Nancy and I are readers and movie watchers. We have a television that is not connected to a cable or satellite service – it is our movie machine.
After watching a movie the other night I started thinking about my favorite movies. It took only a few minutes to come up with 26 best movies. Next I thought I should add my favorite “all time worse movie”. Then while researching I added two more movies. This totals 29 movies leaving an open space for one more movie to make an even 30 movies. I can’t wait to read what my friends and family believe are the BEST movies of all time and choosing one more movie to make “30 Best All Time Movies”
Farther below is a list of my favorite movies. To keep it short I limited it to American produced movies. The list is not in order, except the last movie listed contains the male role I should have been born to live.
I choose movies because of the characters, action, humor, romance, a time in my life, and I just liked it. I didn’t allow politics to enter into the equation or why would I choose “The Way We Were” with Barbara Streisand. As good as the movie “The Man Who Killed Liberty Valance” is, part of the reason it made my list is I remember being about 12 years old seeing this at the Cactus Drive-in Movie Theater with my family. “A Few Good Men” has one of the strongest lines ever delivered, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”
My worse movie is all my cousin’s Tim’s fault. One Saturday afternoon I made the mistake of stopping at my cousin’s Tim place. Next thing I know he has convienced me to watch the worse movie (his words) of all time: “The Attach of the Killer Tomatoes”. The good news is there were four cold beers in the refrigerator, a partial bag of potatoe chips and left over dip from the night before to serve as lunch. I have watched hundreds of movies since this momentous Saturday and none have come close to unseating this (most) worse movie.
I knew I had several huge favorite stars. However, it was until I read through my list that I discovered who were also in my favorite movies. You will find Jack Nicholson listed in four movies and Humphrey Bogart, Robert Duvall and Tom Cruise in three movies each.
Surprising but no Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Nicole Kidman, Nicolas Cage, Paul Newman, Audrey Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Johnny Depp, Anothony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, James Earl Jones, Sophia Lorren, Sean Penn, Kevin Spacy, Billy Bob Thorton, Lauren Bacall, Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Glenn Close, or Glenda Jackson.
Most of my movie selections are men based movies. However, Meg Ryan does show up in two of the movies. How many of you remember she is a supporting actress in “Top Gun” or how about Meryl Streep in “The Deer Hunter“?
Directors were all over the board. Two movies each for John Huston, Francis Ford Coppola and Rob Reiner. Who else would have two movies in their Best list directed by “All in the Family’s”, Meat Head? Also in my list are John Ford, Roman Polanski, Robert Altman and the Coen brothers. In addition, there are a dozen or so directors who I have never heard of – go figure.
The God Father: My favorite gangster movie. And, my favorite business movie. This movie is all about power, honor, loyalty, friendship, and courage stirred by corruption, revenge and violence.
Animal House: Some of my days at the University of Arizona were very similar. Moreover, what great comedy did we all miss with John Belushi’s drug overdosed?
The Matrix, The Alamo, Gone With the Wind, Apocalypse Now and any Humphrey Bogart movie: Have to be seen on 1940’s type wide screen.
The Wild Bunch and The Magnificent Seven: No foreign films in my list but these two are a copy of the great Japanese film, “The Seven Samurai”. Moreover, who can forget Sam Peckinpah’s direction of a slow motion bullet exploding thought a body. Peckinpah does gore with taste.
Easy Rider: This film defines the time period of my youth. I own all the music.
Risky Business: I wish this had been my youth. “Porsche. There is no substitute.”
The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now and even MASH: There is nothing glorious about war.
Apocalypse Now: After watching this movie I had a much better understanding of Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”. This movie makes Darth Vader’s dark side look good.
The Alamo: If you have to die, die for freedom and in a great and glories last stand. In addition, how can you go wrong with a John Wayne movie.
Fargo: Proof that no name actors playing quirky roles can make a great movie. Maybe the best dark comedy of all time.
Gone With the Wind: Almost as good as the book! I’ve watched this movie in theaters, on TV, CD and DVD – just might be number One on my list. A great story for the big screen. Who doesn’t want to be Rhett or Scarlett!
When Harry Met Sally: Just a great romantic comedy film to watch and enjoy. And does anyone not remember Meg Ryan’s organism scene in the café?! Can men and women be friends without being lovers?
The Way We Were: Don’t know why I like this movie but I do.
The Road Warrior: A hero; lots of scary, ugly, soulless bad guys; humor – the Gyro captain, and the wagon train – the oil refinery people. Action, stunts, unsophisticated dialog, violence – a movie that has it all.
Shanshark Redemption: Great story, acting, lines, photography, etc., etc., etc. A story that proves you can never keep a good man down.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Nicholson is the ultimate anti-hero. Talk about rebellion and paying the price: a lobotomy!
MASH, Animal House, Blazing Saddles: No matter how many times I watch these movies, I still laugh. I especially laugh hard at the campfire fart scene in “Blazing Saddle”!
