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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Movies that taste good

Sure, you can tell a lot about people by the books they read... but I find that a person's taste in movies is much more revealing.  For instance, I can usually tell from the film references a person drops in casual conversation if the he/she is 'my kinda folks'.

The list you see below started as a result of my lovely wife asking me what I wanted for my upcoming birthday.  I never know how to answer that question, but when she suggested I give her a list of movies I'd like to own on DVD... well... you know my problem with brevity.

Anyway, here are the hundred movies I'd like to own (those with a * after them we already have). 

Now don't confuse these with the 100 best films ever made... no sireebob... that's a whole 'nother list.  No, the movies you see below are the film equivalent of comfort food for me.  I know them by heart, and if I stumbled across any of them while channel flipping late at night, I would gladly be a total wreck the next day at work for the simple pleasure of watching for the umteenth time all the way through 'til the final credits start to roll.

And don't worry honey... buy me even two or three of these puppies and I'll be a very happy birthday boy :

[* = We have the film on DVD]

12 Angry Men
2001: A space Odyssey*
A Clockwork Orange
A Fish Called Wanda*
A mighty wind
A Streetcar Named Desire
All that Jazz
Animal House*
Annie Hall
Apocalypse Now
Being There
Ben Hur
Best in Show
Blazing Saddles*
Blues Brothers*
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Brighton Beach Memoirs
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid
Cast Away
Cinema Paradiso*
Dances with wolves
Dead Poet's Society*
Dr. Zhivago
Driving Miss Daisy*
East of Eden
Ferris Bueller's Day off*
Fiddler on the Roof*
Forrest Gump*
Fried Green Tomatoes
Gone With The Wind
Harry Potter Movies*
Indiana Jones & the last crusade
It's a mad mad mad mad world*
It's a wonderful Life
Notting Hill*
Life of Brian
Marx Brother's Anthology*
Monty Python & the Holy Grail
Murder on the Orient Express
Mutiny on the Bounty
My Cousin Vinnie
My Fair Lady*
North by northwest
Oh Brother Where Art Thou*
On the Waterfront
One flew over the cookoo's nest
Planet of the Apes
Princess Bride*
Pulp Fiction*
Radio Days
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Rain Man*
Rear Window
Saving Private Ryan*
Scent of a Woman
Singin' in the Rain*
Stand by Me
Star Wars Movies*
Steel Magnolias
Taxi Driver
That thing you do
The African Queen
The Big Chill
The Big Lebowski
The Dirty Dozen
The Godfather Trilogy
The Good the Bad and the Ugly*
The Graduate
The Grapes of Wrath
The Maltese Falcon
The Manchurian Candidate
The Meaning of Life
The Russians are coming*
The Shawshank Redemption*
The Shining*
The Sting*
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The Untouchables*
The Wizard of Oz*
There's Something about Mary
This is Spinal Tap
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Sir with Love
Trading Places
West Side Story*
When Harry Met Sally
Yellow Submarine
Young Frankenstein

I wouldn't go so far as to call this a meme, but...


Posted by David Bogner on June 20, 2007 | Permalink


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Would you like a copy of Quo Vadis to go with it?


Posted by: K Newman | Jun 20, 2007 12:58:53 AM

Many excellent selections - Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Young Frankenstein, Casablanca, Scent of a Woman, Papillon, Rain Man, The Sting, etc etc, but you are missing Groundhog Day. Tsk, tsk.

Posted by: Gail | Jun 20, 2007 1:46:40 AM

About 75 percent of my blogroll would either disown me, delink me or do a badda-bing to me if I even so much as inferred telepathically that they do another meme. I will say, speaking of percentages, that I have seen about 90-95 precent of the movies on your list (What??? No "Arsenic & Old Lace" or "The Big Sleep"???) and must congratulate you on having some kicka** taste in cinema.

Posted by: Erica | Jun 20, 2007 2:25:09 AM

'Yellow Submarine'? You're dating yourself, Trep. Well, I suppose actually Zahava is 'dating' you, but you get the idea. *grins*

Not a bad list, though. Good luck on the birthday wishes!

