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movie_theater1Fellow blogger Nathan Bransford recently came up with a list of his favorite 100 movies, and challenged readers to do likewise.  I was intrigued by the idea and couldn’t help making a list just to see what I might come up with.

The list below isn’t necessarily what I consider the BEST movies (best produced, acted, directed, etc,) but they are the ones I remember ENJOYING the most. Ones I wouldn’t mind seeing more than once. Or twice.

imagesCAT55AN1I was surprised at what ended up on my list.  Some I never expected to see there weaseled their way in.  While others I fully expected to see were politely rejected.

The movies that did make the list seem to fall in three categories:  edgy, artsy, and feel good.  The best fit all three categories, like True Romance and Wings of Desire.imagesCAAASCOU

Even so, Pulp Fiction is top dog on my list, though I’m not sure why.

It’s certainly edgy enough, and some would say artsy, but feel good??

Pulp-fiction1Not unless you see Butch sacrificing freedom for honor and coming back to save Marcellus from the perverts with a samurai sword as “feel good” (it kinda was). Or you see Vincent stabbing Mia in the heart with a needle to save her and then having the incredible good sense to stay loyal to his mobster boss and refrain from seducing his wife as “feel good” (it kinda was). Or you see Jules keeping Hunny Bunny from peeing her pants and getting her and Pumpkin–the young lover-robbers–out of the restaurant before they kill anyone as “feel good” (it really was, wasn’t it?).  And Jules transformation from hit man to the Good Shepherd?  Now wasn’t that something!

But Vincent getting popped on the pot was just too too sad, and the college kid getting his head accidentally blown off when the car goes over a bump–what a bloody bummer!

So you see my dilemma–how can you NOT put Pulp Fiction at the top of the list? Just talking about it makes me want to go twisting down the hall, all Mia-like, and pop it in the DVD player.

Then there’s the 81/2 and Nine rating dilemma.  Which goes higher on the list?  I mean, how can you top Fellini–that winged statue flying through the sky, that luscious scene on the beach, and the circus at the end, for goodness sake!  What’s not to love?

imagesCAS9LW24But then there’s Daniel Day Lewis in Nine!  I mean, come on–Daniel Day Lewis! And all those beautiful woman singing and dancing–Fergie on the beach belting it out for the boys, Penelope Cruz pole dancing and slithering down the stairs, and Kate Hudson all dolled up singing “It’s Italia” in this husky sex-kitten voice (who knew she could sing?).

And then there’s the amazing, marvelous Marion Cotillard stripping off her clothes while she flings her heart on the floor for that two-timing fool, begging him to “Take it all!”. (Don’t do it, honey, he’s not worth it!)  Talk about HOT, HOT, HOT!!! (Did I mention Sophia Loren? Nicole Kidman?)

220px-King_kong_1976_movie_posterAnd what to do about all those King Kongs?  Who knew I liked the big hairy lug so much?  But apparently I do, because all three versions of King Kong made my list.

So which gets top billing?  You’d think it would be THE CLASSIC Kong.   And while I do love Faye Wray, Naomi Watts climbed right over her (don’t let all that sweet vulnerability fool you). But even she couldn’t compete with the cheesier produced 1976 version starring bad boy Jeff Bridges and the sultry Jessica Lange–I mean, once again, HOT HOT HOT.

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Then there’s the Before Sunrise and Before Sunset duo.  Who knew walking and talking could be so sexy and entertaining?  But how do I rate them?

Putting Sunrise first would seem to  make sense.  I mean, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy were So Damn Cute in the first film, it just about broke your heart. While nine years later when Sunset was filmed, well, did you see those deep furrows on poor Ethan’s face, as Julie so indelicately pointed out? Shudder!

But, OMG, that sweet, funny song Julie sings at the end strumming her little guitar!  I knew poor Ethan was a goner right then and there. And so was I. Age before beauty, I say. Before Sunset gets top billing, no question.

EAH_Rashomon_285x404Finally, what do I do with all those other classy foreign films I love so much– Ran, Rashomon, Ikiru, La Dulce Vita, La Strada, Fanny and Alexander, Wild strawberries–how do you rate those?

Well I didn’t.  I clumped them all together somewhere in the top third of the list. Just thinking about which one to put first made my head hurt.  Just throw them in there and get it over! I told myself. And so I did.

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But what, you say? Where’s CasablancaGone with the Wind?  All those Hitchcock classics?  Woody Allen, for Pete’s sake?

