Friday, 6 July 2012

Jdanddiet's Top 100 Movies: THE TOP TEN!

So here we go, after all the pontificating, arguments, stress and ridiculous placing of Dreamgirls above Star Wars, we have my ten favourite movies of all time!

These are the ten I've seen countless times yet would still watch again if they happened to be on TV.  As I stated at the beginning, I'm no cine-phile (or cine-bore if you like), so there are no kitchen sink dramas or obscure japanese horror movies; I generally tend to prefer modern movies as well, although a splattering of classic Sci-fi has peppered this list (and continues into the top ten).

So without further ado, here we go!

Funny? Funny how?
10.Goodfellas (1990)
Tagline: "Three Decades of Life in the Mafia"
Top quote: Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci): "No, no, I don't know, you said it. How do I know? You said I'm funny. How the fuck am I funny, what the fuck is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me what's funny!"

I was 18 when I saw Goodfellas and it blew me away right from the start.  The violence, the swearing, the drama, it was (and still is) an amazing film that brings together so many talented people (actors, scriptwriter, director) who are so apt for the movie, that it still amazes me today that it didn't win best picture Oscar, losing out to Dancing-with-bloody-Wolves.

9.Planet of the Apes (1968)
Tagline: "GO APE" (for real!)
Top Quote: Dr.Zaius (Maurice Evans): "I see you've brought the female of your species. I didn't realize that man could be monogamous."

One of my latter favourites in classic sci-fi movies, Planet of the Apes combines an eerie sense of desolation in its early stages with a grim alternate universe.  I like the downbeat nature of it and of course it has one of the best final scenes in cinema history. 

8.Goldfinger (1964)
Tagline: "Everything he touches turns to excitement!"
Top Quote: James Bond (Sean Connery): "Auric Goldfinger. Sounds like a French nail varnish."

After what I consider the rather workmanlike Dr. No and From Russia with Love, came the classic Bond movie.  Connery was by now at home in the role and all the Bond themes we love were all present (gadgets, girls, action, humour, henchman, lots of locations etc).

7.The Thing (1981)
Tagline: "Man is the warmest place to hide"
Top Quote: Garry (Donald Moffatt): "I know you gentlemen have been through a lot, but when you find the time I'd rather not spend the rest of this winter TIED TO THIS FUCKING COUCH!"

I think I must like depressing movies with downbeat endings, because The Thing is perhaps one of the best examples of this!  A study of man's distrust of himself as well as the fast-approaching AIDS epidemic, this is without doubt John Carpenter's finest hour, and a criminally over-looked film at the box-office thanks to that stupid rubbery ET.

And don't call me Shirley!
6.Airplane (1980)
Tagline: "What's slower than a speeding bullet and able to hit tall buildings in a single bound?" (A play on Superman that strangely got dropped for the subsequent home video releases...)
Top Quote: Elain Dickinson (Julie Hagerty): "There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?"

A bit of levity at last.  Not many comedies still entertain after multiple viewings and to this day I still get 90 minutes of laughter every time I watch Airplane.  Have a look at the blogpost I did a few months ago where I counter all the jokes!

5.From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Tagline: "How far can too far go?" (Huh?)
Top Quote: Seth Gecko (George Clooney) "Now, my kind of place."

After Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, everyone was expecting another crime thriller from Quentin Tarantino (he scripted this movie), and they got half of that.  The other half polarised some audiences but I freakin loved it!  From Dusk has plenty of over the top action, some great one liners ("no thanks, I already have a wife" quips George after a vampire has revealed how she's going to torture him) and a plot (so to speak) that moves on swiftly and without conscience.  Top movie, but forget about the rubbish DTV sequels.

Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford)
4.Blade Runner (1982)
Tagline: "Man has made his match - now it's his problem"
Top quote: Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer): "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

Blade Runner is about mortality.  It's about life and death.  It's about revenge.  It's about forgiveness.  It's about man's ability to create his own destruction.  It's about what it means to be human.  A movie just about killer robots?  I don't think so!

3.Casablanca (1942)
Tagline: none
Top Quote: Rick Deckard (Humphrey Bogart): "You played it for her, you can play it for me!" (instead of the renowned misquote, "Play it again Sam")

It may seem strange that a movie 60 years old this year could still be so gripping, yet Casablanca is, and so sits at number 3 in my list.  A timeless classic, it has an outstanding, world-weary perfomance from Bogart at its core and a sweet romantic drama as a fascinating counter-point, with some Nazis thrown in for good measure.  Fabulous.

2.Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
Tagline: "Even a hit man deserves a second shot!" (I bet they were chuffed when they came up with that one)
Top Quote: Martin Blank (John Cusack): "They all have husbands and wives and children and houses and dogs, and, you know, they've all made themselves a part of something and they can talk about what they do. What am I gonna say? "I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How've you been?""

The story of the hitman with a conscience who decides to attend his high school 10 year reunion is a comedy classic, and John Cusack has never been better before or since.  Sharp, observed, full of black humour and contrasting violence, it's a bitter sweet love story that I can watch time and time again, if not just for the two brilliant FBI hit men.
Indiana Jones about to "acquire" a valuable artifact

1.Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Tagline: "The Return of the Great Adventure"
Top Quote: Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford): "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage."

I first saw Raiders in a cinema at Leicester Square 30 years ago and have seen it countless times since.  It has not aged at all, mainly thanks to its period setting and still thrills me as much as it did all those years ago.  From the brilliant set-pieces (the plane scene, the cave, the bar etc), the wise-cracking hero and a mystic, magical plot, laden with Nazis, submarines, bullwhips, suspense and's the ultimate in entertainment...


  1. No Phantom Menace. You're safe...for now.

    An interesting top 100. Glad to see The Thing make the top 10. It's such an under-rated film. And Raiders of the Lost Ark is a bench mark that all script-writers and directors should aim for. Just like Back to the Future...but where was that in your top 100? A shocking omission.

    1. BTTF - I've never seen it, but bizarrely I've seen the second and third ones. Glad you found it interesting at least!