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BOT's Top 100 Movies of All Time - Hindsight is 2020 Edition

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"Truly, for some men nothing is written unless THEY write it."

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence is sent to Arabia to find Prince Faisal and serve as a liaison between the Arabs and the British in their fight against the Turks. With the aid of native Sherif Ali, Lawrence rebels against the orders of his superior officer and strikes out on a daring camel journey across the harsh desert to attack a well-guarded Turkish port." - IMDb

 

Its Legacy

 

"“Lawrence of Arabia” (Columbia Pictures, 1962; reconstruction, 1989) is widely regarded as David Lean’s masterpiece and one of the most critically acclaimed of Hollywood films, winning seven Oscars (including best picture and best director). In genre terms, it is considered an epic adventure film, telling the story of an heroic individual, the British intelligence officer T.E. Lawrence, and his struggles against enormous natural and political odds to win the freedom of the Arabs against the Ottoman Turks in World War I. But viewed in a different light, especially when one bears in mind the criticism of western imperialism that emerged in the 1960s among left-wing intellectuals and artists (some of whom worked on the film), “Lawrence of Arabia” can also be viewed as an anti-epic or as a probing critique of the romantic hero and the ultimately tragic situation that destroyed him. Indeed, Part One of the film is cut in the mold of a classic epic movie, whereas Part Two, a darker, more inward-looking, and more cynical look at the classic hero, seems to be its antithesis.

 

It is this duality or contradiction lying at the heart of its conception (examined in more detail below) that makes the film “good to think with” in regard to the Middle East and the troubled relationship western powers have had with it since Napoleon invaded Egypt in the early part of the nineteenth century. It was thus no coincidence that when the U.S. invaded Iraq, the first time in 1991 and then again in 2003, “Lawrence of Arabia” was re-released on giant film screens across the country because it seemed to set the framing story — at once drawing audiences into a romantic story and then inviting them to criticize it — for events in the region. The extent to which actors involved in those events looked at themselves through the lens of the film may be most spectacularly illustrated by General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of Operation Desert Storm, who confessed in his memoir It Doesn’t Take a Hero (1993), “that, when he received as a gift from the Emir of Kuwait the garb of a desert sheikh, he looked at himself admiringly in the mirror and could not help but think of the scene in the movie when Peter O’Toole donned his sheikh’s white robes for the first time.”

 

Lowell Thomas was not particularly taken with the movie, as can be seen by his review, though his reservations had mostly to do with historical authenticity a rather rich criticism from someone who was not terribly troubled about this question in his own accounts of Lawrence. We do not know what he made of the character Jackson Bentley, who is so obviously based on him. It was not, of course, a flattering portrait. He is cynical and crassly exploitative of the man he has “made,” as he puts it bluntly to the diplomat Dryden. Perhaps more disturbing to Lowell Thomas, however, would have been the way in which he is inserted into the narrative. Thomas was not a newspaper man, he had a cameraman and a ton of equipment. He did meet Lawrence for the first time in the middle of the Arab Revolt, but never — as the Movie depicts — did he witness Lawrence in, or even see, any actual fighting.

 

Rather he was introduced in Jerusalem and later rendezvoused with him at his military base of Akaba, where he did see and film Lawrence in the field with Prince Feisal's Arab Army. This dramatic license served the character’s dual narrative functions, of both constructing the myth and commenting derisively on it as the character’s exploits increasingly belied his heroic stature. This disillusionment reaches its nadir after the massacre of the Turks Lawrence had ordered on the march to Damascus: a horrified Bentley stumbles onto the scene of carnage muttering “Jesus wept, Jesus wept,” and then disgustedly points his camera at Lawrence, saying, “Let me take your bloody picture . . . for the bloody newspapers.” Whatever reservations the real Lowell Thomas may have harbored about his hero, he never publicly expressed them. And as far as his own historical role was concerned, it was to find the hero, not to make him."

- Clio: Visualizing History

 

From the Filmmaker

 

 

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"What a bold, mad act of genius it was, to make “Lawrence of Arabia,” or even think that it could be made. In the words years later of one of its stars, Omar Sharif: “If you are the man with the money and somebody comes to you and says he wants to make a film that's four hours long, with no stars, and no women, and no love story, and not much action either, and he wants to spend a huge amount of money to go film it in the desert--what would you say?”  The impulse to make this movie was based, above all, on imagination. The story of “Lawrence” is not founded on violent battle scenes or cheap melodrama, but on David Lean's ability to imagine what it would look like to see a speck appear on the horizon of the desert, and slowly grow into a human being. He had to know how that would feel before he could convince himself that the project had a chance of being successful.

