10 of my Favorite Movies
Based on a prompt from John Brodsky
The Westerner (1940) Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan
the best Judge Roy Bean movie made. Both are excellent in creating their characters, neither of them heroic.
Intolerance (1916) D. W. Griffith’s apologia for Birth of a Nation, This should have been the first movie shown in the White House, rather than BOAN. A revolutionary work, in both technique and story.
Birth of a Nation is a great film, but I don’t have to like it.
My Name is Khan (2010) One of the few non-singing roles of the great Indian Actor/Singer Shah Rukh Khan. He’s most comparable to possibly a Gene Kelly, in that he could play heroes and villains, sing dance and romance, or straight dramatic. A good introduction to SRK, who can play anyone.
Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972) My nod to Italian Film Directors, here Franco Zefferelli, in a dramatization of the life of St. Francis, the best one I’ve seen. This is a wonderful movie on faith, which I can enjoy without necessarily believeing in it.
Robin and Marian (1976) Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn. This is about the power of myth, of both the actors and the subjects.
The Roaring Twenties (1939) Humphrey Bogart and Jimmy Cagney. One of a slew of Holywood films that dealt with returning WW1 vets whose main skill was learning how to shoot guns and who became criminals, see also post Civil War outlaws, etc. The ending is classic!
The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn (1999) Sidney Poitier was one of the great Actors of Hollywood, 2nd half of the 20th Century. This was a made
for TV movie, which shows you his range. He was 72 at this time.
The Searchers (1956) It took me a while to reconcile John Wayne the actor with John Wayne the man. (see also story of “Giveway Hill” by
Andrew Geer, a movie JW wanted to make, but..) John Wayne plays an out-and-out racist, but helps you to understand him.
Doctor Strange (2016) Benedict Cumberbatch is a wonderful multi-faceted actor. The character is a Marvel Comic Character and this is a fun dumb movie with some serious thoughts below.
Ride the High Country (1962) Randolph Scott’s last western with Joel McCrea. RS portrayed characters with a sense of purpose and his last 6 movies are stunners. This is one of the few Sam Peckinpah movies I can watch.
Keeper of the Flame (1942) The only Spencer Tracy- Katherine Hepburn movie that was not a light comedy. This is about myths and the people who perpetuate them.