Friday, February 4, 2011

15 Films - 15 Minutes! Got this idea from a friend on Facebook, thought I'd post it.

Okay, same as we did with 15 Authors a while back: Right off the top of your head, think of 15 films that affected you specifically (for whatever reason) over the years, films that stay with you, films that, if you stop to think for a moment, always make you feel something, maybe undefined, but definitely worth remembering. Films in which you can still see certain scenes play in your head if you focus. Films that just plain live on in your memory, no matter what. (Even if all the memory you have is 'old-lady memory' just like moi.)

Here's the trick: You only have 15 minutes to do this, so the films must, obviously be ones that are sitting there just below the surface, waiting for you. (Not even the best films you ever saw, but films that are just there, hanging around and always ready to be talked about.)

Today's fifteen: (Subject to change at any moment.)

  • BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal
  • THE BLACK STALLION starring Kelly Reno and the most gorgeous animal God ever put on this earth.
  • LAWRENCE OF ARABIA starring Peter O'Toole
  • TOP HAT starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
  • A NEW LEAF starring Walter Matthau and Elaine May
  • STAR WARS starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Alec Guinness (The first film in the series, no matter what he hell they're calling it now.)
  • THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN starring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen and James Coburn
  • TARZAN AND HIS MATE starring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan
  • GIGI starring Leslie Caron, Louis Jourdan and Maurice Chevalier
  • THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE starring Lawrence Harvey and Frank Sinatra
  • Jean Cocteau's LA BELLE ET LA BETE (Beauty and the Beast) starring Jean Marais and Josette Day
  • DIVA starring Frederic Andrei and Wilhelminia Wiggins Fernandez
  • THE THIRTY NINE STEPS starring Robert Donat
  • BLACK NARCISSUS starring Deborah Kerr, Sabu, Jean Simmons
  • THE WIND AND THE LION starring Sean Connery and Candice Bergen
What are your 15?? Quick, quick, off the top of your head!


  1. Great list! I've done this on FB before. Just did my list again and it's changed a bit (those old lady brains...). Here's mine:

    1. Arsenic & Old Lace: Cary Grant. Screwball comedy/suspense at its best.
    2. The Great Train Robbery: Sean Connery & Donald Sutherland. I love the Victorian era.
    3. The Thomas Crown Affair: Pierce Brosnan version. I just love Pierce.
    4. Singing in the Rain: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds. Probably my all-time favorite musical.
    5. Bringing Up Baby: Cary Grant & Katharine Hepburn. More wonderful screwball comedy.
    6. The Philadelphia Story: Cary Grant, James Stewart & Katherine Hepburn. Ditto.
    7. White Christmas: Bing Crosby & Danny Kaye. My favorite Christmas movie.
    8. Gettysburg: Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels, Tom Berenger. Worth it for the scenery and music alone.
    9. The North Avenue Irregulars. 1st movie I saw in a theater.
    10. Star Wars (the original): Harrison Ford (swoon), Mark Hamil, Alec Guinness, Carrie Fisher. It better stay in the memory--I saw it 9 times in the theater when it came out.
    11. Rear Window: James Stewart, Grace Kelly. I love this Hitchcock movie.
    12. Wit: Emma Thompson. Heartbreakingly wonderful.
    13. Rebecca: Laurence Olivier, Judith Anderson, Joan Fontaine. The Hitchcock version in black and white can't be beat.
    14. The African Queen: Humphrey Bogart & Katherine Hepburn. I love their interaction on the boat.
    15. Casablanca: Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman. "Here's looking at you, kid."

  2. Ooh black stallion - i was just talking about that movie to a friend of mine at work saying how much we loved that movie and how beautiful that horse was!

  3. ARSENIC AND OLD LACE. My favorite scene is the baseball vignette at the beginning at Ebbits Field in Bklyn. The hosue by the graveyard with the two muderdously sweet old ladies. CHARGE!!!!!!!!

    BRINGING UP BABY would have been on the list today but I mis-counted. Ha.

  4. Bev: Oh, I meant to mention REAR WINDOW. Yes! I'm not a big fan of James Stewart, never was. But this is one of the films in which I like him a lot. Grace, not so much. :)

  5. Just 15 ? Oh well, here you go ....

    1. Kind Hearts and Coronets - Ealing comedy and Alec Guiness at his best.

    2. The Dam Busters - just love that theme tune!

    3. Wizard of OZ - cross-references into so many books and films these days

    4. Indiana Jones and Lost Ark - pure 'Boys-own' action

    4. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - Ken Costner (need I say more? ;-p )

    5. How the West Was Won - epic; like a "Who's who" of Hollywood

    6. True Grit - John Wayne with two rifles and the reins betwen his teeth!

    7. Bourne Identity - intelligent espionage (why does it always seem to rain in American-made, European-based films...?)

    8. Singing in the Rain - never mind twinkle-toes Kelly, I always marvel at Donald O'Connor's back flip! And Lina Lamont - "..and I caaaaain't staaain' 'im!"

