Roger Ebert's 'The Great Movies' Bi-Weekly Column

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Carrol M, Feb 23, 2002.

  1. Carrol M

    Carrol M Stunt Coordinator

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    http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/greatmovies/
    I've recently begun using this as a reference tool for dvd's to buy. Many are films I have known of for years and loved. Still others are completely new discoveries to me.
    However, I'm sad to see that nearly 1/5 th of the films on the list aren't available at all on dvd.
    I feel Ebert's bi-weekly listing is a great resourse on the greatest films ever made.
    He genuinely loves films, and that's very apparent. I love the unpretentiousness of the list, too. Selections like John Hughes' Planes, Trains and Automobiles and a recent film like Fargo listed next to L'Avventura and Citizen Kane.
    I wanted to get insight from other film lovers that follow Ebert's column, ever other Sunday. I would like some opinions on say five films that you think should be on the list. Or, they could be titles you think he will eventually add.
    Thoughts anyone?
    Here's my five:
    Breaking the Waves
    Five Easy Pieces
    The Last Picture Show
    Last Tango In Paris
    sex, lies and videotape
    and more films from the silent-era...
     
  2. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    I agree that this list is a great resource, and it plainly makes Ebert's love of film obvious. I'm thrilled to see that Say Anything is the latest film to make the list.
    I'll discuss some films that I believe will eventually make his list ( also partly because I think they are all great films that deserve that recognition. [​IMG] ) -
    The Right Stuff - First, Roger Ebert has always had a very high opinion of this film. I still recall the times that Siskel chided him for 'bringing up this film' again, on one of several occasions that Ebert mentioned it following their initial reviews. Secondly, this is a great modern epic whose size and scope hearken back to an era of filmmaking that Hollywood seems to have abandoned. For me it would be a worthy addition, and I'm somewhat surprised that it hasn't already made Ebert's list.
    Magnolia - Yes, I realize audiences tend to be split on this one. I'm listing it because it made the #1 spot on Ebert's best films of the year; because it represents personal filmmaking, which I believe Ebert appreciates; and because its themes of past sins and the redemptive power of forgiveness are universal themes that have a timeless quality to them.
    Lone Star - John Sayle's masterpiece from 1996 is one of the great American movies of the '90s. The film's ability to weave a tapestry of interlocking storylines that show the ways by which we are all connected drives a strong storyline that works on multiple levels. The intelligence of this film is reason enough for it to make Ebert's list.
    The Sweet Hereafter - Atom Egoyan's haunting, elegiac examination of loss is simply a perfect, flawless film.
    - Walter.
     
  3. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    I was going to say Douglas Sirk's Written on the Wind, but to my surprise, it's on there. Wow, when did that happen?
    Just off the top of my head:
    Lost Horizon - seldom referred to Capra masterwork, a terrific meditation on the perils of "progress."
    Goodfellas - on a short list of the great mobster movies. Saying that this film has influenced many modern filmmakers would be a gross understatement.
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit? - a technical milestone as well as a terrific entertainment. At the same time an inspired noir spoof.
    Annie Hall - the last pure comedy to win the best picture Oscar. One of the best American comedies of all time and Woody Allen at his absolute comedic peak.
    Young Frankenstein - another comedy. Why not? Mel Brooks's comedic strategy: throw as many jokes at the audience as possible and hope some of them stick. As he once said, he rises below vulgarity. The supporting performances by Peter Boyle & Madeline Kahn are unforgettable. Highlight: "Puttin' on the Ritz."
     
  4. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

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    Superman- The greatest comic book film in history. Hell, it made people realize that a comic book film didnt have to be like the Batman series. A great film with truly amazing performances and special effects that are still out of the this world. Oh yea and its got heart too!
    Star Wars Saga- The Star Wars Saga is as big as anything thats ever been told. Its epic with large battles, its small with its delicate romances, and its mythological, drawing on nearly every cultures mythology. Star Wars truly is something for the ages.
    Lord of the Rings- Much like Star Wars, LOTR is just huge, epic and intimate at the same time. Not only is it one of the greatest stories ever told, but its done so well, with so much breathtaking detail that it truly takes you away for 3 hours.
    Jaws- In my opinion the greatest horror film of all time. It has directly influenced countless imitations, but nothing really comes close to this. Everything about the film is flawless; the acting it top-notch, Robert Shaw shoulda got an Oscar for his role as Quint. The cinematography is just beautiful to behold, and of course John Williams robust and sometimes chilling score. But of course its also got that Speilberg touch which nobody else has.
    Gia- Yes, its a made for TV movie. But if you saw it in the theater you wouldnt know it. I have loved this movie from the first time I saw it. I read the book Thing of Beauty:The Tragedy of supermodel Gia after seeing the film because I was so amazed by Gia Marie Carangi. And Angelina Jolie just brings her to life so accurately, so emotionally, its absolutely heartbreaking. I have and always will have a very special place for this film in my all-time favorites.
     
