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The 10 Top 10 Genre Films

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Animation

Watched or Not Key

1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    Also on the Greatest (49) and the 10th Anniversary (34) Lists - Snow White is mostly touted because it is the first feature length animated movie ever made. And although that is a worthy accomplishment in itself, is it a good movie? First off the animation is actually pretty good. It is amazing to watch how many things are moving across the screen during many parts of the movie, especially when forest animals enter the movie and are all moving around at the same time. Often, movies would skimp out on scenes like this in order to decrease production costs, but Disney seemed to go in the opposite direction, by adding in even more animals. Just trying to imagine how many man hours it would take to make such a thing is daunting. However, the story itself is severely lacking. Snow White is scared off into the woods because the Evil Queen wants to kill her. Why? Because Snow White is the fairest in the land, not the Evil Queen. I guess vanity is a good reason for the Queen's downfall, but it's a pretty weak reason. The pacing of the movie is also all over the place. Several parts of the story seem very rushed (Snow White immediately leaves with the Prince upon being woken up?), with many parts seeming to drag on forever (i.e. the celebration/party before bedtime). Overall, I would say this is an OK movie, but not one I enjoy sitting and watching multiple times.

 

2. Pinocchio (1940)

    Also on the Inspirational (38) List - Pinocchio is the second movie to be made by the Walt Disney Animation Studios, three years after Snow White. Having watched this movie immediately after Cinderella, I am amazed by the level of detail in the animation. True, the animation looks "rough", but it is immensely detailed, the humans actually have features, and the roughness actually gives it a personal feel. I would say that this movie may be even better animated than the majority of movies that have come before or after it. That being said, there is the story. Geppetto is the worst father figure imaginable, at least at the beginning of the movie. "Yay I have a son, 5 hours later you must leave to go to school though. Bye!". Jiminy Cricket is a horrible conscious, having quit the job 2 or 3 times over the length of the movie. And we haven't even gotten into the questionable content of the movie. To emphasize the bad behavior of the kids, I feel that Disney went places that no movie would go within a 100 miles of today, especially a kids animated movie. Young kids drinking and smoking? Kidnapping kids and sending them to a place called "Pleasure Island"? And the action sequences can be downright scary at times, like when the whale is chasing Geppetto and Pinocchio. And the story bounces all over the place, feeling more random than anything else. I mean really, all of the sudden Geppetto is swallowed by a whale, out of nowhere?  The songs are tolerable. The principle song, "When you wish upon a star" is one of the signature Disney songs now, so more than likely most kids would have at least heard that song without seeing the movie. Overall, this probably has some of the best animation in a movie of all time, the story line though has quite a bit to be desired.

 

3. Bambi (1942)

    Bambi is the 5th Disney animated motion picture and when you compare it to the first one (Snow White) it seems light years ahead. The animation feels much smoother, with the background and the characters integrating almost seemlessly. It has been a very long time since I had last seen this movie, to the point that I remember nothing about it. I was under the assumption that Bambi's mother died very quickly within the movie, but she makes it to the second half of the movie before the hunter gets her. And there is no portrayal of any humans in the entire movie. The hunter, along with any other humans who might be there, are all off screen and we only hear the guns or see evidence of their camp, nothing else. I wonder if this is because animals are much quicker and easier to animate than humans are, hence the reason Pixar didn't use many humans in their original cartoons. The story seems rather aimless at times and is just basically Bambi's life, from birth to the birth of his own children. A simple tale, but enjoyable non-the-less.

 

4. The Lion King (1994)

    Although The Lion King is not the first of the revamped Disney animated lineup, which started with The Little Mermaid, it is often considered the best animated Disney movie ever made. Looking back on this movie it is easy to see why. The basis of the movie is another timeless story, Hamlet, which is also considered one of Shakespeare's best. So it is no wonder that The Lion King stands the test of time so well. But it isn't just the story that provides the movie with staying power. The animation throughout the movie is fantastic and often looks like an artist's interpretation of a Disney movie. The songs are some of the best to ever come out of a Disney musical, and I think it says something that although they were created by Elton John and Tim Rice, Elton John doesn't perform any of the music himself (within the main movie). This is likely a fault that is found in later Disney movies, where there is music just for music's sake and none of it progresses the story along. Overall, The Lion King is a beautifully crafted story from the animation, to the music and the story. A perfect movie if there ever was one.