 

Using O'Toole's peculiar speech and manner as their instrument, they created a character who combined charisma and craziness, who was so different from conventional military heroes that he could inspire the Arabs to follow him in a mad march across the desert. There is a moment in the movie when O'Toole, dressed in the flowing white robes of a desert sheik, does a victory dance on top of a captured Turkish train, and he almost seems to be posing for fashion photos. This is a curious scene because it seems to flaunt gay stereotypes, and yet none of the other characters in the movie seem to notice--nor do they take much notice of the two young desert urchins that Lawrence takes under his protection.  What Lean, Bolt and O'Toole create is a sexually and socially unconventional man who is simply presented as what he is, without labels or comment. Could such a man rally the splintered desert tribes and win a war against the Turks? Lawrence did. But he did it partially with mirrors, the movie suggests; one of the key characters is an American journalist (Arthur Kennedy), obviously inspired by Lowell Thomas, who single-handedly laundered and retailed the Lawrence myth to the English-language press. The journalist admits he is looking for a hero to write about. Lawrence is happy to play the role. And only role-playing would have done the job; an ordinary military hero would have been too small for this canvas.

 

For a movie that runs 216 minutes, plus intermission, “Lawrence of Arabia” is not dense with plot details. It is a spare movie in clean, uncluttered lines, and there is never a moment when we're in doubt about the logistical details of the various campaigns. Law-rence is able to unite various desert factions, the movie argues, because (1) he is so obviously an outsider that he cannot even understand, let alone take sides with, the various ancient rivalries; and (2) because he is able to show the Arabs that it is in their own self-interest to join the war against the Turks. Along the way he makes allies of such desert leaders as Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif), Prince Feisal (Alec Guinness) and Auda Abu Tayi (Anthony Quinn), both by winning their respect and by appealing to their logic. The dialogue in these scenes is not complex, and sometimes Bolt makes it so spare it sounds like poetry.

 

Although it won the Academy Award as the year's best picture in 1962, “Lawrence of Arabia” might have been lost if it hadn't been for the film restorers Robert A. Harris and Jim Painten. They discovered the original negative in Columbia's vaults, inside crushed and rusting film cans, and also about 35 minutes of footage that had been trimmed by distributors from Lean's final cut. They put it together again, sometimes by one crumbling frame at a time (Harris sent me one of the smashed cans as a demonstration of Hollywood's carelessness with its heritage).  To see it in a movie theater is to appreciate the subtlety of F.A. (Freddie) Young's desert cinematography--achieved despite blinding heat, and the blowing sand, which worked its way into every camera. “Lawrence of Arabia” was one of the last films to actually be photographed in 70mm (as opposed to being blown up to 70 from a 35mm negative). There was a hunger within filmmakers like Lean (and Kubrick, Coppola, Tarkovsky, Kurosawa and Stone) to break through the boundaries, to dare a big idea and have the effrontery to impose it on timid studio executives. The word “epic” in recent years has become synonymous with “big budget B picture.” What you realize watching “Lawrence of Arabia” is that the word “epic” refers not to the cost or the elaborate production, but to the size of the ideas and vision. Werner Herzog's “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” didn't cost as much as the catering in “Pearl Harbor,” but it is an epic, and “Pearl Harbor” is not."

- Roger Ebert

 

User Opinion

 

"It's the epic of epics.  Directing, cinematography, performances, story, editing, dialogue, score -  cerebral, visceral, expansive in scope and emotionally intimate...  it's transcendent film making" - @TalismanRing

 

"LOA's script is a masterpiece of subtlety and economy. There's not a wasted word." - @Plain Old Tele

 

"LoA should be converted in 3D and IMAX." - @fishstick

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

On a camel's back

 

Ugh, I am very sweaty

 

Don't bite me camel!