Posted by: matlabfreak | Jun 20, 2007 3:23:25 AM

You gotta see THE DISH. Its a story about Australia's part in the space program in the sixties---the Australian humor is wonderful. Its the kind of movie our family watches over and over. And yes, GROUNDHOG DAY and CHRISTMAS STORY by Jean Shepherd--1940s of his childhood

Posted by: Bob's wife | Jun 20, 2007 3:58:38 AM

This is a mighty fine list. I would add Groundhog Day and Hunt for Red October and maybe a few old Disney movies or cartoons. Keep Ben Hur (don't listen to peer pressure LOL)

Posted by: Seattle | Jun 20, 2007 8:47:30 AM

How many times have you and your children watched Princess Bride? And can you, as does my wife, recite the dialogue along with the movie verbatim?
Mawage is what bwings us togetha today...

Posted by: Barzilai | Jun 20, 2007 8:56:01 AM

Sideways, a personal favorite, "People are like wine." :-)

Posted by: Rami | Jun 20, 2007 9:14:58 AM

"No More Rhymes and I mean it!"

Posted by: Jack | Jun 20, 2007 9:19:35 AM

Barzilai: Yup! Though our quote of favor is "He said twoooo wuv!"

Posted by: zahava | Jun 20, 2007 9:26:38 AM

I love Brighton Beach Memoirs and Radio Days, and also in that genre Avalon.

As for Animal House, that must be the film with the best quotes in it.

"You can take your thumb out of my ass any time now, Carmine"

Posted by: chairwoman | Jun 20, 2007 12:00:19 PM

Nice selection! Do you have a wishlist on amazon.com ?!

Posted by: Jany | Jun 20, 2007 12:27:49 PM

and a Navy guy like you doesn't want the Caine mutiny?
Have to admit, my off-by-heart movie is the Rocky Horror Picture Show...

Posted by: asher | Jun 20, 2007 12:58:31 PM

'Fraid that I'd have to add Dr. Strangelove to that list.

Posted by: K Newman | Jun 20, 2007 1:39:47 PM

Hwaet? You don't own 'Life of Brian' yet???

Posted by: Account Deleted | Jun 20, 2007 2:47:52 PM

The list is a good one but a couple of great movies have been left off: Spaceballs and Legally Blonde.

Posted by: shirah | Jun 20, 2007 2:49:13 PM

Hmmmmmm..... have to admit... I expected to also see the following (though not necessarily in order): Braveheart; Men of Honor; The Odd Couple; Little Shop of Horrors; To Sir, With Love; History of the World, Part I; and Last of the Mohicans.

Guess it is a good thing I asked! =:-P

Posted by: zahava | Jun 20, 2007 2:50:16 PM

YIKES! Shira forgot to close her tag....

I just saw To Sir, With Love on your list (sorry!)....

BTW, we own 2 copies of The Wizard of Oz.

Posted by: zahava | Jun 20, 2007 2:53:50 PM

Oh! And I also would have expected The Cider House Rules to be on your list.... Go know....

Posted by: zahava | Jun 20, 2007 2:55:12 PM

Ummm Trep,

One of us should be very, very afraid, because this looks a lot like my list (although my list would never have "Godfather III" on it).

BTW, Bob's wife is right. "The Dish" is awesome.

Posted by: dfb1968 | Jun 20, 2007 3:19:40 PM

Yes, it's a meme... at least now it is.

Posted by: oceanguy | Jun 20, 2007 3:24:10 PM

Gotta admit, I've only seen about a fifth of the movies on your list, but based on those, I've got some good watchin ahead trying to catch up to you. As for me (meme), I would have added The Gods Must Be Crazy and anything from the Pink Panther series. I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of them just now. Anyway, have fun storming the castle!

Posted by: psachya | Jun 20, 2007 3:42:47 PM

What about glory? Or the fugitive?

Posted by: aharon | Jun 20, 2007 3:44:49 PM


Like I said, I love this film. I've seen it over a hundred times.

Posted by: antares | Jun 20, 2007 3:45:52 PM

Very nice selection! I'm going to have to agree with you on about 75% of those.

Posted by: Fran | Jun 20, 2007 4:20:40 PM

Some really good stuff here!

Is "Knotting Hill" an S&M version of Notting Hill? :)


Posted by: Gilly | Jun 20, 2007 5:11:52 PM

I might agree that movies are more revealing than books since more people are familiar with more movies. But I think on the whole the list of "Top 100 Books" might paint a more complete picture... But when evaluating "my kind of people" movies are a pretty good substitute.

