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Brian’s “Hot 300” movie list

October 5th, 2010 · 52 Comments · Movies

 

This is an ever-evolving work-in-progress — last updated:  April 1st, 2021.

Every blue title is a link to the movie’s IMDb page — the industry-standard Internet Movie Database.

If this makes just one person see one great movie, it’ll be worth it.

 

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If you want you can click on any section title and it will take you to the start of that particular list.  😉

1. The Number-of-Times Watched Metric
2. Comedies
3. Dramas
4. Documentaries
5. Movies About Making Movies
6. Movies about Politics
7. Music Movies
8. Beat Generation Docs & Dramas
9. Trippy Movies
10. Disturbing Movies
11. Made-For-TV Exceptions
12. By Auteur 
13. 300 More Movies “On Deck” for Inclusion

 

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The Number-of-Times Watched Metric

Four or More Viewings and Honest Assessments

The concept here is not what a person would necessarily think are “the greatest movies ever made” but rather a list of the movies actually watched all the way thru a minimum of four times — which I later expanded the parameter to include three times.

Seeing a movie twice is very different than seeing it three or four or more times.  We all see lots of movies once, then maybe a second time to see if we “got it” or maybe passively with a friend — but it’s when you intentionally watch a movie for a third and especially a fourth time that the film crosses a line into a special category.

Some say there’s no point in watching a movie twice.  Or they’re too busy.  To that I say — can you only look at a great painting once?  Or listen to a great song or read a great book only once?

The only reason movies make this list is based on the number times watched — not whether I want to say I liked it or not, or recommend it, or think it’s one of the great films of all time.  Those are different lists — for critics and academics and film institutes and such.

This is an Actually Watched List.  And it’s a game you can play as you fill in your own puzzle — make your own movie of your life’s movies.  What you’ve watched, not what you should have watched, or fib or pretend that you’ve watched, or wished you’d watched more than once.  I wouldn’t put “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” on a Greatest Films list, or even want to admit I’ve watched it three times — but I know I have.  And that’s part of the discovery of going down this path.

You must have physically — and joyously (theoretically) — sat thru the entire movie, not just done it in your head, and not just watched it once then seen snippets a few times.

If you can’t remember the movie in great detail, you probably didn’t see it 3 or 4 or more times.  You should be able to recount the plot, the arc, lots of key scenes, the actors, and parts of the dialog in detail.  The movie should give you chills or goosebumps, or make you laugh yourself silly, or cry at some point — and in the best cases, several of the above.

Do Not list movies you’ve only seen twice!  It’s very tempting to embellish your memory.  You have to really think about it to confirm you’ve actually seen the whole thing 3 (or 4) times.
You could have seen a movie once or twice and it really stuck with you, but those don’t count.  To update the Jacqueline Susann novel / Kirk Douglas movie — Twice Is Not Enough.
Also — it really doesn’t count if you started to watch it a second time but then didn’t see it all the way thru! — we’ve all got lots of those!
Also — it doesn’t count if you just want to see the movie a third time.  If you’d like, you can start a “seen twice and wanna see again” list for those movies — as I’ve done at the end of this page.

Also — don’t worry that some movies make it on the list only because your all-movie cable network happened to be playing them in heavy rotation for months.  I would never have seen the great Cage & Travolta performances in “Face/Off” if it wasn’t on some movie network when I was homebound for a spell.

You might catch a few minutes flippin the channels one day, and go, “Hmm, this is actually pretty good.”  Then you make a point to watch it from the beginning, and then it’s so good, you watch it again.  And then once you get the rhythms of it, the different subtexts, and subliminal themes, and subtleties of performances, you can really enjoy watching it a third time as an insider playing in the orchestra and riding the score, hitting the cymbal-crashing peaks, and rising to the top with the solos while simultaneously keeping the backbeat with the supporting melody-players.  Do you want to hear Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” only once in your life?  There are those great rare moments in art where it all comes together.  Nobody’s ever even heard of his “1811 Overture” because it probably sucked.

And films are even harder to create than a symphony.  There are so many variables that all have to come together, including the weather — see Lost In La Mancha or Heart of Darkness, A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, or meddling producers — see Hollywood Ending.

You remember the first time you saw a movie — the discovery, the unfolding, the first impressions.
And you know if you saw it a second time — when you knew what was happening and what was coming.
But once you watch a movie for a third time, it crosses over into a special realm.  You, by choice, relish in it, dance with it, become friends with it.  Or maybe you realize you’ve now seen it enough — but it’s still in that exclusive club of multi-hour rides you’ve chosen to take more than twice.
And you know you’ve seen a movie four times or more because you’ve almost memorized it, played right along with it, became one with it.  This is what we’re talkin’ about.  😉 

Then there’s the Watched-A-Ridiculous-Amount-of-Times List.  These are the movies that have really become a part of you.

Also — Screen Size Does Matter.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: “You can’t really say you’ve seen a movie unless you’ve seen it on the big screen.  That’s what they’re made for.”  And I still stand by that.  But for me — and most people — usually the repeat viewings occur on a TV at home.  And that’s okay.

Also — there are lots of great movies not on this list cuz I didn’t like them enough to watch them more than twice — and there’s lots I just haven’t seen four times but I want to — say, Dr. Strangelove, Spellbound or Touch of Evil.

Also — older movies obviously have an advantage since they’ve been able to play over and over again on TV or wherever for so much of your lifetime.  Or you’ve actually got them on VHS, DVD or Blu-ray.

A few movies will also make anyone’s list because they were an old girlfriend or boyfriend’s favorite.  That’s okay, too.  If you’ve seen it 4 times, you’ve seen it 4 times.

The most important thing is to be honest in putting movies on the list and not editing the truth.  It makes a more interesting, fun and accurate picture.  😉

It’s useful to make this list for yourself as you’ll discover directors you didn’t know you liked so much — then you can check out or reconsider their other films.

If I were to teach a film course, these movies would be the curriculum.
Or are recommended movies for friends to see.  If everyone shared their lists, you’d have a great source of movies to see for when you can’t think of one.
It should also have the “Oh, Yeah!” factor — when somebody reads down the list they suddenly remember a movie they always wanted to see, or saw once and always wanted to see again.
The idea is — every one of these movies has to be great or I wouldn’t have watched it three or four times.  If you had passed on the movie for some reason, my hope is that you’ll reconsider.

Note:  Movies below that have a few sentences of a “review” have, generally speaking, been seen since 2020 when this page/list really got formalized and structured.

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The Watched-A-Ridiculous-Amount-of-Times List

Woodstock
Festival Express
The Last Waltz
Pull My Daisy
Goodfellas
It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World (as a kid)
Jesus Christ Superstar
The Sting
Don’t Look Back
Masked & Anonymous
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Shining
Rebel Without a Cause
A Hard Day’s Night
Fargo
Lucky Numbers
Star Wars  (as a kid)
‘Round Midnight
My Cousin Vinny
Groundhog Day
Forrest Gump
In The Heat Of The Night
Primary Colors
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Treasure of The Sierra Madre
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

Fawlty Towers
The Civil War series  (PBS, Ken Burns)
N.Y., N.Y.  –  groundbreaking surreal capture of NYC circa 1957 by Francis Thompson – see below under Documentaries

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[format:   Title — year;  director;  writer (when notable);  some of the main actors;  notes.  (numbers of time seen.  “(4)” means “4 or more.”)]

Comedies   [88]

re: Comedies vs. Dramas categories — all comedies have a dramatic structure, and most dramas have some comedic relief.  When a film was a close call, I went with IMDb’s first categorization for it.  A handful of movies are listed here in both categories.

The Cocoanuts — 1929;  Marx Brothers – Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo, and Margaret Dumont;  Florida real estate.  Based on the Brothers’ Broadway show.  First-ever use of overhead shot of dance choreography. B&W  (3)
Duck Soup — 1933;  Leo McCarey;  Marx Brothers – Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo, and Margaret Dumont — Freedonia!  B&W  (4)
The Thin Man — 1934;  W.S. Van Dyke; written by Dashiell Hammett; William Powell & Myrna Loy; early classic climax scene with all suspects assembled in same room to reveal the murderer.  B&W  (3)
Arsenic and Old Lace — 1944;  Frank Capra;  Cary Grant, Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre  B&W  (3)
Beat The Devil — 1953;  John Huston;  screenplay credit to Truman Capote, but he bailed in the middle of the madness and Huston, Bogie, Lorie & others made it up on the fly after that;  Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Jennifer Jones, Robert Morley.  I can’t believe these guys (Houston, Bogart, Jones) weren’t comedic actors & director. This is SO funny – if you look at it right.  Morley is Brilliant.  And the dialog is brilliant.  I would love to have this script.  This is one of my favorite movies of all time.  There’s also so many plot changes.  Great characterizations.  Jennifer Jones out-Marilyn’s Monroe in 1953, playing the most wonderfully dreamy and deluded blond.  The Talented Mr. Ripley is a kind of later version (although that’s really not a comedy).  B&W  (4)
Some Like It Hot — 1959;  written & directed by Billy Wilder;  Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon.  B&W  (3)

It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World — 1963;  Stanley Kramer; Buddy Hackett & Mickey Rooney, Ethel Merman & Phil Silvers, Jonathan Winters, Milton Berle, Spencer Tracey, and a ton of cameos!  (4)
The Comedy of Terrors — 1963;  Jacques Tourneur;  Vincent Price (great), Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone.  Bizarre funny black comedy parody of the horror genre; very much like Young Frankenstein, or Beat The Devil.  Soundtrack funny, too.   (1)
The Pink Panther — 1963;  written & directed by Blake Edwards;  Peter Sellers, David Niven, a young Robert Wagner, and two Sophia Loren-like beauties Claudia Cardinale and Capucine; and GREAT music by Henry Mancini.
  (3)
A Hard Day’s Night —  1964;  Richard Lester;  starring The Beatles, with Wilfred Brambell as the Grandfather foil.  Roger Ebert said in a 1994 documentary he’s “probably seen A Hard Day’s Night 25 times.”  I always saw this movie as sort of a pair with D.A. Pennebaker’s B&W Dylan portrait Don’t Look Back filmed the following year. Both Portraits of The Artist As A Young Man — and the two artists in this case would go on to rewrite global cultural history.  B&W  (4)
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken — 1966;  Alan Rafkin;  Don Knotts!!  Dick Sargent.  Great comedy and performance by Don Knotts.  Classic supporting cast of ’60s staples — looks like it could be a Bewitched or Andy Griffith episode.  Don’t know any of their names — but recognize every one of their faces.  Great haunted house sets.  (4)
The Odd Couple — 1968;  Gene Saks;  Neil Simon;  Walter Matthau & Jack Lemmon, John Fielder  (4)

M*A*S*H — 1970;  Robert Altman;  Ring Lardner screenplay;  Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Robert Duval, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, Gary Burghoff  (4)
The Out-of-Towners — 1970;  Arthur Hill;  Neil Simon wrote it;  Jack Lemmon & Sandy Dennis  (3) 
Harold and Maude — 1971;  Hal Ashby;  Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, music by Cat Stevens  (4)
Sleeper — 1973;  written & directed by Woody Allen;   Woody, Diane Keaton  (3)
Young Frankenstein — 1974;  Mel Brooks;  screenwriters Mel Brooks & Gene Wilder;  Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Terri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Peter Boyle  B&W  (4)
Phantom of the Paradise — 1974;  written & directed by Brian De Palma;  Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper  (3)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail — 1975;  Terry Gilliam;  written by all of Monty Python;  Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Connie Booth, Carol Cleveland, Neil Innis  (4)
The Sunshine Boys — 1975;  dir. Herb Ross;  written by Neil Simon;  Walter Matthau & George Burns;  best scenes are the 2 in Willy’s (Matthau’s) apt. where they rehearse and reminisce;  brilliant portrayal of aging entertainers;  love the city vs. the country combative theme.  (4)
Annie Hall —  1977;  Woody Allen;  written by Woody Allen;  Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Shelley Duvall, Christopher Walken, Colleen Dewhurst;  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Director & Screenplay for Woody, and Actress for Diane Keaton.   (4)
Animal House — 1978;  John Landis;  written by Harold Ramis;  John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce  (4)
Being There — 1979;  Hal Ashby;  novel & screenplay by Jerzy Kosinski;  Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Warden  (4)
Life of Brian — 1979;  Terry Jones;  written by and starring Monty Python: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin  (3)
Manhattan — 1979;  written & directed by Woody Allen;  Woody, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep  B&W  (3)

The Blues Brothers — 1980;  John Landis;  written by Landis & Dan Aykroyd;  John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles  (4)
Caddyshack — 1980;  Harold Ramis;  written by Brian Doyle-Murray & Harold Ramis;  Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Ted Knight  (3)
The Gods Must Be Crazy — 1980;  written & directed by Jamie Uys;  starring N!xau, Marius Weyers, Sandra Prinsloo  (4)
Where The Buffalo Roam — 1980;  Art Linson;  based on the stories & life of Hunter Thompson;  Bill Murray, Peter Boyle, Bruno Kirby  (3)
9 to 5 — 1980;  Colin Higgins;  Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Dabney Coleman  (3)
Stripes — 1981;  Ivan Reitman;  Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates, Nicholas Ray in last screen appearance cameo in final scene.   (3)
Tootsie — 1982;  Sydney Pollack;  Larry Gelbert story;  Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Bill Murray, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Geena Davis  (3)
Fast Times At Ridgemont High — 1982;  Amy Heckerling;  written by Cameron Crowe;  Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold, Ray Walston  (4)
Diner — 1982;  written & directed by Barry Levinson;  Kevin Bacon, Mickey Rourke, Paul Reiser, Daniel Stern, Ellen Barkin, Steve Guttenberg  (3)
Trading Places — 1983;  John Landis;  Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche  (4)
National Lampoon’s Vacation — 1983;  dir. Harold Ramis;  written by John Hughes;  Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quad, Imogene Coca  (4)
Spinal Tap — 1984;  Rob Reiner;  writers Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner;  starring Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Fred Willard, Bruno Kirby, Fran Drescher  (4)
Ghostbusters — 1984;  Ivan Reitman;  written by Dan Aykroyd & Harold Ramis;  Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis  (4)
National Lampoon’s European Vacation — 1985;  dir. Amy Heckerling; written by John Hughes;  Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo  (4)
Desperately Seeking Susan — 1985;  Susan Seidelman;  Madonna, Rosanna Arquette, Aiden Quinn  (3)
Hannah and Her Sisters — 1986;  written & directed by Woody Allen;  Woody, Dianne Wiest, Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Barbara Hershey, Max Von Sydow, Maureen O’Sullivan, Lewis Black, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, J.T. Walsh, Julie Kavner  (3)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — 1986;  written & directed by John Hughes;  Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Jeffrey Jones  (3)
Club Paradise — 1986;  Harold Ramis;  written by Harry Shearer, Harold Ramis, Brian Doyle-Murray;  Robin Williams, Peter O’Toole, Rick Moranis & Eugene Levy {the two Barry’s}, Twiggy, Jimmy Cliff  (3)
Throw Mama From The Train — 1987;  dir. Danny DeVito;  starring DeVito & Billy Crystal;  with Branford Marsalis & Rob Reiner in great bit parts.  Although ostensibly about a Hitchcockian double-murder criss-cross, it’s a funny (and I think comically accurate) movie about writing and writers.  (4)
Raising Arizona — 1987;  written & directed by the Coen brothers;  Nicholas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Frances McDormand  (3)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles — 1987;  written & directed by John Hughes;  John Candy & Steve Martin  (3)
A Fish Called Wanda — 1988;  Charles Crichton;  John Cleese, Michael Palin, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline.  Brilliant.  (4)
Beetlejuice — 1988;  Tim Burton;  Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Robert Goulet, Dick Cavett; Keaton’s only on screen 17 min., but with Burton’s permission, totally created the vibe of the movie, and is his favorite movie that he’s in.  (4)
Big Business — 1988;  Jim Abrahams;  Bette Midler & Lily Tomlin, Fred Ward.  Lots of it set in NYC, and really truly hilarious, but bad title.  Should have been called Twisted Sisters.  (4)
Funny Farm — 1988;  George Roy Hill;  Chevy Chase in a writer-in-the-country comedy.  (4)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels — 1988;  Frank Oz;  Michael Caine, Steve Martin, Glenne Headly  (3)
When Harry Met Sally — 1989;  Rob Reiner;  written by Nora Ephron;  Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby  (3)
The War of The Roses — 1989;  dir. Danny DeVito;  Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito  (4)

I Love You To Death — 1990;  Lawrence Kasdan; Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, Joan Plowright, River Phoenix, William Hurt & Keanu Reeves  (3)
What About Bob? — 1991;  Frank Oz;  Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss, Julie Hagerty  (4)
City Slickers — 1991;  Ron Underwood;  Billy Crystal, Bruno Kirby, Daniel Stern, Jack Palance, Josh Mostel, David Paymer  (3)
My Cousin Vinny — 1992;  Jonathan Lynn;  Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio, Fred Gwynne  (4)
Bob Roberts — 1992;  written & directed by & starring Tim Robbins;  plus Gore Vidal, Ray Wise (the guy from Twin Peaks & Good Night, And Good Luck);  tons of cameos, including a very young Jack Black;  Robbins wrote and performed his own songs, but would not let a soundtrack be released cuz he knew the crazy right would take the satirical songs and make them their anthem.  Done in mock-documentary style.  This could almost be on the Most Disturbing List, and is particularly scary post Iraq War II.  (3)
Groundhog Day — 1993;  Harold Ramis;  Ramis also cowrote screenplay;  Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stanley Tobolowsky  (4)
Sleepless in Seattle — 1993;  written & directed by Nora Ephron;  Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan  (3)
Mrs. Doubtfire — 1993;  Chris Columbus;  Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein  (3)
The Hudsucker Proxy — 1994;  written & directed by the Coen brothers;  Tim Robbins, Paul Newman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Charles Durning  (4)
Waiting For Guffman — 1996;  Christopher Guest;  written by Guest & Eugene Levy;  Guest, Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard, Larry Miller, Parker Posey, David Cross, Michael Hitchcock, Bob Balaban  (4)
The Birdcage — 1996;  Mike Nichols;  Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman  (4)
Flirting With Disaster — 1996;  written & directed by David O. Russell;  Téa Leoni, Ben Stiller, Lily Tomlin, Alan Alda, Mary Tyler Moore, George Segal  (3)
Swingers — 1996;  Doug Liman;  written by & starring Jon Favreau;  Vince Vaughn, Heather Graham, Ron Livingston  (3)
Trees Lounge — 1996;  Steve Buscemi wrote, directed and stars;  Carol Kane, Anthony LaPaglia, Debi Mazar, John Ventimiglia  (3)
Clockwatchers — 1997;  Jill Sprecher;  the great script is written by Jill & her sister Karen who were temps in New York;  Toni Collette, Lisa Kudrow, Parker Posey, Alanna Ubach, Bob Balaban, Debra Jo Rupp, Jamie Kennedy, Paul Dooley, Stanley DeSantis, O-Lan Jones — great casting and performances.  Really funny movie about temping that came out the same year as my book about temping The Temp Survival Guide, and the CBS comedy Temporarily Yours (see Made-For-TV Exceptions section).  (3)
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion — 1997;  David Mirkin;  Mira Sorvino & Lisa Kudrow, with great bit parts by Janeane Garofalo & Alan Cumming  (3)
The Big Lebowski — 1998;  written & directed by the Coen brothers;  Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Tara Reid  (4)
Pleasantville — 1998;  written & directed by Gary Ross;  Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels  (3)
Being John Malkovich — 1999;  Spike Jonze;  written by Charlie Kaufman; John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, John Malkovich, Catherine Keener  (3)
Analyze This — 1999;  Harold Ramis;  Billy Crystal & Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lisa Kudrow  (3)
Office Space — 1999;  written & directed by Mike Judge;  Ron Livingston, Jennifer Anniston, Gary Cole, Stephen Root, Diedrich Bader.  Judge did Beavis & Butthead – so it’s kind of that take on corporate life.  (3)
Eddie Izzard: Dress To Kill — 1999;  Lawrence Jordan;  one-man show written by & starring Eddie Izzard  (4)

Best In Show — 2000;  Christopher Guest;  written by Guest & Eugene Levy;  Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Michael McKean, Bob Balaban, Parker Posey, Michael Hitchcock, Ed Begley Jr., Stephen Miller, Jane Lynch, and my friend Fulvio Cecere in one scene!  (4)
— great oral history of Best in Show — https://www.theringer.com/movies/2020/9/29/21479754/best-in-show-oral-history
Meet The Parents — 2000;  Jay Roach;  Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, Owen Wilson  (4)
Lucky Numbers —  2000;  Nora Ephron;  John Travolta, Lisa Kudrow, Tim Roth.  You can read my review of it here.  (4)
High Fidelity — 2000;  Stephen Frears;  John Cusack, Jack Black, Catherine Zeta Jones, Joan Cusack, Tim Robbins, Lilli Taylor  (3)
Zoolander — 2001;  written & directed by Ben Stiller;  Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Jerry Stiller  (3)
The Curse of The Jade Scorpion — 2001;  written & directed by Woody Allen;  Woody Allen, Helen Hunt  (4)
Haiku Tunnel — 2001;  written & directed by Jacob & Josh Kornbluth;  starring Jacob & Josh Kornbluth.  Very low budget indi film, but great – twisted & funny.  (3)
Hollywood Ending — 2002;  written & directed by Woody Allen;  Woody, Téa Leoni, Treat Williams, George Hamilton, Debra Messing  (3)
Showtime — 2002;  Tom Dey;  Robert De Niro & Eddie Murphy, Rene Russo, Alex Borstein  (3)
Luck — 2003;  Peter Wellington;  Luke Kirby, Sarah Polley;  Canadian movie about gambling at the Canada-Russia ’72 hockey summit.  (3)
Phil The Alien — 2004;  written & directed by Rob Stefaniuk;  Stefaniuk, Jason Jones, Nicole de Boer, Sean Cullen;  funny-cool Canadian comedy about an alien landing in and infiltrating backwoods Canada.  (3)
The Ladykillers — 2004;  written & directed by the Coen Brothers;  Tom Hanks, J.K. Simmens, Marlon Wayans  (4)
The Aristocrats — 2005;  Paul Provenza (and Penn Jillette);  featuring nearly every comedian you’ve ever heard of, but the key & funniest ones I remember are: Gilbert Gottfried, Bob Saget, Drew Carey, Sarah Silverman, Paul Reiser, George Carlin, Andy Dick, Martin Mull, Mario Cantone (as Liza Minelli), Kevin Pollak (as Christopher Walkin), Eric Meed the card trick guy, and South Park.  (4)
Wedding Crashers — 2005;  David Dobkin;  Owen Wilson & Vince Vaughn, plus Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Jane Seymour, Isla Fisher, Bradley Cooper, Henry Gibson, Rebecca De Mornay  (3)
The 40-Year-Old Virgin — 2005;  cowritten & directed by Judd Apatow;  cowritten by & starring Steve Carell;  Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogan, Jane Lynch  (3)

Dramas    [145]

The Wizard of Oz — 1939;  Victor Fleming;  Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Frank Morgan  B&W and color.  (4)
Citizen Kane —  1941;  Orson Welles;  screenwriters Orson Welles & Herman Mankiewicz;  Orson Welles, James Cotton, Agnes Moorehead  B&W  (3)
The Maltese Falcon — 1941;  John Huston’s directorial debut;  written by Dashiell Hammett & John Huston;  Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor (an early wild woman Prankster of Hollywood who was having an affair with director Huston during filming) and Sydney Greenstreet in his movie debut (and his only Oscar nomination).  John’s father Walter Huston makes an uncredited cameo as a good luck gesture towards his son’s debut.  Leonardo DiCaprio owns one of the three Maltese falcons used in the movie, the most recent one sold at auction for $4 million (from a movie with a total original budget of $300,000), and he brought it to the set of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood where it can be seen in the rare book store Margot Robbie (Sharon Tate) goes to buy Tess of the d’Urbervilles.  John Huston, Humphrey Bogart & Peter Lorre later made a Bizarroworld send-up of Maltese Falcon with Robert Morley in the Sydney Greenstreet role called Beat The Devil (also on this film page).  B&W  (3)
It’s A Wonderful Life — 1946;  Frank Capra;  James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Frank Albertson  B&W  (3)
Miracle on 34th Street — 1947;  George Seaton;  Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, young Natalie Wood  B&W  (3)
The Treasure of The Sierra Madre — 1948;  John Huston;  Huston and the mysterious B. Traven screenplay;  Huston’s father, Walter Huston, won Best Supporting Actor;  plus Huston won for both directing and screenplay
For me it was one of those movies I had to see more than once to appreciate.  I started watching it once or twice and found it REEEALLY boring — these old farts trudging around the desert and pawing in the dirt. Whoopy! was it actually filmed in slow motion?
Then . . . ah, Then . . . on the 2nd or 3rd try all the pieces came together and now i recognize its mastery and why it’s one of the greatest films ever made.  The original story, perhaps dating back to Chaucer, who could’ve picked it up from somebody else.  Maybe it’s a lost Homer epic.  The story is eternal.  Like “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” — how greed can overpower an otherwise good man.  How some, in the face of wealth, become a-holes, and others always retain a clear vision of what’s important in life (Howard/Walter). which kind of person are you?  We all think, as Dobbs/Bogart did, that we would never become morally corrupted — yet we’ve seen in the real world (and as depicted in this movie) how that happens.
The arc of the Dobbs character is a classic in 2-hour cinema, and how Bogart portrays the transition from sanity and good-will into madness, greed & murder is up there with the greatest performances of any actor ever. the leprechaun magic of Walter Huston.  The authenticity of the location shooting, including all the extras and bit roles. the depth, detail and polish of the script. the torn, sweat-soaked costumes. the fabulous music that mutates as the characters do.
If it was a standard western or movie in general, it all would have taken place in the first town and been about how they exacted revenge from the unscrupulous businessman who rips them off — the workers against the corporation.
But then the characters are taken beyond that to where they form their own limited partnership — and how some people turn out to be good and some don’t.   It’s life.
If only we got to watch our own life movie several times until we got it.  But since we can’t, you have another shot at this movie.  It took my reincarnation as a viewer to finally get it right.
“It wouldn’t be that way with me. I swear it wouldn’t.  I’d take only what I set out to get.”
😉
Boy, would this be a great movie to see the alternate takes from!
And think how Walter Huston’s performance pushed Bogart.
Top 10 movie.  B&W  (4)

A Streetcar Named Desire —  1951;  Elia Kazan;  Tennessee Williams;  Marlon Brando, Vivian Lee, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden  B&W. (4)
The Wild One — 1953;  Laslo Benedek;  Marlon Brando, Lee Marvin (as the leader of The Beetles!), Mary Murphy (who sorta tames Brando)  B&W  (3)
Beat The Devil — 1953;  John Huston;  screenplay credit to Truman Capote, but he bailed in the middle of the madness and Huston, Bogie, Lorie & others made it up on the fly after that;  Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Jennifer Jones, Robert Morley.
I can’t believe these guys (Houston, Bogart, Jones) weren’t comedic actors & director. This is SO funny – if you look at it right.  Morley is Brilliant.  And the dialog is brilliant.  I would love to have this script.  This is one of my favorite movies of all time.  There’s also so many plot changes.  Great characterizations.  Jennifer Jones out-Marilyn’s Monroe in 1953, playing the most wonderfully dreamy and deluded blond.  The Talented Mr. Ripley is a kind of later version (although that’s really not a comedy).  B&W  (4)
Rear Window — 1954;  Alfred Hitchcock;  Jimmy Stewart & Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr  B&W. (4)
East of Eden — 1955;  Elia Kazan;  from John Steinbeck book;  James Dean, Raymond Massey, Julie Harris, Burl Ives.  James Dean’s first movie — filmed in the summer of 1954 when he was 23, and the only one released while he was still alive.  Lots of location shooting in Salinas and Monterey, California.  Kazan’s first movie shot in color.  Steinbeck’s on the record liking the film, casting and performances.  When he visited the set and first met Dean, he exclaimed, “Jesus Christ, he IS Cal!”  With the unhappy dysfunctional family and struggling farm life story, this is my least favorite of Dean’s three pictures.  (3)
Rebel Without A Cause — 1955;  Nicholas Ray;  original story by Nicholas Ray;  James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Dennis Hopper  (4)
Giant — 1956;  George Stevens;  James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Dennis Hopper  (3)
Lust For Life — 1956;  Vincente Minelli, father of Liza; based on book by Irving Stone;  Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn  (4)
The Man Who Knew Too Much — 1956;  Alfred Hitchcock;  James Stewart & Doris Day. (4)
12 Angry Men — 1957;  Sidney Lumet;  Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam, Lee J. Cobb, John Fielder, Jack Warden, E.G. Marshall, Ed Begley Sr., and a young Jack Klugman  (3)
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof —  1958;  Richard Brooks;  Tennessee Williams’ play;  Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, Judith Anderson;  — it’s all about the acting.  And sex.  (4)
North By Northwest — 1959;  Alfred Hitchcock;  Gary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau — GREAT script and cinematography – great Manhattan location shots circa 1958; great Mount Rushmore shots.  (4)
Pull My Daisy — 1959;  Robert Frank & Alfred Leslie;  written by Jack Kerouac;  Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Larry Rivers, David Amram, Richard Bellamy  B&W  (4)

Psycho — 1960;  Alfred Hitchcock;  Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Martin Balsam  B&W  (4)
Swiss Family Robinson — 1960;  Ken Annakin;  John Mills, Dorothy McGuire  (4)
Dr. No — 1962;  Terence Young;  Sean Connery, Ursula Andress.  The first in the James Bond franchise.  (3)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? — 1966;  Mike Nichols;  Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, Sandy Dennis  B&W  (3)
In The Heat of The Night — 1967;  Norman Jewison (Torontonian);  Sidney Pottier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant, Anthony James (creepy diner guy);  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Actor for Steiger, Screenplay, Editing and Sound.  “They call me Mr. Tibbs.”  This is such a masterpiece, but so many people don’t know it.  Just tonight I sent out an email to get people to catch the PBS airing of it, and a few did, but one write back asking me if this was a “cult classic”?!  🙂  I’ve watched it many times – and next time FULLY dig and study the ancillary music – it’s all Quincy Jones, and all the piano playing is Ray Charles.  Also listen for the diversity and both musical styles and instrumentation.  The music got nominated for a Grammy but crazilly not an Oscar.  This is an amazing movie for blind people.  It almost sounds as good at it looks.  (4)
Bonnie and Clyde — 1967;  Arthur Penn;  starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons, Gene Wilder  (4)
The Graduate — 1967;  Mike Nichols;  Buck Henry & Calder Willingham from a novel by Charles Webb;  Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross  (3)
Cool Hand Luke — 1967;  Stuart Rosenberg;  Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin  (3)
The Dirty Dozen — 1967;  Robert Aldrich;  Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Telly Savalas, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, George Kennedy, Donald Sutherland, Trini Lopez  (3)
2001: A Space Odyssey — 1968;  Stanley Kubrick;  Kubrick screenplay from Arthur C. Clarke novel;  Keir Dullea  (3)
The Planet of The Apes — 1968;  Franklin Shaffner;  screenplay cowritten by Rod Serling;  Roddy McDowell, Kim Hunter, and some right-wing gun-pimping prick  (4)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang — 1968;  Ken Hughes;  Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes  (4)
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid — 1969; George Roy Hill;  written by William Goldman;  Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin, and Cloris Leachman in a bit part, and Sam Elliott playin cards.  Originally planned as Steve McQueen & Paul Newman.  Shot in both sepia and color.  (4)
Midnight Cowboy — 1969;  John Schlesinger;  Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Brenda Vaccaro, Sylvia Miles;  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Director for Schlesinger, and Screenplay.  (3)
Easy Rider — 1969;  Dennis Hopper;  written by Hopper, Peter Fonda & Terry Southern;  starring Hopper & Fonda, early breakout role by Jack Nicholson, Karen Black  (3)

