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Thread: Countdown: The 165 Greatest American Movies Ever Made (1-15)

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    Exclamation Countdown: The 165 Greatest American Movies Ever Made (1-15)

    Countdown: The 165 Greatest American Movies Ever Made (1-15)

    by JOHN NOLTE30 Dec 2017

    King Kong (1933)

    I hear it’s a kind of a gorilla.

    Since 1933 we have had everything from animatronic sharks to CGI’d dinosaurs, but nothing has yet topped the sense of adventure and thrills of this 82 year-old monster movie.

    As crude as the special effects might look to modern eyes, there is life in those stop-motion creatures, especially the title character. The way Kong’s humanity catches you off guard during the iconic climax, how we suddenly pity the beast, is something of a cinematic miracle.

    There was no cheating either; no emotionally manipulative skating in Central Park.

    Psycho (1960)

    We all go a little mad sometimes.

    The first time I saw Psycho was on a nine-inch black and white television courtesy of a UHF station that ran commercials every 10 minutes … and I was absolutely enthralled. For those two hours, Hitchcock played me like a fiddle. I knew nothing about the movie going in, so right up until the end-credits rolled, I was sure Janet Leigh was not dead. She could not be dead. She was the star of the movie for crying out loud. You don’t kill your star an hour in.

    By the time the true identity of “mother” was revealed, I was so disoriented, I felt drugged.

    Even more impressive is that fact that when you watch Psycho a second or hundredth time, knowing all those twists and turns in advance in no way diminishes the power of marinating in Hitchcock’s mastery of the art form. After the big-budget spectacle of North By Northwest, Hitchcock could do anything he wanted and what he wanted was to go small and tell a story he wanted to tell.

    Already fabulously wealthy and famous at age 61, Hitchcock went back to basics and the result was his horror masterpiece.

    Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

    This song of the Man and his Wife is of no place and every place; you might hear it anywhere, at any time.

    The fact that there is only one silent film on this list is a massive failure on my part. There are probably plenty of worthy titles that I just haven’t bothered or had a chance to see. Silent films also don’t play as well as talkies on television. Silents are about the visual impact and need to be seen on a big screen if they are to be fully appreciated.

    Although beautiful to look at, there is so much more to recommend in Sunrise — a dream-like, and at times, nightmarish spell cast by director F.W. Murnau that captures nothing less than your full attention.

    The Man (George O’Brien) and The Wife (Janet Gaynor) are simple people living in a farmhouse with their new baby. Unfortunately, the man is caught up in an agonizing affair with the Woman from the City (Margaret Livingson). In order for them to be together, she convinces the Man to murder his wife.

    Sunrise was German director Murnau’s first American film, and he brought with him the visual canvas of German Expressionism that at times gives Sunrise the unforgettable atmosphere of a fairy tale. Just when you start to get used to this, though, Murnau jars you back to reality with on-location shooting during the film’s middle sequence, which takes place in the city.

    The range of emotion you feel throughout Sunrise makes for a completely unique and unforgettable experience. By the final fade, you are exhausted in the best way possible.

    Sunrise is one of Hollywood’s most tragic “What ifs?” — as in “What if Murnau had lived?” Sadly, at age 41, the genius director would die in a freak car accident just a few years later. His impact was still profound, however, and for decades lived through another genius, a multiple-Oscar winner Murnau had a profound influence on — John Ford.

    See also: Nosferatu, City Girl, Shadow of the Vampire.

    Manhattan (1979)

    I’ve never had a relationship with a woman that’s lasted longer than the one between Hitler and Eva Braun.

    Only Woody Allen would follow-up winning the Best Picture/Director/Screenplay Oscar for Annie Hall with Interiors, which is very good, but is kind of like following up Raiders of the Lost Ark with The Crying Game. Not that he cared, but Interiors tanked and the next year Allen returned to his audience’s comfort zone with Manhattan, which is even better than Annie Hall.

    Allen fully-widened his screen (I think for the only time) as a way to fully embrace his abiding love for the city of New York, and did so in glorious black and white backed by the music of George Gershwin.

    And that love is contagious.

    Casablanca (1942)

    Well, there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.

