Archive for favourite films

“There’s enough C-4 on this thing to put a hole in the world!” or, My Favourite Films: Short Version

Posted in Miscellaneous, Reviews - Film with tags , , , , on December 2, 2009 by N.W. Douglas

I don’t know how I found the moment of insight or firmness of will to actually jot down an ordered list of my favourite films, but it did happen, last night, at 3:40 am.  And looking back on it 24 hours later, I’m only waffling on a few titles’ inclusion and placement.  I’m posting this because A) my Decade list is proving difficult to compile, and I’m still too busy with schoolwork to really get into the meat of the matter and B) I’d like to get a record of my favourites out now, because it will probably slightly change tomorrow, and the day after that, and so on (though the top five remain pretty consistent, year to year).  I may as well get the first real iteration out while I’m happy with it.

Here they are, sans explanation:

1. The Lord of the Rings (Peter Jackson, 2001-2003)

2. On The Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1954)

3. Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)

4. Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985)

5. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)

6. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise, 1996)

7. M (1931, Fritz Lang)

8. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron, 2006)

9. Airplane (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, 1980)

10. Speed (Jan De Bont, 1994)

And eleven more:

11. The Insider (Michael Mann, 1999)

12. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)

13. The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)

14. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

15. Blade Runner/Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott, 1982 & 2005)

16. Minority Report/Munich (Steven Spielberg, 2002 & 2005)

17. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (Frank Capra, 1939)

18. North By Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)

19. Once Upon A Time In The West (Sergio Leone, 1968)

20. Star Trek: First Contact (Jonathan Frakes, 1996)

21. Ronin (John Frankenheimer, 1998)

Also, in alphabetical order:

The Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz, 1938)

A Man For All Seasons (Fred Zinneman, 1966)

Black Hawk Down (Ridley Scott, 2001)

From Russia With Love (Terence Young, 1963)

Glory (Edward Zwick, 1989)

Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973)

Serpico (Sidney Lumet, 1973)

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Marc Rothemund, 2005)

Three Kings (David O. Russell, 1999)

The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman, 1960)

So many more could be up there, but these are the films I find myself returning to, year after year.  To be sure, I’ve only included films that I’ve had at least one year to contemplate after viewing, with two exceptions: The Third Man, which I viewed this summer and if the just-out-of-print Criterion DVD that just arrived at my door this morning is any indication, has already worked itself into my system as an all-timer (Thank you, Barnes & Noble!), and The Virgin Spring, also a summer discovery, of which I was lucky to co-present a screening to some of my fellow churchgoers.

Essays await.  In the spirit of my #1 pick, let us plow on through the night and at dawn, look to the east…