M*A*S*H — 1970;  Robert Altman;  Ring Lardner screenplay;  Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Robert Duval, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, Gary Burghoff  (4)
Airport
— 1970;  George Seaton;  from Arthur Hailey novel;  Dean Martin, George Kennedy, Burt Lancaster, Jacqueline Bisset, Helen Hayes, Van Heflen (bomber), Maureen Stapleton  (4)
Little Big Man — 1970;  Arthur Penn;  Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George, Martin Balsam, William Hickey  (3)
The French Connection — 1971;  William Friedkin;  Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider;  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Director for Friedkin, Actor for Hackman, Screenplay, and Editing.  (4)
A Clockwork Orange — 1971;  Stanley Kubrick;  Kubrick wrote screenplay from Anthony Burgess novel;  Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee  (3)
Happy Birthday Wanda June — 1971;  Mark Robson;  written by Kurt Vonnegut;   Rod Steiger, Susannah York, William Hickey;  Steiger & Hickey give amazing performances.  (4)
Cabaret — 1972;  Bob Fosse;  Liza Minelli, Joey Grey, Michael York  (4)
The Candidate — 1972;  Michael Ritchie;  Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Allan Garfield, Mike Barnicle, and a gorgeous Karen Carlson.  (4)
The Poseidon Adventure — 1972; Ronald Neame;  Gene Hackman, Shelly Winters, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Jack Albertson  (4)
Deliverance — 1972;  John Boorman;  writer James Dickey;  Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox  (3)
Sleuth — 1972;  Joseph Mankiewicz;  written by Anthony Schaffer;  Lawrence Oliver, Michael Caine  (4)
The Sting — 1973;  George Roy Hill;  Paul Newman, Robert Redford, a riveting Robert Shaw, Charles Durning (who’s in six movies on this page!), Ray Walston, Eileen Brennon, Harold Gould;  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Director for Hill, and quite deservingly – Screenplay, Art Direction, Costumes (Edith Head), Editing and Music by Marvin Hamlisch (via Scott Joplin).  I’ve never forgotten watching live Liz Taylor’s announcement of it for Best Picture.  And upon 2020 reviewing – don’t miss the cars!  (4)
Paper Moon — 1973;  Peter Bogdanovich;  Ryan O’Neal, Tatum O’Neal, Madeline Kahn  B&W  (4)
Papillon — 1973;  dir. Franklin Schaffner;  Dustin Hoffman & Steve McQueen.  Only AA nomination was for music!?  (3)
Live and Let Die — 1973;  Guy Hamilton;  Roger Moore, Jane Seymour, Yaphet Kotto  (3)
American Graffiti — 1973;  George Lucas;  Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Wolfman Jack, Harrison Ford  (3)
The Paper Chase — 1973;  James Bridges;  Timothy Bottoms, John Houseman, Lindsay Wagner, Edward Hermann  (3)
The Towering Inferno — 1974;  John Guillermin, action sequences directed by Irwin Allen;  Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, Richard Chamberlain, Jennifer Jones, Robert Vaughn, Robert Wagner, Susan Blakely, Gregory Sierra (that lanky, balding Puerto Rican actor from Barney Miller and Hill Street Blues), and Mike Lookinland (Bobby Brady). The pair of cinematographers, Fred Koenekamp & Joseph Biroc, won the Oscar, and they were pretty imaginative, thoughtful and versatile, but rewatching this for the first time since the mid-’70s, I sure liked this movie a lot more when I was 13. 🙂  Didn’t notice until viewing it again nearly 50 years later, but there are huge plot holes in that the fire that originally started could have been easily put out with the fire hoses on the floor; and then there were all these explosions in a basically empty office tower with nothing explodable in it.  It’s kind of a ridiculous, implausible, melodramatic and badly paced script.  There are 85 “Goofs” listed on its IMDb page.  How did we fall for this stuff? 🙂  All that said, there are a couple of real seat-of-your-pants suspenseful moments.  And, according to IMDb, it was the highest-grossing movie of 1974.  But no question — it’s a whole different movie to experience post the World Trade Centers on 9/11.  (4)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest — 1975;  Miloš Foreman;  based on parts of the novel by Ken Kesey;  Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Brad Dourif, Christopher Lloyd, Danny DeVito, Scatman Crothers;  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Director for Miloš!, Actor for Jack, Actress for Louise Fletcher, and Screenplay.  (4)
Jaws — 1975;  Stephen Spielberg;  Peter Benchley novel & screenplay; Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Schnieder, Robert Shaw  (4)
All The President’s Men — 1976;  Alan Pakula;  based on book by Woodward & Bernstein;  Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Hal Holbrook, Jason Robards, Jane Alexander, Ned Beatty, Jack Warden  (4)
Taxi Driver — 1976;  Martin Scorsese;  Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle.  One of the three movies Tarantino cites as his Best Three ever made (along with Howard Hawks Rio Bravo and De Palma’s Blow Out).   (3)
Network — 1976;  Sidney Lumet;  written by Paddy Chayefsky;  William Holden, Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, Ned Beatty  (3)
Star Wars — 1977;  George Lucas;  Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness  (4)
Kramer vs. Kramer — 1979;  screenplay & directed by Robert Benton;  Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander;  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Director for Benton, Actor for Hoffman, Actress for Streep, and Screenplay.  (3)
Being There — 1979;  Hal Ashby;  novel & screenplay by Jerzy Kosinski;  Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Warden  (4)
Apocalypse Now — 1979;  directed and cowritten by Francis Ford Coppola;  Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duval, Dennis Hopper  (4)
Return of the Secaucus Seven — 1979;  written & directed by John Sayles;  John Sayles, David Strathairn, this movie is widely credited as the inspiration for The Big Chill, which many say was just a rip-off of this Sayles film.  (3)

The Shining — 1980;  Stanley Kubrick;  Stephen King book, Kubrick screenplay;  Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers  (4)
Heart Beat — 1980;  John Byrun;  based on a part of Carolyn Cassady’s autobiography Off The Road;  Nick Nolte as Neal, Sissy Spacek as Carolyn, John Heard as Jack, Ray Sharkey as the Allen-like character.  Carolyn called this movie “Heart Break” because she didn’t like the final product, but did like Sissy Spacek’s portrayal and as a person.  (3)
Carny — 1980;  written & directed by Robert Kaylor;  Jodie Foster, Gary Busey, Robbie Robertson  (3)
Raiders of the Lost Ark — 1981;  Steven Spielberg;  Harrison Ford, Karen Allen  (3)
On Golden Pond — 1981;  Mark Rydell;  Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn, Jane Fonda, Dabney Coleman  (3)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial — 1982;  Steven Spielberg;  Henry Thomas (the kid), Peter Coyote, Drew Barrymore  (3)
The World According to Garp — 1982;  George Roy Hill;  John Irving novel;  Robin Williams, Glenn Close, John Lithgow, Mary Beth Hurt, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn  (4)
Deathtrap — 1982;  Sidney Lumet;  Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon  (4)
Diner — 1982;  written & directed by Barry Levinson;  Kevin Bacon, Mickey Rourke, Paul Reiser, Daniel Stern, Ellen Barkin, Steve Guttenberg  (3)
The Big Chill — 1983;  Lawrence Kasdan;  Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, William Hurt, Jeff Goldblum, Meg Tilly, Mary Kay Place, Tom Berringer  (4)
Places In The Heart — 1984;  written & directed by Robert Benton;  Sally Field, John Malkovich, Ed Harris, Danny Glover, Lindsay Crouse, Amy Madigan  (3)
Prizzi’s Honor — 1985;  John Huston;  Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, John Randolph, Angelica Huston (won best actress directed by her father, just as John had directed his father Walter to an Oscar in Treasure of the Sierra Madre), William Hickey’s brilliant performance  (3)
Back To The Future — 1985;  written & directed by Robert Zemeckis;  Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover  (4)
The Breakfast Club — 1985;  written & directed by John Hughes;  Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Michael Anthony Hall, Judd Nelson,  Ally Sheedy and Paul Gleason as the teacher, who spent time with Kerouac in Florida in the ’60s and tells a couple wonderful stories about it on the Extra disc in the 2012 Deluxe Edition of What Happened to Kerouac?  (see entry in Documentaries)  (3)
‘Round Midnight — 1986;  Bertrand Tavernier;  script cowritten by Tavernier;  Dexter Gordon, Francoise Cluzet, cameo by Martin Scorsese  (4)
Stand By Me — 1986;  Rob Reiner;  written by Stephen King;  Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Cory Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland  (3)
Matewan — 1987;  written & directed by John Sayles;  Chris Cooper stars – and it’s his first movie!  plus James Earl Jones, David Straithairn  (4)
Broadcast News — 1987;  written & directed by James Brooks;  William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter  (4)
Witches of Eastwick — 1987;  George Miller;  from John Updike book;  Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon, Cher, Richard Jenkins  (4)
The Untouchables — 1987;  Brian de Palma;  screenplay David Mamet;  Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro  (4)
Throw Mama From The Train — 1987;  dir. Danny DeVito;  starring DeVito & Billy Crystal;  with Branford Marsalis & Rob Reiner in great bit parts.  Although ostensibly about a Hitchcockian double-murder criss-cross, it’s a funny (and I think comically accurate) movie about writing and writers.    (4)
Rain Man — 1988;  Barry Levinson;  Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, plus cool cameo by Levinson as the doctor;  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Director for Levinson, Actor for Hoffman, and Screenplay.  (3)
Mississippi Burning — 1988;  Alan Parker;  Gene Hackman, Willem Defoe, Frances McDormand, Brad Dourif, Stephen Tobolowsky  (3)
Midnight Run — 1988;  Martin Brest;  Robert De Niro & Charles Grodin  (3)
Dead Poets Society — 1989;  Peter Weir;  Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard  (4)

Goodfellas — 1990;  Martin Scorsese;  write Nicholas Pileggi;  Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino  (4)
Here’s the 3-minute tracking shot going into the Copacabana:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rX_vDVdmYA
Dances With Wolves —  1990;  dir. Kevin Costner;  Costner, Graham Greene, Fred “Red Crow” Westerman;  won Best Picture Oscar, Best Director for Costner, Screenplay, Cinematography, Sound, Editing & Music.  (3)
Ghost — 1990;  Jerry Zucker;  Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze, Whoopie Goldberg  (4)
Pretty Woman — 1990;  Garry Marshall;  Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Jason Alexander, Ralph Bellamy  (3)
Vincent & Theo — 1990;  Robert Altman;  Tim Roth as Vincent Van Gogh (!) — the performance that Quentin Tarantino caught that led him to cast Tim in Reservoir Dogs and become one of his stable of actors.  Great biopic on Van Gogh & his brother by none other than Robert Altman!  Opens with footage of Christie’s historic 1987 auction when Van Gogh’s Sunflowers shattered the record for the most money ever paid for a work of art.  The movie was originally designed as a four hour mini-series for the BBC, then cut down to this 2 hour film.  (3)
Misery — 1990;  Rob Reiner;  from Stephen King book;  Kathy Bates & James Caan  (3)
Thelma & Louise — 1991;  Ridley Scott;  Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Brad Pitt, Michael Madsen, Christopher McDonald (as Daryl), Stephen Tobolowsky  (4)
JFK — 1991;  written & directed by Oliver Stone;  Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Ed Asner, Sally Kirkland  (3)
Glengarry Glen Ross — 1992;  James Foley;  David Mamet play & screenplay;  Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin, Jonathan Pryce  (4)
Forrest Gump — 1994;  Robert Zemeckis;  Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Robin Wright, Sally Field’. won Best Picture Oscar, Best Director for Zemeckis, Best Actor for Hanks, Screenplay, Editing, Special Effects.  (4)
Pulp Fiction — 1994;  written & directed by Quentin Tarantino;  John Travota, Samuel Jackson, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth, Uma Thurman, Ving Rhames, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette  (3)
The Shawshank Redemption — 1994;  Frank Darabont;  Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton (bad guy warden)  (3)
Quiz Show — 1994;  dir. by Robert Redford;  John Turturro, Ralph Fiennes, Hank Azaria, David Paymer, Rob Morrow, and my friend Pat Russell in bit part as a reporter  (4)
The Mask — 1994;  Chuck Russell;  Jim Carrey, Camron Diaz (in her first movie), Peter Riegert, Richard Jeni  (4) 
Reality Bites — 1994;  Ben Stiller;  Ethan Hawk, Winona Ryder, Janeane Garofalo, Steve Zahn, Ben Stiller, Swoozie Kurtz  (3) 
Fargo — 1996;  written & directed by the Coen brothers;  William H. Macy, Francis McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Harve Presnell  (4)
That Thing You Do! —  1996;  written & directed by Tom Hanks;  Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, Steve Zahn, Charlize Theron, Giovanni Ribisi, Tom Hanks  (4)
Sling Blade — 1996;  written & directed by Billy Bob Thornton;  starring Thornton, J.T. Walsh, John Ritter, Dwight Yoakam  (4)
Jerry Maguire — 1996;  Cameron Crowe;  Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr. (won Oscar for it), Renee Zellweger, Kelly Preston, Jay Mohr  (3)
Titanic — 1997;  James Cameron;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates;  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Director, Cinematography, Editing, Art Direction, Costume Design, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Effects, Song & Score – 11 total!  (3)
Men In Black — 1997;  Barry Sonnenfeld;  Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, Linda Fiorentino, Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub  (3)
Good Will Hunting — 1997;  Gus Van Sant;  written by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck;  Damon & Affleck, Robin Williams  (3)
Wag The Dog — 1997;  Barry Levinson;  David Mamet screenplay;  Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Denis Leary, Anne Heche, Willie Nelson  (3)
The Devil’s Advocate — 1997;  Taylor Hackford;  Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Keanu Reeves, Jeffrey Jones  (4)
Breakdown — 1997;  Jonathon Mostow;  Kurt Russell, J.T. Walsh, Kathleen Quinlan  (4)
The Last Time I Committed Suicide — 1997;  Stephen Kay;  based on the then-only-surviving part of Neal Cassady’s “Joan Anderson letter” as printed in his book The First Third;  Thomas Jane as Neal, Keanu Reeves in a Kerouac-like role, Adrien Brody in a Ginsberg-like role, Claire Forlani as Joan Anderson, Gretchen Mol as Cherry Mary;  Carolyn Cassady & I agree this is the best Beat dramatization on film.  (4)
Face/Off — 1997;  John Woo;  John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen, Gina Gershon, John Carroll Lynch (as the prison warden, was the husband in Fargo) and Harve Presnell (as the FBI, and was William H. Macy’s father-in-law in Fargo – made the year before this movie).  (3)
Donnie Brasco — 1997;  Mike Newell;  based on true memoir by FBI agent Joseph Pistone;  Al Pacino & Johnny Depp, with Anne Heche, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby.  Depp goes undercover in the NY mob in the ’70s.  (3)
Primary Colors — 1998;  Mike Nichols;  Joe Klein book, Elaine May screenplay;  John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates; about the Clintons in 1992.  (3)
The Talented Mr. Ripley — 1999;  written & directed by Anthony Minghella;  Matt Damon, Gweneth Paltrow, Jude Law  (4)
Pushing Tin — 1999;  Mike Newell;  Billy Bob Thornton, Angelina Jolie, John Cusack. not to mention Cate Blanchett and Vicki “NewsRadio” Lewis — fantastic performances by all.  Plus a cameo by the great John Carroll Lynch (husband Norm in Fargo) as the scared Dr. Freeze.  (3)
The Haunting — 1999;  Jan de Bont;  Catherine Zeta-Jones, Liam Neeson, Owen Wilson, Lili Taylor, Bruce Dern  (4)

Memento — 2000;  Chris Nolan;  screenplay by Nolan;  Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantollano, Stanley Tobolowsky  (4)
Almost Famous — 2000;  written & directed by Cameron Crowe;  Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee, Francis McDormand, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anna Paquin, Zooey Deschanel  (3)
Cast Away — 2000;  Robert Zemeckis;  Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt.  Best plane crash scene I’ve ever seen on film.  (3)
Erin Brockovich — 2000;  Steven Soderbergh;  Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Peter Coyote  (4)
Lucky Numbers —  2000;  Nora Ephron;  John Travolta, Lisa Kudrow, Tim Roth.  You read my review of it here.  (4)
Requiem for a Dream — 2000;  Darren Aronofsky;  Hubert Selby wrote; Jared Leno, Jennifer Connelly, Ellen Burstyn  (3)
28 Days — 2000;  Betty Thomas;  Sandra Bullock, Dominik West, Viggo Mortensen;  about rehab, really good; small role for Steve Buchemi.  (3)
Happy Accidents — 2000;  written & directed by Brad Anderson;  Vincent D’Onofrio, Marisa Tomei  (3)
Blow — 2001;  Ted Demme;  Johnny Depp, Jordi Molla, Penelope Cruz, Paul Reubens  (3)
Catch Me If You Can — 2002;  Steven Spielberg;  from Frank Abagnale book;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Amy Adams  (3)
Masked & Anonymous — 2003;  Larry Charles;  written by Bob Dylan & Larry Charles;  Dylan, John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges, Giovanni Ribisi, Mickey Rourke, Penelope Cruz, Luke Wilson, Angela Bassett, Ed Harris, Bruce Dern, Fred Ward, Cheech Marin, Val Kilmer  (4)
Owning Mahoney — 2003;  Richard Kwietniowski;  Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Hurt, Minnie Driver, Maury Chaykin.  Great movie based on a real story about a Canadian banker who embezzled money to feed a gambling addiction.  (3)
The Aviator — 2004;  Martin Scorsese;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Alex Baldwin, Alan Alda, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Edward Herrmann, Gwen Stefani.  Great biopic about Howard Hughes.  Cate Blanchett deservedly won Best Supporting Actress for her Katherine Hepburn; plus it won for cinematography, editing, art direction and costumes.  (3)
Secret Window — 2004;  David Koepp;  from a Stephen King novel;  Johnny Depp, John Turturro, Maria Bello;  music Philip Glass.  (4)
Good Night, and Good Luck — 2005;  written & directed by George Clooney;  David Strathairn, Ray Wise, Jeff Daniels, George Clooney, Alex Borstein, Tate Donovan, Patricia Clarkson, Robert Downey Jr., Frank Langella.  Brilliant docudrama about Edward R. Murrow, including the powerful use of archival footage of McCarthy & committee hearings within the new film.  B&W  (3)
The Departed — 2006;  Martin Scorsese;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen;  Who Oscars for Best Picture, Screenplay, and Editing, and Scorsese finally for Best Director  (4)
I’m Not There — 2007;  Todd Haynes;  Cate Blanchett (just fantastic!), Richard Gere, Health Ledger, Christian Bale, Marcus Carl Franken (the little black boy), Julianne Moore (as the Joan Baez character), David Cross (as Allen Ginsberg), Richie Havens, Michelle Williams (briefly), Kris Kristofferson (narrator); great! a surreal symphony!  You can read my review of it here.  (3)
Charlie Wilson’s War — 2007;  Mike Nichols;  Aaron Sorkin;  Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Peter Gerety  (3)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall — 2008;  Nicholas Stoller;  Jason Segel, Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Russell Brand, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, Steve Landesberg (in his last film role)  (3)
Inglourious Basterds — 2009;  Quentin Tarantino;  Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth  (4)

The Social Network — 2010;  David Fincher;  brilliant and Oscar-winning screenplay by Aaron Sorkin;  Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Timberlake at Sean Parker, Andrew Garfield, Sorkin with a cameo as an ad executive.  (4)
On The Road — 2012;  Walter Salles;  based on the novel by Jack Kerouac;  Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Kristen Dunst, Tom Sturridge, Elizabeth Moss, Danny Morgan.  You can read about the London premiere here, the North American premiere in Toronto here, and the New York premiere here.  (4)
Kill Your Darlings — 2013;  John Krokidas;  screenplay Austin Dunn;  Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Ben Foster, David Cross, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Cullum.  You can read my review from it’s premiere at TIFF in Toronto here.  (3)
Big Sur — 2013;  Michael Polish;  based on Jack Kerouac novel;  Jean-Marc Barr as Jack, Kate Bosworth as Billie, Josh Lucas as Neal Cassady, Anthony Edwards as Ferlinghetti, Balthazar Getty as McClure.  Something like 80% of all the movie’s dialog is voiceover directly from Kerouac’s book.  (2)
The Wolf of Wall Street — 2013;  Martin Scorsese;  based on Jordan Belfort book;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner  (3) 
The Post — 2017;  Steven Spielberg;  Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Bradley Whitford, David Cross  (3)
Get Out — 2017;  written & directed by Jordan Peele;  Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Stephen Root, Lil Ray Howery.  Deservedly won Best Screenplay.  (3)
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood — 2019;  Quentin Tarantino;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margo Robbie, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Emile Hirsch  (4)
Here’s the 4-minute continuous tracking shot from the middle of the movie — the confrontation/fight between Brad Pitt’s Cliff and the Bruce Lee character:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcsPAcLDBkc

Documentaries  [40]

N.Y., N.Y. — 1957;  Francis Thompson;  a 15-minute revolutionary cinematic masterpiece that has been described as both Cubist and Dadaist.  A young D.A. Pennebaker (see next entry) was an assistant to the filmmaker in Manhattan on the project, and used his projector and phonograph playing Bartók to screen it for Aldous Huxley in Thompson’s apartment.  (4)
Don’t Look Back — 1967;  D.A. Pennebaker;  Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Donovan, Joan Baez, Alan Price, Bobby Neuwirth, Albert Grossman  B&W  (4)
’65 Revisited — 2007;  new version of Don’t Look Back made by Pennebaker of original footage outtakes not used in the original.  B&W  (1)
Salesman — filmed in 1966, released in 1969;  Albert & David Maysles riveting masterpiece documentary about four door-to-door Bible salesmen. starts outside Boston (Webster, Mass), then they go down to Miami. first saw in Phyllis’s kitchen. seen twice.  What’s amazing is the complete breakdown on one of the salesmen.  REWATCH/LISTEN TO COMMENTARY — he explains HOW he makes his documentaries — empathy: from commentary: Albert Maysles became lifelong friends with Paul Brennan (the guy who lost it). David Maysles loved Arthur Miller plays, would see them multiple times. just the two of them, no assistant. David on sound (directional microphone, into a customized Nagra to record for 15 times at a time), Albert on camera (weighted 20 pounds; had early zoom lens). he says — took 30 years to get it on TV.  Shot 100 hours of film, boiled down to 90 min.!  Cost $200-300,000!!! for the processing of the film.  Plus the editor’s salary (the woman).  The 200th film added to my list!  B&W  (4)
Monterey Pop — 1968;  D.A. Pennebaker;  Mamas & Papas, Canned Heat, Simon & Garfunkel, Hugh Masekela, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, The Animals avec violin, The Who, Country Joe & The Fish, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar.  The first rock festival movie that set the standard for all that followed.   (4)
The Grateful Dead aren’t in it — but a rippin 10-minute surreptitiously filmed Viola Lee Blues surfaced years later.  This is primo proto psychedelic Dead as it was being born.  This was the early song they used to create the canvas that became 30 years of Grateful Dead music and inspired an entire genre.  That Pennebaker’s team knew this was the song in the Dead’s set to capture is the same reason this movie is so gem-packed.

Woodstock — 1970;  Michael Wadleigh;  Richie Havens, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, Country Joe McDonald, Crosby, Stills & Nash, 10 Years After, John Sebastian, Santana, Sly & The Family Stone  (4)
The Last Waltz — 1978;  Martin Scorsese;  The Band, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, the Staple Sisters  (4)
The Kids Are Alright — 1979;  written & directed by Jeff Stein;  starring The Who.  Great song-rich documentary of one of rock’s great quartets.  (3)
What Happened to Kerouac? — 1986;  Richard Lerner & Lewis MacAdams;  Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Gregory Corso, Jan Kerouac, Herbert Huncke, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Edie Kerouac, Michael McClure & others.  Probably the best Kerouac documentary.  Filmed largely at the 1982 Kerouac summit in Boulder, CO, that I attended and wrote an entire book about — The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac.  If you’re going to get this on DVD, be sure to get the 2012 2-disk re-release with all the extra footage.  I’ve watched the actor Paul Gleason’s mesmerizing recounting of knowing Jack in Florida about 10 times.  (4)
Sherman’s March — 1986;  Ross McElee;  quirky, engaging documentary ostensibly about tracing Sherman’s historic Civil War march to the sea, but evolves into the filmmaker exploring his past & present love life.  (2)
Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser — 1988;  Charlotte Zwerin;  produced by Clint Eastwood;  great documentary about Monk with tons of both live and off-stage archival footage.  The Don’t Look Back of Bebop.  B&W  (2)
The Beat Generation: An American Dream — 1988; Janet Foreman;  written by Janet & Regina Weinrich;  great documentary — with everybody in it — archival footage and interviews circa mid-1980s.  (4)

Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse — 1991;  written & directed by Fax Bahr & George Hickenlooper;  the Coppola family, various actors from Apocalypse Now!  (2)
The War Room — 1993;  D.A. Pennebaker & wife Chris Hegedus;  great documentary about the behind-the-scenes of Clinton’s 1992 Presidential campaign.  (3)
The Beatles Anthology — 1995;  ABC;  8 episode retrospective of the band’s career;  included two new songs, Free As A Bird and Real Love that had been unfinished demos from John that the band added music to.  (seen once — the one time it aired in America, late 1995)
Swear To Tell The Truth — 1998;  written & directed by Robert Weide;  great Lenny Bruce documentary  (3)
The Source: The Story of The Beats and The Beat Generation — 1999;  written & directed by Chuck Workman;  Johnny Depp reads Kerouac, Dennis Hopper reads Burroughs, John Turturro reads Allen, plus absolutely everybody’s interviewed in it.  (4)

Dogtown and Z-Boys — 2001;  dir: Stacy Peralta (the famous guy);  Jay Adams, Tony Alva; Craig Stecyk (original writer & photographer); narrator: Sean Penn;  memorizing “birth of skateboarding” documentary.  (4)
Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days — 2001;  amazing AMC (American Movie Classics) documentary with the 37 missing min. of last film Something’s Got To Give.  (2)
Bowling For Columbine — 2002;  documentary written & directed by Michael Moore; won Best Documentary Oscar.  (3)
The Kid Stays In The Picture — 2002;  Nanette Burstein & Brett Morgan; from Robert Evans book;  starring Robert Evans and half of Hollywood.
Lost In La Mancha — 2002;  great documentary on Terry Gilliam making The Man Who Killed Don Quixote;  with Terry Gilliam, Johnny Depp, Jeff Bridges  (3)
Festival Express — 2003;  Bob Smeaton;  The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Buddy Guy, Flying Burrito Brothers, Ian & Sylvia, Delaney & Bonnie, Mashmekhan.  You can read my feature story about it here.  (4)
The Aristocrats — 2005;  Paul Provenza (and Penn Jillette);  featuring nearly every comedian you’ve ever heard of, but the key & funniest ones I remember are: Gilbert Gottfried, Bob Saget, Drew Carey, Sarah Silverman, Paul Reiser, George Carlin, Andy Dick, Martin Mull, Mario Cantone (as Liza Minelli), Kevin Pollak (as Christopher Walkin), Eric Meed the card trick guy, and South Park.  (4)
Grizzly Man — 2005;  Warner Herzog;  Timothy Treadwell  (1)
Shut Up and Sing — 2006;  Barbara Kopple;  Dixie Chicks tour documentary — mindblowingly great — it’s like Don’t Look Back in so many ways — London, controversy, news + backstage + stage + young performer(s) caught in a contemporary controversy . . . Rick Rubin scene in the middle is super insightful — core of the movie.  Plus they play an awesome version of Bob Dylan’s “Mississippi” at one of the climaxes of the movie.  Also, Toronto has a sweet and proud cameo.  (3)
The Gates — 2007;  Albert & David Maysles;  amazing doc about Christo’s “Gates” installation in Central Park.  (3)
Run Granny Run — 2007;  Mario Poras;  Indie documentary about 94 year old Doris ‘Granny D’ Haddock’s run for the 2004 New Hampshire Senate seat  (3)
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson — 2008;  Alex Gibney;  Johnny Depp narrator;  great doc!  Lots about ’72.  (3)
One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur — 2009;  — Curt Worden;  great documentary including interviews with Sam Shepard, Robert Hunter, Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Carolyn & John Cassady, Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, David Amram, Sterling Lord, Joyce Johnson, John Tytell, Bill Morgan, Aram Saroyan, Jack Hirschman, Brenda Knight, Diamond Dave Whitaker, Lenny Kaye, Dar Williams, Donal Logue, Paul Marion;  music by Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard.  (3)