    Studio filmmaking at its pinnacle. But what can one write that hasn’t already been written about Casablanca? Well, lemme try…

    In order for Casablanca to work — in order for it to be a believable story much less a classic, the audience has to believe that a man as alpha, cynical, composed, remote, and tough, as Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) could be emotionally undone by a skirt. There is no amount of studio gloss or hoo doo that can suspend that disbelief. What I means is that on a primal level, a place hidden in our souls that no chicanery can touch, we either buy that massive conceit or the whole movie falls apart.

    But the endlessly gifted and famously mercurial Ingrid Bergman is the least of it. Great art plumbs the depths of the human condition in such a way that, like a beautiful mountain view or that look in the Mona Lisa’s eyes, we can never quite get enough of it, we can never take it all in; there always seems to be something more, something we missed. No matter how many times you view Casablanca, and just last year I watched it twice in a single afternoon, and then again a few days later, you discover something else — a moment, a look, a glance, a word, a camera angle, that communicates something else, that adds to the experience.

    Seventy-five years and seventy-five viewings later, Casablanca still breaks your heart in that elegant way only timeless art can.

    The Band Wagon (1953)

    These four walls will be our universe. Our private world. We enter with nothing but a dream. But, when we leave, we’ll have a show!

    For a full decade between 1944 — starting with Meet Me In St. Louis and ending in 1954 with Brigadoon — the MGM musical delivered unparalleled human artistry, and director Vincente Minnelli’s The Band Wagon is the cream of that incredible crop.

    A thinner-than-thin backstage plot bursting with crackling dialogue (courtesy of screenwriters Adolph Green and Betty Comden), and one remarkable musical number after another. Add to that the graceful artistry of Fred Astaire, the incomparable beauty and movement of Cyd Charisse, and the fabulous and funny support work from Oscar Levant, Nanette Fabray, and Jack Buchanan. They all come together to brew 100% undiluted joy.

    For 10 years, the MGM Dream Factory topped Shakespeare, Mozart, and even Michelangelo. Never before or since has every possible human art form — photography, design, writing, music, choreography, performance — been gathered together in such a perfect way.

    The Human Comedy (1943)

    I am Matthew Macauley. I have been dead for two years.

    Anyone who has been following my movie writing over the last decade or so knows that at every opportunity I champion this beautiful love letter to small town America. Brought to life by underrated studio director Clarence Brown, The Human Comedy was MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer’s favorite film, and it is easy to see why.

    The endlessly talented Mickey Rooney would win his second Best Actor nomination for his work here, and did so just the year before he enlisted to fight in WWII, an act he knew would kill his meteoric career (and it did). For entertaining the troops in dangerous combat zones, Rooney won a Bronze Star and four other medals, achievements he was proud of until the end of his long life, and something he said he cherished more than the Oscar he would never (and this is unforgivable) win. In 1983, he was at least awarded an honorary Oscar.

    Rooney was not a perfect man, far from it, but for a full decade he was unquestionably the most talented star in Hollywood, and knowing what he gave up to serve his country, the eternal goodwill that engenders, only adds to the experience of watching The Human Comedy.

    The Human Comedy is a movie of moments, exquisite moments about the perseverance of the human spirit, about what it means to be a man, an American; to come of age, to be generous, to give a sailor on a short leave the poignant memory of a kiss, something to hold onto (and to fight for) as he heads off to a war he may not return from. My favorite moment, though, is a small one that had a profound impact on me when I caught this gem one late night as teenager.

    The wonderful (and always underrated) James Craig plays newspaperman Tom ******** — or at least what newspapermen used to be before they all strove for celebrity, a man of the people, a populist of sorts. This attitude is severely tested when he falls in love with Diane (a fetching Marsha Hunt) whose family comes from money. Meeting with her parents, who live in the proverbial mansion on the hill, Tom refuses to wear a tie to a somewhat formal dinner party. You see, he wants to remain true to himself and not feel as though he is selling out to a bunch of rich snobs.

    But upon meeting Diane’s parents, Tom’s defenses and, yes, prejudices are shattered almost immediately. These are nice people, decent people, who worked hard to achieve their success. On top of that, position and status means nothing to them — only the happiness of their daughter, and if that comes from a lowly newspaperman, so be it. Tom came spoiling for a fight, an opportunity to lecture these so-and-so’s about what’s what. What he found instead were people … just like him.

