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Hello, my name is Jillian – and I’m a message board / blogging newbie. (But a long-time TCM viewer!)

This is my first post (here and on my blog, The Classic Film Connection). I hope to use both spaces to connect with fellow classic movie fans.

As a means of introduction, I thought I’d share my personal list of the top ten best films I’ve seen so far in my lifetime. If one picture is worth a thousand words, then maybe ten pictures (plus some words) will tell you everything you need to know about me.

Not all of these movies are from a classic era, but most are. And I hadn’t realized before making this list – but I clearly have a favorite decade!

Each film’s title is connected to its IMDb page.

Here we go (from #10 – the #1 best!)…

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#10: The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

More of an experience than entertainment, this film is almost beyond comparison – even to other Biblical epics. Its artistry is second to none (pause it at any point, and it looks like a painting!), and the level of depth and detail in the story are unmatched. Every time I watch it, I notice something new.

Like most ambitiously passionate creative works, there are flaws here and there. Every moment may not land with the desired meaning and impact, but the intention is always clear – and it is beautiful.

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#9: The Straight Story (1999)

I never thought a movie about a guy riding a lawnmower would be so enthralling!

Based on a true story, this film’s hero is totally unique: a quiet, elderly gentleman – who is sharp and smart, and who defies limitations by undertaking the greatest feat of ingenuity I’ve ever seen!

Richard Farnsworth carries the show, assisted by some equally good supporting performers and absolutely gorgeous cinematography. The people around him are ALMOST too quirky to be real, but that line is never completely crossed. And it all plays out like a story an old man would tell – a little slow, but full of colorful details and plain-spoken wisdom.

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#8: Lilies of the Field (1963)

This is a simple story told in a straightforward way – but it’s so beautiful, it sparkles. I wouldn’t call it a “perfect” movie – yet that really doesn’t matter in light of its heart, which just shines through the screen.

And it’s too good to be considered merely a sentimental favorite…There’s a passionate energy that sets it apart – plus something else I can’t quite name. Something holy, I think.

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#7: Fences (2016)

The first time I saw this movie, the impact of its meaning didn’t hit me until well after I left the theater. But when it hit, it blew me away.

This is a truly dramatic film. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, its style feels a bit talky and theatrical until you get used to it – and there’s a relentlessness and a hardness in all that talking that makes it tough to sit through. But just stick with it, because the last act is POWERFUL – and the ending wouldn’t mean nearly as much without all the pain endured to get there.

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#6: Whistle Down the Wind (1961)

This is a seemingly simple film – but it’s filled with Biblical allusion, and it leaves deeper meaning up to interpretation. Personally, I think it’s a story about the power of child-like faith – and how easily it can turn complicated.

Also notable for its large cast of remarkably natural non-actor children (Hayley Mills being one of the few with professional experience at the time), this movie provides the most understanding, well-rounded look at the whole of childhood – and all the positives and negatives of that stage of life – that I’ve ever seen on screen.

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#5: A Soldier’s Story (1985)

A twisty yet tight whodunit that makes larger, nuanced points while solving its mystery. The cast and the music are ON FIRE – particularly Patti LaBelle (!!!) and Larry Riley’s in-character musical performances. When they sing together, it’s almost too much star-power for one screen!

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#4: Up the Down Staircase (1967)

This should be required viewing for all aspiring teachers. (And it could be used as encouragement/therapy for all current/formers ones, too – staff and administrators included!)

This film IS life in public education – especially in a low-funded system. And it’s timelessly relevant regardless of grade-level or environment: I taught primary grades in rural systems, not inner-city high-school – but I faced a version of nearly every issue presented here.

Filling the school with non-professional teens to act as the students (and casting several in key roles) was a particularly genius move that adds even more realism. This movie somehow strikes a magical balance – it’s perfectly honest, yet still thoroughly cinematic. (The only reason it’s not even higher on my list is because it’s SO true-to-life, it’s a little difficult for me to watch.)

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#3: The Hustler (1961)

In many ways, this one is the ultimate: its direction and cinematography are the most interesting, its characters are the most complex. And it’s got Jackie Gleason in a strictly dramatic role, demonstrating with very limited screen time why he deserves to be called The Great One – shooting his own pool and operating on a whole other level than the rest of the already fantastic cast.

Its style is unbeatable – and its depth of detail and commentary on life are just as striking. No matter how many times I watch it, I’m convinced there’s still more there I’ve yet to fully see.

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#2: The Apartment (1960)

There’s nothing quite like watching this story unfold for the first time, spoiler-free. If you’ve never seen this movie, all I will say is this: don’t read about it or look into it before watching (it’s one of those films where it’s best to know as little as possible going in), and don’t pay attention to any labeling of it as a “romantic comedy” – because it’s so much more than that. It defies categorization.

Actually, the only label that really fits is “perfect”. This is a perfect movie.

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#1: They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969)

This is the most intricate movie I’ve ever seen. Its world is so complete and compelling that I’m dropped into it from the moment the opening titles start, and I’m not pulled out until the end credits roll.

