Saturday, September 20, 2008

quantity and quality

The Onion had this recent post, which inspired me to wonder: What's my most-rewatched movie?

Thanks to cable and DVDs (and having a kid around) movies can be seen again and again and again (and again.) I've always been a film nut, and used to go to the movies ALOT (not so much these days), but I had to think about this to come up with an honest top 10 or so, in no particular order. Of course being able to quote huge passages (if not the whole text) of a film is definitely a qualifier:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail I've seen it on PBS, in the theater, in Paris with French subtitles (and believe me, the French did not accurately translate the taunting scene) "Is there someone else up there we can talk to?"

French Soldier: I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

Rear Window I'm a huge fan of Hitch, but this movie somehow seems to be the one of his that I can watch the most again and again. Artists like frames and pictures, maybe the abstract quality has something to do with it. The blatant voyeurism and the city living. Plus, it's fun to watch Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly and Thelma Ritter unravel all the mysteries of their neighbor's lives.

Blazing Saddles Lilly von Shtupp, Cleavon Little, Gabby Johnson, Hedly Lamarr. I wasn't allowed to see this when it came out. All the kids in school were going on about the campfire scene, but when I finally saw the movie that wasn't my favorite.

Lili Von Shtupp: A wed wose; how womantic.

Hedley Lamarr: Qualifications?
Gum Chewer: [chewing gum] Murder . . . armed robbery . . . mayhem . . .
Hedley Lamarr: Wait a moment. What have you got in your mouth?
Gum Chewer: [stops chewing, looks around nervously] . . . nuff'm.
Hedley Lamarr: Nuff'm, eh? Lyle!
Lyle: [searches man's mouth, pulls out gum] Gum!
Hedley Lamarr: Chewing gum in line, eh? I hope you brought enough for everybody!

Gum Chewer: [begins to panic] I didn't know there was going to be so many!
Hedley Lamarr: [shoots gum chewer]
Jim: [hidden behind a rock] Boy, is he strict!

Young Frankenstein I saw this with my family when it came out and the punchline probably escaped me then, but it is still one of my favorite films (and the b&w photography is just stunning.) I can quote, probably, most of this movie.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: That music... .
Frau Blücher: Yes. It's in your blood - it's in the blood of ALL Frankensteins. It reaches the soul when words are useless. Your grandfather used to play it to the creature HE vas making.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Then it was you all the time.
Frau Blücher: Yes.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: You played that music in the middle of the night... .
Frau Blücher: Yes.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: get us to the laboratory.
Frau Blücher: Yes.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: That was YOUR cigar smoldering in the ashtray.
Frau Blücher: Yes.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: And it was you... . who left my grandfather's book out for me to find.
Frau Blücher: Yes.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: So that I
would... .
Frau Blücher: Yes.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Then you and Victor were... .
Frau Blücher: YES. YES. Say it. He vas my... . BOYFRIEND.

The Uninvited It's scary, romantic, charming and with Ray Milland - everything a classic Britsh ghost story should be.

Curse of the Demon I used to catch this movie with Dana Andrews on TV whenever it was on when I was a kid. It was very scary at the time, and it's still creepy now. Great shots of Stonehenge, too.

The Wizard of Oz Pretty much the greatest movie ever made.

Singin' in the Rain - Gene Kelly is the epitome of exuberance, hotness, athleticism, and he's funny, too. Plus, Cyd Charisse, Donald O'Connor and a 19 yr-old Debbie Reynolds. What a movie.

[after filming a love scene]
Lina: Oh Donny! You couldn't kiss me like that and not mean it just a teensy bit!
Don Lockwood: Meet the greatest actor in the world! I'd rather kiss a tarantula.
Lina: You don't mean that.
Don Lockwood: I don't - - Hey Joe, get me a tarantula.

The Mummy This just moves and moves and the stars have great chemistry and the Mummy is super-hot (Brendan Fraser and his Egyptian warrior friend aren't too shabby, either)

When Harry Met Sally A more accessible Woody Allen wannabe. Totally a guilty pleasure, but totally fun.

Notting Hill - The Hugh Grant we all wish he was (where About A Boy's Hugh Grant is probably closer to the truth. BTW, love that one, too.)

Honorable mentions:

The kid made me watch it, but now I'm hooked: Hairspray, Grease, Pocahontas, Shrek, The Incredibles, The Cat Returns

The boyfriend made me watch it, really: Any Schwarzenneger movie, Ronin

My parents made me watch it, but now I love it: Any Bogart movie, but especially Casablanca

Movie-buff osmosis: The Godfather, Citizen Kane, All About Eve


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