Friday, June 02, 2006

The Iowa Film Nerd's Top 30 Movies: 1-10

This is a difficult blog to type out, for I love movies and it is hard to narrow down a list of a few movies that i would watch over all other movies. I go through fads and periods where I want to watch only a few movies. The origins of this come out of Jenna's father asking me what my favorite/best movie of all time was. I was flabergausted and couldn't name what I wanted to, I blurted out a few that were meant to be on this list. I still feel like I needed to write this out and write a little on all of them, a justification of sorts. So here is the list that this film nerd has singled out. I narrowed down them into tiers because I cannot single one movie out as the best.

The top ten (in no particular order):

Fight Club
This film opened my eyes on what life could be like. That there are other ways of living. One of the things that still strikes me today is the truth about my generation. We are in a spiritual depression, our great depression is our lives. We are more conserned with commercialism than our own selfs. Not only does this film exhibite all of what I have just said, it is also one of the funniest movies I have seen. I think that I could (and have) watch this every day for a month straight.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
I laugh even at the title of this film. This is THE quintessential black humor film. With a slue of great performances out of the whole cast, how could you go wrong. I almost cried the first time that Dr. Strangelove stood up and started to goose step salute Hitler. It provides a vision of what could happen if we ever get into another Cold War.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
The film that reinvented the Western Genre and allowed us to look at them in a new eye. The search for a gold treasure and a fight to the death for it. The infusion of the Civil War into this allows us to see the foolishness of war and the inevitablness of it. It rounded off the "Man with no Name" trilogy. Great shots and a soundtrack that will never be forgotten. As soon as the oppening credits hit, you will recognize the sound.

On the Waterfront
This film is about the struggle between being cool with your friends or being right. It contains one of the finest screen performances given by anyone ever. Brando's Terry Malloy is frightening real. This also contains the famous "Contender" speech that you always hear about. "You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it. It was you, Charley."

Wild Strawberries
I haven't gotten into foreign films all that much, but this is the second Bergman film that I have seen. It is also one that has made me look at my life differently, it has so much introspect that it forces you to do so. When I listen to the Swedish that is spoken by the character, I feel that it has rhythm and vibe that flows like a poem. At the end you feel so sorry for the man, during his life he forgets to find time to pick the Wild Strawberries.

Once Upon a Time in America
This is the best gangster film I have ever seen. The Godfather and Goodfellas have come close, but this is the one that follows their start to finish so closely and completely that you know them. Another haunting soundtrack that you will be whistling long after it is finished. It is also an enigma of a film, it bounces back and forth chronologically and from dream to reality. A film that is worth watching a couple times to figure out its puzzle.

Singin' In the Rain
I am by far not a fan of musicals, but there is one that sticks out and is worthy of this top ten. Singin' In the Rain is a film that is historical and makes one feel good after it is all finished. Gene Kelly is a man that I feel envious of, he glides and flies around the screen. It is above all funny. "Can stannum" and "I make more that Calvin Coolidge put together". Hilarious!

Strangers On a Train
If I could I would exempt this film and make a Hitchcock section, but I have forced myself to single out one film. This follows one of his interesting concepts. If you meet a perfect stranger and exchanged murders, would you get away with it? This is an instance where it was almost works. Bruno Anthony is a villian that you feel more sympathy for than the hero/victim. Something worth noting is the first shot, following the feet until they bump, one of the most creative and clever beginnings of a movie ever.

There was a time when I believed that the best Vietnam film was Full Metal Jacket, but over the past few years this has creeped up on me and has overtaken that. This is a film where the hero has foolishly left a life of privlage to join the grunts and start his life from the ground up. I believe that this film follows the journey of war, the frightening experience, then the exhilleration, the brotherhood that developes and the war within. A complex community that was incapsulated and explored from a real vet.

Sunset Blvd.
One of the best Billy Wilder films and the best film noir to develope out of the 50' post war malaise of Hollywood and America. This film is so creepy and prophetic that it predicted the fall of Meyer's studio and empire. William Holden's performance as a struggling screenwriter reminds us of the dangers that hiding behind every corner. Just see it.

More to come.

Iowa Film Nazi


Anonymous Victoria said...


You sneaky guy. You can't give me crap for "not responding to your blogs" cause I just did! (And you weren't even going to tell me about it). Anywho, I have only seen like 2 or 3 of the movies on your list. Maybe I will have to watch them sometime... maybe then I will agree with this list more than I did the list you wrote for the CR! I hope you found your core of all-time favorite movies. That's got to be tough for you. I still say, though, that my list would have to have a Disney classic (like The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast) cause I can still watch those repeatedly!

6/04/2006 5:42 PM  
Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

Great list ... On the Waterfront would definitely be on mine, but I simply find it too painful to narrow my favorites down to 10

6/27/2006 3:23 PM  
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12/08/2011 4:30 PM  

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