  5. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    Walter,
    Magnolia was actually #3 on his best films of that year (behind Being John Malkovich and Three Kings).
    But I do agree that Magnolia, Lone Star and The Sweet Hereafter are great films that deserve to be recognized.
     
  6. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Marc,
    Really? Wow, I guess I'm getting senile. [​IMG] Could've sworn it made the #1 spot.
    Edit: This column lists Magnolia at #2. So I guess I feel 50% better. [​IMG]
    - Walter.
     
  7. Carrol M

    Carrol M Stunt Coordinator

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    Donny,
    Perhaps you didn't look at the films that are already on Ebert's list...
    Jaws was added about two years ago.
    Star Wars (1977) was added in the summer of 1999.
    Carrol
     
  8. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

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    Oh, I didnt know that it had to be films not on the list. Well, anyway, those are my great movies.
     
  9. Carrol M

    Carrol M Stunt Coordinator

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    I think it's likely he would ad another Capra film, to go along with It's a Wonderful Life. I would love to see either this film or Mr. Smith....
     
  10. Tim RH

    Tim RH Second Unit

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    Back to the Future - A terrifically entertaining motion picture experience, highlighted by energetic acting, a great script and an amazing score. A must-see.
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - One of the absolute best westerns ever made. Excellent pacing and build-up, cool characters, superb widescreen cinematography and that haunting theme song are just some of the great things in this film.
    The Grapes of Wrath - John Ford's best non-western features great performances, solid storytelling and wonderful cinematography from Gregg Toland.
    It Happened One Night and/or Mr. Deeds Goes to Town - My two favorite Capra comedies. At least one of them deserves to be on Ebert's list.
    The Last Temptation of Christ - My third favorite Scorsese picture, it may be controversial but it's the only film to view Jesus as a conflicted man, and it should be praised for doing so.
    Films that will never make his list but should:
    Blue Velvet
    Doctor Zhivago
    The Graduate
     
  11. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    I'm surprised "HAIR" isn't on the list, Ebert's top pick for 1979 but also his top pick for the entire 70's.
     
  12. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    Lord of The Rings will never make his greatest films list, I'm almost positive. He gave it only 3 stars, didn't he?

    My list:

    A Clockwork Orange (it'll get added with time, I'm sure)

    Wild Strawberries

    Jules And Jim

    The Player

    and I'd like to see Being John Malkovich added some time
     
  13. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

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    I dont care what he gave it, LOTR should be on his Great Movies list. [​IMG]
     
  14. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Tim, The Graduate was on his list last time I checked. Not one of my favorites and I never understood its iconic status. But you are right about Doctor Zhivago - this film really gets to me. I like it almost as much as Lawrence and I think it's better than Lean's Bridge on the River Kwai.
    Edit: That's strange, The Graduate isn't there now. Has Ebert ever "culled" titles from his list? I could have sworn it used to be on it.
     
  15. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    My five:

    The Godfather: Part II

    The Right Stuff

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    Goodfellas

    Paths of Glory

    maybe:

    Das Boot

    Gandhi

    Amadeus

    Platoon

    Malcom X
     
  16. Dave Barth

    Dave Barth Stunt Coordinator

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    The Apartment

    Breathless

    Brief Encounter
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    As I understand it, Mr. Ebert has reassessed his thinking on The Graduate, coming out fairly negatively about the film. If I recall, he thinks it is overrated. I don't share that opinion, but I applaud Mr. Ebert's courage in "downrating" it.
     
  18. Carrol M

    Carrol M Stunt Coordinator

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    I wanted to ask, since I started this thread, maybe someone would know.
    Does anyone know what happened to To Kill a Mockingbird and King Kong?
    These were picked at one point or another in the past few months but neither are listed on the website...
    Anyone know what's up?
     
  19. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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  20. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    The essay (which opens the new book) that Richard linked to is fantastic. It demonstrates once again why the man won that Pulitzer.
    At the end of the essay is an address where you can send YOUR nomination for the Great Movies list!! I'm not going to post it here because all of you should go read the essay!! [​IMG]
     

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