Monday, March 23, 2009

Essential movies

Yesterday, Yahoo Movies released their list of 100 Movies to See Before You Die. They are careful to make the point that their criteria went beyond the entertainment value, commercial success, or awards earned by each movie to assess the cultural and historical importance of each movie.

They avoided the most common trap of focusing too much on recent movies. With 76 of the films made before 1980, they acknowledge what we already knew: they don't make them like they used to.

Naturally, no two people will ever agree on such a list. They were not far off on a lot of their picks, but some titles just don't belong there, and other very deserving films are omitted.

These are some of the titles from their list which I agree with completely:

Casablanca
Chinatown
Double Indemnity
Dr. Strangelove
Lawrence of Arabia
Schindler's List
Shawshank Redemption
Vertigo

But these films don't merit inclusion:

Alien
Blue Velvet
Breathless
Die Hard
Do the Right Thing
Enter the Dragon
The Exorcist
Goldfinger
The Graduate
Groundhog Day
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
National Lampoon's Animal House
Princess Mononoke
Terminator 2
Titanic
When Harry Met Sally
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

But where was "North by Northwest", Hitchcock's film which set the bar for the mystery adventure comedy?

And why was "A Witness for the Prosecution", one of the all-time great courtroom drama mysteries, not included.

"Laura" is a definitive film in the hardboiled detective genre.

Other films which deserve inclusion more than those listed above are:

The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Big Sleep
Notorious
Dial "M" for Murder
Taxi Driver
Rebecca
Pan's Labyrinth

4 comments:

The Donald said...

Welcome back!

I'm not a huge cine-phile, so I may not really have a dog in this fight, but I would give Animal House a reprieve from the undeserving list, if for no other reason than Blutarski's (John Belushi) speech about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor.

Don Dodson said...

I've been focusing on obamainc.blogspot.com

Odds are that most of my posting will be there for a while.

todd said...

Tommy Boy and Lonesome Dove!

David H said...

No doubt it certainly is subjective so I don't mind you taking out "Alien". However, the 2nd in this series- "Aliens" (1986), I have to say is one of my all time favorites. Bill Paxton's nervous Marine character provides all kinds of hilarious lines that can be used in everyday life... ;)