    It is at this point that Tom realizes something — that he is in fact everything he assumed they would be. He is the snob, the superior one, the bigot…

    And with that shame comes the humble request to borrow a tie.

    And that is the overall message of The Human Comedy, one of tolerance for one another no matter our status or background; a reminder that despite our cultural background or annual income, as Americans, we have so much more in common than not. On a simple drive through a cultural festival, Tom lays out the meaning of e pluribus unum better than any Founding Fathers ever could.

    The snobs, the nihilists, the bitter, the small — they will only harp on the hypocrisy: racist America was never like that, hate, hate, hate, blah, blah, blah.

    Movies like this are not and were never about what America is, they are about what America can be. The Human Comedy is not a mirror, it is a challenge, a cry for us to be better, to aspire, to achieve our potential as neighbors and citizens… Yes, Mayer and Rooney were flawed, sometimes very flawed, but at the very least they are not guilty of the gravest of sins committed almost daily in pop culture today. Despite their immense power and influence, never once did they attempt to pass off their shortcomings as virtues. These were men who recognized their sins but never committed the additional one of poisoning the rest of use by normalizing or romanticizing them.

    To write any more, would only risk plagiarizing myself, so here is a link from my 2012 DVD review.

    Apocalypse Now (1979)

    You understand, Captain, that this mission does not exist, nor will it ever exist.

    In 2001, director Francis Ford Coppola released Apocalypse Now: Redux, which, at 202 minutes, is almost a full hour longer than the 153 minute, 1979 original theatrical release. While I am not normally a big fan of director’s cuts, if only for the fascinating (and lengthy) plantation sequence, I do recommend Redux. Oddly enough, it is almost an entirely different movie from the original, and a very good one.

    But it is not as good as the original, which is…


    See also: Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.

    The Ten Commandments (1956)

    His god… IS God.

    Dear Snobs: From VHS to DVD to Bluray, director Cecil B. DeMille’s final film has been easily available on home video for decades, and at a reasonable and affordable price. Nevertheless…

    ….this 61 year-old, nearly four-hour biblical epic wins its time slot every year when ABC reruns it on Easter Sunday. And that is with nearly 90 minutes of commercials.

    No other movie has ever come close to that achievement. The reason for this is obvious: The Ten Commandments is spectacular entertainment. For work purposes, I once had to watch all 220 minutes three times in just 6 days. Going in I was sure it would be a chore. Nope. The storytelling is so perfect and structured so well, you get sucked in every time.

    Arriving by train all the way from the East Coast, DeMille first set foot in Hollywood in 1913. Yes, the superb Southern California weather had already attracted a scattering of other filmmakers, but just as Thomas Jefferson might not have been the first Founding Father, he was THE Founding Father, and the same argument can be made for DeMille and Hollywood.

    A heart attack during the grueling production meant that The Ten Commandments would be DeMille’s swan song. It was and still is one of the greatest box office successes of all time.

    See also: De Mille’s Samson and Delilah, King of Kings, Sign of the Cross, Cleopatra, The Crusades, Reap the Wild Wind, Union Pacific.

    A Night at the Opera (1935)

    I saw Mrs. Claypool first. Of course, her mother really saw her first but there’s no point in bringing the Civil War into this.

    Left for dead at Paramount after the box office failure of Duck Soup, MGM producer Irving Thalberg knew timeless genius when he saw it and signed the Brothers Marx for A Night at the Opera, which, 80-plus years later, is still, by far, the funniest movie ever made.

    People complain about the romance and opera numbers, but both are crucial to understanding just what it is that Groucho, Harpo, and Chico, are systematically (and brilliantly) destroying — which isn’t so much an opera house as it is superior-snobbery. The fact that Margaret Dumont is still a perfect stand-in for today’s priggish Social Justice Warriors, also makes this classic timeless.

    Two years later the Marx Brothers would be in production on A Day at the Races when they received the news of Thalberg’s untimely death at age 37.

    Movies and the Marx Brothers would never be the same again.

    See also: Anything with the Marx Brothers.

    Goodfellas (1990) – Casino (1995)

    I’m gonna go get the papers, get the papers.

