Monday, June 23, 2008

Favorites ... movies ...

Well, this project might have been just a touch ambitious.

Splitting it up into three different posts was a really good idea, now that I'm almost finished and looking back on it.

You know what happened? For two or three weeks I was just making idle notations of films that I remembered enjoying, placing them into categories, and worrying about how the devil I was possibly going to be able to come up with 71 of my 'favorites' for my 71st birthday. Then I got into Wikipedia on a more serious basis and got caught up in actors' life histories, clicked on one reference which led to another that led to another, etc. I'm sure you know how that can go. I got side-tracked BIG time!

But, I'm ready. There are 19 categories, of which you'll find the most heavily-loaded are "Based on novels", "Comedy", "Based on real-life people", and "Musicals". These four contain approximately half of the nominees (more than 190 altogether) for my 'most favorite'.

Many of the films listed could have been placed under a number of different categories. I chose the one that I felt was the most apt. Here they are, in alphabetical order.

Action/Adventure ...

Die Hard* Indiana Jones*

Based on novels ...

Absolute Power '97 Born Yesterday '50 Cheaper by the Dozen '50 Deliverance '72 Doctor Zhivago '65 Fahrenheit 451 '66 First Blood '82 Forrest Gump '94 From Here to Eternity '53 Giant '56 Gone With the Wind '39 Hawaii '66 Midnight Cowboy '69 Mrs. Doubtfire '93 Of Human Bondage '34 On the Beach '59 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest '75 Rear Window '54** Sayonara '57 So Big '53 The African Queen '51 The Cider House Rules '99 The Color Purple '85 The Godfather '72 The Graduate '67 The Green Mile '99 The Hunt for Red October '90 The Man Who Would Be King '75 The Poseidon Adventure '72 The Silence of the Lambs '91 The Snake Pit '48 Three Days of the Condor '75 Witness for the Prosecution '57

Based on real-life people ...

All the President's Men '76 Anastasia '56 Birdman of Alcatraz '62 Bonnie and Clyde '67 Call Northside 777 '48 Charlie Wilson's War '07 Gypsy '62 I Want to Live! '55 I'll Cry Tomorrow '55 Inn of the Sixth Happiness '58 Johnny Belinda '48 Love Me or Leave Me '55 Mutiny on the Bounty '62 Out of Africa '85 Papillon '73 Patch Adams '98 Patton '70 Stand and Deliver '88 The Three Faces of Eve '57 With a Song in My Heart '52

Christmas ...

It's a Wonderful Life '46 Miracle on 34th Street '47 The Christmas Box '95

Comedy ...

Auntie Mame '58 Cactus Flower '69 Groundhog Day '93 Grumpy Old Men* Here Comes Mr. Jordan '41*** Hopscotch '80 Maverick '94 Nine to Five '80 Pillow Talk '59 Saving Grace '00 Sister Act* Smokey and the Bandit* Some Like it Hot '59 The Bad News Bears '76 The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas '82 The Birdcage '96 The Great Race '65 The Odd Couple '68 The Sting '73 Tom Jones '63 Tootsie '82 Trading Places '83

Crime ...

Charley Varrick '73 Death Wish* Dirty Harry* In the Line of Fire '93 Mississippi Burning '88

Drama ...

Cool Hand Luke '67 Dark Victory '39**** Mr. Smith Goes to Washington '39 On Golden Pond '81 Rain Man '88 Splendor in the Grass '61 The Bucket List '07 The Country Girl '54 The Greatest Show on Earth '52 The Heiress '49 The Left Hand of God '55 The Men '50

Family Film Drama ...

Swiss Family Robinson '60 The Kid '00 The Yearling '46

Fantasy ...

Doctor Dolittle '67 Ghost '90 Nim's Island '08 Superman* The Ghost and Mrs. Muir '47 Wizard of Oz '39

Musicals ...

A Star is Born '54 An American in Paris '51 Brigadoon '54 Cabaret '72 Camelot '67 Fiddler on the Roof '71 Gigi '58 Hello, Dolly! '69 Mary Poppins '64 My Fair Lady '64 Oliver! '68 Paint Your Wagon '69 Singin' in the Rain '52 South Pacific '58 The King and I '56***** The Music Man '62 The Sound of Music '65 Thoroughly Modern Millie '67 Viktor/Victoria '82 West Side Story '61

Race Relations ...

Driving Miss Daisy '89 In the Heat of the Night '67 The Defiant Ones '58 To Kill a Mockingbird '62

Relationships ...

East of Eden '55 First Monday in October '81 Georgy Girl '66 Good Will Hunting '97 Julia '77 Leave Her to Heaven '45 Little Man Tate '91 Pocketful of Miracles '61 Scarecrow '73 The Preacher's Wife '96 The Sterile Cuckoo '69

Religion ...

