Thank you, Rick Arndt, for nominating me to list 15 Movies That Have Stayed With You! We are kindred spirits with the enjoyment of many of the movies you listed, and yet, I will go off on some different tangents.
I will nominate Matt Pahnke, Jacob Tomaw, Mark Zanders, Sr., and Ben Heinz.
Naming the best film ever, or even limiting the list, has always been difficult for me, as well. I have so many, and for just as wide a variety of factors. So here we go…
1. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. What do you get when you bring George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Harrison Ford together in one film? Absolute magnificence! This thrilling adventure was amazing. I still remember the moms of our 6th grade class dropping us off at the theatre that May, and a group of us feeling all grown up watching this action-packed classic unfold!
Other Action Films
2. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. I actually love all six. Yes, prequel haters can hate me, but I must confess I even enjoyed Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan more than Sir Alec Guiness. But this is where it all began. This is where modern cinema was revived, and science fiction grew up into a legitimate category of film. From the very first moments of “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a great adventure took place” scrolling up the screen, this entire mythology was absorbed into my imagination!
3. Batman Begins (or again, the whole Christopher Nolan trilogy) is brilliant! Christian Bale has become the consummate Batman. Michael Caine simply IS Alfred. The story swept us into a believably corrupt Gotham, with a hero who is greater than we deserved.
4. Inception. Along with the Dark Knight films, this displays Nolan’s extreme talent in directing. With each layer of dreaming, I felt sucked in more. The intensity is amazing! The effects marvelous. The cast tremendous! You will feel tired when the film is finished, since your heart has been pounding the entire time. And yet, you cannot fall asleep. Not because you are scared to do so, but because your mind is racing, trying to analyze what happened at what level of dream, and what *really* became of each member of the team. Does the top keep spinning, or no?!
5. Pirates of the Caribbean. This is a film that Kristi and I left the theatre saying, “We will own this one!” Non-stop action. Great comedic timing. Fun storyline. And a soundtrack that I could listen to for days! Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow is one of the most amazingly “stick with you” characters ever developed, and he plays him magnificently!
Three honorable mentions need to be made here in the “Action” category.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This film drew me into the Star Trek universe. I became a fan of 2,3, and 4, and then The Next Generation even more so.
Star Trek IV: Save the Whales. Okay, that wasn’t its real name. And it definitely is not one of the strongest of those films. Yet the comedic one-liners have definitely “stuck with me.” Spock’s use of “colorful metaphors” are full of laughs. The old lady giddy in her wheel chair in the hospital, after Bones has helped her: “Doctor gave me a pill and I grew a new kidney!!!” And Scotty, dealing with the primitive 1980’s computer, talking into the mouse: “Computer? Hello, Computer!?” “Just use the keyboard.” “A keyboard! How quaint.”
Super 8. Perhaps because the boys in this film are the age I would have been in that era. This was a fabulous story of creativity and imagination, as well as helping something unknown, while pulling together to help your neighbors.
For those who are secure enough in their masculinity, guys can admit that they like some romantic comedies or dramas.
6. The Princess Bride. Inconceivable? It’s the consummate quotable film. Every quote you’ll ever need, packed into one movie. It is an action film, as well. Sword fights, magic, and love. True love.
7. Sleepless in Seattle. “You don’t want to be in love; you want to be in love in the movies.” Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan tug at your own heart as you root for this pair who keep crossing paths without meeting, and yet you *know* they belong together.
8. The Notebook. There. I said it. This is a touching film about love and devotion across the years. Perhaps it is the Alzheimer’s in my own family that makes this strike a chord. But it is well done, nevertheless.
I love comedies. I enjoy them, laugh at them, and would watch them repeatedly. But many don’t make their way onto such a list of greats. Except…maybe... one.
9. Young Frankenstein. Mel Brooks directs a hilarious, but irreverent reboot of the Frankenstein story. Gene Wilder, Madeline Khan, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, and many others come together with splendid humor, lines, timing, and a classic black-and-white filming that lend to the power of this humorous tale.
I love classic films. There are no two ways about it.
10. Aladdin. Disney films have so many classics among them. And I love so many of them! I guess Aladdin appeals to me as one of the few Disney animated films with a male lead. Being authentic to who you really are, and people loving the real person, not the phony façade, is at the heart of this movie’s message.
11. Casablanca is one of the greatest ever! Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman give splendid portrayals of this would-be couple in the Second World War. The ensemble cast with Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre draw your eyes and ears to each line and minute detail. True love and the sacrifices it makes, especially in wartime, are well played throughout.
12. Holiday Inn. This is another “oldie but goodie.” Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire pair up for one of the greatest song and dance films of the 1940’s. A year full of “red letter” days is portrayed at the inn. Maybe this is even more special than some other Bing Crosby greats, since I stole my first kiss with Kristi during “Thanksgiving” the first time we watched it together.
13. It’s a Wonderful Life. I love Jimmy Stewart! He is the most awesome “everyman.” This tale of love and loss, dreams that are dashed, and finally realizing the amazing qualities of “ordinary” things in life, will touch you.
14. The Ten Commandments. This great epic, directed by Cecil B. DeMille, is the greatest old-time biblical epic. Charleton Heston will always be the image burned in my mind for Moses. The cheesy lines and artistic liberties do add some caution in taking this as biblical history, and the special effects are SO dated, but it’s a beautifully portrayed film, and will always be dear to me.
15. I Confess. This gem of film noir is one of the best kept secrets of Alfred Hitchcock’s career. The tale is of a Roman Catholic priest in Quebec in the 1950’s. By doing the right thing and keeping the seal of the confessional, he ends up being the chief suspect in a murder. Will he die for another man’s sins, or not? True to form, Hitchcock provides twists and turns to the very end! I show this in every year’s catechism class, as we talk about individual confession!
There are so many others! But since Rick’s challenge was to list 15, I will stop.
And they lived happily ever after….The End.