    With Goodfellas director Martin Scorsese not only created cinema’s greatest mob movie, he also delivered the most exhilarating, detailed, and believable tour of any subculture captured in the medium. Scorsese’s world of low-level New York mobsters is as vivid as it is addicting — is a needle in your arm that mainlines a masterpiece directly into the pleasure sensors of the brain.

    A lot of holes in the desert, and a lot of problems are buried in those holes.

    Casino is the perfect bookend to Goodfellas, and one that boasts two of the best performances of the decade. In a dazzling performance, James Woods somehow manages to be hilarious, sympathetic, and one of cinema’s all-time creepiest creeps as low-life. drug-dealing pimp Lester Diamond (what a great name). But it is Sharon Stone as the beautiful, dangerous, and doomed Ginger who should have taken home all the Oscars that year.

    I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Nicholas Pileggi, the marvelous crime writer who brought both of these true stories to life in book form, and then again through a couple of amazing screenplays.

    The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

    Why, you speak treason!


    The Mighty Errol Flynn remains the only leading man in history who looked perfectly comfortable dressed in a tuxedo or trench coat, as a cowboy or military man, as a pirate, and even in tights. There was no one else like Flynn, and there never will be. And the UltimateMaximus Errol Flynn can be found in The Adventures of Robin Hood. Flynn was born for this role. Moreover, the exquisite and delicately beautiful Olivia de Havilland was born to play his Maid Marian (they would co-star in a total of 9 films).

    In gorgeous Technicolor, director Michael Curtiz captures Robin of Loxley’s rakish charm and steely determination, the joy of being one of the Merry Men, one of cinema’s great sword fights, and a movie star’s movie star at the prime of those unique gifts that would make him immortal.

    Cool Hand Luke (1967)

    I can eat fifty eggs.

    The Christ story as told through reprobate Luke Jackson (Paul Newman), a prisoner on a Southern chain gang, who doesn’t so much die for our sins as much as for the establishment’s ongoing sins against the human spirit and the most vulnerable minority of all — the individual; the cause of the one man who hears his own drummer, marches to it, and asks only to be allowed to live and let live.

    As Luke’s Judas, George Kennedy won his Oscar. The rest of the cast includes the wonderful Strother Martin as Pontious Pilate, along with a who’s who of exceptional characters actors from that era who make up Luke’s apostles: Dennis Hopper, Ralph Waite, J.D. Canon, Luke Askew, Wayne Rogers, Harry Dean Stanton, and Anthony Zerbe.

    Newman hits a charismatic high-water mark, not just in his own career but also in his medium, in what is now and forever will be the best movie ever made about fighting and outsmarting an oppressive system that demands sterile, uniform conformity.

    Dare I say that Cool Hand Luke is the ultimate handbook in how to be an American.

    Notorious (1946)

    I couldn’t see straight or think straight. I was a fat-headed guy, full of pain.

    Psycho is director Alfred Hitchcock’s horror masterpiece. Notorious is something entirely different. Although the overall story of a woman (Ingrid Bergman) going undercover to root out a nest of Nazis operating out of Rio de Janeiro is plenty suspenseful and full of fascinating intrigue, it is the central love story between Bergman’s fallen angel Alicia and Cary Grant’s Devlin that makes Notorious a unique and agonizingly beautiful movie-going experience.

    Grant’s performance as the mercurial, jealous, bitter, tortured Devlin, a man who resents Alicia for making him fall so desperately in love with her, is not just his best performance but one of the screen’s greats.

    Romance films only work if you desperately root for the lovers to find a way to be together. What keeps Devlin and Alicia apart is not some dumb screenwriter contrivance or misunderstanding. What keeps them apart is wounded pride, deep psychological pain, and the unspoken. You can see Notorious twenty times — and I have — and at the end you are still screaming, “For God’s sake, Devlin, SAVE HER!”

    And after he does, Hitchcock still has one miracle left to finesse: your sympathy for doomed Nazi Claude Rains.

    The Searchers (1956)

    I’ve still got my saber, Reverend. Didn’t beat it into no plowshare, neither.