Top Gun: Great music, fast airplanes, motorcycles, Kelly McGillis’s body, Tom Cruise’s smile and scenes from a fighter pilot’s cockpit too!
The Terminator: My futuristic movie choice and with (Governor) Arnold too. “I’ll be back!”
Chinatown: I grew up reading private eye paperback trash novels. J.J. Gittes, played by Jack Nicholson, is exactly what a private eye is suppose to be: cold, self-confident, hard, flippant, sarcastic, tough, and never shows an emotion. Two great stories for the price of one.
The Maltese Falcon
: Everything Chinatown is only 30 years earlier and better.
Casablanca: If I could choose any movie role to live, it would be Rick. I can’t imagine anyone else playing Rick/me other than Humphrey Bogart. Rick/Tom the tough cynic with a heart as big as all outdoors. Rick/Tom an everyday hero who understands the meaning of sacrifice for a higher purpose.
On most days Casablanca wins out over Gone With the Wind as my favorite all time movie. This is noble story of good over evil. The characters are strongly developed no matter how minor the role. It is a romantic melodrama with an ending where the boy doesn’t get the girl.
This is a movie that continues to get better As Time Goes By.
Below are My Best 30 minus One movies. Some off the movies have various lines that I will always remember (but I did look them up to get them exactly correct) and hope these lines bring great memories back to you.
My BEST 30 minus One:
The Attach of the Killer Tomatoes (My favorite “All Time Worse Movie”)
Dr. Nokitofa: “Technically sir, tomatoes are fags.
Dr. Morrison: “He means fruits.”
General: “You’d better bring a coat Mr. Richardson, there’s a little Jap in the air.”
Dr. Morrison: “He means a nip.”
Sam Smith (he has infiltrated the tomatoes & is eating with them): “Hey, can somebody please pass the ketchup.”
Directed: John De Bello
John Belushi as John “Bluto” Blutarsky: “Over? Did you say over? NOTHING is over until WE decide it is.”
Also starring: Karen Allen, Donald Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Tim Matheson, & John Vernon
Directed: John Landis
The God Father,
Marlone Brando as Don Corleone: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
James Caan as Sonny: “I want someone good, I mean very good, to plant that gun. I don’t want my brother coming out of the bathroom with just his dick in his hands.”
Al Pacino as Michael Corleone: “Fredo, you’re my older brother and I love you, but don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again. Ever.”
“It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”
Also starring: Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton & Abe Vigoda
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Gone With the Wind,
Clark Gable as Rhett Butler: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
“And you, miss, are no lady ….. don’t think that I hold that against you. Ladies have never held any charm for me.”
“You should be kissed and often and by someone who knows how.”
Vivien Leigh as Scarlett: “I won’t think about that now, I’ll think about that tomorrow.
“I found out that money’s the most important thing in the world, and I don’t intend ever to be without it again.”
“…Tara!…. Home. I’ll go home, and I’ll think of some way to get him back! After all, tomorrow is another day!”
Hatti McDaniel as Mammy: “You can’t show your bosum ‘fore three o’clock.”
Butterfly McQueen as Prissy: “Lordse, we got to have a doctor. I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ babies!”
Also starring: Olivia de Havilland & John Howard
Director: Victor Fleming (45% of the movie, 4 others directed the remaining 55%)
Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan: “Ah-ah, I know what you’re thinking punk. You’re thinking did he fire six shots or only five? And to tell you the truth I’ve forgotten myself in all this excitement. But being this is a .44 Magnum – the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself a question–Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk!”
Directed: Don Siegel
Tom Cruise as Maverick: “I feel the need…:” Maverick & Anthony Edwards as Goose: “The need for speed!”
Maverick: “This is what I call a target rich environment.”
Also starring: Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan & Tom Skerritt
Directed: Tony Scott
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
John Wayne as Tom Doniphon: “Whoa, take ‘er easy there, Pilgrim.”
Also starring: James Stewart, Lee Marvin, Vera Miles, Edmund O’Brien, Andy Devine & Lee Van Cleef
Directed: John Ford
Bandito: Badges, we don’t need no stinking badges! Vamonos!
Cowboy: You use your tongue prettier ‘n a $20 whore.
Cleavon Little as Bart: “Excuse me while I whip this out.”
Also starring: Madeline Kahn, Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman, Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, & Alex Karras
Directed: Mel Brooks
A Few Good Men
Jack Nicholson as Colonel Jessep: “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”
Daniel Kaffee: “Oh, spare me the psycho babble father bullshit!”
Also starring: Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland & Cuba Gooding Jr.
Directed: Rob Reiner
Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator: “I’ll be back!”
