My Favorite Movies
As a departure from my usual writing advice (yeah, I know, I get a little too anal with sharing what I know), I thought I’d share my favorite movies instead. This subject came about last night as I realized my priorities have changed, and my #1 movie has slipped to #2.
Jake Blues, released from prison, teams up with his brother Elwood to reunite their old band to raise money for the Catholic orphanage that raised them.
Dan Ackroyd and Jim Belushi at their best. The music is great and stars musical guests James Brown, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Cab Caloway. (side note: we went to a Blues Brothers tribute concert the summer before we left Michigan for Hawaii. It was awesome).
The movie holds the record for the most cars destroyed in a movie (103) and the car chase takes up a good portion of the last part.
Good music, frolicking, and a car chase!
I wrote more about it here.
A poor farm boy falls in love with the farmer’s daughter, Buttercup, but is presumed killed by pirates after he leaves to find his fortune. Prince Humperdinck betroths her, but she is kidnapped before the wedding.
Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truth. Passion. Miracles.
A great cast, tight writing, and excellent direction stop this from being a cartoon and turns it into a classic. I can quote so many lines from the movie.
A smidge better than the book.
“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
3. Casablanca (1942)
A disillusioned American living in Casablanca meets an old lover and must decide between his own happiness and the greater good.
The first of my movies set in the 1940’s. When Rick (Humphrey Bogart) meets an old lover, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), a tale of true cinema love begins. As the war rages in Europe, refugees visit Rick’s Cafe to obtain letters of transport, but he only has two. Will he use them himself or give them to Ilsa and her husband?
As this movie was filmed and distributed as WWII took place, the realism is poignant.
I especially liked the character played by Claude Rains, a captain with a gruff exterior and a heart of gold.
4. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
A businessman gets to see the affect of his life on others when his guardian angel shows him what life would be like if he’d never been born.
My favorite actor, Jimmy Stewart, in his first role back after serving as a bomber commander in WWII. It’s the story of George Bailey, a dreamer, who wants nothing more than to escape the shackles of his hometown of Bedford Falls, but, through circumstances, is forced to remain. As trouble touches him, he wishes he’d never been born, a wish his guardian angel makes come true.
This story touches so many points—the wish for something different, obligations, true friends, the love and continuity of family. Every time I watch it, I notice one more detail I’ve not seen before. Traditionally a Christmas TV offering, it can be viewed any time of the year.
Two musicians witness a mob murder and flee for their lives. They join an all girls band, disguised as women, and mayhem ensues.
What’s not to like about this movie? It has heartthrob Tony Curtis, alternately posing as a woman and a Shell Oil heir (complete with Cary Grant accent); Marilyn Monroe as a poor but sexy musician; comedian Jack Lemmon, also disguised as a woman and falling in love with a man; classic George Raft doing what he does best—playing a gangster; murder; mayhem; music; exotic locales; and the irascible Joe E. Brown and his famous last line in the movie.
It’s funny, it’s poignant, and it holds up well after almost sixty years. So well, that Nia Vardolos copied the premise in Connie and Carla. If you get a chance, download or purchase either of these two, but give preference to Some Like It Hot. Comedy at its best.
Do you agree with my favorite movies? What’s yours? Tell me about it (or them) in the comments.
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