VALMONT: Why not? To seduce a woman famous for strict morals, religious ferver and the happiness of her marriage: what could possibly be more prestigious? (Scene 1)

My Top 10

  1. Dangerous Liaisons
  2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  3. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  4. The Accidental Tourist
  5. Little Dorrit
  6. Babette’s Feast
  7. Eight Men Out
  8. A Cry in the Dark
  9. Dead Ringers
  10. A Handful of Dust

note:  Overall, a strong winner, but not a great Top 5 or Top 10.  The Top 5 won’t be this weak again until 1995.  Of course, as is often the case, balanced out by a phenomenal group of original scripts, the second best to-date (A Fish Called Wanda, Running on Empty, Bull Durham, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Wings of Desire).

note:  I checked 1987 and there were 10 films on the list at the bottom with a number in the title; in this year, it’s 14.  From here on, sequels will really become a massive part of this project, ironic in that the #1 film at the box office in this year (Rain Man) is original and has never had a sequel, something only Titanic and Avatar (so far) can say since then.


"But the moment my eyes locked onto hers in that dark grove, I knew I couldn't leave there until I had killed him."

“But the moment my eyes locked onto hers in that dark grove, I knew I couldn’t leave there until I had killed him.”

My Top 10:

  1. Rashomon
  2. The Bad and the Beautiful
  3. Miss Julie
  4. The Man in the White Suit
  5. The Quiet Man
  6. A Christmas Carol
  7. The Card
  8. Sudden Fear
  9. Moulin Rouge
  10. Carrie


STANLEY [with heaven-splitting violence]: STELL-LAHHHHH!

STANLEY [with heaven-splitting violence]: STELL-LAHHHHH!  (p 60)

My Top 10:

  1. A Streetcar Named Desire
  2. Detective Story
  3. A Place in the Sun
  4. The African Queen
  5. Strangers on a Train
  6. Oliver Twist
  7. La Ronde
  8. Death of a Salesman
  9. He Ran All the Way
  10. Alice in Wonderland


"But, I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre, and was faded and yellow. I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes." (p. 50 - Norton Critical Edition)

“But, I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre, and was faded and yellow. I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes.” (p. 50 – Norton Critical Edition)

My Top 10:

  1. Great Expectations
  2. La belle et la Bête
  3. Crossfire
  4. Out of the Past
  5. Gentleman’s Agreement
  6. This Happy Breed
  7. Boomerang!
  8. Brighton Rock
  9. Ride the Pink Horse
  10. Green for Danger

note:  After only having seven in the great year of 1946, I have a full list of 10 and a couple more besides (see below). (more…)

Romance and fantasy come to life in Cocteau's fairy tale.

Romance and fantasy come to life in Cocteau’s fairy tale.

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.  Films in blue were nominated.

This is the second year of the reduced number of nominees in the tech categories at the Oscars – Sound and Art Direction (the name finally changed from Interior Decoration) would have three nominees each with Cinematography and Special Effects only having two each.  It’s the fifth year for the Golden Globes, but there are still no nominees and no distinction between Drama and Comedy – the films marked in red in my Globes section won the Globe.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. La Belle et la bête
  2. Great Expectations
  3. Stairway to Heaven  (A Matter of Life and Death)
  4. Ivan the Terrible Part I
  5. Crossfire

Analysis: A big drop-off from 1946, of course.  But an even bigger one if you want to factor in that the top four films aren’t actually from this year.  This was the year that the films from foreign markets finally started flooding in.  Eleven of my Top 20 films weren’t originally released in this year; nor is that fully reflected in the number of foreign language films, as five of my top 14 are British films released in Britain in earlier years.  And, again, there aren’t a great crop of Comedies (my Best Picture – Comedy winner is my #19 film of the year), so here are the films that follow, in order: Out of the Past, Gentleman’s Agreement, Miracle on 34th Street, L’Atalante, I See a Dark Stranger, Brute Force, I Know Where I’m Going, Brighton Rock, This Happy Breed, Boomerang, Torment, Shoeshine and The Devil’s Envoys. (more…)

I grabbed this banner from  They deserve credit, because it's awesome.

I grabbed this banner from They deserve credit, because it’s awesome.

My Top 10 Adapted Screenplays:

  1. Greed  (1925)
  2. The Phantom of the Opera  (1925)
  3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame  (1923)
  4. Faust  (1926)
  5. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse  (1921)
  6. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  (1920)
  7. Ingeborg Holm  (1913)
  8. Oliver Twist  (1922)
  9. The Birth of a Nation  (1915)
  10. The Avenging Conscience  (1914) (more…)
The Top 100 Novels.

The Top 100 Novels.

Here it is.  My Top 100 Novels – the complete list.

The intro was here.  The second 100 can be found here.  Various statistics and trivia about the list can be found here.

Here is the list: (more…)

My Harper Perennial Classic copy of Great Expectations

Great Expectations

  • Author:  Charles Dickens  (1812  –  1870)
  • Rank:  #35
  • Published:  1861
  • Publisher:  Chapman & Hall
  • Pages:  495
  • First Line:  “My father’s family name being Pirrip and my christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip.”
  • Last Line:  “I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place; and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I first left the forge, so the evening mists were rising now, and in all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw the shadow of no parting from her.”
  • ML Edition:  Modern Library Classics (2001) – surprisingly, never in hardcover
  • Film: many – most notably 1946 (**** – David Lean), 1998 (*** – Alfonso Cuarón)
  • First Read:  Spring, 1989 (more…)

My Dickens and Dostoevsky Bantam Classics

The Bantam and Signet go side by side.  Bantam is the classics paperback side of Random House just like Signet covers that for Penguin.  They are owned by two of the largest publishers and they publish many of the same books.  They are possibly the two best ways to get large library of classics in paperback.  They look great, they hold up well and they are a great bargain.

Bantam hasn’t been doing this as long as Signet – Signet, after all, has been around for decades, and I am not doing a whole history of Bantam.  These classics are the ones that began to be published around about 1981.  There were earlier Bantam Classics, but they seem to have set aside a large group of ISBN’s beginning in 1981 and they began to make them more uniform.  For a long time, they were all one solid color along the side – the Dostoevksy’s in the picture are a good example of what I love about them.  They also standardized the font on the front and spine, so they all look good together on the shelf. (more…)

John Garfield getting upset that he wasn't nominated alongside Gregory Peck and Celeste Holm for Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

The 20th Academy Awards, for the film year 1947.  The nominations were announced on February 15, 1948 and the awards were held on March 20, 1948

Best Picture:  Gentleman’s Agreement

  • Great Expectations
  • Crossfire
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • The Bishop’s Wife

Most Surprising Omission:  A Double Life

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  La belle et la bete

Best Eligible English Language Film Not Nominated:  A Matter of Life and Death

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #34 (more…)