Monday, October 20, 2008

1000 reasons to complain that have nothing to do with politics.

The New York Times has a list of the 1000 best films EVER. Who put together the list, I don't know because I was too lazy to look. Why they hate America is a mystery.

But like all of these lists, this one has an expected degree of suckitude depending on which movies any pinhead should have included, but for reasons known only to others who had been dropped on their noggins as a child, did not.

For instance, they mention Chaplin's The Great Dictator, but consign the brilliant City Lights to the dustbin of cinema history.

They rightly included Duck Soup, but left A Night at the Opera standing abandoned on the dock. What? Was there no sanity clause in their contract?

But at least the Marx frere earned their nod. My boys, Stan and Ollie, were dissed completely, with nary a mention of Sons of the Desert or Way Out West. Sacrilege.

The Heartbreak Kid, a pleasant enough movie starring Charles Grodin and Cybill Shepherd made the cut. Harper did not.

No Harper.

No Paul Newman. No screenplay by William Goldman from a novel by Ross Macdonald.

No Harper.

Jesus wept.

And the vastly overrated Desperately Seeking Susan is on the list but Das Boot is sunk somewhere off the coast of reason. I know where I'd like to bury my das boot.

Because these critics, whoever they are, felt it was safe to include the Coens' Raising Arizona and Fargo, both terrific movies, but The Big Lebowski was as welcome as an incontinent marmot.


Take a look at the list. Are your favorites there? Or, when it came to picking the absolute best, were the overpaid critics about as discerning as John McCain on an ibogaine binge?

Talk to me.


Charlie Stella said...

Davey 3x's ... They did okay by me ... (check means they had it)

Blue Velvet √
Barfly √
The Pope of Greenwich Village (nope)
Popeye (nope)
The Gambler (nope)
American History X (nope)
Casablanca √
Goodfellas √
Miracle on 34th Street (original) √
Atlantic City √
Patton √
Sexy Beast √
A Streetcar Named Desire √

Got your book and look forward to reading it, brother.

norby said...

I'm almost afraid to look at the list, they always disappoint me. People always want to include recent films that are so overrated as to be ridiculous.

And no Paul Newman? Not even The Sting? Butch Cassidy?

I finally watched Slapshot this weekend after seeing it on so many lists-it was brilliant. Not his best maybe, but still.

I'll take a look, fully prepared to groan.

David Terrenoire said...

Relax, norb

There is plenty of Paul. The Hustler, Butch Cassidy, Cool Hand Luke, etc.

I have a personal attachment to Harper, which is why I was pained by its omission.

Charlie 3x,

That is a marvelously eclectic list you have there.

And I sincerely hope you find something worthwhile in BAPM, no matter how slim.

norby said...

Yeah, I figured out Paul was on there as soon as I saw Absence of Malice in the A's.

But is that list made by the production companies or what? There are films on there that I could barely sit through the first time I saw them (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels anyone?), how are they among the top 1000?

Obviously people have different tastes, but when you have films that people still don't talk about to this day, well...

Charlie Stella said...

Davey 3x's ... I'm loving BAPM ... so much so some woman on the ferry this morning asked me the name of the book (Beneach A Panamanian Moon) because I was smiling while reading ... and now I understand the Harper fixation and will have to see it (never saw it). I love Smith & Marilyn & Wanda (oh, Wanda) ... something tells me Mariposa's coming back soon (I'm at page 75) ... verry funny stuff and wonderful dialogue ... love the exchanges.

John McFetridge said...

Lonestar may not be John Sayles' best movie (Matewan, Men With Guns, City of Hope...) but I guess it was his most mainstream so I'm not too surprised it was the one on the list.

David Terrenoire said...


I'm happy you like the book. I hope it holds up.


I saw Eight Men Out on the list, one of my favorite movies of Sayles'.

Karen Olson said...

Absence of Malice sucked. A bad Newman film.

that said, my favorite movie of all time, THE PALM BEACH STORY, is on the list, as it should be.