Good Ol’ Freda — 2013; Ryan White; great documentary about The Beatles’ fan club president, Freda Kelly, who was with them before Ringo Starr or Brian Epstein and until after their breakup. Contains tons of Beatles original songs, which is very rare for any film because they rarely authorize the usage. (seen once)
Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty — 2014;  Greg Olliver;  historic footage of Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Son House, Willie Dixon, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Freddie King and all the rest who created the music Johnny built upon;  plus contemporary masters like Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Billy Gibbons, Joe Perry and others explain how Johnny inspired their approach.  You can read my review about it here.  (seen once)
Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Gore  —  2015;  cowritten & directed by Robert Gordon;  besides the two heavyweights in the main bout, also features archival footage with Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Paul Newman, Noam Chomsky & Jon Stewart, and contemporary observations from Dick Cavett, Frank Rich, Christopher Hitchens & Andrew Sullivan.  John Lithgow (Vidal) and Kelsey Grammer (Buckley) voice readings by the headliners.  You can read my review of it here.  (seen once – at the TIFF Lightbox in Toronto) 
The Wrecking Crew! — 2015;  written & directed by Denny Tedesco (son of one of founding Wrecking Crew members);  starring the original Crew musicians, plus Brian Wilson, Leon Russell, Frank Zappa, Cher, Nancy Sinatra, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Webb, Lou Adler and a host of others.  Great documentary about the historic L.A. musician collective that played the music on hundreds of hit songs you love.  You can read my review of it here.  (seen once)
Long Strange Trip – The Untold Story of The Grateful Dead — 2017;  Amir Bar-Lev;  starring the Dead and everyone in their circle;  four hours, in two parts, 14 years in the works;  streamed on Amazon Prime;  it opens and closes with Jack Kerouac (!);  here’s my detailed review from its Toronto Lightbox screening with the director.  (seen once)
Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists — 2018;  directed by Jonathon Alter! (the political journalist) and John Block;  interviews with Colin Quinn, John Avlon, Mike Barnicle, Gail Collins, Mike Lupica, Robert Krulwich, Gloria Steinem, Shirley MacLaine, Robert De Niro, Spike Lee, Tom Brokaw, Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, Garry Trudeau, Tony Bennett & many others, plus tons of archival footage.  Every one of those people is on the List of Heroes for this reporter. Riveting HBO documentary about the two quintessential pioneering New York reporters & columnists Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill who were active during my decades in New York.  They were fantastically gifted writers — newspapermen men, specifically — carving out “New Journalism” the way Thompson, Wolfe & Mailer were with books.  And talk about on-the-scenesters — they were both standing with Bobby Kennedy the moment he was shot — and both of them jumped on and held down the assassin — and both of them wrote their accounts.  Footage of each of them typing reveals they were both one-finger typists!  The millions of words they each wrote and were read — were all typed by one finger on each hand!  (seen once)
Jane Fonda In Five Acts — 2018;  Susan Lacy;  fantastic doc;  I love her husbands — Roger Vadim a film director, Tom Haden an activist, and Ted Turner a media visionary.  Explores how she grew up without emotional connections/ intelligence, then learned it in her later years and reveals the story of how she found it.  She won two Academy Awards for Best Lead Actor — something only 20 others actors ever achieved.  “My hair needs its own agent.”  🙂  (seen once)
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese — 2019;  Netflix; Scorsese;  with Dylan, lots of Allen Ginsberg, plus Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Scarlet Rivera, Ronee Blakley, Ronnie Hawkins, David Mansfield, Hurricane Carter, Gordon Lightfoot, Patti Smith.  Scorsese used footage shot for Bob’s ill-fated Renaldo & Clara and made a highly watchable documentary of the coolest single tour that ever happened.  Lots of footage at Kerouac’s gravesite.  Downside: There is an annoying & unnecessary inclusion of a fictional filmmaker and fictional promoter and actress Sharon Stone telling fictional stories about attending the shows that detracts from an otherwise invaluable telling of a priceless moment in cultural history.   (seen twice)
Laurel Canyon — 2020;  photographers Henry Diltz & Nurit Wilde;  Alex Gibney a producer;  they used audio interviews over still pictures with (in order) the Byrds, Love, the Buffalo Springfield, the Turtles, the Doors, Zappa, Alice Cooper, the Monkees, the Mamas & the Papas, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, CSN, Elliot Roberts, Jackson Browne, Gram Parsons, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Glenn Frey, David Geffen, Linda Ronstadt, J.D. Souther, Steve Martin, Don Henley, Paul Barrere, Bill Payne, Sam Clayton, Lowell George, Little Feat, the Eagles, Russ Kunkel set to still photos of the time, plus some period TV appearances like American Bandstand, Ed Sullivan, The Monkees, Playboy After Hours, and footage from films Monterey Pop, Woodstock, Gimme Shelter, Festival Express and Riot on Sunset Strip.  Part 1 is basically the ’60s, part 2 the ’70s; each an hour & 20 mins.  (seen twice)
Jimmy Carter: Rock n Roll President — 2021;  CNN Films;  Mary Wharton; written by an MTV/VH1 guy I know, Bill Flanagan;  Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Gregg Allman, Chuck Leavell, Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood, Jimmy Buffett, Rosanne Cash, Nile Rodgers, Larry Gatlin, Paul Simon, Bono, Jann Wenner, Andrew Young, Madeline Albright & others;  TONS of Dylan in the soundtrack! 
plus performance footage of Dylan, twice (Isle of Wight & the Christian tour), the Allman Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown, Mahalia Jackson, Bonnie Bramlett, tons of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash & June Carter, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett, Loretta Lynn, Dizzy Gillespie & Dexter Gordon, Dizzy & Jimmy Carter, Dizzy & Sarah Vaughan, Chick Corea, Bono with Nile Rodgers, Linda Ronstadt, the Charlie Daniels Band, and The Staple Singers during the closing credits;  cameo footage of Hunter Thompson, Andy Warhol, Whispering Bob Harris, Jerry Brown, Cher, John & Yoko, Paul Newman, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Dolly Parton and Charles Mingus.  Great doc weaving together rock n roll and a President of the United States.  Lots of Dylan, Hunter Thompson, soul, jazz and gospel … as it should be.  😉  (seen twice)

Movies About Making Movies   [13]

Day For Night — 1973;  directed & screenplay by Francois Truffaut;  Jacqueline Bisset.  Truffaut’s movie about making movies.  (never seen)
The Big Picture — 1989;  Christopher Guest;  written by Guest, Michael McKean & Michael Varhol;  Kevin Bacon, Michael McKean, J.T. Walsh, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Teri Hatcher in her first movie  (4)
Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse — 1991;  written & directed by Fax Bahr & George Hickenlooper;  the Coppola family, various actors from Apocalypse Now!  (1)
The Player — 1992;  Robert Altman;  Michael Tolkin;  Tim Robbins, Vincent D’Onofrio, Fred Ward, Cynthia Stevenson, Whoopi Goldberg, Dean Stockwell, Lyle Lovett, and million cameos.
This film has more Oscar-winning actors and actresses in the cast than any other movie in history.  (!)  Twelve:  Cher, James Coburn, Louise Fletcher, Whoopi Goldberg, Joel Grey, Anjelica Huston, Jack Lemmon, Marlee Matlin, Tim Robbins, Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, and Rod Steiger.
Thirteen, when you count Oscar winning Producer and Director Sydney Pollack, who also makes a cameo appearance.
Also includes fifteen other actors and actresses who received Oscar nominations: Karen Black, Dean Stockwell, Michael Tolkin, Gary Busey, Peter Falk, Teri Garr, Jeff Goldblum, Elliott Gould, Sally Kirkland, Buck Henry, Sally Kellerman, Burt Reynolds, Nick Nolte, Richard E. Grant and Lily Tomlin.  (4)
Here’s probably the greatest continuous tracking shot in film history — the 8 minute opening of this movie:
https://vimeo.com/75881931
Living in Oblivion — 1995;  written & directed by Tom DiCillo;  Steve Buscemi, Catherine Keener, Dermot Mulroney, Peter Dinklage, James Le Gros. (3)
State & Main —  2000;  David Mamet wrote & directed;  Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, Charles Durning, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julia Stiles, Rebecca Pidgeon, David Paymer  (4)
The Independent — 2000;  Jerry Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Ben Stiller, a zillion cameos. funny. (1)
Hollywood Ending — 2002;  written & directed by Woody Allen;  Woody, Téa Leoni, Treat Williams, George Hamilton, Debra Messing  (3)
The Kid Stays In The Picture — 2002;  Nanette Burstein & Brett Morgan; from Robert Evans book;  starring Robert Evans and half of Hollywood.  (1)
Lost In La Mancha — 2002;  great documentary on Terry Gilliam making The Man Who Killed Don Quixote;  with Terry Gilliam, Johnny Depp, Jeff Bridges  (3)
I Love Your Work — 2003;  Giovanni Ribisi, Joshua Jackson, Marisa Coughlin, Judy Greer, plus lots of cameos by Elvis Costello, Vince Vaughan, Jason Lee, Randall Batinkoff, Christina Ricci & others  (1)
La La Land — 2016; written & directed by Damien Chazelle; Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling, with a great supporting role by John Legend; and small scene by J.K. Simmons.  Update on the classic Hollywood musicals, with a parallel story of an aspiring jazz musician.  Won Oscars for Emma Stone, Best Director, Cinematography, Music & Production Design.  (seen once)
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood — 2019;  Quentin Tarantino;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margo Robbie, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Emile Hirsch  (4)
Here’s the 4-minute continuous tracking shot from the middle of the movie — the confrontation/fight between Brad Pitt’s Cliff and the Bruce Lee character:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcsPAcLDBkc
 

Movies about Politics   [21]

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington — 1939;  Frank Capra;  James Stewart, Claude Rains, Jean Arthur  B&W  (2)
State of The Union — 1948;  Frank Capra;  Spencer Tracy & Katherine Hepburn, Angela Lansbury, Van Johnson.  A married industrialist (Spencer) runs for President.  B&W  (1)
The Candidate — 1972;  Michael Ritchie;  Robert Redford, Peter Boyle, Allan Garfield  (4)
All The President’s Men — 1976;  Alan Pakula;  based on book by Woodward & Bernstein;  Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Hal Holbrook, Jason Robards, Jane Alexander, Ned Beatty  (4)
Bob Roberts — 1992;  written & directed by & starring Tim Robbins;  plus Gore Vidal, Ray Wise (the guy from Twin Peaks & Good Night, And Good Luck);  tons of cameos, including a very young Jack Black;  Robbins wrote and performed his own songs, but would not let a soundtrack be released cuz he knew the crazy right would take the satirical songs and make them their anthem.  Done in mock-documentary style.  This could almost be on the Most Disturbing List, and is particularly scary post Iraq War II.  (3)
Dave —  1993;  Ivan Reitman;  written by Gary Ross;  Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Ben Kingsley, Charles Grodin;  great political comedy about a doppelgänger (Kline) for the sitting president is enlisted to fill in for him.  (2)
The War Room — 1993;  D.A. Pennebaker & wife Chris Hegedus;  great documentary about the behind-the-scenes of Clinton’s 1992 Presidential campaign.  (3)
Nixon —  1995;  Oliver Stone;  Anthony Hopkins in title role, Joan Allen, Ed Harris, Bob Hoskins, E.G. Marshall, J.T. Walsh, Paul Sorvino, Mary Steenburgen, David Paymer, David Hyde Pierce  (1)
The American President — 1995;  Rob Reiner;  written by Aaron Sorkin; Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Richard Dreyfuss, Michael J. Fox, Anna Deavere Smith, David Paymer;  a widowed sitting President runs for re-election while falling in love with an environmental lobbyist.  (1)
Wag The Dog — 1997;  Barry Levinson;  Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Denis Leary, Anne Heche, Willie Nelson  (3)
The Newsroom – “The Campaign” episode — 1997;  CBC;  written & directed by Ken Finkleman;  Finkleman, Peter Keleghan, Jeremy Holtz  (3)
Primary Colors — 1998;  Mike Nichols;  Joe Klein book, Elaine May screenplay;  John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates; about the Clintons in 1992.  (3)
Bulworth — 1998;  written & directed by Warren Beatty;  Beatty, Halle Berry, Oliver Platt, Don Cheadle, Jack Warden, Christine Baranski, Paul Sorvino, Laurie Metcalf, Norn Dunn, and Amiri Baraka (yes, the Beat poet!)   (3)
Man of The Year — 2006;  Barry Levinson;  Robin Williams, Christopher Walken, Laura Linney, Lewis Black, Jeff Goldblum;  about a comedian who runs for president, and by a fluke, wins.  The comedian (Robin) says many lines similar to Obama.  This is made shortly after Obama’s speech at the DNC Convention in 2004.  (2)
Charlie Wilson’s War — 2007;  Mike Nichols;  Aaron Sorkin;  Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Peter Gerety  (3)
Run Granny Run — 2007;  Mario Poras;  Indie documentary about 94 year old Doris ‘Granny D’ Haddock’s run for the 2004 New Hampshire Senate seat  (3)
Recount — 2008;  Jay Roach;  Kevin Spacey, John Hurt, Laura Dern, Bob Balaban, Denis Leary;  Ed Begley Jr.;  amazing HBO dramatization about the 2000 election recount in Florida.  (1)
Game Change — 2012;  Jay Roach;  Danny Strong screenplay from the Heilemann – Halperin book;  Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, Ed Harris as John McCain, Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt, Sarah Paulson as Nicole Wallace, plus Ron Livingston, Austin Penndleton.  HBO Film about the Palin pick and election in 2008.  Won Emmys for Best Movie, Director, Writing, Lead Actor, and Casting.  An accurate dramatization praised by Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace, who were both right in the middle of it.  (2)
Veep — HBO – TV exception for political cinema;  2012–2019 (65 episodes) – the second show I ever binge-watched, after Barry.  Casting: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (won the Best Actress Emmy SIX years in a row, and y’know, I kinda think she deserved every one of them), the great Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn, Tony Hale, Timothy Simons (as the bad guy/doofus Jonah), the always comedically odd Dan Bakkedahl, Randall Park; guest casting (in series appearance order): Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Foley, Alison Janney, Tracie Thoms (Death Proof), Diedrich Bader, Patton Oswald, Hugh Laurie, Martin Mull, John Slattery, Brian Doyle-Murray, Peter MacNicol, Amy Brenneman, Stephen Fry, Michael Hitchcock, Stephen Root, Adam Scott, John Carroll Lynch, Heidi Gardner, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Lennon & Michael McKean.  Pretty brilliant writing, — nominated for a half-dozen Emmys, and won a Peabody in 2017.  The great NY Times political & theater writer Frank Rich is one of the producers.  I liked the seasons more as each rolled out.  It’s a comedic West Wing, with an echo of classic office dramas with great ensemble casts like NewsRadio, 30 Rock and The Office.  Nowhere in the 65 episodes does anyone say the names of the two parties, so it’s kept intentionally nonpartisan.  But on the fictional election night, the “Veep” Selina Meyer (JL-D) wins the states Democrats would win.  One of the character’s favorite bands is the Grateful Dead.  And Alice Cooper gets a reference in season three. 🙂  There may have been a lull at some point but I laughed a lot in season 6, and season 7.  They created a great dumb-ass political character years before trump came on the scene – then could him as a parody.  Second Grateful Dead reference 11 mins into season 6 ep 8, Gary Cole (playing the smartest guy on the show) on phone corrects Dan Egan character about him saying on air that Bruce Hornsby was a member of the Grateful Dead correcting him that he was a touring member of the Dead but not a full member.  Then the Cole character has a ponytail in his final scene of the series.  Before I watched it, I was dubious about Louis-Dreyfus winning SIX Best Actress Emmys *in a row* for this — obviously an all-time record in TV history.  Then I saw the range of emotions — often with multiple layers of subtext — in just one episode, let alone across the course of a season: crying, laughing, duplicitous, charming, mean, dictatorial, Machiavellian, funny, hurt, arrogant, hyper, bedridden, angry, desperate, demeaning, heartless, power hungry, subservient, conniving, twitchy — there’s surely never been an actress in a comedy who’s had to convey so many states of mind and facets of a character.  And she delivers the coast-to-coast ranges flawlessly.  *Now* I understand the six wins in a row.  (binge-watched entire series March 2021)
A two-minute trailer of the complete series:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiEeeISTMpw
Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House
— 2017; screenplay & directed by Peter Landesman; based on Mark Felt’s book; produced by Jay Roach, Hollywood’s go-to political film director for the last 2 decades;  Liam Neeson (absolutely brilliantly as Mark Felt, aka “Deep Throat”), Michael C. Hall (as John Dean), Diane Lane, Bruce Greenwood, Tom Goldwyn (the bad guy from Ghost), Tom Sizemore (!).  How did this not get more attention?!  This is All The President’s Men … but from the real Deep Throat’s perspective.  THIS is filmmaking! — cinematography, editing … and dramatization.  What a great script!  And all with a subtle, perfect music score.  Here’s the trailer.  (1)
Irresistible — 2020; Jon Stewart wrote & directed; Steve Carell, Chris Cooper, Topher Grace, Bill Irwin. A fictional account of a mayoral election in a small town in Wisconsin that becomes the focus of both major parties.  Good but not great.  (1)

Music Movies   [30]

A Hard Day’s Night —  1964;  Richard Lester;  starring The Beatles, with Wilfred Brambell as the Grandfather foil.  Roger Ebert said in a 1994 documentary he’s “probably seen A Hard Day’s Night 25 times.”  I always saw this movie as sort of a pair with D.A. Pennebaker’s B&W Dylan portrait Don’t Look Back filmed the following year. Both Portraits of The Artist As A Young Man — and the two artists in this case would go on to rewrite global cultural history.  B&W  (4)
Help! — 1965; Richard Lester (same as A Hard Day’s Night; starring The Beatles, and Victor Spinelli from Hard Day’s Night; road manager Mal Evans has a couple cameos as the swimmer looking for the White Cliffs of Dover; weird fuckin movie!!  I thought when it started with that Indian scene I put in the wrong movie.  😀  Prime-time Beatles, made just as they were moving into their master period beginning with Rubber Soul, with their hair just starting to get long.  Only time we ever see them wearing casual blue jeans!  Funny amalgam with the other big British export of the time — James Bond movies: the theme music is used once, and mimicked often — also echoing all the foreign locations … and enemies … and underground lairs … and nonstop action.  Even the bikini girls at the water’s edge a la Ursula in Dr. No.  It’s part slapstick comedy, but also foreshadows Magical Mystery Tour with the psychedelic outdoor performance scenes, and a little How I Won The War with the tanks and army getups.  Has a strange curling scene — a sport so unfamiliar to American audiences that many reviewers & viewers thought it was just another made-up fantasy in the film.  “Not a bit like Cagney.”  🙂  (seen twice) Don’t Look Back — 1967;  D.A. Pennebaker;  Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Donovan, Joan Baez, Alan Price, Bobby Neuwirth, Albert Grossman  B&W  (4)
Monterey Pop — 1968;  D.A. Pennebaker;  Mamas & Papas, Canned Heat, Simon & Garfunkel, Hugh Masekela, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, The Animals avec violin, The Who, Country Joe & The Fish, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar.  The first rock festival movie that set the standard for all that followed.   (4)
The Grateful Dead aren’t in it — but a rippin 10-minute surreptitiously filmed Viola Lee Blues surfaced years later.  This is primo proto psychedelic Dead as it was being born.  This was the early song they used to create the canvas that became 30 years of Grateful Dead music and inspired an entire genre.  That Pennebaker’s team knew this was the song in the Dead’s set to capture is the same reason this movie is so gem-packed. 
Jimi Plays Monterey — 1986;  D.A. Pennebaker’s revisit of the ’67 concert footage featuring all of Hendrix’s half-hour set.  (3)
Yellow Submarine — 1968;  George Dunning;  The Beatles’ voices  (4)

Woodstock — 1970;  Michael Wadleigh;  Richie Havens, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, Country Joe McDonald, Crosby, Stills & Nash, 10 Years After, John Sebastian, Santana, Sly & The Family Stone  (4)
Cabaret — 1972;  Bob Fosse;  Liza Minelli, Joey Grey, Michael York  (4)
Jesus Christ Superstar — 1973;  Norman Jewison;  Ted Neelly, Yvonne Elliman, Josh Mostel (King Herod)  (4)
Phantom of the Paradise — 1974;  written & directed by Brian De Palma;  Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper  (3)
Tommy — 1975;  Ken Russell; written by Pete Townshend & The Who;  starring The Who, and Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Jack Nicholson, Tina Turner, Elton John, Eric Clapton  (3)
The Grateful Dead Movie — 1977;  dir. Jerry Garcia;  starring the band and fans.  (3)
The Last Waltz — 1978;  Martin Scorsese;  The Band, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, the Staple Sisters  (4)
Hair — 1979;  Miloš Forman;  book/score by Gerome Ragni & James Rado;  Treat Williams, Beverly De Angelo, John Savage, Nicholas Ray cameo.  Lots of Central Park location shots;  Fantastic!  (4)
The Kids Are Alright — 1979;  written & directed by Jeff Stein;  starring The Who.  Great song-rich documentary of one of rock’s great quartets.  (3)

The Blues Brothers — 1980;  John Landis;  written by Landis & Dan Aykroyd;  John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles  (4)
One Trick Pony — 1980;  Robert Young;  written by & starring Paul Simon, with Blair Brown, Rip Torn, Lou Reed, Allan Garfield, Steve Gadd, Harry Shearer.  Great music biz movie about an aging rock star trying to keep both his relevance and his integrity.  Scenes were shot outside and inside the apartment building I lived in from 1981–1987 — 27 Washington Square North.  The Simon classic Late In The Evening (“I stepped outside to smoke myself a J”) was written for this movie.  (3)
Spinal Tap — 1984;  Rob Reiner;  writers Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner;  starring Guest, McKean, Shearer, Reiner, Fred Willard, Bruno Kirby, Fran Drescher  (4)
‘Round Midnight — 1986;  Bertrand Tavernier;  script cowritten by Tavernier;  Dexter Gordon, Francoise Cluzet, cameo by Martin Scorsese  (4)
That Thing You Do! —  1996;  written & directed by Tom Hanks;  Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, Steve Zahn, Charlize Theron, Giovanni Ribisi, Tom Hanks  (4)

Masked & Anonymous — 2003;  Larry Charles;  written by Bob Dylan & Larry Charles;  Dylan, John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges, Giovanni Ribisi, Mickey Rourke, Penelope Cruz, Luke Wilson, Angela Bassett, Ed Harris, Bruce Dern, Fred Ward, Cheech Marin, Val Kilmer  (4)
Festival Express — 2003;  Bob Smeaton;  The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Buddy Guy, Flying Burrito Brothers, Ian & Sylvia, Delaney & Bonnie, Mashmekhan.  You can read my feature story about it here.  (4)
My Dinner with Jimi — 2003;  Bill Fishman.  Justin Henry (the Oscar-nominated kid in Kramer vs. Kramer) as Howard Kaylan;  George (Norm) Wendt as the band manager;  John Corbett as photographer Henry Diltz;  Taylor Negron as the psychiatrist;  Chris Ellis (the first band manager in That Thing You Do) as the sergeant.  Great dramatization of real events in the life of The Turtles/Flo & Eddie’s Howard Kaylan about their 1966/67 heyday including great period recreations (using both new and archival footage) of the L.A. and London music scenes, and meeting The Beatles, Doors, Zappa & Jimi Hendrix etc.  You can read my review here.  (3) 
Shut Up and Sing — 2006;  Barbara Kopple;  Dixie Chicks tour documentary — mindblowingly great — it’s like Don’t Look Back in so many ways — London, controversy, news + backstage + stage + young performer(s) caught in a contemporary controversy . . . Rick Rubin scene in the middle is super insightful — core of the movie.  Plus they play an awesome version of Bob Dylan’s “Mississippi” at one of the climaxes of the movie.  Also, Toronto has a sweet and proud cameo.  (3)
Shine A Light — 2008;  Martin Scorsese;  Rolling Stones concert film from the Beacon Theater in NYC, with guest performances by Christina Aguilera, Buddy Guy, & Jack White.  You can read my review of it here.  (seen once)
Vinyl — 2016 — HBO;  1 season, 10 episodes created by Martin Scorsese (also directed 2-hour pilot), Mick Jagger & Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire);  Bobby Cannavale (who’s fantastic), Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano, James Jagger (Mick & Jerry Hall’s son, and whose punk band also plays in it), Juno Temple.  Set in the New York music business in the 1970s. Incredible music choices all throughout (a la Scorsese).  They must have paid a fortune!  Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Elvis Presley & Hilly Kristal appear as characters.  A show that has multiple storylines that I like every one of.  GREAT filmmaking / cinematography / editing / storytelling.  It’s gotta be a next gen supervised Scorsese crew — cuz it seems like his filmmaking style.  This is the first show of the I’ve binge-watched that I would watch again.  That says a lot.  I wouldn’t need to / want to see Barry or Veep a second time.  (seen once)
Long Strange Trip – The Untold Story of The Grateful Dead — 2017;  Amir Bar-Lev;  starring the Dead and everyone in their circle;  four hours, in two parts, 14 years in the works;  streamed on Amazon Prime;  it opens and closes with Jack Kerouac (!);  here’s my detailed review from its Toronto Lightbox screening with the director;  (seen once)
John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky — 2018;  Michael Epstein (same guy who did the 2010 masterpiece LennoNYC);  great documentary about the 1971 recording of Lennon’s Imagine album at his Tittenhurst Park house, and their life in England and New York in general;  lots of previously never-scene footage of the time, plus new interviews with Yoko, Julian, Klaus Voormann, Jack Douglas, Jim Keltner, Alan White and a bunch of other cool people around at the time.  (seen once)
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese — 2019;  Netflix;  Scorsese;  with Dylan, lots of Allen Ginsberg, plus Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Scarlet Rivera, Ronee Blakley, Ronnie Hawkins, David Mansfield, Hurricane Carter, Gordon Lightfoot, Patti Smith.  Scorsese used footage shot for Bob’s ill-fated Renaldo & Clara and made a highly watchable documentary of the coolest single tour that ever happened.  Lots of footage at Kerouac’s gravesite.  Downside: There is an annoying & unnecessary inclusion of a fictional filmmaker and fictional promoter and actress Sharon Stone telling fictional stories about attending the shows that detracts from an otherwise invaluable telling of a priceless moment in cultural history.   (2)
Laurel Canyon — 2020;  photographers Henry Diltz & Nurit Wilde;  Alex Gibney a producer;  they used audio interviews over still pictures with (in order) the Byrds, Love, the Buffalo Springfield, the Turtles, the Doors, Zappa, Alice Cooper, the Monkees, the Mamas & the Papas, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, CSN, Elliot Roberts, Jackson Browne, Gram Parsons, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Glenn Frey, David Geffen, Linda Ronstadt, J.D. Souther, Steve Martin, Don Henley, Paul Barrere, Bill Payne, Sam Clayton, Lowell George, Little Feat, the Eagles, Russ Kunkel set to still photos of the time, plus some period TV appearances like American Bandstand, Ed Sullivan, The Monkees, Playboy After Hours, and footage from films Monterey Pop, Woodstock, Gimme Shelter, Festival Express and Riot on Sunset Strip.  Part 1 is basically the ’60s, part 2 the ’70s; each an hour & 20 mins.  (seen once)
The Beatles: Get Back — 2021;  Peter Jackson;  starring John, Paul, George & Ringo, and Billy Preston, George Martin, Yoko Ono, Linda McCartney, Mal Evans.  (to be released Aug 27, 2021)

 

Beat Generation Docs & Dramas   [9]

All the Beat Generation dramatizations over the decades can be read about in detail on my Beat Movie Guide page.

Pull My Daisy
— 1959;  Robert Frank & Alfred Leslie;  written by Jack Kerouac;  Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Larry Rivers, David Amram, Richard Bellamy  B&W. (4)
Heart Beat — 1980;  John Byrun;  based on a part of Carolyn Cassady’s autobiography Off The Road;  Nick Nolte as Neal, Sissy Spacek as Carolyn, John Heard as Jack, Ray Sharkey as the Allen-like character.  Carolyn called this movie “Heart Break” because she didn’t like the final product, but did like Sissy Spacek’s portrayal and as a person.  (3)
What Happened to Kerouac? — 1986;  Richard Lerner & Lewis MacAdams;  Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Gregory Corso, Jan Kerouac, Herbert Huncke, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Edie Kerouac, Michael McClure & others.  Probably the best Kerouac documentary.  Filmed largely at the 1982 Kerouac summit in Boulder, CO, that I attended and wrote an entire book about — The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac.  If you’re going to get this on DVD, be sure to get the 2012 2-disk re-release with all the extra footage.  (4)

The Last Time I Committed Suicide — 1997;  Stephen Kay;  based on the then-only-surviving part of Neal Cassady’s “Joan Anderson letter” as printed in his book The First Third;  Thomas Jane as Neal, Keanu Reeves in a Kerouac-like role, Adrien Brody in a Ginsberg-like role, Claire Forlani as Joan Anderson, Gretchen Mol as Cherry Mary;  Carolyn Cassady & I agree this is the best Beat dramatization on film.  (4)
The Source: The Story of The Beats and The Beat Generation — 1999;  written & directed by Chuck Workman;  Johnny Depp reads Kerouac, Dennis Hopper reads Burroughs, John Turturro reads Allen, plus absolutely everybody’s interviewed in it.  (4)

One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur — 2009;  — Curt Worden;  great documentary including interviews with Sam Shepard, Robert Hunter, Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Carolyn & John Cassady, Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, David Amram, Sterling Lord, Joyce Johnson, John Tytell, Bill Morgan, Aram Saroyan, Jack Hirschman, Brenda Knight, Diamond Dave Whitaker, Lenny Kaye, Dar Williams, Donal Logue, Paul Marion;  music by Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard.  (3)
On The Road — 2012;  Walter Salles;  based on the novel by Jack Kerouac;  Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Kristen Dunst, Tom Sturridge, Elizabeth Moss, Danny Morgan.  You can read about the London premiere here, the North American premiere in Toronto here, and the New York premiere here.  (4)
Or the stories are also available in How The Beats Begat The Pranksters along with a whole bunch of other Beat tales and Adventures.

