We’ve made it to the final ten favorite movies! I hope you enjoyed reading about my hundred favorite movies as much as I enjoyed writing about them. I’m definitely thinking that I might have to do some more big lists like this in the future! Thanks again to Colin from Pick ‘n’ Mix Flix Reviews for suggesting I do this list in the first place! Now, with further ado, my final ten favorites…
10. Ninotchka (1939)
Even though I love all the great dramas Garbo made, Ninotchka is a great breath of fresh air in her career. Garbo’s comedic timing was impeccable and she could deliver a deadpan line like nobody else. This is the infamous Lubitsch touch at its finest. Perfectly delightful!
9. Some Like it Hot (1959)
Simply put, it’s the funniest movie I have ever seen. Everything from Jack Lemmon tangoing with Joe E. Brown to Tony Curtis doing his best Cary Grant impression to the impromptu cocktail party on the train, it’s all absolutely hysterical. I’ve seen it at least a hundred times and I can still find little things in it that I never noticed before, be it someone in the background’s expression or one of the actor’s gestures. And that ending! “Nobody’s perfect,” is by far my favorite movie ending line.
8. 8 1/2 (1963)
I’ve seen a lot of movies centered around the film industry: Sunset Blvd., The Bad and the Beautiful, Show People, Singin’ in the Rain, just to name a few. But 8 1/2 is definitely unlike any of those. By far, it’s the most imaginative movie I’ve ever seen about the film industry. Only Fellini would come up with such a surreal, complex, honest portrait of a frustrated director. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. And just because I like to post scenes that are probably totally baffling when taken out of context…
7. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Speaking of Sunset Blvd.! It’s an exquisite film noir, a scathing indictment of the film industry, and at times, is quite funny. It’s Billy Wilder at his best. Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond is without a doubt, one of the most career defining performances I have ever seen. Of course, I love all the references to silent film stars and all the in-jokes about Gloria Swanson’s career. It’s also really interesting to me to see Jack Webb’s appearance because he’s so loose and relaxed, nothing at all like Sergeant Joe Friday.
6. City Lights (1931)
It’s so incredibly hard to pick one favorite Chaplin movie, because I love them all so much. I think City Lights is his most touching film. That final scene where the formerly blind girl meets the Tramp again and realizes that he is the one who helped her see again is one of the most incredible final scenes of all time. It’s simply a masterpiece.
5. Metropolis (1927)
Have I professed my love for Metropolis on this blog enough yet? Forget The Birth of a Nation! In my book, the greatest silent film epic was definitely Metropolis. Honestly, it’s a story I probably wouldn’t care that much about if it weren’t for Fritz Lang’s direction. With those sets, that editing, those effects, it’s a true tour de force of film making.
4. Casablanca (1942)
It’s Casablanca. What can I possibly say about it that hasn’t already been said before?
3. Gone With the Wind (1939)
Another rather typical choice, but I love it. Like millions of other people, I can’t help but be fascinated by Scarlett O’Hara and how she has to muster up every ounce of strength she has to do things she never would have thought she’d have to do once her world comes crashing down around her. I know a lot of people don’t like Gone With the Wind because they get tired of a whiny white girl doing some pretty underhanded things to get what she wants, but I like that Scarlett isn’t a completely likable character. It only makes her more interesting to me. Aside from Scarlett herself, it’s just a magnificent production. If the movie’s on, I always have to stop what I’m doing to watch Atlanta get torched.
2. The Graduate (1967)
Never have I seen a movie get a more perfect balance of comedy and poignancy. I really can’t come up with a single bad thing to say about The Graduate. Does it get any better than Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft? The writing is so sharp and brilliant, the editing is genius, and that Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack is the icing on the cake. There are so many moments that capture the feeling of loneliness and alienation perfectly. It’s flawless.
1. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
If you read my interview with Only Good Movies, I totally gave away the big conclusion to my series here. But, oh well. I’ve loved this movie ever since I was maybe three or four years old. I gave up on counting how many times I’ve seen E.T. years ago, but suffice it to say that I can practically recite the whole movie from memory. It’s such a pure, heartfelt story. I can’t help but be moved by how a lonely kid can find happiness by reaching out to an entirely different species. Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore gave two of the best child star performances of all time. I really, really miss Spielberg making movies like E.T. If I’m ever stuck on a deserted island, this would easily be the movie I’d want to have with me.
Now, just for fun, a few stats about my list:
A few movies that almost made the cut: Since You Went Away, Jules and Jim, Kramer vs. Kramer, Taxi Driver, Gypsy, The Circus, Grand Hotel, The Lady from Shanghai
Most represented decade: The 1930s, with 23 movies.
Actor/Actress with the most appearances: Cary Grant with 7, Judy Garland with 5.
Most common genre: Comedy, with 18 movies.
Number of movies made in 1980 or later: 9
Director with the most appearances: Alfred Hitchcock, with 6 appearances.
Earliest movie: The Kid (1921)
Most recent movie: Kill Bill, Volume 1 (2003)
Most represented years: 1933 and 1939, both with 5 movies.