A nice ensemble pic from M*A*S*H that doesn’t really have a corresponding scene in the book.

My Top 10:

  1. M*A*S*H
  2. The Twelve Chairs
  3. Women in Love
  4. Lovers and Other Strangers
  5. Patton
  6. Floating Weeds
  7. The Joke
  8. Mississippi Mermaid
  9. Where’s Poppa?
  10. Catch-22

Note:  Not a strong Top 10, although at least it has 10.  The 2-5 are the weakest as a whole since 1965 and there won’t be a weaker group until 1976.  They look even weaker because they are between two very strong years.  Patton would have been #9 in 1969. (more…)

1950 has Sunset Blvd, the greatest film ever made.  1951 has A Streetcar Named Desire, with the greatest acting ever put on screen.

1950 has Sunset Blvd, the greatest film ever made. 1951 has A Streetcar Named Desire, with the greatest acting ever put on screen.

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 going with a top 8 this time, even though only the top 5 in each category earn nominations (except Actor, but that will be explained).  I went with 8 because there are 8 great films in this year.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. A Streetcar Named Desire  **
  2. Strangers on a Train
  3. Detective Story  *
  4. The African Queen
  5. A Place in the Sun  *
  6. Oliver Twist
  7. Ace in the Hole
  8. La Ronde  *


It's all up for Gyppo.

“His mind was struggling along aimlessly in pursuit of his actions, impotently deprecating them and whispering warnings.  But it was powerless.”

My Top 10:

  1. The Informer
  2. Les Misérables
  3. The 39 Steps
  4. Mutiny on the Bounty
  5. Captain Blood
  6. Bride of Frankenstein
  7. The Scarlet Pimpernel
  8. The Dark Angel
  9. David Copperfield
  10. Ruggles of Red Gap

Note:  After a weak year that could only muster seven for its list, we have a complete list.  And a strong list at that – I am sorely tempted to nominate six films, but I draw the line at the traditional five – indeed, for Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay these six films will move around, with a different one being the 6th, and non-nominated film, in all three of those categories.  The only downside is that eight of the ten are dramas – 1935 is a much better year overall, but 1934 had those really great comedies. (more…)

Sinclair Lewis is king of the second 100, with four books.  He is on the cover of Time Magazine, 15 years after winning the Nobel Prize.  Have you ever read anything by him?

Sinclair Lewis is king of the second 100, with four books. Here he is on the cover of Time Magazine, 15 years after winning the Nobel Prize, yet now he is mostly forgotten or ignored. Have you ever read anything by him?

This list works a bit differently than the Top 100.  First of all, this is not a ranked list.  Except for the first three listed titles, they are placed on this list chronologically.  Second, I have not been back through each one of these titles the way I have gone through the Top 100.  Some of these I haven’t re-read in years while every one of the Top 100 were re-read before I wrote on them.  There won’t be individual posts on these books.  Think of this list as less the definitive second 100 as 100 great novels that are worth a read.

Don’t mistake me.  These aren’t just books I enjoy reading.  I hope to start a series soon called Great Reads (which will all get individual posts), which are all about the books I really enjoy, but that don’t really belong on a list like this one, let alone the Top 100.  These are all great novels (though some might also end up in Great Reads).

What about your book, the one you were surprised didn’t make the Top 100 and are even more surprised didn’t make this list?  Well, I had to pare it down (I originally typed out over 125 novels and considered far more).  Just imagine that whatever book you’re thinking of that didn’t make the list was one of the last ones I cut.  Well, unless your book is Infinite Jest, Middlemarch, On the Road or anything by Jane Austen or Henry James.  If you thought those might ever make the list you have clearly never read anything else I have ever posted on literature and are probably brand new to the site.  Welcome!

Now, as for those first three titles.  Well, I made the decision not to re-approach my list while in the process of doing these posts (of course I didn’t know it would take over three years to get the whole list done).  Because of that, sometimes things come up that I realized belonged on the list.  The first of them was something I had somehow never read and as soon as I read it (mid-2011), I realized it should have been on the list.  The second was one I went back and re-read in the summer of 2012 after re-watching the film with Veronica and I realized I had long under-estimated it and it should have been on the list.  The third of them I have the best excuse for – it hadn’t even been written when I did the list.  But it belongs on it.  So those are the de facto other Top 100 books. (more…)