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Sorry i just found this thread Great stuff Marky so many movies i love too
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25. Braveheart (Mel Gibson, 1995)



I find Braveheart to be a well-crafted homage to Hollywood epic storytelling. It begins as a horror film, then turns quickly into a romance. Gorgeous photography and music surround you until tragedy strikes again. Then, it becomes a revenge action adventure crossed with an underdog theme. I certainly didn't believe that Gibson had it in him to make such an entertaining film, but I'm happy that I was mistaken. The script and direction also exhibit a wicked sense of dark humor, which I always find to be a plus.

24. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)



For me, this is easily Tarantino's best film, and no matter where he drew his "inspiration", it's crammed with quirky, interesting characters and witty dialogue. Just thinking about many of the minor characters makes me smile; people like Steve Buscemi's Buddy Holly, Eric Stoltz's Lance, and Christopher Walken's Captain Koons. Much has been made of the film's non-linear structure, but I find it to be not that significant, at least while watching it. It adds something more to discuss after it's over, but while watching it, I mainly think about how great Samuel L. Jackson and Harvey Keitel are.

23. Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick, 1957)



Kubrick's powerful, sensitive study of not so much an impossible mission by the French during WWI, but an insane plan passed down by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to somehow appease the media and the public. When the mission turns out to be the preordained failure it always was, then some of the men who weren't cut to bits in the attack are put on trial for cowardice. Of course, the trial has no formal charges and no written record kept of it, but Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas), the man who both led the troops on the mission and is now serving as the scapegoats' defense attorney, tries his best, again, to save his men from death. This is only a cursory recap of all the complex details and scathing scenes found in this 86-minute masterpiece, which remains the most humanistic condemnation of war ever depicted.

22. West Side Story (Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins, 1961)



Exhilarating transfer of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to 1950s New York City contains inventive direction by Robert Wise, awesome choreography by co-director Jerome Robbins, and powerfully-immortal music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Besides having the traditional plot of gang warfare and love trying to rise above it, there is the added dimension of racism, since the Jets are White and the Sharks are Puerto Rican. The opening scenes high above NYC have become iconic, and they're followed by a long stretch with no dialogue or singing at all, just whistling, other sound effects and some stylized dancing to quickly get you involved in the tenseness of the situation. Of all the songs, my faves would be the hilarious "Gee, Officer Krupke" (which is mostly about kinky sex, child abuse and drug use) and the double-edged sword "America" (which delineates how our country is both full of promise and disappointment).

21. Room at the Top (Jack Clayton, 1959)



Almost 50 years ago, this realistic British film shattered a few barriers in the depiction of love on screen. No, it's not that it showed a lot of skin or anything like that. It's just that the emotional intensity of being in love hadn't really been depicted so intimately-honest before. Young Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey), with insecurities about his lower-class upbringing, comes to work at a new business in a bigger city and determines to make his way in career and life by marrying a rich girl. Along the way, he meets and begins an affair with an older French woman (Simone Signoret) who's trapped in a loveless marriage. Joe has to decide what to do when the boss's daughter (Heather Sears) begins to show him some attention. The film still retains its frankness, and it's blessed with a witty script by Neil Paterson, adapted from John Braine's novel, and superb direction by Jack Clayton (The Innocents). Highly recommended to all.



RIP www.moviejustice.com 2002-2010
I fully expect some backlash on GWTW, but if I get anyone to rewatch it or even check it out for the first time, that's all I'm trying to do. Did anybody notice that I placed it in the middle of my list?
Well you won't get backlash from me. I love Gone With the Wind.
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20. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill, 1969)



This stylish western is filled with wonderful technique. I especially like the way it begins with a silent movie playing over the titles, and turns sepia to introduce the leading characters in highly-stylized scenes. William Goldman's script is a showpiece to exhibit the charm and wit of Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Even with all the wonderful comic and action highlights, the heart of the film is the long trek trying to escape the posse doggedly on their trail. After all is said and done, I still believe my fave part is the shootout ending in Bolivia with its pumped-up sound and editing.

