Top 50 Countdown – #1

-1- Once Upon a Time in the West Year: 1968 Director: Sergio Leone And so my Top 50 Countdown finally comes to an end. Except it doesn’t. After all, I want to do justice to my favorite film. I have much to say about Leone’s great Once Upon a Time in the West and so look for […]

Top 50 Countdown – #’s 10-2

-10- Once Upon a Time in America Year: 1984 Director: Sergio Leone   With shootouts, murders and Prohibition speakeasy parties aplenty, Once Upon a Time in America is, no question, a virtuoso genre piece, but Leone also manages to transcend the gangster genre, transforming it into an exploration of the unreliability of memory, the subjectivity […]

Top 50 Countdown – #11

-11- McCabe & Mrs. Miller Year: 1971 Director: Robert Altman     Altman’s stated intention in making McCabe & Mrs. Miller was to “destroy all the myths of heroism”, and the result is so thorough a revision of Western movie mythology that the abiding impression one is left with might best be described by an […]

Top 50 Countdown – #12

-12- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Year: 1966 Director: Sergio Leone    “The Good”  Clint Eastwood as Blondie, a super cool bounty hunter “The Bad”  Lee Van Cleef as Angel Eyes, a super bad mercenary “The Ugly”  Eli Wallach as Tuco, a super talkative trickster   Leone’s nihilistic, survival of the richest view […]

Top 50 Countdown – #’s 15-13

  -15- Singin’ in the Rain Year: 1952 Director: Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen Thanks to Comden-Green’s knowing screenplay, which sharply satirizes Hollywood types and hilariously parodies the industry’s awkward transition to sound pictures, Singin’ in the Rain is one of the best movies about movies ever made, whether in the musical genre or not. […]

Top 50 Countdown – #16

  -16- Crimes and Misdemeanors Year: 1989 Director: Woody Allen Woody Allen: “I just wanted to illustrate, in an entertaining way, that there is no God and that we’re alone in the universe, and there is nobody out there to punish you. That your morality is strictly up to you. If you’re willing to murder […]

Top 50 Countdown – #’s 20-17

  -20- Touch of Evil Year: 1958 Director: Orson Welles Finally given the opportunity to direct with a free reign after being stymied for years by short-sighted studios, Welles responded with a stylistic masterpiece of unparalleled virtuosity, as if years of pent-up creativity and artistic inspiration were finally released and came gloriously gushing forth onto […]

Top 50 Countdown – #’s 25-21

  -25- Repulsion Year: 1965 Director: Roman Polanski One of the creepiest visions of madness ever put on film, Repulsion stars Catherine Denueve as a deeply disturbed, man-hating young woman whose distorted perception and disintegrating mental state is reflected in a frightening array of unnerving sound effects and hallucinatory imagery. To read my longer review click […]

Top 50 Countdown – #’s 30-26

  -30- The Wizard of Oz Year: 1939 Director: Victor Fleming The Wizard of Oz owes its enduring appeal not only to the captivating fantasy world created by its eye-popping Technicolor photography, imaginative set designs, memorable special effects, colorful costumes, catchy songs, and wondrous characters, but also to the film’s reassuring message which teaches us […]

Top 50 Countdown – #’s 35-31

  -35- El Year: 1953 Director: Luis Buñuel Buñuel’s most scathing, wickedly funny attack on the Church, El explores the irrational jealousy of a respectable churchgoer, whose deeply ingrained sexual neuroses, firmly rooted in the repressive practices of the Church, come to the fore soon after his marriage, sparking within him paranoid suspicions of his […]