Kill Your Darlings — 2013;  John Krokidas;  screenplay Austin Dunn;  Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Ben Foster, David Cross, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Cullum.  You can read my review from it’s premiere at TIFF in Toronto here.  (3)
Big Sur — 2013;  Michael Polish;  based on Jack Kerouac novel;  Jean-Marc Barr as Jack, Kate Bosworth as Billie, Josh Lucas as Neal Cassady, Anthony Edwards as Ferlinghetti, Balthazar Getty as McClure.  Something like 80% of all the movie’s dialog is voiceover directly from Kerouac’s book.  (2)

Trippy Movies   [11]

The Wizard of Oz — 1939;  Victor Fleming;  Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Frank Morgan  B&W and color  (4)
N.Y., N.Y. — 1957;  Francis Thompson;  a super-surreal 15-minute revolutionary cinematic masterpiece that’s been described as both Cubist and Dadaist.  A young D.A. Pennebaker was an assistant to the filmmaker in Manhattan on the project, and used his projector and phonograph playing Bartók to screen it for Aldous Huxley in Thompson’s apartment.  (4)
I Love You, Alice B. Toklas — 1968;  Hy Averback;  screenplay partly by Paul Mazursky;  Peter Sellers, Jo Van Fleet, Joyce Van Patten (Dick’s sister), and introducing young Leigh Taylor-Young (who was married to Ryan O’Neal at the time).  A pretty wild 1968 drug movie.  A “square” 30-something guy falls in love with a young hippie and tries to become one.  Allen Ginsberg is mentioned in the first minute 🙂 and Peter Sellers ends up driving a beautiful wildly psychedelic painted (a la Ken Kesey’s bus) ’54 Ford Country Squire.  The title references Gertrude Stein’s life partner, Alice B. Toklas, who was the first to publish a “canibus” [sic] fudge recipe, which she actually got from Beat confrère Brion Gysin, and is a plot point in the movie.  The first act set-up is weak (script, pacing, staging) but it picks up once Sellers & company eat the brownies and the trip begins, and he starts to look positively Lennonesque with his glasses and hair.  It’s an interesting portrait of the 1967/68 hippie culture (as captured by Hollywood), with lots of L.A. location shooting, including Venice Beach.  (1)
Woodstock
— 1970;  Michael Wadleigh;  Richie Havens, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, Country Joe McDonald, Crosby, Stills & Nash, 10 Years After, John Sebastian, Santana, Sly & The Family Stone  (4)
200 Motels — 1971; story, screenplay, music composer & conductor, starring and co-directed by Frank Zappa; Ringo Starr, Theodore Bikel, Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman & Howard Kaylan) and prime-time Mothers of Invention, Keith Moon, Pamela Des Barres, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Shot on videotape over 5 days at Pinewood Studios in England – even though it’s set in a small fictional Southern town in the U.S. (3)
Time Bandits — 1981;  Terry Gilliam;  written by Gilliam & Michael Palin;  Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Michael Palin, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, John Cleese as Robin Hood, and Sir Ralph Richardson as God;  incredible sets / props / production design;  George Harrison was one of the producers and mortgaged his office building to get the film made, like he mortgaged his home to finance Monty Python’s Life of Brian two years earlier;  this ended up being one of the highest grossing films of the year;  the first in what Gilliam called his Trilogy of Imagination” soon to include Brazil (1985) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988).  (seen twice)
Brazil — 1985;  Terry Gilliam;  screenplay by Gilliam & Tom Stoppard;  Jonathan Pryce (who’s great!), Robert De Niro, Michael Palin, Bob Hoskins, Katherine Helmond, Jim Broadbent, Ian Holm.  Wonderfully beautifully twisted 1984-ish vision — inspired in a general way by Orwell’s book.  Rightfully Oscar-nominated for its comically surreal Art Direction (Out of Africa won (?) ); and for Original Screenplay (Witness won).  It was too weird for me the first viewing, then I read a bunch about it, and watched it the second time decades later and was blown away by the vision & filmmaking.  Surreal filmmaking at its finest.  Terry Gilliam is one helluva filmmaker!  Gawd, he’s a weird guy!  🙂  The Salvador Dali of film.  See his listing in the Auteur section above.  The movie’s final cut and release is a somewhat legendary story in film history, how a honcho schmuck at Universal tried to completely recut it and Gilliam circumvented him.  There’s an entire book written about it.  The second in what Gilliam called his “Trilogy of Imagination” along with Time Bandits (1981) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988).  Both Frank Zappa and River Phoenix’s favorite movie.  “This has not been a recording.”  (seen twice)
The Lion King — 1994;  Disney / Pixar production;  voices by Matthew Broderick, Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Cheech Marin;  beautiful animation.  (2)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas — 1998;  Terry Gilliam;  Gilliam wrote screenplay based on Hunter Thompson book;  Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire  (2)
Pleasantville — 1998;  written & directed by Gary Ross;  Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels  (3)

Disturbing Movies   [9]

Movies that were so effectively disturbing, I don’t want to see again:

Rosemary’s Baby — 1968;  Roman Polanski;  Mia Farrow, Ruth Gordon, John Cassavetes (Guy), Charles Grodin  (1)
10 Rillington Place — 1971;  Richard Fleischer;  Richard Attenborough, and an incredible John Hurt.  Dramatization of a real British serial killer circa 1953.  (2)
The Exorcist — 1973;  William Friedkin;  written by William Peter Blatty;  Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow  (1)
Midnight Express — 1978;  Alan Parker;  written by Billy Hayes;  Brad Davis, John Hurt (Max), Randy Quaid  (2)
Schindler’s List — 1993;  Steven Spielberg;  Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley  (1)
Grizzly Man — 2005;  Warner Herzog;  Timothy Treadwell  (1)
Harsh Times — 2005;  written & directed by David Ayer;  Christian Bale, Freddy Rodriguez, Eva Longoria, J.K. Simmons   (1)
No Country For Old Men — 2007;  written & directed by the Coen brothers;  Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Tess Harper, Woody Harrelson, Stephen Root.  SUCH a first-view movie; mesmerizing on first viewing; very so-so on second.  This movie is all “style” — there’s plot holes and bad scenes all thru this — no wonder the Coen’s were surprised they won Best Picture, and acted like they didn’t deserve it.  I can sure see why JB won best actor.  Riveting, memorable performance. But I needed closed-captions to understand what many of the others were saying.  It’s very disturbing, like Natural Born Killers.  (2)
Tusk — 2014;  written & directed by Kevin Smith;  Michael Parks, Justin Long, Johnny Depp.  About a guy who is kidnapped and turned into a walrus.  (seen once)

The Made-For-TV Exceptions   [24]

The Twilight Zone — 1959–1964;  created by and many episodes written by Rod Serling;  the Gold Standard for weirdness and alternative dramatic perspectives on television.  B&W
Route 66 — 1960–1964;  various directors;  Martin Milner & George Harris is a blatant unpaid rip-off of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road.  with an Ivy League student joining with a street-wise guy raised on the wrong side of the tracks going on the road all over the country – three years after Jack’s book became a sensation and put the idea in everyone’s head.  On the plus side, it was almost all location shooting, so the series really captures a wide panorama of America at the start of the ’60s.  B&W
Magical Mystery Tour — 1967;  dir by George Harrison! and Bernard Knowles;  starring The Beatles.  Inspired by Ken Kesey’s magical mystery tour in a bus.  😉  (2)
The Rolling Stones Rock n Roll Circus — filmed in Dec. 1968;  BBC  (never aired);  Michael Lindsay-Hogg;  the classic live one-time-ever Lennon–Clapton–Richards–Mitch Mitchell Yer Blues;  plus great performances by (in order) Jethro Tull (the only existing footage with Tommy Iommi before he left to form Black Sabbath), arguably the best ’60s Who performance footage, a soulful Taj Mahal with Jesse Ed Davis on guitar, Marianne Faithful, John’s all-star band, Yoko with violin virtuoso Ivry Gitlis augmenting John’s band playing a blues jam, and The Stones in their Beggars Banquet moment for six songs, including a wild Sympathy of the Devil, and Brian Jones’ last performance with the band.  Finally released in 1996 on VHS; and in 2004 on DVD.  Michael Lindsay-Hogg also directed The Beatles’ videos for Hey Jude and Revolution, the Let It Be film they never wanted released and which Peter Jackson is remaking in 2021.  This is an overlooked capture of the birth of the magic of rock n roll art circa 1968.  Not to mention in the John–Mick clip showing how the bandleaders of the two biggest British bands were actually friends and not enemies like some press pimped.  😉    (3)

Liza with a ‘Z’ — Sept. 10, 1972;  NBC;  dir & choreographed by Bob Fosse; Liza Minnelli;  Marvin Hamlisch musical Director;  Phil Ramone engineer; won 4 Emmy’s, Best Single Program, Best Director, Best Choreography, Best Music;  shot live, one take.  (2)
Fawlty Towers — 1975 and 1979 (6 episodes in each year, 12 total);  BBC;  first 1975 six directed by John Howard Davies, second 1979 six directed by Bob Spiers;  written by John Cleese & Connie Booth;  Cleese (Basil), Connie (Polly), Prunella Scales (Sybil), Andrew Sachs (Manuel), Ballard Berkely (the Major).  You can read my primer on the show here.  (4)
The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash — 1978;  NBC special;  conceived, written, co-directed by & starring Eric Idle;  plus, in order of appearance, Neil Innes, Mick Jagger, Bill Murray, Paul Simon, Lorne Michaels, Dan Aykroyd, George Harrison, Michael Palin, Ronnie Wood, Bianca Jagger, John Belushi, Al Franken, Tom Davis, Gilda Radner.  Monty Python meets SNL in a Spinal Tap prequel.  Spoof of The Beatles incorporating ’60s period footage.  It started as a sketch on Eric Idle’s BBC2 show Rutland Weekend Television, then when he hosted Saturday Night Live in 1976 it was incorporated into the show, which then birthed the NBC special.  (3)
True West —  1984;  PBS – American Playhouse;  Allan Goldstein;  Sam Shepard;  John Malkovich & Gary Sinise  (3)
Death of A Salesman — 1985;  CBS;  Victor Schlondorff; Arthur Miller; Dustin Hoffman, John Malkovich, Kate Reid, Charles Durning  (3)
Seinfeld — 1989–1998;  created by Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld;  Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis–Dreyfus, Michael Richards  (watched every episode multiple times)

The Civil War — 1990;  PBS;  Ken Burns;  made by Florentine Films for WETA PBS in Washington, D.C.  (4)
Woodstock Diary — 1994;  3-part TV special about the ’69 concert by D.A. Pennebaker & wife Chris Hegedus;  features tons of performances and audience footage not in Michael Wadleigh’s 1970 Woodstock movie.  (1)
The Beatles Anthology — 1995;  ABC;  8 episode retrospective of the band’s career;  included two new songs, Free As A Bird and Real Love that had been unfinished demos from John that the band added music to.  (seen once — the one time it aired in America, late 1995)
NewsRoom — 1995–1999;  incredible cast – Phil Hartman, Stephen Root, Dave Foley, Maura Tierney, Vicki Lewis, Andy Dick.  (saw most episodes multiple times)
The Newsroom – “The Campaign” episode — 1997;  CBC;  written & directed by Ken Finkleman;  Finkleman, Peter Keleghan, Jeremy Holtz. (3)
Temporarily Yours — 1997;  CBS;  6-episode show about temping that came out at the same time as my book The Temp Survival Guide;  also at the same time as the movie Clockwatchers about temping (see entry under Comedies);  Debi Mazar (Goodfellas), Joanna Gleason (Winnipeg’s Monty Hall’s daughter), Seth Green (Chris on Family Guy) and Saverio Guerra (Mocha Joe on Curb Your Enthusiasm);  rewatched Dec. 2020: I actually laughed out loud multiple times in the first 3 episodes, then it died in episodes 4–6;  Lots of NYC location shots & scenes.  (3)
Family Guy — 1999–present;  Fox;  created & largely voiced by Seth MacFarlane;  Seth Green, Alex Borstein, Mila Kunis, Mike Henry, Patrick Warburton;  I love the artwork, and the music, every note of which is played by an orchestra in a conscious effort to pay musicians.

Curb Your Enthusiasm — 2000;  HBO;  Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, Susie Essman, Richard Lewis, J.B. Smoove, Ted Danson, Bob Einstein, Shelley Berman.  I watched it from its first pilot before the series was even an idea.
Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days — 2001;  amazing AMC (American Movie Classics) documentary with the 37 missing minutes of last film Something’s Got To Give.  (2)
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan — 2005;  PBS American Masters;  Martin Scorsese;  masterful inclusive detailed documentary about Dylan, mostly covering 1961 to 1966, with lots of Ginsberg & Beats.  (1)
The Rocket (aka “Maurice Richard”) — 2005;  CBC;  dir. Charles Binamé;  Roy Dupuis;  This, along with Miracle may be the two best sports dramas.  (2)
Canada-Russia ’72 — 2006;  CBC;  featuring all unknowns except Gerry Dee as Wayne Cashman;  documentary style dramatization of the classic hockey series – unbelievably great.  (2)
The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth — 2016–;  Showtime;  John Heilleman, Alex Wagner, Mark McKinnon, with Jenn Palmieri added by season 5/6.  What a wild Fab Four they are!  Half-hour On The Road Gonzo style cable show covering the U.S. political world.  It’s a new documentary every week. I’ve known about The Circus since it first came on the air in 2016 – but never had the chance to see it until I got this free Showtime preview in early 2021.  And I’ll tell ya, I may very well end up paying for it just for this show!  It’s weekly — it’s political — and it’s New Journalism manifesting on television.  It’s Hunter’s renegadeness set on Jack’s Road Adventuring, with some Woodward & Bernstein massaging of sources. 😉  It’s the best political TV show ever, no question about it.  Better than any daily or weekly show on PBS, or any of the Sunday morning shows, or any single show on any of the cable news networks.  Plus!  The subtle dramatic music scoring is pitch perfect!  And the editing is brilliant.  And the storytelling – my gawd!  And they get it right – live – week after week.  (seen once)
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese — 2019;  Netflix;  Scorsese;  with Dylan, lots of Allen Ginsberg, plus Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Scarlet Rivera, Ronee Blakley, Ronnie Hawkins, David Mansfield, Hurricane Carter, Gordon Lightfoot, Patti Smith.  Scorsese used footage shot for Bob’s ill-fated Renaldo & Clara and made a highly watchable documentary of the coolest single tour that ever happened.  Lots of footage at Kerouac’s gravesite.  Downside: There is an annoying & unnecessary inclusion of a fictional filmmaker and fictional promoter and actress Sharon Stone telling fictional stories about attending the shows that detracts from an otherwise invaluable telling of a priceless moment in cultural history.   (2)

340 different movies (and TV shows) so far.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

By Auteur

Woody Allen
Sleeper — 1973;  written & directed by Woody Allen;   Woody, Diane Keaton (3)
Love and Death — 1975;  written & directed by Woody Allen;  Woody & Diane Keaton  (I don’t think I’ve ever seen it)
Annie Hall —  1977;  Woody Allen;  written by Woody Allen;  Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Shelley Duvall, Christopher Walken, Colleen Dewhurst;  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Director & Screenplay for Woody, and Actress for Diane Keaton.   (4)
Manhattan — 1979;  written & directed by Woody Allen;  Woody, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep  B&W. (3)
Hannah and Her Sisters — 1986;  written & directed by Woody Allen;  Woody, Dianne Wiest, Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Barbara Hershey, Max Von Sydow, Maureen O’Sullivan, Lewis Black, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, J.T. Walsh, Julie Kavner  (3)
The Curse of The Jade Scorpion — 2001;  written & directed by Woody Allen;  Woody Allen, Helen Hunt  (4)
Hollywood Ending — 2002;  written & directed by Woody Allen;  Woody, Téa Leoni, Treat Williams, George Hamilton, Debra Messing  (3)

Robert Altman
Brewster McCloud — 1970; Robert Altman; Doran William Cannon (who also wrote Skidoo); Bud Cort, Sally Kellerman, Stacy Keach, Shelly Duvall’s first film (and first of seven with Altman). (seen once)
M*A*S*H — 1970;  Robert Altman;  Ring Lardner screenplay;  Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Robert Duval, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, Gary Burghoff  (4)
Vincent & Theo — 1990;  Robert Altman;  Tim Roth as Vincent Van Gogh (!) — great biopic on Van Gogh & his brother by none other than Robert Altman!  Opens with footage of Christie’s historic 1987 auction when Van Gogh’s Sunflowers shattered the record for the most money ever paid for a work of art.  The movie was originally designed as a four hour mini-series for the BBC, then cut down to this 2 hour film.  (3)
The Player — 1992;  Robert Altman;  Michael Tolkin;  Tim Robbins, Vincent D’Onofrio, Fred Ward, Cynthia Stevenson, Whoopi Goldberg, Dean Stockwell, Lyle Lovett, and million cameos.
This film has more Oscar-winning actors and actresses in the cast than any other movie in history.  (!)  Twelve:  Cher, James Coburn, Louise Fletcher, Whoopi Goldberg, Joel Grey, Anjelica Huston, Jack Lemmon, Marlee Matlin, Tim Robbins, Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, and Rod Steiger.  Thirteen, when you count Oscar winning Producer and Director Sydney Pollack, who also makes a cameo appearance.
Also includes fifteen other actors and actresses who received Oscar nominations: Karen Black, Dean Stockwell, Michael Tolkin, Gary Busey, Peter Falk, Teri Garr, Jeff Goldblum, Elliott Gould, Sally Kirkland, Buck Henry, Sally Kellerman, Burt Reynolds, Nick Nolte, Richard E. Grant and Lily Tomlin.  (4)
Here’s probably the greatest continuous tracking shot in film history — the 8 minute opening of this movie:
https://vimeo.com/75881931
Short Cuts — 1993;  Robert Altman; Lily Tomlin, Matthew Modine, Andie MacDowell, Jack Lemmon, Julianna Moore, Fred Ward, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Chris Penn, Lili Taylor, Robert Downey Jr., Madeline Stowe, Tim Robbins, Tom Waits Francis McDormand, Peter Gallagher, Lyle Lovett, Buck Henry, Huey Lewis.  Unbelievable cast, but there’s no real through-plot to follow — it’s a series loosely connected scenes of lives in and around LA.  Even though it’s Altman with a dream cast – it’s hard to watch.  (seen twice) 

Peter Bogdanovich 
The Last Picture Show — 1971;  Peter Bogdanovich;  screenplay Larry McMurtry & Bogdanovitch;  Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn, Eileen Brennon, Randy Quaid.  B&W  (seen once)
Paper Moon — 1973;  Peter Bogdanovich;  Ryan O’Neal, Tatum O’Neal, Madeline Kahn  B&W. (4)

Tim Burton
Beetlejuice — 1988;  Tim Burton;  Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Robert Goulet, Dick Cavett; Keaton’s only on screen 17 min., but with Burton’s permission, totally created the vibe of the movie, and is his favorite movie that he’s in.  (4)
Big Fish — 2003; Tim Burton; Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Loudon Wainwright, Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito.  Surreal fantasy about relationship between father and son.  I sure find Burton and Terry Gilliam interchangeably weird.  (seen once)
Big Eyes2014;  Tim Burton;  Amy Adams & Christoph Waltz;  great dramatization about artist Margaret Keane who did the widely reproduced “big eyes” paintings and how her husband tried to take credit for them;  set largely in and around San Francisco in the late ’50s and early ’60s.  (seen once)

Joel & Ethan Coen
Raising Arizona — 1987;  written & directed by the Joel & Ethan Coen;  Nicholas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Frances McDormand  (3)
The Hudsucker Proxy — 1994;  written & directed by the Coen brothers;  Tim Robbins, Paul Newman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Charles Durning  (4)
The Big Lebowski — 1998;  written & directed by the Coen brothers;  Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Tara Reid  (4)
The Ladykillers — 2004;  written & directed by the Coen Brothers;  Tom Hanks, J.K. Simmens, Marlon Wayans  (4)
Fargo — 1996;  written & directed by the Coen brothers;  William H. Macy, Francis McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Harve Presnell  (4)
No Country For Old Men — 2007;  written & directed by the Coen brothers;  Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Tess Harper, Woody Harrelson, Stephen Root.  SUCH a first-view movie; mesmerizing on first viewing; very so-so on second.  This movie is all “style” — there’s plot holes and bad scenes all thru this — no wonder the Coen’s were surprised they won Best Picture, and acted like they didn’t deserve it.  I can sure see why JB won best actor.  Riveting, memorable performance. But I needed closed-captions to understand what many of the others were saying.  It’s very disturbing, like Natural Born Killers.  (2)

Francis Ford Coppola
Apocalypse Now — 1979;  directed and cowritten by Francis Ford Coppola;  Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duval, Dennis Hopper  (4)
Rumble Fish — 1983;  Francis Ford Coppola;  Mickey Rourke (great), Matt Dillon, Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper, Tom Waits, Nicholas Cage  (never seen) 
The Cotton Club — 1984;  Francis Ford Coppola;  Richard Gere, Gregory Hines, Diane Lane, Bob Hoskins, Fred Gwynne, and Bill Graham in a bit part.  (seen twice) 
Tucker: The Man and His Dream — 1988; Francis Ford Coppola;  Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, martin Landau — great movie about re-life Preston Tucker the car inventor.  (seen twice) 

Danny DeVito
Throw Mama From The Train — 1987;  dir. Danny DeVito;  starring DeVito & Billy Crystal;  with Branford Marsalis & Rob Reiner in great bit parts.  Although ostensibly about a Hitchcockian double-murder criss-cross, it’s a funny (and I think comically accurate) movie about writing and writers.  (4)
The War of The Roses — 1989;  dir. Danny DeVito;  Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito  (4)

Clint Eastwood
Bird — 1988;  dir. Clint Eastwood;  Forest Whitaker as Bird — extraordinary Charlie Parker bio-pic  (seen twice)
Mystic River — 2003; Clint Eastwood; Sean Penn, Tim Robbins – both won Oscars for roles – Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney; nominated for Best Picture, Director & Screenplay.  (seen once)

Sully — 2016;  Clint Eastwood;  based on Chesley Sullenberger’s book;  Tom Hanks as Sully, Aaron Eckhart as the copilot, Laura Linney, Michael Rapaport, Katie Couric.  Great movie about the landing of the plane on the Hudson River in January 2009.  Very positive New York story with lots of location shots.  Really well crafted script.  (seen twice)
Richard Jewell – 2019; Clint Eastwood; Paul Walter Hauser (great as the titular character), Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates (as the mother, nominated for Best Supporting Actress), Jon Hamm (FBI agent), Olivia Wilde (reporter).  Pretty riveting filmmaking & script & casting. Laughed out loud 3 times and cried once. (seen once)

Blake Edwards
Days of Wine and Roses — 1962;  Blake Edwards;  Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford, Jack Klugman, Jack Albertson.  About alcoholism – a promotion man & young wife in San Francisco.  S.A. Griffin recommendation.  B&W  (never seen)
The Pink Panther — 1963;  written & directed by Blake Edwards;  Peter Sellers, David Niven, a young Robert Wagner, and two Sophia Loren-like beauties Claudia Cardinale and Capucine; and GREAT music by Henry Mancini.  (3)
The Party — 1968;  screenplay & directed by Blake Edwards;  Peter Sellers, The Love Boat’s Gavin MacLeod in a small role, and classic ’60s/’70s Tonight Show / Johnny Carson blond Carol Wayne, and TV staple Steve Franken as the drunken waiter;  Henri Mancini music.  The Pink Panther director, star & composer reunited for this crazy ’60s party movie.  Sellars, playing an Indian actor, has very few lines.  It’s a Chaplinesque masterclass in physical comedy.  Filmed in Los Angeles in the summer of 1967 – so it’s prime time psychedelic ’60s, including a closet full of pot-smoking musicians.  Fantastic futuristic high-tech “sixties” home built as a set.  Largely improvised from a 50-page outline and filmed in sequence.  (seen twice)
Switch — 1991;  written & directed by Blake Edwards;  Ellen Barkin & Jimmy Smits in the leads, plus JoBeth Williams, Lorraine Bracco, Tony Roberts, Catherine Keener.  Bizarre but effective comedy/fantasy about a sexist guy being reincarnated as a woman.  (seen once)

Nora Ephron
Heartburn — 1986;  Mike Nichols;  from novel & screenplay by Nora Ephron;  Meryl Streep (as Nora), Jack Nicholson (as her husband Carl Bernstein), plus Jeff Daniels, Maureen Stapleton, Stockard Channing, Catherine O’Hara, Milos Forman.  The great Nora Ephron’s firsthand account her marriage and breakup with the legendary Watergate reporter.  And with Mike Nichols directing a Nora Ephron script starring Nicholson & Streep . . . that is one Fab Four!  (seen twice)
When Harry Met Sally — 1989;  Rob Reiner;  written by Nora Ephron;  Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby  (3)
Sleepless in Seattle — 1993;  written & directed by Nora Ephron;  Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan  (3)
Lucky Numbers —  2000;  Nora Ephron;  John Travolta, Lisa Kudrow, Tim Roth.  You can read my review of it here.  (4)

Miloš Forman
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest — 1975;  Milosš Foreman;  based on parts of the novel by Ken Kesey;  Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Brad Dourif, Christopher Lloyd, Danny DeVito, Scatman Crothers;  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Director for Miloš!, Actor for Jack, Actress for Louise Fletcher, and Screenplay.  (4)
Hair — 1979;  Miloš Forman;  book/score by Gerome Ragni & James Rado;  Treat Williams, Beverly De Angelo, John Savage, Nicholas Ray cameo.  Lots of Central Park location shots;  Fantastic!  (4)
Amadeus — 1984;  Miloš Forman;  Tom Hulce as Mozart, F. Murray Abraham as Salieri  (seen twice)

Terry Gilliam
Monty Python and the Holy Grail — 1975;  Terry Gilliam;  written by all of Monty Python;  Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Connie Booth, Carol Cleveland, Neil Innis  (4)
Time Bandits — 1981;  Terry Gilliam;  written by Gilliam & Michael Palin;  Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Michael Palin, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, John Cleese as Robin Hood, and Sir Ralph Richardson as God;  incredible sets / props / production design;  George Harrison was one of the producers and mortgaged his office building to get the film made, like he mortgaged his home to finance Monty Python’s Life of Brian two years earlier;  this ended up being one of the highest grossing films of the year;  the first in what Gilliam called his Trilogy of Imagination” soon to include Brazil (1985) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988).  (seen twice)
Brazil — 1985;  Terry Gilliam;  screenplay by Gilliam & Tom Stoppard;  Jonathan Pryce (who’s great!), Robert De Niro, Michael Palin, Bob Hoskins, Katherine Helmond, Jim Broadbent, Ian Holm.  Wonderfully beautifully twisted 1984-ish vision — inspired in a general way by Orwell’s book.  Rightfully Oscar-nominated for its comically surreal Art Direction (Out of Africa won (?) ); and for Original Screenplay (Witness won).  It was too weird for me the first viewing, then I read a bunch about it, and watched it the second time decades later and was blown away by the vision & filmmaking.  Surreal filmmaking at its finest.  Terry Gilliam is one helluva filmmaker!  Gawd, he’s a weird guy!  🙂  The Salvador Dali of film.  See his listing in the Auteur section above.  The movie’s final cut and release is a somewhat legendary story in film history, how a honcho schmuck at Universal tried to completely recut it and Gilliam circumvented him.  There’s an entire book written about it.  The second in what Gilliam called his “Trilogy of Imagination” along with Time Bandits (1981) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988).  Both Frank Zappa and River Phoenix’s favorite movie.  “This has not been a recording.”  (seen twice)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen — 1988;  cowritten & directed by Terry Gilliam;  John Neville, Eric Idle, Sarah Polley, Oliver Reed, Jonathan Pryce, Uma Thurman.  The third in what Gilliam called his “Trilogy of Imagination” along with Time Bandits (1981) and Brazil (1985).   (seen once)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas — 1998;  Terry Gilliam;  Gilliam wrote screenplay based on Hunter Thompson book;  Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire  (2)
Lost In La Mancha — 2002;  great documentary on Terry Gilliam making The Man Who Killed Don Quixote;  with Terry Gilliam, Johnny Depp, Jeff Bridges  (3)
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote — 2018; written and directed by Terry Gilliam; Adam Driver as Toby/Sancho Panza, a wild Jonathan Pryce as Don Quixote, Stellan Skarsgård, Jordi Mollà.  Surreal comedic update on Don Quixote.  Gilliam’s finally-completed movie that he’s been working on since 1989, a production so famously beset with disasters there was a whole film about it not being a film, Lost in La Mancha, much like Heart of Darkness was made about Apocalypse Now.  Beautiful location shooting among ancient ruins in Spain and Portugal.  (1)

Christopher Guest
Spinal Tap — 1984;  Rob Reiner;  writers Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner;  starring Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Fred Willard, Bruno Kirby, Fran Drescher  (4)
The Big Picture — 1989;  Christopher Guest;  written by Guest, Michael McKean & Michael Varhol;  Kevin Bacon, Michael McKean, J.T. Walsh, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Teri Hatcher in her first movie  (4)
Waiting For Guffman — 1996;  Christopher Guest;  written by Guest & Eugene Levy;  Guest, Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard, Larry Miller, Parker Posey, David Cross, Michael Hitchcock, Bob Balaban  (4)
Best In Show — 2000;  Christopher Guest;  written by Guest & Eugene Levy;  Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Michael McKean, Bob Balaban, Parker Posey, Michael Hitchcock, Ed Begley Jr., Stephen Miller, Jane Lynch, and my friend Fulvio Cecere in one scene!  (4)

George Roy Hill
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid — 1969;  George Roy Hill;  written by William Goldman;  Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin, and Cloris Leachman in a bit part, and Sam Elliott playin cards.  Originally planned as Steve McQueen & Paul Newman.  Shot in both sepia and color.  (4)
The Sting — 1973;  George Roy Hill;  Paul Newman, Robert Redford, a riveting Robert Shaw, Charles Durning (who’s in six movies on this page!), Ray Walston, Eileen Brennon, Harold Gould;  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Director for Hill, and quite deservingly – Screenplay, Art Direction, Costumes (Edith Head), Editing and Music by Marvin Hamlisch (via Scott Joplin).  I’ve never forgotten watching live Liz Taylor’s announcement of it for Best Picture.  And upon 2020 reviewing – don’t miss the cars!  (4)
The World According to Garp — 1982;  George Roy Hill;  John Irving novel;  Robin Williams, Glenn Close, John Lithgow, Mary Beth Hurt, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn  (4)
Funny Farm — 1988;  George Roy Hill;  Chevy Chase in a writer-in-the-country comedy.  (4)

Alfred Hitchcock
Rope1948;  Alfred Hitchcock;  Jimmy Stewart, Farley Granger.  Inspired by the 1924 Leopold & Loeb murder.  Hitchcock’s first color movie.  Only 10 different shots in the whole movie, each running 5 to 10 minutes in a single unbroken shot.  One of the five “lost Hitchcocks” (along with Vertigo, Rear Window, Man Who Knew Too Much, Trouble with Harry) that were finally rereleased in 1984 — and I saw this in a theater in Greenwich Village with my Dad during his only visit ever to NYC (for my NYU graduation).  (seen twice)
Rear Window — 1954;  Alfred Hitchcock;  Jimmy Stewart & Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr  B&W  (4)
The Man Who Knew Too Much — 1956;  Alfred Hitchcock;  James Stewart & Doris Day  B&W. (4)
North By Northwest — 1959;  Alfred Hitchcock;  Gary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau — GREAT script and cinematography – great Manhattan location shots circa 1958; great Mount Rushmore shots.  (4)
Psycho — 1960;  Alfred Hitchcock;  Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Martin Balsam  B&W. (4)