19. The Quiet Man (John Ford, 1952)



Wonderful comedy-romance, set in Ireland about "quiet, peace-loving" Sean Thornton (John Wayne) from America, who returns to his homestead, harboring a secret, and is thrust in the midst of some of the craziest, yet lovable, characters imaginable. He sets his sites immediately on beautiful Mary Kate (Maureen O'Hara), but her cantakerious brother, Squire Will Daneher (the hilarious Victor McLaglen) blocks him at every turn. A few of the other characters maneuver to get the couple together, but Mary Kate is just as strong-willed as her brother, so things come to a boil in a conclusion where an extended fistfight between Sean and the Squire occurs throughout the town and countryside. Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, Arthur Shields (Barry's brother), Mildred Natwick and Jack MacGowran lend rib-tickling support.

18. Z (Costa-Gavras, 1969)



Tense, satirical political mystery-thriller, based on a true story, which details the events leading up to the military takeover of Greece in the 1960s. The military and police don't want a popular leftist politician (Yves Montand) to speak at a rally, so the officials connive to stop it and a tragic "accident" results. The government investigator (Jean-Louis Trintignant) on the case uncovers far too many coincidences and lies to believe that it was only an accident, especially as he digs deeper into who exactly was involved. Although the film has a lot of intelligent, witty dialogue, it's mostly propelled by the hypnotic, suspenseful atmosphere and a riveting Mikis Theodorakis musical score.

17. Alfie (Lewis Gilbert, 1966)



Star-making performance by Michael Caine as the womanizing Alfie is just the topper of a truly memorable film, overflowing with memorable situations, dialogue and characters. Caine talks to the camera and it has never worked better before or since. Director Lewis Gilbert was a veteran, but he seems to be caught up in some interesting filmmaking techniques inspired by the Swingin' Sixties which all add to the humor and pathos of this sparkling adaptation of Bill Naughton's play. Alfie's putdowns of females in general are both hateful and hilarious, but just as happened to Archie Bunker in the 1970s, he is exposed for what he is. Oops! I almost forgot the cool Sonny Rollins jazz score.

16. Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985)



Marvelous mainstream entertainment, which is so creative, scriptwise and visually, that it is difficult to conceive of improving upon it. Teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is thrust from 1985 back to 1955 through a series of events involving "mad scientist" Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and his time-traveling DeLorean. The only way Marty can get "back to the future" is to find the younger Doc Brown and enlist his help. However, Marty has also ended up at the time where his parents meet, and if he doesn't do something to help out, it looks like his parents will never get together. One of the funniest films ever made is also a real feel-good crowd pleaser.

Doc Brown: "Tell me, Future Boy, who's President in 1985?"
Marty: "Ronald Reagan."
Doc Brown: "Ronald Reagan? The Actor? Then who's Vice President? Jerry Lewis?"



Love your list... I don't think I have ever seen the original Alfie... but own the remake which was pretty good...
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I too am well and truly loving your list, Mark.

25. Braveheart (Mel Gibson, 1995)

I find Braveheart to be a well-crafted homage to Hollywood epic storytelling.
That's an interesting way to look at it. I personally don't like Braveheart, but then if I did, these lists wouldn't be so interesting.
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I too am well and truly loving your list, Mark.

That's an interesting way to look at it. I personally don't like Braveheart, but then if I did, these lists wouldn't be so interesting.
I've noticed several members, over the time I've been here, mention that they don't like Braveheart... but it keeps popping up on various members favorite lists (including my own)... so, I think it might be interesting to start a discussion about that one.... in another thread of course... and sorry for the semi-hijacking of this one...



Glad to see One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, even if I would have placed it much higher.