 

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Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - 66, 2013 - 31, 2014 - 47, 2016 - 21, 2018 - 87

 

Director Count

 

Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Richard Linklater - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Steven Spielberg - 3, Lee Unkrich - 3, Brad Bird - 2, James Cameron - 2, Alfonso Cuaron - 2,  David Fincher - 2, Akira Kurosawa - 2, John Lasseter - 2,   David Lean - 2, Sergio Leone - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Hayao Miyazaki - 2, Christopher Nolan - 2, Martin Scorsese - 2, Andrew Stanton - 2, Quentin Tarantino - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Ash Brannon - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Francis Ford Coppola - 1, Frank Darabont - 1, Jonathan Demme - 1, Pete Docter - 1, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Peter Jackson - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, Bong Joon-Ho - 1, Gene Kelly - 1, David Lynch - 1, Katia Lund - 1, Michael Mann - 1, Fernando Meirelles - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1,  Ridley Scott - 1, Guillermo del Toro - 1, Gary Trousdale - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Peter Weir - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Kirk Wise - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1, Robert Zemeckis - 1

 

Franchise Count

 

Pixar - 9, Cameron - 2, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Toy Story - 3, WDAS - 3, Alien - 2, Before Trilogy - 2, Nolan - 2, Scorsese -2, Spider-Man - 2,  Studio Ghibli - 2, Die Hard - 1, Hannibal - 1, Incredibles - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, The Lord of the Rings - 1, Monty Python - 1, Oz - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1, Star Wars - 1, Terminator - 1

 

Decade Count

 

1930s - 1, 1940s - 2, 1950s - 6, 1960s - 7, 1970s - 7, 1980s - 10, 1990s - 15, 2000s - 15, 2010s - 15

 

 

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"You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind."

 

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"Thomas A. Anderson is a man living two lives. By day he is an average computer programmer and by night a hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality, but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. As a rebel against the machines, Neo must confront the agents: super-powerful computer programs devoted to stopping Neo and the entire human rebellion." - IMDb

 

Its Legacy

 

"The Matrix (1999) was a sleeper hit that became a cultural phenomenon. Written and directed by the Wackowskis – sisters Lana and Lilly – whose debut feature, the lesbian neo-noir Bound (1996), had them down as the next Coen brothers, The Matrix was released in March 1999 with little fanfare but went on to redefine sci-fi cinema in the same way that Metropolis (1927), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Star Wars (1977) and Blade Runner (1982) had before it.  An eye-popping, mind-expanding fusion of cyberpunk fiction, comic books, computer games and Japanese animation, The Matrix was as heavily influenced by Lewis Carroll, William Gibson, Grant Morrison and Philip K. Dick as it was by the Bible, Greek mythology, philosophical texts and Eastern religion. “Every idea we’ve ever had in our entire lives is in this film,” admitted Lana back in 1999, the cine-literate siblings also borrowing from Sam Peckinpah, John Woo and Hong Kong martial arts movies to create something unique and groundbreaking.

 

With their dense, action-packed script, the Wachowskis plugged into a variety of subcultures – gamers, hackers, slackers – and weaved in the climate of paranoia sparked by the impending millennium as well as fears of a technological future. Ironically, they also took full advantage of the advances in computers to create a series of highly stylised action sequences, gravity-defying stunts and the then-revolutionary ‘bullet time’ visual effect – all of which raised the bar on what action movies could and should be. “I’ve been involved in several that have helped redefine the genre,” said Matrix producer Joel Silver, whose hits included Lethal Weapon (1987) and Die Hard (1988), “but they all pale compared to The Matrix. The Matrix changed the way we see things.”  The Wachowskis expected their cast to do many of their own stunts, and so Reeves and co spent months training with legendary Hong Kong martial arts choreographer and director Yuen Woo-ping – Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978), Drunken Master (1978) and Fist of Legend (1994) – whose extraordinary fight scenes and wirework (dubbed ‘wire fu’) would prove new to most western audiences. Post-The Matrix, Yuen found himself in demand in Hollywood, going on to choreograph the fights in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) as well as Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill (2003), while his balletic style of action influenced everything from Charlie’s Angels (2000) to Sucker Punch (2011).

 

The results were extraordinary, but the Wachowskis were interested in much more than cool-looking surface thrills, choosing to imbue their film with deeper meaning – the script raining down biblical, literary, mythological and philosophical references much like the matrix’s dripping digital code. They had Reeves read Jean Baudrillard’s philosophical textbook Simulacra and Simulation along with Kevin Kelly’s Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World, and Dylan Evans’ Introducing Evolutionary Psychology before he even opened the script. Baudrillard’s book also made a cameo appearance in Neo’s apartment during an opening scene.  The Matrix premiered to stellar reviews and the kind of word-of-mouth studio marketing departments can only dream about, going on to win four Oscars — editing, sound, sound effects editing and visual effects – with the Wachowskis expanding their world via a series of anime-inspired animated shorts (The Animatrix, 2003), video games and comic books. While bullet-time was all-too swiftly appropriated into the mainstream and quickly lost its lustre, The Matrix proved that original sci-fi concepts and mythologies could succeed, and that not everything needed to be based on a book, comic or existing IP.

