Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sh!#ting on the Classics: Better Yet! Part II

Two weeks ago, I posted a humble list of worthwhile films from the past. Many of you thanked me.  Many of you got mad. One of you sent me a crisp $100 bill. Okay-- who am I kidding?  No one got mad.

This completes my list of suggestions from the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Here goes nothing. Films marked with an asterisk (*) are currently available on Netflix Instant.

Action: The Perils of Pauline (1914), The Mark of Zorro (1920), The Black Pirate* (1926), The Thief of Bagdad* (1924), Safety Last (1926), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1939), The Three Musketeers (1948), Seven Samurai (1954), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), Bullitt (1968), Dirty Harry* (1969), Vanishing Point (1971), The French Connection (1971), Deliverance (1972), The Three Musketeers* (1973), Enter the Dragon (1973), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), The Road Warrior (1981), To Live and Die in LA (1985)

Drama/Melodrama: The Last Laugh* (1924), Greed (1924), L’Atalante (1934), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Gone With The Wind (1939), Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939), Citizen Kane (1941), Casablanca (1942), Gentlemen’s Agreement (1947), Bicycle Thieves* (1948), Rashomon (1950), On The Waterfront* (1954), Written on the Wind (1956), 12 Angry Men (1957), The 400 Blows (1959), Inherit the Wind (1960), To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Five Easy Pieces (1971), The Conversation (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Nashville (1976), All the President’s Men (1976), Taxi Driver (1976)

Gangster: The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1910), Underworld (1927), The Public Enemy (1931), Scarface, Or The Shame of a Nation* (1932), Little Caesar (1931), G Men (1935), The Petrified Forest (1936), Angels With Dirty Faces (1938), The Roaring Twenties (1939), High Sierra (1941), White Heat (1949), The Hitch-hiker (1953), The Big Heat (1953), Al Capone (1959), Breathless (1960), Point Blank (1967), Bonnie & Clyde (1967), Get Carter (1971), The Godfather (1972), Mean Streets (1973), The Godfather, Part II (1974), The Long Goodbye (1973), The Long Good Friday* (1980), Atlantic City (1980), and Once Upon A Time In America (1984)

Thriller: The Lady Vanishes* (1938), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934*/1956), The 39 Steps (1935), Notorious (1946), Brighton Rock (1947), Odd Man Out (1947), D.O.A. (1950), Strangers on a Train (1951), The Wages of Fear (1953), Dial M For Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), Rififi (1955), To Catch A Thief (1955), Vertigo (1958), North By Northwest (1959), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Cape Fear (1962), Charade* (1963), The Day of the Jackal (1973), The Taking of Pelham 123* (1974), Night Moves (1975), Marathon Man* (1976), and Eye of the Needle (1981)

War: Shoulder Arms (1918) Battleship Potemkin* (1925), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), Buck Privates (1941), The Fighting Sullivans (1944), The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), Flying Leathernecks (1951), From Here to Eternity (1953), Stalag 17 (1953), The Caine Mutiny (1954), Paths of Glory (1957), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), The Naked and the Dead (1958), Sink The Bismark (1960), The Great Escape (1963), The Train (1964), Patton*(1970), Hearts and Minds (1974), Seven Beauties (1975), Go Tell The Spartans (1978), The Deer Hunter (1978), Apocalypse Now* (1979), The Big Red One (1980), and Reds (1981)

BY THE WAY: Did anyone else notice that in the graphic that accompanied my column a few weeks ago on “Sh!#ty Moments From 2011,” some crazy person photo-shopped Gilbert Grape into the picture from Zookeeper? Curiouser and curiouser…

Until next time… see (?) you all Saturday at F This Movie Fest on the Twitter


  1. Good to know that I've seen at least a dozen classic movies. Haven't got the time to verify any more than that, but there you go.

  2. Under "Thriller," your forgot to include "Making Michael Jackson's Thriller." Essential viewing. You are not forgiven.

  3. Ooooo! I've seen many of these, and not seen even more.

    *grabs pen*

    Thank you, sir!

  4. Man, I still suck. Only seen 50 of these. And again, a few of these ("Reds," "The Big Red One," "Seven Samurai," etc.) are shrink-wrapped in my shelf waiting for me to watch them. Great suggestions all-around, thanks. I would have put "Wooden Crosses" (1932) as a great war movie suggestion along with "Letters from Hiroshima" (2006). Why the discrimination of anything post-early 80's in these suggestions?

  5. As I mentioned in the first "Better Yet" column, my lists stop in the early eighties because that is where most internet lists seem to start!

    Again, I assumed that you boys could "find your way" in the thicket of more recent films.

    Thanks for reading my column. I always enjoy your feedback. Now, get back in your sleeping bag.

    1. ^^^ Yes Mr. Billy Batts, I'm getting my shoeshine box. :-P

  6. Thunderball? Really? I suppose the underwater set pieces are good, but the rest of the film is what started the trend of the bloated, gadget-laden Bond films. Better BETTER Yet, I'll take On Her Majesty's Secret Service (even with Lazenby).

    And I have no clue what category to put it in (drama, maybe?), but I want to give a shout-out to The Right Stuff (1983, I think) because I'm a sucker for anything about the early space program.

  7. Thanks for another comprehensive list, JB! I think I'm doing a little better on this one - I've seen a whopping 10 of them! (don't hit me) - but you've given me much cinematic ground to cover. I think I can pretty much watch nothing but your suggestions (with a few newer releases thrown in for good measure) for the next year or two. Now if only I, at 30 years old, could somehow go back to high school and take your class - there's a completely original, never-been-done idea for a movie!

    And a tip to any fellow blu-ray lovers - a lot of these classics are really cheap from Amazon UK - I recently ordered about a dozen of JBs recommendations for around $100 shipped. Remember that the prices will reduce from as shown (to subtract the VAT) only after you've selected your shipping address. So yeah, loads of good deals there - just make sure they're region free!

  8. Only 23 of these, 51 of the comprehensive list in total. I need to step up my game!

  9. Another 78, not bad, but I have only seen so much because I´m old and lot´s of them were my typical TV programming in my youth. Back then there were only 3 channels available in Germany, playing a lot of classic movies and black and white stuff.