John Huston
The Maltese Falcon — 1941;  John Huston’s directorial debut;  written by Dashiell Hammett & John Huston;  Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor (an early wild woman Prankster of Hollywood who was having an affair with director Huston during filming) and Sydney Greenstreet in his movie debut (and his only Oscar nomination).  John’s father Walter Huston makes an uncredited cameo as a good luck gesture towards his son’s debut.  Leonardo DiCaprio owns one of the three Maltese falcons used in the movie, the most recent one sold at auction for $4 million (from a movie with a total original budget of $300,000), and he brought it to the set of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood where it can be seen in the rare book store Margot Robbie (Sharon Tate) goes to buy Tess of the d’Urbervilles.  John Huston, Humphrey Bogart & Peter Lorre later made a Bizarroworld send-up of Maltese Falcon with Robert Morley in the Sydney Greenstreet role called Beat The Devil (also on this film page).  B&W  (3)
The Treasure of The Sierra Madre — 1948;  John Huston;  Huston and the mysterious B. Traven screenplay;  Huston’s father, Walter Huston, won Best Supporting Actor;  plus Huston won for both directing and screenplay.  For me it was one of those movies I had to see more than once to appreciate.  I started watching it once or twice and found it REEEALLY boring — these old farts trudging around the desert and pawing in the dirt. Whoopy! was it actually filmed in slow motion?
Then . . . ah, Then . . . on the 2nd or 3rd try all the pieces came together and now i recognize its mastery and why it’s one of the greatest films ever made.  The original story, perhaps dating back to Chaucer, who could’ve picked it up from somebody else.  Maybe it’s a lost Homer epic.  The story is eternal.  Like “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” — how greed can overpower an otherwise good man.  How some, in the face of wealth, become a-holes, and others always retain a clear vision of what’s important in life (Howard/Walter). which kind of person are you?  We all think, as Dobbs/Bogart did, that we would never become morally corrupted — yet we’ve seen in the real world (and as depicted in this movie) how that happens.  The arc of the Dobbs character is a classic in 2-hour cinema, and how Bogart portrays the transition from sanity and good-will into madness, greed & murder is up there with the greatest performances of any actor ever. the leprechaun magic of Walter Huston.  The authenticity of the location shooting, including all the extras and bit roles. the depth, detail and polish of the script. the torn, sweat-soaked costumes. the fabulous music that mutates as the characters do.
If it was a standard western or movie in general, it all would have taken place in the first town and been about how they exacted revenge from the unscrupulous businessman who rips them off — the workers against the corporation.  But then the characters are taken beyond that to where they form their own limited partnership — and how some people turn out to be good and some don’t.   It’s life.  If only we got to watch our own life movie several times until we got it.  But since we can’t, you have another shot at this movie.  It took my reincarnation as a viewer to finally get it right.  “It wouldn’t be that way with me. I swear it wouldn’t.  I’d take only what I set out to get.”  😉  Boy, would this be a great movie to see the alternate takes from!  And think how Walter Huston’s performance pushed Bogart.  Top 10 movie.  B&W  (4)
The African Queen — 1951;  John Huston;  Humphrey Bogart & Katherine Hepburn  B&W  (seen once)
Beat The Devil — 1953;  John Huston;  screenplay credit to Truman Capote, but he bailed in the middle of the madness and Huston, Bogie, Lorie & others made it up on the fly after that;  Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Jennifer Jones, Robert Morley.
I can’t believe these guys (Houston, Bogart, Jones) weren’t comedic actors & director. This is SO funny – if you look at it right.  Morley is Brilliant.  And the dialog is brilliant.  I would love to have this script.  This is one of my favorite movies of all time.  There’s also so many plot changes.  Great characterizations.  Jennifer Jones out-Marilyn’s Monroe in 1953, playing the most wonderfully dreamy and deluded blond.  The Talented Mr. Ripley is a kind of later version (although that’s really not a comedy).  B&W  (4)
Prizzi’s Honor — 1985;  John Huston;  Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, John Randolph, Angelica Huston (won best actress directed by her father, just as John had directed his father Walter to an Oscar in Treasure of the Sierra Madre), William Hickey’s brilliant performance  (3)

Jim Jarmush
Down By Law — 1986;  written & directed by Jim Jarmusch;  Tom Waits, John Lurie   B&W  (seen once)
Coffee & Cigarettes — 2003;  written & directed Jim Jarmush;  Steven Wright & Roberto Benigni, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop & Tom Waits, Cate Blanchett (in two roles playing off each other!), Jack White & Meg White, Alfred Molina & Steve Coogan, Bill Murray, Taylor Mead.  11 vignettes set around coffee and cigarettes.  B&W  (seen twice)

Norman Jewison
In The Heat of The Night — 1967;  Norman Jewison (Torontonian);  Sidney Pottier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant, Anthony James (creepy diner guy);  won Best Picture Oscar, plus Best Actor for Steiger, Screenplay, Editing and Sound.  “They call me Mr. Tibbs.”
This is such a masterpiece, but so many people don’t know it.  Just tonight I sent out an email to get people to catch the PBS airing of it, and a few did, but one write back asking me if this was a “cult classic”?!  🙂
I’ve watched it many times – and next time FULLY dig and study the ancillary music – it’s all Quincy Jones, and all the piano playing is Ray Charles.
Also listen for the diversity and both musical styles and instrumentation.  The music got nominated for a Grammy but crazilly not an Oscar.
This is an amazing movie for blind people.
It almost sounds as good at it looks.  (4)
Jesus Christ Superstar — 1973;  Norman Jewison;  Ted Neelly, Yvonne Elliman, Josh Mostel (King Herod)  (4)

Elia Kazan
A Streetcar Named Desire —  1951;  Elia Kazan;  Tennessee Williams;  Marlon Brando, Vivian Lee, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden  B&W  (4)
On The Waterfront — 1954;  Elia Kazan – he claimed it was his justification for giving names to the McCarthy hearings – (Kazan being in the Brando & Malden roles);  Marlon Brando (his first Oscar), Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, both Eva Marie Saint & Martin Balsam’s first movie, and Fred Gwynne in an uncredited union mob role.   Won best picture, director, actor (Brando), screenplay, cinematography; and Leonard Bernstein nominated for the music.  B&W  (seen twice)
East of Eden — 1955;  Elia Kazan;  from John Steinbeck book;  James Dean, Raymond Massey, Julie Harris, Burl Ives.  James Dean’s first movie — filmed in the summer of 1954 when he was 23, and the only one released while he was still alive.  Lots of location shooting in Salinas and Monterey, California.  Kazan’s first movie shot in color.  Steinbeck’s on the record liking the film, casting and performances.  When he visited the set and first met Dean, he exclaimed, “Jesus Christ, he IS Cal!”  With the unhappy dysfunctional family and struggling farm life story, this is my least favorite of Dean’s three pictures.  (3)
Splendor in the Grass — 1961;  Elia Kazan;  Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty;  music by David Amram  (never seen)

Stanley Kubrick 
Lolita — 1961;  Stanley Kubrick;  Vladimir Nabokov wrote screenplay based on his novel;  James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Peter Sellers.  B&W  (seen once)
Dr. Strangelove — 1964; Stanley Kubrick; Peter Sellers — 3 roles., George C Scott  B&W  (seen twice)
2001: A Space Odyssey — 1968;  Stanley Kubrick;  Kubrick screenplay from Arthur C. Clarke novel;  Keir Dullea  (3)
A Clockwork Orange — 1971;  Stanley Kubrick;  Kubrick wrote screenplay from Anthony Burgess novel;  Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee  (3)
Barry Lyndon — 1975;  Stanley Kubrick;  Kubrick screenplay from the Thackeray novel;  Ryan O’Neal, Marissa Berenson, Patrick Magee.  Won Oscars for Best Cinematography, Art Direction & Costumes.  Set in 1700s England.  (never seen)
The Shining — 1980;  Stanley Kubrick;  Stephen King book, Kubrick screenplay;  Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers  (4)

John Landis 
Animal House — 1978;  John Landis;  written by Harold Ramis;  John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce  (4)
The Blues Brothers — 1980;  John Landis;  written by Landis & Dan Aykroyd;  John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles  (4)
Trading Places — 1983;  John Landis;  Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche  (4)

George Lucas 
American Graffiti — 1973;  George Lucas;  Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Wolfman Jack, Harrison Ford  (3)
Star Wars — 1977;  George Lucas;  Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness  (4)

Sidney Lumet 
12 Angry Men — 1957;  Sidney Lumet;  Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam, Lee J. Cobb, John Fielder, Jack Warden, E.G. Marshall, Ed Begley Sr., and a young Jack Klugman  B&W  (3)
A View From The Bridge — 1961;  Sidney Lumet;  Arthur Miller’s one act play – his response to Kazan’s On The Waterfront;  Maureen Stapleton  B&W  (never seen)
Long Day’s Journey Into Night — 1962;  Sidney Lumet;  Eugene O’Neill play;  Ralph Richardson, Katherine Hepburn, Jason Robards  B&W  (seen once)
Serpico — 1973;  Sidney Lumet;  from Peter Maas book;  Al Pacino. (seen twice)
Dog Day Afternoon — 1975;  Sidney Lumet;  Al Pacino, John Cazale  (seen twice)
Network — 1976;  Sidney Lumet;  written by Paddy Chayefsky;  William Holden, Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, Ned Beatty  (3)
Deathtrap — 1982;  Sidney Lumet;  Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon  (4)
The Verdict — 1982;  Sidney Lumet;  David Mamet screenplay;  Paul Newman brilliant performance.  James Mason, Jack Warden.  (seen twice)

David Mamet — writer & director
The Verdict — 1982;  Sidney Lumet;  David Mamet screenplay;  Paul Newman brilliant performance.  James Mason.  (seen twice)
The Untouchables — 1987;  Brian de Palma;  screenplay David Mamet;  Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro  (4)
Glengarry Glen Ross — 1992;  James Foley;  David Mamet play & screenplay;  Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin, Jonathan Pryce  (4)
Wag The Dog — 1997;  Barry Levinson;  David Mamet screenplay;  Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Denis Leary, Anne Heche, Willie Nelson  (3)
State & Main —  2000;  David Mamet wrote & directed;  Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, Charles Durning, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julia Stiles, Rebecca Pidgeon, David Paymer  (4)

Mike Nichols 
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? — 1966;  Mike Nichols;  Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, Sandy Dennis  B&W  (3)
The Graduate — 1967;  Mike Nichols;  Buck Henry & Calder Willingham from a novel by Charles Webb;  Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross  (3)
Catch 22 — 1970;  Mike Nichols;  from Joseph Heller book, screenplay by Buck Henry;  Alan Arkin, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel, Martin Balsam, Jack Gifford, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins, Martin Sheen, Orson Welles, Bob Balaban, Norman Fell  (seen once)
Heartburn — 1986;  Mike Nichols;  from novel & screenplay by Nora Ephron;  Meryl Streep (as Nora), Jack Nicholson (as her husband Carl Bernstein), plus Jeff Daniels, Maureen Stapleton, Stockard Channing, Catherine O’Hara, Milos Forman.  The great Nora Ephron’s firsthand account her marriage and breakup with the legendary Watergate reporter.  And with Mike Nichols directing a Nora Ephron script starring Nicholson & Streep . . . that is one Fab Four!  (seen twice)
Postcards From The Edge —  1990;  Mike Nichols;  Carrie Fisher wrote book & screenplay;  Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Quaid;  about drugs, acting & rock n roll.  (seen once)
The Birdcage — 1996;  Mike Nichols;  Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman  (4)
Primary Colors — 1998;  Mike Nichols;  Joe Klein book, Elaine May screenplay;  John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Kathy Bates; about the Clintons in 1992.  (3)
Charlie Wilson’s War — 2007;  Mike Nichols;  Aaron Sorkin;  Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Peter Gerety  (3)

Christopher Nolan
Memento — 2000;  Chris Nolan;  screenplay by Nolan;  Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantollano, Stanley Tobolowsky  (4)
Inception — 2010;  written & directed by Christopher Nolan;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine, Lucas Haas  (never seen)

Arthur Penn 
Bonnie and Clyde — 1967;  Arthur Penn;  starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons, Gene Wilder  (4)
Little Big Man — 1970;  Arthur Penn;  Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George, Martin Balsam, William Hickey  (3)

D.A. Pennebaker 
Don’t Look Back — 1967;  D.A. Pennebaker;  Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Donovan, Joan Baez, Alan Price, Bobby Neuwirth, Albert Grossman  B&W  (4)
’65 Revisited — 2007;  new version of Don’t Look Back made by Pennebaker of original footage outtakes not used in the original.  B&W (1)
Monterey Pop — 1968;  D.A. Pennebaker;  Mamas & Papas, Canned Heat, Simon & Garfunkel, Hugh Masekela, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, The Animals avec violin, The Who, Country Joe & The Fish, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar.  The first rock festival movie that set the standard for all that followed.   (4)
Sweet Toronto — 1971;  D.A. Pennebaker;  documentary of the Toronto Rock n Roll Revival concert in 1969 featuring John Lennon’s first solo gig, along with Chcuk Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley  (seen twice)
Jimi Plays Monterey — 1986;  D.A. Pennebaker’s revisit of the ’67 concert footage featuring all of Hendrix’s half-hour set.  (3)
The War Room — 1993;  D.A. Pennebaker & wife Chris Hegedus;  great documentary about the behind-the-scenes of Clinton’s 1992 Presidential campaign.  (3)
Woodstock Diary — 1994;  3-part TV special about the ’69 concert by D.A. Pennebaker & wife Chris Hegedus;  features tons of performances and audience footage not in Michael Wadleigh’s 1970 Woodstock movie.  (1)

Harold Ramis
Animal House — 1978;  John Landis;  written by Harold Ramis;  John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce  (4)
Caddyshack — 1980;  Harold Ramis;  written by Brian Doyle-Murray & Harold Ramis;  Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Ted Knight  (3)
National Lampoon’s Vacation — 1983;  dir. Harold Ramis;  written by John Hughes;  Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quad, Imogene Coca  (4)
Club Paradise — 1986;  Harold Ramis;  written by Harry Shearer, Harold Ramis, Brian Doyle-Murray;  Robin Williams, Peter O’Toole, Rick Moranis & Eugene Levy {the two Barry’s}, Twiggy, Jimmy Cliff  (3)
Groundhog Day — 1993;  Harold Ramis;  Ramis also cowrote screenplay;  Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stanley Tobolowsky  (4)
Analyze This — 1999;  Harold Ramis;  Billy Crystal & Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lisa Kudrow  (3)

Rob Reiner 
Spinal Tap — 1984;  Rob Reiner;  writers Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner;  starring Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Fred Willard, Bruno Kirby, Fran Drescher  (4)
Stand By Me — 1986;  Rob Reiner;  written by Stephen King;  Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Cory Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland  (3)
When Harry Met Sally — 1989;  Rob Reiner;  written by Nora Ephron;  Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby  (3)
Misery — 1990;  Rob Reiner;  from Stephen King book;  Kathy Bates & James Caan  (3)
The American President — 1995;  Rob Reiner;  written by Aaron Sorkin; Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Richard Dreyfuss, Michael J. Fox, Anna Deavere Smith, David Paymer;  a widowed sitting President runs for re-election while falling in love with an environmental lobbyist.  (1)
Shock and Awe — 2017;  Rob Reiner;  Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, James Marsden, Rob Reiner, Jessica Biel, Mila Jovovich, Richard Schiff.  About the the Knight-Ridder newspapers and lies & coverup of WMDs in Iraq.  (seen half of once, looks great)

Jay Roach 
Mystery Alaska — 1999;  Jay Roach;  Russell Crowe, Hank Azaria, Michael McKean, Burt Reynolds, Phil Esposito, Mike Myers, Terry David Mulligan, Little Richard, Mary McCormick.  Funny hockey movie.  (seen once)
Meet The Parents — 2000;  Jay Roach;  Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, Owen Wilson  (4)
Recount — 2008;  Jay Roach;  Kevin Spacey, John Hurt, Laura Dern, Bob Balaban, Denis Leary;  Ed Begley Jr.;  amazing HBO dramatization about the 2000 election recount in Florida.  (seen once)
Game Change — 2012;  Jay Roach;  Danny Strong screenplay from the Heilemann – Halperin book;  Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, Ed Harris as John McCain, Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt, Sarah Paulson as Nicole Wallace, plus Ron Livingston, Austin Penndleton.  HBO Film about the Palin pick and election in 2008.  Won Emmys for Best Movie, Director, Writing, Lead Actor, and Casting.  An accurate dramatization praised by Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace, who were both right in the middle of it.  (seen once)
Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House — 2017; screenplay & directed by Peter Landesman; based on Mark Felt’s book; produced by Jay Roach, Hollywood’s go-to political film director for the last two decades;  Liam Neeson (absolutely brilliantly as Mark Felt, aka “Deep Throat”), Michael C. Hall (as John Dean), Diane Lane, Bruce Greenwood, Tom Goldwyn (the bad guy from Ghost), Tom Sizemore (!).  How did this not get more attention?!  This is All The President’s Men … but from the real Deep Throat’s perspective.  THIS is filmmaking! — cinematography, editing … and dramatization.  What a great script!  And all with a subtle, perfect music score.  Here’s the trailer.  (seen once)
Bombshell — 2019;  Jay Roach;  Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, John Lithgow as Roger Ailes, Richard Kind as Rudy Giuliani, Allison Janney as Susan Estrich, Malcolm McDowell as Rupert Murdoch, Stephen Root as one of the lawyers, and Kate McKinnon & Margot Robbie as composite characters created for the narrative through-line.  Theron & Robbie were nominated for Oscars, and the makeup & prosthetics were so good creating the likenesses that it *won* for the Oscar.  It’s from an original script by Charles Randolph, who won for writing The Big Short, and directed by Jay Roach who did all the Austin Powers and Meet The Parents/Fockers movies before switching to the political world doing Recount about the 2000 election, then Game Change about 2008, and now this about politics in 2016.  He also did a comedy called The Campaign with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis.  Roach’s wife is Susanna Hoffs from The Bangles who does a very cool, haunting vocal soundtrack.  Megyn Kelly watched it with four other people depicted in the movie and thought it was so important she made a half-hour show about it to her YouTube channel.  (seen once) 

Walter Salles
Central Station — 1998;  Walter Salles;  touching movie about search for parental and spiritual heritage; all filmed on location in Brazil.  Also effectively a “road” like Motorcycle Diaries and On The Road.  (seen twice)
The Motorcycle Diaries — 2004;  Walter Salles;  Jose Rivera’s screenplay based on Che Guevara’s book;  the “road” movie that caused Roman Coppola to bring Walter Salles in to direct Kerouac’s On The Road, who then brought the screenwriter to the project.  (seen once)
On The Road — 2012;  Walter Salles;  based on the novel by Jack Kerouac;  Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Kristen Dunst, Tom Sturridge, Elizabeth Moss, Danny Morgan.  You can read about the London premiere here, the North American premiere in Toronto here, and the New York premiere here.  (4)

John Sayles 
Return of the Secaucus Seven — 1979;  written & directed by John Sayles;  John Sayles, David Strathairn, this movie is widely credited as the inspiration for The Big Chill, which many say was just a rip-off of this Sayles film.  (3)
The Brother From Another Planet — 1984;  written & directed by John Sayles;  Joe Morton as the “Brother”  (seen once)
Matewan — 1987;  written & directed by John Sayles;  Chris Cooper stars – and it’s his first movie!  plus James Earl Jones, David Straithairn  (4)
Eight Men Out — 1988;  written & directed by John Sayles;  John Cusack, Bill Irwin, John Mahoney, David Strathairn, Charlie Sheen.  Dramatization of “the Black Sox” baseball scandal of 1919.  (seen twice)
City of Hope — 1991;  written & directed by John Sayles;  Chris Cooper, David Strathairn, Angela Bassett  (never seen)
The Secret of Roan Inish — 1994;  written & directed by John Sayles – about myths and reality blending – set in Ireland.  (never seen)
Silver City — 2004;  written & directed by John Sayles;  Chris Cooper, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss, Mary Kay Place.  About politics.  (never seen) 

Martin Scorsese 
Taxi Driver — 1976;  Martin Scorsese;  Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle.  One of the three movies Tarantino cites as his Best Three ever made (along with Howard Hawks Rio Bravo and De Palma’s Blow Out).   (3)
The Last Waltz — 1978;  Martin Scorsese;  The Band, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, the Staple Sisters  (4)
After Hours — 1985;  Martin Scorsese;  Griffin Dunne, Roseanna Arquette, Tommy Chong, Cheech Marin, Teri Garr, John Heard, Catherine O’Hara  (seen twice)
Goodfellas — 1990;  Martin Scorsese;  write Nicholas Pileggi;  Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino  (4)
Here’s the 3-minute tracking shot going into the Copacabana:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rX_vDVdmYA
Casino — 1995;  Martin Scorsese;  Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, Don Rickles, Kevin Pollak, Alan King.  (seen twice)
The Aviator — 2004;  Martin Scorsese;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Alex Baldwin, Alan Alda, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Edward Herrmann, Gwen Stefani.  Great biopic about Howard Hughes.  Cate Blanchett deservedly won Best Supporting Actress for her Katherine Hepburn; plus it won for cinematography, editing, art direction and costumes.  (3)
The Departed — 2006;  Martin Scorsese;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen;  Who Oscars for Best Picture, Screenplay, and Editing, and Scorsese finally for Best Director  (4)
Shine A Light — 2008;  Martin Scorsese;  Rolling Stones concert film from the Beacon Theater in NYC, with guest performances by Christina Aguilera, Buddy Guy, & Jack White.  You can read my review of it here.  (seen once)
The Wolf of Wall Street — 2013;  Martin Scorsese;  based on Jordan Belfort book;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner  (3)
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese — 2019;  Netflix;  Scorsese;  with Dylan, lots of Allen Ginsberg, plus Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Scarlet Rivera, Ronee Blakley, Ronnie Hawkins, David Mansfield, Hurricane Carter, Gordon Lightfoot, Patti Smith.  Scorsese used footage shot for Bob’s ill-fated Renaldo & Clara and made a highly watchable documentary of the coolest single tour that ever happened.  Lots of footage at Kerouac’s gravesite.  Downside: There is an annoying & unnecessary inclusion of a fictional filmmaker and fictional promoter and actress Sharon Stone telling fictional stories about attending the shows that detracts from an otherwise invaluable telling of a priceless moment in cultural history.   (2)

Steven Spielberg 
Jaws — 1975;  Stephen Spielberg;  Peter Benchley novel & screenplay; Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Schnieder, Robert Shaw  (4)
Raiders of the Lost Ark — 1981;  Steven Spielberg;  Harrison Ford, Karen Allen  (3)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial — 1982;  Steven Spielberg;  Henry Thomas (the kid), Peter Coyote, Drew Barrymore  (3)
Hook — 1991;  Steven Spielberg;  from J.M. Barrie’s book;  Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Maggie Smith, Bob Hoskins.  Incredible sets! (appropriately nominated for an Academy Award)   (seen twice)
Schindler’s List — 1993;  Steven Spielberg;  Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley  B&W and color  (1)
Catch Me If You Can — 2002;  Steven Spielberg;  from Frank Abagnale book;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Amy Adams  (3)
The Post — 2017;  Steven Spielberg;  Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Bradley Whitford, David Cross  (3)

Quentin Tarantino 
Reservoir Dogs — 1992;  written & directed by Quentin Tarantino;  Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Lawrence Tierney  (seen twice)
True Romance — 1993;  Tony Scott;  script by Quentin Tarantino;  Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Samuel JacksonMichael Rappaport, James Gandolfini — whadda cast!!  (never seen)
Pulp Fiction — 1994;  written & directed by Quentin Tarantino;  John Travota, Samuel Jackson, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth, Uma Thurman, Ving Rhames, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette  (3)
Jackie Brown — 1997;  Quentin Tarantino;  screenplay by Tarantino based on Elmore Leonard novel;  Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton,  (seen twice)
Kill Bill Vol. 1 — 2003;  written & directed by Quentin Tarantino;  Uma Thurman (with Zoë Bell as her stunt double), David Carradine (voice only), Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Madsen.  Q’s homage to the martial arts / kung-fu movies of the ’70s.  The Kill Bills are definitely my least favorite Tatantino films.  (seen once) 
Kill Bill Vol. 2 — 2004;  written & directed by Quentin Tarantino;  Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Parks.  (seen once)
Death Proof — 2007;  written & directed by Quentin Tarantino;  Kurt Russell, Zoë Bell, Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Tracie Thoms, Eli Roth, Tarantino as the bar owner, AMi the jukebox (Tarantino’s), and Sydney Tamila Poitier (Sidney’s daughter) as Jungle Julie with the incredible hair.  Tarantino built this movie around a desire to film a classic car chase scene … and having a stuntwoman who could be an engaging lead on camera.  It’s his attempt at doing the greatest car chase scene ever — and the climactic 20 minutes of the movie certainly put it in contention.  😉  He made a point to credit himself as the Director of Photography which is quite visible in the imaginative and brilliantly filmed climactic sequence.  Done as a homage to ’70s car chase movies, including the cool music (by Jack Nitzsche) and physically scratching & damaging the print to make it look old.  Contains a signature Tarantino 8-minute continuous shot with the 4 girls in the diner at the start of the second half.  On second viewing, really liked this least-seen lowest-rated QT film.  (seen twice)
Inglourious Basterds — 2009;  Quentin Tarantino;  Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth  (4)
Django Unchained — 2012;  written & directed by Quentin Tarantino;  Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington   (seen twice)
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood — 2019;  Quentin Tarantino;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margo Robbie, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Emile Hirsch  (4)
Here’s the 4-minute continuous tracking shot from the middle of the movie — the confrontation/fight between Brad Pitt’s Cliff and the Bruce Lee character:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcsPAcLDBkc

Gus Van Sant 
My Own Private Idaho — 1991;  written & directed by Gus Van Sant;  River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves  (never seen)
Good Will Hunting — 1997;  Gus Van Sant;  written by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck;  Damon & Affleck, Robin Williams  (3)
Milk — 2008;  Gus Van Sant;  Sean Penn (won Best Actor Oscar), James Franco, Josh Brolin (as the bad-guy shooter), Emile Hirsch, Victor Garber. Great movie.  Lots of San Francisco location shooting and recreation of the ’70s.  Won Best Original Screenplay Oscar.  (seen twice)

Orson Welles 
Citizen Kane —  1941;  Orson Welles;  screenwriters Orson Welles & Herman Mankiewicz;  Orson Welles, James Cotton, Agnes Moorehead  B&W  (3)
Macbeth — 1948;  directed by and starring Orson Welles  B&W  (seen twice)
Touch of Evil — 1958;  written & directed by Orson Welles;  Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and a very weird Dennis Weaver.  Music by Henry Mancini.  Opens with famous 3½ minute crane / tracking shot; then a second 10-minute single continuous shot with 14 actors during the claustrophobic interrogation scene in the shoe clerk’s apartment a half-hour into the movie.  All but that apartment scene was shot on locations in Venice, California.  B&W  (seen twice)
The Trial — 1962;  Orson Welles;  from the Franz Kafka novel;  Anthony Perkins (who’s great!)  B&W  (seen once)

Robert Zemeckis 
Romancing The Stone — 1984;  Robert Zemeckis;  Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito  (seen twice)
Back To The Future — 1985;  written & directed by Robert Zemeckis;  Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover  (4)
Forrest Gump — 1994;  Robert Zemeckis;  Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Robin Wright, Sally Field’. won Best Picture Oscar, Best Director for Zemeckis, Best Actor for Hanks, Screenplay, Editing, Special Effects.  (4)
Contact — 1996;  Robert Zemeckis;  Jodie Foster, John Hurt, Matthew McConaughey  (seen twice)
Cast Away — 2000;  Robert Zemeckis;  Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt.  Best plane crash scene I’ve ever seen on film.  (3)

.

On deck for “Auteur” status —

Woodstock — Michael Wadleigh
Festival Express — Bob Smeaton
The Talented Mr. Ripley — Anthony Minghella
Airport (1970) — George Seaton
It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World — Stanley Kramer
Masked & Anonymous — Larry Charles, Dylan
The Big Chill — Lawrence Kasdan
The Wizard of Oz — Victor Fleming
What About Bob? — Frank Oz
Rebel Without A Cause — Nicholas Ray
Young Frankenstein — Mel Brooks
Round Midnight — Bertrand Tavernier
The Planet of The Apes — Franklin Shaffner
Lust For Life — Vincente Minnelli, father of Liza
Dead Poets Society — Peter Weir
The Poseidon Adventure — Ronald Neame
Big Business — Jim Abrahams
That Thing You Do! — Tom Hanks
The Haunting — Jan de Bont
A Hard Day’s Night — Richard Lester
Fast Times At Ridgemont High — Amy Heckerling

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“I’ve seen this movie before …”

 

Movies I want to see again — or for the first time:
These movies are NOT listed in the “Hot 300” above because I haven’t watched them all the way through three times or more — but here’s some “in waiting” titles that may soon get bumped up.