 

5. Fantasia (1942)

    Also on the Greatest (58) List - Fantasia is Disney's third animated theatrical release (after Snow White and Pinocchio, both on this list as well). I think it is telling, that of Disney's first five animated movies, four are on the top 10 animated movies of all time list. Nothing encapsulates that drive to create unique animated features more than Fantasia. This movie shows how Walt Disney was willing to break with normal traditions and go as far out there as he could think. This movie could in essence be considered the first music video, where eight different pieces of classical music are given animations that match the music. The themes of the animations range from nonsensical shapes and colors, through Greek Mythology, to scientific theories, to religion, and ballet. Each of the pieces has a unique style to it, but they all appear to have that "rough" animation style that was so prevalent on Pinocchio. I actually tend to prefer that style of animation, which gives the movie a more artistic feeling. And this movie definitely has an artistic feeling. At over two hours in length, it is one of the longest Disney animated movie ever made but it is broken up by a live action conductor and narrator, who introduces each of the segments to the audience. This movie also has one of the first interactions between a cartoon and a live actor, almost 50 years before Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Overall, I would say that this is an enjoyable movie, with interesting animated sequences, but it is very very long, and I definitely felt it dragging the latter half of the movie.

 

6. Toy Story (1995)

    Also on the 10th Anniversary (99) List - Toy Story is the first of the Pixar movies, with the second (A Bug's Life) taking 3 more years to come out. Pixar has developed a reputation where you can only really judge each of their movies by comparing them to other Pixar movies because often times they far surpass any other animated features. At the time of its release, the animation for Toy Story was groundbreaking, however the animation alone isn't going to cement this in history as one of the best animated movies ever. The story is pure heart and perfect. Just watching this again recently I am amazed at how many times I laughed at the jokes and how many of them are still spot on, even after all these years. It's funny watching this though, knowing that Pixar had troubles creating human characters in the beginning. That is why many of the shots of the groups of children never show any of their faces. There are only a select few people (four I believe) who get their faces shown and they are all distorted to one degree or another. No one is normal looking. This clearly gets fixed in future Pixar movies but it's funny to watch it now, knowing the reason behind their choices. Overall this movie still holds up 20 years after it was first released and I'm sure it will hold up for another 20 years.

 

7. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

    Also on the Romances (34) and the Musicals (22) Lists - Beauty and the Beast is the second movie that Disney released after they revitalized their animated movies with The Little Mermaid. When I watch Beauty and the Beast I feel the musical genera, like Phantom of the Opera, spills out of the TV screen. This movie was also one of the first movies to use computer generated scenes with traditional animation overlaid on top of it. Being one of the first movies to do this, one would expect it to be choppy and not well done, however the background is almost flawless, if not obviously computer generated, during the big dancing scene towards the end of the movie. In regards to the story, I have often heard people decry the movie as showing a weak central female character hoping the brutish man would change for her. Instead, while I watch it, I see a very strong female protagonist who stands toe-to-toe with every man in the movie, never once backing down. If anything this is almost a female empowerment movie, showing women that they don't have to take what is given to them and that they can take what they want for their lives. On top of everything is the music. The music composed for this movie is one of those that gets stuck in my head for days and I'm not all that perturbed by it. I love the music for this and Angela Lansbury has a surprising nice singing voice to boot. Overall, a highly enjoyable movie which is not a misogynistic as I think people claim it to be.

 

8. Shrek (2001)

    If I had to peg Shrek down to one word, it would be "clever". Shrek manages to mock and satirize most of the fairy tales and Disney movies throughout the movie, yet none of it feels stale. The jokes are fresh and funny. I found myself laughing through most of the movie, which is a big deal on this list, since no other animated movie is really a straight up comedy. Toy Story being the only other movie close to a straight up comedy. Shrek is also the only non-Disney property on all of the Top 10 Animated Movies list (although Toy Story was not strictly a Disney production, it is generally considered a Disney movie), which may be a reason it is on the list at all. The graphics throughout Shrek are fantastic, as one would expect. With it really noticeable in the landscapes and the flowers. I found those, more than anything, really captured the level of quality that the movie was capable of. The real question is, is this worthy of being in the Top 10 Animated Movies of all time list? As one of the first Dreamworks movies, and the first of their movies to launch a multi-hundred million dollar franchise, it is very good. Perhaps at a level Dreamworks never achieved again. The problem with the Shrek franchise is that I felt the following movies sullied the Shrek name, of which I don't think I ever even got past the third one. But, as a standalone film, I think Shrek could be associated with these best of the best animated movies. It definitely is one of the best non-Disney movies ever made, however I think there are some other Pixar movies that would surpass this in my opinion. Overall, I think it is very funny and quite on point with it's satirizing of Disney movies, but I don't feel very strongly about it's placement on this list. It was likely added just so the list wasn't 100% Disney.

