A Century of Film


Horror


The Genre

What is a Horror film?  And what would have qualified at the beginning of film?  Kim Newman and James Marriott correctly point out in their great book Horror! The Definitive Companion to the Most Terrifying Movies Ever Made, that as cinema was beginning, so was Horror as a genre, with works like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Dracula.  The first “official” Horror film is The Devil’s Castle, a two minute film from 1896.  Frankenstein was filmed as early as 1910 (a 12 minute film which was just recently restored) and Jekyll even before that in 1908.  The Avenging Conscience, a Griffith film based on works of Poe, is one of the earliest American feature-length films, running 78 minutes. (more…)

Advertisements

A Century of Film


War


The Genre

Though there are those who consider a less stringent definition, for me, a War film is one that actually depicts what is going on during the war.  By that, I generally mean the combat field, though it can also mean those fighting the war who aren’t in actual combat.  I don’t, for the most part, mean things that are happening due to effects of the war (for instance, Holocaust films or other films about civilians during the war), though those do sometimes get war sub-genres. (more…)

Surprisingly enough, there are no Knights Who Say Ni in the original Malory. Neither is there a Black Knight who says “It’s only a flesh wound”, a witch being weighed against a duck, a holy hand grenade or a killer rabbit.

My Top 10

  1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  3. Barry Lyndon
  4. The Man Who Would Be King
  5. Three Days of the Condor
  6. Jaws
  7. The Sunshine Boys
  8. Hester Street
  9. The Story of Adele H.
  10. The Day of the Locust

note:  Originally, Hester Street was reviewed as a WGA nominee.  But, my reaction to the film bumped it up the list and it displaced French Connection II (which still gets reviewed because it was also a WGA nominee).

(more…)

“I was like wandering all over the flat in pain and sickness, trying to shut out the music and like groaning deep out of my guts, and then on top of the pile of books and papers and all that cal that was on the table in the living-room I viddied what I had to do and what I had wanted to do until those old men in the Public Biblio and then Dim and Billyboy disguised as rozzes stopped me, and that was to do myself in, to snuff it, to blast off for ever out of this wicked and cruel world.” (p 192-193)

My Top 10

  1. A Clockwork Orange
  2. The French Connection
  3. The Last Picture Show
  4. McCabe and Mrs. Miller
  5. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
  6. The Go-Between
  7. They Might Be Giants
  8. The Conformist

Note:  The only reason this year reaches 10 is because I moved The Go-Between into my list after watching it again.  Still a big drop-off from the Top 5 to the second 5.
Second Note:  I wrote that a couple of months ago.  Then I re-watched Sometimes a Great Notion and Dodes Ka-Den and decided that neither of them actually merited being on the list.  So that dropped my list back down to 8.  Sadly, I didn’t decide this until after reading Sometimes a Great Notion, which I thought was nigh on unreadable. (more…)

One of film’s most iconic moments and not in the original at all.

My Top 10:

  1. Dr. Strangelove
  2. High and Low
  3. Harakiri
  4. Mary Poppins
  5. The Americanization of Emily
  6. The Best Man
  7. The Night of the Iguana
  8. The Chalk Garden
  9. Goldfinger
  10. My Fair Lady

Note:  There are 20 films on my list.  Only one of the other ten is reviewed below as a WGA nominee (Seven Days in May).  The other nine are all listed towards the bottom of the post. (more…)

“The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.” That line is nowhere in the book but neither is almost any other line of dialogue in the film.

My Top 10:

  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird
  3. Jules and Jim
  4. The Manchurian Candidate
  5. Throne of Blood
  6. Lolita
  7. Billy Budd
  8. The Music Man
  9. Sweet Bird of Youth
  10. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Note:  There are 20 films on my list.  Only one of the other ten is reviewed: #12 – The Miracle Worker while the rest are listed down towards the bottom. (more…)

“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…)