Sullivan’s Travels — 1941;  written & directed Preston Sturges;  Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake.  Rich movie producer goes on the road and live the life of a hobo to understand life better.  (seen twice)
Casablanca — 1942;  Michael Curtiz;  Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorrie, Dooley Wilson (Sam).  Won Best Picture, Director & Screenplay Oscars.  “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.”  “Here’s lookin at you, kid.”  “We’ll always have Paris.”  B&W  (seen twice)
The Naked City — 1948;  Jules Dassin;  Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff;  New York producer Mark Hellinger’s love letter to New York (plus he’s the narrator), but he died shortly after filming was completed;  a fundamental concept of the film was to shoot it entirely on location in New York City (at over 100 external locations) in 1947, the same year Kerouac & the early Beats were experiencing and capturing the city;  the streets were not blocked off for filming, and the “extras” are actual New Yorkers just going about their business;  tells the story of a single murder investigation;  the acting is mostly painfully amateur and the dialog isn’t exactly Mamet, but it makes up for it all the authentic location shooting in the city;  the studio (Universal) almost scraped the movie, having no idea how to market it and assumed it would be a commercial flop, but the late producer’s family reminded them they were contractually obligated to release it, then it became an unexpected hit with audiences;  won Oscars for both Cinematography & Editing;  one of the first films to include technical (non-acting) credits at the end;  spawned a TV series by the same name that ran for 5 years (1958–1963).  B&W  (seen twice)
Macbeth — 1948;  directed by and starring Orson Welles  B&W  (seen twice)
Rope — 1948;  Alfred Hitchcock;  Jimmy Stewart, Farley Granger.  Inspired by the 1924 Leopold & Loeb murder.  Hitchcock’s first color movie.  Only 10 different shots in the whole movie, each running 5 to 10 minutes in a single unbroken shot.  One of the five “lost Hitchcocks” (along with Vertigo, Rear Window, Man Who Knew Too Much, Trouble with Harry) that were finally rereleased in 1984 — and I saw this in a theater in Greenwich Village with my Dad during his only visit ever to NYC (for my NYU graduation).  (seen twice)

Sunset Blvd. — 1950;  Billy Wilder;  Gloria Swanson & William Holden  B&W  (seen twice)
Harvey — 1950; Henry Koster;  Jimmy Stewart’s classic twisted comedy.  I actually saw it on the stage in London in the early ’70s with Jimmy Stewart – and he got a standing ovation.  🙂  B&W  (seen twice) 
Strangers on a Train — 1951;  Alfred Hitchcock;  Farley Granger, Robert Walker.  Origin of the “criss-cross” murder referenced in countless movies and TV shows.   B&W  (seen twice)
On The Waterfront — 1954;  Elia Kazan – he claimed it was his justification for giving names to the McCarthy hearings – (Kazan being in the Brando & Malden roles);  Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, both Eva Marie Saint & Martin Balsam’s first movie, and Fred Gwynne in an uncredited union mob role.   Won best picture, director, actor (Brando), screenplay, cinematography; and Leonard Bernstein nominated for the music.  B&W  (seen twice)
Dial M for Murder — 1954; Alfred Hitchcock;  Grace Kelly, Ray Milland  (seen twice)
To Catch a Thief — 1955;  Alfred Hitchcock;  Grace Kelly, Cary Grant. (seen twice)
Marty — 1955;  Delbert Mann;  Paddy Chayefsky story & screenplay;  Ernest Borgnine & Betsy Blair;  won Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay & Lead Actor (Borgnine, very deservedly);  also won the Palme d’Or in Cannes;  first movie to win Best Picture that was produced by an actor (Burt Lancaster);  to get away from typical Hollywood movie star love stories, Chayefsky set out to write “the most ordinary love story in the world,” and have it star non-stars, and he succeeded most beautifully;  tons of location shooting in the Bronx circa 1954;  was first staged as TV play for the Philco Television Playhouse in 1953.  Marty is also a part of the Quiz Show movie and real TV game show scandal in 1956.  Herb Stempel had been the 6-week reigning champion when he was told to get a question wrong and lose.  The question was “What movie won the Beat Picture Oscar for 1955?”  This particularly bothered Stempel because Marty was a movie celebrating a non-glamorous everyman man like himself.  He was particularly hurt, because Marty “was one of my favorite pictures of all time,” he said later.  B&W  (seen twice)
A Face in The Crowd — 1957;  Elia Kazan;  Budd Schulberg story & screenplay;  Andy Griffith’s first movie, Lee Remick’s first movie, Patricia Neal, Walter Watthau.  The story of how fame goes to a weak person’s head and how they manipulate it.  Prescient portrait of trump.  (seen twice)
Touch of Evil — 1958;  written & directed by Orson Welles;  Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and a very weird Dennis Weaver.  Music by Henry Mancini.  Opens with famous 3½ minute crane / tracking shot; then a second 10-minute single continuous shot with 14 actors during the claustrophobic interrogation scene in the shoe clerk’s apartment a half-hour into the movie.  All but that apartment scene was shot on locations in Venice, California.  B&W  (seen twice)

Ocean’s 11 — 1960;  Lewis Milestone;  Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, Angie Dickinson, Cesar Romero  (seen  twice)
West Side Story — 1961;  Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise;  Robbins wrote the play;  Natalie Wood, Russ Tamblyn, and the rest largely forever unknowns  (seen twice) 
Dr. Strangelove — 1964; Stanley Kubrick; Peter Sellers — 3 roles., George C Scott  B&W  (seen twice)
The Party — 1968;  screenplay & directed by Blake Edwards;  Peter Sellers, The Love Boat’s Gavin MacLeod in a small role, and classic ’60s/’70s Tonight Show / Johnny Carson blond Carol Wayne, and TV staple Steve Franken as the drunken waiter;  Henri Mancini music.  The Pink Panther director, star & composer reunited for this crazy ’60s party movie.  Sellars, playing an Indian actor, has very few lines.  It’s a Chaplinesque masterclass in physical comedy.  Filmed in Los Angeles in the summer of 1967 – so it’s prime time psychedelic ’60s, including a closet full of pot-smoking musicians.  Fantastic futuristic high-tech “sixties” home built as a set.  Largely improvised from a 50-page outline and filmed in sequence.  (seen twice)
The Magic Christian — 1969;  Joseph McGrath;  novel & screenplay by Terry Southern, with assists by McGrath, Peter Sellers, John Cleese & Graham Chapman;  Peter Sellers, Ringo Star, with bit parts by Raquel Welch, Spike Milligan, Richard Attenborough, Roman Polanski, John Cleese & Yul Brynner.  The theme song, Come And Get It, was written by Paul McCartney especially for the film, and recorded by British band Badfinger, who were the first band signed to The Beatles’ Apple Records, and the song became a Top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic.  (seen twice)

Five Easy Pieces — 1970;  written & directed by Bob Rafelson;  Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Fannie Flagg  (seen twice)
Sweet Toronto — 1971;  D.A. Pennebaker;  documentary of the Toronto Rock n Roll Revival concert in 1969 featuring John Lennon’s first solo gig, along with Chcuk Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley  (seen twice)
Sometimes A Great Notion — 1971;  Paul Newman;  based on the Ken Kesey novel;  Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Lee Remick, Michael Sarrazan, Richard Jaeckel.  Made 4 years before One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.  Opens with a gorgeous Oregon coast helicopter shot.  Filmed at a beautiful all-wood house on the side of a lake.  Opening & closing song (All His Children, music by Henry Mancini and sung by Charlie Pride) nominated for Oscar, along with Richard Jaeckel for Best Supporting Actor.  At about 1:06 when Newman & Remick are in the town, you can see a brown ’49 Hudson like Cassady bought and famously drove in On The Road, and the one used in the movie is now sitting in The Beat Museum.  Painful for me to watch with all the logging and anti-“socialism” stuff.    (seen twice)
Fillmore (aka The Last Days of The Fillmore) — 1972;  great documentary about the last week of shows at the Fillmore West, featuring the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, Santana, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Elvin Bishop, Boz Scaggs  (seen twice)
Serpico — 1973;  Sidney Lumet;  from Peter Maas book;  Al Pacino. (seen twice)
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three — 1974;  Joseph Sargent;  Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam  (seen twice)
Dog Day Afternoon — 1975;  Sidney Lumet;  Al Pacino, John Cazale  (seen twice)
Grey Gardens — 1975;  the Maysles brothers;  great documentary about eccentric Long Island mother & daughter Edith Bouvier Beale and “Little Edith.”  An unnecessary dramatization of the documentary was made by HBO in 2009 starting Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.  (seen twice)
Oh, God!  — 1977;  Carl Reiner;  George Burns & John Denver, Teri Garr, Paul Sorvino  (seen twice) 
Slap Shot — 1977;  George Roy Hill;  Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean.  The classic hockey movie.  (seen twice) 
Up In Smoke — 1978;  Lou Adler & Tommy Chong;  Cheech & Chong classic  (seen twice)
The China Syndrome — 1979;  James Bridges;  Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas  (seen twice)

On Golden Pond — 1981;  Mark Rydell;  Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn, Jane Fonda, Dabney Coleman  (seen twice)
Time Bandits — 1981;  Terry Gilliam;  written by Gilliam & Michael Palin;  Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Michael Palin, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, John Cleese as Robin Hood, and Sir Ralph Richardson as God;  incredible sets / props / production design;  George Harrison was one of the producers and mortgaged his office building to get the film made, like he mortgaged his home to finance Monty Python’s Life of Brian two years earlier;  this ended up being one of the highest grossing films of the year;  the first in what Gilliam called his Trilogy of Imagination” soon to include Brazil (1985) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988).  (seen twice)
Pink Floyd: The Wall — 1982;  Alan Parker;  Bob Geldof in lead role (seen twice)
The Verdict — 1982;  Sidney Lumet;  David Mamet screenplay;  Paul Newman brilliant performance.  James Mason.  (seen twice)
Amadeus — 1984;  Milos Forman;  Tom Hulce as Mozart, F. Murray Abraham as Salieri  (seen twice) 
Paris, Texas — 1984;  Wim Wenders;  Harry Dean Stanton, Dean Stockwell, Nastassja Kinski  (seen twice)
Stop Making Sense — 1984;  Jonathan Demme;  Talking Heads, saw it when it first came out at the 8th Street Playhouse.  (seen twice) 
The Cotton Club — 1984;  Francis Ford Coppola;  Richard Gere, Gregory Hines, Diane Lane, Bob Hoskins, Fred Gwynne, and Bill Graham in a bit part.  (seen twice) 
The Killing Fields — 1984;  Roland Jaffe;  Sam Waterson, John Malkovich, Haing S. Ngor  (seen twice) 
Romancing The Stone — 1984;  Robert Zemeckis;  Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito  (seen twice)
Brazil — 1985;  Terry Gilliam;  screenplay by Gilliam & Tom Stoppard;  Jonathan Pryce (who’s great!), Robert De Niro, Michael Palin, Bob Hoskins, Katherine Helmond, Jim Broadbent, Ian Holm.  Wonderfully beautifully twisted 1984-ish vision — inspired in a general way by Orwell’s book.  Rightfully Oscar-nominated for its comically surreal Art Direction (Out of Africa won (?) ); and for Original Screenplay (Witness won).  It was too weird for me the first viewing, then I read a bunch about it, and watched it the second time decades later and was blown away by the vision & filmmaking.  Surreal filmmaking at its finest.  Terry Gilliam is one helluva filmmaker!  Gawd, he’s a weird guy!  🙂  The Salvador Dali of film.  See his listing in the Auteur section above.  The movie’s final cut and release is a somewhat legendary story in film history, how a honcho schmuck at Universal tried to completely recut it and Gilliam circumvented him.  There’s an entire book written about it.  The second in what Gilliam called his “Trilogy of Imagination” along with Time Bandits (1981) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988).  Both Frank Zappa and River Phoenix’s favorite movie.  “This has not been a recording.”  (seen twice)
After Hours — 1985;  Martin Scorsese;  Griffin Dunne, Roseanna Arquette, Tommy Chong, Cheech Marin, Teri Garr, John Heard, Catherine O’Hara  (seen twice)
Heartburn — 1986;  Mike Nichols;  from novel & screenplay by Nora Ephron;  Meryl Streep (as Nora), Jack Nicholson (as Bernstein), plus Jeff Daniels, Maureen Stapleton, Stockard Channing, Catherine O’Hara, Milos Forman.  The great Nora Ephron’s firsthand account her marriage and breakup with the legendary Watergate reporter.  (seen twice)
Crocodile Dundee — 1986;  Peter Faiman;  Paul Hogan.  Lots of great NYC location shooting.  (seen twice) 
Swimming to Cambodia — 1987;  Jonathan Demme;  Spalding Grey’s one-man show.  (seen twice) 
Good Morning Vietnam — 1987;  Barry Levinson;  Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, J.T. Walsh, Bruno Kirby, Robert Wuhl  (seen twice)
Fatal Attraction — 1987;  Adrian Lynn;  Michael Douglas, Glenn Close  (seen twice)
Bird — 1988;  dir. Clint Eastwood;  Forest Whitaker as Bird — extraordinary Charlie Parker bio-pic  (seen twice)
Eight Men Out — 1988;  written & directed by John Sayles;  John Cusack, Bill Irwin, John Mahoney, David Strathairn, Charlie Sheen.  Dramatization of “the Black Sox” baseball scandal of 1919.  (seen twice)
Tucker: The Man and His Dream — 1988; Francis Ford Coppola;  Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, martin Landau — great movie about re-life Preston Tucker the car inventor.  (seen twice)

Wild at Heart — 1990;  David Lynch;  Barry Gifford novel;  Nicholas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe  (seen twice)
Barton Fink — 1991;  written & directed by the Coen brothers; John Turturro, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi.  About writers and ethics.  (seen twice) 
Hook — 1991;  Steven Spielberg;  from J.M. Barrie’s book;  Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Maggie Smith, Bob Hoskins.  Incredible sets! (appropriately nominated for an Academy Award)   (seen twice)
The Fisher King — 1991;  Terry Gilliam;  Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges (seen twice – hard to get through)
Reservoir Dogs — 1992;  written & directed by Quentin Tarantino;  Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Lawrence Tierney  (seen twice)
Chaplin — 1992;  Richard Attenborough;  from Charlie Chaplin’s book;  Robert Downey Jr., Geraldine Chaplin (Charlie’s daughter, Eugene O’Neill’s granddaughter), Dan Aykroyd, Hevin Kline, Marisa Tomei, Penelope Ann Miller.  Downey, Set Design & Music all got Oscar nominations.  (seen twice) 
Short Cuts — 1993;  Robert Altman; Lily Tomlin, Matthew Modine, Andie MacDowell, Jack Lemmon, Julianna Moore, Fred Ward, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Chris Penn, Lili Taylor, Robert Downey Jr., Madeline Stowe, Tim Robbins, Tom Waits Francis McDormand, Peter Gallagher, Lyle Lovett, Buck Henry, Huey Lewis.  Unbelievable cast, but there’s no real through-plot to follow — it’s a series loosely connected scenes of lives in and around LA.  Even though it’s Altman with a dream cast – it’s hard to watch.  (seen twice)
Casino — 1995;  Martin Scorsese;  Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, Don Rickles, Kevin Pollak, Alan King.  (seen twice)
The Cable Guy — 1996;  Ben Stiller;  Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick  (seen twice)
Contact — 1996;  Robert Zemeckis;  Jodie Foster, John Hurt, Matthew McConaughey  (seen twice)
Jackie Brown — 1997;  Quentin Tarantino;  screenplay by Tarantino based on Elmore Leonard novel;  Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton,  (seen twice)
Central Station — 1998;  Walter Salles;  touching movie about search for parental and spiritual heritage; all filmed on location in Brazil.  Also effectively a “road” like Motorcycle Diaries and On The Road.  (seen twice) 
Shakespeare In Love — 1998;  John Madden;  Tom Stoppard;  Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes as Shakespeare, Geoffrey Rush, Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth  (seen twice)

The Beach — 2000;  Danny Boyle;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swenson (seen twice)
Laurel Canyon — 2002;  written & directed by Lisa Cholodenko;  Kate Beckinsale, Frances McDormand.  “inspired by” Joni Mitchell.  (seen twice)
Coffee & Cigarettes — 2003;  written & directed Jim Jarmush;  Steven Wright & Roberto Benigni, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop & Tom Waits, Cate Blanchett (in two roles playing off each other!), Jack White & Meg White, Alfred Molina & Steve Coogan, Bill Murray, Taylor Mead.  11 vignettes set around coffee and cigarettes.  B&W  (seen twice)
Prey For Rock n Roll — 2003;  Alex Steyermark;  written by former L.A. rocker Cheri Lovedog;  Gina Gershon, Drea de Matteo — very authentic tale of low level rock band.  (seen twice)
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy — 2004;  cowritten & directed by Adam McKay;  cowritten & starring Will Farrell;  Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Chris Parnell, Fred Willard. (seen twice)
Miracle — 2004;  Gavin O’Connor;  Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks;  dramatization of U.S. hockey team’s upset of Russia and winning Gold Medal in 1980 Olympics.  (seen twice)
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby — 2006;  Adam McKay;  Will Ferrell, John C. Riley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gary Cole, Jane Lynch, Amy Adams  (seen twice)
A Prairie Home Companion — 2006;  Robert Altman;  Garrison Keillor; boring, even though it’s Altman and a great cast  (seen twice)
Death Proof — 2007;  written & directed by Quentin Tarantino;  Kurt Russell, Zoë Bell, Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Tracie Thoms, Eli Roth, Tarantino as the bar owner, AMi the jukebox (Tarantino’s), and Sydney Tamila Poitier (Sidney’s daughter) as Jungle Julie with the incredible hair.  Tarantino built this movie around a desire to film a classic car chase scene … and having a stuntwoman who could be an engaging lead on camera.  It’s his attempt at doing the greatest car chase scene ever — and the climactic 20 minutes of the movie certainly put it in contention.  😉  He made a point to credit himself as the Director of Photography which is quite visible in the imaginative and brilliantly filmed climactic sequence.  Done as a homage to ’70s car chase movies, including the cool music (by Jack Nitzsche) and physically scratching & damaging the print to make it look old.  Contains a signature Tarantino 8-minute continuous shot with the 4 girls in the diner at the start of the second half.  On second viewing, really liked this least-seen lowest-rated QT film.  (seen twice)
Zodiac — 2007;  David Fincher;  Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, John Carroll Lynch;   LOVED it. totally surprised — I’m not a serial killer movie fan at all — other than Scorsese there’s not many movies with much killing on my list.  There’s not much in this either, but again, it’s just not a movie i would normally watch — but, like many a great movie, I discovered it cuz it was on regular rotation on the movie network. first of all, I LOVE Jack Gyllenhaal, AND his sister Maggie!
I love how it’s set in a newspaper newsroom, and how the JG character is a lowly guy with ideas.
Also — Robert Downey Jr. is his typical great self.
And just his whole pursuit of how he tries to track the killer down is a well-told story.
Plus I love that it’s a period piece set in the 70s and also set in and around SF, one of my very favorite cities.
Also — Great Casting — all the secondary / supporting roles are just perfectly cast. (another big thing I appreciate in films)  (seen twice)
Sicko — 2007;  Michael Moore — fantastic doc about healthcare.  (seen twice)
Blood Diamond — 2008;  Edward Zwick;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly  (seen twice)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona — 2008;  Woody Allen;   Scarlett Johannson, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem.  All filmed on location in Spain.  (seen twice)
Milk — 2008;  Gus Van Sant;  Sean Penn (won Best Actor Oscar), James Franco, Josh Brolin (as the bad-guy shooter), Emile Hirsch, Victor Garber. Great movie.  Lots of San Francisco location shooting and recreation of the ’70s.  Won Best Original Screenplay Oscar.  (seen twice)
Burn After Reading — 2008;  written & directed by the Coen brothers;  Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins, J.K. Simmons.  Typically wonderfully twisted, funny, quirky, weird, brilliant Coen brothers — set in Washington.  Great score / use of music to accent.  (seen twice)

Shutter Island — 2010;  Martin Scorsese;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max Von Sydow, Michelle Williams, John Carroll Lynch  (seen twice)
Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place — 2011;  Alex Gibney & Alison Ellwood;  narrated by Stanley Tucci;  original ’64 Furthur Bus footage mixed with modern recreations.  (seen twice – once at TIFF and once with Carolyn Cassady at her house)
Django Unchained — 2012;  written & directed by Quentin Tarantino;  Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington   (seen twice) 
Silver Linings Playbook — 2012;  written & directed by David O. Russell;  Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro  (seen twice)
Ted — 2012;  written, directed & voiced by Seth MacFarlane;  Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton  (seen twice)
A Million Ways To Die In The West — 2014;  written & directed by Seth MacFarlane;  with Seth, Charlize Theron, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris  (seen twice)
The Imitation Game — 2014;  Morton Tyldum;  Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly.  Brilliant writing (won Best Screenplay) about the real-life British math genius who cracked the Germans’ secret communication code.  Cumberbatch is absolutely riveting.  (seen twice)
Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead — 2015;  Chevy Chase, Judd Apatow, Tony Hendra, Michael O’Donoghue, Ivan Reitman, John Landis, plus everyone you ever heard of who worked for National Lampoon, which this a great documentary about.  (seen twice) 
Sully — 2016;  Clint Eastwood;  based on Chesley Sullenberger’s book;  Tom Hanks as Sully, Aaron Eckhart as the copilot, Laura Linney, Michael Rapaport, Katie Couric.  Great movie about the landing of the plane on the Hudson River in January 2009.  Very positive New York story with lots of location shots.  Really well crafted script.  (seen twice)
Going Furthur — 2016;  Colby Rex O’Neill, Matt “Puds” Pidutti & Lindsay Kent;  Wavy Gravy, Alex Grey, Zane Kesey, with a cameo by Yours Unruly.  About the 2014 50th anniversary of the Pranksters’ bus trip across America and all the new next-gen Pranksters who rode along.  (seen twice)
Knives Out — 2019; written & directed by Rian Johnson; Daniel Craig (playing a very deep colorful private investigator), Christopher Plummer (his second last movie after 60 years of making them, playing an old man about to die!), Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Frank Oz (the actor/director, Yoda and Muppet pioneer), Emmet Walsh (replacing Ricky Jay who died just before the film went to production) and a great not-too-well-known 30-year-old Cuban actress named Ana de Armas.  Great filmmaking!  I literally got goosebumps – more than once.  What A Script!  No wonder it was nominated for Best Screenplay Oscar.  And What A House that it’s set in and around!  Theme: be a good person.  Bonus points for the killer soundtrack including Animal Zoo by Spirit in the background then to prominence in big scene, plus Roxy Music, Gordon Lightfoot & the Rolling Stones.  Rian the writer/director said in the commentary all the names of the family members/couples are ’70s rock stars: Joni Mitchell & Neil Young, Richard & Linda Thompson, Walt & Donna are Walter Becker & Donald Fagen (Steely Dan).  I like this guy.  🙂  (seen twice)

SEEN  ONCE

The Gold Rush — 1925;  written, directed by & starring Charlie Chaplin  B&W  (seen once) 
City Lights — 1931;  written, directed by & starring Charlie Chaplin  B&W  (seen once)
Modern Times — 1936;  written, directed by & starring Charlie Chaplin  B&W  (seen once)
Double Indemnity — 1944;  Billy Wilder;  screenplay by Wilder & Raymond Chandler;  Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson.  Considered by many the definitive Film Noir example.   (seen once)
Spellbound — 1945;  Alfred Hitchcock;  Gregory Peck, Ingrid Bergman.  Hitchcock’s use of Salvador Dali’s work in sets for the dream sequence.  B&W  (seen once) 
Notorious — 1946;  Alfred Hitchcock; Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains  B&W  (seen once)
Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein — 1948;  Charles Barton;  Bud Abbott & Lou Costello, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney;  Tarantino has cited this as an influence on how to blend genres;  Jerry Garcia’s favorite movie and inspired his lifelong involvement with film.  It was his first sense of the bizarre and that there were weird things in this world.  B&W  (seen once)
Here’s a great clip of Garcia reflecting on it — 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeW-kdQ46ys

All About Eve — 1950;  written & directed by Joseph Mankiewicz;  Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders.  Best Picture, Director, Screenplay & Costumes (Edith Head).  B&W  (seen once) 
The African Queen — 1951;  John Huston;  Humphrey Bogart & Katherine Hepburn  B&W  (seen once)
The Three Faces of Eve — 1957;  written & directed by Nunnally Johnson;  Joanne Woodward – won Best Actress for portrayal of woman with multiple personality disorder.  B&W  (seen once)
Suddenly Last Summer — 1959;  Joseph Mankiewicz;  Gore Vidal screenplay from a Tennessee Williams play;  Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift, Katherine Hepburn.  Liz, Kate & Art Direction all nominated for Oscars.  (seen once)

Lolita — 1961;  Stanley Kubrick;  Vladimir Nabokov wrote screenplay based on his novel;  James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Peter Sellers.  B&W  (seen once)
One-Eyed Jacks — 1961;  directed by & starring Marlon Brando;  Karl Malden, Slim Pickens;  revenge Western set largely in Monterey, California;  filming lasted 7 months (Dec. ’58 – June ’59);  Brando’s original cut was 4 hours & 42 mins long;  Rod Serling & Sam Peckinpah worked on the script;  Stanley Kubrick was set to direct, but dropped out 2 weeks before shooting began, and Brando then took over.  (seen once)
The Manchurian Candidate — 1962;  John Frankenheimer;  Richard Condon novel;  Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Lawrence Harvey, Janet Leigh;  music by David Amram.  B&W  (seen once)
The Trial — 1962;  Orson Welles;  from the Franz Kafka novel;  Anthony Perkins (who’s great!)  B&W  (seen once)
Long Day’s Journey Into Night — 1962;  Sidney Lumet;  Eugene O’Neill play;  Ralph Richardson, Katherine Hepburn, Jason Robards.  B&W  (seen once)
The Great Escape — 1963;  John Sturges;  the great Steve McQueen classic  (seen once)
Paris When it Sizzles — 1964;  Richard Quine;  Audrey Hepburn, William Holden — pretty surreal and comedic!  about a screenwriter and his girl — “the screenplay within the screenplay.”  (seen once)
Head — 1968;  Bob Rafelson;  screenplay by Rafelson & Jack Nicholson;  starring The Monkees, plus Victor Mature & Annette Funicello, with cameos by Frank Zappa, Dennis Hopper, Nicholson, and Teri Garr in a bit part.  (seen once)
Skidoo — 1968;  Otto Preminger;  Doran William Cannon (who also wrote Altman’s Brewster McCloud);  Rob Reiner was one of several script doctors who worked on the script but was uncredited;  Jackie Gleason, Groucho Marx as God (in his final film appearance), Carol Channing, Frankie Avalon, Peter Lawford, Mickey Rooney, George Raft, Slim Pickens, Harry Nilsson, Austin Pendleton, Michael Constantine;  and Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin & Caesar Romero who were all starring in the Batman TV show at the time, as well as director Otto Preminger who appeared in two episodes as the villain Mr. Freeze; plus Tom Law (from the Hog Farm, the Woodstock movie, and Lisa Law’s husband) handing the mayor a joint in the courtroom scene, whose brother John Philip Law was a working actor with 85 credits and is the lead male hippie in the movie.  Music by Harry Nilsson.  Infamous psychedelic all-star comedy with a depiction of multiple acid trips.  Groucho took acid with Paul Krassner to prepare for the film; and Preminger was inspired to make the film after taken acid a few times himself.  Filmed in San Francisco.  (seen once)

Catch 22 — 1970;  Mike Nichols;  from Joseph Heller book, screenplay by Buck Henry;  Alan Arkin, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel, Martin Balsam, Jack Gifford, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins, Martin Sheen, Orson Welles, Bob Balaban, Norman Fell  (seen once)
Mad Dogs & Englishmen — 1971;  Pierre Adidge;  Joe Cocker, Leon Russell.  Cocker’s mad touring commune.  (seen once) 
The Last Picture Show — 1971;  Peter Bogdanovich;  screenplay Larry McMurtry & Bogdanovitch;  Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn, Eileen Brennon, Randy Quaid.  Filmed in black & white.  B&W  (seen once) 
The Harder They Come — 1972;  written & directed by Perry Henzell;  starring Jimmy Cliff as a young Jamaican trying to make it in the music business.  (seen once)
Badlands — 1973;  written & directed by Terence Malick;  Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates.  Malick’s first movie.  Based on the a real-life sociopath who had a 14-year-old girlfriend and who killed ten people in eight days in 1958.  The pair were also the inspiration for the Tarantino-penned Oliver Stone film Natural Born Killers.  Sissy met and soon married the Art Director Jack Fisk, who later was the Production Designer on Heart Beat, based on Carolyn Cassady’s book, whom Sissy played (and her & Carolyn became friends).  (seen once)
Lenny — 1974;  Bob Fosse;  Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine — docudrama on Lenny Bruce  B&W  (seen once)
Chinatown — 1974;  Roman Polanski;  written by Robert Towne;  Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston  (seen once)
The Passenger — 1975;  Michelangelo Antonioni;  Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider.  Walter Salles’s pick as one of the great movies of all time; caused me to see it as part of his film festival at the Waverly Theater when On The Road premiered in New York.  (seen once) 
The Rose — 1979;  Mark Rydell;  Bette Midler.  Sorta kinda quasi bio-pic of Janis Joplin.  (seen once)

Reds — 1981;  written & directed by Warren Beatty;  Beatty as John Reed, Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Jerzy Kosinski, Edward Hermann, Paul Sorvino, Maureen Stapleton   (seen once)
Blow Out — 1981;  Brian De Palma;  John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz.  One of the three movies Tarantino cites as his Best Three ever made (along with Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo).  (seen once)
The Brother From Another Planet — 1984;  written & directed by John Sayles;  Joe Morton as the “Brother”  (seen once)
Down By Law — 1986;  written & directed by Jim Jarmusch;  Tom Waits, John Lurie   (seen once)
Hearts of Fire — 1987;  Richard Marquand;  screenplay Joe Eszterhas;  Bob Dylan plays a once-huge rock star struggling with decline.  Great role and performance by Fiona.  Ian Drury and Richie Havens have bit parts.  (seen once) 
The Last Temptation of Christ — 1988;  Martin Scorsese;  Willem Dafoe as Jesus, Harvey Keitel as Judas.  Great hallucination scene at the climax.  (seen once)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen — 1988;  cowritten & directed by Terry Gilliam;  John Neville, Eric Idle, Sarah Polley, Oliver Reed, Jonathan Pryce, Uma Thurman.  The third in what Gilliam called his “Trilogy of Imagination” along with Time Bandits (1981) and Brazil (1985).   (seen once)

Awakenings — 1990;  Penny Marshall;  from Oliver Sacks books;  Robin Williams, Robert De Niro, Julie Kavner, John Heard, Judith Malina, Anne Meara  (seen once) 
The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit — 1991;  the Maysles brothers documentary about The Beatles’ first visit to America for The Ed Sullivan Show and capturing Beatlemania — immediately preceding the band shooting A Hard Day’s Night . . . about Beatlemania.  B&W  (seen once)
Switch — 1991;  written & directed by Blake Edwards;  Ellen Barkin & Jimmy Smits in the leads, plus JoBeth Williams, Lorraine Bracco, Tony Roberts, Catherine Keener.  Bizarre but effective comedy/fantasy about a sexist guy being reincarnated as a woman.  (seen once)
Once Around —  1991;  Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, Danny Aiello, — funny wild bizarre family comedy  (seen once – would love to see again)
Drop Dead Gorgeous — 1999;  Michael Patrick Jann;  Kristen Dunst, Alison Janney, Denise Richards, Ellen Barkin, Kirstie Alley, Nora Dunn;  Twisted dark comedy; pretty dumb, but some surprising spitter lines! Prairie Home Companion & Fargo meets Spinal Tap fake documentary.  (seen once)
Postcards From The Edge —  1990;  Mike Nichols;  Carrie Fisher wrote book & screenplay;  Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Quaid;  about drugs, acting & rock n roll.  (seen once)
Philadelphia — 1993; Jonathan Demme; Tom Hanks (won Best Actor Oscar, his first of two in a row, winning for Forrest Gump the next year), Denzel Washington, Jason Robards, Antonio Banderas, Joanne Woodward, Bradley Whitford, Anna Deavere Smith, Mary Steenburgen, Roger Corman, Daniel von Bargen. Both Bruce Springteen & Neil Young wrote new original songs for the movie, both were nominated for an Oscar, Springsteen won. Heavy, powerful, moving film. (seen once)
The Shining — 1997;  Mick Garris;  based on Stephen King book;  Steven Weber, Rebecca De Mornay, Melvin Van Peebles, Elliott Gould.  TV movie  — really scary, actually better than Kubrick’s in both my opinion and Stephen King’s.  (seen once)
Rounders — 1998;  John Dahl;  Matt Damon, Edward Norton, Gretchen Mol, John Malkovich, John Turturro;  great movie about the addiction of gambling and the thrill of the con.  (seen once)
Mystery Alaska — 1999;  Jay Roach;  Russell Crowe, Hank Azaria, Michael McKean, Burt Reynolds, Phil Esposito, Mike Myers, Terry David Mulligan, Little Richard, Mary McCormick.  Funny hockey movie.  (seen once)

