October 19, 2011

My Top Ten

While couch-bound this weekend I surfed around looking for some movies to watch. I landed on North By Northwest, Hitchcock's masterpiece. Even though it was probably the 25th I've watched it, it gets better with age. That got me thinking: what are my other go-to movies that I could watch in an endless loop for the rest of time? Here are my top 10, in no particular order.

1. North By Northwest. I just talked about this. It shouldn't be a surprise.

2. Logan's Run. One of my guiltiest pleasures, Logan's Run is the epitome of the 70's sci-fi film...and that's not normally a good thing unless you're a member of the Star Wars or Star Trek franchise. But the story is mildly compelling (you live until you're 30, then you die) and the whole post-apocalyptic Earth, city-in-a-bubble thing is awesome, especially when our heroes escape and stumble through an overgrown Washington, D.C.

3. Forbidden Planet. The quintessential 1950's sci-fi movie. It's got everything - Leslie Nielsen in a serious role, wild animals, talking robots, space exploration and random Disney animation. What more could you want?

4. The Three Amigos. I know you just lost any and all respect you once had for me but I fell in love with this movie as a kid and I never broke up with it. What more do you need? Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short...Randy Newman as a singing shrub...I'm not proud of the fact that I know every line of the movie. Except I kinda am.

5. The Bishop's Wife. Long before Whitney and Denzel starred in The Preacher's Wife, there was this little-known Cary Grant classic. Yes, it's cheesy and dated but it's also something modern movies rarely are - nice without being ironic. I watch it every Christmas along with...

6. White Christmas. Talk about cheesy, this one rules the Christmas movie roost. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye use a super-size ladle to dish out all the cheese this movie puts out but amid all the lame songs and terrible dance numbers, I can't help but love the last 20 minutes of the movie.

7. Avalon. Few have heard of this Barry Levinson masterpiece and it's a shame because it's one of the finest movies ever committed to film. It's about Baltimore (the third in Levinson's Baltimore trilogy - pay special attention to the scene in which the young Elijah Wood watches the diner from Levinson's first movie of the trilogy, Diner, get hauled off by a crane), family, and television. And quite possible the disintegration of two of those things at the hand of the other. There's a scene in which fireworks are going off and fireboats are trying to quench a warehouse fire. If it isn't one of the most beautiful scenes on film, I don't know what is.

8. Say Anything. Seriously one of the best things I've ever bought that's been processed or sold.

9. Rope. Another Hitchcock classic starring the kick-ass Jimmy Stewart. It began its life as a play taking place in one room. The movie was shot the exact same way. Sure, it sounds boring but it's not.

10 (or, 11*). Spinal Tap. This showed up on VH1 a few months ago. I flipped it on and, despite having seen it about 100 times, I found myself howling with laughter. Beth just looked at me as if I'd suddenly lost my mind. Which I guess I had. There might just be the funniest movie ever made, in my humble opinion.

So, what are your go-to movies?

* some of you got that, right?

Posted by Chris at October 19, 2011 7:49 AM

Steel Magnolias- totally sappy and I can repeat every line of every character, but I can never pass it up. Same with Gone With The Wind.

Jaws- have to watch this Memorial Day and Labor Day along with Weekend at Bernies. They must usher summer in and out.

Fight CLub

Arsenic and Old Lace

ANy National Lampoons Vacation movie, especially Christmas Vacation.

Posted by: Lisa at October 19, 2011 8:13 AM

I'm totally with you on White Christmas, Spinal Tap (yes, totally got it! ;-), and Say Anything. I can't comment on the others as I don't think I saw any of them (shame!) except Three Amigos and you are right, what's not to like about Chevy, Steve and Martin??

And I second Lisa on Steel Magnolias...I am not one who can quote lines from movies...except that one!

So here's some more of mine: The Quiet Man (the only John Wayne movie I absolutely adore!), the Molly Ringwald trio: Pretty in Pink/Breakfast Club/Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, My Cousin Vinny, Terms of Endearment and West Side Story.

Great post - Now I want to go home and watch movies non-stop! ;-)

Posted by: cyndy at October 19, 2011 8:52 AM

The worst movie I love is Legally Blonde. Lucky for me, TBS puts it on pretty much every day. And I will watch it every time. Others are Batman (Michael Keaton), Mean Girls, Casablanca, All About Eve, Nightmare on Elm Street, Fight Club, and Homeword Bound. Horrible list, no?

Posted by: caleal at October 19, 2011 9:26 AM

Nice use of the Say Anything quote. Definitely one of my top 10 movies. Also like the reference to 11 on Spinal Tap.

I love almost anything John Cusak, starting with The Sure Thing.

I also love almost anything John Hughes - not a fan of the Home Alone series -- since they were made for me (during my teen/college years).

And I'm a girl, so While You Were Sleeping is also at the top of the list.

