"Your future's all used up." The line doesn't go with this scene, but neither that line nor this scene are in the original novel. All that great work comes from Welles.

“Your future’s all used up.” The line doesn’t go with this scene, but neither that line nor this scene are in the original novel. All that great work comes from Welles.

My Top 10:

  1. Touch of Evil
  2. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  3. Separate Tables
  4. The Horse’s Mouth
  5. Vertigo
  6. Therese Raquin
  7. The Last Hurrah
  8. The Bravados
  9. The Horror of Dracula
  10. The Brothers Karamazov

Note:  There are 13 films on my list.  Me and the Colonel is reviewed because its was a WGA nominee and the other two are listed down below. (more…)

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“They were clustered / At the right waist-port; the gun was there, / And Homer hung against it, crying joy. / They saw a river; they all knew it.” (p 22)

My Top 7:

  1. The Best Years of Our Lives
  2. Brief Encounter
  3. The Big Sleep
  4. It’s a Wonderful Life
  5. Henry V
  6. The Spiral Staircase
  7. The Killers

note:  This is an interesting year.  It’s one of the greatest years in film history and the Top 7 films (Children of Paradise and Notorious are original scripts) are better than than the top 7 of any other year.  However, there’s a big drop-off after those seven and thus I only have a Top 7, not a Top 10.

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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…)

“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 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…)

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…)

the 1951 Modern Library dust jacket for Ernest Hemingways The Sun Also Rises (1926)

The Sun Also Rises

  • Author:  Ernest Hemingway (1899  –  1961)
  • Rank:  #46
  • Published:  1926
  • Publisher:  Charles Scribner’s Sons
  • Pages:  247
  • First Line:  “Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton.”
  • Last Lines:  “ ‘Oh, Jake,’ Brett said, ‘we could have had such a damned good time together.’  Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic.  He raised his baton.  The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me.  ‘Yes,’ I said.  ‘Isn’t it pretty to think so?’ ”
  • ML Edition:  #170  –  two dust jackets  (1935, 1946) – Bennet Cerf was unable to get a renewal on the Scribner’s authors and thus Hemingway, Wolfe and Fitzgerald were gone from the Modern Library by the mid-50’s
  • Film Version:  1957  (**.5 – dir. Henry King),  1984 TV film
  • Acclaim:  All-TIME List; Modern Library Top 100 English Language Novels of the 20th Century #45
  • First Read:  Spring 1994 (more…)