    John Ford’s The Searchers is not just the greatest movie ever made, it is number-one by a wide margin. Overall, it is the story of John Wayne’s Ethan Edwards, a mysterious, dangerous, and emotionally devastated man looking to find relief from his loss and pain by losing himself in evil. Edwards is not struggling against the Darkside — on the contrary, he is running towards it, hoping its embrace will reward him with some relief from his own anguish.

    Underneath, using the backdrop of his beloved Monument Valley (in glorious Technicolor VistaVision), Ford paints on a much larger canvas to tell the story (which is partly true) about a young girl (Natalie Wood) kidnapped by Indians.

    Overall, though, The Searchers is about the imperfect men and steely women it took to win the West.

    Ford’s theme is that the enormous price paid for what allows us today to enjoy strip malls, coffee shops, carpool lanes, and central air conditioning, was paid for in more than just blood by brave settlers, the American Indian, and most certainly the souls of men like Edwards.

    The Searchers’ justly famous closing scene — still the greatest in all of film — is not only a tribute to actor Harry Carey (a father figure to Wayne), but a poignant and wordless reminder that there is no place in civilization for those who made that civilization possible.

    Wayne’s performance is the finest you will ever see in any motion picture. Like the film itself, the depth of artistry in the Duke’s portrayal reveals something different with every viewing.


    A closing note: On DVD and Bluray, I own some 3700 movies. That number might sound outrageous, like the creation of an impulse buyer/hoarder, but nothing could be further from the truth. Every title in that collection means something to me. If you removed the monetary value, not a single one of those discs — not Death Wish V or Vegas Vacation — would I trade for all the contents of any art museum. Selecting 165 titles from that collection was agonizing, and any title that made the cut means that in its own way it is a #1.

    The film industry lost its way some 20 years ago. There is no question about that. The unbroken spell that comes from competent storytelling and compelling characters is now an afterthought to spectacle, politics, lectures, nepotism, provincialism, and political correctness. And while that is a real shame, even though I have been in love with the movies for 40 years, I hardly notice. There is so much of Hollywood’s past still left for me to discover that at age 52, I fear I might run out of time. I also fear that I may never get to see those I have already discovered enough times. How is that for a luxury problem?

    Movies are islands, narcotics, gifts, treasures, escapes, getaways; miracles of insight, not only into the men and women up on that screen, but the gods who created them. No other art form comes close.

    I have stood in the Vatican and gaped in awe at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel — I still prefer The Agony and the Ecstasy. I have vacationed at Monument Valley, a majestic experience that still does not compare to a screening of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. I have swam in the Pacific, body surfed in the Atlantic, sailed in the Gulf, toured Rome, visited Disney World, cruised the Caribbean, seen Elvis and Sinatra perform live, and have twice driven across this beautiful country ours. All wonderful experiences, cherished memories, touchstones. But nothing will ever compare to the promise of that moment when the lights go down…