 

9. Cinderella (1950)

  Unlike the other movies on this list, I have had extensive watching of this movie due to my child's adoration of the film, but I had not sat down and watched it from the beginning in I don't know how long. Even with my daughter's repeated viewings, there were still segments of the movie which I do not recall ever watching. It is possible I had not seen them since she always focuses on a few scenes and wants to watch them over and over again. In general about the movie, I am surprised that a story that is so well known actually focuses a good amount of time on the animals in the story. Perhaps half of the movie is just about the animals and their interactions with each other. This comes into play throughout the movie of course since Cinderella relies upon the animals to help her accomplish her goal of meeting the prince and then escaping from her room after her step-mother locks her in. However, the principle plot of the movie only encompasses a fairly short amount of time in the film itself. The songs are well done, much more in a musical theater type of way. However the animation appears to have stalled out by this point. Walt Disney had made may movies by 1950, and I was actually surprised to see how many when looking at the animation of the movie. I had thought it was earlier. The animals look well animated but human faces are all rather detail-less. They all have few distinguishing marks about them and their noses are pretty much just one or two lines. Some of the scenery scenes though, are absolutely picturesque, although I don't know if that is due to blu-ray remastering or if that was how the original looked. Overall, I'm not sure if it is because I know the movie so well at this point but I found myself pretty bored watching through it again for this review. Personally, I probably wouldn't include it on this list, and especially not ahead of Finding Nemo. 

 

10. Finding Nemo (2003)

    When I sat down to rewatch this movie after many years of not seeing it I was highly doubtful that Finding Nemo deserved it's place among the Top 10 Best Animated Movies of All Time. I mean, could it really be better than the multitude of movies that didn't make the list. Well, upon rewatching it, I have to say, Yes. Yes it does. Based on my memory, I had assumed that this was a shallow movie about a father fish trying to find his son. However, I found that it is about a group of fish trying to overcome their personal difficulties. Having a daughter with cerebral palsy, it hit very close to home as we (her parents) have been known to say almost the same things that Nemo's father says when he is being over protective of his kid. Nemo has a fin that is very much smaller than his other fin, causing him great difficulty with swimming. His father cautions him to be careful to the point of over-protection, not allowing Nemo to do anything. This sets off the chain of events where Nemo is captured and Marlin (Nemo's father) has to swim across the ocean to find him. And by the end Marlin, Nemo, and Dory all are able to get passed their own difficulties by believing in others and in believing in themselves. Not only was the animation on this movie outstanding, but the moral messages abound throughout the movie. My only qualm with it being on this list is I would have put it higher.

 


Fantasy

1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

    Also on the Greatest (6), 10th Anniversary (10), Thrillers (43), Inspirational (26), and the Musicals (3) Lists - Another of the classics, but unlike some of the others, I think everyone has seen this one. Don't know what to say about this one that people don't know. After reading some descriptions of the movie, there have been quite a few remakes of the book and this one does not seem entirely true to the book unlike some of those others, but this is the best and most loved of the lot. The original directed by Baum himself apparently had Dorothy as the dethroned princess of OZ. Makes me want to read the book. 

 

2. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

    Also on the 10th Anniversary (50) List - The first of the trilogy presented by Jackson on an epic scale. Although I did think the trilogy as a whole was fantastic I felt this movie was the slowest of the three. This is probably because the story was the slowest although when I read the books I did not get this feeling. It was likely that all the awards that Return of the King garnered made people sit up and notice this movie.

 

3. It's a Wonderful Life (1947)

    Also on the Greatest (11), 10th Anniversary (20), Romances (8), and the Inspirational (1) Lists - The classic about a man who feels his life is in the dumps and then a miracle grants him his wish of never being born and shows to him how much of an impact he has had. The epitome of the idiom "careful what you wish for." A little impractical at times, especially the view of the world without him, but uplifting and enjoyable non the less.

 

 

4. King Kong (1933)

    Also on the Greatest (43), 10th Anniversary (41), Romances (24), and the Thrillers (12) Lists - I started out watching this movie basing it on the recent Peter Jackson remake. The problem is that you need to take into consideration the time period. Currently the graphics of King Kong would be downright laughable today, while back then they were cutting edge. The movie was very enjoyable though. Actually, Jackson's remake just seemed to be an extension of the movie, taking all the same parts and just putting in extra parts in between. That made the movie fly right by since I already knew basically what was going to happen. But it was still a good movie and groundbreaking at the time. The fight between Kong and the T-Rex was very well done and actually more violent than I was anticipating, especially since the meeting with the natives was far less violent then I would have thought. All in all, I would recommend seeing this one before the Peter Jackson movie, but an entertaining movie none the less.

 

5. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

    Also on the Inspirational (9) List -

 

6. Field of Dreams (1989)

    Also on the Inspirational (28) List - I love this movie. "If you build it, they will come", so he does. This is a fantastic movie about following your heart and listening to unknown voices telling you to do seemingly crazy things.

