Tag Archives: The Graduate

BBC, Movies and Me

22 Jul

There are a ton of lists about the greatest things that ever were. Books. TV shows. Cars. It goes on and on. Recently, BBC added to the list of lists by announcing the 100 greatest American movies of all time. According to the article, film critics from around the world provided their opinions.BBC

To create this post, I decided to list the movies I have seen and include my favorite line from each one.

97. Gone With the Wind – Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn96. The Dark Knight

91. ET: The Extraterrestrial – I just hope we don’t wake up on Mars or something surrounded by millions of little squashy guys.

90. Apocalypse Now – Charlie don’t surf!

84. Deliverance – Sometimes you have to lose yourself ‘fore you can find anything.

82. Raiders of the Lost Ark – Bad dates.

78. Schindler’s List – There will be generations because of what you did.

76. The Empire Strikes Back – Never tell me the odds.

75. Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Einstein was probably one of them.

74. Forrest Gump – Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.

73. Network – I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.

66. Red River – Well, I don’t like to see things goin’ good or bad. I like ’em in between.

65. The Right Stuff – Hey, Ridley, ya got any Beeman’s?

61. Eyes Wide Shut – Life goes on. It always does, until it doesn’t.

56. Back to the Future – I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.

55. The Graduate – Plastics.

52. The Wild Bunch – We all dream of being a child again, even the worst of us. Perhaps the worst most of all.

46. It’s a Wonderful Life – Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people.

45. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – Nothing’s too good for the man who shot Liberty Valance.

42. Dr. Strangelove – Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.

41. Rio Bravo – If I ever saw a man holdin’ a bull by the tail, you’re it.

38. Jaws – Well it proves one thing, Mr. Hooper. It proves that you wealthy college boys don’t have the education enough to admit when you’re wrong.

36. Star Wars – Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

34. The Wizard of Oz – That’s a horse of a different color!

28. Pulp Fiction – There’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.”

21. Mulholland Drive – I got the pool, she got the pool-man.

20. Goodfellas – Jimmy was the kind of guy that rooted for bad guys in the movies.

16. McCabe and Mrs. Miller – I got poetry in me!

14. Nashville – Who do you think is running Congress? Farmers? Engineers? Teachers? Businessmen? No, my friends. Congress is run by lawyers. A lawyer is trained for two things and two things only. To clarify – that’s one. And to confuse – that’s the other.

13. North by Northwest – In the world of advertising, there’s no such thing as a lie. There’s only expedient exaggeration.

10. The Godfather Part II – If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone.

9. Casablanca – Everybody comes to Rick’s.

5. The Searchers – That’ll be the day.

4. 2001: A Space Odyssey – It can only be attributable to human error.

2. The Godfather – Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

1. Citizen Kane – Those are the only terms anybody ever knows – his own.

That makes 35 out of 100. Looks like I need to watch a few more.

Mourning in the Movies

29 Jun

This past week, I watched The Godfather on the big screen with my dad and my nephew. Obviously, it is a great movie, and I have seen it many times. However, this time was different. In a dark theater with no distractions, I was able to focus on details  that I had missed and also fully enjoy some of my favorite scenes.

One of those scenes is the funeral of Don Corleone. Movie funerals have always fascinated me. Usually, they are essential to the plot, but that does not have to be the case. For me, a well filmed funeral scene stands out, and I do not know why. Perhaps, it is because a movie funeral makes the film more realistic. It could be because it provides the ceremony of a funeral without a person really being dead. It could simply be the drama of it all. Whatever the case, some of my favorite scenes are funerals.

The funeral of Don Corleone is especially good because of all the underlying consequences. The heads of the other families get out of their limousines for the burial of the Godfather while they are plotting to bury the entire Corleone empire. Michael knows a betrayal is coming but does not know who the culprit will be. As people mourn his father, Michael is set up to be assassinated by Sgt. Fish from Barney Miller.Godfather

Another great movie funeral actually involves an assassination. Before Paul McCartney sings the iconic theme song. Before Jane Seymour makes her appearance as a Bond Girl. Before Roger Moore makes his debut as James Bond. Before all of that, an American agent is killed in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He watches as a jazzy funeral procession passes by and does not realize until too late that it is his funeral.Jazz

With that, Paul McCartney is cued to sing, and Live and Let Die begins.

Before the death of the agent, the jazz band is playing “Just a Closer Walk With Thee,” a traditional gospel song. Other movies have also used well-known religious songs to great effect. This is where I have something to confess. In my mind, one of the most beautiful sounds in the world is “Amazing Grace” being played on a bagpipe, and no movie does this better than Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. As Spock is buried in space, Scotty plays the pipes.Spock

Then, Spock is shot into a dead planet that immediately springs to life.

