Monday, February 27, 2012

The A-List: Five Favorite Movies

When I was a kid, we lived on an Army base in Germany.  Less than a quarter mile walk from our building was the base theater.  It cost thirty-five cents for a ticket.  They played kid's features on Monday nights, so my mother would give my brother and I each a dollar and we would head out with the other kids from the apartments.  A dollar each got us a ticket to the movies, popcorn, and a drink.  We all fought good-naturedly to sit in the front row, and we all stood respectfully when the National Anthem played.   And then we were all transported somewhere else for two hours. 

Out of my nostalgia for that time, and since the Oscars were on last night, I sat down to write about my favorite movies.  Unfortunately, I can't remember every single movie I've ever seen, at least not enough to say that it is my favorite.  I could be all superior-sounding and write about a bunch of  obscure films, but since I tend to avoid obscure films on general principle(at up to ten bucks a ticket, I have to be extra picky).  These are movies that firmly identify me as a bit of a dork, but since I'm not in high school, I don't care about that anymore.  So feel free to point ant laugh at your leisure. 

My Fair Lady  I admit that I was forced to watch this movie the first time.  My high school had a really nice auditorium that could also be used as a small theater.  So for one grading period we read Pygmalion and then we all trooped into the theater to see My Fair Lady.  The entire movie was a dance, I thought.  I fell in love with Audrey Hepburn right there. Oh, I know that it wasn't actually her singing, but darned if that woman didn't look absolutely gorgeous.  I love that movie so much that I actually have a Barbie dressed in Hepburn's dress from the Ascot Opening Day scene. 

Tommy  I actually saw this film in the base theater when it was first released.  I was ten and, well...whoa.  Talk about an education!  Eric Clapton?  Elton John?  Arthur Brown? And for cryin' out loud...Tina Turner?  Brilliant!  Oh, yeah, and there were those guys who called themselves the Who.  Roger Daltrey was dreamy, and he did a pretty fair job of playing a deaf, dumb, and blind kid.  I didn't know what a rock opera was, but I had a great time learning.  Oh, and the really cool thing?  I actually spent a semester with Arthur Brown when I was in grad school.  He was getting his master's in counseling. We had a class together. 

Wrath of Khan  My husband and I have had lengthy discussions of this movie over the years.  He thinks that it was the best of all the Star Trek movies.  He may be right.  Even if this movie is your first introduction to the Star Trek universe, the characters will grab your attention.  Ricardo Montalban was stunning in the role of Khan, and for once Shatner's tendency to overact did not detract from the plot.  The story of a man seeking revenge is as old as the hills, and the parallels to Moby Dick are valid, but when Spock says "I am, and will always be, your friend." I bawled my fool head off and didn't care a bit who saw me.  And no, me saying that will not ruin the movie for you.  

Pride and Prejudice  Greer Garson and Sir Lawrence Oliver.  I have no idea where I got this movie or why I decided to watch it, but I loved it.  The genteel language and the back-and-forth banter between the characters was fascinating, and would be completely foreign to most kids today.  Conversations at that time did not include "lol", like, every five seconds.  There's a chemistry between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy that nobody can deny, and it made me wonder if there was more than flirting going on between the two actors.   I also liked the affection conveyed between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, even though Mrs. Bennet was sort of a shrew.  Okay, no 'sort of' about it. 

The Three Musketeers  Not the one with Keifer Sutherland.  That was horrid.  No, the one with Michael York, Richard Chamberlain, and Oliver Reed.  Not to mention Charlton Heston, Faye Dunaway and Raquel Welch.  This 1973 version was true to the spirit of the novel, I felt.  The characters were having a good time. The fight scenes were very different from what I was used to seeing.  No movie ever seems to show the characters tiring out quickly, which is probably what actually happens in sword fights.  This was swashbuckling at it's finest, and I loved it. 

Okay, those are my current favorites.  What are yours?


  1. Well, at the cheapie theater the other night, four of us saw the Muppets with a large bucket of popcorn for $13.50 not my favorite movie of all time, but I did love it! I am a John Hughes movie sucker as I think we get a definite sense of what level my maturity is at! I haven't seen any of your fab five, but think now I will plan to!

  2. When I was about 7 my dad called me into the living room, sat me down and said that he had a movie he wanted me to watch. It was, according to him, one of the best movies ever made. So, for the first time, I watched My Fair Lady. He was right. It is one of the best movies ever made! I don't always agree with my dad, though. He puts Lawrence of Arabia on that best movies ever list, too. All I remember from that movie is desert, desert and more desert!

  3. Remember The Great Escape? Great movie from a similar timeframe.

  4. Here are the first of my favorites that come to mind: American Beauty, Love Actually, Pulp Fiction, Gone with the Wind, and Little Miss Sunshine.

  5. Last of the Mohicans---Daniel Day Lewis. Lord, that man in that movie makes my legs weak.

    1. Yes, Daniel Day Lewis was pretty awesome in that movie.

  6. I've got a continually changing list ... but Gone With the Wind (just for Clark Gable!); Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (high camp in the OZ Outback - too much fun!!); Moulin Rouge (Nicole Kidman version); Rocky Horror Show (I wanted to BE Magenta ...) and Sound of Music (but only the 'Singalong' version) all work for me!!


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!