#fav7films? 7? Seriously? No way. Not a chance. Not for this film buff.

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Favourite Films:

  1. Casablanca (1942) – Yes I’m a hopeless romantic.
  2. Citizen Kane (1941) – The greatest film of all time. Yes it is.
  3. Some Like It Hot (1959) – Marilyn Monroe with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. And gangsters.
  4. East of Eden (1955) – James Dean is mesmerizing.
  5. Shane (1953) – If I had a son he would have been named after the Alan Ladd character.
  6. On The Waterfront (1954) – Always a contender for best film.
  7. The Godfather (1972) – The trilogy. And I don’t mind III as much as many people seem to.
  8. Goodfellas (1990) – Scorsese or Spielberg?
  9. The Deer Hunter (1978) – So powerful. Longest post-movie-stay-in-my-seat period ever.
  10. Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) – Forget Heaven Can Wait. Watched more often as a kid than Wizard of Oz. Final scene gets me every time.
  11. Network (1976) – Screenwriter Paddy Chayevsky was a visionary.
  12. Lawrence Of Arabia (1962) – Shamed into finally watching a few years ago by Jay Farrar & Annakin Slayd. Would love to see it in a theatre.
  13. Raging Bull (1980) – Lost Best Picture Oscar to Ordinary People.
  14. The Sting (1973) – Paul Newman & Robert Redford II.
  15. All The President’s Men (1976) – If I taught a journalism class I’d make students watch every year. Now as part of a double bill with Spotlight.
  16. Diner (1982) – Barry Levinson’s directing debut with a terrific young ensemble cast (unknown at the time) who were encouraged to improvise. Great fun.
  17. Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid (1969) – Incredible chemistry between Newman and Redford. Too bad they didn’t make a third film together.
  18. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – While Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman should have done another.
  19. I’m Not There (2007) – As a big Dylan fan (surprise) I was so moved by the obvious love and affection thrown Dylan’s way by director Todd Haynes. Considering his subject matter Haynes made the best biopic possible in a truly original manner.
  20. American Graffiti (1973) – Early scene with Wolfman Jack cinched a radio career for me.
  21. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) – Message hits home on a hot August night too, not just at Christmas.
  22. Play Misty For Me (1971) – Clint Eastwood as smooth, sexy FM radio host set in the beauty of Carmel, California. Eastwood’s first film as a director. Precursor to Fatal Attraction.
  23. The Great Escape (1963) – Steve McQueen with a baseball glove and a motorcycle.
  24. JFK (1991) – Brilliantly pieced together by Oliver Stone. And a lot closer to the truth than the Warren Commision.
  25. In The Heat Of The Night (1967) – The quiet strength and dignity of Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) is a sobering reminder for America.

Coming soon: 26-50 and a review of “Nerve”.

Here’s the rest of the list – and remember, operative word here is favourite:

  1. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – Can you imagine Kirk Douglas as McMurphy instead of Jack Nicholson? That was the original plan for producer Michael Douglas.
  2. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) – Aticus Finch was Gregory Peck’s favourite role. Enough said.
  3. Apocolypse Now! (1979) – In the end it took more out of Coppola than perhaps it was worth. He had already cemented his legacy with The Godfather but after this hellish version of the Vietnam War he never came close again.
  4. The Usual Suspects (1995) – Brilliant script won a much deserved Oscar for Christopher McQuarrie.
  5. Midnight Cowboy (1969) – Incredibly memorable performnces by Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. I’m walkin’ here!
  6. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962) – I never fail to tune in when I see this Western morality play. Difficult to get a better cast for an early 60s Western than John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Lee Marvin.
  7. North By Northwest (1959) – Irresistable combination of Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason and on location shooting at Mount Rushmore.
  8. Giant (1956) – James Dean steals a movie that featured Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor. He never lived to see it. But, through his portrayal of Jeff Rink, we do get to see what he might have looked like at 50 or so had he not been killed in his Porsche 550 Spyder at the age of 24.
  9. Bullitt (1968) – Ultra cool Steve McQueen is a San Fransisco cop. Pre- Dirty Harry. Stretched out final scene (about 11 minutes) is a classic car chase that created an epidemic.
  10. Almost Famous (2000) – Cameron Crowe’s autobiographical love letter to rock and roll and Rolling Stone in the early 70s.
  11. Pirate Radio (2009) – Nearly 10 years later it was time for another fact based rock and roll story – this one from my favourite musical year of 1966.
  12. Crazy Heart (2009) – A role Jeff Bridgers had to age to play. Worth the wait for his first Oscar. Seeing Ryan Bingham on the big screen is also pretty cool.
  13. Kelly’s Heroes (1970) – A take off on The Dirty Dozen and other star studded war movies of the 60s. Clint Eastwood leads a rag tag group of soldiers into enemy territory in an effort to grab millions of dollars worth of gold. Donald Sutherland’s spaced out tank commander named Oddball is a howl of a performance.
  14. Jaws (1975) – Long, long before great white sharks started to gather in greater numbers off the coast of Cape Cod there were proud swimmers who wanted nothing to do with the Atlantic. All because of this film.
  15. 12 Angry Men (1957) – Henry Fonda won’t allow his fellow jurors to convict an 18 year old boy of knifing his father to death. Lee J. Cobb is Fonda’s main adversary in this Sidney Lumet directed classic tale, shot almost entirely in a post-trial jury room.
  16. Rebel Without A Cause (1955) – Imagine being a rebellious teenager in the mid-50s when the anti-establishment consisted mostly of marginalized Beats and jazz artists. A little dated by today’s standards but it packed a powerful punch upon its release. And turned James Dean into a superstar.
  17. LA Confidential (1997) – Curtis Hanson took the LA of Rebel Without A Cause and painted it noire.
  18. Thelma and Louise (1991) – Why aren’t there more female buddy films?
  19. Casino (1995) – Scorsese is too good.
  20. Animal House (1978) – Long live John Belushi.
  21. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) – Jimmy Stewart’s tour-de-force as young, idealistic Jefferson Smith on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Oh how that bloated body could learn a thing or two from a movie that’s nearly 80 years old.
  22. To Have And Have Not (1944) – Bogey, meet Bacall. Now whistle.
  23. Pulp Fiction (1994) – I like Tarantino. I do. But I like a lot of other directors a little bit more.
  24. Bull Durham (1988) – Director-writer Ron Shelton admitted that he lifted some of his dialogue right off the pages of Bill Lee’s first book “The Wrong Stuff” – like a strikeout is a fascist weapon while a ground ball is the perfect form of democracy.
  25. The Misfits (1961) – Star crossed film based in Nevada is highlighted by a heartfelt, emotionally charged performance by Marilyn Monroe in her last film, written by her husband Arthur Miller. But their marriage had fallen apart by then. Clarke Gable was never better in his career, yet didn’t live to see its release as he died of a heart attack two days after shooting ended. Another great actor – Montgomery Clift – was also in the midst of a steep personal decline. He made just three more movies before dying in 1967 at the age of 45. Director John Huston gambled away production money while drinking heavily. Despite all this it’s a truly great film.

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