Ben-Hur '59 Exodus '60 The Robe '53 The Ten Commandments '56

Romance ...

All That Heaven Allows '55 An Affair to Remember '57 Casablanca '42 Dirty Dancing '87 Laura '44 Love is a Many-Splendored Thing '55 Magnificent Obsession '54 Not as a Stranger '54 Sabrina '54******* Scaramouche '52 Somewhere in Time '80 The Enchanted Cottage '45 The Notebook '04 The Way We Were '73

Science Fiction ...

Back to the Future* Cocoon '85 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial '82 Planet of the Apes '68 Star Wars*

Sports ...

Field of Dreams '89 The Longest Yard '74 The Natural '84

Thrillers ...

Basic Instinct '92 Charade '63 Disclosure '94 Fatal Attraction '87 Kiss of Death '47 Psycho '62 The Boys from Brazil '78 The Dark Secret of Harvest Home '78 The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane '76 The Manchurian Candidate '62 What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? '62 Witness '85

War ...

Bridge on the River Kwai '57 Saving Private Ryan '98 Stalag 17 '53 The Great Escape '63 The Sand Pebbles '66 Uncommon Valor '83

Westerns ...

Broken Arrow '50 Broken Lance '54 Calamity Jane '53 Cat Ballou '65 Duel in the Sun '46 Two Mules for Sister Sara '70

Well, there you are, my nominees as of very early in the morning hours on June 23, 2008. No doubt I will update, add to, or even delete portions of this list by the same time next year, on my 72nd, but for now, it is what it is.

OK. What do the asterisks mean? The single (*) asterisk means that there is a series of films with this (or a similar) title, and I like them all pretty much equally ... so, take your pick. (If there is no *, that means I ONLY like the year indicated.)

I am well aware that there have been many "redo's" of films over the years. If I like them all about equally, asterisks have been placed next to the preferred date, and I will give all references immediately following this statement. (If I do NOT like them all about equally, no reference at all will be made. If you have any questions, please indicate so in the "Comment" section, and I will do my best to respond in a more concise manner.)

**Rear Window '54 was remade in '98 with Christopher Reeve ... VERY scary!!

***Here Comes Mr. Jordan '41 was successfully remade in '78 with Warren Beatty. I've seen that one, and it's excellent. Supposedly there have been two others, but I cannot personally vouch for them.

****Dark Victory '39 was remade in '63 as Stolen Hours with Susan Hayward. Then, in '76, came back out again under the original title with Elizabeth Montgomery. ALL are quite good. It's a tear-jerking story.

*****The King and I '56 was remade in a somewhat different fashion with Jodie Foster as Anna in '99. The title on the remake is Anna and the King. It takes a really close second, in my opinion, so I'm including it.

******Sabrina '54 was re-introduced in '95 with Harrison Ford. Definitely worth watching.


Craig Peihopa said...

I am amazed Goldenrod. I think it is exhaustive! I love and have seen many of those films also. We share a similar sense of taste in films. What a great post. I am surprised there are not as many comments. If I was to start this I think it would be too long and require much more time than I could devote to it.

Wonderful stuff!
Thanks for sharing

Goldenrod said...

Tammy is traveling with her family right now, Craig, and won't be back home until July 4th. You can bet that SHE will have some comments to add!

Since publishing this just one week ago, I have already noted four additions for next year. There was just no way I could remember them all the first go around.

And you're right about the ambitious nature of this post. If I had it to do all over again, knowing how long it would take, I might not have done it. However, it is finished (well, as of 6/23) and not without some pride.

It's a really good start for next year's followup. I'm going to try and pick (from all the nominees) the very top ones in each category. I started to do that THIS year, but was unable to select only one or two -- particularly from "Comedy" and "Musicals" -- found myself getting mired in the selection process (as I am now mired in this response), so I posted all of them.

Tammy said...

Holy crap. I'm impressed. Ok, my comment is gonna be looooonnnnnggg.

Action/Adventure: Indiana Jones- my hubby is a huge fan, but I have to admit I'm not. Although I thought the first one was pretty good.

Based on novels: As good as these movies are, none are quite as good as the books.....especially On the Beach. Have you read that book? Emily and I LOVED the book and watched the movie together......highly recommend it! So my favorites (though many of these I enjoyed) that you listed are- Fahrenheit 451, Cheaper by the Dozen, Gone with the Wind, Mrs. Doubtfire (giggle, giggle), The African Queen, The Graduate, and The Hunt for Red October (wow, haven't thought of that in forever!) Can you believe this.....I've never seen the Godfather movies. Yes, I'm hanging my head in shame. lol

Based on real life people: My favorite of your list is Out of Africa....excellent movie.

Christmas- Loved both of the movies you have listed. I have to say one of my favorites though is Christmas with the Cranks. What a hoot. You should rent that if you haven't seen it.