 

 

 

 

7. Harvey (1950)

    Also on the Comedies (35) List - In high school I had helped work on a production of Harvey, so I had a bit of an idea what the general premise of the movie was, although it's been a rather long time so I did not remember all of the particulars. I will try to not give any of the big secrets away because they are worth experiencing them for yourself. The general premise of Harvey is about a man, Elwood P Dowd (played by Jimmy Stewart), who is friends with an invisible 6 foot tall rabbit. One of the keys to this movie is that it is on the Top 10 Fantasy Films list. This tells you that not everything is as it seems at the beginning of the movie. The main thing that jumped right out at me during the opening third of this movie is how abysmally people with mental disorders (or perceived mental disorders) are treated. The bulk of the movie takes place in and around a mental sanatorium where the main "enforcer" brutally treats the patients with aggression and force. Definitely not my favorite part of the movie. However, Jimmy Stewart is beyond excellent in this role. I swear, if he isn't high during the filming of this, he sure plays high very well. He is the personification of the "nice guy" who nobody can feel mad or irritated at. If you can get passed the mental treatment issues though, the movie is very funny and a joy to watch. I laughed a good deal through the movie, not something I often do on the Comedies list and was generally intrigued about how the movie was going progress. The entire movie is well acted. The way that characters routinely cut off Stewart's character is perfect because each time the audience kind of holds its collective breath, knowing that if he was allowed to finish, the movie would go much differently. Overall, even though this movie has some issues, I still greatly enjoyed it and would recommend it to most people as a light hearted comedy. 

 

8. Groundhog Day (1993)

    Also on the Comedies (34) List - Back in the early 90's you could find this movie on TV at least once a week. I enjoyed it thougholy although by the 100th time of seeing it, it got a bit repetitive (pun intended). I can still sit down though and enjoy it if it happens to be on.

 

 

 

 

9. The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

 

10. Big (1988)

    Also on the Comedies (42) List - This is Tom Hanks before he became huge in Hollywood. I would not go so far as to say this was as good as Forest Gump or Apollo 13, but I will say that this is a very heartwarming and enjoyable movie about growing up too fast.

 

 

 

 

 


Gangster

1. The Godfather (1972)

    Also on the Greatest (3), 10th Anniversary (2), and the Thrillers (11) Lists - I think the second one was better, at least easier to follow in my mind, having only watched the movies once, but I did enjoy them. A little complicated if only once though. I recommend to anyone who likes "mafia" type movies. The movie follows the rise of the godfather in the principle NY mafia.

 

 

 

2. Goodfellas (1990)

    Also on the Greatest (94) and the 10th Anniversary (92) Lists - This is pretty much The Sopranos before the TV show. The movie is about 3 friends growing up in the mafia through the eyes of Henry Hill (Liotta), a half Irish, half Sicilian boy. It could give The Godfather a run for its money as best mafia movie, although the type of movie is completely different. While The Godfather follows the kingpin of the mafia, this is more about the underlings in the system.

 

 

3. The Godfather Part II (1974)

    Also on the Greatest (32) and the 10th Anniversary (32) Lists - The only sequel on the list and it deserves its placement. Personally I liked it better than the original. I found it easier to follow and the flashbacks between the building of the mafia empire and the current situation was very well done. If you liked the first one you probably already seen this one, if not it should be your next movie.

 

 

 

4. White Heat (1949)

 

5. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

    Also on the Greatest (27), 10th Anniversary (42), Romances (65), and the Thrillers (13) Lists - Starring Warren Beatty as Clyde and Faye Dunaway as Bonnie, this movie is a hit right at the start. The plot line is great, it follows two of the most infamous bank robbers in history from the beginning where Clyde is a car thief and Bonnie his hostage, to their end when they are both shot up. Kind of a romantic Thrillers with a dismal ending.

 

 

6. Scareface: The Shame of a Nation (1932)

 

7. Pulp Fiction (1994)

    Also on the Greatest (95), 10th Anniversary (94), and the Thrillers (53) Lists - Even though Tarantino has only made a few movies, this is definitely hailed as his best. The clever play of seemingly random scenes throughout the movie and witty dialog makes this an easy to watch funny movie. The plot mainly follows two thugs who go around collecting payments for the boss. What once was thought of as a noble profession is changed in the mind of one (Jackson) and the other is asked to watch the very attractive wife of his boss (Travolta).

 

 

8. The Public Enemy (1931)

 

9. Little Caesar (1931)

 

10. Scarface (1983)

 


Science Fiction

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

    Also on the Greatest (22), 10th Anniversary (15), Thrillers (40), and the Inspirational (47) List - Having never seen 2001: A Space Odyssey before, I wasn't sure exactly what I was getting myself into. I had known only a few scant details of the plot and/or images of the movie but in reality I knew nothing. I'll probably spoil the plot going over the details, so if you wish to go in spoiler free, I wouldn't read any further. We start off in the distant past, when hominids first started tool use. These hominids are "visited (?)" by a monolith (one of the few things I knew about the movie was the presence of these monoliths). The monolith appears to have jump started mankind into tool use. We flash forward to the distant future (2000 or 2001) where a scientist is heading out to a dig site on the moon. Within a pit on the moon another monolith has been uncovered (I have no idea what happened to the first one on Earth). The moon monolith transmits a signal to Jupiter upon being discovered but other than that is silent. This prompts an expedition to Jupiter 18 months later (maybe this is 2001?) with one of the most well known sci-fi computers in history, HAL, leading the way (I love his unsettling design and voice). Upon arrival at Jupiter we find another monolith and all hell breaks loose because I don't have a clue as to what is going on. There's a baby and...the end. 