    9. Matrix - maybe I should have taken the blue pill....

    10. Snow White (Disney cartoon) - scarred for life by the morphing wicked Queen! :-o

    11. Fantasia - Ponchielli's 'Dance of the Hours' forever imortalised in my mind as dancing hippos, crocodiles and ostriches ;-)

    12. The Ten Commandments - Charlton Heston commands the waves!

    13. The Italian Job (original) "You're only supposed to blow the bl**dy doors off!!"

    14. Breakfast at Tiffany's - Audrey Hepburn, waif-like but so glamorous!

    15. It's a Wonderful Life - best antidote feelings of low self-worth - and Jimmy Stewart at his magnifient best

  6. Sue: Good choices. Yes yes yes on Bourne!! My favorite thrillers or all time (Next to DIVA, of course.) FANTASIA, on any given day that's on the list for me as well. But my favorite parts were the The Sorcerer's Apprentice and the Tchaikovsky bits, also the frightening NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN!

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  8. 1. The Women - Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Norma Shear

    2. Auntie Mame - Rosalind Russell

    3. Christmas in Connecticut - Barbara Stanwyck

    4. The Thin Man - William Powell, Myrna Loy

    5. Baby Boom - Diane Keaton

    6. The Haunting - Julie Harris, Claire Bloom

    7. Willow - Val Kilmer, Warwick Davis

    8. The Adventure of Robin Hood - Errol Flynn

    9. The Last Supper - Cameron Diaz, Ron Perlman

    10. Xanadu - Oliva Newton John

    11. The Orphanage - directed by Guillermo Del Toro

    12. The Neverending Story

    13. The Adventures in Babysitting - Elizabeth Shue

    14. The Secret of My Success - Michael J. Fox

    15. The Towering Inferno - Steve McQueen, Paul Newman

    There are some on this list that would always be there and there are some others that would be on it when I'm in a different mood.

  9. Ryan, some of these I haven't seen, but of course, I've seen and love ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. My favorite scene is the moment when King Richard arrives in the forest and is taken to the outlaw's hide-out - no one suspects he's the king in disguise. Then when he takes off his monk's habit and reveals the 3 lion crest on his tunic, all the outlaws bow down with expressions of awe. LOVE THAT SCENE even if it is impossibly romanticized and even if the real Richard wasn't a great guy. The actor who plays Richard IS Richard in my imagination. :)

    Love THE THIN MAN and a few of the other films on your list which I've actually seen. But of course, as you say, the list is subject to daily fluctuation.

  10. This is a hard assignment. I could list more than 15, and it's tough to pare it down. But here goes:

    The Shawshank Redemption
    The Good Earth
    The Grapes of Wrath
    The Life of Emile Zola
    Malcolm X
    Dead Man Walking
    The Visitor
    Watch on the Rhine
    Two Bogies: To Have and Have Not/Key Largo
    The Great Debaters
    Norma Rae
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    12 Angry Men

    I must put in Mrs. Miniver which as a teen-ager I loved. I thought Greer Garson could do no wrong.

    So I put in 18. There are more.

    I grew up in a family where we watched movies with social importance--or Ingrid Bergman (parents adored her) or Paul Muni.

  11. Oh, SHAWSHANK - good one. The opera scene especially! JULIA. Yes. Meryl Streep and Jane Fonda?

    12 Angry Men, another great one.
    Lots of good choices, Kathy.

    Remember that this is supposed to be off the top of your head without too much thinking about it. One of these days we'll do a TEN BEST OF ALL TIME - then we'll have troubles. Ha!

  12. Yes, but a friend just reminded me of several movies I like, and this is just a shake-up of the gray matter:

    The Lady Vanishes
    Open City
    The Remains of the Day
    A Raisin in the Sun
    Two Women
    My Brilliant Career

    I was going to post her list, but it's humongous.

  13. Vanessa Redgrave was in Julia. Jane Fonda played Lillian Hellman.

  14. But Meryl Streep was also in it. She played a supporting part. I believe this was her first film. Jeez. This was a good film. Haven't seen it in ages, though.

  15. Kathy I have a good film for you. I saw this recently and quite unexpectedly found that I liked it very much. It's a romantic film with a kind of unexpected twist: DEJA VU. It stars Victoria Foyt (never heard of her before but I liked her in this), Stephen Dillane and Vanessa Redgrave.

  16. Kathy: How are we going to get the list down to 10 when we do our 10 favorites of ALL TIME???

    These 15 are supposed to be spur of the moment choices anyway. Not necessarily the best, but just what you remember on a given moment, in a given day, of films that left an impression.


  17. Yes, I know, but impossible to just list 15. The problem is that I forgot a lot of films I love, and when a friend thought of them, they all clicked in my brain and shook up my memory cells.

    I don't know if I could get films down to a list of 10, will take a Herculean act. Some of these movies impacted me for years, some I just enjoyed.
    Some I'll never forget.

    I rewatched several classics last year and I liked them so much! 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, the Bogart/Bacall movies, and I am going to watch all of the Bogart my library has, and so much more, including Sid Caesar's brilliant Show of Shows which I found in the catalogue.

  18. My library has "Deja V," and as soon as there is a free space, I'll put it on hold. I love Vanessa Redgrave.

    I just watched 4 movies, all from the library, within the last 10 days, "Please Give," a film about a New York middle-class couple's angst; "Mother and Child," a good, well-acted movie with a great cast, a real tear-jerker; "Winter's Bone," a tough, brutal movie, very well-acted; and "The World Unseen," about the relationship of two women, who live in the Indian community in 1952 apartheid South Africa--very good.

    And I'm going back to a bit of Camilleri and Sjowall/Wahloo reading for awhile.

    Then I'll look for more classic movies, and Nero Wolfe!


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