Screen Shot 2021-09-25 at 7.20.43 AMThis is the 12th part of the countdown of the Top 1000 Films of the first Century of Film (1912-2011).  The introduction can be found here.  Just click here to find the other parts.

Films 450 through 428 are a 92.  The rest are a 93.  Both are mid ****. (more…)


” ‘Mrs. Robinson,’ he said, turning around, ‘you are trying to seduce me.’ She frowned at him. ‘Aren’t you.’ She seated herself again on the couch. ‘Aren’t you?’ ” (p 22)

My Top 10:

  1. The Graduate
  2. In the Heat of the Night
  3. In Cold Blood
  4. Cool Hand Luke
  5. Point Blank
  6. The Comedians
  7. The Deadly Affair
  8. Wait Until Dark
  9. Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne
  10. A Fistful of Dollars

Note:  I not only have a Top 10 again but several films beyond the Top 10 which are down below.  Barefoot in the Park (#11) is the only film on my list I review down below as a WGA nominee. (more…)

To have any other film as my #1 would be inconceivable.

To have any other film as my #1 would be inconceivable.

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 (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  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 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Princess Bride
  2. Hope and Glory  **
  3. Broadcast News  *
  4. Au Revoir, Les Enfants
  5. Empire of the Sun  *
  6. Manon of the Spring
  7. The Dead
  8. Matewan
  9. The Last Emperor  *
  10. Jean de Florette  *

Analysis:  All of these are **** films (and there are three more: Full Metal Jacket, The Untouchables and House of Games).  But, outside of The Princess Bride, none of them are really high-level **** films.  It’s the year of lots of great films but only one of them is truly great.  As a result, we have a Top 5 that is lower than the year before but a Top 10 that is the highest in seven years.  Jean de Florette is the best #10 film since 1963.  And how did the Academy acknowledge this remarkable year?  By nominating Fatal Attraction, one of the worst films ever nominated for Best Picture. (more…)


  • The short story collection to top them all.

    The short story collection to top them all.

    Author:  James Joyce

  • Published:  1914
  • Publisher:  Grant Richards Ltd
  • Pages:  182
  • First Line:  “There was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke.”
  • Last Line:  “His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”
  • ML Edition:  #124  (seven different dust jackets); gold dust jacket
  • Film:  1987  (**** – dir. John Huston)
  • First Read:  early 1993


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…)

Faulkner is the king of the list.  Does that really surprise you?

Faulkner is the king of the list. Does that really surprise you?

Before I put up the full Top 100 list (and do the post for #1), I am tossing up this bit of various trivia and statistics about the novels on my Top 100 list and on the 101-200 list.

Please note that none of the lists involving 101-200 have numbers attached because I didn’t rank them.

  • Longest Top 100 Novel:  In Search of Lost Time  (4651 pages)
  • Shortest Top 100 Novel:  Heart of Darkness  (96 pages)
  • Earliest Top 100 Novel:  Gulliver’s Travels  (1726)
  • Latest Top 100 Novel:  Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel  (2004)
  • Latest Top 200 Novel:  The Night Circus / The Tiger’s Wife  (2011) (more…)
I could have used a picture of me reading it but why would I do it when I have this one?

I could have used a picture of me reading it but why would I do that when I have this one?


  • Rank:  #3
  • Author:  James Joyce  (1882  –  1941)
  • Published:  1922
  • Publisher:  Sylvia Beach
  • Pages:  783
  • First Line:  “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.”
  • Last Line:  “and yes I said yes I will Yes.”
  • Acclaim:  Modern Library Top 100 English-Language Novels of the 20th Century #1
  • ML Version:  ML Giant #52 (two dust jackets – 1940, 1967); Ulysses in Nighttown (excerpt published as P-45); tan dust jacket; gold dust jacket (1992)
  • Film:  1967  (dir. Joseph Strick – ***), 2003 (Bloom – dir. Sean Walsh)
  • First Read:  July – August 2000 (more…)

The gold Modern Library edition of Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

  • Rank:  #7
  • Author:  James Joyce  (1882 – 1941)
  • Published:  1914-15 (serial), 1916 (U.S.)
  • Publisher:  The Egoist (serial), B. W. Huebsch (U.S.)
  • Pages:  247 (Signet Classic)
  • First Line:  “Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo.”
  • Last Line:  “Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead.”
  • Acclaim:  Modern Library Top 100 English Language Novels of the 20th Century #3
  • ML Version:  #145  (4 dust jackets – 1928, 1931, 1941, 1954); gold hardcover (1996)
  • Film:  1977  (**.5 – dir. Joseph Strick)
  • First Read:  Fall, 1991


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…)

my personal collection of the Viking Portable Library, organized by spine #

There are few publishing ventures as wonderful as the Viking Portable Library.  While the Modern Library, for a long time offered low cost hardcover classics, they were all separate works.  But in the Viking Portable Library, you could sum up great authors in the scope of one book.

If you followed the wits of the Algonquin Round Table, you know that Alexander Woollcott often got the short end of the stick (he was savaged as the lead character in The Man Who Came to Dinner and when he looked at one of his own books and sighed “Ah, what is so rare as a Woollcott first edition”, Franklin Adams quickly replied “A Woollcott second edition.”).  But in the first part of World War II, remembering his days as a soldier during the first World War, Woollcott decided to put together a book of pieces from various American authors for servicemen to read.  He proposed it to his publishing house, Viking.  It would be hardcover (a flexible hardcover for durability and making it easy to put anywhere), but also small, compact, though with a lot of pages.  They had light paper and small margins, but were compact, and most of all, portable.  After all, they were being designed for soldiers. (more…)