 

For the most part this movie is visually breathtaking, but ploddingly slow. My wife would look up at the screen every couple of minutes to see if anything new had happened. It didn't. The visuals could almost make up for it, but I feel that Kubrick purposely drug out the scenes to emphasize the slowness (much to the detriment of the modern audience I am sure). The entire movie is rather slow up until the end, when everything kicks into psychedelic. Truthfully, I was rather interested in the movie, wondering from the get go if would we get a reason for the monoliths. My feelings wavered throughout the movie, sometimes thinking we were going to get no answers at all and sometimes thinking we would get answers to everything. However, at the end of everything, I have no clue what we got, besides a WTF. The ending definitely felt like something pulled straight from Contact (or I guess vice versa based on creation dates). But no, I don't think we got an answer. This is the type of movie that film schools thrive on I'm sure, trying to piece out the meaning behind everything. I prefer an answer though. Overall my thoughts on the movie were that, besides the slowness, I was in for most of it. The monolith music was suitably unsettling, and everything about the movie from the sound design to the visuals had me. But my big problem with the movie was that I wanted to know what was going on. I needed to know. Unfortunately, I never found out. I feel like I should watch this movie again to possibly discover an answer hidden in it, however I don't think I can do it.

 

2. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

    Also on the Greatest (15), 10th Anniversary (13), Thrillers (27), and the Inspirational (39) List - I had recently rewatched the original Star Wars (now subtitled A New Hope) in order to provide a better review than I had initially done when first setting up my movie and book reviews. Star Wars is a movie I grew up watching with my sister as movie marathons on New Year's Eve, so it is difficult to piece out that history from the movie that I know so well. The version I watched recently was the current Blu-ray release, with all the changes that have accompanied it as well as any previous adjustments to the movie that happened along the way. The first thing that struck me about the movie though was how slow it is. When compared to modern day "blockbusters", Star Wars moves at a snail's pace. I watched the movie with my six year old daughter and I frequently was checking to see if she was even still paying attention (she was). But even with the slow pace, the story, the visuals, and the dialogue all still hold up. The visuals are even more stunning now as emphasized on blu-ray and exploded onto a 4k tv. The amount of work done on the movies to bring them up to modern standards still holds, however the CGI done on it throughout the intervening years does not hold up as well. I still laughed at the funny parts, the random bits of witticism sprinkled throughout the movie. I am still enthralled by Alec Guinness' performance. And Darth Vader still provides a looming presence throughout the movie, that only gets heightened by the Prequels, not diminished as some people towt. So, even in a day when huge blockbuster movies are being rolled out on a monthly, if not weekly, basis, it's good to know that one of the original blockbusters still holds the charm and visual appeal that made so many people fall in love with it in the first place.

 

3. E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

    Also on the Greatest (25), 10th Anniversary (24), Thrillers (44), and the Inspirational (6) List - What can I say about this movie that nobody already knows. Not the original of Spielberg's alien stories but definitely the best one. Heartwarming and tender.

 

 

 

 

4. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

    Also on the Greatest (46), 10th Anniversary (70), and the Thrillers (21) Lists - This is a movie that belongs on my weird list. This movie is about a punk kid in a totalitarian state who is then subjected to behavior modification programming. I've heard people often comment on the irony of the main character's 'Singin in the Rain' while whipping a nude female in front of her husband. Again a bizarre movie.

 

 

 

5. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

    Also on the Thrillers (82) and the Inspirational (67) Lists -

 

6. Blade Runner (1982)

    Also on the 10th Anniversary (97) and the Thrillers (74) Lists -

 

7. Alien (1979)

    Also on the Thrillers (6) List - Due to budget constraints they could only show the actual alien in brief glimpses and for short periods of time. This caused a very intense psychological thriller similar to Psycho, where they did not show any of the blood and gore. This movie should be a template for modern movies - You don't need to show the threat. Just knowing it is there and not seeing it is sometimes worse.

 

 

 

8. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

    Also on the Thrillers (77) List - Out of all the lists, this is only the second sequel that made it onto a list along with the first movie. The Godfather being the first one. Like I wrote on The Terminator above, it is hard to separate the 2 movies but this one is similar yet different from its predecessor. In this one the now deadly Terminator is the good guy while a new worse Terminator comes and tries to cause the Armageddon. It is still a very good chase movie and deserves to be on the list.

