"See you in Hell, William Munny."
"See you in Hell, William Munny."
"Enjoy every sandwich" -- Warren Zevon
I understand the affection many of you feel for Unforgiven -- and I think it's a great movie (just not top 10), but quoting memorable lines is hardly an argument for including it. There are literally tousands of quotable movie lines -- not all from great movies. How many Casablanca lines can you quote? How about Animical House. In the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, they made a joke of the fact that a girl could quote every line from Caddyshack. Even a clunker like The Replacements had (to my mind) one great line: "Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever."
Reading the Unforgiven quotes, made me recall lines from Rules of the Game:
-- Genevive: "Love, as it exists in society, is merely the mingling of two whims and the contact of two skins."
-- Octave: "The awful thing about life is this: Everybody has their reasons"
-- Andre: "Thats also part of the times, today everyone lies."
Don't remember them? What about the Searchers?
-- Ethan: "Injun will chase a thing till he thinks he's chased it enough. Then he quits. Same way when he runs. Seems like he never learns there's such a thing as a critter that'll just keep comin' on. So we'll find 'em in the end, I promise you. We'll find 'em. Just as sure as the turnin' of the earth."
-- Ethan: "Well Reverend, looks like you've got yourself surrounded.
Reverend Clayton: "Yeah and I figure on getting myself unsurrounded."
-- Reverend Clayton: "Well, the prodigal brother. When did you get back? Ain't seen you since the surrender. Come to think of it, I didn't see you at the surrender."
Ethan: "I don't believe in surrenders. Nope, I've still got my saber, Reverend. Didn't beat it into no plowshare, neither."
And the immortal (just ask Buddy Holley) Ethan Edwards catchphrase: "That'll be the day."
You guys put on a DVD of Unforgiven -- and enjoy. I'll spend Sunday afternoon watching the greatest Western ever made .... John Ford's masterpiece/
The Princess Bride, Shrek, Toy Story, The Incredibles, Pulp Fiction should ALL(IMHO) be on the list. TPB might be the best screenplay ever written.
"Either we're going down, or they are....... Kirk out!"
It is fun to read everyone's lists/opinions.
I have to give a nod to what I believe are the three finest movies ever made. All three have yet to be mentioned: Cool Hand Luke, The Empire Strikes Back, and Goodfellas.
Movies would probably never be on a list like this, but should be, are ones can take a genre and flip them on their head, or add an element that in lesser hands would be kitschy, but in the right hands are near perfect -- specifically Memento and Usual Suspects come to mind. Or movies that are visually arresting on top of a unique, intriguing story, like Children of Men (my favorite movie of the aughts, and criminally underrated imo).
Generally, my favorite movies tend to be up for or win best screenplay and are sometimes not even up for best picture.
20 or 30 years ago people thought it was the best movie of all time. Now it doesn't make any of the lists. I remember seeing it on TV late at night when I was a teenager -- I had never heard of the movie, and I was totally enthralled.
The last time I saw it was in Algiers in 2006 or so, when I was a visiting friends in the US embassy there. There was an American cultural festival, and it screened "Casablanca," which was appropriate to the setting. What was funny were the French subtitles.
I have to say I never though I would see Wall-E on any greatest movie lists though. My kids liked it but that was longest 7 hours, or however long it lasted, that I've ever spent in a movie theater.
I think quite a few comedies are taken seriously. Preston Sturges (who made nothing but comedies -- and even made a great comedy justifying his focus on comedy, Sullivan's Travels) -- is routinely honored by critics and film historians. Masters of sophisticated comedy such as Fellini and the Coen Brothers are taken seriously -- heck, Woody Allen, who does 99 percent comedy, is one of the most widely honored filmmakers in history (more writer nominations and tied for the second-most director nominations in screen history).
There's also the problem of jamming films into narrow compartments. Is Fargo a comedy? Rules of the Game, which always makes the top 10, is a brilliant comedy (almost Sturges-like in the way it veers from sophisticated comedy to verbal pyrotechnics to physical slapstick) that ends with a great tragedy. The Searchers is an action film ... does it fit your definition of a "pure" action film? Probably not, because it's the drama and the characterizations (especially Ethan Edwards) that lift it beyond an ordinary action movie. Same with Seven Samurai -- a pure action movie, except it transends action. I think Unforgiven is like that ... not enough for my top 10, but to be in my personal top 50.
The problem with comedy is that unlike drama and even action, there is a wider varience in the reaction of the audience. There are a couple of mentions of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World in this thread -- that's one of the most boring movies I've ever sat through. I'm not the only one who thinks that. On the other hand, there are a couple of mentions of Animal House and at least one for Caddyshack -- I love both of them. But I know people who hate them. I love, love, love the Marx Brothers, but Laurel and Hardy leave me cold. I love Harold Lloyd, but Chaplin's shtick doesn't do it for me. I understand that's just a matter of taste. Because I don't find Will Ferrell funny, it doesn't mean he isn't talented and other people can't enjoy Old School (I got exactly one laugh out of that one) or Anchorman or Blades of Glory.
That happens with drama too -- there is a famous episode of Seinfeld about how agonizing The English Patient is to sit through -- but I think it's more common with comedy.
The great thing about the Sight and Sound Survey is that it's so all-inclusive. The worldwide panel of critics and directors includes so many people from so many nations from so many points of view that it captures the universaility of great films.
It might not include my favorite films -- or yours -- but it's a pretty fair consensus of educated opinion.
There are some comedic performers -- Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplain, for example -- who do physical comedy without words and that is kind of universal. But dramas tell a more complete and universal story.
"Enjoy every sandwich" -- Warren Zevon
I couldn't remember the citation, so I googled it. I was surprised to see that while the source is somewhat murky, the best attribution is Edmund Gwenn, the British character actor most famous for "Miracle on 34th Street." Supposedly, those were his last words on his deathbed, overheard by director George Seaton (who directed Miracle ...). Of course, Gwenn had plenty of experience in drama too -- most memorably as the genial Nazi assassin in Foreign Correspondent.
BTW, How highly would you rank Miracle on 34th Street in your pantheon?
My favorites with Gwenn, in addition to those already listed, are Them (yes, that's the one with the giant ants) and Mister 880, for which I think he got an Academy Award nomination as a small-time counterfeiter. It stars Burt Lancater as a secret service agent trying to catch him. Mister 880 is a relatively small film, but I highly recommend it. (Not for a list like this, though.)
If you like even one of those guys, you will probably lean towards liking the whole movie. I think this gives Caddy Shack an edge towards achieving more universal appeal than many other comedies.
Even movies with troops of comedians, like The Marx Brothers, have a certain style. Caddy Shack is able to incorporate many styles at once with the one-liners of Dangerfield, the craziness of Bill Murray, the deadpan of Chevy Chase, and of course the genius of Ted Knight.