Friday, November 9, 2007

top 50 movies (10-1)

Wow. You can cut the frickin' tension with a knife. Let's just do this thing.

10. The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 1985)
IMDB PLOT OUTLINE: Five high school students, all different stereotypes, meet in detention, where they pour their hearts out to each other, and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.
PERFORMERS: Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: John Kapelos (Carl the Janitor)
INTERESTING FACTS: In the beginning, former Shermer High School student Carl the Janitor is on a Man of the Year plaque...Hughes wrote the screenplay in just two days in 1982...The scene in which all the characters sit in a circle and explain why they're in detention wasn't scripted; Hughes just told them to ad lib
BEST SCENE: Bender taking one for the team as they run through the hallways.
BEST LINE: "Screws fall out all the time. The world's an imperfect place."

9. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
IMDB PLOT OUTLINE: The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.
PERFORMERS: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: James Caan (Sonny Corleone)
INTERESTING FACTS: When asked who he wanted to play Don Vito Corleone, Coppola said, "Look, I don't know, but who are the two greatest actors in the world today? Laurence Olivier and Marlon Brando"; after being told that Olivier was sick and not taking parts, they sought out Brando..."I'll make him an offer he can't refuse" was #10 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest Movie Lines of All-Time...The film was #3 on the AFI's list of the Greatest Movies of All-Time
BEST SCENE: The horse's head scene.
BEST LINE: "Do you spend time with your family? Good. Because a man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."

8. The Godfather II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
IMDB PLOT OUTLINE: The early life & career of Vito Corleone in 1920's New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-Revolution 1958 Cuba.
PERFORMERS: Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: John Cazale (Fredo Corleone)
INTERESTING FACTS: DeNiro is one of only four actors (including Sophia Loren, Roberto Benigni, and Benicio Del Toro) to win an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor) for a role primarily in a language other than English...#32 on the American Film Institute's list of the Greatest Movies of All-Time..."Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" was #58 on the AFI's list of the Greatest Movie Lines of All-Time
BEST SCENE: Fredo's death scene.
BEST LINE: "I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!"

7. The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994)
IMDB PLOT OUTLINE: Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.
PERFORMERS: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: James Whitmore (Brooks Hatlen)
INTERESTING FACTS: In Stephen King's novella (Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption), Red is Irish; they left the line, "Maybe it's 'cause I'm Irish" in as a joke after casting Morgan Freeman...Darabont watched Goodfellas every Sunday while filming Shawshank and drew inspiration from its use of voice-over narration and the way it dealt with the passage of time...The role of Andy Dufresne was originally offered to Tom Hanks, but he turned it down in favor of Forrest Gump (which edged out Shawshank for Best Picture that year); Hanks did work on Darabont's next adaptation of a Stephen King story, The Green Mile
BEST SCENE: Red and Andy meeting on the beach in Mexico.
BEST LINE: "As I am innocent of this crime, Sir, I find it decidedly inconvenient that the gun was never found."

6. The American President (Rob Reiner, 1995)
IMDB PLOT OUTLINE: Comedy-drama about a widowed US president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all aboveboard, but "politics is perception" and sparks fly anyway.
PERFORMERS: Michael Douglas, Annette Bening
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Michael J. Fox (Lewis Rothschild)
INTERESTING FACTS: The Oval Office set was originally built for Dave and later used on The West Wing...The phone number that President Shepherd gives Sydney when he first calls her is the actual White House phone number...One of a very few movies allowed to keep its PG-13 rating despite three uses of the f-word
BEST SCENE: Andrew Shepherd's speech to the media.
BEST LINE: "My name is Andrew Shepherd, and I am the President."

5. A Few Good Men (Rob Reiner, 1992)
IMDB PLOT OUTLINE: Neo military lawyer Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder; they contend they were acting under orders.
PERFORMERS: Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Kevin Pollak (Lt. Sam Weinberg)
INTERESTING FACTS: Ed O'Neill shot scenes as a Marine testifying in court, but his scenes were cut because audiences kept laughing whenever he came on screen (at the time, O'Neill played Al Bundy in Married...With Children, one of the highest-rated sitcoms on television)...The actor who played Harold Dawson was working as a location scout for Reiner when he was offered the job because Reiner thought he "looked like a Marine"..."You can't handle the truth" was #29 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest Movie Lines of All-Time
BEST SCENE: Lt. Kaffee interrogating Col. Jessup on the stand.
BEST LINE: "The only thing I have to eat is Yoohoo and Cocoa Puffs, so if you want anything else bring it with you."

4. Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
IMDB PLOT OUTLINE: Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy.
PERFORMERS: Ray Liotta, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Paul Sorvino (Paul Cicero)
INTERESTING FACTS: After the movie, the real Henry Hill went around telling so many people who he was that he was kicked out of the Witness Protection Program..."As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster" was #20 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest Movie Lines of All-Time...Joe Pesci's Oscar acceptance speech--"This is an honor and a privilege. Thank you"--is the third shortest of all-time (behind William Holden in 1954--"Thank you"--and Alfred Hitchcock in 1968--"Thanks")
BEST SCENE: "What do you mean I'm funny?"
BEST LINE: "Now go home and get your f***in' shinebox."

3. Glengarry Glen Ross (James Foley, 1992)
IMDB PLOT OUTLINE: An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office.
PERFORMERS: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Alec Baldwin (Blake)
INTERESTING FACTS: The character of Blake was not in the original play and was written for the movie...Jack Lemmon called the cast the "greatest acting ensemble" he had ever been a part of (on days when certain members of the cast were not shooting a scene, they would regularly show up anyway to watch the other actors perform)...During production, the actors referred to the film as Death of a F***in' Salesman
BEST SCENE: Blake's speech.
BEST LINE: "We're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired."

2. Stand By Me (Rob Reiner, 1986)
IMDB PLOT OUTLINE: After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find a body of a missing boy
PERFORMERS: Will Wheaton, River Phoenix, Jerry O'Connell, Corey Feldman
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Kiefer Sutherland (Ace Merrill)
INTERESTING FACTS: In the scene where Ace steals Gordie's hat, Sutherland's first instinct was to put the hat on, but Reiner told him to give it to Eyeball to illustrate that he was stealing the hat just to be cruel, not because it had any real significance to him...The movie is adapted from a story called The Body, which is included in a book of novellas by Stephen King called Different Seasons; also included in the book is a novella called Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redmeption...In the scene where Gordie and Verne are running from the train, the boys didn't look scared enough, so Reiner yelled at them until they began to cry, at which point they finished filming the scene
BEST SCENE: The campfire scene.
BEST LINE: "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?"

1. It's A Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
IMDB PLOT OUTLINE: An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would had been like if he never existed.
PERFORMERS: Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Henry Travers (Clarence)
INTERESTING FACTS: #1 on the American Film Institute's lists of the 100 Most Inspirational Movies of All-Time and the 100 Most Powerful Movies of All-Time...In 2004, the BBC magazine Radio Times listed it as the second best film never to win an Oscar (#1? The Shawshank Redemption)...Jimmy Stewart's performance as George Bailey was #8 on Premiere's list of the 100 Greatest Movie Performances of All-Time
BEST SCENE: The final scene.
BEST LINE: "Remember, George, no man is a failure who has friends."

Little wrap-up coming tomorrow.

Later gators.

3 comments:

Stacy said...

I still don't really like It's a Wonderful Life. Does that make me a bad person???

j baker said...

i really think that this is a near perfect list, al.
you put a lot of work into this list this week, and it turned out really well.
i would add Drop Dead Gorgeous. :)

Claire said...

1) This is, as a whole, an impressive list.
2) I'm delighted by many of your top ten, including the TWO Sorkin movies. Speaking of, Dad and I were quoting The American President over the phone last week. Good times.
3) I agree with Joe re: Drop Dead Gorgeous.
4) Really, I need to watch Glengarry Glen Ross again. I read your list while waiting for a movie to start at a film festival this weekend, and suddenly I didn't want to see that (which, by the way, was The Savages, the new Laura Linney movie and was quite good) and all I wanted to do was watch GGR. Which is a ridiculous abbreviation, but I'm lazy.