My Top 100, 40-31

Welcome to week seven of my 100 favorite movies!  When I was making this list, I didn’t set out to give each week a theme, but this week is definitely my Cary Grant week.  I honestly didn’t realize I’d put so many Cary Grant movies together until I started writing this post.  But there’s no such thing as too much Cary Grant, so let’s get onto this week’s list.

40.  The Wizard of Oz  (1939)

What is there to say about The Wizard of Oz that hasn’t already been said?  Is there anybody out there who doesn’t have childhood memories of watching it?  It’s simply such a pure and innocent fantasy about longing for something more.  Even as an adult, it’s awfully hard to resist its innocent charms.

39.  A Christmas Story  (1983)

For me, it’s just not Christmas unless I’ve stayed up all night watching A Christmas Story over and over again.

38.  Notorious  (1946)

Cary Grant carrying Ingrid Bergman out of the mansion is by far my favorite Hitchcock movie ending.

37.  Bringing Up Baby  (1938)

Screwball comedy at its finest!  I can’t believe Katharine Hepburn didn’t know how to play comedy before making this movie.  But clearly, she learned quickly and ended up being an absolute natural at it.  This is my favorite of the movies she did with Cary Grant, who was of course, already brilliant at doing comedy.  Why this movie wasn’t a smashing success on its initial release is completely beyond me.

36.  Sherlock, Jr.  (1924)

Sherlock, Jr. was my first impression of Buster Keaton and it remains one of my favorites.  Such a great fantasy movie, so funny, and it has so many great special effects and stunts.  The fact that Buster Keaton injured his neck making this movie and didn’t even know it until after the fact is proof that James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson weren’t the toughest guys in film history.  It was the silent film comedians who were the toughest tough guys around.

35.  The Empire Strikes Back  (1980)

One of the rare instances where I like a sequel more than the original.  It does everything a good sequel should.  It felt like a natural continuation of the story from A New Hope and brought everything to a new, exciting level.  The characters we already knew were given more depth, we were introduced to new interesting characters, and was a perfect set-up to Return of the Jedi.

34.  Nights of Cabiria  (1957)

A husband directing his wife in a movie is often a risky move, either for their marriage (think Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli) or for the movie itself (think Guy Ritchie directing Madonna in Swept Away).  But Nights of Cabiria is definitely an exception to the rule.   Federico Fellini directed his wife Giulietta Masina in one of the most honest, heartbreaking, yet optimistic performances I have ever seen.

33.  Faster, Pussycat!  Kill!  Kill!  (1965)

Even though this is widely thought of as one of the greatest trash movies of all time, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie.  Russ Meyer knew exactly what he was doing here.  The editing is great, it’s well shot, the dialogue may be over the top, but who cares when it’s full of fun, awesome quotable lines?  There’s no denying that Tura Satana completely owned the role of Varla.  And it’s rare to see action movies centered around women.  It was never meant to win any Oscars, but that doesn’t stop it from being incredibly entertaining from beginning to end.

32.  All About Eve  (1950)

The two words I can think of to best describe All About Eve are ‘ultimate’ and ‘flawless.’  It’s the ultimate backstage drama.  It’s the ultimate Bette Davis performance.  Eve Harrington was the ultimate cold, conniving monster.  The writing and direction were flawless.  You’d be hard pressed to find a bad thing to say about All About Eve.

31.  Arsenic and Old Lace  (1944)

This is one of the movies I credit with making me into a classic movie fan in the first place.  I remember watching Arsenic and Old Lace when I was a kid and thinking it was an absolute riot.  Lots of dark humor is definitely right up my alley.  Cary Grant finding the body in the window seat is the greatest double-take of all time.

One comment

  1. I am very happy to see Bringing Up Baby so high on your list. It truly is screwball comedy at its finest. You don’t know why it wasn’t more of a hit when it came out; I don’t know why its not more of a revered classic today.

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