 

Twenty years on, Hollywood and the cinematic landscape is a very different place to when The Matrix was released, one dominated by giant superhero movies and remakes of past hits, and with fewer original movies. But with Hollywood studios intent on mining their back catalogues for brand potential, rather than take a risk on anything new, it won’t be too long before The Matrix is rebooted.  In March 2017, Warners announced screenwriter Zak Penn was developing a new treatment without the Wachowskis’ involvement. According to Penn, his story is not a remake, per se, rather a new adventure in the same continuity. But whatever the future holds for the franchise, The Matrix remains one of most celebrated, imaginative and influential sci-fi/action films ever made."

- Mark Salisbury, British Film Institute

 

From the Filmmaker

 

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"Reeves, a computer hacker named Neo, taps into, or is tapped into by, a mysterious cyberpersonality named Morpheus (Fishburne). They meet in an abandoned hotel, where Reeves swallows a gelatinous pill that looks like a Nyquil. With that, The Matrix takes a wild plunge down a very deep rabbit hole. Morpheus, it turns out, is a sort of digitally programmed buccaneer in an alternate universe, but it’s actually reality, see, because the world humans wake up to each morning—blue sky, breakfast cereal, Teletub-bies—is merely a scrim of dreams whipped up by a master race of robots who keep us asleep in plastic pods, then harvest us for food.

 

The Matrix is tough to explain, but then how much explaining does an amusement park ride require? The movie zips along, fueled by elaborate computer-generated effects, including a martial-arts fight that has the gravity-defying speed of a Road Runner cartoon. Reeves, not a terribly dynamic actor in this or any other universe, is exactly right as the hero, moving through hyperspace with zonked-out calm."

- Leah Rozen, People

 

User Opinion

 

"The best thing about "The Matrix" is the fact Morphous tells Neo "Free Your Mind" and when you leave the theater you mind just won't stop spinning. It's a film that was basically a Japanese animation live action film but it actually had great themes and philosophical questions that made you really think about things. I'm of the people that loved the sequels but this film is why I love the series. It had everything you want from a great movie. The same way you were with Luke from tattowine to the death star. You were with Neo from him sleeping being awaken by his computer to him beating Smith. It's the type of movie that will never leave the public conscious for many years, decades and yes centuries to come." - @filmscholar

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

"Let your mind release

 

Shove that blue pill down the drain"

 

Actually... I'd rather not.

 

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Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - 10, 2013 - 9, 2014 - 17, 2016 - 16, 2018 - 11

 

Director Count

 

Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Richard Linklater - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Steven Spielberg - 3, Lee Unkrich - 3, Brad Bird - 2, James Cameron - 2, Alfonso Cuaron - 2,  David Fincher - 2, Akira Kurosawa - 2, John Lasseter - 2,   David Lean - 2, Sergio Leone - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Hayao Miyazaki - 2, Christopher Nolan - 2, Martin Scorsese - 2, Andrew Stanton - 2, Quentin Tarantino - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Ash Brannon - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Francis Ford Coppola - 1, Frank Darabont - 1, Jonathan Demme - 1, Pete Docter - 1, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Peter Jackson - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, Bong Joon-Ho - 1, Gene Kelly - 1, David Lynch - 1, Katia Lund - 1, Michael Mann - 1, Fernando Meirelles - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1,  Ridley Scott - 1, Guillermo del Toro - 1, Gary Trousdale - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Peter Weir - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Lana and Lilly Wachowski - 1, Kirk Wise - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1, Robert Zemeckis - 1

 

Franchise Count

 

Pixar - 9, Cameron - 2, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Toy Story - 3, WDAS - 3, Alien - 2, Before Trilogy - 2, Nolan - 2, Scorsese -2, Spider-Man - 2,  Studio Ghibli - 2, Die Hard - 1, Hannibal - 1, Incredibles - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, The Lord of the Rings - 1, The Matrix - 1, Monty Python - 1, Oz - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1, Star Wars - 1, Terminator - 1

 

Decade Count

 

1930s - 1, 1940s - 2, 1950s - 6, 1960s - 7, 1970s - 7, 1980s - 10, 1990s - 16, 2000s - 15, 2010s - 15

 

 

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That's our secret.

 

We're always drunk

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Did Tele really give up on the countdown? 

