I have often wondered, what are my favourite films of all time. I managed to get 55 of them. I would like to share this list with you.
Here’s the earlier lists:
Keep on keep keeping on.
40. REAR WINDOW (1954)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: John Michael Hayes
Alfred Hitchcock had a killer year in 1954 when he directed two films, Dial M For Murder and Rear Window, my favourite Hitchy-Cee film. James Stewart plays a photographer who gets housebound after an accident, spending his days sitting in a wheelchair and struggling with looming boredom. He takes interest in the lives of his neighbors living in an apartment building opposite his own. His soon to be fiancée, played by the most beautiful woman ever lived, Grace Kelly, tries her best to keep his boyfriend occupied by other things but soon she is also lured in by life of others when the photographer starts to suspect that a murder happened in one of the resident’s apartment. This film has excellent writing and it does a good work keeping the mystery suspenseful but it does also include light humor to balance it all out. Hitch makes some sharp observations about voyeurism and makes bold statements about invading someone’s privacy. Also the set, which is an entire building built inside a soundstage, is ridiculously massive and it’s almost like the world’s grandest stage play. However the Director keeps the camera mostly where the lead character is, having the viewer be a partner in crime with our wheelchaired hero. Great. Easily Hitchcock’s greatest film and also one of the greatest mystery movies ever made. I love Grace Kelly. I really do.
What I Love About It: Grace Kelly, the set, Hitchy-Dee’s amazing prowess as a director.
Best Quote: “Why would a man leave his apartment three times on a rainy night with a suitcase and come back three times?” “He likes the way his wife welcomes him home.”
39. FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998)
Director: Terry Gillliam
Writers: Terry Gilliam & Tony Grisoni, Tod Davies & Alex Cox
Director Terry Gilliam has a strong visual style that few scripts have utilized properly. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas is the perfect film to be directed by the visual master, and the end result is a glorious fever dream of a movie. Based on the writings of a gonzo-journalist Hunter S. Thompson, the movie follows Raoul Duke, a fictionalized version of the author, who gets assigned to do a piece about a motor bike race that takes place in Las Vegas. Raoul fills his suitcase with assortment of drugs and other hallucinogenic substances and heads to Vegas with his attorney, Dr. Gonzo. What follows is a drug-fueled trip to the city of dreams filled with dreadful human archetypes and nightmarish visions of the true colors of Las Vegas. Johnny Depp is staggering in his overly energetic portrayal of a man that has gone off the deep end and Benicio del Toro backs him up perfectly giving a spontaneous and frightening performance as the lunatic lawyer/doctor Gonzo. It’s really not surprising that these guys didn’t win academy awards although they gave easily the best performances of the year (no, Roberto Benigni was not that good in Life Is Beautiful), because the members of the Academy were predictably alienated by the lead actors’ revolutionary performances. I find their performances legendary and the film itself is scary, thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud funny. This film is not for everyone, but those who embrace the film’s boldness find this movie keeps on giving every single time you re-watch it. And you should re-watch Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas often.
What I Love About It: Depp and del Toro. The energy, humor and the bold style of the direction
Best Quote: “We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers… Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.”
38. LABYRINTH (1986)
Director: Jim Henson
Writers: Dennis Lee and Jim Henson (Story), Terry Jones
Labyrinth is actually to things: my favourite live-action family adventure and my favourite musical. Young Jennifer Connelly plays Sarah, a frustrated teenaged girl assigned to babysit her infant baby brother Toby. Fed up by incessantly crying Toby Sarah speaks out a chant that send her brother to a fantasy land filled with goblins and other creatures. Sarah realizes she made a huge mistake and goes on a daring rescue mission to retrieve Toby from the glutches of Jareth, the Goblin King. She encounters fiendish enemies but gains few appreciated allies, namely a goblin that’s unsure where his allegiances lie named Hoggle, a giant beast with a heart of gold, Lugo and Sir Didymus, a dog who’s size doesn’t quite match his courage. The adventure is imaginative and exciting and is filled with memorable song numbers. David Bowie, who plays Jareth also wrote the songs, and they are glorious. The puppet work from Henson Studios is the best I’ve ever seen and the character design on the puppets are inventive and brilliant. There is nothing bad about this movie (well except that one weird ballroom dance scene) and it’s a marvelous masterpiece that is a must see for everyone who enjoys good music, hilarious writing, great characters and a great adventure. Now dance that magic dance!
What I Love About It: Sir Didymus, Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie. God, the casting of David Bowie was a flash of genius.
Best Quote: “Ludo down.”
37. DAZED & CONFUSED (1993)
Director: Richard Linklater
Writer: Richard Linklater
George Lucas made American Graffiti early in his career and it’s a good film, but Linklater’s spiritual successor one-ups American Graffiti and ultimately is the better of the two movies. Maybe it’s the 70’s setting, but the kids in this film are more believable than most of the character’s in American Graffiti. It’s the last day of school and the kids have plans for the night. Some try to get a party going, some cruise the streets in their cars, a couple of freshmen are hunted by couple of the seniors trying to give them the traditional beat downs with a custom made paddles. And many of the kids are just loitering in the streets of their small hometown in Texas. The cast is uniformly great and they all give natural performances. There are many up and coming stars in the film, like Milla Jovovich, Renee Zellweger and there’s also Ben Affleck giving a really sleazy performance as an asshole of the year. He’s great. It’s really intriguing to see which ones ends up with who or what happens to that one character you identify with the most. It’s a rewarding film that encapsulates perfectly the lives of kids, regardless if you lived in the 70’s or some other period in history.
What I Love About It: It’s simple but genius plot. Matthew McConaughey.
Best Quote: “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”
36. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: George Lucas and Philip Kaufmann (Story), Lawrence Kasdan
Hey come on, it’s Indiana Jones! You just knew that I’d include it here. But why is it great? BECAUSE IT’S FUCKING INDIANA JONES, THAT’S WHY!
What I Love About It: Harrison Ford as Indy, the globe-trotting spectacle, the truck chase. John Williams’ legendary score.
Best Quote: “I don’t believe in magic, a lot of superstitious hocus pocus. I’m going after a find of incredible historical significance, you’re talking about the boogie man. Besides, you know what a cautious fellow I am.”