No detail is wasted. The characters feel like real people you can care about. The cast is so invested, it’s incredible – no matter where or on whom you place your focus, you’ll notice things that add to the experience. The story fits together like a puzzle, and every moment is a piece that means something. Certain events are shocking, yet nothing happens that isn’t foreshadowed in some way.

From the smallest details of its perfectly-crafted world, to big ideas about society and the human condition – this movie says so much in such subtle ways.

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*Bonus*: Requiem for a Heavyweight (1956)

This one can’t be compared fairly to the others, since it’s a live teleplay. But I love it so much, I had to include it.

Out of all these masterful films, this particular story and cast are my all-time favorite. And the sets and direction make everything look surprisingly real – an especially impressive feat for an early television production.

It all works to pull you into its world so effectively that even the common pitfalls of classic live TV (slightly grainy kinescope picture, a few flubbed lines, and camerawork that occasionally beheads) aren’t really distracting. A beautiful story, a stellar cast, a complete “movie world” on a TV set – and it was all done LIVE. That’s pretty awesome.

***

So, what do you think? Please say Hi!, share your thoughts on my list, and tell me about YOUR favorite movies.

And if you’d like to visit me over at The Classic Film Connection, I’d love to connect with you there, too. As a blogging newbie, I appreciate all the support (subscribing, sharing, etc.) I can get!

 

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Welcome to the boards! 

I haven't seen a lot of your favorite films, though I have seen The Apartment and I love that one as well.  I've been trying to watch some more "New Hollywood" films.  Your list has given me some ideas and a couple of the titles I have on my DVR, I just haven't watched them yet.  My favorite decades for film are the 40s-60s, since that seems to be where most of my favorite films tend to lie.  I've been trying to watch more 1970s films, as there is just something about the aesthetic of that decade that appeals to me. 

My Top 10 Favorites are:

1) The Long Long Trailer (1954)

2) Casablanca (1942)

3) Gidget (1959)

4) Meet Me in St Louis (1944)

5) Mildred Pierce (1945)

6) Gentleman Jim (1942)

7) Where the Boys Are (1960)

8 ) Gilda (1946)

9) Singin' in the Rain (1952)

10) Sabrina (1954)

---

My Favorite Actors are Errol Flynn and Lucille Ball.

But I have so many more favorites.  I go into every "new" film hoping to find another new favorite.  I have a large physical media collection as well, as I want to always have my favorite films available.  I also have hundreds of films to watch on my DVR.  I watch TCM and use the library and streaming outlets to supplement all that. 

I also have a blog called "Whimsically Classic" (whimsicallyclassic.wordpress.com) where I primarily talk about classic movies, but I on occasion will also talk about classic television as I was a Nick at Nite junkie growing up in the 90s. 

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oh wow! Another person who loves "They Shoot Horses, Don't They" and "Up the Down Staircase!" I haven't encountered anyone on here who loves both of those; how rad. I found myself quite impressed with Sandy Dennis in "Staircase," and have been meaning to check out more of her work. I will share some of my favorites as well (in no particular order) :) Welcome to the message boards! 

12 ANGRY MEN (1957) 

I find this to be a masterclass in acting as well as writing and directing; the performances are all believably stellar and it does a great job of being engaging despite the one-setting (courthouse). 
 

PAPER MOON (1973) 
I am a huge Madeline Kahn fan and she was great in this; I love the dynamic between Ryan and Tatum O'Neal in this as well. I also love the fact that it is a period piece. 

 

SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950) 

One of the most perfect movies about Hollywood that I have ever seen; Gloria Swanson and William Holden are perfect foils for each other in this and I really enjoy the overall themes and ambience of this. One of the most perfect movies I have ever seen, bar none. 

 

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (1971) 

I could rewatch this once a month if I wanted to, that's how much it speaks to me. This is my grandfather's favorite musical and I think it is special that we both enjoy it; makes me feel closer to him in a way. My favorite sequence is "Chava's Ballet." Also, the orchestrations are done by the great John Williams, which is an added bonus. 

 

MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001) 

Yet another movie about Hollywood and its fatal flaws; I have quickly become a David Lynch fan as of late, even though there are certainly some elements and themes I don't quite understand upon a first (or sometimes second) viewing. I enjoy the surreal relationship between the two leads and the overall dream-like quality that is present in some scenes. 

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@speedracer5 Hi! 😊 I’ve only seen four of your favorites (Casablanca, Meet Me in St. Louis, Singin’ in the Rain, and Sabrina), so you’ve given me ideas of new ones to watch, too. If you watch any from my list, let me know - and I’ll do the same for you.

My favorite actress is Judy Garland - hands down. Naming a favorite classic actor is much more difficult…One I’ve been surprisingly impressed by recently is Dean Martin. (I may post about him sometime.)