Thirteen Days — 2000;  Ronald Donaldson;  Kevin Costner, great historical political drama about the Cuban Missile Crisis;  parts of the script were taken from transcripts of Oval Office conversations.  Great portrayal of the two Kennedy brothers.  (seen once)
Chelsea Walls — 2001;  Ethan Hawke;  swirling surreal collage of a movie, from a stage play by Nicole Burdette;  killer cast: Kris Kristofferson, Tuesday Weld (her last movie), Vincent D’Onofrio, Steve Zahn, Robert Sean Leonard (the tragic hero of Dead Poets Society), Uma Thurman, Rosario Dawson, Frank Whaley (the “big brain” shot by Travolta & Jackson at the beginning of Pulp Fiction), Natasha Richardson (Vanessa Redgrave’s daughter), Jimmy Scott (the singer, who sings John Lennon’s Jealous Guy on stage in the basement bar with a jazz band), Richard Linklater (the director), and Issac Hayes uncredited in an elevator;  Rimbaud & Dylan Thomas poems read periodically;  cool haunting music by Jeff Tweedy.  Filmed entirely on location at the Chelsea Hotel in New York.  (seen once)
Smothered: The Censorship Struggles of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour — 2002;  written & directed by Maureen Maldaur;  Tommy & Dick Smothers, Steve Martin, Mason Williams, Rob Reiner, Bob Einstein, David Halberstam, Ken Kragen, David Steinberg, plus all sorts of archival footage.  (seen once)
Mystic River — 2003; Clint Eastwood; Sean Penn, Tim Robbins – both won Oscars for roles – Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney; nominated for Best Picture, Director & Screenplay.  (seen once)
Big Fish — 2003;  Tim Burton;  Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Loudon Wainwright, Steve Buscemi, Danny DeVito.  Surreal fantasy about relationship between father and son.  I sure find Burton and Terry Gilliam interchangeably weird.  (seen once)
Kill Bill Vol. 1 — 2003;  written & directed by Quentin Tarantino;  Uma Thurman (with Zoë Bell as her stunt double), David Carradine (voice only), Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Madsen.  Q’s homage to the martial arts / kung-fu movies of the ’70s.  The Kill Bills are definitely my least favorite Tatantino films.  (seen once) 
Kill Bill Vol. 2 — 2004;  written & directed by Quentin Tarantino;  Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Parks.  (seen once)
The Motorcycle Diaries — 2004;  Walter Salles;  Jose Rivera’s screenplay based on Che Guevara’s book;  the “road” movie that caused Roman Coppola to bring Walter Salles in to direct Kerouac’s On The Road, who then brought the screenwriter to the project.  (seen once)
Eulogy — 2004;   written & directed by Michael Clancy;  Zooey Deschanel, Hank Azaria, Ray Romano, Debra Winger, Piper Laurie, Glenne Headly; really funny, absolutely great black-comedy about family funeral.  (seen once) 
The Brothers Grimm — 2005;  Terry Gilliam;  Matt Damon, Heath Ledger. AMAZING – another Gilliam masterpiece.  Gorgeous Lena Headley, like a young Jacqueline Bisset — also about writing!  The sets are to die for (as usual in Gilliam movies) and it’s about forests (where I like to spend my days!) “You’re my brother.  I want you to believe in me.”  Jacob Grimm Ghostbusters from the 1800s.  (seen once)
Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit — 2005;   (seen once)
Little Children — 2006;  written & directed by Todd Field;  Kate Winslett, Jane Adams, Jennifer Connely, Patrick Watson — amazing, powerful, stayed with me — Jane Adams character, and the haters.  (since once)
Man on Wire — 2008;  James Marsh;  great documentary with tons of archival footage of Philippe Petit’s high wire walk between World Trade Center buildings.  (seen once)
Pirate Radio — 2009;  written & directed by Richard Curtis;  Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tom Sturridge, Rhys Darby;  based on ships that used to float in international waters off the U.K. coast in the 1960s and broadcast cool music that the BBC didn’t.  (seen once)

The Help — 2011;  screenplay & directed by Tate Taylor;  from a Kathryn Stockett novel – Tate & Kathryn were childhood friends in Jackson, Mississippi;  Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, Cicely Tyson, Mary Steenburgen.  There’s seven Oscar-winning actresses!  Set in the racist domestic help world in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963.  Very effective & powerful movie, but for this sensitive soul, it was very difficult to watch.  (seen once)
20 Feet from Stardom — 2013;  Morgan Neville;  Darlene Love, Lisa Fischer, Merry Clayton, Sheryl Crow.  Won Oscar for Best Documentary. (seen once)
Big Eyes — 2014;  Tim Burton;  Amy Adams & Christoph Waltz;  great dramatization about artist Margaret Keane who did the widely reproduced “big eyes” paintings and how her husband tried to take credit for them;  set largely in and around San Francisco in the late ’50s and early ’60s.  (seen once) 
Predestination — 2014;  written & directed by the Spierig brothers;  Ethan Hawke, Noah Taylor, Sarah Snook.  Ethan Hawke & time travel – what’s not to love? Kerouac mentioned in the buying a Royal typewriter scene.  With all the crazy plot twists, this is definitely a “see more than once” movie.  (seen once)
Spotlight — 2015; co-written and directed by Tom McCarthy; Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci; won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, with nominations for Ruffalo, McAdams, Director & Editing.  Based on the true story of how Boston Globe reporters uncovered systemic sexual abuse coverups by the Catholic church.  (seen once)
Loving Vincent — 2017;  written & directed by Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Walchman;  filmed with actors portraying characters from Van Gogh paintings, then each of the film’s 65,000 frames were hand painted over in oil in Vincent’s style making it the world’s first fully painted animated feature.  You can read my review here.  (seen once – at the TIFF Lightbox in Toronto with Sky & George Walker)
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote — 2018; written and directed by Terry Gilliam; Adam Driver as Toby/Sancho Panza, a wild Jonathan Pryce as Don Quixote, Stellan Skarsgård, Jordi Mollà.  Surreal comedic update on Don Quixote.  Gilliam’s finally-completed movie that he’s been working on since 1989, a production so famously beset with disasters there was a whole film about it not being a film, Lost in La Mancha, much like Heart of Darkness was made about Apocalypse Now.  Beautiful location shooting among ancient ruins in Spain and Portugal.  (seen once)
Bombshell — 2019;  Jay Roach;  Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, John Lithgow as Roger Ailes, Richard Kind as Rudy Giuliani, Allison Janney as Susan Estrich, Malcolm McDowell as Rupert Murdoch, Stephen Root as one of the lawyers, and Kate McKinnon & Margot Robbie as composite characters created for the narrative through-line.  Theron & Robbie were nominated for Oscars, and the makeup & prosthetics were so good creating the likenesses that it *won* for the Oscar.  It’s from an original script by Charles Randolph, who won for writing The Big Short, and directed by Jay Roach who did all the Austin Powers and Meet The Parents/Fockers movies before switching to the political world doing Recount about the 2000 election, then Game Change about 2008, and now this about politics in 2016.  He also did a comedy called The Campaign with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis.  Roach’s wife is Susanna Hoffs from The Bangles who does a very cool, haunting vocal soundtrack.  Megyn Kelly watched it with four other people depicted in the movie and thought it was so important she made a half-hour show about it to her YouTube channel.  (seen once)
Richard Jewell – 2019; Clint Eastwood; Paul Walter Hauser (great as the titular character), Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates (as the mother, nominated for Best Supporting Actress), Jon Hamm (FBI agent), Olivia Wilde (reporter).  Pretty riveting filmmaking & script & casting.  Laughed out loud 3 times and cried once.  (seen once)
Ford v Ferrari — 2019; James Mangold; Matt Damon & Christian Bale; nominated for best picture & 3 others; great filmmaking;  Boy, would Neal Cassady have ever liked this picture!  Definite edge-of-your-seatness at times.  (seen once)

NEED TO SEE:

Now, Voyager — 1942;  Bette Davis is great; movie is very inspirational.  B&W  (never seen)
Shadow of a Doubt — 1943;  Hitchcock;  screenplay by Thornton Wilder; Joseph Cotton   B&W  (never seen)
The Naughty Nineties — 1945;  Bud Abbott & Lou Costello — the classic and best version of their “Who’s on first?” routine.  B&W  (never seen)
The Big Sleep — 1946;  Howard Hawks;  screenplay by William Faulkner from Raymond Chandler novel;  Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall became a couple and got married 3 months after shooting.   B&W  (never seen)
Anna Karenina — 1948;  Julien Duvivier;  Vivien Leigh, Ralph Richardson  B&W  (never seen)
Rashomon — 1950;  written & directed by Akira Kurosawa.  An event as seen from from different perspectives.  B&W  (never seen)
A Place In The Sun — 1951;  George Stevens; from Theodore Dreiser novel;  Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, Raymond Burr.  Won Best Picture, Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Music, Costume Design Oscars.  (never seen)
For Here To Eternity — 1953;  Fred Zinnemann;  Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Warden  (never seen)
Shane — 1953;  George Stevens;  Alan LaddJean Arthur, Van Heflin  (never seen) 
The High and The Mighty — 1954;  William Wellman;  John Wayne, Robert Stack.  Considered the greatest plane rescue movie in history.  (never seen) 
The Crucible — 1957;  Raymond Rouleau;  written by Arthur Miller & Jean-Paul Satre!;  Arthur Miller’s reaction to Kazan testifying before McCarthy hearings;  Yves Montand’s John Proctor character as Arthur Miller — final speech.  B&W  (never seen – because Arthur Miller blocked its distribution his entire life.  Finally released in 2016.)
Wild Strawberries — 1957;  written & directed by Ingmar Bergman;  a man reflects on his life.  B&W  (never seen)
Rio Bravo — 1959;  Howard Hawks;  John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennon.  One of the three movies Tarantino cites as his Best Three ever made (along with Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and De Palma’s Blow Out).  (never seen)

Splendor in the Grass — 1961;  Elia Kazan;  Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty;  music by David Amram  (never seen)
A View From The Bridge — 1961;  Sidney Lumet;  Arthur Miller’s one act play – his response to Kazan’s On The Waterfront;  Maureen Stapleton  B&W  (never seen)
Days of Wine and Roses — 1962;  Blake Edwards;  Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford, Jack Klugman, Jack Albertson.  About alcoholism – a promotion man & young wife in San Francisco.  S.A. Griffin recommendation.  B&W  (never seen)
The World’s Greatest Sinner — 1962;  written, directed by & starring Timothy Carey;  one of those “greatest bad movies” a la Plan 9 From Outer Space or The Room that subsequently became something of a cult classic; 22-year-old Frank Zappa composed the score;  recommended by S.A. Griffin.  (never seen)
— 1963;  Frederico Fellini;  Marcello Mastroianni.  Recommended by everybody.  B&W  (never seen)
Robinson Crusoe on Mars — 1964;  Byron Haskin;  astronaut on Mars with a monkey.   (never seen)
The Endless Summer — 1965;  written & directed by Bruce Brown;  documentary about surfers and California, cited by D.A. Pennebaker as his inspiration to accept the offer for film Monterey Pop.  (never seen)
Lord Jim — 1965;  Richard Brooks;  from Joseph Conrad novel;  Peter O’Toole, James Mason  (never seen)
Blow Up — 1966;  written & directed by Michelangelo Antonioni;  David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles;  Jeff Beck & Jimmy Page Yardbirds scene;  captures London in 1965/66 just as the Swinging Sixties is birthing.  (never seen)
Valley of The Dolls — 1967;  Mark Robson;  from Jacqueline Susann novel;  Patty Duke, Sharon Tate, Lee Grant  (never seen)
How I Won The War — 1967;  Richard Lester;  John Lennon’s one-off sojourn into non-Beatles film;  he’s only on-screen for 10 minutes.  (never seen)
Riot On Sunset Strip — 1967;  Arthur Dreifuss;  Aldo Ray;  dramatization of the real riot on Sunset Strip outside Pandora’s Box in November 1966, which was also the inspiration for Stephen Stills’ song For What It’s Worth.  Apparently this was a very low budget, quickie exploitation movie that’s so bad it’s camp.  Filmed and released just 4 months after the riots themselves.  Includes comical Hollywood attempt at depicting people tripping on acid.  (recommended by Richard M, never seen)
The Love-Ins — 1967;  written & directed by Arthur Dreifuss;  Richard Todd, James MacArthur, Susan Oliver (my sister’s name!).  Hippie exploitation film about a college professor who becomes a “guru” to hippies in San Francisco.  (Richard M recommendation, never seen)
The Trip — 1967;  Roger Corman;  script by Jack Nicholson;  Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Susan Strasberg, Bruce Dern. Nicholson, Fonda & Hopper all took acid together to “prepare” for the movie.  Corman also tripped separately.  Nicholson wrote the part Dern plays for himself, but Corman recast him.  Gram Parsons is singing in the band near the beginning of the film; however the band’s country-rock sound wasn’t what Corman wanted, so The Electric Flag’s music was edited in.  The film was considered so pro-LSD that it was banned in the U.K. until 2004.  (Richard M & others recommendation, never seen)

Wild In The Streets — 1968;  Barry Shear;  Shelley Winters, Hal Holbrook, Richard Pryer, Ed Begley Sr.  The film takes place from 1958 to 1969, with a plot about lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 (or 15).  Part of the rash of “Teens-Ploitation,” movies of the era.  (Wiz recommendation, never seen)
Psych-Out — 1968;  Richard Rush;  Jack Nicholson, Susan Strasberg, Dean Stockwell, Bruce Dern, The Strawberry Alarm Clock.  Basic low-budget hippie exploitation film set in Haight-Ashbury.  Dick Clark’s first film production.  You want to see the 101-minute version released in 2015.  Dick Clark cut the original down to 82 minutes.  (recommended by Richard M, never seen)
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? — 1969;  Sydney Pollack;  Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Suzannah York, Red Buttons, Bruce Dern, Al Lewis  (never seen)

Zabriskie Point — 1970;  Michaelangelo Antonioni;  Hippie love story. Sam Shepard wrote Rod Taylor’s dialog.  All shot on locations in Death Valley, Carefree, Arizona, Mojave Desert and the like.  Soundtrack by Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison, John Fahey, Youngbloods, David Lindley’s Kaleidoscope, plus an original Jerry Garcia composition & solo performance for the love scene.  (never seen.  Levi Asher, Bill Hodgson, Dick van Wyck & others stronger recommend)
Alex In Wonderland — 1970;  written & directed by Paul Mazursky; Donald Sutherland, Ellen Burstyn, Meg Mazursky (Paul’s daughter).  About a hot-shot hippie filmmaker who’s trying to decide between making a movie for art or for big money, and as he travels around he has fantasy visions of movie scenes playing out in his real life.  (recommended by Judith, never seen)
Brewster McCloud — 1970;  Robert Altman;  Doran William Cannon (who also wrote Skidoo);  Bud Cort, Sally Kellerman, Stacy Keach, Shelly Duvall’s first film (and first of seven with Altman).  (seen once)
Vanishing Point — 1971;  Richard Sarafian;  Barry Newman, Cleavon Little.  Road movie cited by Tarantino & a thousand others.  (never seen)
The Hired Hand — 1971;  directed by & starring Peter Fonda;  Warren Oates;  low budget independent film, Fonda’s first following Easy Rider, and the first of 3 movies he would direct.  Hodgson recommendation. (never seen)  
Pat Garett & Billy the Kid — 1973;  Sam Peckinpah;  Bob Dylan’s first dramatic turn – as Alias, James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Jason Robards  (never seen) 
Soylent Green — 1973;  Richard Fleischer;  Edward G. Robinson, Joseph Cotton, Charlton Heston, Dick Van Patten, Chuck Conners.  Numerous people have recommended it and referenced it.  (never seen)
The Last Detail — 1973;  Hal Ashby;  Robert Towne screenplay;  Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid  (never seen)
The Last of Sheila — 1973;  Herbert Ross;  screenplay by Stephen Sondheim & Anthony Perkins;  Richard Benjamin, Dyan Cannon, James Coburn, James Mason, Raquel Welch;  recommended by Rian Johnson (Knives Out).  (never seen)
The Great Gatsby — 1974;  Jack Clayton;  Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern;  music by Nelson Riddle.  (never seen)
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz — 1974;  Ted Kotcheff;  Mordecai Richler novel & screenplay;  Richard Dreyfuss, Jack Warden, Randy Quaid (never seen)
Shampoo — 1975;  Hal Ashby;  written by Robert Towne & Warren Beatty;  Beatty, Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn, Lee Grant, Jack Warden, Carrie Fisher  (never seen)
Love and Death — 1975;  written & directed by Woody Allen;  Woody & Diane Keaton  (I don’t think I’ve ever seen it)
Barry Lyndon — 1975;  Stanley Kubrick;  Kubrick screenplay from the Thackeray novel;  Ryan O’Neal, Marissa Berenson, Patrick Magee.  Won Oscars for Best Cinematography, Art Direction & Costumes.  Set in 1700s England.  (never seen)
Next Stop, Greenwich Village — 1976;  written & directed by Paul Mazursky;  Lenny Baker, Shelly Winters, Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum;  tons of ’70s location shooting in the Village.  (never seen)
The Front — 1976;  directed by Martin Ritt;  written by Walter Bernstein – who both lived through the McCarthy blacklist of the 1950s, the subject of the movie, and his script was nominated for Best Screenplay (but lost to Paddy Chayefsky for Network);  starring Woody Allen (in his first straight dramatic role), plus Zero Mostel (his final film), Herschel Bernardi, Lloyd Gough & Joshua Shelley, all of whom had been blacklisted.  Some movie posters for this film featured a long text preamble that read: “What if there were a list?  A list that said: Our finest actors weren’t allowed to act. Our best writers weren’t allowed to write. Our funniest comedians weren’t allowed to make us laugh. What would it be like if there were such a list? It would be like America in 1953.” which is the year the film is set in.  color and B&W  (never seen)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind — 1977;  written & directed by Steven Spielberg;  Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban  (never seen)
Julia — 1977;  Fred Zinnemann;  based on Lillian Hellman story;  Jane Fonda as Hellman, Jason Robards as Dashiell Hammett, Vanessa Redgrave as Julia, Maximilian Schell, Hal Holbrook, Meryl Streep  (never seen)
Saturday Night Fever — 1977;  John Badham;  John Travolta.  (never seen – but I did see the Broadway musical of the same name in 1998)
Heaven Can Wait — 1978;  co-directed by Warren Beatty & Buck Henry;  cowritten by Warren Beatty & Elaine May;  Beatty, Julie Christie, James Mason, Jack Warden, Charles Grodin, Dyan Cannon, Buck Henry,  Vincent Gardinia.  Not to be confused with Heaven’s Gate.  (never seen)
Days of Heaven — 1978;  written & directed by Terence Malick;  Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard.  Not to be confused with Heaven’s Gate or Heaven Can Wait!  (never seen)
Who’ll Stop The Rain — 1978;  Karel Reisz;  from the Robert Stone novel about a Vietnam vet who gets conned into a drug deal that goes bad;  Nick Nolte, Tuesday Weld, Michael Moriarty, Ray Sharkey.  S.A. Griffin recommendation.  (never seen)

Heaven’s Gate — 1980;  Michael Cimino;  Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt.  Legendary disaster of filmmaking – went many times over budget and time.  Cut he submitted to United Artists was over 5 hours!  It basically bankrupted the film company.  Cimino was given carte blanche because Deer Hunter had won Best Picture in 1978.  (never seen)
The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball — 1982;  filmed benefit concert for Amnesty International with Monty Python, Billy Connolly, Jeff Beck, Phil Collins, Donovan, Sting  (never seen) 
Rumble Fish — 1983;  Francis Ford Coppola;  Mickey Rourke (great), Matt Dillon, Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper, Tom Waits, Nicholas Cage  (never seen) 
An Evening With Robin Williams — 1983;  live at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco  (never seen – but the whole show is on YouTube)
The Dresser — 1983;  Peter Yates;  Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay (both nominated for Best Actor)   (never seen)
Body Double — 1984;  written & directed by Brian De Palma;  Melanie Griffith;  peeping tom / murder movie.  (never seen)
To Live and Die in L.A. — 1985;  written & directed by William Friedkin;  Willem Dafoe, John Turturro, Dean Stockwell  (never seen) 
Crossroads — 1986;  Ralph Macchino;  a riff on the Robert Johnson legend.  (never seen)
Ishtar — 1987;  written & directed by Elaine May;  Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty, Charles Grodin, Carol Kane.  It’s supposed to be terrible, but I need to see it to see if that’s so, and why.  (never seen)
Barfly — 1987;  Barbet Schroeder;  novel & screenplay by Charles Bukowski;  Mickey Rourke & Faye Dunaway  (never seen)
Hollywood Shuffle — 1987;  written, directed & starring Robert Townsend – about a black actor trying to make it in Hollywood  (never seen)
Haunted Summer — 1988;  Ivan Passer;  about Lord Byron, Mary Shelley & Percy Shelley in the summer of 1816 when Mary wrote Frankenstein;  with Laura Dern, Eric Stoltz  (never seen)

Jacob’s Ladder — 1990;  Adrian Lyne;  Tim Robbins, Danny Aiello.  Supposedly it contains LSD-like cinematic recreations.  (never seen)
Miller’s Crossing — 1990;  written & directed by the Coen brothers;  Gabriel Byrne, Marci Gay Harden, Albert Finney, John Turturro, Steve Buscemi  (never seen)
The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe — 1991;  John Bailey;  written by Lily’s comedic and life partner Jane Wagner;  filmed version of Lily Tomlin’s one-woman Broadway show.  (never seen) 
City of Hope — 1991;  written & directed by John Sayles;  Chris Cooper, David Strathairn, Angela Bassett  (never seen)
My Own Private Idaho — 1991;  written & directed by Gus Van Sant;  River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves  (never seen)
A Few Good Men — 1992;  Rob Reiner;  written by Aaron Sorkin;  Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Demi Moore  (never seen)
Roadside Prophets — 1992;  written & directed by Abbe Wool;  David Carradine, John Cusack, Adam Horvitz from the Beasty Boys, with bit parts by Timothy Leary, Don Cheadle, Stephen Tobolowsky.  Recommended by Gubba Topham.  (never seen) 
True Romance — 1993;  Tony Scott;  script by Quentin Tarantino;  Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Samuel JacksonMichael Rappaport, James Gandolfini — whadda cast!!  (never seen)
Sommersby — 1993;  Jon Amiel;  Jodie Foster & Richard Gere – story a Civil War veteran returning home, but he might be an imposter – an update on a real story that happened in France in 1560 involving a man named Martin Guerre.  (never seen)
Mad Dog and Glory — 1993;  John McNaughton;  Robert De Niro, Bill Murray, Uma Thurman – whadda cast!  (never seen)
The Secret of Roan Inish — 1994;  written & directed by John Sayles – about myths and reality blending – set in Ireland.  (never seen)
Ready to Wear — 1994;  written & directed by Robert Altman;  Sophia Loren, Julia Roberts, Kim Bassinger, Marcello Mastrioianni, Rupert Everett, Lili Taylor, Tim Robbins, Forest Whitaker, Lauren Bacall, Lyle Lovett, Tracey Ullman.  Fashion business comedy.  (never seen)
Crumb — 1994;  documentary on artist Robert Crumb  (never seen) 
Apollo 13 — 1995;  Ron Howard;  Jim Lovell book;  Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris  (never seen)
12 Monkeys — 1995;  Terry Gilliam;  Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Madeline Stowe.  I heard Brad Pitt is great in this.  (never seen) 
Smoke — 1995;  Wayne Wang;  book by Paul Auster;  Harvey Keitel, William Hurt, Ashley Judd, Stockard Channing, Forest Whitaker.  Jerry Garcia Band did two songs for the soundtrack.  (never seen – heard it’s good – Megan & others keep quoting it)
Georgia — 1995;  musician / family conflict drama with Jennifer Jason Leigh  (never seen)
Kingpin — 1996;  Farrelly brothers comedy about bowling;  with Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Bill Murray, Chris Elliott  (never seen)
Boogie Nights — 1997;  written & directed by Paul Thomas Anderson;  Burt Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, William H. Macy, Luis Guzman, Joanna Gleason  (never seen)
Deconstructing Harry — 1997;  written & directed by Woody Allen;  Woody, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tobey Maguire.  About an author mixing up his books and real life.  (never seen) 
Cookie’s Fortune — 1999;  Robert Altman;  Glenn Close, Julianna Moore, Liv Tyler, Ned Beatty, Lyle Lovett  (never seen)

I Am Sam — 2001;  written & directed by Jessie Nelson;  Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning;  brilliant Oscar-nominated performance by Penn.  (only seen parts of)
The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring — 2001;  Peter Jackson;  based on the Tolkien novel;  Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee  (never seen) 
The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers — 2002;  Peter Jackson;  based on the Tolkien novel;  Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Viggo Mortensen, Christopher Lee, Sean Astin  (never seen)
The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King — 2003;  Peter Jackson;  based on the Tolkien novel;  Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin  (never seen)
Russian Ark — 2002; Aleksandr Sokurov; entire 99 min. film done in one continuous shot; filmed in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; the final film is the fourth take, the first three having different technical breakdowns; 4,500 people participated both in front and behind camera, including 867 actors, three orchestras, and 22 assistant directors. (never seen)
Seabiscuit — 2003;  Gary Ross;  Chris Cooper, Jeff Bridges, William H. Macy, Tobey Maguire.  Nominated for 7 Oscars.  Sky highly recommends.  (never seen)
Silver City — 2004;  written & directed by John Sayles;  Chris Cooper, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss, Mary Kay Place.  About politics.  (never seen) 
Factotum — 2005;  Bent Hamer;  from Bukowski novel;  Matt Dillon portraying Bukowski, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei, Fisher Stevens  (never seen – heard it’s good)
Inception — 2010;  written & directed by Christopher Nolan;  Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine, Lucas Haas  (never seen)
127 Hours — 2010;  screenplay & directed by Danny Boyle;  James Franco.  Dramatization of Aron Ralston’s real story of getting by a rock while hiking.  Nominated for six Oscars.  (never seen)
The Master — 2012; written & directed by Paul Thomas Anderson; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams – all 3 nominated for Oscars – plus Rami Malek, Laura Dern.  (never seen)
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World — 2012:  written & directed by Lorene Scataria;  Steve Carell, Keira Knightley.  As an astroid heads for Earth, Carell takes a road trip to find his high school sweetheart.  Recommended by Albert.  (never seen)
Muscle Shoals — 2013;  Greg Camalier;  Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Jimmy Cliff, Jimmy Johnson, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Gregg Allman, Donna Godchaux, Bono, Alicia Keys.  Documentary about the legendary Alabama recording studio.  (never seen)
Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) — 2014;  written & directed by Alejandro Inarritu;  Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Zach Galifinakis, Naomi Watts;  all shot in long takes, only 16 visible cuts in the whole movie.  (recommended by S.A., never seen)
Victoria — 2015;  Sebastian Schipper (plus story);  a 2-hour 18-minute drama filmed in one continuous shot.  (recommended by Mandrake, never seen)
Shock and Awe — 2017;  Rob Reiner;  Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, James Marsden, Rob Reiner, Jessica Biel, Mila Jovovich, Richard Schiff.  About the the Knight-Ridder newspapers and lies & coverup of WMDs in Iraq.  (seen half of once, looks great)

 

Lenny Bruce Performance Film — 1965 (late-career “routine” but mostly a broken down rant)
Ruby in Paradise — 1993;  Ashley Judd (seen once)
Pay It Forward — Kevin Spacey (seen twice)
This Film Is Not Yet Rated — 2006;  dir. Kirby Dick;  doc about film ratings. (seen once)
Coney Island — Ric Burns doc (60 min)  (Joey recommendation)
The Donar Party — Ric Burns (Joey recommendation)
National Treasure — 2004;  partially about the Templars (Dunc loves it) (have on VHS)
Withnail & I — 1987; British comedy, set in 1969 (Cutts recommendation)
Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers — 2006;  Robert Greenwald (doc)
I Know I’m Not Alone — 2005;  Michael Franti – goes to Baghdad and Gaza, funny guerilla doc.  Albert recommendation
These Girls — 2005;  written & directed by John Hazlett;  comedy – 3 girls, the dude in town (seen twice — have on tape)
Blades of Glory — comedy about figure skating, Will Farrell
Monty Python episode — “The Visitors” party-crashing scene
Kinky Friedman: Live from Austin, Texas — 1975;  PBS Austin City Limits — never aired, released 2007
The Battle of San Pedro — documentary — 1944-ish – dir. John Huston
Let’s All Hate Toronto — 2007;  doc 75 min. by Albert Nerenberg and Rob Spence – very funny, very well done doc. (seen a few minutes of it — seems Great)

(277 entries)

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Brian’s Top Dozen Movies:
(movies that are essentially perfect — every shot, every word, every scene, roughly speaking)

Rear Window
Treasure of The Sierra Madre
In The Heat of The Night

Woodstock
Goodfellas
The Sting

Fargo
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Forrest Gump

Matewan
‘Round Midnight
It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World

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Movies — from above list that you’ve seen 4 or more times but don’t really plan to / need to see again:  
— which also means, to some extent, that you don’t really recommend the film to others.
except – if somebody’s never seen one of these movies, they should.
every one of these movies should be seen once, if you’ve never seen it.
Star Wars
Happy Birthday, Wanda June
Wizard of Oz
Planet of the Apes
Back to the Future
The Poseidon Adventure
Phantom of the Paradise

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Some Favorite Scenes Ever in Films:

Marisa Tomei on the stand in My Cousin Vinny
William Hickey’s cookie scene in Prizzi’s Honor
Pottier & Steiger’s first scene in In The Heat of the Night
the final Jordi Molla – Johnny Depp confrontation in Blow
Kathleen Turner & Michael Douglas – dinner party Bacarat story scene

Favorite / Unforgettable — greatest? Acting Performances Ever:
— in order I thought of them.

Joe Pesci in Goodfellas
William Hickey in Happy Birthday Wanda June
Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade
Bill Murray & Richard Dreyfuss in What About Bob?
William Macy in Fargo
Ruth Gordon in Harold & Maude
Mia Farrow in Rosemarie’s Baby
Brad Davis in Midnight Express
John Travolta in Lucky Numbers
Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump
Dexter Gordon in Round Midnight
Gene Hackman in The French Connection
Nathan Lane in The Birdcage
J.T. Walsh in anything — Breakdown, The Big Picture, Sling Blade, Good Morning Vietnam, A Few Good Men, Pleasantville, Nixon.
Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor in Virginia Woolf
Dustin Hoffman in Papilion
David Strathairn in Good Night and Good Luck
Ray Wise in Good Night and Good Luck
Cate Blanchett as Kate Hepburn in Aviator

==============================================

Best overall ensemble of actors in one film:

Talented Mr. Ripley
Lucky Numbers
++Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
That Thing You Do
Spinal Tap
A Hard Day’s Night
Throw Mama From the Train
Beetlejuice
Duck Soup
Mad Mad Mad Mad World
Midnight Express
Glengarry Glen Ross

Lesser known Character actors that rock:
Jane Adams
J.T. Walsh
William Hickey
Warren Oates

The Cinematic Sorcerer’s Society

People who’ve recommended movies and enhanced my understanding of same:
Mandrake Bronder, Fulvio Cecere, S.A. Griffin, Bill Hodgson, Richard Modiano, Walter Raubicheck, and the Wizard of Wonder.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

I see life as theater, as a movie, and all my books reflect that.  I paint movies with words.  Oh — and pictures.  Lots and lots of photos.  😉

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jack Kerouac” is a real-life opus about going on the road and “following your dreams to the living rooms of your heroes” set around “the Woodstock of the Beats” — the largest gathering of Beat writers & characters that ever happened.

