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10 Favorite Films

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A note on a Best v Favorites list: We have discussed "best" films in the past where the focus was more on quality.  A "favorite" films list is more about films that connect with you in some way (including guilty pleasures) and have high repeat value. These are films that you would take with you on an island or simple sit back to enjoy without much considerations. The best and favorite films list can have commonalities as well if a best film also happens to be a big favorite. 

 

We have done favorite films discussion based on languages/regions too, this one is about putting it altogether i.e. regions, languages, and genres excluding silent films.
 

A key consideration: one film per director and series to avoid a director/series specific cluster. 

 

Below is my favorite 10 in the order of release (2021 dynamics): 

 

  • The Great Dictator (1940) - Love this talkie from Chaplin, who plays two roles 
  • Black Narcissus (1947) - Like the idea of nuns having to face challenges in a relatively isolated location, a unique adventure 
  • Seven Samurai (1954) - A timeless epic 
  • To Catch a Thief (1955) - French Riviera, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, & Hitchcock 
  • Dr. No (1962) - Any major Bond film can be listed but the first one has a relatively high repeat value for me while scoring high on “Bondness” including Caribbean as the location, a big villain, and so on 
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962) - I can watch those majestic desert scenes and listen to the magical score by Maurice Jarre any time. They never fail to catch my attention  
  • A Shot in the Dark (1964) - Everytime I watch this, I laugh out loud. Also Inspector Clouseau gets his own film as the key character. In the preceding Pink Panther, Clouseau was not the key character
  • Sholay (1975) - For some masala entertainment 
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1982) - If it is a great adventure film, it is likely to be on my list 
  • Inception (2010) - The dreams concept, the score, and a spy-adventure film like atmosphere 

 

 

What is your favorite 10 (from films from everywhere except the silent ones)?

Edited by zen
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2 minutes ago, zen said:

 

Make a new list :dontknow:

Too much work... :D

 

However, as a list-obsessed freak, might as well as go the full distance. I will try to pick only one favourite (and this is the key word) from each category. I ended up with 11 and missed a few genres.

 

1. Musical: The canonical pick is Singin' in the Rain, but mine is Meet Me in St. Louis by Minnelli. Gorgeous Technicolour, superb direction, great songs, fantastic art direction & cinematography, and underrated script + acting. Wizard of Oz is a close second.

2. Animation: Going to pick Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, the film that kickstarted Ghibli. Animation is still gorgeous, great world-building, excellent direction, Nausicaa is an admirable character, and the ending is predictable yet moving.

3. Western: "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance". To copy-paste from one of my own posts: Beautiful use of flashbacks, exquisite direction, evocative music and cinematography, superb acting, and a dreamy otherworldy air that makes us truly understand and imbibe the whole theme of the film: "print the legend, not the fact". The movie is a thought-provoking exploration of history is created and transmitted, and why legends dominate narratives despite running counter to facts.

4. Fantasy: The LOTR trilogy. I don't think Jackson captured all of Tolkien's magic, but he managed to capture enough of the essence. ATG production values, competent direction, and solid acting + script. It's just one book, so I look upon the 3 extended films as one long 11-12 hr film.

5. Science fiction: I consider 2001: A Space Odyssey to be slightly better, but few films have moved me as much as Blade Runner when I first saw it. Fantastic use of atmosphere/mood/tone, great set design, evocative music, superb directing, underrated acting, etc. Star Wars: A New Hope is a close second.

6. Horror: Eyes Without a Face is legit unsettling and yet incredibly beautiful. Wonderful cinematography, direction, and mise en scene. A close second would be The Innocents for nearly the same reasons.

7. Drama: Late Spring. Just the daily lives of a widower father and his unmarried daughter. And yet, this simple "drama" has incredible profundity. ATG script, GOAT director Ozu, and great acting from Ryu and Hara. For sure, my pick for my fav drama.

8. Comedy: I could pick any number of Hollywood/world comedies, but I will go with the underrated and highly enjoyable Kshana Kshanam. It combines a number of diff genres into one highly enjoyable melting point. One could call it a romance or thriller as well, but IMO the comedic elements dominate. An enjoyable romp with great songs, excellent direction, and sterling acting. I am also very fond of 30s-40s Hollywood screwball comedies.

9. Action: Lots of compelling movies, but I'm going to go with a childhood favourite which still remains one to this day - Enter the Dragon, which kickstarted my everlasting love of martial arts movies. Some of the acting and direction are corny as hell, but somehow the whole film is deeply compelling thanks to Bruce "the Emperor" Lee's magnetic performance.

10. Mystery/Thriller: Just about any Hitchock film will fit the bill, but I will go with Shadow of a Doubt. It does not have as many big twists as some of his other movies, but the slow and gradually enveloping sense of dread is truly suitable for the Master of Suspense.

11. War: All Quiet on the Western Front is to my mind still one of the greatest anti-war films and is also a big fav for me. Superb cinematography, solid acting, great script (and even greater novel), and excellent direction.

 

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20 hours ago, zen said:

Btw, To Catch a Thief is being remade with Gal Gadot! - Link

 

PS I am not sure if the track record of remaking Hitchcock films is great. Hope this one can beat the odds. 

they should let classics be as they are. look at how ben hur got butchered

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6 minutes ago, Vijy said:

they should let classics be as they are. look at how ben hur got butchered


Odds are staked against it as Hitchcock remakes have generally been average films making you wonder why they were attempted.
 

There can be exceptions if they tweak the story a little (The book is slightly different), and have great cinematography and score as it is difficult to replicate the magic of Grant and Kelly.

