Tuesday, 14 December 2004

Sixty years at the movies

I started to make a list of films that I have enjoyed with the intention of putting it into my profile, but I discovered that my Blogger template not only insisted on calling them Favorite Films, but limited the list to six hundred characters. This would restrict the number of films to be included to about twenty-five, and as during some decades I went to the pictures up to three times a week this would have meant leaving out many essential ones.

Anyway, for the moment I have selected fifty and put them on a separate page. They are listed HERE.

Each title has a link to a review, mostly from The New York Times, IMDb or the invaluable www.filmsite.org .


Eric said...

There seems to be a distinct lack of any war related films on your list. Humphrey Bogart in Sarah is one of my favorites. Others include Patton, Saving Private Ryan, and In Harm's Way.

Rethabile said...

I think perhaps Tony does not yet have space enough for newer films like "Saving Private Ryan," assuming he likes the film.

Tony said...

Odd that both the first two commenters mentioned Saving Private Ryan. I quite liked it, but it didn't meet either of my criteria for inclusion: memorability and inspiring the desire to see it again. If I had made a list of films I had merely liked there would have been several hundred on it; I can hardly have seen less than 2,000 movies altogether, if you count those I have watched on TV.
There are several "war related" films on the list, though the only one which is set entirely in the front line is the marvellous Paths of Glory.
Most of the war films I have seen more recently remain in my mind only as a composite blur of steel helmets and loud bangs.

Tony said...

Couldn't trace Sarah, Eric.Do you mean Sahara? Guess I must have seen it when it came out in 1943 because I was going to the movies three times a week around that time, but I have no recollection of it.

Eric said...

Yes, sorry for the typo, I meant Sahara from 1943 which was directed by Zoltan Korda. For me this movie and the others I listed fit the criteria you mentioned. My criteria being about the same.

I have read the memoirs from some WWII veterans and the movie Saving Private Ryan helped me to see even better what that generation endured to literally save the world from evil.

Tony said...

OK, Eric, so that's one (or two) that you would choose. Why not complete your own list of 50 and put it on your website?

Pennyroyal said...

I don't like war-movies either, but Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" is an exception. Did you know that it was inspired by one of the best elegies ever written:

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th'inevitable hour.
The PATHS OF GLORY lead but to the grave.
(Elegy Written in a Country Church-yard)

The German song that comes at the end is another elegy, part of which is the following dialogue between a soldier and his dying sweetheart (although Kubrick decides to include the first part):

Grüß Gott, grüß Gott, Herzliebste mein!
Was machst du hier im Bett allein?"
"Hab dank, hab Dank, mein treuer Knab'!
Mit mir wird's heißen bald: ins Grab!"

["Hello, hello my darling!
What are you doing here in bed all by yourself?"
"Thank you, thank you my faithful lad. With me it will soon be the grave!"]

Hope all's well with you:)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tony said...

Hallo Pennyroyal
No, I didn't know the title was a quotation from Gray, or the origin of the German song. Thank you!
Talking of Kubrick, I would add to my list his Barry Lyndon which I saw for the first time the other day. It is so beautiful to look at: his use of natural light makes most other period films look vulgar. And the Schubert trios he used are among my favourite pieces.

Froog said...

I'm missing 7 of the earlier ones. I should try to find them among Beijing's multitudinous pirated DVD sellers.

The only one of your choices to which I take exception is The Usual Suspects, which I found smug, obvious, nonsensical, and not nearly so "clever" as it was trying to be.

My favourite Kubrick is Dr Strangelove; although 2001, Paths of Glory, and, possibly, Spartacus might also make my own Top 50.

I was glad to see Pepe le Moko in your list. A fantastic gangster film, and one I was lucky enough to find recently on a pirated DVD. While speaking of Jean Gabin, though, I am surprised by your omission of La Grande Illusion. And Le Jour Se Leve. And... Oh, stop me....

(And sorry about the lack of accents. You know what I mean.)

Tony said...

Yes, the list needs updating and I have this in hand.

The criterion was memorability, not merit. I rather agree that The Usual Suspects isn't marvellous, but it did stick in my memory.

With a few exceptions, I always found gabinerie fairly forgettable, see here.