Archive for October 18th, 2011

Favorite Films?

I was out of the studio yesterday doing some outdoor projects while the sun was shining.  When I cam ein this morning there was a phone message from an artist friend who, knowing of my habit of watching old movies in the studio while I worked, asked if I had any recommended films he could borrow.  I began thinking of what films I might pull from my collection for this person who is probably twenty years or so younger in age.  It was a much more difficult task than I had thought it might be.

I mean, the films each of us enjoy, like paintings, are subject to our own personal tastes and values.  Whenever there is a list of great films made, there are very few films that are not disputed in their placement on the list.  I’m sure there are a few people who think that Casablanca, normally near the top on most lists, is overrated and not to their taste.  I don’t know this artist friend well enough to know his personal tastes so the task becomes greater.

You might say that I should just suggest my favorite movie but I don’t have any one specific film that I would call my favorite although there are films that whenever I stumble across them on television, I have to watch even if only for a short while.  Most of them are classics.  NinotchkaSingin’ In the RainBen Hur,  which features the magnificent chariot race in the photo at the top of this post.  The Philadelphia Story and just about any movie with Cary Grant and/or Katherine Hepburn– Holiday and Bringing Up Baby are both great films.  Speaking of Hepburn, there’s The African Queen with her and Humphrey Bogart, another guy who I could watch nearly everything he did including the aforementioned Casablanca. 

Or I could go with any Hitchcock  film.  That brings me back to Cary Grant in North by Northwest or Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window or Vertigo. Or Jimmy Stewart in just about anything.  Harvey Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  Or any of his great westerns such The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, the classic he made with John Wayne.

This quickly becomes a name association thing with one name reminding  me of another, making me realize that this could be an almost impossible task.  I haven’t even gotten around to some of my other personal favorites.  The Godfather.  Most of the Coen Brother, Capra and Preston Sturges films.  John Ford westerns– how could I leave off The Searchers?!   And about a thousand more that I don’t have time to mention and that’s without even venturing too far into the present generation of film.  I just can’t imagine making a list of ten films that I could call my favorites.

I’m going to have to call this friend today and narrow this down.



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