Edited by zen
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Just now, zen said:


Odds are staked against it as Hitchcock remakes are generally average films. But there can be exceptions if the tweak the story a little (The book is slightly different),  and have great cinematography and score. 

yes, these aspects will help. in the end though, it will be hard to top the Maestro of Suspense (Hitch)

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14 minutes ago, Vijy said:

the most "elegant" of all of hitch's blondes. also one of the few who could look very classy, prim and proper on the exterior and yet exude a lot of sensuality. deborah kerr was another.

 

TCAT is among my favorites because of Grant-Kelly exchanges, and of course French Riviera as the location ... Remarkable screen presence these two have and kudos to Hitchcock for putting them together 

 

 

There is a scene where Kelly drives fast with Grant as her passenger. That scene may have inspired the scene in Thunderball where Fiona, one of my favorite Bond girls if henchwomen are included, gives Bond a lift:

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by zen
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Great thread. 

Based on repeatability and personal liking. 

My top 10 favorite movies list is :

 

1. ShawShank Redemption - the dialogues and scenes are legendary (the one where they all drink alcohol while sitting on the roof) and the background score is pleasant. 

 

2. Apocalypse Now - the most beautiful movie I have seen in terms of Images and stills, doesn't have the best ending but this movie is beyond storytelling, it's magical. 

 

3. Psycho - GOAT movie by the GOAT director Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony perkins' acting is beyond comparison. 

I would urge all of you to start watching Hitchcock's movies, he was just brilliant and completely unorthodox. 

This movies passes the test of time rather remarkably. 

 

4. Dial M for Murder -  another Hitchcock classic, I actually even watched this in theatre, it was being screened in PVR saket in delhi and coincidentally I was in Delhi at that time, loved it. 

 

5. The Prestige - Christopher Nolan's best work in my opinion. Loved the inclusion of Nicola Tesla. Surely an underrated movie. 

 

6. Shutter Island - My second favourite Scorecese movie after Taxi Driver but it's  repeatability quotient is higher. 

 

 

7. The eternal sunshine of the spotless mind - I love Jim Carrey and this is probably his greatest movie, yup I think this is above Truman show. Just love the innocence being displayed in this movie. 

 

8. Jaws - Not sure that others would like this much  as this genre has been abused and beaten up by a whole lot of non artists but still it's repeatable and the first one of its genre (successful). 

 

9. Jurassic Park (Spielberg's )  - the American fascination with Dinosaurs hasn't really given us much apart from this masterpiece, I know it's the old "ugly people die, beautiful ones live on" storyline but attempting something like this in 90s was definitely an achievement and yes it was a rather great movie, I have seen it more than 5 times for sure. 

 

10. Phir hera Pheri 1 and 2- staple food, can't even count how many times I have seen this masterpiece.  Hoping that the next one also turns out to be equally good. I am quite sire if the original cast members assemble again then the third installment will also be successful coz these movies aren't about great story but about comic timing and definitely all of them are still active in Bollywood. 

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Kubrick is one director who I have completely failed to understand. 

 

I didn't like any of his movies(except one) , this is inspite of my efforts to like them. 

 

Hate Clockwork Orange 

Didn't get the fun behind Strangelove and 

Didn't really enjoy Full metal Jacket 

Eyes wide shut :no:

 

Although I love The Shining. 

Edited by Adamant
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Shawshank Redemption 

Pulp Fiction (Sam L J nuff said) 

Fight Club (Can rewatch it so many times & still not get bored whatta classic) 

Silence of the Lambs

Blade Runner 2049 (Sci fi at its best) 

Social Network 2010

Inglourious Basterds (Underrated Tarantino gem) 

The Wolf of Wall street (2013) 

The Dark knight

Nightcrawler (2014) Jake G was robbed off an Oscar right there. 

 

Shutter Island misses out by barest of margins.. (Trying to vary the genre) 

So many others but these are the ones at the top off my head. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Lone Wolf
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18 hours ago, Adamant said:

Kubrick is one director who I have completely failed to understand. 

 

I didn't like any of his movies(except one) , this is inspite of my efforts to like them. 

 

Hate Clockwork Orange 

Didn't get the fun behind Strangelove and 

Didn't really enjoy Full metal Jacket 

Eyes wide shut :no:

 

Although I love The Shining. 

Kubrick is very hit-or-miss even for "serious" cinephiles. I am a huge fan of him (also of Hitch of course), but I can understand why people do not like him as much.

 

My 5 fav Kubrick movies have only one of the 5 you listed. I have mentioned the other 4:

 

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (will seem too slow paced/abstract for many)

2. Barry Lyndon (same as 2001)

3. Paths of Glory (in a lot of ways, Kubrick's most "accessible" film)

4. Lolita (subject is uncomfortable, but great direction, acting, script, etc)

 

Honorary mention: Spartacus (one of the best sword-and-sandal films of all time)

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18 hours ago, Adamant said:

Great to see fellow Hitchcock fan club members. 

There shouldn't be an iota of doubt that he is indeed the GOAT DIRECTOR and that too by a mammoth Margin. 

I have seen 35-40 of Hitch's films; probably more than all other filmmakers.

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17 minutes ago, Vijy said:

Kubrick is very hit-or-miss even for "serious" cinephiles. I am a huge fan of him (also of Hitch of course), but I can understand why people do not like him as much.


Kubrick tried his hand at multiple genres and each of his effort in those genre is pretty solid. Which is why many may have a different opinion on Kubrick based on the film they see.
 

Many of his films also require you to be in the right mood - I mean I can’t just put on 2001 (like a masala film) and watch. I have plan to watch it and also be in the right (focused) mood for it. 
 

The Killing, Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Dr. Strangelove, 2001, and Barry Lyndon are all solid. I have Spartacus, Dr. Strangelove and 2001 in 4K HDR, and Barry Lyndon on Criterion blu-ray. I also have a book on Kubrick films. 

 

 

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