Friday, July 16, 2010

We're Watching that AGAIN????

Movies mesmerized my dad, a product of the Depression and a stubborn plot of farmland that required every ounce of his family's sweat.

Perhaps a cool theater provided respite from heat. Perhaps technology's magic wand mesmerized an Okie/Texan who thought the whoosh of a windmill pretty cool. (During that era, they rarely whooshed in a productive way, you know.)

"It's pretty good," he'd say of a B flick, nodding his grizzled gray head. "Liked the scenery," he'd manage, of a one-star dud.

Dad found value in the nightly station's signoff test signal.

I determined to be different. Only FIVE STAR films would merit a second viewing, and only then as a "together" moment with soulmates. (Class assignments for my old college teaching of 101 Humanities film unit do not count!)

Here's my top eleven "must see again" American-produced films, in no particular order. Why did I choose them? They present a moral premise that has changed my life, have stood the test of time, have been recognized by at least one body of experts who judge film on merit. Speaking of merit, notable foreign, family, and edgy films merit another post!

The Sound of Music
Gone With the Wind
Schindler's List
Shawshank Redemption
Sunset Boulevard
To Kill a Mockingbird
Pride and Prejudice
Forrest Gump
Ben Hur
A Place in the Sun

What films have captured your heart...and a place in your DVD drawer?
Any comments on my faves?? Leave a comment...and you will enter a random drawing to win one of my FAVORITE FILMS OF YOUR CHOICE!!!!! Winner will be announced 7/22/10!

Here's looking at you, kids.
(Yeah, I can't count. What's new????)

And the winner of the RANDOM DRAWING IS::::::Louise!!! Congratulations!!!


  1. I love your list, Patti. But I'm curious why you picked eleven movies instead of ten or twelve?

  2. Great list, Patti. My older two children just discovered "Forrest Gump" and were asking about other films at that level. I thought of "Life is Beautiful." They also recently found a new film called "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas." And we all enjoyed "Dear John," "The Blindside," and "August Rush."

  3. Good list, Patti. Our family was just making a list of the top 25 movies we'd recommend if a person had never yet seen a movie and would only ever see the ones on our list.

    It was interesting experiment and a lively discussion. I'm noticing overlap with several of the ones on your list.

  4. I think I have seen "Gone with the Wind" at least a dozen times. It is my Mom's favorite movie. I was just telling my boys that they HAVE to watch it.

  5. One of my faves is You've Got Mail. If you listen to the director's cut, it's fascinating to me as a writer and I love the interplay in this romcom.

    I also love the classics. It happened one night is one that I just recently watched since my WIP is set in the same year 1933. Like You've Got Mail, the interplay between Claudette Corbet and Clark Gable is classic.

    To Kill a Mockingbird has a very special place in my heart because my mom's family hailed originally from Monroeville, AL, Harper Lee's hometown and the true setting of the story. Every year the town has a TKMB festival and they have a play of the story on the courthouse lawn and inside the infamous round courtroom. They have a new courthouse now next door. That courthouse is a museum and they have a special room featuring books written by authors with AL links. Monroeville calls itself the literary capital of AL. It's also Truman Capote's hometown. He and Harper Nell were neighbors.

  6. I've watched The Sound of Music, Ann of Green Gables/Avonlea, Pride and Prejudice, Under the Greenwood Tree, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey and Little Women (w/June Allison) many times. I think I have a thing for period movies!

  7. Where's Fiddler on the Roof? You've got to include that!

    As for newer films...I don't watch much, but Miss Potter is the best inspiration for artists of any kind--even writers.

  8. Pamela, interesting story of your connection to a great film! Maybe we could swap , as I live near the It's a Wonderful Life festival, held every December.

    Nice list, Patti. I have to admit I've never seen Shawshank Redemption. Does it have potty mouth words in it?

    Carol- yes, Fiddler on the Roof. I haven't seen that one in way too long!

  9. Well, as it's our last official DVD'ing day, I've determined to add to my earlier mention of Moonstruck, The Princess Bride, and my Austens and Dickens movies:

    How Green Was My Valley (We Welsh love that one!)

    Singing in the Rain, Roman Holiday, North by Northwest, Jaws, The African Queen.

    For emotional wham and amazing cinematography: Out of Africa and the English Patient.

    Somewhere in Time was already mentioned, too.

    An obscure film called
    Local Hero is one of my go-to's also. Has anyone heard of it?

    For just plain watching Meryl Streep knock my socks off with her acting: The Bridges of Madison County

    Clark Gable and Cary Grant in anything...

  10. My additions: Shadowlands, Babe, Lord of the Rings

  11. Dina, I loved Blindside and loved the book Boy with the Striped PJs but think the former needs to stand the test of time. Sigh, it's the old Humanities instructor in me!!!

    Lisa so we're film soulmates too, huh?

    Deanna, would LOVE to hear what your boys think of GWTW!

    Pam, HEY!! Waving at you from here in Normal! I too love To Kill a Mockingbird! Sigh. #12.

    Merry, I'm with you, girl! Don't those films just TAKE US AWAY????

    Carol, girl, you have a good point. Every time I say that name, I think of the play version and the movie version fades in my mind. Unfair, I know!! Forgive me, okay???????