    ***Below is the list of the 351 films first considered for this list. They are in alphabetical order.

    48 Hours
    Ace In The Hole
    Adventures of Robin Hood, The
    African Queen, The
    All Quiet on the Western Front
    All the President’s Men
    American Graffiti
    American Movie
    Americanization of Emily
    Anatomy of a Murder
    Animal House
    Annie Hall
    Apocalypse Now
    Asphalt Jungle
    Assassination of Jesse James
    Back to the Future
    Bad and the Beautiful
    Bad Lieutenant
    Ball of Fire
    Bank Dick
    Beautiful Girls
    Bend of the River
    Best Years of Our Lives
    Big Chill
    Big Country
    Big Heat
    Big Sleep
    Birdman of Alcatraz
    Blackboard Jungle
    Blade Runner
    Blazing Saddles
    Blue Collar
    Blue Velvet
    Body Double
    Body Heat
    Body Snatcher
    Bond Movies
    Born on the 4th of July
    Bridge On the River Kwai
    Butch Cassidy
    Call Northside 777
    Cape Fear
    Captain Blood
    Captains Courageous
    Capturing the Friedmans
    Cavalry Trilogy
    Charley Varrick
    Chasing Amy
    Chato’s Land
    China Syndrome
    Christmas Story
    Christmas Vacation
    Citizen Kane
    City Lights
    Clockwork Orange
    Close Encounters
    Command Decision
    Cool Hand Luke
    Country Girl
    Crimes and Misdemeanors
    Dances with Wolves
    Dark Knight
    Dark Victory
    Dawn of the Dead
    Days of Wine and Roses
    Dazed and Confused
    Dead End
    Dead man Walking
    Death Wish 2
    Deer Hunter
    Defiant Ones
    Destination Tokyo
    Die Hard
    Dirty Dozen
    Dirty Harry
    Dog Day Afternoon
    Double Indemnity
    Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet
    Dressed to Kill
    Duck Soup
    East of Eden
    Easy Rider
    Ed Wood
    Edge of Darkness
    El Cid
    Electra Glide In Blue
    Elmer Gantry
    Emperor of the North
    Enter the Dragon
    Escape From New York
    Field of Dreams
    Fight Club
    Five Easy Pieces
    For a Few Dollars More
    Forrest Gump
    Franken Stein
    French Connection
    From Here to Eternity
    Full Metal Jacket
    Ghost Breakers
    Glengarry Glen Ross
    Godfather I and 2
    Going My Way
    Gone with the Wind
    Good Earth
    Goodbye Girl
    Grand Hotel
    Grapes of Wrath
    Great Escape
    Grizzly Man
    Gun Crazy
    Gunga Din
    Hannah and Her Sister
    Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
    High Noon
    High Sierra
    Hills Have Eyes
    His Girl Friday
    Hit the Ice
    How Green Was My Valley
    Human Comedy
    I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
    I Remember Mama
    I Want to Live
    In a Lonely Place
    In Cold Blood
    In the Bedroom
    In the Heat of the Night
    Inherit the Wind
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    Invisible Man
    It Happened One Night
    It’s a Gift
    It’s a Wonderful Life
    Jackie Brown
    Jeremiah Johnson
    Johnny Belinda
    Jolson Story
    Judgment at Nuremberg
    Killing, The
    King Kong
    King of Kings
    Kitty Foyle
    Lady Eve, The
    Last of the Mohicans
    Last Picture Show
    Lawrence of Arabia
    Lethal Weapon
    Life of Emelia Zola
    Life with Father
    Lion In Winter
    Little Caesar
    Lone Star
    Longest Day
    Longest Yard
    Lost In America
    Lust for Life
    Magnificent Ambersons
    Magnificent Seven
    Malcolm X
    Maltese Falcon
    Man for All Seasons
    Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    Man with the Golden Arm
    Man with the Golden Arm
    Manchurain Candidate
    Manhattan Melodrama
    Mark of Zorro
    Mechanic, The
    Menace II Society
    Midnight Cowboy
    Midnight Express
    Midnight Run
    Mildred Pierce
    Miller’s Crossing
    Mississippi Burning
    Mister Roberts
    Monry Python’s Meaning of Life
    Monseiur Beaucaire
    More the Merrier
    Mortal Storm
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
    Mulholland Drive
    Murder My Sweet
    Music Man
    Mutiny on the Bounty
    My Darling Clementine
    Near Dark
    Night at the Opera
    Night of the Hunter
    No Country for Old Men
    Norma Rae
    North By Northwest
    On the Town
    On the Waterfront
    Once Upon a Time In America
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
    Only Angels Have Wings
    Ordinary People
    Our Vines Have Tender Grapes
    Outlaw Josey Wales
    Ox-Bow Incident
    Panic In the Streets
    Passion of the Christ
    Paths of Glory
    Petrified Forest
    Pink Panther
    Pink Panther
    Place In the Sun, A
    Planet of the Apes
    Play It Again Sam
    Pledge, The
    Point Blank
    Postman Always Rings Twice
    Public Enemy
    Pulp Fiction
    Quiet Man
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Rear Window
    Red River
    Requiem for a Heavyweight
    Richard Pryor Live
    Ride the High Country
    Right Stuff
    Rio Bravo
    Road to Utopia
    Robinson Crusoe On Mars
    Rosemary’s Baby
    Sand Pebbles
    Sands of Iwo Jima
    Sergeant York
    Shadow of a Doubt
    Since You Went Away
    Singin’ In the Rain
    Smokey and the Bandit
    Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
    Song of Bernadette
    Stalag 17
    Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan
    Star Wars
    Strangers On a Train
    Streetcar Named Desire
    Sullivan’s Travels
    Sunset Boulevard
    Superman 2
    Superman: The Movie
    Sweet Smell of Success
    Taking of Pelham 1,2,3
    Taxi Driver
    Ten Commandments
    Tender Mercies
    The Front
    The Pledge
    The Swimmer
    They Were Expendable
    Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
    To Have and Have Not
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    To Live and DieIn L.A.
    Top Hat
    Touch of Evil
    Treasure of the Sierra Madre
    Tree Grows In Brooklyn
    Tucker the Man and His Dream
    Used Cars
    Where the Sidewalk Ends
    White Heat
    Wild Bunch
    Wild River
    Wizard of Oz
    Wolf Man
    Yankee Doodle Dandy