Posted by: Liz at October 19, 2011 9:30 AM

How could I forget, since you mentioned two Cary Grant movies, that I love, love, love Cary Grant. My favorite is Philadelphia Story. It doesn't hurt that it has Katherine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart.

Posted by: Liz at October 19, 2011 9:32 AM

I was just thinking this the other day-which movies will I stop and watch even though I have seen them a million times?

Clueless- Sappy, Sassy but I can't help it
Office Space-Ode to the office drone of the 90s
A Christmas Story- From the Scott Farkus affair to "you'll shoot your eye out" a holiday classic
The Princess Bride- As you wish...

Posted by: Amy at October 19, 2011 9:42 AM

One more-Auntie Mame with Rosalind Russell. Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.

Posted by: Amy at October 19, 2011 9:44 AM

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Philadelphia Story, North by Northwest (I love Cary Grant, obviously), Jaws, White Christmas, Rushmore (and lots more)! I love The Three Amigos, too. How can you not love that movie?

Posted by: akofaolain at October 19, 2011 9:52 AM

If Cary Grant were still alive I'd have been arrested and slapped with a restraining order for stalking. I love that man.

My go to movies are: An Affair to Remember, A Christmas Story, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, The Woman(the original), Rear Window, Love, Actually, Sleepless in Seattle, and Meet me In St. Louis(Louis, meet me at the FAAAAIR!"

Posted by: Holly at October 19, 2011 10:24 AM

As much of a music fan as you are, I was surprized not to see Almost Famous and High Fidelity, both of which make my list. I can't count how often I've seen them, and they never get old.

Posted by: Martin at October 19, 2011 10:28 AM

This one goes to 11! I also have a secret love for Logan's Run :) and Say Anything has been on my list for years.

My all time favorite movie is Arsenic and Old Lace.

Posted by: Hillary at October 19, 2011 10:53 AM

The first one is easy - Grease! I've probably seen it a zillion times and can quote it, no problem. Haven't watched it since Kenickie died, so I fear I might get a little emotional next time.
After that, I'd say Moulin Rouge, An Officer and a Gentleman (I know, corny as hell but I love it!), The Breakfast Club (memories of my teenage years) and (when I want to wallow in sadness and cry a lot) Breaking the Waves (possibly the most heart-rending film I've ever seen).

Posted by: Kirsty at October 19, 2011 11:53 AM

Hah! We share 4 favorites (North by Northwest, The Bishop's Wife, White Christmas and Say Anything), and I'd have to add any movie that has Cary Grant being suave and debonair, like he is in An Affair to Remember. Yum.

Posted by: Jenn at October 19, 2011 12:08 PM

Gone with the Wind
Sweet Home Alabama
Legally Blonde
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Rebel without a Cause

Posted by: Krush at October 19, 2011 12:38 PM

Princess Bride
A Christmas Story

Posted by: Mommy's Minions at October 19, 2011 1:05 PM

The only one of those that I've seen is "The Three Amigos".

I will drop everything to watch:

The Princess Bride.
Love Actually
Real Genius
Two Weeks Notice

Gee, I see that I'm a fan of the sappy chick flick. Oh well!

Posted by: Carmen at October 19, 2011 1:46 PM

Are you sure you're not a 54 year old woman?
1. Stagecoach
2. Rear Window
3. Arsenic and Old Lace
4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
5. The Blob
6. The Trouble with Harry
7. Miracle on 34th Street
8. The Bishop's Wife
9. 12 Angry Men
10. Michael (just up to the dance scene in the bar)
I'll sit up to watch or stop to watch these ANY time I see they are coming on. Only the originals though, no remakes!

Posted by: rcat at October 19, 2011 7:09 PM

You didn't have respect for me anyway, did you? This list will kill any if you did.

Steel Magnolias (So quotable)
Good Will Hunting
When Harry Met Sally
Definitely, Maybe
Beautiful Girls

Posted by: Sarah at October 19, 2011 9:40 PM

Office Space

Posted by: kati at October 19, 2011 11:01 PM

i knew i was forgetting Wedding Crashers!

Posted by: kati at October 19, 2011 11:02 PM

Love Actually. I watch it every holiday season. Love that movie.

Posted by: Dawn at October 20, 2011 3:01 AM

I snorted when I got to 11*, so who's the geek now?

My go-tos are:

-Shawshank Redemption
-The Departed
-L.A. Confidential
-Silence of the Lambs
-Monty Python and the Holy Grail
-To Kill a Mockingbird
-Guys & Dolls

What the hell is wrong with me?

Posted by: alektra at October 20, 2011 3:40 AM

turning things up to eleven is perhaps my favourite-est thing in the whole world!! kudos on the reference.

Posted by: roselle at October 20, 2011 11:42 PM

*11 made me giggle.

Posted by: Annie at October 21, 2011 2:08 AM