swI have always been a proponent of the idea that I can separate what I think is brilliant from what I personally enjoy.  Let’s just look at 2015.  I think that Carol and The Revenant were the two best films of the year.  But if I’m going to sit and watch a movie from 2015, odds are it will be The Force Awakens (this is borne out by the fact that I’ve seen Carol twice, The Revenant all the way through once and The Force Awakens, at a modest count, 21 times complete plus the final 20 minutes about 15 more).

To that extent, I have finally culled together a list of my 100 Favorite Films, the ones I am most likely to sit still and watch, or at least not change the station if I come across them.  They’re not heavy Drama.  In fact, when I went through the genres, only one film on the entire list is one that I classify primarily as Drama (Casablanca).

It’s really hard to do this kind of list when you’ve seen as many films as I have (14,000+).  I put it together by going through year by year and adding films, and once I hit 100, knocking off the films at the bottom.  When I first read Veronica a list of 50 films, I then pointed out that those were the 50 I was about to delete because they didn’t make the list and she was stunned.  “But you love those films!” she pointed out.  “But I love the Top 100 even more,” I replied.  It was very, very tough.  Though they are easily two of the greatest directors of all-time if not the two greatest directors of all-time, not a single Kurosawa or Kubrick film ended up on the list.  There is no Bergman.  There is no David Lean.  The Ealing Comedies and the Hammer Horror, both of which I love so much I wrote about them only have one film each.  I did For Love of Film posts for James Bond (1 film) and Star Trek (2 films).  It’s really, really hard to narrow it all down. (more…)

" 'My God,' the Colonel suddenly yelled, 'the bridge has been mined, Colonel Saito. Those damn things I saw against the piles were explosives! And this wire . . .' " (p 174)

” ‘My God,’ the Colonel suddenly yelled, ‘the bridge has been mined, Colonel Saito. Those damn things I saw against the piles were explosives! And this wire . . .’ ” (p 174)

My Top 10:

  1. The Bridge on the River Kwai
  2. Paths of Glory
  3. Sweet Smell of Success
  4. 12 Angry Men
  5. Witness for the Prosecution
  6. Rififi
  7. The Good Soldier Schweik
  8. A Face in the Crowd
  9. A Hatful of Rain
  10. Heaven Knows Mr Allison

Note:  There are 12 films on my list.  The last two are listed down at the bottom. (more…)

"The crowd milled indignantly in the small Dayroom, everybody talking excitedly. Stark posted himself huskily in the doorway with Pete and the Chief flanking him. Warden gulped off the rest of the coffee and set the cop on the magazine rack and pushed his way down to the other end and climbed up on the pingpong table." (p 731)

“The crowd milled indignantly in the small Dayroom, everybody talking excitedly. Stark posted himself huskily in the doorway with Pete and the Chief flanking him. Warden gulped off the rest of the coffee and set the cop on the magazine rack and pushed his way down to the other end and climbed up on the pingpong table.” (p 731)

My Top 7:

  1. From Here to Eternity
  2. Stalag 17
  3. The Big Heat
  4. The Moon is Blue
  5. The Actress
  6. Peter Pan
  7. Hondo

Note:  After a few years with more than 10 screenplays on my list, I can’t do more than seven in this year.
Note:  This is the earliest year where significant records exist at oscars.org (there are a few for 1952 and even this year is incomplete in strange waves).  One of the great things about oscars.org is that it lists original sources (you can actually look up everything in a particular year with a source author) and it makes it much easier to distinguish between original and adapted scripts. (more…)

the_lost_weekend_2

“When the drink was set before him, he felt better. He did not drink it immediately. Now that he had it, he did not need to.” (p 11)

My Top 10:

  1. The Lost Weekend
  2. To Have and Have Not
  3. Spellbound
  4. The Body Snatcher
  5. The Man in Grey
  6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  7. And Then There Were None
  8. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  9. The Story of G.I. Joe
  10. The Southerner

Note:  A year after only having five on my whole list, I have more than 10.  My #11 is Pride of the Marines, which is covered down below because it was an Oscar nominee.  Next year, I’ll be back to less than a whole list. (more…)

"A-15.  UPPER LANDING OF STAIRCASE (FROM BELOW).  Phyllis Dietrichson stands looking down.  She is in her early thirties.  She holds a large bath-towel around her very appetizing torso, down to about two inches above her knees.  She wears no stockings, no nothing.  On her feet a pair of high-heeled bedroom slippers with pom-poms.  On her left ankle a gold anklet."

“A-15. UPPER LANDING OF STAIRCASE (FROM BELOW). Phyllis Dietrichson stands looking down. She is in her early thirties. She holds a large bath-towel around her very appetizing torso, down to about two inches above her knees. She wears no stockings, no nothing. On her feet a pair of high-heeled bedroom slippers with pom-poms. On her left ankle a gold anklet.”

My Top 5:

  1. Double Indemnity
  2. Gaslight
  3. Arsenic and Old Lace
  4. Laura
  5. Ministry of Fear

Note:  That’s it.  My whole list for the year.  But it’s also a year where only 8 films rank above *** and the other three are original.  Not a good year for film. (more…)

“If you do not wish to sell perhaps you would consider parting with an entertainer.”  “That’s up to the entertainer.”  Those are the lines in the play.  The lines in the film are much better.

My Top 7:

  1. Casablanca
  2. The Ox-Bow Incident
  3. Watch on the Rhine
  4. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  5. Heaven Can Wait
  6. Five Graves to Cairo
  7. Phantom of the Opera

note:  Yes, there is only a top 7, and not a fantastic Top 7 at that.  1943 just isn’t that great a year for film, especially when you realize that Casablanca is a 1942 film that just didn’t get an Oscar qualifying run until early 1943. (more…)

The love story is nice, but it's the music and dancing that make West Side Story the best film ever made out of a Broadway musical.

The love story is nice, but it’s the music and dancing that make West Side Story the best film ever made out of a Broadway musical.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. West Side Story  **
  2. The Hustler  *
  3. La Dolce Vita
  4. One, Two, Three
  5. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  6. Yojimbo
  7. The Bridge
  8. Elevator to the Gallows
  9. L’Avventura
  10. The Guns of Navarone  *

Analysis:  Though still a very solid Top 5, this is a significant drop from the last several years.  The Hustler is actually the weakest #2 film in 6 years and La Dolce Vita is the weakest #3 film in 16 years.  Ironically, though, because I have no point difference between my #3 and #7 films, The Bridge is the third best #7 film to date.  But, because of the strength of 1960 and because only the top 8 films here are ****, there is an incredible 28 point difference between the Top 10 of 1960 (avg: 94.5) and the Top 10 of 1961 (avg: 91.7). (more…)