Play It Again, Sam

T’bonne’s westside expansion progresses for traffic
October 11, 2011
Robert Paul Bourg
October 13, 2011
T’bonne’s westside expansion progresses for traffic
October 11, 2011
Robert Paul Bourg
October 13, 2011

I love lists. In “Three Centuries of American Media,” a history textbook I wrote a few years ago, I vainly included a list of what I considered the 25 greatest American movies.

Among them were “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Bridge on the River Kwai,” “On the Waterfront,” “Gone With the Wind,” “Casablanca,” “It Happened One Night,” “City Lights,” “Ben Hur,” “The Sound of Music” and “The Wizard of Oz” (although, personally, I liked it even less than “Gone with the Wind”).

Now, I have a new list, this one of the top 25 most enjoyable movies. None of these were included in the “greatest” list, but this list isn’t about great film-making; it’s about enjoying a flick. These are films I can watch over and over again (and have).

In no particular order, they are:

  • “Network” Purveyor of one of the most classic lines ever: “I’m mad as hell and I won’t take it anymore!”
  • “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” Great music, great gunfight at the end. Maybe the most fun western ever made.
  • “Pulp Fiction” Wow. If you haven’t seen this movie, see it. The writing is past incredible.
  • “The Thing” (every version) I fell in love with this movie when, as a kid, I ran out of the theater screaming my head off. Good times.
  • “North by Northwest” My favorite Hitchcock movie and I can’t tell you why.
  • “Alien 2” I love monster movies so much I almost added “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” to the list.
  • “The Lion King” I cried when daddy lion was killed.
  • “Kill Bill,” Volumes 1 and 2, Swords, lots and lots of blood, animae and lots and lots of blood. What’s not to like?
  • “Giant” I hate Elizabeth Taylor movies. I hate Rock Hudson movies. But boy, do I love James Dean movies. And his acting in this film deserved an Oscar.
  • “Unforgiven” Maybe the best western of all time.
  • “The Maltese Falcon” Definitely the best film-noir movie of all time.
  • “The Exorcist” The best scary movie of all time and no close seconds.
  • “The Hangover” Almost as funny as the original “The Producers,” the one without all the music.
  • “The Producers” The funniest movie ever made. Every scene is hilarious. Gene Wilder as Leo Bloom and Zero Mostel as Max Bialystock might be the funniest duo since Laurel and Hardy.
  • “Bad Day at Black Rock” Spencer Tracy at his best in a classic little movie that wasn’t so little.
  • “A Shot in the Dark” The first and the best Inspector Clouseau movie.
  • “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence” John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Liberty Valence. How could it get any better?
  • “The Blues Brothers” “Joliet” Jake and Elwood Blues. If I have to comment, forget it. That movie is worth seeing just for the climatic reunited love scene between John Belushi and Carrie Fisher.
  • “Scaramouche” I love period pieces. I love sword fighting. And I love Stewart Granger [in an extremely masculine way].
  • “No Time for Sergeants” Andy Griffith is almost as funny as his sergeant in this. Definitely the funniest military movie ever made.
  • “The Magnificent Seven” Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson to name a few. The greatest cast of any western ever.
  • “MASH” A football game where everyone is smoking pot. Now that’s collegiate.
  • “Peter Pan” The classic Walt Disney cartoon movie. Every scene with Captain Hook and the crocodile is past hilarious.
  • “Raiders of the Lost Ark” The definitive action movie for an “enjoyable-movies” category. How can you watch it and not enjoy? It has everything but dinosaurs.
  • “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” Saved this one for last since it’s my two daughters’ favorite film. What can I say but “you killed the car.”