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15. Alice in Wonderland (Clyde Geronimi, Wifred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, 1951)



Disney's greatest traditional animated film is still just about the most surreal movie ever made (take that, Buñuel ). It's also Disney's funniest, even though the humor is incredibly dark. There are so many crazy characters to choose from: the White Rabbit, the Doorknob, the Walrus, the Carpenter, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Bill (my fave, "Well, there goes Bill!"), the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, the Queen and King of Hearts, etc. The animators let their minds run wild and created a trip of a movie, that's for sure.



14. War and Peace (Sergei Bondarchuk, 1967)



This is a true rarity: a film which tells a gargantuan story, based on a nation's most-popular/important novel, which expands the envelope of cinema on several levels. As enormous as much of the film is, it never strays too far from the story of its three central characters: Natasha (Lyudmila Savelyeva), a young, highly-emotional girl who feels strongly for her first love; Prince Andrei (Vyacheslav Tikhonov) who proposes to her but reneges when she acts foolishly; and Pierre (director Bondarchuk), her married cousin, who has always loved her and wishes to correct a mistake. Forty years ago, the entire Soviet Union government contributed $100 million to make this awesome film, thus making it in today's dollars the most expensive film ever made. Even so, the film is mind-boggling and a totally-personal triumph for the director. The battle scenes have probably never been equaled, and the camerawork is creatively-luxuriant and bends to the stories' necessities. It truly is among the most spectacular films ever made, but Bondarchuk can even turn a simple scene into an emotional apocalypse through subtle photography, sound design and music. In fact, there are so many folk songs sung by many of the characters that it occasionally seems to be a haunting musical. This film may well be vastly underrated by me, but if you get a chance to watch it, try to see the Russian DVD (Ruscico); the rest of those on the market greatly reduce its power.



13. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)



Unlike most here, this is my easy pick for Coppola's best film. It's a totally stand alone, audacious, suspenseful tale of the Mob (or Family), told in a traditional story arc. The beginning, middle and end are perfect. The acting is uniformly terrific, and the cast is easily the greatest of The Godfather movies. I have come to appreciate how superb Part II is, when blended with the original, but it took me a while to accept it as almost as great. If the two films had been edited together originally, I still wouldn't think it was much better than the awesome War and Peace. Maybe this film is a tad more melodramatic than the second one, but even though Brando should have won Best Supporting Actor here (well, maybe not, Joel Grey, anyone?) and Pacino should have been nominated Best Actor (vice versa of the way they actually were), Brando dominates this film in his few scenes. It's just that the film is so rich in all its characters that distinctions among importance are irrelevant. After all, this guy is pretty damn impressive too.




Excellent choices, too bad you do not have more color by number films for Wad to enjoy. Seriously though, nice mix of films thus far
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I had no idea they had made a movie from War and Peace. Now I'm curious and want to see what it's all about.
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12. Schindler's List (Steven Spielberg, 1993)



Harrowing true story of the Holocaust told through the life of businessman Oskar Schindler (a towering Liam Neeson) who joins the Nazi Party when he sees a way to make some money off the horrors of war. Along the way to acquiring his influence and fortune, he is a witness to the killings of several of his Jewish workers at his ammunitions factory and the German liquidation of the Krakow ghetto. These experiences leave him a changed man. Gradually, under the guidance of his office manager/conscience Stern (the deeply moving Ben Kingsley), Schindler arranges to "buy" many Jews who go to work in the comparative safety of his enamelworks. However, he still finds himself at the whims of malicious camp commandant Amon Goethe (the frightening Ralph Fiennes) and the Nazis' desire for the Final Solution concerning the Jews.

I find the film to be told in almost an entirely fresh way, as the story builds, from a series of brief scenes about people who we don't know at all, into a world of flesh-and-blood characters who are just trying to survive a horrible situation. The editing and Janusz Kaminski's brilliant chiaroscuro photography especially come into play as the ghetto is filled in two parts and one side is subsequently liquidated. The remaining half go to labor camps and eventually to extermination. Even in the darkest moments, there are several glimpses of humor in Steven Zaillian's script. There would be no way to survive in such an unthinkable world without keeping one's humanity through humor, dark as it may be.