You and I sound quite similar. I’m always open to “new” films and discovering new favorites. And I totally understand about wanting your own copy of your favorites and keeping a full DVR…

I shifted to working from home during the pandemic, and I’ve found it helps to have something interesting playing in the background during monotonous stretches. I gravitated to classic films more and more, until that’s practically all I play now (although I enjoy classic TV as well). It’s proved to be a great way to experiment with new films - and then I go back and give my full attention to potential new favorites when I have time. It’s also sparked my interest in writing - and here we are. 

I will definitely check out your blog soon. Looking forward to it!

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17 minutes ago, Jillian Atchley said:

@speedracer5 Hi! 😊 I’ve only seen four of your favorites (Casablanca, Meet Me in St. Louis, Singin’ in the Rain, and Sabrina), so you’ve given me ideas of new ones to watch, too. If you watch any from my list, let me know - and I’ll do the same for you.

My favorite actress is Judy Garland - hands down. Naming a favorite classic actor is much more difficult…One I’ve been surprisingly impressed by recently is Dean Martin. (I may post about him sometime.)

You and I sound quite similar. I’m always open to “new” films and discovering new favorites. And I totally understand about wanting your own copy of your favorites and keeping a full DVR…

I shifted to working from home during the pandemic, and I’ve found it helps to have something interesting playing in the background during monotonous stretches. I gravitated to classic films more and more, until that’s practically all I play now (although I enjoy classic TV as well). It’s proved to be a great way to experiment with new films - and then I go back and give my full attention to potential new favorites when I have time. It’s also sparked my interest in writing - and here we are. 

I will definitely out your blog soon. Looking forward to it!

I grew up watching classic movies, but didn't really get REALLY into classic film until I discovered I Love Lucy on Nick at Nite in '94-'95 when I was 10-11.  I Love Lucy became my "Must-See TV" (well that, and 90210) and I quickly became a huge Lucille Ball fan as well.  My family also went to the library every month and I started checking out every book about Lucille Ball and I Love Lucy and everything I Love Lucy-adjacent.  From these books I learned about Lucy's movie career.  Fortunately, my library had a ton of her films on VHS.  I borrowed each and every film.  From Lucy's films, I learned about other actors like Gene Kelly, Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, etc.  I Love Lucy's fantastic celebrity guest stars also introduced me to a bunch of new actors as well. At the same time, TCM debuted and every week, I would comb through the Sunday newspaper TV Guide (not the periodical) supplement and see if any Lucy movies were scheduled.  I'd set those up to record on the VCR.  I also watched classic movies on AMC when AMC used to show classic movies.  At some point, TCM moved to a higher tiered cable package, so I lost access to it for quite some time until I got my first apartment and was in control of my television service.  I have satellite and have the second to top tier package, because it's the first package that includes TCM.  I'd be lost without it. 

I worked in the office (so to speak) throughout the entire pandemic, so there was no work from home for me.  I work for a Logistics/Transportation/Warehousing company, so we were deemed "essential." I agree about classic film making great background noise.  I tend to put on films I've seen a million times for my background noise if I want something to watch while I catch up on my internet sites, work on making a grocery list, etc. etc.  If I'm cleaning or something, I'll usually just turn on TCM if they're showing something with people I like or a genre I like.   I think I have about 530 movies on the DVR and am at 98%.  Shortly, I'll need to go through it and delete anything that I can get from the library. 

Errol Flynn and Lucille Ball have continued to be my favorites.  I'm pretty certain of that.  I have a ton of other favorites though.  I try not to develop a massive list of people and films I dislike.  As that is so negative to me and I've come across people in the classic film community who you have to wonder if they even like classic movies, because they seem to hate everyone and everything.  I always try to give actors and films multiple chances.  I'm not a big fan of Mickey Rooney or June Allyson; but I won't not watch a film they're in and have actually found films of theirs that I like, but I like the film in spite of them. 

My favorite genres (and subgenres) are comedy (though there's a fine line between cheesy funny and painfully stupid unfunny), film noir, neo-noir, "weepies," melodrama (especially if the central characters are teenagers), 50s-60s teen beach movies, ladies in prison, musicals, homefront WWII films, thrillers, sports movies (especially if it's boxing), and journalism movies. I'm not a big fan of war, westerns, horror, science fiction or fantasy; but will watch those genres if the film or the actors in the film are of interest to me. I do like the cheesy D-list science fiction movies of the 50s and 60s, and the Vincent Price horror movies. 

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@NickAndNora34Hi! 😊 I think you and I may be kindred spirits.

The only other Sandy Dennis films I’ve seen are Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (which is…intense) and The Four Seasons (which I love). Virginia Woolf aired on TCM a few months ago (so, it could always pop up again!), and The Four Seasons was on Peacock - although it’s not there now. I missed it when it was gone, so I bought the DVD on Amazon. I’m pretty sure it was a cheap purchase.

I like that Sandy didn’t seem to rely on glamor or anything (as much as I love Old Hollywood’s glamorous stars). She was just a really talented actress - and she owned however she looked at the time (frizzy hair, or when she got a little older, or whatever - she was just herself). It makes her seem more relatable.

