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Someone sell me on ... a famous movie i've never seen!

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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 OFFLINE   Stephen-J



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Posted December 13 2004 - 12:59 PM

I go to lots of movies - i save my stubs and this year so far i've seen 81 films. That's about a normal year for me. And i watch even more films on channels like IFC and Sundance channel. I like big-budget hollywood films and grungy indy films. I have lots of DVDs, etc.

But, i haven't seen everything. Here are what i think are the 10 "most famous" (i.e. based on being huge box office or critical successes) films i've never seen, whether in the theater or on home video or television:

it's a Wonderful Life
An officer and a gentleman
mrs. doubtfire
Forrest Gump
the Graduate
on the waterfront

Two weeks ago, i'd never seen "Chinatown", and i finally watched it - it was really good, as good as the critics say it is! So i'm ready to try another one.

So anyone - which one of the above films should i watch next?

Thanks! Posted Image

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted December 13 2004 - 01:04 PM

Easy. It's A Wonderful Life since it is the Christmas season. If you're not in the mood for something seasonal, then either Casablanca or On The Waterfront.

- Walter.

Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted December 13 2004 - 02:55 PM

Yeah, It's a Wonderful Life is an incredible film, especially since what is most played out in spoofs and references are the final 15 minutes. When you actually see the entire film for the first time you find that its a beautiful epic of a very realistic hero, a flawed character who at times is rather mean spirited to the people that love him and not above some bitterness. That's why it pays off so strongly in the end, well earned.

However, I would sell you on Casablanca instead, mainly due to some of the greatest dialog and writing ever done. Its got that great mystery aspect, the foreign lands, the rogue character (a bit Han Solo'ish, or vice versa really Posted Image ). The love triangle is a difficult situation for all of them and the choices are unclear until the final scene. Lots of sharp humor and generally terrific dialog.

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC



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Posted December 13 2004 - 03:21 PM

On The Waterfront is really quite a good film, but I'm going to recommend Casablanca. It is just something of an epitome of film art. If it is not the most successful use of visual language ever, at least in a sound film, and one of the cleverest scripts ever, it is very very close. My sister watches it on a nightly basis whenever she is home.

#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Brett_M



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Posted December 14 2004 - 01:36 AM

Casablanca -- I agree with the above. It's a classic for a reason. A must-see. It's a Wonderful Life -- Another classic must-see. An Officer and a Gentleman -- The performances are the strongest point of sale for this one. Gere's arc is amazing. Tootsie -- Hilarious film. Hoffman owns every scene he's in. Held the record for weekends at #1 until Titanic. See it.
Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it meant to roast in the depths of the Sloar that day I can tell you.

#6 of 19 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted December 14 2004 - 02:27 AM

I'd love to buck the trend, but the one you need to see is "Casablanca". It's one of those all-too-rare creations where everything comes together perfectly. You can't predict such perfection, you can't force it, you can't distill it down to its essence and bottle it... it just happens. And it happened in spades with "Casablanca". What more could you want? Cool worldly tough guys, gorgeous dames, Nazi baddies, dialog that riffs along like great jazz, and enough suspense to keep you on the edge from beginning to end. And while you may have never really "seen" it, there are so many classic scenes and sequences that you'll find much of it very familiar... in a good way. Forget about Mrs. Doubtfire, Shrek, Officer and a Gentleman, Ghost... at least for the moment. I'm not saying they're bad films -- they certainly aren't, though the appeal of Doubtfire and Shrek continue to elude me -- but, regardless, not one of those films comes close to the greatness of "Casablanca".
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#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted December 14 2004 - 03:39 AM

Roger Ebert has said that the greatest film ever made is "Citizen Kane", but his favorite film ever made is "Casablanca". Sheer perfection in the world of story, dialogue, characters, suspense, comedy, tragedy, etc. It really is the perfect film, if anything such as perfect exists and like someone said above, it could not have been planned that way. Watch it, revel in it, allow it to move you. With any luck, you too will learn that the problems of three little people DO amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, and then some. Go ahead and watch it all again with Ebert's commentary; you'll learn even more. Also view "On the Waterfront" to see Brando at his best. A tour de force in method acting and a Filmschool 101 lesson from Elia Kazan on gritty, realistic filmmaking with an underlying metaphor for the times in which it was made. There is a reason these two are in the top 10 on the AFI list. It's because they deserve it.

