The Oscar nominations got me thinking … about movies.
I think they do it on purpose.
Inspired, I decided to compile my Top 10 movie list.
But first, a few thoughts on compiling such a list. It’s not an exact science. It’s more a feel. And it’s very personal. And evolves over time as you evolve over time.
OK, enough stalling, here’s my list…
1.Rocky (1976): I’m from Philly, so it’s a law that Rocky is on my list. Never had a pet turtle, but could still totally relate to Rocky. Everyone wants to be someone … and find true love. Plus, Rocky introduced “Yo!” to the world and made it cool to be from Philly. And yes, I’ve run up the steps of the art museum.
2.Diner (1982): A coming-of-age movie for immature men (but who have potential in life – and in their acting careers). There was football and football trivia, lots of male bonding – and eating – at the diner, and the famous popcorn scene at the movie theater. And a main character named Boogie. See, I told you Diner was for immature men. Plus, everyone has to have one Kevin Bacon movie on their list. I have two.
3.Animal House (1978): I was in college when it came out, in a fraternity and went to see Animal House in the theater with about 30 of my frat brothers. Every frat has a Bluto (ours was Frank – and oh, the stories!) and I could totally relate to the getting paddled scene, the toga party and road trip. And, yep, Kevin Bacon was in it.
4.Paths of Glory (1957): The greatest anti-war war movie of all time. The complete absurdity, inhumanity and devastation of war is so totally and heartbreakingly real in this movie. This is probably the most obscure movie on my list, so if you haven’t Paths of Glory … watch it ASAP.
5.Groundhog Day (1993): This is one of those movies that, if it’s on TV, you just have to watch it. To the end. No matter how many times you’ve seen it. So many great scenes and Bill Murray at his Bill Murry-ist. And, who wouldn’t fall in love with Andie MacDowell?
6.Wizard of Oz (1939): A blast from my childhood. Back then, it was on TV once a year and was a very big deal in our house. The first few years, we didn’t have a color TV and went to a neighbor’s house to watch. We had the vinyl record (no DVDs back then), played it all the time and knew the words to all the songs. And knew that as soon as the Cowardly Lion ran down the long hall and jumped through the window … cut to commercial.
7.Saving Private Ryan (1998): This one’s on my list because I have a personal connection to the movie. When it came out, I was a reporter in the Philadelphia area and found, interviewed and got to be friends with Sid Solomon. Sid was there on D-Day, in the same 2nd Ranger Battalion and Company (C Company) as the Tom Hanks character. And the next year, 1999, I went with Sid and the Rangers to Normandy for the 55th anniversary and got to write about this amazing experience. These guys were actual, real heroes. (This photo is of Sid on the cliffs where he landed on D-Day).
8.The Princess Bride (1987): Total, complete and perfect fantasy. And so many memorable lines. My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die. When I was your age, television was called books. Get used to disappointment. Plus it had Andre the Giant in all his gigantic, rhyming glory.
9.Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969): It’s a western, but seems so modern. It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s got action, adventure, foreign travel, Redford and Newman at their superstar best, and so many great quotes. I got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals. Redford: I can’t swim. Newman: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you. BTW: William Goldman wrote the screenplay for this and The Princess Bride.
10.Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017): Think this is on my list because I just saw it … and am still a little numb from the experience. So raw and visceral and real and emotional. Great writing, well-developed characters and an amazing cast. Wonder how I’ll feel about this movie in 10 years?
OK, there you have it. My list. What’s your Top 10?