I’ve only seen two films from your list - 12 Angry Men (stellar!) and Fiddler on the Roof (love!). I’ll be on the lookout for the others. (You’ve named some titles I’ve wanted to see for quite a while.) Maybe they’ll pop up on TCM or another movie channel soon. If you watch any from my list, let me know - and I’ll do the same for you!

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3 minutes ago, Jillian Atchley said:

@NickAndNora34Hi! 😊 I think you and I may be kindred spirits.

The only other Sandy Dennis films I’ve seen are Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (which is…intense) and The Four Seasons (which I love). Virginia Woolf aired on TCM a few months ago (so, it could always pop up again!), and The Four Seasons was on Peacock - although it’s not there now. I missed it when it was gone, so I bought the DVD on Amazon. I’m pretty sure it was a cheap purchase.

I like that Sandy didn’t seem to rely on glamor or anything (as much as I love Old Hollywood’s glamorous stars). She was just a really talented actress - and she owned however she looked at the time (frizzy hair, or when she got a little older, or whatever - she was just herself). It makes her seem more relatable.

I’ve only seen two films from your list - 12 Angry Men (stellar!) and Fiddler on the Roof (love!). I’ll be on the lookout for the others. (You’ve named some titles I’ve wanted to see for quite a while.) Maybe they’ll pop up on TCM or another movie channel soon. If you watch any from my list, let me know - and I’ll do the same for you!

From my experience, Sandy Dennis is a divisive figure in the classic film community.  People either love her or can't stand her.  I can understand both sides in that argument.  I thought she was great in 'Virginia Woolf' and acted very realistically. How else would someone act observing that trainwreck of a marriage? I would act like Sandy and George Segal did, awkwardly sitting there watching and listening, desperate to leave, but wanting to stay to see what'll happen next.  I've also seen Sandy with Jack Lemmon in The Out-of-Towners and she and Jack were very funny in that film. 

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8 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

I grew up watching classic movies, but didn't really get REALLY into classic film until I discovered I Love Lucy on Nick at Nite in '94-'95 when I was 10-11.  I Love Lucy became my "Must-See TV" (well that, and 90210) and I quickly became a huge Lucille Ball fan as well.  My family also went to the library every month and I started checking out every book about Lucille Ball and I Love Lucy and everything I Love Lucy-adjacent.  From these books I learned about Lucy's movie career.  Fortunately, my library had a ton of her films on VHS.  I borrowed each and every film.  From Lucy's films, I learned about other actors like Gene Kelly, Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, etc.  At the same time, TCM debuted and every week, I would comb through the Sunday newspaper TV Guide (not the periodical) supplement and see if any Lucy movies were scheduled.  I'd set those up to record on the VCR.  I also watched classic movies on AMC when AMC used to show classic movies.  At some point, TCM moved to a higher tiered cable package, so I lost access to it for quite some time until I got my first apartment and was in control of my television service.  I have satellite and have the second to top tier package, because it's the first package that includes TCM.  I'd be lost without it. 

I worked in the office (so to speak) throughout the entire pandemic, so there was no work from home for me.  I work for a Logistics/Transportation/Warehousing company, so we were deemed "essential." I agree about classic film making great background noise.  I tend to put on films I've seen a million times for my background noise if I want something to watch while I catch up on my internet sites, work on making a grocery list, etc. etc.  If I'm cleaning or something, I'll usually just turn on TCM if they're showing something with people I like or a genre I like.   I think I have about 530 movies on the DVR and am at 98%.  Shortly, I'll need to go through it and delete anything that I can get from the library. 

Errol Flynn and Lucille Ball have continued to be my favorites.  I'm pretty certain of that.  I have a ton of other favorites though.  I try not to develop a massive list of people and films I dislike.  As that is so negative to me and I've come across people in the classic film community who you have to wonder if they even like classic movies, because they seem to hate everyone and everything.  I always try to give actors and films multiple chances.  I'm not a big fan of Mickey Rooney or June Allyson; but I won't not watch a film they're in and have actually found films of theirs that I like, but I like the film in spite of them. 

My favorite genres (and subgenres) are comedy (though there's a fine line between cheesy funny and painfully stupid unfunny), film noir, neo-noir, "weepies," melodrama (especially if the central characters are teenagers), 50s-60s teen beach movies, ladies in prison, musicals, homefront WWII films, thrillers, sports movies (especially if it's boxing), and journalism movies. I'm not a big fan of war, westerns, horror, science fiction or fantasy; but will watch those genres if the film or the actors in the film are of interest to me. I do like the cheesy D-list science fiction movies of the 50s and 60s, and the Vincent Price horror movies. 

@speedracer5It’s so interesting how you connect to someone in your formative years - to the point that they help shape you and your interests - and how that strong connection will remain special when you’re older, regardless of how you grow and change. Judy Garland was that person for me. I went from a love of The Wizard of Oz and a connection with Judy’s Dorothy at 4 years old, to anything Judy Garland (movies, music, whatever), to now - my interests have expanded, but she’s still the favorite who holds a special place in my heart.