Directed: James Cameron
Starring: John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Frankie Avalon, & Richard Boone
Directed: John Wayne
The Wild Bunch
Starring: William Holden, Edmond O’Brien, Robert Ryan & Ben Johnson
Directed: Sam Peckinpah
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway & John Huston
Directed: Roman Polanski
The Way We Were
Starring: Barbara Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman & Patrick O’Neil
Directed: Sydney Pollack
The Magnificent Seven
Starring: Yul Bryner, Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, & Robert Vaughn
Directed: John Sturges
Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, & Robert Duvall
Directed: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper & Jack Nicholson
Directed: Dennis Hopper
When Harry Met Sally
Starring: Billy Crystal & Meg Ryan
Directed: Rob Reiner
Starring: Keanu Reeves & Laurence Fishburne
Directed: Andy & Larry Wachowsk
The Deer Hunter
Starring: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken & Meryl Streep
Directed: Michael Cimino
Starring: William Macy, Frances McDormand & Steve Buscemi
Directed: Joel & Ethan Coen
Starring: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, Robert Duvall, & Gary Burghoff
Directed: Robert Altman
The Road Warrior
Starring: Mel Gibson
Directed: George Miller
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Jack Nicholson as McMurphy: “I must be crazy to be in a loony bin like this.”
“Get out of my way son, you’re usin’ my oxygen.”
Sydney Lassick as Cheswick: “Rules? PISS ON YOUR FUCKING RULES!!!!”
Directed: Czech Milos Forman
Miles: “Joel, you wanna know something? Every now and then say, “What the fuck.” “What the fuck” gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future.”
Starring: Tom Cruise & Rebecca De Mornay
Directed: Paul Brickman
Morgan Freeman as Red: “It takes a strong man to save himself, and a great man to save another.”
Tim Robbins as Andy: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
Brian Libby as Floyd: “Red, I do believe you’re talking out of your ass.”
The Treasures of the Sierra Madre
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt & Bruce Benett
The Maltese Falcon
Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade: “Yes, angel, I’m going to send you over. But chances are, you’ll get off with life. That means, if you’re a good girl, you’ll be out in twenty years. I’ll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I’ll always remember you.”
Also starring: Mary Astor & Peter Lorre
Directed: John Huston
I always wanted to be Rick Blaine as played by Humphrey Bogart.
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet & Dooley Wilson
Directed: Michael Curtiz
: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I’ve done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: you’re getting on that plane with Victor where you belong.
: But, Richard, no, I… I…
: Now, you’ve got to listen to me! You have any idea what you’d have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, we’d both wind up in a concentration camp. Isn’t that true, Louie?
Captain Louis Renault
: I’m afraid Major Strasser would insist.
: You’re saying this only to make me go.
: I’m saying it because it’s true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You’re part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
: But what about us?
: We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.
: When I said I would never leave you.
: And you never will. But I’ve got a job to do, too. Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Now, now… Here’s looking at you kid.
Ilsa Lund: Play it once, Sam. For old times’ sake.
Sam: [lying] I don’t know what you mean, Miss Elsa.
Ilsa Lund: Play it, Sam. Play “As Time Goes By.”
Sam: [lying] Oh, I can’t remember it, Miss Elsa. I’m a little rusty on it.
Ilsa Lund: I’ll hum it for you. Da-dy-da-dy-da-dum, da-dy-da-dee-da-dum…
[Sam begins playing]
: Sing it, Sam. Sam: [singing] You must remember this / A kiss is still a kiss / A sigh is just a sigh / The fundamental things apply / As time goes by. / And when two lovers woo, / They still say, “I love you” / On that you can rely / No matter what the future brings
Rick Blaine: Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
Rick Blaine: You know what I want to hear.
Sam: [lying] No, I don’t.
Rick Blaine: You played it for her, you can play it for me!
: [lying] Well, I don’t think I can remember
Yvonne: Where were you last night?
Rick Blaine: That’s so long ago, I don’t remember.
Yvonne: Will I see you tonight?
: I never make plans that far ahead.
Captain Louis Renault: What in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick Blaine: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
Captain Louis Renault: The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.
: I was misinformed.
Captain Louis Renault: In 1935, you ran guns to Ethiopia. In 1936, you fought in Spain, on the Loyalist side.
Rick Blaine: I got well paid for it on both occasions.
Captain Louis Renault
: The winning side would have paid you much better.
Rick Blaine: I stick my neck out for nobody.
Major Strasser: What is your nationality?
Rick Blaine: I’m a drunkard.
Captain Louis Renault
: That makes Rick a citizen of the world.
Rick Blaine: Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
For those of you who may wonder how my taste in movies corresponds with the Professionals, the following movies on my list were also ranked by the American Film Institute as being in the top 100 American films of all time:
#3 The God Father
#4 Gone With the Wind
#20 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
#23 The Maltese Falcon
#30 Treasure of the Sierra Madra
#79 The Deer Hunter
#80 The Wild Bunch
#88 Easy Rider
Goes to shows the pros can be wrong, they missed 16 on my list.