#8 of 19 OFFLINE   TommyT


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Posted December 14 2004 - 07:04 AM

Hmm, lessee here, ok, here we go!: casablanca - Great perfs, great dialogue, great story & one of the greatest scenes ever filmed; the customers all sing "La Marseillaise" in defiance of the Nazi officers. it's a Wonderful Life - Actually haven't seen it. Heard a lot about it but never really wanted to watch it because of the "hype" (I use the term loosely...). An officer and a gentleman - A bit overrated & cliched. mrs. doubtfire - WAY overrated. Yep, Williams has some very funny scenes but the whole thing turns out to be a bit too cutesy & sappy for me. Shrek - Overrated. I liked it the 1st time at the theatre but I rented it a few mos later & it was kinda boring. Forrest Gump - I like this one until he returns from 'Nam & then it becomes sappy. the Graduate - Never been able to appreciate it very much. Probably because I grew up in the cynical 80s & not the 60s. I just don't get the humor. tootsie - One of the greatest films of the 80s. Period. Hoffman's perf is better than perfect. on the waterfront - Liked this one since I was a young teenager. Great dialogue, perfs, story, symbolism. ghost - Not bad but its only really enjoyable with a significant other, which I don't have at the moment.
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#9 of 19 OFFLINE   Greg Patenaude

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Posted December 14 2004 - 07:09 AM

Stephen, While your lists has some good movies on it only one (in my opinion) stands out as A MUST SEE and that's Casablanca. As others have mentioned, Casablanca is perhaps the 'perfect' movie. After seeing it for the first time I asked myself why I hadn't seen it sooner. Casablanca is one of a very few select films that I could watch everyday. The dialogue, humour, suspense, drama are...well perfect. In fact, I may just go watch it now. Do yourself a favour and watch Casablanca. Enjoy, Greg

#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Robert Ringwald

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Posted December 14 2004 - 07:56 AM

It's A Wonderful Life is a wonderful film, but it always makes me cry... and it's hard to watch.

#11 of 19 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted December 14 2004 - 08:28 AM

I would say time worn cynicism is something you should definitely bring to the table if you want to enjoy some of the messages in this film....however it should appeal to post-teen angst & young adult "hero killing/reality of life shock" as well. It's easy to say that it is a product of it's time...which it is...but I think it is as effective today as it was then.
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There's a human tendency to resent anyone who disagrees with our pleasures.  The less mature interpret that as a personal attack on themselves.
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#12 of 19 OFFLINE   AlexCremers


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Posted December 14 2004 - 08:30 AM

- The Graduate: If only to see with your own eyes what a great actor Hoffman was. He's still good but suffers from Hoffman's Disease, just like Pacino, ever since he played that blind guy, suffers from Pacino's Disease. - Tootsie: A absolute must see. A lot of great characters are on display in this comedy.

#13 of 19 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted December 14 2004 - 10:25 AM

ghost and Shrek. Most of those other flicks are boring and aimed at the "fine cinema" crowd.
O.K....I'm kidding.

...either Casablanca or On The Waterfront. To steal part of Walter's post.
These are GREAT movies, and, they're black & white which automatically makes them better! Posted Image

On another scale of greatness; Geena Davis was 26 and Jessica Lange was 33 when they appeared in Tootsie. :b

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Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
But there ain't nothin sweeter 
Than riden' the rails."
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#14 of 19 OFFLINE   Alex Prosak

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Posted December 14 2004 - 12:18 PM

Definitely Casablance, a fantastic film. It's not on your list so I have no idea if you've seen it or not but Splendor in the Grass is another fantastic film. Natalie Wood was absolutely stunningly gorgeous.

#15 of 19 OFFLINE   Shad R

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Posted December 14 2004 - 03:10 PM

you should watch Network. i couldn't beleive my eyes whan I saw i on HDNET the other night. They usually just show crap, but that was actually a GREAT movie. cant find it on dvd though

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Chris


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Posted December 14 2004 - 03:25 PM

I'd agree with the above that you should put Casablanca at the top of the list, but since other films have been chosen, I'll be the voice for "The Graduate"

The Graduate is one of the best films to typify an era; without ever mentioning it, The Graduate picks apart the confusion that was going on in the 1960s, the difficulties of managing what happened next.. it took on the "plastic" image that people loved to put forward of themselves as sheen and near-perfect and revealed the flaws. The seen in which they tell him he should "go into plastics" is so packed with Irony and hopelessness.

The film is one of my favorites, and I think stands the test of time better then most.

I won't speak highly of several of these films (Shrek? Mrs. Doubtfire? )

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#17 of 19 OFFLINE   Stephen-J



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Posted December 14 2004 - 04:13 PM

Thanks fellas - i'm sold: I'm going to go with "casablanca" next, then "tootsie" and "the graduate", in that order. Posted Image

#18 of 19 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted December 14 2004 - 06:14 PM

see "It's a Wonderful Life"! Truly one of the most accessible on your list.

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted December 15 2004 - 09:03 AM

You might want to check out The Third Man as well.
I'm not sure if you are interested in foreign classic films but I would recommend Seven Samurai for starters, Netflix has quite a few good classics that you might want to look into, on their front page there is a direct link to "Classics". HERE IS A LINK
-Kevin M.

There's a human tendency to resent anyone who disagrees with our pleasures.  The less mature interpret that as a personal attack on themselves.
- Roger Ebert

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