Check, check, check (1-20)


The AFI has released a new Best 100 list (in case you hadn't heard). Once upon a time, Lady Steed and I used the last list as a source of evening planning. I'm going to be examining over a series of five posts how our efforts to be filminstas has been going by applying our filmic experiences to the new list:

1. "Citizen Kane," 1941.
    We watched this a few years back and were underwhelmed. But we feel bad, oh gods of film, so we picked up this schmancy restored two-disc version which has since been sitting unopened on our dresser ever since. But we're going to open it soon. And watch it. And love it. We promise.

2. "The Godfather," 1972.
    I picked up the entire trilogy for $5.87 back in oh-four (several copies, actually, but I sold the others for about $30 a pop--which is how much they cost new now. And, um, yeah. Haven't watched any of them yet. Heh. Heh heh.

    But hey! We did watch the $1 copy of FFC's Dementia 13 we picked up at Target!

3. "Casablanca," 1942.
    So I borrowed this movie from work. The first time we watched it, it was like dejavu because I knew every single line from this movie I had never seen.

    I did not know if I liked it or not.

    I watched it 1.5x more that weekend.

    We've since bought our own copy and it's one of my favorite movies. If you have never seen it yet, see it now.

4. "Raging Bull," 1980.
    Scorsese, right? Boxing, right? Maybe someday.

5. "Singin' in the Rain," 1952.
    It's a sad truth that we only have this movie on VHS because this movie is awesome. Really. And as I get older, the two scenes I used to fast-foward through only get better.

6. "Gone With the Wind," 1939.
    You know, I'm not sure if I've ever seen this? I sort of have a policy against seeing three-hour films unless I really really want to see them.

7. "Lawrence of Arabia," 1962.
    Like this one. I really really want to see this one. But on the big screen. Or HD.

8. "Schindler's List," 1993.
    I'm ashamed.

9. "Vertigo," 1958.
    Good that this film moved so far up the list. Bad that it's still not number one. Worse that I missed a chance to see this on the big screen earlier this year.

    I want to replace our copy with a sweet Criterion Edition, but there isn't one yet.

10. "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.
    Okay. If you can't say anything nice....

    I rewatched this movie (not my choice) earlier this year and it was actually pretty compelling. Stupid in different ways from the stupid book it was based on and probably more compelling. Though I still despise the ending.

    We still have a copy because you cannot be culturally literate in America and not know this movie. But I'm must more excited to watch our copy of the racist version (alleged) and see if all the fuss is warranted.

11. "City Lights," 1931.
    Seen it. It was good. Eleventh best movie of all time? Eh. Maybe eleventh most important, but that's not the same thing, is it?

12. "The Searchers," 1956.
    Good ole John Wayne, showing up in the top twenty. It's entirely possible I saw this at the grandparents' as a kid, but I don't remember.

13. "Star Wars," 1977.
    Well, yeah. Duh.

14. "Psycho," 1960.
    Psycho changed my life. But I've mentioned this before (here and here, for instance.)

15. "2001: A Space Odyssey," 1968.
    Never all the way through. Someday, I swear. If I can just get past those dang monkeys....

16. "Sunset Blvd.", 1950.
    In high school. I would probably appreciate it much more now.

17. "The Graduate," 1967.
    No. Like the songs though.

18. "The General," 1927.
    The Big O and I went and saw this together at UC Berkeley and we both loved it. His favorite part? Were the train falls off the bridge into the river. (What else)?)

    Note: Had you any idea that movie's based on a true story?

19. "On the Waterfront," 1954.
    Again, not since high school and, well, boxing

20. "It's a Wonderful Life," 1946.
    Everyone who loves this movie please raise your hand.

    There's a bunch of men with rifles waiting outside for the rest of you.


  1. I agree that there are a lot of movies on here that are "significant" but maybe not artistically fabulous.

    Citizen Kane is kind of like the Hamlet of film studies. I've watched it for several classes and studied it a lot, but it's still not my favorite or anything. Does that make Casablanca the Romeo and Juliet of film?

    I've seen 1,3,8,9,10,11,13,17

    I feel embarrassed about some of the ones I've never seen (like "It's a Wonderful Life"). I also think it's funny that I haven't ever seen Psycho, even though I've seen a bunch of other Hitchcock. I love Vertigo, but I still think Shadow of a Doubt is one of my personal faves.

    You should watch The Graduate. It's a little dated, but still fun.

    Now I need to go watch more movies. Especially because I'm considering applying for the Film and Media Studies PhD at UCSB.

  2. There's a notable difference between significant and good. In the literary world, for example, James Joyce is "Significant" but by no stretch is he good.

    The Searchers is probably one of my favourite westerns, maybe because John Wayne almost acts in it.

  3. .

    Shadow was Hitch's favorite as well, and I, the Great Hitchophile, haven't seen it yet. So I must forgive all others any crime.

    UCSB is a great school in a great town, but a town even more expensive than Seattle. You do know that, don't you?

  4. You forget that I lived 20 minutes south of Santa Barbara for a number of years. My parents are wishing they'd bought a house in Oxnard and stuck around. The main thing keeping me from applying is the stupid cost of living. Well, and the fact that I'm not so sure about whether I want to do Film Studies or stick to Spanish or Comp Lit. I need to decide.

  5. .

    If you do film studies, we'll have more to talk about when you visit.

    Or us you: my brother's family's in Goleta and my other brothers attending SB's community college.

  6. I had to read and then watch 2001: Space Odyssey. I think I even wrote a paper on it. Still have no idea what happened.

    Which scenes in Singin in the Rain did you fast-forward? That and It's a Wonderful Life are two of my favorites. IaWL has so many classic one-liners.

    Th., I didn't realize you were a fan of Hitchcock. We should talk about this. I'm a fledgling fan--still need to invest in my own copies.

  7. #8: Are you ashamed because you haven't seen it, or because there are naked people in it?

    #19: One great reason to watch this movie (but admittedly not for you) if you don't like boxing movies (and as a rule, I don't) is that Marlon Brando is totally hot in it.

    Have not seen 4, 11, 12, 16, 18. I now have a list. We are trying to force our illiterate kids to get culture. Hadn't thought of consulting the AFI before, so thanks.

    I lived in Goleta for a long time. Weird.

  8. .

    My pleasure, Dg.

    eG: If you haven't seen Vertigo yet, that's your priority. Then find The Trouble with Harry. It will totally surprise you.

    Lots of his films are in the public domain and so are a) available supercheap and b) not available in terribly good copies.

    #8: Haven't seen it.

    Singin': The cofessin-love-before-a-soundstage-sunset scene and Gotta Dance! (especially the latter).