Comedy- Yup....Grumpy Old Men....absolutely hysterical. I loved those 2 guys together though. Hopscotch, Smokey and the Bandit, The Sting, Tootsie....all good movies. Oh, Pillow Talk too. I'm glad to see that made the cut. :)

Not a fan of crime, so I haven't seen any of those you listed.

Drama- Oh. My. Gosh. Cool Hand Luke. Oh that was wonderful. I should see if I can find it somewhere and watch it again. Soylent Green comes to mind. Why does it come to mind when I think of Cool Hand Luke? Probably because they were both movies I watched with my dad. Have you ever seen that? Pretty good. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Rain Man (excellent), On Golden Pond. Oh that was a good one too.

Family Film Drama- LOL! I just watched Swiss Family Robinson again with Emily a couple of weeks ago. The Yearling, another good one. Where's Where the Red Fern Grows?????? HUH????? lol ;)

Fantasy- Wizard of Oz of course. Oh and Superman, another movie I watched with my dad.

Musicals- Fiddler on the Roof (!!), My Fair Lady, Singin' in the Rain, The Music Man (although my favorite is the one with Matthew Broderick....have you seen that one? If not, you should at least see it once), The Sound of Music (watched that a couple of weeks ago too with Kayla), West Side Story.... Oh there are SO MANY good musicals. Seven Brides for Seven of my all time faves....where is that on your list? lol!

Race Relations- Oh all of those are good. To Kill a Mockingbird (I need to bring that upstairs and watch it again soon) and of course Driving Miss Daisy. Roots was a favorite of mine.

Relationships- Oh sheesh, I've not seen any of those......

Religion- all good.

Romance- An Affair to Remember (should be on everyone's fave list), Casablanca. Oh my gosh....loved Dirty Dancing. I must have seen that like a hundred times. lol. Sabrina....I love both versions equally. SOMEWHERE IN TIME: THAT'S ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVES! Such a beautiful story. I have the soundtrack cd as well. The Way We Were....oh that was so good too.

Science Fiction: Back to the Future: I liked the first one but not the rest. Cocoon was awesome as well as E.T. Planet of the Apes, oh that was excellent. Another one I watched with my dad. And Star Wars. We are such HUGE Star Wars fans here. I could go on forever, but I won't. ;)

Sports- All good ones. OH. Have you seen We are Marshall????? With Matthew McConoughey? That was fabulous. Based on what really happened. Actually it followed it quite closely and was so well done. Our whole family loves that one.

Thrillers- Psycho scared the crap outta me, lol. Haven't seen any of the others. Although Flightplan with Jodie Foster sure was good.

War- The Alamo was good although it didn't make the cut on your list. lol.

Westerns- AAAHHHHH! Cat Ballou, that was so good! :) Did you ever see Shane? I read the book to the girls and then we watched (and bought) the movie. I thought it was nearly as good as the book. Loved it.

Ok, reading the stuff at the end of your post. Rear Window: oh that was so good! So, so good. We watch that one at least once a year. Sabrina, loved it.

Ok, I didn't comment on all of the ones you listed, but the ones I mentioned are ones that really jumped out at me as faves of mine too.

I loved reading this. :) I'll have to do something like this in the future.

By the way....sorry the comment is so long. Feel free to delete it if you want to after you read it. ;)

Goldenrod said...

I think I read ALL of Nevil Shute's books. However, I must disagree with you on the movie that was 'as good as the book' ... in my opinion, that was "So Big". (Another Edna Ferber, I think, altho I have no intention of going back to Wikipedia at this minute to verify the author's name.)

As far as the "Godfather" films are concerned, I ONLY recommend the first one. I was never a Marlon Brando fan ... mumble, mumble, mumble, stomach, stomach, stomach.

Sorry, but I have no desire whatsoever to see "Christmas with the Cranks".

"Where the Red Fern Grows" I'd forgotten about completely. Will have to look it up and see if I want to add it to next year's post.

Have seen the remake of "The Music Man". That's why I went with my original recommendation. "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" with Russ Tamblyn? You can be sure that was high up in my memory banks, but there were so many others that I liked better. You're right, tho, Tammy, it's a good one. Just not on my all-time favorites list.

I thought about including "Roots". It's good.

I have NOT seen "We are Marshall". Will have to make a note to view that one. There's another that didn't make my list, that I saw for maybe the 2nd time the other night that I failed to include, about this pitcher from Texas who makes it into the big leagues for two seasons like twenty years later!

The reason I didn't include "The Alamo" was because it was SUCH a fictionalized account of the actual event! "Shane" was a favorite of mine for many many years. However, as good-looking as Alan Ladd was, that film long ago disappeared from any possible inclusion in my "favorites" file. Wanted to put one of John Wayne's western films in there, as well. Don't know if one 'made the cut' or not. (You know, neither one was a very good actor, altho, in their time, they were both 'larger than life'.)