What films should I have seen?

Citizen Kane. CBA.

Me and D were talking the other day about how we haven’t seen a lot of films we feel we shouldhave seen. I said I’d find a 100 Best Films list for us to work our way through (D said, “Don’t bother. It’ll only say Citizen Kane and I can’t be arsed.”).

There’s this one, which is all very… what’s the film equivalent of ‘muso’? Basically, we predominantly want to be entertained and a silent movie about the trial of Joan of Arc isn’t really up our street, you know?

So then I thought of Empire magazine. Bound to have done a list and it’s likely to be more populist than the BFI’s list, but I’ve just had a look and it’s so… male. I think there’s maybe five films in the Top 50 with a female lead.

I’m sure Goodfellas and The Matrix and Apocalypse Now are very good films, but light and shade, you know? I’ve accepted I’m finally going to have to watch The Godfather, is that not enough for you people?! (You top film compiling people, that is. Not you blog-reading people. You’re lovely.)

And I’ve just rejoined LoveFilm so Harry and I can have a Studio Ghibli film festival in September, so it seems like the time to watch some of the films we really should have seen by now.

So. Name some. Please. I trust you. (Unless you suggest Vanilla Sky, in which case… GO TO YOUR ROOM!)


36 thoughts on “What films should I have seen?

  1. The only films you need to have seen are The Sound of Music, Dirty Dancing, the Back to the Future trilogy, A Matter of Life and Death, and A Star Is Born (Garland/Mason, obv). Everything else is detail.

    1. I have not seen A Matter of Life and Death OR A Star is Born (I know. I have no idea how I’ve managed that.). Will put them on the list. Thank you!

      1. Choose your day to watch A Star Is Born wisely. The first time I saw it, I sobbed from about an hour in.

  2. Ha! I still haven’t seen any of the films I blogged about about 2 years ago (possibly the last time I actually wrote a blog) BUT Goodfellas really is good, I’ve seen it, amazingly. The Matrix is a load of old shite though. It’s for boys. I now can’t think of any film to recommend to you. Not one. Grrrrrrr.

    1. I’ve seen The Matrix actually. Didn’t like it at all. David tells me I’ll like Goodfellas, but… so violent! 😦

      1. It is very violent but, maybe I’m just horribly desensitised, but I didn’t find it shocking. Mind you, I laughed when they accidentally shot Marvin in the face on Pulp Fiction.

  3. Woman, if you watch one fillum in your life, make it The Deer Hunter. There are no female leads but it has Meryl Streep & Robert de Niro is (inexplicably) wearing a magnificent beard.

    Is “film buff” the word/phrase?

    1. Maybe “film buff” but that can be anyone who enjoys films, no? I’m thinking of a kind of pseudy pretentiousness… You’re right, though, The Deer Hunter *should* be on the list. And there was I thinking you were going to say The Departed 🙂

  4. I’m quite shallow when it comes to films so nothing too deep from me. My faves are Coyote Ugly, Varsity Blues, Save The Last Dance and Twister. Obviously love all the Disney classics and ET too!

    1. Oh ET is one of my all-time faves, Trish. Loved Twister too. Haven’t seen the others. Really must watch Coyote Ugly! Thank you.

  5. Ok, if you are Martin Sheen/West Wing fan (and you are) I would say to definitely watch Apocalypse Now just to see him (also read some of the trivia from ImDB afterwards). Others from the lists you provided that stand out for me:

    * Raiders of the Lost Ark (forget sequels but this is a must)
    * Alien / Aliens (can’t remember which one is the first one -Sigourney rocks in all)
    * Lord of the RIngs (you should have seen these already)
    * Terminator (again forget sequels — Linda Hamilton is lead in first)

    From my own list (double stars are doubly good):