Blissfully Ravaged in Democracy” is a series of similar cinematic tales from the political world spanning 1980 to 2020.

Holy Cats!  Dream-Catching at Woodstock” is a real-life Adventure Tale is about sneaking in and living backstage at Woodstock ’94 — the only Woodstock since the original that worked.

Or here’s a whole collection of Adventure Tales going “On The Road with Cassadys” including sneaking up to the Hollywood sign with John Allen (named by his dad Neal for his best pals Kerouac & Ginsburg). 

Or in “How The Beats Begat The Pranksters” you can read real-life Adventure Tales about attending the London, Toronto and New York premieres of the cinematic portrayal of Kerouac’s classic On The Road.

Or here’s an overview of all the Beat movie dramatizations ever filmed.

You can find all the stories & reviews of movies under the Category “Movies” at the top of this page, or follow the link here.

Or here’s a whole collection of various videos (mostly live performances) or short “movies” by or about yours unruly over the decades.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

by Brian Hassett            karmacoupon@gmail.com                    brianhassett.com

https://www.facebook.com/Brian.Hassett.Canada/

Tags: ···········

52 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Paula // Oct 6, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    A personal comment on “Soylent Green”. I very often think of Edward G. Robinson in this film (his last) when I’m shopping for produce. Fresh strawberries are one of my life-long favorite foods and buy them so seldom anymore (like maybe once every few years, if I’m lucky) that I ALWAYS think of him when I do.
    I didn’t catch “Out of the Past” on your list but maybe missed it. I just finally saw that (twice) a few years ago and thought it was a real “Wow!!”
    I’ll try to come up with any that I can recommend that aren’t on your list, when I can go through it again.
    Paula

  • 2 Alex Nantes // Oct 10, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    You are the King of Lists! 🙂

    Love your one from earlier about Famous People without Kids!

    Write on!

  • 3 Brian // Oct 11, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    Thanks! You mean this one?

    http://brianhassett.com/2010/06/people-who-dont-have-kids/

    Yeah, I love it, too. 😉

  • 4 Jennifer Knox // Nov 1, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Amazing list! Amazing movies!

  • 5 Ben Kleiman // Mar 23, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Love your “Four or More” system! Funny. But perfect. And perfectly true.

    Great suggestions and great page, Brian.

  • 6 Sarah Cattell // Aug 12, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Thanks for the tips! Now we got a bunch of new ones to order.

  • 7 Larry Shaw // May 7, 2020 at 1:22 PM

    I didn’t see any Terrence Malick films on your lists, Brian. Not a fan? At least three of his films are on my all time top 25 list: Days of Heaven, Badlands, and The Tree of Life.

  • 8 Brian // May 7, 2020 at 1:45 PM

    Ya’know . . . never really been. Maybe it’s my loss . . . but I also don’t love Wes Anderson or David Lynch or lotsa directors others think are great.

    I’d like to see Badlands again. Maybe I’d change my mind. 🙂

    Also — film watching can be so subjective to *the moment* — where your head was at as you experienced it.

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll keep my eyes out. 😉

  • 9 Mark Fisher // Nov 10, 2020 at 11:03 AM

    Also The Note!
    Not one bad frame on the reel.

  • 10 Karen Nelson Mangold // Nov 28, 2020 at 9:58 AM

    We do movie marathons now and again. We have a lot of them organized by director; Quentin marathons are always a fun one, all the Kill Bills, The Coen brothers, Woody (I know he’s got some creeper vibes but I can watch Woody movies all day long because he grasps human nature well). I also love musical movies and did a day of them a couple weeks ago; Hair, West Side Story, Into the Woods, rounded out by The Producers.
    I don’t watch TV at all but I sure can get lost in cinema.

  • 11 Mark Fisher // Nov 28, 2020 at 10:05 AM

    Check out The Criterion Channel.
    It’s a streaming service like Netflix and Prime Video.

    Channel.https://www.criterionchannel.com/

  • 12 Brian // Nov 28, 2020 at 10:28 AM

    Thanks for that, Mark. I love everything about Criterion. It looks like you can get a 2-week free trial. Hmmmm . . .

  • 13 Mark Fisher // Nov 28, 2020 at 10:54 AM

    Here is my list fitting your theme —

    The Magnificent Seven

    Ben Hur original version

    Goodfellas

    My Cousin Vinny

    Cape Fear (both versions)

    To Kill A Mockingbird

    The Absent Minded Professor

    The Killer Elite

    It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World

    Goldfinger

    Festival Express

    Bringing Up Baby

    Alien

    Aliens

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    A Clockwork Orange

    A Bridge Too Far

    The Longest Day

    Woodstock

    The Big Sleep original

    Lord of the Rings trilogy

    Reds

    Das Boot

    Psycho

    The Birds

    The Mission

    Taxi Driver

    The Last Waltz

    Mad Dogs and Englishmen (my favorite concert film)

    Lonesome Dove

    Catch-22 original

    The Wanderers

    The Haunting of Hill House

    Predator

    True Romance

    The Bourne Identity

    Terminator

    West Side Story

  • 14 Richard Modiano // Nov 28, 2020 at 11:55 AM

    My peak movie going year was 1976 when I saw 278 movies PROJECTED (this was before home video). But then, I worked as a projectionist at NYU.
    I’ve kept an annual list of movies I’ve seen since 1970 and only include projected movies (8mm, super8mm, 35mm, 70mm.)

  • 15 Brian // Nov 28, 2020 at 12:23 PM

    Wow — That’s SO cool, Richard, about the list of projected movies since 1970!! That must be so rewarding to review every now & again.

    Were you screening those films at the Eisner & Lubin Auditorium in the Loeb Student Center at NYU? That was where I produced the concerts for 4 years (’80 – ’84). Great room.

  • 16 Richard Modiano // Nov 28, 2020 at 12:58 PM

    Brian — that’s right, from 1974-1978.

  • 17 Tammi Butler // Nov 28, 2020 at 4:08 PM

    Brian DePalma: Blowout, Dressed to Kill, Body Double. They’re from the 80s, but if you missed them, you really need to watch them.

  • 18 Al Robinson // Nov 28, 2020 at 7:11 PM

    A top ten list of films is a very personal subjective thing, all great films and your top 200 is pretty spot on but, there are few more I’d like to suggest for view if you find the time.
    You like Cary Grant check out Hitchcock’s Notorious. Still don’t know how he made such a great postwar film in 1946.

    Blazing Saddles – a writing team that included Mel Brooks & Richard Pryor.

    Down By Law- Jim Jarmusch & Tom Waits.

    Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing – the 30 yr-old BLM movie & his Summer of Sam – NYC 1977. Great scene in front of CBGB’s.

    Anything by Pedro Almadovar but especially Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down- good to watch with someone you’re romantically involved or interested in.
    Peckinpaugh’s The Wild Bunch- influenced Tarantino.

    And Stop Making Sense should be in the Music Movies.

    I thoroughly enjoyed going through your 200.

  • 19 Al Robinson // Nov 28, 2020 at 7:21 PM

    BTW — Abbot & Costello Meets Frankenstein was the first film where Jerry Garcia realized there was weirdness in the world. I think he did an introduction of it for one of the cable networks
    Supposedly, Jerry’s favorite film was a Polish film called the Saragossa Manuscript. It was restored by Coppola & Scorcese.

  • 20 Brian // Nov 28, 2020 at 8:16 PM

    Thanks, Al! I’ve seen most of those, but they didn’t make my Seen 3 or 4 Times list.
    Loved Notorious, though. That would be great to have on a special 2-disk re-release.

    I’d like to see Stop Making Sense again. It totally blew me away in the theater on 8th Street in 1984.

  • 21 Larry Shaw // Nov 28, 2020 at 10:19 PM

    Movies that I really like, I’ll watch over and over and always get something new from them: Paris Texas, Days of Heaven, Tree of Life, First Reformed, Doubt, No Country for Old Men, Fargo, The Graduate, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Unforgiven, Diner, The Last Picture Show, etc. I love books and movies and wish I had started a journal decades ago. But I didn’t, much to my chagrin.

  • 22 Gubba Topham // Nov 29, 2020 at 12:29 AM

    Whoa! I’m a fool for rabbit holes, but this is one I could disappear in forever! So many great movies!
    I think The Blues Brothers tops my list for multiple watches (got to be up around 30!) But then come two that didn’t make your list, “Viva Las Vegas” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds.” Both of these were watched in obsession with grandchildren! … as was “Yellow Submarine” and “The Aristocats” (Disney).

    A little ditty called “Roadside Prophets” is pretty high on my multi list starring David Carradine & John Cusack, with a cameo from Timothy Leary!

  • 23 Brian // Nov 29, 2020 at 1:15 AM

    Cool, Gubbs! I knew you’d like this. I’d love to have a week-long film festival with you — where we trade-off curation with each film.
    “Viva Las Vegas”! I can’t believe it. I JUST finished Ann-Margret’s autobiography. I had no idea she & Elvis became a couple for about a year! Whadda duo!!

    Cool we both have Yellow Submarine on our many-times-watched list.

    And funny about The Aristocats. I’ve seen that many times on the used DVD shelves — and every time, I reach for it with eager anticipation . . . and it’s always the Disney cartoon.

    Just yesterday, I saw it written on a DVD spine again, and as my eyes zeroed in, I saw a picture of a dog. “Oh damn.” But pulled it out anyway — and there was my long-sought-after comedy gem! All the way in gentile Oakville.

  • 24 Gubba Topham // Nov 29, 2020 at 2:11 AM

    Four music docs or concerts on my multi:

    Atlantic Records – The House That Ahmet Built
    Respect Yourself – The STAX Story
    Muscle Shoals
    The Tami Show

    Festival Express and The Last Waltz are also
    multiples of mine but I am almost embarrassed
    to say I have never watched Woodstock right
    through, although I have a copy on my shelf!

  • 25 Bunny Hudson // Nov 29, 2020 at 10:40 AM

    You really covered most of mine. To add a few more, some of my favs watched multiple times —

    Like Water For Chocolate (foreign)
    Wait Until Dark (Audrey Hepburn)
    To Wong Fu
    Labyrinth
    Marnie (Tippi Hedren)
    I Sent a Letter to My Love (Simone Signoret)
    Madam Rosa (Simone Signoret)
    Imitation of Life (3 versions)
    A Star is Born (Streisand version)
    Toys (Robin Williams) love love love this movie.

    There’s many more, but these are a few I didn’t see on yours.
    Thanks for all this!

  • 26 Eric Douglas Augustsen Mani // Nov 29, 2020 at 11:49 AM

    Oh brother we have viewed an unprecedented amount of flicks too. You mentioned a few we haven’t seen yet.
    The new Zappa Doc is what I’m in — patiently awaiting.
    Hang in there brother.

  • 27 Jeff Zitrain // Nov 29, 2020 at 2:52 PM

    Super interesting, Brian!
    Unless I missed it on your list, I have to recommend Life of fricking BRIAN. One of the masterpieces of Western Civilization.

    I once did a list of top 10 all-time films with accompanying haiku. You might enjoy:

    https://jeffzittrain.com/FilmHaiku.htm

  • 28 Brian // Nov 29, 2020 at 3:47 PM

    Great idea and execution, Jeff! Taking one of the longest form art forms . . . and recreating it in the shortest art form! I love it. And great choices, too.

    And THANKS for the Life of Brian reminder! I only saw that for the third time in the last year or two, so it can now join the club. 😉

  • 29 Wendy Turkington // Nov 29, 2020 at 3:59 PM

    I love movies and have watched most of the ones you listed. For years when I was younger and childless I made it a mission to see every Oscar nominated movie. Then the kids, job, and adult life came along so I couldn’t do that, but my kids did allow me to see great kids’ movies like Lion King and Princess Bride. Now all three of my grown kids love movies and it’s given us many hours of great discussions and competitive jousts over who knows more than whom. We one time, on the way home from a relative’s Christmas dinner in a blizzard, occupied three hours by naming two actors in a movie, then taking the 2nd one, adding another and naming that movie.

    The movies also, like books, give you insight into other lives, and empathy and understanding for people.

  • 30 Brian // Nov 29, 2020 at 5:11 PM

    Wendy — What a cool thing to watch every nominated movie! You shoulda been a voting member!
    And how super-cool that your kids grew up to be movie lovers.

    And yeah — great observation about the insights into our fellow humans. And I like how it’s always a collaborative endeavor from the writers to the director to the actors to all of the production design filling out the picture, to the mood of the lighting, and pacing of the editing in the storytelling — it’s SUCH a collaborative art — the polar opposite of the solitary author or painter in a room.

  • 31 Rob Fitch // Nov 29, 2020 at 8:17 PM

    My M.O. for movies I want to see is more often than not I’ll see a great performance of a given actor, then try to seek out everything they ever did. When I had cable (TCM) and they’d do 24 hours spotlighting a single actor I’d DVR the whole run of those I really dug. I can more easily list fav performers than movies but in that I get to see a whole lot of very good films. The vast majority of my interest is pre-1960 though.

  • 32 Dick van Wyck // Nov 29, 2020 at 9:51 PM

    Perhaps Antonioni with his 3 late 60s and early 70s films would be of interest to you: Blow Up (1966) re Carnaby Street/London; Zabriskie Point (1970) re L.A. and the desert, with Grateful Dead & Pink Floyd on the soundtrack; and The Passenger starring a young Jack Nicholson — all in colour and in English. Best, though, is BUNUEL, all his films, most in black & white, but reveling in surrealism.

  • 33 Brian // Nov 29, 2020 at 11:21 PM

    Thanks for the tips, Dick! I saw Blow Up & Zabriski long ago, but probably need to again.
    I just put all four on my to-watch list.
    Glad they’re in English . . . and you know me & Surrealism are first cousins.

  • 34 Kerry Dowd // Nov 30, 2020 at 10:07 AM

    Some additions I think are missing — Deer Hunter, Platoon, Bridge on the River Kwai, The Usual Suspects, Postcards from the Edge, Blue Velvet, Brian’s Song, The Sound of Music, Sophie’s Choice, Traffic, Awakenings, Patch Adams, Good morning, Vietnam!, Hook, Sleepers, Marvin’s Room . . .

  • 35 Elizabeth Sutherland // Dec 1, 2020 at 12:27 PM

    I hate to seem to bragadoucious, but I have seen almost all on ur list. But not surprising considering my professions, my ex’s profession and my present guy’s former profession. Even Maddie did a cinema studies course @ uni.

    I agree w your complaint about other language films. I was dragged by classmates & friends to so many foreign films in 80’s & 90’s but I really don’t like subtitles any more. Rather watch a dubbed version.

    One to add-anything by Akira Kurosawa (7 Samurai or Ran)
    I have a shitload of musicals on DVD you’re welcome to borrow.

  • 36 Brian // Dec 1, 2020 at 3:09 PM

    Elizabeth — we gotta do a Family Film Fest.
    Either you come here or I go there.
    I pick, then you pick, and we blow each other’s minds. 🙂

  • 37 Drew Seip // Dec 26, 2020 at 8:04 PM

    I think you should add to your need-to-see list Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon – one of the most beautiful and engaging movies ever made IMO. It’s a visual masterpiece and won the Oscar for Best Cinematography. You could take almost any frame of this movie and it could be a classic painting. Total period piece – all night scenes filmed with candlelight. A Kubrick masterpiece!

  • 38 Brian // Dec 26, 2020 at 8:39 PM

    Wow! Well, with *that* recommendation, how can I not want to see it? 😉
    Heard good things — but thanks for adding to it. 😉

  • 39 Krista Greenberg Swisher // Dec 26, 2020 at 9:44 PM

    Oh golly … where to even start … I have memorized ‘Blazing Saddles.’ … ‘Young Frankenstein’ is up there, too. … ‘Duck Soup,’ ‘Network,’ ‘The Hours,’ both ‘Deadpool’s, all the Indiana Jones movies, the ORIGINAL ‘Star Wars’ trilogy … give me time; I’ll come up with more! 🙂

  • 40 Steve Holzer // Dec 27, 2020 at 11:49 AM

    IMO, The Player is the premier film about the film business. Day for Night 2nd — a 1973 François Truffaut film starring Jacqueline Bisset. 8 IMDB rating. Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
    Burden of Dreams about the making of Fitzcarraldo is also great.

  • 41 Steve Holzer // Dec 29, 2020 at 11:56 AM

    Here’s my Top 100 —

    A Streetcar Named Desire 20
    Ace in the Hole 80
    African Queen, The 20
    Airplane 30
    All About Eve 10
    Amelie 30
    American Beauty 80
    Animal House 50
    Anne of Green Gables 40
    Annie Hall 10
    Arsenic and Old Lace 70
    Being John Malkovich 100
    Being There 30
    Blazing Saddles 40
    Bridge on the River Kwai 70
    Caine Mutiny, The 60
    Casablanca 20
    China Syndrome 70
    Chinatown 30
    Citizen Kane 30
    Clerks 80
    Clockwork Orange, A 10
    Conversation, The 90
    Diva 70
    Dog Day Afternoon 20
    Double Indemnity 20
    Dr. Strangelove 30
    Election 100
    Face in the Crowd, A 40
    Fargo 90
    Fight Club 50
    Five Easy Pieces 80
    Forrest Gump 80
    Ghostbusters 60
    Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The 100
    Godfather, The 20
    Godfather, The II 50
    Graduate, The 40
    Hannah & Her Sisters 70
    Harold and Maude 10
    Incredibles, The 90
    Inherit the Wind 10
    It’s A Wonderful Life 30
    Jean de Florette 60
    Key Largo 80
    La Dolce Vita 60
    Laura 90
    Life of Brian, The 30
    Lives of Others, The 70
    Love and Death 10
    Maltese Falcon, The 30
    Man Who Wasn’t There, The 100
    Manhattan 30
    Manon of the Spring 60
    Matrix, The 100
    Midnight Cowboy 70
    Monty Python & the Holy Grail 50
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 40
    Mulholland Drive 60
    My Dinner With Andre 60
    My Left Foot 80
    My Life as a Dog 10
    Network 20
    No Name on the Bullet 60
    North By Northwest 70
    On Golden Pond 50
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 10
    Persona 40
    Play It Again Sam 70
    Pleasantville 90
    Psycho 80
    Pulp Fiction 20
    Raiders of the Lost Ark 80
    Rashomon 50
    Requiem For a Dream 90
    Return of the Pink Panther 80
    Romancing the Stone 60
    Rules of the Game, The 90
    Ruthless People 70
    Seven Beauties 100
    Seven Samurai, The 90
    Shane 100
    Shawshank Redemption 50
    Sleeper 40
    Sleuth 60
    Sunset Blvd. 10
    Swept Away 70
    Taxi Driver 20
    Terminator, The 100
    Terminator, The II: Judgment Day 100
    To Kill a Mockingbird 40
    Tootsie 50
    Treasure of the Sierra Madre 50
    Twelve Angry Men 10
    Usual Suspects, The 100
    Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 20
    Wild Bunch, The 40
    Wild Strawberries 40
    Witness For the Prosecution 50
    World According to Garp, The 50

  • 42 Steve Holzer // Dec 29, 2020 at 12:22 PM

    My Disturbing films:
    Clockwork Orange, SeVen, Silence of the Lambs, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Repulsion (French), Psycho, 12 Years a Slave, Requiem for a Dream, The Snake Pit, Breaking the Waves, The Shining, Wait Until Dark, The Manchurian Candidate (original), The Pawnbroker, Images, Seconds, In Cold Blood, Badlands, Deliverance, The Wicker Man, Joker, Raging Bull, The Piano, Dead Man Walking, Misery, Dolores Claiborne, Trainspotting, American History X, Dogville, The Cell, Oldboy (Korean), Amores Perros, Hotel Rwanda, Blue Ruin, Blue Velvet

  • 43 Dev Britto // Dec 30, 2020 at 1:02 PM

    I’ve watched Highway 61 three or four times … a little Can-con eh?

  • 44 Mandrake Bronder // Dec 31, 2020 at 10:05 AM

    Deb and I have consulted this list a few times! Very useful. Thank you!

  • 45 Brian // Dec 31, 2020 at 2:07 PM

    Thanks, Mandrake — That’s great to hear you’re using and enjoying it. ❤
    Have a happy hippie one on the homefront!

  • 46 Scott Collins // Dec 31, 2020 at 3:31 PM

    Great List. The only surprise is the ones you haven’t seen or seen enough. Now, Voyager and Casablanca and African Queen should all be on the short list for this stay-at-home season on the bench.
    I love the write up on Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

  • 47 Brian // Dec 31, 2020 at 5:13 PM

    Thanks, Scott! And yeah … part of the fun is the honesty in admitting the classics you’ve never (or rarely) seen. And then getting tips from people (like yourself). I just pulled Casablanca off the shelf.

    Oh and glad you liked the little write-up on Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Now that I’ve got the basic page built, I can start adding in more mini reviews and cool background and such. I reckon I’ll be adding to this for the rest of time. 🙂

  • 48 S.A. Griffin // Jan 14, 2021 at 2:32 PM

    Interesting. I’ve seen 99 per cent of this list. You’ve got a few on there that I am pleased to see, including Phantom of the Paradise, which I have seen umpteen times!

    Surprised not to see more noirs on there, or some other classic genre films.

    Off the top, you should see these as well:

    Asphalt Jungle
    Night and the City
    Gun Crazy (original)
    Narrow Margin (original)
    Compulsion
    The Seduction of Mimi
    Babette’s Feast
    Big Night
    Man Bites Dog

    And When I Die, I Won’t I Won’t Stay Dead, incredible documentary about Bob Kaufman, here’s the link, a Beat Generation ESSENTIAL!!
    https://www.kanopy.com/product/and-when-i-die-i-wont-stay-dead

    If (Malcolm McDowell)
    O, Lucky Man (Malcolm McDowell)

    Let It Ride (I’m in about the first ten minutes… but that is not why I am listing this one, this really is one of the greatest track movies of all time)

    It’s Always Fair Weather
    Singin’ In the Rain
    El Dorado
    The Quiet Man
    Long Voyage Home
    The Searchers
    She Wore A Yellow Ribbon
    The Westerner
    Sergeant York
    Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (original)
    Meet John Doe
    Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry
    Sugarland Express
    I Was a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
    The Life of Emile Zola
    Angel on My Shoulder
    Here Comes Mr. Jordan (original)
    The Invisible Man (original)
    The Rocky Horror Picture Show
    Brewster McCloud
    King of Comedy
    Sunrise (1927 masterpiece silent film)
    Woman in the Moon (silent film, considered the first of the sci-fi genre)
    Quadrophenia
    Born Yesterday
    Bells Are Ringing
    The Magnificent Ambersons
    Nosferatu (original)
    Terror of Tiny Town (serious all midget western)
    Freaks (directed by Todd Browning, you must see this!!!)
    Dracula (also Todd Browning)
    Frankenstein (Boris Karloff)
    Hud (the third of Newman’s triumvirate of films from the early 60s he should have won the Academy Award for… Melvyn Douglas won, so did Patricia O’Neal)
    Tender Mercies
    The Apostle
    THX 1138
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Sweet Bird of Youth
    Jailhouse Rock
    Failsafe
    Lolita (original)
    Cinderella Liberty
    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
    Babe
    It Happened One Night
    Man With the Golden Arm
    A Christmas Story (1983)
    Saving Private Ryan
    Minority Report
    A.I.
    1917
    Pan’s Labyrinth
    The Shape of Water
    Of Mice and Men (both versions, but the original is the best)
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    Bullitt
    Tom Horn
    Duel in the Sun
    Ruggles of Red Gap (Charles Laughton)
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Charles Laughton)
    Night of the Hunter (only film directed by Charles Laughton)
    Henry VIII (Charles Laugton)
    A Place in the Sun
    The Misfits

    Documentaries:
    Burden of Dreams
    Hoop Dreams
    The Social Dilemma
    The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing
    Speilberg
    Elvis: That’s the Way it Was
    Elvis Comeback Special (TV, 1968… seminal moment)
    Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii (1973, first ever special broadcast live around the world via satellite)

    Okay, that’s plenty enough for now as I could go on, and on, and on… 😉 But really, any of these films you should see, and it is quite a dynamic for you.

    Much love,
    Surge Antibody

  • 49 Brian // Jan 14, 2021 at 4:11 PM

    Holy heck, S.A.!!! Whadda list! Looks like I’ve got some work to do! Sheesh!

    Thank you!

    You should be teaching this stuff. 🙂

    I just watched “Marty” (1955) and Silver Screen Classics. 😉

  • 50 S.A. Griffin // Jan 15, 2021 at 3:57 PM

    Marty is a great film, the one that won Borgnine his Oscar.

    Honestly, my list could go on and on and on…
    I have been obsessed with film my entire life. Not just professionally, but personally. Film was my great escape as a child. My grandmother would give me 50 cents, which was enough to see a double feature and get some popcorn and a soda.

    Another silent film you should catch is Joan of Arc, it is one of the greatest films ever made!!

    Just about everything and anything by Billy Wilder, Frank Capra, the Coen Bros, David Fincher, Woody Allen, Richard Fliescher, Sidney Lumet…

    Others I didn’t notice on your list —
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button!!! One of the films I can never stop watching!!

    Moneyball
    An American in Paris
    California Split
    Freebie and the Bean
    Rollerball (the original)
    Zardoz
    The Man Who Would be King … my mind races with the hundreds, thousands of titles …

    Remains of the Day
    Bridge Over the River Kwai
    Empire of the Sun
    The Wrestler
    Factotum
    Thief (with James Caan and Willie Nelson. this film also marks the real first time that a rock band, Tangerine Dream, created an entire soundtrack)
    Hoppity Goes to Town (or Mr. Bug Goes to Town, animated feature with music by Hoagy Carmichael, lyrics by Frank Loesser and animation by Dave Fleischer, Max Fleischer’s brother (Popeye, Betty Boop). His nephew, Richard Fleischer was one of the greatest directors of all time, directed The Narrow Margin (one of the GREATEST noirs of all time).

    Compulsion, Soylent Green, Fantastic Voyage, Conan the Destroyer, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Dr. Dolittle — directed by Richard Fleischer, whom I knew casually for many years, was a really, really great guy, wrote one of the very greatest books on filmmaking, Just Tell Me When to Cry, my signed copy is part of my UCLA archive)

    Who’ll Stop the Rain
    Dark City
    Napoleon Dynamite
    Blue Velvet
    Earaserhead
    The Elephant Man
    Elephant — by Gus Van Sant, amazing, amazing documentary style film about two students who go on a killing spree at their high school.
    The Lion in Winter
    Beckett
    The Longest Yard (Burt Reynolds)
    The Shootist (Wayne’s last film)
    Bad Day at Black Rock
    The Grapes of Wrath
    My Darling Clementine
    Red River
    Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (both Frederick March and Spencer Tracy’s versions)
    Inherit the Wind
    Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (Tracy’s last film)
    Leaving Las Vegas
    Ryan’s Daughter
    Lawrence of Arabia
    Out of Africa
    The Devil Wears Prada
    Brokeback Mountain
    Red Badge of Courage
    Sophie’s Choice
    The Deer Hunter

    the director’s cut of Heaven’s Gate
    the director’s cut of Once Upon a Time in America
    Report to the Commissioner
    Silence (Scorsese’s recent masterpiece)
    Hurt Locker
    All Quiet on the Western Front (Lew Ayers)
    Johnny Belinda
    I Know Where I’m Going (starring the great Wendy Hiller)
    Defending Your Life
    Gummo
    The Room
    Cross Creek
    Valley of the Dolls and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (one of my all time favorite WORST films ever, written by Roger Ebert)

    The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnasus
    The Bad Seed (original)
    Logan’s Run
    The Great Santini
    Starman
    The Landlord (one of Beau Bridges first, if not his first)
    Rancho Deluxe (one of the great detective/comedy/western/absurdist films ever, one of Jeff Bridges first)
    Tron (original)
    Spirited Away (masterpiece anime feature)
    Winter’s Bone
    Alakazam the Great (animated feature with Jonathan Winters, Frankie Avalon and Sterling Holloway (he’s one of the greatest character actors of all time, famous for being the voice of Winnie the Pooh)…

    Anyway, way too many to continue riffing here, but you get the picture!

    The top of my list of all time greatest bad movies would be The World’s Greatest Sinner (which is also just one of my favorite all time flicks), and Skidoo, directed by Otto Preminger who also directed the musical Carmen, which you can add.
    Skidoo is absolutely terrible, and purportedly, and quite possibly a ’60s period piece made on acid with an all star cast.

    I Love You Alice B. Toklas, another amazing period piece starring Peter Sellers, that is rumored to have the influence of real pot brownies during the party scene.
    Barbarella!!!! Another classic freak show.
    Cinderfella
    The Nutty Professor (both versions)
    Dolemite (Eddie Murphy was robbed)
    Malcolm X
    Welcome to the Dollhouse . . .

    … shit, need to stop or I won’t!!!

  • 51 Brian // Jan 16, 2021 at 8:59 AM

    Lovin these additions and suggestions bubbling up from your deep well of cinematic joy and knowledge, me brutha!
    There’s a lot of helpful surprises on there — films I’d written off or never considered — so thanks for shining the light from your reel cool corner. 😉

  • 52 S.A. Griffin // Jan 18, 2021 at 9:02 AM

    Other directors whose work I will always watch include John Ford, Terry Gilliam, Sam Peckinpah and Ida Lupino, a maverick and one of my all time favorite actresses as well. She directed film and lots of TV.

    There’s such an endless list of greats.
    The Searchers (which I’ve seen countless times) was on earlier tonight, a film that should have won Wayne the Oscar.

    Another “children’s” film you should catch, an atomic age musical fantasy “dream” a la Wizard of Oz with sets by Dr. Seuss, also a film I will never tire of watching is The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T! Don’t miss it!!!

    And if you’ve never seen it, queue up Out of the Past, “Build my gallows high, baby.” Arguably the greatest noir of all time. Arguable because there are so many in the top tier and they are all unique. However it is hard to top Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas and Jane Greer with the amazing Jacques Tourneur at the helm, another of my all time favorite directors!!

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