Posted by: oceanguy | Jun 20, 2007 5:15:17 PM

Is it just me have italics taken over the blog.

I learned a long time ago that if people don't appreciate the humor in the Princess Bride it is going to be a rough relationship.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 20, 2007 5:49:43 PM

I haven't seen many of these, but A Clockwork Orange and Fiddler are two of my personal favorites. However, one movie that I can watch TEN times in a row and never get tired of it is Big Fish.

Posted by: Irina | Jun 20, 2007 6:10:48 PM

... trying to close the gate....

Posted by: a. | Jun 20, 2007 7:18:01 PM


And the Slammy(TM) for messing up the Treppenwitz comments section goes tooooo.... Shiraaaaa!!!

Applause, applause.

Kids, don't do this at home.

Posted by: a. | Jun 20, 2007 7:19:49 PM

a list of great memories.
nicely done.

Posted by: weese | Jun 20, 2007 7:48:56 PM

OOOOOOOH! THANK YOU IRINA! All day I have been racking my brain for the name of one of our "must have" movies and your comment unlocked my brain freeze!

Drum roll please: A Fish Called Wanda!

Probably TMI, but absolute favorite line in this movie is when Wanda and Otto are fighting over how STUPID it was for Otto to dangle Archie out the window. Otto [giggle] who fancies himself quite the intellectual is admonishing Wanda for calling him stupid. Her response: "You're right Otto. Calling you stupid would be an insult to stupid people. I have sweaters smarter than you!"

....Aah! A real modern classic!

Posted by: zahava | Jun 20, 2007 8:58:04 PM

as a lurker let me give my 2 cents, marvelous list but not complete unless you add "a bridge too far" and "the longest day".
And i love your blog.

Posted by: fatima | Jun 20, 2007 10:04:08 PM

Seeing the Marx Brothers movies and the Princess Bride on your list made me grin. I had sudden flashes of memory of sitting in your living room with the kids, reciting as many quotes as we could think of.

I should challenge Gili to a battle of wits...for the princess...to the death!

Posted by: Cara | Jun 20, 2007 10:39:57 PM

Mostly great list (I could skip the musical selections, but I don't have a cultural bone in my body). I would have to disagree with chairwoman though. "fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life," and "when the germans bombed Pearl Harbor, did we give up?" are way better quotes from Animal House.

Posted by: Max Power | Jun 20, 2007 10:59:57 PM

Great list! I'd add "Seems like Old Times" (chevy chase & goldie hawn!) "Officer & a Gentlman" and "Pretty Woman"

Posted by: val | Jun 20, 2007 11:03:46 PM

Well, If you are going to have A Mighty Wind and This is Spinal Tap, go thou and get thee Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman and For Your Consideration....I mean, make the Christopher Guest Collection compleat.

Posted by: Jauhara | Jun 21, 2007 1:42:39 AM

Princess Bride - a cult sleeper, just terrific. Andre the Giant and Billy Crystal, need I say more?

The Shawshank Redemption - my favorite movie, bar none.

Caddyshack - more quotable lines than any other movie.

I must add one other cult sleeper for your consideration. " A Christmas Story" Yes yes yes I know to whom I am speaking and exactly where this blog is posted. But while this movie is set during the Christmas period (in the 1940's) it is not at all what you would expect and is not at all religious. The movie is based on the the book "In G-d we trust, all others must pay cash" by Jean Parker Shepherd and is really funny. I urge you to have a look, I think you will like it.

Posted by: Andy McCarthy | Jun 21, 2007 4:05:03 AM

Princess Bride - a cult sleeper, just terrific. Andre the Giant and Billy Crystal, need I say more?

The Shawshank Redemption - my favorite movie, bar none.

Caddyshack - more quotable lines than any other movie.

I must add one other cult sleeper for your consideration. " A Christmas Story" Yes yes yes I know to whom I am speaking and exactly where this blog is posted. But while this movie is set during the Christmas period (in the 1940's) it is not at all what you would expect and is not at all religious. The movie is based on the the book "In G-d we trust, all others must pay cash" by Jean Parker Shepherd and is really funny. I urge you to have a look, I think you will like it.