I could go on for pages here, but I'm going to stop now. I'll just say that if you haven't seen Schindler's List, be warned that it truly contains shocking atrocities, and it's a hard R-rated film which most will find deeply disturbing. However, there is a light at the end of the long tunnel. I have had discussions with some people who have told me that they were personally offended because the film had a "happy ending", and that Spielberg should have chosen a darker story instead of this "Oscar bait". I respect their opinions, but I have to disagree. Of course, I don't know of any relatives of mine who were killed during the Holocaust, and if I did, it might change my perspective. However, even then, I would have a difficult time denying the cinematic power of this film.



Do you disagree with them on the "happy ending" front? I'm not sure what movie they saw but I sure don't remember any happy ending during that film. A truly important film and really only a taste of what a terrible atrocity that whole holocaust was really about. Certainly a very moving ending but what's wrong with that? If Speilberg was comfortable with it who am I to judge?
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The gist of the conversations revolved around the fact that people were saved by non-Jews, while all the millions died. Apparently, whatever film he should have made would have involved just people who died. Also, although Spielberg is Jewish, the implication was that he was "cashing in" on the Holocaust, which apparently means that this novel should never be allowed to be filmed; at least not by a Jew.



Isn't it great that no matter what happens in this lovely little world of ours, there will always be someone that will come up behind someone that just did something and just cut that person down at the knees and dismiss whatever the message or meaning was supposed to be? Anyway great pick and I'll stop hijacking your thread now.



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11. The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004)



I love everything about this movie. I realize that, first off, most people think of it as just a Pixar film or an animated film or a super hero film, but I think those tags for it miss the point of what I believe the film to be. It certainly tells a good story, not only in the context of a "family film" or the greatest James Bond film never made, but also in its overall creative presentation. The Incredibles displays sparkling wit and invention on almost every level: character animation, vocal expression, art direction/set design, the yummy musical score which sounds like it's from a '60s spy movie, only much cooler, and the use of both old-style "newsreels" and modern technology to make the plot more-complex and put the entire thing into larger satirical focus. This doesn't even mention the incredibly fast pace of both the editing and the verbal/visual humor.

A normal movie about super heroes wouldn't dig this deep into all the hassles inherent in being a super hero inside when the world won't allow you to express it on the outside. It also presents a family dynamic which is realistic in that it is so full of contradictions. The males in the Incredible family really want to express their super powers, while mom (Holly Hunter) knows it's better for the family (in more ways than one) to stifle them, just as the legal system and government have deemed necessary. The daughter is at the age where she's getting interested in boys but is very shy about this normal process and is able to use her power to help her get through it. The son just wants to be able to show off in sports once in awhile. The baby, well, we don't know about the baby...

Before I start sounding too serious and pompous about what I consider one of the most exhilaratingly FUN movies ever made, let me mention the "Incredible" supporting characters. Mr. Incredible's (Craig T. Nelson's) best friend Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) is one bad mutha, Jason Lee is a riot as a science/tech geek who wants to be Mr. Incredible's sidekick, and perhaps best of all, director/screenwriter Brad Bird plays Edna E. Mode, the costime designer to the super heroes, as a sort of cross between Edith Head and Linda Hunt.

All the gibberish above can just be ignored if you like, while I cut to the heart and soul of how I feel when watching The Incredibles. I feel like the giddy kid I was in the 1960s who fell in love with movies and cartoons. The main difference today is that I can love this film because it reminds me of so many other terrific films which are a part of me, yet it feels newer and more intense than almost all of them. Another thing I think about when I'm watching this movie is that it's a great FILM. I certainly don't think I'm watching a cartoon because these characters are real to me. I'm just glad that the technology is available so that a film classicist of the stature of Brad Bird can share this story with all of us.