    * Gentleman Prefer Blondes
    * Erin Brocovich **
    * American Werewolf in London **
    * American Flyers
    * Angie (Geena Davis)
    * Bobby (Emilio Estavez) **
    * Braveheart **
    * Eddie and the Cruisers
    * Serenity (and the Firefly series) **
    * Good Morning Vietnam **
    * Hairspray
    * Hidalgo
    * Hotel Rwanda **
    * A Knight’s Tale
    * Little Miss Sunshine,
    * The Mummy
    * The Princess Bride **
    * Willow
    * Poltergeist **
    * Staying Alive
    * Tootsie **
    * Tomb Raider
    * Under the Tuscan Sun
    * Veronica Guerin **
    * Wyatt Earp (and Tombstone)
    * An Officer and a Gentleman **
    * Muriel’s Wedding
    * Underworld
    * Fallen (Denzel) **
    * Mermaids
    * Cadence (Charlie Sheen) **
    * Good WIll Hunting
    * The Gift
    * Elizabeth **
    * Orlando
    * Long Kiss Goodnight (Geena) **
    * Sphere **
    * The Match Maker
    * Christine
    * Sleeping with the Enemy **
    * On Golden Pond
    * Romy and Michelle
    * Of Mice and Men (Gary Sinese and John Malkovich)
    * Heartbreak Ridge
    * All of Me
    * Dead Again **
    * Terms of Endearment **
    * My Girl
    * Step Mom
    * Rocky Horror Picture Show
    * Mad Max
    * Breakfast at Tiffany’s
    * Yentl ** (If you want Princess Bride you should watch this just so you can see contrast of Mandy in a different role)

    Umm… that’s all I have for now. I could probably list a bunch more.

    1. Wow! Thank you! Lots there I need to see (On Golden Pond!) and lots I’ve seen and loved. Plus a few I’ve never heard of 🙂

  6. Terminator
    Pulp Fiction
    The Apartment
    Twelve Angry Men
    Taxi Driver
    Butch Cassidy
    The Big Lebowski
    Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf

  7. I’m trying to get through the 100 greatest films with my boyfriend too, although I agree, very male-dominated. But I did get him to watch Gone With The Wind (one of my faves) because of it so it’s not too bad 😉

    Totally agree with @biggirlblue, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is one of the best Marilyn Monroe films.

  8. FWIW, I’ve seen Citizen Kane twice, so you can have one of my goes! 😉 (I didn’t particularly connect with it either time – my understanding is that it’s important in cinematic history, but that doesn’t make it a film I really enjoy.)

    I also tried The Godfather but gave up an hour in. So you are not alone in being un-thrilled by those Important Movies lists!

  9. Well I’ve had to watch Citizen Kane for my Uni course, many times, too! Film watching should be a pleasure, though, not something you have to do? Any Marilyn Monroe movie is okay by me. She is just such a presence. Whenever she’s on screen you just don’t see anything else! Have you seen ‘Niagara’? I love it. I also love all the film noir genre but they’re not to everyone’s taste.
    Brief Encounter is fab, too, as Helen recommends. I love to watch many films because of their historical value, that’s one of them. But also, Celia Johnson is awesome. (It’s b/w though).
    I love anything by Hitchcock but don’t think you do…
    The Deer Hunter shocked the pants right off me, btw! Horrific.
    And I loved, but never want to see again,
    Deliverance. (Shock isn’t the word!)
    There are two A Star Is Born movies, one a remake with Barbra Streisand but the Judy Garland one is best.
    Anything with Doris Day in it, even her worst!
    Love Me or Leave Me with Dozzer and James Cagney – fantastic!
    Bette Davis movies, all and any (but maybe you have to be a fan).
    Seven Brides for 7 Brothers – or have you seen it? Just for the dancing alone…
    I know you love Singin’ in the Rain…
    Pulp Fiction is very messy and bloody but if you can sit it out, it’s REALLY clever.
    I adore Snow White (1937) and
    Lady and the Tramp (1955), but find it hard to sit through other feature length cartoons by Disney – mostly because of the cruelty and crying aspects.
    All the Pixar movies!
    Sorry, I’m going to stop now but I could go on and on and on.
    Which is not what you want.
    🙂 xx

    1. Fantastic – thank you!

      I loved The Birds and Psycho. Definitely do want to watch more Hitchcock.

      Ugh, Deliverance. *shudders*

      I’ve never seen a Bette Davis film – mad, I know. Which one should I watch?

      Have I seen Seven Brides? 😀 It was THE most-watched film of my childhood. (Even more than Singin’ in the Rain.)

      Loved Pulp Fiction the first couple of times and then hated it. Studied it at uni too.

  10. I absolutely LOVED The Story of the Weeping Camel. In fact, when I got it from Netflix, the kids were all “That sounds like crap”. Yet, as soon as it started, we ALL sat and watched it. Absolutely AMAZING movie.

  11. Have you seen Woman in a Dressing Gown? I saw it when I was a teenager, it’s quite a sad film in a “make you angry” kind of way but it’s always kind of stayed with me.

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