Posted by: Andy McCarthy | Jun 21, 2007 4:19:38 AM

Some quotes from Princess Bride:

"I'm just going to have to get myself a new giant"

"It just so happens your friend is only mostly dead"

"I have something to tell you... I am not left handed"

My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die"

Wesely:" Look, are you just fiddling around with me or what?
Fezzik (Andre the Giant) : I just want you to feel you're doing well. I hate for people to die embarrassed.

Fezzik; You never said anything about killing anyone.
Vizzini: I've hired you to help me start a war. It's an prestigious line of work, with a long and glorious tradition.
Fezzik: I just don't think it's right, killing an innocent girl.
Vizzini: Am I going MAD, or did the word "think" escape your lips? You were not hired for your brains, you hippopotamic land mass.

Posted by: Andy McCarthy | Jun 21, 2007 4:21:48 AM

Oops! My apologies for the italics thingy!

Posted by: shira | Jun 21, 2007 6:03:49 AM

Great list, classics all. I'll venture 3 more for Dave/Zahava's consideration. That is, if he hasn't seen (and/or "two ducks downed") them:

1). "The Train" (1964, Burt Lancaster, Jeanne Moreau)Newer dvd release contains a great "extras" voice-over commentary by director John Frankenheimer.

2). "Local Hero" (1983. Lancaster again, Peter Reigert- of "Animal House", and a host of Scottish characters). Okay, a gentle, slow-moving comedy. But it grows on you. Like single-malt scotch...

3). "The Taking Of Pelham 1-2-3" (1974, Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw). THE quintessential "New York" movie. My favorite exchange:

(Matthau): "C'mon, willya? I'm trying to save the lives of 18 people here..."

(Subway Dispatcher): "Whaddathey want for their 35 cents, to live forever?"

(Okay, so you have to see it...)

Whatever Zahava picks out, I'm sure it'll be good...

Posted by: Mike Spengler | Jun 21, 2007 6:05:01 AM

" A Christmas Story"

I admit to being a fan of the movie.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 21, 2007 6:52:21 AM

I'll blog up my own more complete list later on.

Posted by: Irina | Jun 21, 2007 7:49:15 AM

Okay, now that I've had some sleep, I'll add a few more to my meme (sorry David, you started this):

1) The Fabulous Baker Boys: One brother is the ultimate club-date musician, the other represents Music For Art's Sake. Kind of hits home for me, as it probably does for you. Added bonus: Michelle Pfeiffer singing atop a piano, demonstrating why our rabbis warned us about Kol Isha. (On second thought, maybe skip that scene.) ;)

2) Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Okay, I know, Pixar basically blows that technology out of the water. Still, it raises interesting points about the underlying psychoses of cartoon characters; and, oh yeah, it's funny as heck. A sample quote:

GORILLA BOUNCER: Whattaya doin' here, chump?
DETECTIVE: Who ya callin' chump, CHIMP?!!!

Another one:

DAFFY DUCK [about DONALD]: "That'th the latht time I work with thomeone with a thpeech impediment!!"

Dialogue like that trumps technology any day.

3) Bill Cosby Himself: If you like his pre-Cosby Show standup routines, this is the motherlode. If you don't, well, never mind then.

That's it. My job here is done.

Posted by: psachya | Jun 21, 2007 11:11:11 AM

K Newman... C'mon, it's a classic!

Gail... Groundhog day didn't do it for me... I don't know why.

Erica... So I'm not the only one who lives in fear of alienating readers? :-)

matlabfreak... One look at my picture is all anyone needs to 'date me'. I'm no Dorian Gray. :-)

Bob's wife... While I love Aussies and find them to be great fun to hang with, I don't always get their humor. I'll check it out, though.

Seattle... We have lots of the classic kids flicks but I didn't list them out of expediency. Hunt for Red October is of special interest to me as a former Navy Sonarman, but it didn't quite make the top 100.

Barzilai... As Zahava has already proven, we know it line for line.

Rami... I hadn't even heard of it. Thanks for the tip.

