Steve Goddard, of History Wire, helped me waste a lot of time tonight and incidentally annoy the blonde who thinks I spend too much time on the computer as it is by pointing the way to a list Tom Dirk's made of the 100 Greatest Films. Dirk has given every movie on the list a link to its own page which makes it seem a very personal list, and that makes it feel more interesting and idiosyncratic and more entertaining to contemplate than the American Film Institute's list, even though there's actually a lot of overlap. It's also a list of only American and British movies, all except for Schindler's List made before 1985, and Dirk exluced documentaries, so it's definitely an incomplete list. But it's a good list and I would only argue with a few of the choices, although there are plenty I can't argue with because I haven't seen them.
How about you?
As Steve asks at the end of the post, ushering readers through the doors into Dirk's private screening room, as it were, "How many have you seen?"
Coincidentally, I was already on my way to making it 63 this week, before I'd even heard of this list. Just this morning I requested the classic film noir Out of the Past from the library.
Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Jane Greer as the femme fatale---"self-indulgent, lethal, erotic"---I can't believe I've missed this one all these years.
Are women attracted to male narcissists the way men are irresistably drawn to female ones? I mean, if Mitchum can't resist Jane Greer, if he's going to die for her, what regular guy would stand a chance?
I don't think I'll make it much higher than 63 though. 64, 65, maybe. 70, tops.
(Update: George, of A Girl and a Gun, who has seen 97 out of the 100!, has stopped by to remind me that he's posted his own list of the Best Films, Ever at AGAAG. George's list is shorter but includes foreign films and documentaries and makes a nice complement to Dirk's list.)
I've got no desire to see some of the silent films on the list, like The Big Parade, The Crowd, Intolerance, although I would like to see Buster Keaton's The General. I have seen all the Chaplins and Birth of a Nation. I took a film course in college.
Others on the list, I've seen so many clips from and heard discussed so much that I might as well have seen them and I have a feeling that trying to watch them from beginning to end now would bore me. To my chagrin, this includes Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Apocalypse Now. Actually, I probably have seen all of Apocalypse Now, I just saw it out of order. I was working at a movie theater in college when AN was re-released after (I think) a whole bunch of lawsuits were settled.
I probably should watch AN Redux, although Dirk seems to have intended the original version for his list.
I've been meaning to see Touch of Evil. I'll probably get around to The Lady Eve, since I'm a Henry Fonda fan and I should have seen it long ago. I'm also a Barbara Stanwyck fan, so I definitely want to see Double Indemnity. And I probably could be persuaded to sit down for Night of the Hunter. It's Mitchum, again, after all.
I will never see Jaws.
No way. No how.
That's probably about it, although if you really made it worth my while, I might watch Meet Me in St Louis with you.
Ok. So here are some games.
Assuming you haven't seen all 100, which 5 of the ones you haven't seen would you pick to watch this weekend?
Now: Which 5 of the ones you have seen would you pick?
Next: Name 5 movies not on the list you'd put in your own top 100.
Off the top of my head, and keeping to the ground rules Dirk's laid out, American and British flims made before 1990---Slaughterhouse Five, Love and Death, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, MASH. But don't hold me to it.
You don't have to keep to Dirk's rules, particularly if you're under 30 years old or if you're not American or British or you just love Kurosawa too much.
I'd really enjoy it if you put your answers to any or all of these in the comments.
Last one: Dirk's list is alphabetical. So he's saved himself from having to chose a number one greatest movie. But which movie on the list of 105---you can include the five you'd have put on your list of the hundred greatest---would you make number one?