Oooo - if you like boxing, I can’t recommend Requiem for a Heavyweight highly enough! 😃 I think it’s the ultimate boxing story. The 1956 Playhouse 90 teleplay version is on YouTube (sadly, I don’t think it’s available anywhere else at the moment), and the 1962 film version aired on TCM about a week ago and is on Hulu Plus (which is how I watch TCM) through tomorrow (Sunday). Since it’s still there, maybe it’s also on the app? 
 

I prefer the Playhouse 90 version, but both are totally worth watching - because they’re like two sides of a coin or two divergent paths. They’re written and directed by the same men (Rod Serling and Ralph Nelson), but the stories (especially the endings!) are crucially different - one’s optimistic, the other’s pessimistic. It’s fascinating. (And the film version has a REALLY COOL scene that involves Mohammed Ali, who was still known as Cassius Clay!)

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Howdy!.

 

        I too, am a relative newbie to these particular sets of topic boards. Some, perhaps; might fancy im the canary (or, turkey buzzard) covered in SOOT, out of those around here. Due to reasons that might already be glaringly apparent.. lol

 

 

         Out of those titles i Have Seen from Your List Here.. ...my head and shoulders favourite would be Lilies of the Field.  In All Probability my Favourite Poeitier (sp) film. With Defiant Ones Probably Taking Silver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    I.. am nearly impossibly pressed Unfortunately to pick an all encompassing, exhaustive top ten list .  If.. this is of Interest: i would "offer" picking out a 10 list from a genre (or genres) of Your Choosing if You Are Inclined.

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#6: Whistle Down the Wind (1961)

This is a seemingly simple film – but it’s filled with Biblical allusion, and it leaves deeper meaning up to interpretation. Personally, I think it’s a story about the power of child-like faith – and how easily it can turn complicated.

Also notable for its large cast of remarkably natural non-actor children (Hayley Mills being one of the few with professional experience at the time), this movie provides the most understanding, well-rounded look at the whole of childhood – and all the positives and negatives of that stage of life – that I’ve ever seen on screen.

 

Jillian, I'm glad you've had the opportunity to see this wonderful film which is hard to find these days. I love it as much as you do.

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Hello and welcome to the boards here, Jillian. I found your introductory post very impressive and well presented.

Coincidentally, my second favorite film also happens to be The Apartment.

I also have to say that I thought what a paradox it seemed that your favorite film They Shoot Horses, Don't They? was one of the two most depressive but excellently done films about the human condition, along with The Last Picture Show, I can recall watching. And yet, in your "bonus" selection you stated that you prefer the earlier television production of Requiem for a Heavyweight over the later done theatrical released version (I do too, btw) and then later made note of the earlier done TV version's more optimistic ending, and so hence what I saw as the aforementioned paradox here.

Well anyway, here are what I would say would be my top ten favorite films of all time:

1- The Best Years of Our Lives

2- The Apartment

3- Singin' in the Rain

4- Casablanca

5- The Third Man

6- Out of the Past

7- Sunset Blvd

8- Dr. Strangelove

9- A Night at the Opera

10- It's a Wonderful Life

(...once again, welcome)

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Welcome to the forum!

I can provide a list of ten of my favorite movies but whether they are my 'top' ten depends on my mood which is ever-changing.

How to Steal a Million (1966) A beautiful but slightly klutzy young lady enlists a tall, slim, brutal, mean, terrible man with deep blue eyes to help her steal a statue which belongs to her so that she will not have to go to America. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060522/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) A bored genius who dabbles in bank robbery meets his equal in a soulless insurance investigator.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063688/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

Two Comrades Served (1968) It is the story of two men who are very different in education, politics and outlook who become fast friends. It is very moving movie. One is simple-minded patriot. Other is intellectual who should not be in any war and should be on other side of this one. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063615/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Father Goose (1964) A rude, foul-mouthed, drunken filthy beast is forced by circumstances to be the father figure for seven young ladies when he does not want to be a father figure or a brother figure or an uncle figure or a cousin figure and instead intends on being only a total stranger figure.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058092/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

The Hidden Fortress (1958) Two weary veterans fall prey to a princess and her escorts. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051808/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_4

Formula of Love (1984) A dissolute youth falls in love with a statue and so a mystic is called in to make it come alive. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0216755/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Daisies (1966) Two young ladies seek their destiny.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060959/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_3 

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (2007) A retired policeman is brought back to the force to locate four illegal immigrants.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083658/?ref_=fn_ft_tt_1

Monsters, Inc. (2001) Two factory workers become embroiled in a corporation's scheme to increase profits at any cost.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0198781/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

The Pillow Book (1996). Overt surrealism celebrating enthusiastically the pleasures of calligraphy.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114134/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
 

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11 hours ago, SansFin said:

I can provide a list of ten of my favorite movies but whether they are my 'top' ten depends on my mood which is ever-changing.