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  3. #2
    Apocalypse Now and Casablanca certainly belong .
    Last edited by oyarde; 12-30-2017 at 06:54 PM.

  4. #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron Paul know some weird people...

    Quiz: Test Your "Income" Tax IQ!

    Short Income Tax Video

    The Income Tax Is An Excise, And Excise Taxes Are Privilege Taxes

    The Federalist Papers, No. 15:

    Except as to the rule of appointment, the United States have an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and money; but they have no authority to raise either by regulations extending to the individual citizens of America.

  5. #4
    The Usual Suspects is not on the list ? I probably put it top 25 .
    Last edited by oyarde; 12-30-2017 at 07:53 PM.

  6. #5
    The Lone Ranger
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron Paul know some weird people...

    Quiz: Test Your "Income" Tax IQ!

    Short Income Tax Video

    The Income Tax Is An Excise, And Excise Taxes Are Privilege Taxes

    The Federalist Papers, No. 15:

    Except as to the rule of appointment, the United States have an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and money; but they have no authority to raise either by regulations extending to the individual citizens of America.

  7. #6
    To Kill a Mockingbird. Best. Film. Ever.
    "There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought."~~Charles Kingsley

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Danke View Post
    The Lone Ranger
    You mean the Indians sidekick ?

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by euphemia View Post
    To Kill a Mockingbird. Best. Film. Ever.
    I really like the book .

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  11. #9
    The Birth of a Nation

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron Paul know some weird people...

    Quiz: Test Your "Income" Tax IQ!

    Short Income Tax Video

    The Income Tax Is An Excise, And Excise Taxes Are Privilege Taxes

    The Federalist Papers, No. 15:

    Except as to the rule of appointment, the United States have an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and money; but they have no authority to raise either by regulations extending to the individual citizens of America.

  12. #10
    I am huge Hitchcock fan this didn't make the cut:

    My website:

    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dickens

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by oyarde View Post
    I really like the book .
    The screenplay was very accurate to the book. Gregory Peck was magnificent.
    "There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought."~~Charles Kingsley

  14. #12
    Dead Poet's Society should have been considered.

    But these movie list are always arbitrary and depending on taste.

    His choice for number one would not have been mine.

  15. #13
    Mr. Roberts?

    But no Caine Mutiny?

  16. #14
    Bull$#@! list.

    There are only two movies that legitimately belong.

    Napoleon Dynamite and Slingblade.
    "Every post is about Hillary and pedophilia. I love them both soooo much!!!!!!!" Zippyjuan

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by euphemia View Post
    The screenplay was very accurate to the book. Gregory Peck was magnificent.
    By bizarre chance my wife and I just watched this for the first time last night. The kid acting stood out as the highlight to me. Especially Jem. Scout steals your heart but the scene in front of the jail comes across extremely forced. Evil people were 2D portrayals, if that, but it's good to see evil portrayed as plain stupidity instead of the result of genius mastermind plans.

    Overriding message: Black lives matter. A noble sentiment. 5 stars for the message.

    I've never read the book, just my impression of the film. But it's great that a woman author wrote sympathetically about a false rape accusation. Probably wouldn't be received well post-Weinsteingate.

