In 2007, the American Film Institute published a list of the 100 greatest movies of all time, and we just can’t resist a good list. We’ve made it through 54 of them throughout 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, and this year we made it through another 10. As before, we’ll include our reactions.
This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!
#48: Rear Window (1954)
We actually really enjoyed this one. Apart from the weird 50’s morality, sexism, and innuendo, the story was told in an interesting way. It’s easy to see how Hitchcock was synonymous with suspense for many years, the pacing of this film was great.
#47: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Wow. We’re not sure what we’re supposed to be feeling having seen this. It’s sort of in the same category as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, where the climax is disturbing, and there’s no resolution really.
#46: It Happened One Night (1934)
So let me get this straight. A woman escapes imprisonment by her father (which is a completely normal father-daughter dynamic, and needs no resolution), and while traveling alone is accosted by a guy who heaps emotional abuse on her and blackmails her. Naturally, they fall in love. (Sarcasm aside, you can see the roots of the modern rom-com in this, and it’s well-made.)
#45: Shane (1953)
Not having spent a lot of time watching westerns, this seems like the stereotypical example. Romancing the independent spirit of the West™ and the value of hard work, et cetera. We enjoyed the moral quandary at the end, how sometimes the Good Guy has to be the Bad Guy, and you can see how The Dark Knight is almost a remake of this.
#44: The Philadelphia Story (1940)
We do love a good aristocrat-self-discovery tale. It’s kind of amazing how the characters all forgive each other, as though they thought they deserved to be married to terrible people, being terrible people themselves.
#43: Midnight Cowboy (1969)
This whole story was confusing. We had a hard time empathizing with any of the characters. Maybe we’re just not ready for it? (Side note: it’s hard to see in 201X how Angelina Jolie and Jon Voigt are related, but in this film he’s like a male Angelina, it’s eerie.)
#42: Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
An ancestor of the modern heist film, or maybe of The Godfather. The bank robbers all seem kind of terrible and solipsistic, but they’re the heroes anyway? It’s pretty crazy that it’s based on a true story, and that the real people were still alive when the movie came out.
#41: King Kong (1933)
I guess this was the first special-effects monster movie, or the first one of note anyways. The effects seem clumsy to us now, but at the time they were probably quite revolutionary and striking.
#39: Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Ah, the comedy of errors. Not our favorite trope, but it works well here, with the juxtaposition of total nuclear annihilation. The humor is well-done, and you can see the roots of some modern comedy here as well
#38: The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948)
We expected another standard western going into this, but it actually made it a bit more real what it must have been like to be part of a gold rush in the lawless desert. I was pretty sure from the beginning that the guy who says “nah, a bunch of gold wouldn’t make me go nuts” was going to go nuts about gold.