Jack... I'd forgotten that one from PB, thanks.

chairwoman... I could go on and on with quotes from Animal house. My favorite is the scen from the Rush party where all the riff raff are shown to the unpopular couch: "Over there is Terry Auerback, captain of the swim team.... That's Carl Phillips, editor of the Daily Faberian....And...Clayton... Sidney, Jugdish, Mohammet, Lonny---We already met---Super! Then you'll have lots to talk about."

Jany... That's the next step. :-)

asher... I thought of that briefly, but it wasn't in the top 100. And I have to admit that I have never seen Rocky Horror all the way through (and never in a theater).

K Newman... Yeah, Dr. Strangelove was a big omission.

a. ... Rome wasn't built in a day (and neither is a good DVD library). :-)

shirah... OK, to each his/her own... but neither of those blew up my skirt. Maybe Earth Girls are Easy (one of Zahava's faves).

None of those (except perhaps History of the World, Part I) is in my top 100. Sorry honey. And To Sir with love was there. Oh, and other than a a nubile Charlize Theron, Cider House Rules didn't really do it for me enough to want to buy it. ;-)

dfb1968... Never saw the Dish but I will look into it. As to GF III, it is like getting a bad desert in a great restaurant. You're already at the table so you might as well finish the meal. :-)

oceanguy... Oh please don't say that. I hate memes! :-)

psachya... Ohhh yes, The gos must be crazy was a good one!

aharon... As a civil war buff, Glory was too full of mistakes and inconsistencies to really do it for me. I was glad that the film was made since few people knew about the underlying story... but it was hard for me to watch a second time when it came around to cable.

antares... I may have to give it a second chance. Maybe I was in a bad mood that day. :-)

Fran... 75%, wow! I've seen marriages work on less commonality. :-)

Gilly... OK smarty pants. I've spent exactly one day in London and never visited Notting Hill. As to the misspelling, I bought the movie here so I haven't actually seen it written in English. :-)

oceanguy... To elaborate on my point... people watch certain movies over and over for pure entertainment while they may have shelves of books that they have never read. Also, many books people buy are about self improvement or simply gaining information. I don't enjoy speculating about people based on what they found lacking in themselves (no matter how accurate a conclusion I might draw).

Jack... Yeah, Shira forgot to close her tag. Zahava and a. tried to close it with a /i tag but they didn't realize that Shira (like myself) prefers the old-school em italics tag.

Irina... I haven't seen it but you can bet I will make a point of it now. Thanks.

a. ... 'Slammy'... I love it!

weese... Considering that we went to high school together and probably sat through the same flicks at the same theaters, I'm not surprised you liked my list!

zahava... I added a Fish Called Wanda last night. Even though it brings my list to 101 it has to be there. :-)

fatima... Both good flicks and I'd definitely watch them again. But I don't know if I could watch them again and again. But I loved the compliment. :-)

Cara... Your room is made up and ready for you whenever you want to join us for more movies.

Max Power... There are very few bad quotes in that movie: For example, "Do you mind if we dance wiff yo dates?"

val... To each his/her own. None of those really grabbed me (aside from the obvious attraction of the leading ladies). :-)

Jauhara Al-Kafirah... Good point. My bad. :-)

Andy McCarthy... Gotta admit I never saw it. Probably because of the title. I'll check it out. Thanks for the great quotes.

Shira... Happens to the best of us. You accidentally tried to close your em tag with an /a.

Mike Spengler... The Taking Of Pelham 1-2-3! How could I have missed that one. Yikes!!!

Jack... OK, OK... I'll check it out!

Irina ... I'll look forward to it (although I have to admit that I've been enjoying all the cameos of you in your recent posts. Can you put a picture of yourself watching a movie in your post? :-)

Psachya... A lot of unfamiliar material there. Thanks for the tips.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 21, 2007 11:11:49 AM

a. ... Rome wasn't built in a day (and neither is a good DVD library). :-)

Romanes Eunt Domus!!!

Posted by: Account Deleted | Jun 21, 2007 1:15:18 PM

B"H What? No "Breakfast Club?"

Posted by: Ben-Yehudah | Jun 21, 2007 2:24:36 PM

The Big Sleep (Bogart not Mitchum) is a movie with great lines and a plot which defies description. Guilty pleasure department: A good bad movie A Knight's Tale with Geofrey Chaucer as fight announcer.

Posted by: Lee | Jun 21, 2007 3:59:19 PM

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