 

 

9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

    Also on the Thrillers (47) List -

 

10. Back to the Future (1985)

     Having grown up on Back to the Future, it is rather difficult to look at the movie objectively. However, sitting down to watch it again on the actual date in Back to the Future Part II (October 21, 2015), I find that I am as enthralled with the movie as I ever have been. I love everything about it, from the actors, to the settings, and nothing can beat the music. The script is so tight that some things are almost impossible to catch unless you are either paying very close attention or having someone point them out to you (for instance the change of Twin Pines Mall to Lone Pine Mall, or Huey Louis being the one to say that Marty's music was too loud). I still get the goosebumps when George McFly takes out Biff at the end of the movie (I even get them just thinking about it), and no matter how cheesy it is, I love Marty's guitar solo at the end. All in all, I can not over state how perfect a movie I feel this is. 

 


Western

1. The Searchers (1956)

    Also on the Greatest (96) and the 10th Anniversary (12) Lists -

 

2. High Noon (1952)

    Also on the Greatest (33), 10th Anniversary (27), Thrillers (20), and the Inspirational (27) Lists - High Noon is the type of movie that builds suspense over the entire length of the movie. The premise of the movie is that the marshal (Gary Cooper) of this western town is expecting a killer that he put away several years ago to come in on the noon train, which is roughly 1.5 hours away. He spends the majority of the movie trying to find recruits to fight against him with the climax of the movie being the expected battle. Overall, I felt the movie dragged on a bit but it was interesting watching him go through the town and dealing with the townspeople. Most of those he asks directly refuse to fight but all of those who insist on joining are all turned away. The one surprising aspect of the movie was the role of the marshal's wife (Grace Kelly). The ending of the story turned around for her and I wasn't expecting her to act the way she did. Overall I thought it was a good movie but I would not say great movie. I felt the frustration from the marshal and I believe that was what was driving the movie but overall I thought that the story was rather thin and probably could have been condensed down.

 

3. Shane (1953)

    Also on the Greatest (69), 10th Anniversary (45), and the Inspirational (53) Lists -

 

4. Unforgiven (1992)

    Also on the Greatest (98) and the 10th Anniversary (68) Lists - The first western I watched on the list and overall it was pretty good, though very depressing at times. Think of a country song in the form of a movie. The plot is pretty simple in that two sharp shooters are hired to kill two cowboys who disfigure a prostitute. From what I have heard it is not the typical western with the old clichés, and from what I saw, I agree. Definitely not what I pictured a western to be due to the realistic nature of the characters that truly let you believe in them.

 

5. Red River (1948)

 

6. The Wild Bunch (1969)

    Also on the Greatest (80), 10th Anniversary (79), and the Thrillers (69) Lists -

 

7. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

    Also on the Greatest (50), 10th Anniversary (73), and the Thrillers (54) Lists - The story is about two of the most notorious bank/train of the west and their downfall. The movie is primarily about their downfall, not their rise to fame nor their formation of The Hole in the Wall gang, but still the story is written very well and easily understandable. Paul Newman (Butch) and Robert Redford (Sundance) were the only actors that were in the entire movie and they held their own. Redford I felt gave the superior performance as the quiet yet sarcastic sidekick, yet sometimes you felt that he was the one who really called the shots. Overall this movie is not what you would expect for a western, it was more in line with Bonnie and Clyde, with fugitives robbing banks and being tracked down by law enforcement. I thought this was a great movie and one of the better ones on the list, funny, action packed, overall enjoyable.

 

8. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

 

9. Stagecoach (1939)

    Also on the Greatest (63) List - I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. It started off slow and I was setting myself up for a dull movie but what really made the movie for me was that all the characters seemed to have a shady back-story that you knew nothing about. The acting was good and you really felt for the characters. This was not a western in the sense that I think of westerns, this seemed more like a character development story. The characters that people assumed were bad (the shunned prostitute, the drunk doctor, the outlaw) all turned out to be the ones with the best morals and the nicest of the lot. A very entertaining and enjoyable time.

 

10. Cat Ballou (1965)

    Also on the Comedies (50) List -

 


Sports

1. Raging Bull (1980)

    Also on the Greatest (24), 10th Anniversary (4), and the Thrillers (51) Lists - Kind if a cross between The Godfather and Rocky, it shows the self-degradation of a championship boxer who could not control his anger or his over-protection of his wife. The acting was superb but you get the feeling someone is gonna get whacked throughout the movie.

 

 

 

2. Rocky (1977)

    Also on the Greatest (78), 10th Anniversary (57), Thrillers (52), and the Inspirational (4) Lists - After rewatching this movie recently I have come to the conclusion that this was not the movie I thought it was. Most of the characters are very awkward throughout movie, making the viewer feel awkward during most of their interactions. The movie is about a man who gets the shot at the title even though he never should have even had the chance. It is uplifting though, where the first half of the film makes the characters appear as low as they could get. Then things start to come around to the Rocky that everyone seems to remember. A very good movie, but not the one I remembered. I think this is a better movie than what it is typically made out to be though. It's not very often you see a movie where the guy tries to get the girl and the girl isn't a supermodel, but a normal looking girl.