That matches my  sentiments perfectly. Every time I compose a top ten list, I have to disavow it for some reason the next time I read it. I'm constantly experiencing new (to me) films or re-experiencing films I've seen but was a different person or in a different mood or wasn't as observant at the time because of fatigue or distraction or I just plain forgot about because I've only seen about sixty thousand movies in my life. 

So, for right this moment, I'll say this is my list of 10 best movies. 

In alphabetical order:

Blood Diamond (2006), Boogie Nights (1997), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Cool Hand Luke (1967), The Exorcist (1973), Goodfellas (1990), Midnight Cowboy (1969), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Quest for Fire (1981), Unforgiven (1992).

There's a hundred more at least I'm wanting to name - and might when re-making the list next week.

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In regards to the 1962 film version of REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT . . .

There is a version of this film released by COLUMBIA on VHS (I've got it an' I've watched it) which has a different ending than the version shown on TCM. 

I don't know for sure which version y'all are referring to, but I'm *assuming* it's the version shown on TCM and not the Columbia tape . . . but I can't be 100% sure now can I?   🙃

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12 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

In regards to the 1962 film version of REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT . . .

There is a version of this film released by COLUMBIA on VHS (I've got it an' I've watched it) which has a different ending than the version shown on TCM. 

I don't know for sure which version y'all are referring to, but I'm *assuming* it's the version shown on TCM and not the Columbia tape . . . but I can't be 100% sure now can I?   🙃

I've watched the movie - always on TV, never on a tape or disc - four or five times over the years. The first time was in the 60's on the local ABC affiliate late show.

The only ending I've ever seen is the one where Mountain dances about the ring as an Indian in a headdress whooping. The End.

What is the ending on your tape?

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10 hours ago, Jillian Atchley said:

Here we go (from #10 – the #1 best!)…

One of the few times I have seen all of anyone's top ten list. 

While I wouldn't put any among my favorites of all time, I like all of them.

Whistle Down The Wind is one of the more underrated films of the 1960s, deserves to be better known. Hayley Mills is excellent and so is the snub nosed boy who plays her little brother, he is a real scene stealer. Alan Bates gives one of his best performances as the escaped criminal thought by the children to be Jesus. The stark B&W photography gives it a documentary feel. I also love the use of "We Three Kings" on the soundtrack.

They Shoot Horses Don't They? is another one I wish more people would seek out. I think it is Jane Fonda's best performance ever. The film let you feel the grueling dance contest, showing how far Depression era folk would go to get money. But it can relate to any era where people feel desparation.

My top ten

1. Gunga Din (1939)

2. Shadow Of A Doubt (1943)

3. Detective Story (1951)

4. From Here To Eternity (1953)

5. On The Waterfront (1954)

6. Marty (1955)

7. Night Of The Hunter (1955)

8. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

9. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

10, Taxi Driver (1976)

 

 

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@37kitties:  The IMDb probably has a better description of the Columbia VHS ending under their 'Alternate Versions' thread than I could offer up here . . . but here goes!  There's a scene with Jackie Gleason that runs a minute where Stanley Adams walks up to him with a young, up-and-coming boxer.  Gleason then tells the young boxer, with a world-weary tone after all Maish has been through, to "Go Home" and that there are so many more losers than winners in this business and implying that this young boxer will more likely end up like Mountain Rivera ( who's now humiliating himself in the ring) than a distinguished boxing champion. 

I'll also note that, if you go to the IMDb and read through the 'Trivia' and 'Alternate Version' section there is conflicting information about how long the original theatrical release ran.  Was it 87 minutes?  Or 96 minutes?  I honestly don't know as I never saw "Requiem for a Heavyweight" in theaters.  (I wasn't born until 1973).  However, the ending on the VHS tape is apparently unique to the videocassette release from what I've read and seen on TCM. 

→ I just don't remember seeing that final minute-long sequence with Jackie Gleason telling the young boxer to "Go Home" on the print shown on TCM.  I concede it's possible I could have looked right past it as it's only a minute long, but that's as accurate as I can remember offhand about the ending on the Columbia VHS tape. 

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9 hours ago, kingrat said:

#6: Whistle Down the Wind (1961)

This is a seemingly simple film – but it’s filled with Biblical allusion, and it leaves deeper meaning up to interpretation. Personally, I think it’s a story about the power of child-like faith – and how easily it can turn complicated.

Also notable for its large cast of remarkably natural non-actor children (Hayley Mills being one of the few with professional experience at the time), this movie provides the most understanding, well-rounded look at the whole of childhood – and all the positives and negatives of that stage of life – that I’ve ever seen on screen.

 

Jillian, I'm glad you've had the opportunity to see this wonderful film which is hard to find these days. I love it as much as you do.

I would also like to comment on this film. I am glad someone has mentioned it. I watched it recently for the first time. I think it's very well made, though the biblical allusions get to be a bit much and bog down the simpler aspects of the story.