    Best film ever - Ran.
    Best American film ever - 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's absurd for Star Trek II to be on this guy's preliminary list but not 2001.
    Partisan politics, misleading or emotional bill titles, and 4D chess theories are manifestations of the same lie—that the text of the Constitution, the text of legislation, and plain facts do not matter; what matters is what you want to believe. From this comes hypocrisy. And where hypocrisy thrives, virtue recedes. Without virtue, liberty dies. - Justin Amash, March 2018

  18. #16
    I vote GODZILLA! The Japanese Toho made one, not the last US made one or that other crappy one with Matthew Broderick!

    1776 > 1984

    The FAILURE of the United States Government to operate and maintain an
    Honest Money System , which frees the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, is the single largest contributing factor to the World's current Economic Crisis.

    The Elimination of Privacy is the Architecture of Genocide

    Belief, Money, and Violence are the three ways all people are controlled

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Our central bank is not privately owned.

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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by euphemia View Post
    The screenplay was very accurate to the book. Gregory Peck was magnificent.
    Speaking of Peck, on this list...

    Shampoo but no Moby Dick?

  21. #18
    Many other westerns, but not the best one ever filmed, Tombstone?

  22. #19
    No Caddyshack? This list instantly discredits itself.

  23. #20
    Just a few not making the cut:

    Our Town(1940)
    The Old Man and the Sea(1958)
    The Last Temptation of Christ(1988)
    American Beauty(1999)
    Natural Born Killers(1994)
    Lost In Translation(2003)
    The Sixth Sense(1999)
    Immortal Beloved(1994)
    2001: A Space Odyssey(1968)
    Hunchback of Notre Dame(1939)
    The Shawshank Redemption
    American History X(1998)
    The Miracle Worker(1962)
    The Sound of Music(1965)
    Sexy Beast(2000)
    Resevoir Dogs(1992)

    etc. etc.
    Last edited by anaconda; 01-01-2018 at 07:35 AM.

  24. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Speaking of Peck, on this list...

    Shampoo but no Moby Dick?
    Yes , that is gay .

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by anaconda View Post
    Just a few not making the cut:

    Our Town(1940)
    The Old Man and the Sea(1958)
    The Last Temptation of Christ(1988)
    American Beauty(1999)
    Natural Born Killers(1994)
    Lost In Translation(2003)
    The Sixth Sense(1999)
    Immortal Beloved(1994)
    2001: A Space Odyssey(1968)
    Hunchback of Notre Dame(1939)
    The Shawshank Redemption
    American History X(1998)
    The Miracle Worker(1962)
    The Sound of Music(1965)
    Sexy Beast(2000)
    Resevoir Dogs(1992)

    etc. etc.
    Resevoir Dogs is better than half the list . Shawshank is top 50 .

  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Many other westerns, but not the best one ever filmed, Tombstone?
    Good point.

  27. #24
    This cannot be a list without Brother Where Art Thou and The Ghost and the Darkness .

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  29. #25
    'The Big Lebowski' & 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' come to mind (just about any Coen Bros. movie, actually).

    Don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows

  30. #26
    A quick google search reveals estimates of over 500,000 feature films made, all time. The average person has about 50 years of movie watching.
    Generously assuming 2 unique movies a day, every day, for 50 years, comes to 36,500 movies, or 7.3% of all movies ever made.

    More realistically, a typical person is going to see much less than that over a lifetime of movie watching.

    So yeah.

    I'll throw STRANGER THAN FICTION into the mix. Also ABOUT TIME.
    Last edited by georgiaboy; 01-05-2018 at 12:04 PM.
    The bigger government gets, the smaller I wish it was.

  31. #27
    If Amadeus isn't on the list then they should just get the hell out.

    It's a perfect movie and the two lead performances are incredible. That's #1 on my list if you haven't guessed.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect - Mark Twain

  32. #28
    This some kind of definitive list, but not one Kubrick movie out of ~400 movies? He's more American than Hitchcock, who I find formulaic and boring by comparison. Only two directors from "classic" Hollyweird could turn real novels into movies, let alone accomplish The Shining.

    Tremors is basically Jaws with cooler characters and interesting rules. It's by far the best American monster movie of all time, but it's not even in the rejects list.

    Ok, A Clockwork Orange is in the rejects list after all.
    Last edited by Raginfridus; 01-05-2018 at 03:03 PM.

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