 

3. The Pride of the Yankees (1943)

    Also on the Inspirational (22) List -

 

4. Hoosiers (1986)

    Also on the Inspirational (13) List -

 

5. Bull Durham (1988)

    Also on the Comedies (97) List -

 

6. The Hustler (1961)

 

7. Caddyshack (1980)

    Also on the Comedies (71) List - Although I am not a big fan of Rodney Dangerfield I feel this movie is very good and rather amusing. The movie takes place on a golf course with several different storylines occurring at the same time. One of the better one's is Bill Murray trying to take out a groundhog that is destroying the course.

 

 

 

8. Breaking Away (1979)

    Also on the Inspirational (8) List -

 

9. National Velvet (1945)

    Also on the

 

10. Jerry Maguire (1996)

    Also on the Romances (100) List - I guess this would be one of the first of the modern romantic movies. I enjoyed it but I think it got a bit too much hype for itself. The acting I felt was a little over done at times but the romance was good and I guess that is why it is on the list.

 

 

 

 


Mystery

1. Vertigo (1958)

    Also on the Greatest (61), 10th Anniversary (9), Romances (18), and the Thrillers (18) Lists - Another of the Hitchcock movies on the list, this one focusing on a police detective's fear of heights. After a fellow officer is killed because he is frozen with fear John Ferguson (Stewart) retires from the force. Unfortunately he is then asked to follow his friends wife, who also dies because of his fear of heights. The best thing about the movie was the remarkable camera effects showing Ferguson's vertigo.

 

 

2. Chinatown (1974)

    Also on the Greatest (19), 10th Anniversary (21), and the Thrillers (16) Lists - One word, Confusing. My wife and I watched this and about 2 hours later be both went "huh". Did not understand it at all, either a must watch more than once or a must know the contemporary illusions.

 

 

 

3. Rear Window (1954)

    Also on the Greatest (42), 10th Anniversary (48), and the Thrillers (14) Lists - I think this is one of the better of Hitchcock's plays. It is gripping and suspenseful and you never really know what is going on or what is going to happen until the end. Fantastic acting even with the minimal scenes.

 

 

 

4. Laura (1944)

    Also on the Thrillers (73) List -

 

5. The Third Man (1950)

    Also on the Greatest (57) and the Thrillers (75) Lists -

 

6. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

    Also on the Greatest (23), 10th Anniversary (31), and the Thrillers (26) Lists - The detective movie from which any post movie is judged against. A little confusing at times but enjoyable non the less. A gripping movie that will keep you guessing the whole way through. Another one where Bogart definitely deserves his place among greatest of actors.

 

 

 

7. North By Northwest (1959)

    Also on the Greatest (40), 10th Anniversary (55), and the Thrillers (4) Lists - A thrilling movie about an advertising executive who got tangled up in a James Bond type situation. I found the movie rather humorous and suspenseful, especially the first half where Grant is mistaken for another man. The entire time it seems obvious to everyone else he is not the man but no one seems to care. The acting is superb with extremely believable performances by both Grant and Eva Marie Saint who was the main female character. I definitely recommend this movie especially when you are in the mood for an action movie with a subdued sort of action.

 

8. Blue Velvet (1986)

    Also on the Thrillers (96) List -

 

9. Dial M for Murder (1954)

    Also on the Thrillers (48) List -

 

10. The Usual Suspects (1995)

 


Romatic Comedy

1. City Lights (1931)

    Also on the Greatest (76), 10th Anniversary (11), Romances (10), Comedies (38), and the Inspirational (33) Lists -

 

2. Annie Hall (1977)

    Also on the Greatest (31), 10th Anniversary (35), Romances (11), and the Comedies (4) Lists - Woody Allen's best movie ever. The movie follows the relationship between a whiney city boy played by Allen and his girlfriend a country bumpkin (Keaton). Its told mostly in the first person perspective of Allen resulting in a very funny "real" type of movie. When your in a comedic type of mood, this would be a good movie to watch.

 

 

3. It Happened One Night (1934)

    Also on the Greatest (35), 10th Anniversary (46), Romances (38), and the Comedies (8) Lists - Another classic staring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. The plot is simple, rich girl runs away from home because her daddy won't let her marry the man she wants. This draws national attention as the father posts a reward for finding her. This is where Gable comes in as a reporter to get the scoop of a lifetime. Well written and very humorous. Another timeless classic.

