Wednesday, 28 December 2011

2011 List #4: Catching Classics

One thing that sucks about being a film buff is that a lot of people expect you to have seen EVERYTHING!  People look at me in disgust when they reel off classics that I haven't got round to.  "You haven't seen West Side Story???" my Dad exclaims every Christmas.  You haven't seen a single Rocky film most people weep as I tell them.  As a result my list of films I need to see grows and grows every year no matter how many films I watch.

Well this year I made a list of classic films I needed to see as soon as possible.  I managed three out of the ten on that list.  A very poor show considering how bloody fantastically Eric over at The Warning Sign is doing at his 50 Movies I Need to See by the End of the Year.  Puts me to shame!

But I have made an effort to watch some classic and older films that I felt were important to my film buff credentials.  Some may not be considered real 'classics' (ahem Copland) but I 'd heard so many good things about them for so long that I felt they could be included here.  So following from my previous three 2011 lists so far; Documentary, Horror, Worst, here is my list of classics I watched for the first time this year and how I would rate them.

Kings of the classics

  1. Das Boot (Tense and brilliant)
  2. Spartacus (Epic)  

 Undisputed champions 
  1. Rocky (Surprisingly little boxing)
  2. The Great Dictator (Making a mockery of Hitler)
  3. Paths Of Glory (More Kirk Douglas goodness)
  4. City Lights (More Chaplin sweetness and slapstick)
  5. The Player (Brilliant Hollywood satire)
  6. Cop Land (Stallone CAN definitely act)
  7. Breaking The Waves (Von Trier breaks hearts) 
  8. The Thing (Not as good as Assault on Precint 13)
  9. Frankenstein (Sympathy for the monster) Reviewed here
Worth the wait

  1. Modern Times (More Chaplin satire)
  2. Wages Of Fear (A lesson in tension)
  3. The Hours (Acting masterclass)
Ripe for a remake

  1. Lawrence Of Arabia (Epic, beautifully shot, but very slow and dated) 
  2. Mad Max (The madness of mad Mel)
As you can see I've loved Charlie Chaplin, Kirk Douglas and Sylvester Stallone.  Why doesn't Stallone do better stuff?  I think I'm going to skip Rocky's 2-5 but might catch Rocky Balboa in the New Year.  I'm going to give David Lean another try with Brief Encounter.   And I will be happy to see Mad Max get a remake.

Anyone want to send me death threats over my comments on Lawrence of Arabia?  What are the classics you have yet to see?  Does anyone know why I find films from before the 70s to be nowhere near my favourite films ever?  Have they just dated or am I a philistine?


  1. HAHA I love this post.

    I think it is pretty inherent in a film lover to sometimes overlook the older films.

    I am definitely trying to rectify that in 2012

  2. @Scott Sometimes it's nice to finally find out what all the fuss is about but too often it's more like 'oh, is that it then?' I love modern movies but I too will try to keep catching classics in 2012. Thanks for reading!

  3. With regard to older films, I find that I latch onto particular actors and actresses over directors and screenwriters, watching the films for them rather than for all the aggregate elements (the way I do with modern films). There are exceptions to this rule, of course (Nicholas Ray films, Night of the Hunter, Melies films, etc), but between 2 older films I have not before watched, I would choose the actors over the content or technical aspects. At any rate, I am glad you liked Copland (it is one of my favorite modern Westerns) and Modern Times (finally got the Blu-ray Criterion dvd for Christmas), and if you are interested, check out my interview with Evan Glodell (Bellflower) on OMFBC. The first post of 2012! Hope you had a wonderful New Year.

  4. @OMFBC I think that's very good advice. I have loved the Chaplin films. Though I also still need to see a few more Hitchcock! Will definitely check out the interview! Happy new year to you too!

  5. Last time I saw Das Boot (and I haven't seen all of it, just bits of it) I was ten. My uncles and my grandad were watching. I was mesmerised, but then they all decided bed time for me. I need to find the DVD!!!!
    I would never remake Mad Max, I think it's brilliant as is :)

  6. @Ruth Yeah Das Boot is definitely worth getting hold of. Great ending too! I hear Mad Max is going to star Tom Hardy so it could be good! Cross your fingers!

  7. Haven't seen any of the above movies will give it a try.

  8. @Kiran Yes do there's many a classic on that there list! Thanks for reading!

  9. @Kiran Yes do there's many a classic on that there list! Thanks for reading!


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