Top 10 Movies

Last night my younger brother asked me to name my top 10 favorite movies of all time. Here is my list, though I made some modifications to the list I created last night.

  1. The Godfather (1972)
  • Director: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Starring: Marlon Brand, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diana Keaton
  • Reason: The acting is fantastic. I have seen a lot of gangster films and this remains the best.
  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  • Director: Peter Jackson
  • Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan
  • Reason: This is probably the best major motion picture adaption of a fantasy novel.
  1. It Happened One Night (1934)
  • Director: Frank Capra
  • Starring: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly
  • Reason: This was the first film to sweep the Oscars. Without this movie, Gable probably would not have portrayed Rhett Butler. And it is incredibly funny.
  1. The Great Escape (1963)
  • Director: John Sturges
  • Starring: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, David McCallum
  • Reason: It is a solid action/war flick. Also, the narrative is driven by character development, not CGI explosives. And Steve McQueen on a motorcycle is hard to beat.
  1. My Favorite Wife (1940)
  • Director: Garson Kanin
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Irene Dunn, Randolph Scott,
  • Reason: Cary Grant is one of my favorite actors. This film is one of his early hits and it is wonderful.
  1. (Tie): Sabrina (1954)
  • Director: Billy Wilder
  • Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden
  1. (Tie): Sabrina (1995)
  • Director: Sydney Pollack
  • Starring: Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond, Greg Kinnear

Reason: It is a sweet modern romantic comedy.  This is a tie because this is one of the few times where the remake is just as good as the original. And it is hard to resist Harrison Ford.

7. American Hustle (2013)

  • Director: David O. Russell
  • Starring: Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K.
  • Reason: It is a welcome departure in a superhero/action driven movie market. Also, every now and then I enjoy an intelligent film that requires some thinking. I thought this move deserved the Oscar for Best Picture.
  1. The Prestige (2006)
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine, David Bowie
  • Reason: Nolan is a master at creating suspense and drama. The screenplay is intelligent and well executed. Also, I have a weakness for films about magic and for Hugh Jackman.
  1. How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
  • Director: Jean Negulesco
  • Starring: Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable
  • Reason: The movie has a good message about not judging people based upon appearances. And all the parts are well acted.

10. (Tie): Avatar (2009)

  • Director: James Cameron
  • Starring: Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez
  • Reason: It is an excellent science-fiction flick, even if the plot is recycled. The visual effects were amazing; I saw it in theatres 8 times.

10. (Tie): Rebecca (1940)

  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Starring: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders
  • Reason: I love the novel by Daphne Du Maurier. This adaptation remains the most faithful to the source material and Laurence Olivier is the perfect Maxim de Winter. It won the Oscar for Best Picture and deservedly so.
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Musings on Books and movies

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