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…)

"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

(more…)

"I have known her six years and seen her twice in a decent dress. Once was at a funeral of a big producer for whom she had no respect and once when she had to receive a Critics award she didn't want." (The Wisdom of Eve)

“I have known her six years and seen her twice in a decent dress. Once was at a funeral of a big producer for whom she had no respect and once when she had to receive a Critics award she didn’t want.” (“The Wisdom of Eve”)

My Top 8:

  1. All About Eve
  2. Night and the City
  3. Kind Hearts and Coronets
  4. The Asphalt Jungle
  5. Harvey
  6. In a Lonely Place
  7. Cinderella
  8. Broken Arrow

Note:  Yes, only a Top 8.  There are 20 films in this year that I rate ***.5 or better and only seven of them are adapted (Broken Arrow is a high ***).  The Third Man is often thought of as adapted, but the script was actually written first. (more…)

Perhaps the greatest action film ever made.

Perhaps the greatest action film ever made.

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 10 in each category because there are a strong Top 10 in most of the categories but only the top 5 make the nomination list (except for Actor).

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Seven Samurai
  2. The Searchers
  3. The Killing
  4. Richard III  *
  5. The Ladykillers
  6. Forbidden Planet
  7. Diabolique
  8. Baby Doll
  9. La Strada
  10. Sawdust and Tinsel

(more…)

rashomon

There may be no truth. But there is one of the most brilliant films ever made.

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 .

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Rashomon
  2. Singin’ in the Rain
  3. High Noon  **
  4. The Bad and the Beautiful
  5. The Lavender Hill Mob
  6. Miss Julie
  7. The Quiet Man  *
  8. Moulin Rouge  *

(more…)

It's possible that this film doesn't move you.  It's also possible you have no heart.

It’s possible that this film doesn’t move you. It’s also possible you have no heart.

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 (this is the first year that there are nominees for the Globes).  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 winner.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Bicycle Thieves  *
  2. The Heiress  *
  3. A Canterbury Tale
  4. A Letter to Three Wives  *
  5. It Always Rains on Sunday

(more…)

ealingI came into these films backwards, the same way, in a sense, that I came to Hammer Horror.  And I owe my initial dive to the same source: Star Wars.

As I have said before, Star Wars was a film with an absolutely inspired casting.  To balance out the three relatively new faces in the main roles, Lucas brought in two British stalwarts, who happened to be the stars of two of the best series of films to ever come out of the island – The Hammer Horror films star Peter Cushing and the brilliant star of the best of the Ealing Comedies: Alec Guinness.  I would eventually go to the Hammer films because of my love for Dracula films.  But I came to Ealing because, after Star Wars, and all those David Lean films, Alec Guinness would eventually surpass Humphrey Bogart as my favorite actor of all-time.  And so naturally I went looking for his other films.  And was I ever surprised to discover that this brilliant dramatic actor had once been considered the finest comic actor in Britain.  And that opened up a whole new world of films for me: The Ealing Comedies. (more…)