    Um, Shawshank is not for the light-hearted. HUGE issues re "traditional" PG, R, etc. But it's about one of America's most violent prisons--and shows it like it is. I admit to shutting my eyes for more than one scene...

    Thanks, Rosslyn! LOVE your additions!!!

  12. oo oo. This is fun. I keep seeing more great movies. I own Shadowlands myself, Roseanna.

  13. I LOVE Breakfast at Tiffany's. I think George Pepard reached through the screen and stole my heart. Two completely lost people who "find" each other eat Cracker Jacks and steal masks at the 5 and dime... What's not to love?

  14. Sigh. Breakfast at Tiffany's would DEFINITELY make the next 11. Great suggestion, Cheryl!

  15. For me it's Sleepless in Seatle. I think because it reminds me of the loneliness and then hope when I was widowed young with 2 little boys. OR maybe it's because I married a widower with a small son.

    or then again if you're going back to real classics it would be Carousel. Gee, I am morbid --even as a kid I loved this movie.

  16. Sound of Music
    Holiday Inn
    It's a Wonderful Life
    Old Yeller (as a kid)
    Ben Hur

    I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones I can remember. I love the old movies with a good moral setting.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  17. Hi Patti!
    Nice to see you here Rosslyn. Let's see I would have to say, Rebecca, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Die Hard, The Lion King, Witness for the Prosecution, Raiders of the Lost Ark/The Last Crusade, Some Like It Hot, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Arsenic and Old Lace.:)

    Oh great. Now I'm craving Witness for the Prosecution and I don't have it.

  18. Aw, the lists keep getting better and better!

  19. Well, I am not a big movie watcher....I like series...but there are a few I can watch over and over.
    Pride and prejudice (the long A&E version)...I can watch it many times.
    The Robe- Richard Burton's voice will thrill you if nothing else does, but it is one of my favorite books too!
    Princess Bride is another one as well as Ever After....
    West Side story- but I skip the end. I have never seen the end...just read it and it was bad enough.
    i have never seen Gone with the Wind...i read the book and was pretty upset when it ended so never watched the movie.
    I love singing with the Sound of Music!!! That was a fun one!

  20. Casablanca was good. Pride and Prejudice is also good. Ben Hur was fantastic. The Sound of Music is one of my favorites.

    Have you watched, Charade? I have that in my DVD drawer and I watch it over and over again. It's one of my favorite all time movies.

  21. Hi Patti -

    I'm not a big movie buff, but I do have two favorites:

    The Sound of Music
    A Walk in the Clouds

    Susan :)

  22. I like your list; it has many of my favorites too. I enjoy any version of Pride and Prejudice, and I love Sense and Sensibility and Emma.

    Other faves include most of Jimmy Stewart's films, particularly Little Shop Around the Corner, and Ever After, Remember the Titans, Miracle, Fireproof, and Anne of Green Gables.

    Happy weekend to everyone!

  23. Oh Karen,
    Remember the Titans! Such a good movie.

  24. My all-time favorite is "Gone With The Wind". Loved most of those you have on your list, Patti. Another one you can add is "Raintree County" with Elizabeth Taylor. Oh, and "Green Dolphin Street" with Lana Turner and Donna Reed and "The Ten Commandments" very first walk-in movie.



  25. Wow, that's quite a range of genres, Patti.

    Along with the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers I posted about yesterday, my favs are:

    - westerns (almost any)
    - The Sound of Music
    - The Mirror Has Two Faces with Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges
    - You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle
    - It's a Wonderful Life and almost every Christmas movie
    - Pretty in Pink

    As well, anything with the following actors:
    - Audrey Hepburn
    - Cary Grant
    - Elvis
    - Julie Andrews
    - Pearce Brosnan
    - Sean Connery

    And I have to add hubby's fav because he liked it so much, he hid it in his desk. It's a Christmas movie, but for years, he made us watch it every 3 or 4 months. It's A Holiday Romance with Naomi Judd and Gerald McRaney.

    There's many more, of course but these are the ones that come to mind.


  26. I have to say my all time favorite would have to The Sound of Music and recently I discovered a movie called Away We Go that is so funny but I wouldn't reccommend it for under 14.I think it is so funny because we all know people like this in our normal everyday lives.

  27. I love this list. The hubby THINKS he has an honest to goodness exact imitation of Forrest Gump's voice. NOT! hehe

    Casablanca is my favorite movie, but any Humphrey Bogart movie is. He's my fav actor even though he died of cancer when I was just a baby. He was what Webster looked at when he was defining cool.

    The Man From Snowy River is one of mine. Any horse movie has to be at the top of my list. Under Bogie, of course. Fun to read, Patti. =)

  28. Sandee, so exciting! You've given me some new films to order up on Netflicks! Yeah, hubby says we can do it!!!

    Anita, you added a couple to the "to watch" list as well! Yahoo!!

    LOUISE!!! GOD BLESS YOU! I am said to not have a sense of humor. Maybe you have given me HOPE!!!!!!!!!

    Robyn, LOVE having you at THE WELL.
    Hmmm, have heard of that film; will have another on the list!
    Fun, fun, fun!


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