There are movies that have made huge impacts in our lives. There are certain movies that I sit my sons down and say "Pay attention to this movie." Then after we talk about the different aspects of the film: foreshadowing, symbolism, lighting, editing, acting and direction. It has really opened their eyes to what it means to truly enjoy each film. If all you could do was to leave a list of ten films that you want your children to see, what would they be? Why?

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Wow, this is my kind of discussion. I can say that movies, without a doubt, are a huge driving motive in my life, considering I'm working towards becoming a professional filmmaker. Here are my top ten:

1. "Casablanca" - (1942) My favorite. Shows a classic man dealing with hard situations. Love, peril, cocktails - its got it all.
2. "Singin in the Rain" - (1952) When actors had true talent. Amazing cinematography and the songs are catchy as hell.
3. "The Godfather" - (1972) Intriguing story, striking visuals, and a wonderful coming-of-age story. Yeah, this one's a classic.
4. "Rocky" - (1976) The underdog struggles against all odds to make his dream come true. Even though he loses in the end (sorry for the spoiler) he learns from his experience and is a better man because of it.
5. "The Seven Samurai" or anything by Kurosawa - (1952) At a very young period of Japanese film, this director had the formula for success. I love watching the rain battle on repeat.
6. "Red Dawn" - (1984) Uber-patriotic and wonderfully campy. I watch this movie every 4th of July.
7. "Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind" - (2004) Beautiful, interesting story and amazing camera work. This one will make you think.
8. "The Matrix" - (1999) When I first saw this film my mind was blown. It was definitely original. I love the original...the sequels on the other hand...
9. "Star Trek" - (2009) I love the old Trek universe, but this movie was so damn exciting I can't help but love it.
10. "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" - (1975) Brilliant comedy from my favorite comedy team.
I saw all of these except "Singing in the Rain"
Oh James! you've missed one of the best films of all times! You have got to rent it. It incorporates how speakies were added to silent films.
1. Casablanca (Bogart, Bergman and "the start of a beautiful frinedship".)
2. Stagecoach (the John Wayne one, of course)
3. The Maltese Falcon (Bogart and a cracking great script that's nearly all Hammett.)
4. The Cruel Sea (Duty, decency, mentoring, enduring)
5. Singing in the Rain (Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds...what else need I say.)
6. Run Silent, Run Deep (Gable, and a classic)
7. Twelve O'Clock High (Gregory Peck, and a classic exposition of leadership and tough love mentoring)
8. Fort Apache (John Wayne & Henry Fonda)
9. The Harvey Girls (Judy Garland and the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway)
10. The Wizard of Oz (Follow the Yellow Brick Road!)
Note: Not ranked in any particular order.
Native Son, I have got to rewatch these again.
Planet of the Apes
There Will Be Blood
Blow Up
Empire Strikes Back
Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe
No Country For Old Men
The Departed
The Man Who Wasn't There
Cannonball Run

-Just a few that I love.
I've seen all of these except for "The Man Who Wasn't There"
Nobody has mentioned Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It's a classic.
In no particular order:

1) Bullitt - A good mystery, a great car chase and Steve McQueen.

2) Patton - George C. Scott is phenomenal in this one.

3) Casablanca - Classic Bogart.

4) The Blues Brothers (Original) - Crazy comedy and fantastic music.

5) Two Lane Blacktop - It's a car guy movie.

6) Kill Bill 1 & 2 - Great action and great acting.

7) Vanishing Point (Original) - The quintessential chase film.

8) Saving Private Ryan - One of the best war movies ever.

9) Dr. Strangelove - Classic Cold War comedy.

10) This Is Spinal Tap - A great mockumentary.
I'm sloppily throwing this together, so it isn't my definitive list. Here goes:

1. The Godfather (I & II) - Beyond explanation.
2. Annie Hall - Quite simply the best written comedy of all time.
3. On the Waterfront - Brando's performance is unbelievable. Kazan's message of strength, courage and rising to the occasion are communicated breathlessly.
4. Dr. Strangelove - Kubrick and Sellers combine for a dark, thoughtful and hilarious satire of the Cold War.
5. The Usual Suspects - In the modern age, this is suspense at its best.
6. Field of Dreams - Not one of the best films, but a definite "must see" for any guy.
7. Almost Famous - Again, perhaps not a truly great film, this film released when I was still an aspiring music journalist and have infinite influence on my life.
8. The Apartment - Billy Wilder was the king of films that defy genre. Part comedy, part drama, part romance. This masterfully has something for everyone.
9. There Will Be Blood - If I were betting on a recent film to become a classic, it's this one.
10. Animal House - Come on! For a broad, lovable comedy, 'Animal House' lives forever!
Ronin is totally under-rated. An awesome action flick.
My ten must sees:

The Maltese Falcon: Great detective film for the ages
Ghostbusters: Most quoteable comedy
The Cannonball Run: Zany characters, especially "Him"
Casablanca: What? A romance that's good? and Nazis?
The Hunt for Red October: Great story with bits about how enviable the US is
Duck Soup: Marx Bros. Period.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: The best buddy film.
True Grit: "That's strong talk for a one eyed fat man!"
Dirty Harry: Bad cop with a conscience
Chinatown: Pseudo history, which is cool.

H.M. Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. If you can't understand this movie, you are sane.


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