoy, as well.
The Thing (1982) – (Yes, this list goes to 11, so what?) John Carpenter’s incredibly tense remake of the 1950’s film, based on a John W. Campbell short story, Who Goes There? After all this time, and hundreds of viewings, I still jump at one scene in particular (you know the one I mean).
Well, that’s it, although I could have included hundreds of films I love for one reason or another – The Maltese Falcon, Brazil, Gojira, and so on.
If anyone is interested, let’s hear from you – what are your favourites? Let the debate begin! (I hope)
It’s a Flash Fact.