In some ways the film borrows heavily from TIGER BAY (1959) which Hayley made two years earlier. In both stories, we have her as a young heroine forging a bond with an attractive criminal-- Horst Buchholz in TIGER BAY and Alan Bates in WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND.

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14 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

From my experience, Sandy Dennis is a divisive figure in the classic film community.  People either love her or can't stand her.  I can understand both sides in that argument.  I thought she was great in 'Virginia Woolf' and acted very realistically. How else would someone act observing that trainwreck of a marriage? I would act like Sandy and George Segal did, awkwardly sitting there watching and listening, desperate to leave, but wanting to stay to see what'll happen next.  I've also seen Sandy with Jack Lemmon in The Out-of-Towners and she and Jack were very funny in that film. 

@speedracer5 Now you’ve got me thinking about Virginia Woolf. ☺️ I find George Segal and Sandy Dennis even more interesting than Taylor and Burton. How they transform from beginning to end is fascinating. Everything from “peeling the label off the bottle” on is so chilling.

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11 hours ago, Dargo said:

Hello and welcome to the boards here, Jillian. I found your introductory post very impressive and well presented.

Coincidentally, my second favorite film also happens to be The Apartment.

I also have to say that I thought what a paradox it seemed that your favorite film They Shoot Horses, Don't They? was one of the two most depressive but excellently done films about the human condition, along with The Last Picture Show, I can recall watching. And yet, in your "bonus" selection you stated that you prefer the earlier television production of Requiem for a Heavyweight over the later done theatrical released version (I do too, btw) and then later made note of the earlier done TV version's more optimistic ending, and so hence what I saw as the aforementioned paradox here.

Well anyway, here are what I would say would be my top ten favorite films of all time:

1- The Best Years of Our Lives

2- The Apartment

3- Singin' in the Rain

4- Casablanca

5- The Third Man

6- Out of the Past

7- Sunset Blvd

8- Dr. Strangelove

9- A Night at the Opera

10- It's a Wonderful Life

(...once again, welcome)

@Dargo Hi! 😊 It’s interesting that you mention the paradox in my choices. (I noticed that myself. ☺️)

The first time I saw Horses, the ending shocked me deeply (somehow…I should’ve seen it coming.). When I recovered enough to think about it, my first thought was of the original Requiem - the similarities in what these films explored, and their polar opposite conclusions.

Horses helped me understand a certain viewpoint I never related to before. I hope this new level of understanding has instilled more compassion in me - but I also hope watching it always stirs that “stubbornly optimistic fighter” response inside, too.

I find both versions of Requiem fascinating to watch. It’s like exploring both sides of the same coin or two divergent paths (and I wonder if the different tones and endings were indications of a paradox within Serling himself). The performances and direction are top-notch in both, and I don’t mind the differing endings…necessarily. It’s just that I think the ‘62 film version resorted to some clumsy story changes in order to make the new ending work.

In their own way, all three films explore what it means to live with dignity - but the original Requiem and Horses make their cases best.

I’ve only seen a few of your favorites, but I’ll be on the lookout for the rest. If you watch any from my list that are new to you, let me know - and I’ll do the same for you!

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12 hours ago, SansFin said:

Welcome to the forum!

I can provide a list of ten of my favorite movies but whether they are my 'top' ten depends on my mood which is ever-changing.

How to Steal a Million (1966) A beautiful but slightly klutzy young lady enlists a tall, slim, brutal, mean, terrible man with deep blue eyes to help her steal a statue which belongs to her so that she will not have to go to America. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060522/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) A bored genius who dabbles in bank robbery meets his equal in a soulless insurance investigator.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063688/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

Two Comrades Served (1968) It is the story of two men who are very different in education, politics and outlook who become fast friends. It is very moving movie. One is simple-minded patriot. Other is intellectual who should not be in any war and should be on other side of this one. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063615/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Father Goose (1964) A rude, foul-mouthed, drunken filthy beast is forced by circumstances to be the father figure for seven young ladies when he does not want to be a father figure or a brother figure or an uncle figure or a cousin figure and instead intends on being only a total stranger figure.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058092/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

The Hidden Fortress (1958) Two weary veterans fall prey to a princess and her escorts. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051808/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_4

Formula of Love (1984) A dissolute youth falls in love with a statue and so a mystic is called in to make it come alive. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0216755/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Daisies (1966) Two young ladies seek their destiny.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060959/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_3 

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (2007) A retired policeman is brought back to the force to locate four illegal immigrants.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083658/?ref_=fn_ft_tt_1

Monsters, Inc. (2001) Two factory workers become embroiled in a corporation's scheme to increase profits at any cost.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0198781/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

The Pillow Book (1996). Overt surrealism celebrating enthusiastically the pleasures of calligraphy.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114134/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
 

@SansFin Hi! 😊 Wow - I’ve only seen one list from your list (How to Steal a Million, which I also enjoy). I’d never even heard of Daisies or The Pillow Book. Interesting! And @37kitties - I’ve only seen one from your list, too (Butch Cassidy…, a favorite in my family).