 

Cause he just missed Lawrence of Arabia get sandwiched by Inside Out and The Matrix.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, grey ghost said:

Did Tele really give up on the countdown? 

 

Cause he just missed Lawrence of Arabia get sandwiched by Inside Out and The Matrix.

 

 


2020. Darkest timeline. 

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LOA landed in the 80's last top so anyone who's disappointed should tamper their expectations to begin with :hahaha:

 

and oh yeah on The Matrix

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2 hours ago, charlie Jatinder said:

I see Monsters Inc. haven't made it so far. Though it's not really my fav but could make Pixar count 10.

Nah Inside Out was the last of the Pixar to show up. Monsters Inc. is not as well liked as Inside Out here. 

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This list has dissociative identity disorder.

 

But it just represents BOT's diversity which it should TBH.

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So I once made a list of the most important movies ever made and the Matrix was number one. It's a film about trying to wake people up and make them realize that the world around you is not what you think it is. Going by what we're going through right now as a human race, I say that puts an! On The Matrix being the most important movie ever made. I'm glad it made the list but I think it's much too low.

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Every time I get excited by an entry, I then realise it is from the 150th - 100th bit. 

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Some more of the just misses

 

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""Walter, I love you, but sooner or later, you're going to have to face the fact you're a goddamn moron."
 
The best Coens' flick, one of the best comedies of all time and a great movie overall." - @darkelf

 

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"My favorite aspect here is how the depth and philosophical musings evolved in the film's run time.  The questions posed were so subtle and yet so intoxicating.  So many films have attempted these questions but few have worked them to this effect.  The memories the replicants had opened up so many different avenues one's brains could ultimately travel down.  These are ponderings that I feel should remain private with the viewer.  The film presents these questions in a way that feels very personal and subjective.  
 
The music is in a way a perfect way to tie up the noir with the sci-fi.  it contained the melordramatic musings with noir along with some hints of techno for sci-fi.  So many great visuals to be had here with perfectly suited music to bring out emotion.  Perfect.
 
I feel like this is a once in a lifetime film.  This is very much a film that was made in the perfect time, place, and by the perfect people.  If you had the same people attempt to re-create the magic I have no doubt they would be unable to do so.  As with all cinema classics, this is what makes them so special.  There are so many unique factors besides talent that contribute to a film.  This is cinema magic across so many levels." - @mattmav45

 

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"Just finished watching this, and I'm so glad I got around to watching it.

 

This film is just gorgeous, the artwork and design is phenomenal. It can be a bit confusing at first what's going on due to the concept of time traveling (time traveling has always been something I'm not fond of, simply because it makes my brain hurt), and trust me after the film I really had to think about it in order for it to make sense. However, this film is beautifully told as the writing is perfect and the music to go with it is just soothingly perfect. It has very funny humor bits when needed to lighten the mood, and always kept me guess what was going to happen. For any anime lovers, this is a film you'll want to see." - @K1stpierre

 

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"One of the finest movies ever made. Haley Joel Osment is brilliant. Good performances by Toni Colette and Bruce Willis. There are several memorable scenes. Scene at the dead girl's house, the scene after the play are superb. The exchange between HJO and TC in the car at the accident scene is one of the best ever. 

 

Shyamalan was at his best here." - @jb007

 

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"One of my favorite movies ever and one of the best comedies ever. The Groucho silent mirror scene is a classic and gets me every time." - @Fancyarcher

 

 

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"I make him an offer he don' refuse. Don' worry."

 

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"The continuing saga of the Corleone crime family tells the story of a young Vito Corleone growing up in Sicily and in 1910s New York; and follows Michael Corleone in the 1950s as he attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba."

 

Its Legacy

 

"rancis Ford Coppola didn’t want to make a sequel to his 1972 Oscar-winning blockbuster, recommending Martin Scorsese, fresh off Mean Streets, for the job. He finally said yes when Robert Evans of Paramount Pictures agreed that Part II could include extensive flashbacks of the young Vito Corleone, played by Mean Streets comer Robert De Niro. Marlon Brando was out because he wanted too much money, and the Clemenza character got dropped because Richard Castellano wanted his dialogue to be written by a friend. Director Elia Kazan, the first choice to play Hyman Roth, spent so much time with his shirt off during a conversation with Coppola that when Lee Strasberg was hired for the role, Coppola insisted he play one scene topless. That’s Francis’s mother Italia in the casket as the deceased Mama Corleone — actress Morgana King thought it bad luck to lie in a coffin — and his Uncle Louie, a dead ringer for Brando, in the Havana cake scene.

