BFI, AFI, Filmsite - Top Movies of All Time - List and Comments

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Tyson

Now seen 203 of the top 250 on the British Film Institute list.

American Film Institute - I'm now up to 86 seen of the top 100. 

Man, getting rid of cable sure accelerated my movie watching rate.

LesterSleepsIn

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Wait ... Grand Hotel isn’t on the list? Whaaat? Whaaaaaat? Half of my top ten would be Japanese but Grand Hotel would definitely be there.

Wages of Fear? Ruling Class?

My wife would insist on Powell, Red Shoes and Stairway to Heaven. Definitely.

777BigAnt777

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Re: BFI Top Movies of All Time - List and Comments
« Reply #62 on: 14 Feb 2018, 08:42 pm »
My advice for anyone looking to watch any of these is 2 fold - find a scrubbed up remastered blu-ray version if you can and second, watch it on as big a screen as possible.  I have a 100 inch screen and an Epson projector in a dedicate basement.  Some of these old films look AMAZING on a proper big screen after a recent bluray remaster.

+5 on this!  For sure, I recommend this to people all the time and they think I'm either crazy or a total snob.  Not true.  One can put together a decent projector setup for around $2k including a screen.  Even cheaper probably and still get a great picture.  Movies were framed to be viewed large on a BIG screen.  Do yourself a favor and enjoy it the way the director/cinematographer intended!

777BigAnt777

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Now seen 203 of the top 250 on the British Film Institute list.

American Film Institute - I'm now up to 86 seen of the top 100. 

Man, getting rid of cable sure accelerated my movie watching rate.

Cool!  :thumb:  Yeah, cable can be a true mind sucker.  So any gems appearing?  First-time mind-blowers?  What do you think of their lists, i.e., do you agree with either more?  Enquiring minds want to know.   :D

Tyson

Wait ... Grand Hotel isn’t on the list? Whaaat? Whaaaaaat? Half of my top ten would be Japanese but Grand Hotel would definitely be there.

Wages of Fear? Ruling Class?

My wife would insist on Powell, Red Shoes and Stairway to Heaven. Definitely.

Yep, they are on the full list of top 250 films - these are the ones from Powell & Pressburger: Stairway to Heaven, Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, A Canterbury Tale, The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus and I Know Where I'm Going.

Wages of Fear is and the Ruling Class - those both would deserve to be on there, IMO.  I'd never heard of Grand Hotel though - just checked out the IMDB page, looks very good!  Putting it on my "to watch" list. 

Just watched "All About Eve" last night, holy cow what a ride.  "Fasten your seatbelts, it's gonna be a bumpy night" indeed! 

+5 on this!  For sure, I recommend this to people all the time and they think I'm either crazy or a total snob.  Not true.  One can put together a decent projector setup for around $2k including a screen.  Even cheaper probably and still get a great picture.  Movies were framed to be viewed large on a BIG screen.  Do yourself a favor and enjoy it the way the director/cinematographer intended!

People love getting a big screen to watch sports, what's so snobby about getting a big screen to watch movies? 

wushuliu

btw Tyson, have you seen Visions of Light?

wushuliu

Re: BFI Top Movies of All Time - List and Comments
« Reply #66 on: 14 Feb 2018, 09:43 pm »
I must admit that I haven't seen many of these "classics".  But unlike classic novels of the last century, often times the older movies are a bit too plodding as they haven't seemingly refined the storytelling up to modern standards of audience's attention span.  I've watched Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia, but I don't think I'd ever want to watch them again, despite being "good".

There are still a number of films on my list that I haven't watched all the way through as I fell asleep or got too bored.  Most of these I own:
Apocalypse Now  (I've read Heart of Darkness from which it borrows heavily)
2001 Space Odyssey  (fell asleep twice watching)
The Shining (watched it probably 3 times and always only get halfway through)

Mmmm, based on the examples you provided I'm gonna say that it has nothing to do with older movies needing 'refining' in storytelling. It's just you. Which is fine. I have friends that fall asleep during anything, even action movies. But to frame it as it's because today's movies are an improvement in storytelling... that doesn't make any sense. Especially as the average running time for today's movies have gotten longer and longer over the past two decades.

Casablanca is boring? I can't even...

Mudslide

Hmmm...like all lists...it's personal preference...just the way it should be.   :wink:

Being older than rocks, I have seen 47 of the list's 50 American flicks listed.  I like to think about my favorite movies as ground breakers of the business.  Some on the lists are, and some are kinda average in that regard.  With creativity in mind, I'd add a couple to the list...(though I could add a bunch  :icon_lol:)

War of the Worlds-1953...one of the first Paramount Technicolor movies.  Innovation and creativity abounded in this adaptation of the great radio broadcast by H.G. Wells.  It won an Academy Award for best visual effects.  It has been installed in the U.S. Library of Congress to be preserved in the National Film Registry.  It was described as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".  It was VERY influential in the making of future sci-fi flicks.

