Friday, 20 November 2015

10 Movies I Can Watch Over and Over and Over and Over.....

I am travelling today and will be out of touch for chunks of the weekend, but I will try to diligently update this space in order to keep up with my pledge of thirty posts in thirty days. The actual postings may come at odd hours, but I promise that they will be here. Please don't abandon me now. We are so close to the finish line.

Today, I thought that we might play a game so that I have something to occupy me during the many tedious hours I will be spending in a car. Herewith I offer you ten (there are so many more) movies that I can, and have, watched many times over. I'm not talking a mere second viewing, here. I'm talking watching a film so many times that I can actually do the dialogue (and sometimes the musical interludes) along with the actors. These are probably not the finest films ever made, but each one has special significance to me. So in no particular order.....
  1. The Sound of Music. I realize that this is probably the weakest of all of Rogers and Hammerstein's musicals, but there is something about this film that just works for me. It could be the remarkable voice of Julie Andrews, the extreme diffidence of Christoper Plummer, the magnificence of the location, the cloying schmaltziness of the kids, or just the easiness of the score, but I watch it at least twice a year. I have lost count as to how many copies of the film I own, and The Husband and my children have given up their protestations whenever I choose to watch.
  2. Rocky. The original and only the original. Every other incarnation of Stallone's alter-ego isn't worth mentioning, but that first film is genius. There is an intense vulnerability in the character that I find disarmingly charming, and the awkwardness in his relationship with Talia Shire's Adrienne is painfully real. The ice skating scene is the classic first date; uneasy, tense, clumsy, and filled with sexual tension. Rocky is only a sports movie in part. It is also a great chick flick.
  3. The Big Easy. The New Orleans backdrop and musical score is perfection in this cop thriller. The chemistry between Ellen Barkin and Dennis Quaid is as hot as anything ever filmed, and frankly he gives me the vapours. The actual storyline is pretty good too.
  4. When Harry Met Sally. The best Nora Ephron script ever and one of the best comedies ever filmed. Enough said.
  5. West Side Story. Musicals are a running theme with me, but great musical films are rare. This one holds up well. The supporting characters are actually far better than the leads and Rita Moreno blows everybody else off the screen. When she sings the line "A boy like that, he killed your brother..." my heart just aches for her loss.
  6.  It's a Wonderful Life. I love anything with James Stewart, but this one is an obvious classic. Buffalo Gals is a perfectly acceptable earworm and how great is it that the cop and cab driver are named Bert and Ernie? I even love watching this one off-season.
  7. The Americanization of Emily. Julie Andrews, in a rare non-singing role, is positively feminism-incarnate in this film. James Garner is a studly rogue, and the black and white patina brings a certain realism to the entire endeavour. I love that all the romantic clichés fall by the wayside in this brilliant Paddy Chayefsky script; heroism, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and fidelity. My favourite line?  "I don't want to know what's good, or bad, or true. I let God worry about the truth. I just want to know the momentary fact about things. Life isn't good, or bad, or true. It's merely factual, it's sensual, it's alive. My idea of living sensual facts are you, a home, a country, a world, a universe. In that order. I want to know what I am, not what I should be." Just an all-around great film.
  8. It Happened One Night. The first "runaway bride" film stars an incredibly charming Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. I have to say that I am not a huge Gable fan, but he is at his heart-swooning best in this gem from Frank Capra. This is a film that invented the clichés; The Walls of Jericho, the "how to" guide on hitchhiking, and a shirtless Gable. And honestly, how could I not love a film that has a character named King Westley? 
  9. Marley and Me. I first read John Grogan's book about his uncontrollable labrador retriever just months after we had lost our own goofy yellow menace. I devoured the book in less than a day, alternating between heaving sobs of sorrow and heaving sobs of laughter. I had lived John's life. The movie was just an extension of that love and I have seen it countless times, each time stifling tears at the end. Marley's attempted escape through the car window still evokes scary memories of my car trips to the vet with BJ. It all happened just as John described.
  10. The Pajama Game. I have a confession to make. I love Doris Day. No explanation for it. I just happen to love her. In everything. But especially when she sings. The movie version of the legendary George Abbott's stageplay is great on so many levels. One is Doris Day. Two is a rare screen appearance from the magnificent John Raitt. (Bonnie's dad and Broadway legend.) Three is Carol Haney who gets a chance to show off her brilliance. Four is the duets. I just love this film.
So there you have it. My ten films that I can and do watch repeatedly. Help keep me occupied on our long road trip. Name yours either in the comment section, on Facebook, or shoot me an email. I have many kilometres ahead of me.

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