"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Friday, March 15, 2013

A little diversion into the best movies of all time

I try to keep the focus on books, though I often divert off into personal matters like what I have growing in the garden or what's been good in the kitchen. So today you won't be completely shocked to see that I want to talk about movies, good movies, the best movies of all time!

It all started in the library, however, when I decided (probably stupidly) to move some books around.  More specifically I decided to move my whole reference section out. Kids don't use reference books anymore, or rarely.  If they do look for information in the library among the books, they look in the subject areas. So I decided to integrate the two. Why not just move the reference books in and among the other books on the same subject? It makes sense to do it, at least on paper. But the reality of moving a few reference books out actually means moving nearly every book in the whole nonfiction section of the library.  Gulp!  That is a big job.

I started the job this week..needless to say I'm tired.

Anyway...while I was looking over the reference books, I got to the 700s, These are the art, music, and sports books.  Most of these reference books were just oversized books that don't fit on library shelves well.  I pulled out one of these books and looked at it for the very first time: Four-Star Movies: the 101 Greatest Films of All Time by Gail Kinn and Jim Piazza, copyright date 2003. I'm sure this book ended up in reference because of its size. I determined to move it or weed it but I opened it first.

What are the top ten best movies of all time, at least as of ten years ago?  Hmm.  Let me think? If I was making the list I'd put all the movies I like on the list. Here's a quick try on my part:
Anne's list:
1.  Gone with the Wind                             2. Sound of Music
3.  The Wizard of Oz                                4. Dr. Zhivago
5.  Mary Poppins                                     6. Toy Story
7. Grease                                                 8. It's a Wonderful Life
9. Singin' in the Rain                               10. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Notice that my list is a bit heavy on the feel good endings and lots of music?

Now for the Four-Star, Top Ten Movies listed in the book:
1. Godfather I and II                                 2. Casablanca
3. Citizen Cane                                          4. Gone with the Wind
5. Lawrence of Arabia                             6. North by Northwest
7. The Wizard of Oz                                 8. Annie Hall
9. Chinatown                                           10. Singin' in the Rain

Hey, we agreed on a few. I'm probably the only person alive in my generation that hasn't ever seen a Godfather movie. I vaguely remember Citizen Cane and North by Northwest. I haven't seen Lawrence of Arabia or Chinatown, and distinctly remember disliking Annie Hall. It irritated me.

While I was at it I decided to check out what "Normal" People think are the Top Ten movies of all time. I found this list on the Top 100 Movies as voted by normal people website:
1. Godfather I                                            2. Shawshank Redemption
3. Titanic                                                   4. Casablanca
5. Forrest Gump                                        6. Lord of the Rings, Return of the Kings
7. Pulp Fiction                                           8. Gone with the Wind
9. Schindler's List                                      10. The Dark Knight

Obviously, this is a very hard list to make and is based a lot on personal preference.

I am enjoying the big book, even if I don't agree with the authors choices. It is fun to make lists and to prioritize. It is also fun to read about movies I know and I don't know.  One thing is for sure I'd better see Godfather sometime.

Now it is your turn.  What are your top ten movies?



  1. I couldn't decide if a "Top 10" list should be:
    most impactful?;
    most cinematically spectacular?;
    most entertaining?;
    biggest guilty pleasures?

    I opted to list ten favorites:

    1. Star Wars
    2. The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy)
    3. The Sound of Music
    4. It's a Wonderful Life
    5. The Wizard of Oz
    6. Saving Private Ryan
    7. Gladiator
    8. O Brother Where Art Thou?
    9. Animal House
    10. Galaxy Quest

    I have eclectic tastes (or lack thereof) and each of these films made my list for different reasons. These movies have one common criteria: I enjoy watching them over and over again.

    1. Let's see if I put the movies I watch most often I'd have to put Pride and Prejudice, That Thing You Do, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility on my list in addition to a view you listed. Good list, Don. I think it perfectly reflects your eclectic tastes.

  2. Such a hard list to make! I haven't seen Godfather either. If I had to make a list of all time favorites it would include the Star Wars movies, Back to the Future movies, Lord of the Rings, Pride and Prejudice, I love the Harry Potter movies, and Princess Bride.

    1. So many of the films that the book placed in the top 101 were more along the lines of film-noir, to my mind anyway. But I am not much of a film aficionado. Since the list was ten years ago it didn't have any of the Harry Potter films, or the high tech films like Avatar or Lord of the Rings. Star Wars is #52 and ET is #59 on their list.

  3. Wow I agree with a lot on your list. I'd eliminate #4, #8 and #10. And maybe Toy Story -- great movie, just maybe not top 10. What would I add? Hmmm...

    Star Wars
    The Ten Commandments
    Matilda (I know that's weird, but I love that movie!)
    Should there be something animated? Like, The Lion King or Little Mermaid?
    And my Christmas movie would be Miracle on 34th Street, not that other one....

    Lots to think about!

    1. No, the list did not contain any animated movies nor did it have any movies would be considered "children's" movies like Mary Poppins or Harry Potter. The list, made ten years ago, also didn't really embrace the high tech movies but that may be a timing thing. Anyway it got us both thinking. Thanks for playing along.

    2. Woops, I was wrong. The book listed Pinocchio in the top 101. hm. I haven't seen it for such a long time, I'm not sure what is so special about it.

  4. Oh, I love this conversation! I agree that favorite movies are very subjective.

    I would agree on Grease, Wizard of Oz, and It's a Wonderful Life (watch it every year!). Thinking of more modern films...hmmm...some of my favorites are The Butterfly Effect (love time travel plots), Elizabethtown (love, laughs, amazing soundtrack), The Birdcage (funniest movie ever), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Lots of others too!!

    I would love to see that book! I guess I will check our library for it.


  5. hmm. I would have to think about and rearrange a list of 10 for a whole week. But off the top of my head: I like some sad epics like Dr. Zhivago, Out of Africa, Chariots of Fire, Sophie's Choice, Ordinary People .... oh they're all good-cry, killers. Terms of Endearment. Oh there's so many I can't think of right now -- I should try to arrange a list though

  6. Ah, going through the non-fiction section of the school library. My current goal is to weed, weed, weed! We have so many books that look bad, are really old, or never get checked out that it really needs doing. I am through 573 so far and am dreading the 900s :-)

    1. Yes, I am weeding as I move the books, and obviously dusting. OMG! This place is dusty! I am half through the 900s and hope to finish tomorrow. then I get to box up all the weeded books for surplus. Sigh.


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