Favorite Movies of All Time: 160-151


Over the past few years I’ve made a concerted effort to watch lots of movies considered to be among the best of all time.  Now, for the first time, I’ve made my own list of favorite movies of all time.  Every other Wednesday throughout 2022, I will be revealing ten movies in my list of 250 Favorite Movies of All Time.

250-241 200-190
240-231 190-181
230-221 180-171
220-211 170-161
210-201

160

Title: Best in Show
Director: Christopher Guest
Cast: Jennifer Coolidge, Christopher Guest, John Michael Higgins, Michael Hitchcock, Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch, Michael McKean, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, Fred Willard
Year: 2000
When did I first watch this movie?: 2000, at the theaters
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: The funniest of the improv-based comedies created by Christopher Guest and company, Best in Show is an affectionate satire of the goofiness of dog show culture.


159

Title: Sophie’s Choice
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Cast: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol
Year: 1982
When did I first watch this movie?: Early 1990s
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: An adaptation of William Styron’s novel set in post-World War II Brooklyn which tells a story of love and friendship destroyed by mental illness and the lingering trauma of the Holocaust.  Features spectacular performances by Streep and Kline (in his first major film role).


158

Title: Yojimbo
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Cast: Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yoko Tsukasa, Isuzu Yamada, Daisuke Katō, Takashi Shimura, Kamatari Fujiwara, Atsushi Watanabe
Year: 1961
When did I first watch this movie?: February 2021
Why is this one of my all time favorites?:  Kurosawa tells the story of a wandering samurai who saves a town from the grip of two rival gangs by basically destroying the town.  It’s a comic action film with increasingly dark undertones that’s influenced generations of Hollywood “antihero” stories.  Plus there’s fantastic cinematography, music, and acting.


157

Title: King Kong
Director: Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack
Cast: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot
Year: 1933
When did I first watch this movie?: Early 1980s, on Thanksgiving!
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: THE classic monster horror film about a giant ape whose story has been a favorite since childhood.  There’s a balance here of weighing nostalgia against the racist/sexist baggage this film carries.  But it’s vast influence on blockbuster movies is undeniable.


156

Title: Stalag 17
Director: Billy Wilder
Cast: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger
Year: 1953
When did I first watch this movie?: Mid 80s on cable
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: Just a really compelling WWII prison camp story with a mix of drama, humor, and thrills.


155

Title: Bloody Sunday
Director: Paul Greengrass
Cast: James Nesbitt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Nicholas Farrell, Gerard McSorley,  Kathy Kiera Clarke
Year: 2002
When did I first watch this movie?: January 2003 at Brattle Theatre
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: The shocking massacre of civil rights protestors in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1972 is recreated in this verite-style film which features multiple perspectives and capturing the “fog of war.”


154

Title: Being John Malkovich
Director: Spike Jonze
Cast: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, Orson Bean, Mary Kay Place, John Malkovich
Year: 1999
When did I first watch this movie?: 1999, in the theaters
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: An unsettling fantasy film explores the concept of celebrity and allows John Cusack to be completely unlikable, but is nonetheless a wonderfully weird movie.


153

Title: The Apartment
Director: Billy Wilder
Cast: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Edie Adams
Year: 1960
When did I first watch this movie?: February 2020
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: A midcentury comedy that satires the seedy underbelly of capitalism and the American Dream with Jack Lemmon as the put-upon mensch and Shirley MacLaine in one of her best all-time roles.


152

Title: Clueless
Director: Amy Heckerling
Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy and Paul Rudd
Year: 1995
When did I first watch this movie?: Around 1996
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: The teen comedy reinvented for the 1990s with the story of a rich and popular Beverly Hills girl dedicating her life to doing good deeds.  The movie both captured and influenced youth culture of the era.


151

Title: Mean Girls
Director: Mark Waters
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey
Year: 2004
When did I first watch this movie?: 2004, on an airplane!
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: It’s funny that this ended up in the list next to Clueless, because Mean Girls is the definitive teen comedy of its own decade.  Tina Fey adapted a serious self-help book into an incisive comedy about cliques and bullying among high school girls.

 

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