I understand what you both mean. I have tons of favorites that shift in importance, too. But I’d also sort of unofficially and unconsciously worked on my list for years, by thinking, “If I had a Top 10 list, this would be on it.” In this past year or so, I’ve watched more movies than ever before (thanks to the pandemic) - and I realized I’d had that thought about my “Top 10 list” enough times to make it official. ☺️ So, calling these my “favorite movies” is actually a bit misleading on my part (as that distinction is ever-changing for me as well) - but I can say with confidence that, at this point in my life, I consider these to be the BEST.

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7 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

In regards to the 1962 film version of REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT . . .

There is a version of this film released by COLUMBIA on VHS (I've got it an' I've watched it) which has a different ending than the version shown on TCM. 

I don't know for sure which version y'all are referring to, but I'm *assuming* it's the version shown on TCM and not the Columbia tape . . . but I can't be 100% sure now can I?   🙃

@Mr. Gorman I am referring to the shorter version shown on TCM, but I’ve heard of the other one. I would love to see it, too! 😃

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6 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

@37kitties:  The IMDb probably has a better description of the Columbia VHS ending under their 'Alternate Versions' thread than I could offer up here . . . but here goes!  There's a scene with Jackie Gleason that runs a minute where Stanley Adams walks up to him with a young, up-and-coming boxer.  Gleason then tells the young boxer, with a world-weary tone after all Maish has been through, to "Go Home" and that there are so many more losers than winners in this business and implying that this young boxer will more likely end up like Mountain Rivera ( who's now humiliating himself in the ring) than a distinguished boxing champion. 

I'll also note that, if you go to the IMDb and read through the 'Trivia' and 'Alternate Version' section there is conflicting information about how long the original theatrical release ran.  Was it 87 minutes?  Or 96 minutes?  I honestly don't know as I never saw "Requiem for a Heavyweight" in theaters.  (I wasn't born until 1973).  However, the ending on the VHS tape is apparently unique to the videocassette release from what I've read and seen on TCM. 

→ I just don't remember seeing that final minute-long sequence with Jackie Gleason telling the young boxer to "Go Home" on the print shown on TCM.  I concede it's possible I could have looked right past it as it's only a minute long, but that's as accurate as I can remember offhand about the ending on the Columbia VHS tape. 

@Mr. Gorman @37kitties That’s so interesting! 😃 I hope you don’t mind me getting into spoilers for the original Playhouse 90 version here, but it has a similar scene as well (although the ending in general is completely different). But in this one, the young fighter protests, and Maish agrees to take him on. Do you recall if Jackie Gleason does the same, or does he stand firm in telling him to go home?

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4 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I would also like to comment on this film. I am glad someone has mentioned it. I watched it recently for the first time. I think it's very well made, though the biblical allusions get to be a bit much and bog down the simpler aspects of the story.

In some ways the film borrows heavily from TIGER BAY (1959) which Hayley made two years earlier. In both stories, we have her as a young heroine forging a bond with an attractive criminal-- Horst Buchholz in TIGER BAY and Alan Bates in WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND.

@TopBilled I enjoyed Tiger Bay, too - particularly the music, and seeing father and daughter work together. Hayley Mills showed so much natural talent from such a young age! The scene where she’s reenacting what she saw for the police (but really just making it up as she goes along) is incredible! 😃

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6 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

One of the few times I have seen all of anyone's top ten list. 

While I wouldn't put any among my favorites of all time, I like all of them.

Whistle Down The Wind is one of the more underrated films of the 1960s, deserves to be better known. Hayley Mills is excellent and so is the snub nosed boy who plays her little brother, he is a real scene stealer. Alan Bates gives one of his best performances as the escaped criminal thought by the children to be Jesus. The stark B&W photography gives it a documentary feel. I also love the use of "We Three Kings" on the soundtrack.

They Shoot Horses Don't They? is another one I wish more people would seek out. I think it is Jane Fonda's best performance ever. The film let you feel the grueling dance contest, showing how far Depression era folk would go to get money. But it can relate to any era where people feel desparation.

My top ten

1. Gunga Din (1939)

2. Shadow Of A Doubt (1943)

3. Detective Story (1951)

4. From Here To Eternity (1953)

5. On The Waterfront (1954)

6. Marty (1955)

7. Night Of The Hunter (1955)

8. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

9. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

10, Taxi Driver (1976)

 

 

@Det Jim McLeod Hey, you win a prize! 😉 You’re the first person I’ve ever met (online or in real life) who has seen all the films on my list, too.

I completely agree with your comments on Whistle Down the Wind (especially about the little brother!) and They Shoot Horses.

I’ve seen a few from your list (although, I clearly have some catching up to do ☺️). I’d call On the Waterfront an alternate. The big scene is almost to much for me (which probably speaks more to how realistic it actually looks and feels than to any sort of flaw) - but it’s filled with some of the most natural acting and striking visuals I’ve ever seen. (I especially love all the Terry & Edie scenes. And Karl Malden is great, as always.)

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