You can’t tell me Fight Club and Grease beat their films!  Well, sadly, they do.  I’m quite ashamed.  Really.

The truth is, I just never liked Gone with the Wind.  Rhett was all right, but that Scarlett was a bitch!  The whole movie was ruined for me by her whiney voice, pointy chin, meany-eyes, and temper-tantrums.  And CasablancaDid you see the ending?? Unbelievable! 

north-by-northwestNow I know Hitchcock and Woody should be in there somewhere, but oddly, none of their films rose to the top of mind as being truly memorable.

Yes, there were certain scenes I’ll never forget–the plane chasing the guy in the cornfield, and all those birds!! (terrifying).  And then there’s Woody’s droll face and priceless banter and Diane Keaton, all cute and clueless and helpless looking.  I truly did enjoy them. Didn’t I?

annie-hall-1So why are they all melting together in my mind?  Why does a surge of endorphins go dancing through my veins singing “fun fun fun” when I remember Independence Day, for pity’s sake, while the same endorphins just look at each other and shrug when I mention North by Northwest or Annie Hall.

It’s not my fault.  I myself would gladly choose to like the others more, but, alas, it appears I don’t.

220px-Independence_day_movieposterSo there you have it, my 100 favorite movies, the first third or so in semi-order of preference, with the second third more loosely assessed, and the bottom third, well they just didn’t get as much attention.

I’m sure other movies that didn’t get on the list will be clambering for my attention, and telling me off for leaving them out.  And no doubt, I may have been too hasty in putting this together. By next year, I may have a brand new list. I have no 2012 movies listed here, for instance.  But for now, I’m done. Whew!

What were your favorite all-time movies?  Which would you add to or leave out of my list?

Maybe now I’ll pull together my 100 favorite all-time books!  That should be fun–if it doesn’t make my head spin too much (ah, The Exorcist)!The-Exorcist

My Favorite 100 Movies

  1. Pulp Fiction
  2. True Romance
  3. Wings of Desire (original)
  4. American Beauty
  5. Lord of the Rings
  6. The Two Towers
  7. Return of the King
  8. Nine
  9. 8 ½
  10. The Gladiator
  11. Fargo
  12. Before Sunset
  13. Before Sunrise
  14. The Godfather I
  15. The Godfather II
  16. Selma and Louise
  17. LA Confidential
  18. King Kong (1976)
  19. King Kong (2005)
  20. King Kong (1933)
  21. Fight Club
  22. Se7en
  23. Mystic River
  24. An Officer and a Gentleman
  25. Boys Don’t Cry
  26. In Bruges
  27. Crash
  28. Ran
  29. Rashomon
  30. Ikiru
  31. Fanny and Alexander
  32. Wild Strawberries
  33. La Dolce Vita
  34. La Strada
  35. Love, Actually
  36. Silence of the Lambs
  37. Training Day
  38. The Usual Suspects
  39. The Graduate
  40. The Big Chill
  41. District 9
  42. Donnie Darko
  43. Dangerous Liaisons
  44. Tootsie
  45. Mullholland Drive
  46. Rebel Without a Cause
  47. Wizard of Oz
  48. The Big Easy
  49. Body Heat
  50. A History of Violence
  51. A Beautiful Mind
  52. Good Will Hunting
  53. Risky Business
  54. Philadelphia
  55. The Crying Game
  56. Tree of Life
  57. A River Runs Through It
  58. Wall Street
  59. The Interpreter
  60. Dead Man Walking
  61. Eastern Promises
  62. Star Wars
  63. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  64. Seven Samurai
  65. The Dark Knight
  66. Legend of the Fall
  67. Sideways
  68. Urban Cowboy
  69. Primary Colors
  70. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  71. Amadeus
  72. The Exorcist
  73. The African Queen
  74. Dog Day Afternoon
  75. Chinatown
  76. Serpico
  77. Independence day
  78. Born on the Fourth of July
  79. Top Gun
  80. A Few Good Men
  81. To Die For
  82. When Sally Met Harry
  83. Sleepless in Seattle
  84. Grease
  85. Easy Rider
  86. Pretty Women
  87. To Kill a Mocking Bird
  88. Winters Bone
  89. Reservoir Dogs
  90. American History X
  91. Braveheart
  92. Pride and Prejudice (1996)
  93. Forrest Gump
  94. Bridget’s Jones Diary
  95. The Bone Collector
  96. Groundhog Day
  97. Some Like It Hot
  98. Trading Places
  99. The Mexican
  100. As Good as it Gets