Confessions of a Fickle Movie Lover
My new mantra is it’s never too late to learn. For someone who writes a screenwriting blog, my list of classics watched is pretty short. Of AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies list, there are about 27 films I still haven’t seen. What’s worse, two of those are on the top ten (Lawrence of Arabia (5), I’m so sorry). Maybe it’s because I’ve never had the time, or the fact that some of these films were difficult to track down in suburban Maryland (I don’t remember the Video Knights having a copy of number 86: Mutiny on the Bounty) either way I’ve missed too many great films. Of course, some of these classics I’ve slept through, but we won’t talk about my narcolepsy in this column.
I plan to change this sorry record in the next few months. For example, last night I rented #30, Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Watching it I realized again how great a character actor Bogart is, how wonderfully adept Walter Huston is at playing an old prospector, and how strong Walter’s son John Huston is at telling an exceptionally compelling story.
It’s not like I don’t watch and enjoy a lot of movies. In fact, I don’t agree with all one hundred movies on the list. Does The Sound of Music really belong up there at number fifty-five? Sure, the songs are great, but I’m not exactly a von Trapp fan. And is Tootsie (62), starring a cross-dressing Dustin Hoffman, really a better movie than Stagecoach (63), which inspired Orson Welles as he directed Citizen Kane (1)? And what is fifties nostalgia-fest American Graffiti (77) doing on the list? Is it really a better movie than Chaplin’s masterpiece, Modern Times (81)?
OK, I’m done complaining. But suffice it to say, there are many classic movies I have yet to catch, whether or not I think they belong on the list. And this is not the worst assignment I’ve ever had.
Now that I spilled some of the movies I have not seen, what classics have you not watched? Why?