 

The Godfather was its year’s box-office champ — its $135-million take at North American theaters would be nearly $700m today — and, in real dollars, still in the all-time top 25. Part II was sixth on the 1974 chart (Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles was No. 1) and is widely considered the darker and stronger of the pair. Together they formed a bold mural of America: crime infiltrating big business and Washington politics, all intersecting with the Corleones’ family values.  God I and God II had both immediate and lasting impact. They helped define machismo for a couple generations of young males, maybe females too. The films spawned countless Mafioso movies, and of course The Sopranos — in fact, every vaunted TV drama about loving families with a dirty secret. (They’re vampires, they’re polygamous, they run a meth business, they’re Commie spies.) True Blood, Big Love, Breaking Bad, The Americans and countless other were forged from the Corleone template.

 

Forty years on, the films’ core stars are still prominently around. After seven Oscar nominations (two for The Godfathers), Pacino finally won Best Actor in 1993 for Scent of a Woman. De Niro matched his Supporting Actor Oscar for The Godfather with a Best Actor for Raging Bull. Keaton was Oscared for Annie Hall (one of her four nominations) and Duvall for Tender Mercies (one of his six). To these and Caan, add Francis’s sister Talia Shire (Connie Corleone) and his director daughter Sofia (“Child on Ship” in Part II). Also two legendary 88-year-olds: B-movie mogul emeritus Roger Corman (“Senator #2”) and that supreme hangdog character actor Harry Dean Stanton (“F.B.I. Man #1”).  As for Coppola, he had a great 1970s — The Conversation and Apocalypse Now as well as the first two Godfathers — but found it increasingly hard to raise financing for films he wanted to make. “It’s ironic that people should look back decades later and celebrate films I was given a lot of trouble on,” he said on the DVD commentary, “but that nobody wants me to make a movie right now. Talking to me about The Godfather is like talking to me about my first wife when I’m sitting next to my second one. I’d rather get some encouragement on what I’m doing now than celebrate old projects. It was no fun 30 years ago, and I’m still doing it, and I didn’t want to.”"

- Richard Corliss, Time

 

From the Filmmaker

 

 

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"Some people argue that Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather, Part II" and not "Citizen Kane" is the greatest movie ever made, and they have a point--but only if you put the entire "Godfather" trilogy up against "Kane." This magnificent 1974 sequel, the centerpiece of Coppola and writer Mario Puzo's 20th Century gangster saga, is still one of the most ambitious and brilliantly executed American films, a landmark work from one of Hollywood's top cinema eras.

 

Coppola's epic of violence and remembrance, with the past and present juxtaposed constantly throughout, carries us from the Sicilian childhood of Don Vito Corleone (the role Marlon Brando ceded to Robert De Niro) to the evil maturity of his dark prince son Michael (Al Pacino). It's definitely an American masterpiece. With Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen, Diane Keaton as Kay, John Cazale as Fredo, Talia Shire as Connie, James Caan as Sonny (in the brief coda), Lee Strasberg as Hyman Roth and Michael V. Gazzo as Frankie Pentangeli (the replacement character for the recalcitrant Clemenza, Richard Castellano)."  - Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

 

User Opinion

 

"Brillant film nothing more needs to be said." - @DAR

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

Come on closer, boy

 

I'm making you an offer

 

You best not refuse

 

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Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - 8, 2013 - 8, 2014 - 34, 2016 - 11, 2018 - 29

 

Director Count

 

Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Richard Linklater - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Steven Spielberg - 3, Lee Unkrich - 3, Brad Bird - 2, James Cameron - 2, Francis Ford Coppola - 2, Alfonso Cuaron - 2,  David Fincher - 2, Akira Kurosawa - 2, John Lasseter - 2,   David Lean - 2, Sergio Leone - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Hayao Miyazaki - 2, Christopher Nolan - 2, Martin Scorsese - 2, Andrew Stanton - 2, Quentin Tarantino - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Ash Brannon - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Frank Darabont - 1, Jonathan Demme - 1, Pete Docter - 1, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Peter Jackson - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, Bong Joon-Ho - 1, Gene Kelly - 1, David Lynch - 1, Katia Lund - 1, Michael Mann - 1, Fernando Meirelles - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1,  Ridley Scott - 1, Guillermo del Toro - 1, Gary Trousdale - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Peter Weir - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Lana and Lilly Wachowski - 1, Kirk Wise - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1, Robert Zemeckis - 1

 

