“Det håller tre Wallare upå vår gård, De hafva gjort af med döttrarne vår.” (“There are three highwaymen in our yard, Who have our daughters slain.”)

My Top 10:

  1. The Virgin Spring
  2. The Cranes are Flying
  3. Tunes of Glory
  4. The World of Apu
  5. Elmer Gantry
  6. Our Man in Havana
  7. Sons and Lovers
  8. Inherit the Wind
  9. Psycho
  10. Spartacus

Note:  My full list is 18 films long.  The rest of the list is down at the bottom (in rank order by script). (more…)

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Suicide is painless indeed.

Suicide is painless indeed.

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 7 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.  Why am I only listing the Top 7 when I’ve been listing the Top 10 for quite a while now?  Well, how should I put this?  This is a TERRIBLE YEAR FOR FILM.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. M*A*S*H  **
  2. Five Easy Pieces  *
  3. Patton  *
  4. The Twelve Chairs
  5. Women in Love
  6. Mississippi Mermaid
  7. Lovers and Other Strangers

Analysis:  How terrible a year in film?  Well, there are only three **** films.  It’s the first year since 1930 that there have been less than four.  Patton is also the weakest #3 film since 1930.  Five Easy Pieces is the weakest #2 film since 1945.  In the 1960’s M*A*S*H would have won the award in several years; Five Easy Pieces would have only been nominated in three years.  In the 1950’s, M*A*S*H would only have won the award in two years and Patton would have never finished higher than sixth.  Both the Top 5 and the Top 10 are the weakest since 1945. (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…)

  • my first scan: my actual copy of Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence (1920)

    Women in Love

  • Author:  D.H. Lawrence  (1885-1930)
  • Rank:  #92
  • Published:  1920
  • Publisher:  Thomas Seltzer
  • Pages:  541  (Penguin)
  • First Line:  “Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen sat one morning in the window-bay of their father’s house in Beldover, working and talking.”
  • Last Lines:  ” ‘You can’t have it, because it’s false, impossible,’ she said.  ‘I don’t believe that,’ he answered.”
  • ML Edition:  #68  (three dust jackets – 1938, 1950, 1967)
  • Film:  1969  –  ***.5  (dir. Ken Russell)
  • Acclaim:  Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century  –  #49
  • Read:  Winter, 1996 (more…)