 

 

4. Roman Holiday (1953)

    Also on the Romances (4) List -

 

5. The Philadelphia Story (1941)

    Also on the Greatest (51), 10th Anniversary (44), and the Romances (44) Lists - Staring the royalty of the big screen, Stewart, Grant and Hepburn, this is a quick witted romantic comedy. Some of the jokes are rather fast at times though, so if you are not paying attention you are likely to miss them. The story involves a love pentagon with Tracy Lord (Hepburn) about to get married and the national tabloid wanting a story on it. The tabloid sends in some reporters via Lord's ex-husband (Grant) who represents the fun rich while her fiancée represents the poor hardworking guy who just wants his name in the paper. Insert Romances here and you have a classic that is as timeless now as it was then.

 

6. When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

    Also on the Romances (25) and the Comedies (23) Lists - The movie follows the 11 year romantic journey of 2 people, Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. The acting is superb in the movie and the story line is perfect. Definitely a "chick flick" but one worthy of seeing by anyone.

 

 

 

 

7. Adam's Rib (1949)

    Also on the Comedies (22) List -

 

8. Moonstruck (1987)

    Also on the Romances (17) and the Comedies (41) Lists -

 

9. Harold and Maude (1971)

    Also on the Romances (69), Comedies (45), and the Inspirational (89) Lists -

 

10. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

    Also on the Romances (45) List - This seems to me to be another in a long line of Meg Ryan romance movies. The plots always seem to be similar and nothing really stands out about most of them, except this one I seem to remember a bit more than most of them. The acting usually pretty good in all of them, just this one seems to have a better, more heart endearing plot. The other movies after this seem to be getting just a bit too much like a cliché. Overall a rather good movie to watch on a rainy afternoon.

 

 

 


Courtroom Drama

1. To Kill a Mockingbird (1963)

    Also on the Greatest (34), 10th Anniversary (25), and the Inspirational (2) Lists - The movie takes place in Alabama during the Great Depression. Not a very racial friendly place now, not even close to it then. The movie is about a black man wrongly accused of raping a white girl and the following turmoil that the hearing brings. Based on the novel that is also on the 100 Greatest list, it is listed as one of the best racial relations movies ever made. Makes one stop and think and realize our past is not as good as one might think.

 

 

2. 12 Angry Men (1957)

    Also on the 10th Anniversary (87), Thrillers (88), and the Inspirational (42) Lists -

 

3. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

 

4. The Verdict (1982)

    Also on the Inspirational (75) List -

 

5. A Few Good Men (1992)

 

6. Witness for the Prosecution (1958)

 

7. Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

 

8. In Cold Blood (1967)

 

9. A Cry in the Dark (1988)

 

10. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

 


Epic

1. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

    Also on the Greatest (5), 10th Anniversary (7), Thrillers (23), and the Inspirational (30) Lists - Another excruciatingly long movie but I enjoyed it, unlike my wife who could not wait till it was over. I enjoyed the direction and the story thoroughly. The plot follows the real life exploits of T. E. Lawrence as he went from innocent observer to leader of Arabs against the Turks during the 1920's. Highly enjoyable for those of us who like war epic movies, otherwise can be considered boring since it is rather long and slow in some parts.

 

 

2. Ben-Hur (1959)

    Also on the Greatest (72), 10th Anniversary (100), Thrillers (49), and the Inspirational (56) Lists -

 

3. Schindler's List (1993)

    Also on the Greatest (9), 10th Anniversary (8), and the Inspirational (3) Lists - The rather depressing look at life in a concentration camp and how a man named Oscar Schindler tried to rescue them. Just knowing that this movie is based off real life makes it hit that much harder. A must watch so that we don't forget history, you know all that doomed to repeat it stuff.

 

 

 

4. Gone With the Wind (1939)

    Also on the Greatest (4), 10th Anniversary (6), Romances (2), and the Inspirational (43) Lists - The classic itself, if not one of the longest movies on the list. The romantic movie of the Civil War era, if any others were even made. Considered by many to be the best Romances of all time. The story consists of a love quadrangle that contains the horrors of war as it's backdrop. A must watch for anyone, and one of my wife's favorites.

 

 

5. Spartacus (1960)

    Also on the 10th Anniversary (81), Thrillers (62), and the Inspirational (44) Lists -

 

6. Titantic (1997)

    Also on the 10th Anniversary (83), Romances (37), and the Thrillers (25) Lists -

 

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

 

8. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

    Also on the 10th Anniversary (71), Thrillers (45), and the Inspirational (10) Lists - A rather grisly tale about some soldiers going to take one soldier who lost all his brothers out of WWII. The movie is bloody and shocking and very realistic. As one review I read, "this movie pulls no punches." Very good and heartwarming and inspirational tale of courage and war.

 

 

 

9. Reds (1981)

    Also on the Romances (55) List -

 

10. The Ten Commandents (1956)

    Also on the Inspirational (79) List -