Franchise Count

 

Pixar - 9, Cameron - 2, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Toy Story - 3, WDAS - 3, Alien - 2, Before Trilogy - 2, Nolan - 2, Scorsese -2, Spider-Man - 2,  Studio Ghibli - 2, Die Hard - 1, The Godfather - 1, Hannibal - 1, Incredibles - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, The Lord of the Rings - 1, The Matrix - 1, Monty Python - 1, Oz - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1, Star Wars - 1, Terminator - 1

 

Decade Count

 

1930s - 1, 1940s - 2, 1950s - 6, 1960s - 7, 1970s - 8, 1980s - 10, 1990s - 16, 2000s - 15, 2010s - 15

 

 

 

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@baumer I'd personally make the case that this next movie on the list better qualifies as "Most Important Movie Ever Made" (especially given its influence on pushing for US support of the Allies during the Second World War when it was a major controversy at the time)

 

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"Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

 

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"The story of Rick Blaine, a cynical world-weary ex-patriate who runs a nightclub in Casablanca, Morocco during the early stages of WWII. Despite the pressure he constantly receives from the local authorities, Rick's cafe has become a kind of haven for refugees seeking to obtain illicit letters that will help them escape to America. But when Ilsa, a former lover of Rick's, and her husband, show up to his cafe one day, Rick faces a tough challenge which will bring up unforeseen complications, heartbreak and ultimately an excruciating decision to make."

 

Its Legacy

 

"Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca, the 1943 Best Picture Oscar, still is one of the most influential movies in American film history.  To begin with, at a crucial moment in American history, “Casablanca” impacted our perception of intervention in the Second World War, and of intervention in foreign affairs in general. “Casablanca” helped to start a trend which continued in such events as the Gulf War, where America intervenes in difficult world situations. No longer could America stand idly by and permit undemocratic evil to overtake the earth. This was the message of Casablanca in late 1942. It was time for America to flex its muscles and enter the fight. America was to become the reticent guardian of the whole world.

 

The film opened at New York City’s Hollywood Theater on Thanksgiving Day, 1942. This was just 18 days after the Allied Forces had landed at Casablanca. Moreover, Casablanca’s general release date was January 23, 1943, which was in the very midst of the Casablanca conference of the Allied Powers. In other words, the release schedule of Casablanca happened to be very timely, to say the least.  To explain further, the zeitgeist in America at that time, related to the War, was centered around the idea of personal commitment. In a political sense, this feeling corresponded to America’s commitment to the global political scene. We can say that Casablanca tapped into the mood of the times when released, because the film was about the making of personal commitments as the entrance of politics into individual lives occurred.

 

In 1942-1943, Americans were toying with the same issues of personal commitment about the War that the characters in Casablanca confront. One of Humphrey Bogart’s famous lines in the film was “I bet they’re asleep in New York–I bet they’re asleep all over America.” This line received a lot of attention in 1943. Casablanca served an important function in waking up Americans, not just to the advantages of international intervention at that time, but to an entire new era in which, as Robert B. Ray notes, intervention would become the accepted norm.  Due to Casablanca’s timely embrace of the War issues, the film achieved victory in its own war: the Academy Awards war. Out of its eight nominations, Casablanca won Best Picture (the main competition was Lubitsch’s The More the Merrier), best screenplay and best director. This is evidence of how expertly the film played off of the times and was, in fact, instrumental in transforming the time. Humphrey Bogart lost out to Paul Lukas’s performance in Watch for the Best Actor award, but of course it is now Bogart’s performance that is remembered. In 1977, when the American Film Institute asked its members to select the ten Best American films of all time, Casablanca finished third behind Gone with the Wind and Citizen Kane.

 

In retrospect, it is easy to forget that Casablanca created a new kind of hero, in Bogart’s influential role. Bogart’s Rick was Hollywood’s first rebel hero. He comes from outside the normal world, and he is a liberating figure. This role is the most innovative thing about Casablanca. Rick certainly became one of the most-loved heroes in the history of the movies, because he was the first of his kind. Considering the enduring popularity of this character, Rick was not only the prototype for a new kind of Hollywood hero, but also the prototype for a new kind of American."

Emanuel Levy, Cinema 24/7

 

From the Filmmaker

 

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"The film has a peculiar magic to it, and because of its pace the richness of its sense of detail often goes unnoticed. Audiences make generalizations about Casablanca because of how all those little particulars add up. Film lovers discuss it with a starry look in their eyes, as if they were describing their first kiss or a lost love, because something in the film touches them, perhaps its theme of dignity and decency, of rediscovered idealism. Males are instinctively drawn to Humphrey Bogart’s Rick because he’s a man of integrity, while females dig him because he’s a man of mystery.