The Longest Day-1962...Nominated for 5 Oscars, winning two.  This film, in my mind, launched the epic war genre in motion pictures.  The cast was long and staggering, *look 'em up...  The movie included an inspiring group of military technical directors from both the Allied and German sides of the battle of Normandy.  And of course Darryl F. Zanuck directed it.  The battle scenes were immense and intense...artillery, aerial flights, parachuting, marine assault...massive.  Even the soldiers representing various countries were actors from those countries.  The movie also had a big part in D-Day anniversary celebrations.  This movie is a must for any movie buff.

* Casting included....
John Wayne, Kenneth More, Richard Todd, Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton, Steve Forrest, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Red Buttons, Peter Lawford, Eddie Albert, Jeffrey Hunter, Stuart Whitman, Tom Tryon, Rod Steiger, Leo Genn, Gert Fröbe, Irina Demick, Bourvil, Curt Jürgens, George Segal, Robert Wagner, Paul Anka and Arletty.  In addition, several cast members – including Fonda, Genn, More, Steiger and Todd – saw action as servicemen during the war, with Todd actually being among the first British officers to land in Normandy in Operation Overlord and he in fact participated in the assault on Pegasus Bridge.

Tyson

btw Tyson, have you seen Visions of Light?

No - it looks cool though.  Is it anything like The Story of Film that's on Amazon?  That's a great mini-series, btw. 

Cool!  :thumb:  Yeah, cable can be a true mind sucker.  So any gems appearing?  First-time mind-blowers?  What do you think of their lists, i.e., do you agree with either more?  Enquiring minds want to know.   :D

I think the biggest thing for me is just how broad the exposure is.  You don't see a ton of films by any one director, but you do see the "best" film (or 2) of a lot of different directors.  Which (for me) does 2 things - give you a broad appreciation for the history of film, especially internationally. 

The 2nd thing is it lets you figure out if a particular director is worth spending more time on.  Again, this is totally personal.  For me, I really liked certain directors like Antonioni, Ozu, Demy, Tarkovsky, and I really DISLIKED other directors like Truffaut and Kurosawa.  So in the future, I can avoid Truffaut movies and focus more on other directors that I actually like.  People might be like "what, how can you dislike Kurosawa?"  Because I don't.  And I can avoid spending more time on him because I know from experience that I just don't like his movies.  But before watching all these films, I might have been shamed into trying to get myself to like Kurosawa because so many people rave about him.

For movies that really resonated with me:

The Double Life of Veronique - if you have a poetic/spiritual side at all, this is a great little movie. 
Stalker - just edges out The Mirror as my favorite Tarkovsky.  He's sort of the flip side of Kubrick. 
The Great Dictator - mocking Hitler on the eve of WW2, yeah Chaplin has some serious cajones.
In the Mood for Love - Kar Wai Wong captures that thick texture of expectant love/lust better than anyone.
Bicycle Thieves - if you have even a tiny slice of humanity, you will weep at this movie.
Touch of Evil - Welles plays a villain and he's great at it!  Even better here than in The 3rd Man.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp - you go in expecting it to be a light, farcical movie and it develops unexpected depth and humanity.
His Girl Friday - the best of Howard Hawk's screwball comedies, a lot of fun and almost like a dance
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg - a light, whimsical, french musical!!  Who knew the french could smile?  haha

And there's tons of others that I don't have time/space to list here.  Overall I'd say watching doing my best to watch ALL the movies on the list has been hugely rewarding because I had NO IDEA that these particularly movies/directors would resonate with me.  And I also know that it is subjective, and others will love things that I didn't. 

thunderbrick

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The Great Dictator - mocking Hitler on the eve of WW2, yeah Chaplin has some serious cajones.


+1!  Brilliant filmmaking!!! He nailed it all the way through, and he clearly saw what was happening/about to happen.  The final scene should make you :bawl:

bobbyhamil

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pretty good stuff in here but i am partial to the following.
            spencer Tracy    the old man and the sea
            Humphrey bogart   anything he played in
            Gregory peck         anything he played in including moby dick
            john garfield          the postman always rings twice, the best movie in any decade
            Marlon Brando       viva Zapata

Tyson

Oh, one other thing I should mention - I've been working on a pet project here on AC.  If you search here in the Cinema circle for the word "Haiku", you can see some fun little posts I've made about movies I've come across from these lists, which have made a big impression on me. 

I hope you guys find them as fun to read as I did to create them.

THROWBACK

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I just found this thread. Great work, Tyson et al.

Tyson: you said you didn't like musicals. My favorite is Carousel. If you can watch the ballet sequence based on Richard Rodgers' Carousel Waltz or Billy Bigelow's (Gordon McRae) "Soliloquy" without a lump in your throat, I'll be darned surprised.

Everyone: I give a hearty 4 thumbs-up to Cyrano de Bergerac with Jose Ferrer and Mala Powers. (Steve Martin's "Roxanne," based on Cyrano, ain't bad either.) And for pure fun: "Princess Bride" and "Young Frankenstein."