 

It’s astonishing when Bergman materializes some 30 minutes into the film, after Lorre’s Ugarte has whimpered for his life and been shot dead, and Rick has proclaimed that he “sticks his neck out for no one” and came to Casablanca “for the waters.” The shot that first captures the glamorous Bergman doesn’t call attention to itself, or highlight her, and yet we can’t take our eyes off her. It’s strange, because the shot is very wide, the dress she wears is plain, and she looks nervous and hesitant. How can a woman be so luminous when she’s moving her face back and forth like a deer transfixed by car headlights? When the audience finally sees Ila in close-up, sitting at a table in the café with her husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), her face is somewhat round, her eyes are sharp, and her voice has a certain breathless quality. Bergman, like Bogart, captivate us because of that ineffable thing we call presence. We instantly understand Rick and Isla through the actors’ faces.

 

If audiences are to admire Rick and Bogart, then we’re meant to adore Ilsa and Bergman. Victor Laszlo is set up as a great freedom fighter, yet he feels more like an abstract idea or plot point, not unlike the letters of transit that allow people safe passage out of Casablanca. Ilsa, like Rick, is a full person, with vulnerability in her eyes and a magnetism to her presence that goes beyond gauzy lenses and classical three-point lighting. Naturally they’re drawn to one another. She has a lot of big moments in the film, but a lot of small ones too that are just as memorable, such as that tiny, mischievous gleam in her eyes when she asks Sam to play some of the old songs.

 

Casablanca is about striving for something meaningful. It’s also a tale of sacrifice in the name of greater good, set in a mysterious world of shadows, booze, cigarette smoke, and memories. The love story at the center of the film allows its heroes to tap into something special within their selves, and if they lost it in Paris, somehow they got it back in Casablanca. The film is all of those things at once, but it’s also about these people, these faces, and all the little moments between them. It reminds me that when we’re in relationships, we learn more about who we are reflected in other people, and when we go to the movies, the great ones can do the same thing."

- Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine

 

User Opinion

 

"A" - @A Marvel Fanboy

 

"Believe the hype." - @Spaghetti

 

"It feels like you are experiencing cinematic perfection as you watch it and Bogart, Bergman and co just never put a foot wrong." - @chasmmi

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

Watch, as time goes by

 

Take off on the airplane

 

Leave Casablanca

 

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Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - 33, 2013 - 14, 2014 - 22, 2016 - 15, 2018 - 23

 

Director Count

 

Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Richard Linklater - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Steven Spielberg - 3, Lee Unkrich - 3, Brad Bird - 2, James Cameron - 2, Francis Ford Coppola - 2, Alfonso Cuaron - 2,  David Fincher - 2, Akira Kurosawa - 2, John Lasseter - 2,   David Lean - 2, Sergio Leone - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Hayao Miyazaki - 2, Christopher Nolan - 2, Martin Scorsese - 2, Andrew Stanton - 2, Quentin Tarantino - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Ash Brannon - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Michael Curtiz - 1, Frank Darabont - 1, Jonathan Demme - 1, Pete Docter - 1, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Peter Jackson - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, Bong Joon-Ho - 1, Gene Kelly - 1, David Lynch - 1, Katia Lund - 1, Michael Mann - 1, Fernando Meirelles - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1,  Ridley Scott - 1, Guillermo del Toro - 1, Gary Trousdale - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Peter Weir - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Lana and Lilly Wachowski - 1, Kirk Wise - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1, Robert Zemeckis - 1

 

Franchise Count

 

Pixar - 9, Cameron - 2, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Toy Story - 3, WDAS - 3, Alien - 2, Before Trilogy - 2, Nolan - 2, Scorsese -2, Spider-Man - 2,  Studio Ghibli - 2, Die Hard - 1, The Godfather - 1, Hannibal - 1, Incredibles - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, The Lord of the Rings - 1, The Matrix - 1, Monty Python - 1, Oz - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1, Star Wars - 1, Terminator - 1

 

Decade Count

 

1930s - 1, 1940s - 3, 1950s - 6, 1960s - 7, 1970s - 8, 1980s - 10, 1990s - 16, 2000s - 15, 2010s - 15

 

 

 

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2 #1 placements holy shit

 

This could be a contender for #1 if it showed up in more lists

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