I guess that you could say Spock went out in a Blaze of Glory. That can also be said Valeria, Conan’s girlfriend in Conan the Barbarian. After being killed by a poison snake arrow fired by James Earl Jones, Valeria is mourned by Conan and burned on a funeral pyre. The wizard thinks the pyre will not burn, but the fury of Arnold makes it burn.Funeral Pyre

Another dramatic exit took place in V for Vendetta, the graphic novel inspired story of a masked terrorist. When he dies, his muse, played by Natalie Portman, puts him on a train filled with explosives and flowers.Vendetta

She then sends it down the tracks toward Parliament. Once there, he finishes what Guy Fawkes started way back in 1605.

As far as funerals for graphic novel anti-heroes go, V has nothing on The Comedian from The Watchmen. His death drives the plot of the movie, but there is more greatness. It is a miserably rainy day.Comedian

The other anti-heroes show up.  Dr. Manhattan even wears a suit. However, those are not even the best parts. “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel plays over the scene to greater effect than it did that scene in The Graduate.

Then, there is the mourner who hides during the service. My favorite movie funeral scenes have someone watching from the distance who feels like they should stay away. Once everyone leaves, they go to the grave for their own private ceremony. In The Watchmen, Rorschach is the outsider who moves in after the fact.

In Cooley High, it is Preach who comes upon Chochise’s grave after everyone else has gone. This is another awesome scene. A drunken Preach reads a poem over the grave as a classic tune plays over the scene.Preach

Then, he wads up the paper and takes off into the gloom. This movie is also cool because it tells what happens to the characters as they grow older.

Alright, those are cool, but my favorite funeral scene with a distant viewer is in a western called The Sons of Katie Elder. The sons have come back home for the funeral of their mother. There preacher says some great words, and mourners tell the sons how great their mother was. However, one son is missing. He is a gunslinger who does not need to make a public appearance. He is John Wayne, and he is standing in the rocks looking down on the funeral.Katie Elder

John Wayne is also part of another great movie funeral. As his family is being buried in The Searchers, the Duke shuts down the ceremony because the time for praying is over.Searchers

The time for vengeance has arrived.

The time to end this post has also arrived.

Listeria – Going to the Picture Show

2 Jul

The folks at Entertainment Weekly just came out with a bunch of lists. The 100 greatest television shows. The 100 greatest novels. The 100 greatest albums. The 100 greatest lists of great things in popular culture. It is perfect fodder for “Listeria”, the ongoing examination of our fascination with lists.

This is an examination of the magazine’s list of the 100 greatest movies, or, as my dad used to call them, the picture show. When I was a kid, he would ask if I wanted to go to the picture show because he knew it drove me crazy. For those who don’t know, the picture show was a southern term for the movies. He said a lot of other things to drive me crazy, but that one was a sure thing.

Never fear, I am not going to write about 100 movies. I am going to list the ones that I have seen. To add some texture, I think I will include my favorite thing about each one.

Oh, there will also be a little trivia at the end.Ward Bond

1. Citizen Kane (1941) – The line, “A toast, Jedediah, to love on my terms. Those are the only terms anybody ever knows – his own.”

2. The GodFather (1972) – The line, “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

3. Casablanca (1942) – Rick’s Cafe

6. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – The floor that separates to form an indoor swimming pool

9. Nashville (1975) – The song, “It Don’t Worry Me”

10. Gone With the Wind (1939) – The coolness of Rhett Butler

12. The Searchers (1956) – Monument Valley

14. Bambi (1942) – Thumper

18. Jaws (1975) – Quint’s story about being on the USS Indianapolis

19. Pulp Fiction (1994) – The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee.

24. The Sound of Music (1965) – When it was over

25. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – The music

28. The Wizard of Oz (1939) – The Red Brick Road (where does it go?)

29. North by Northwest (1959) – Mount Rushmore

33. The Graduate (1967) – Katharine Ross

41. The Road Warrior (1981) – The kid with the decapitating boomerang

43. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – Gandalf

49. Goldfinger (1964) – The Kentucky Fried Chicken in one of the scenes

52. Titanic (1997) – The wreck

53. Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – Darth Vader

56. Schindler’s List (1993) – The last scene in the cemetery

59. All the President’s Men (1976) – Jason Robards

61. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – Hannibal Lecter’s cell

62. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – The flying bicycle

63. Network (1976) – The line, “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

68. GoodFellas (1990) – The music

69. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) – Slim Pickens riding the bomb.

78. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – The melting face of the Nazi

81. Blade Runner (1982) – Pris

83. The Wild Bunch (1969) – The Front Porch Massacre

85. Dirty Harry (1971) – The line, “I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

88. The Dark Knight (2008)Batman riding away at the end

89. Woodstock (1970) – The crowd shots

93. A Face in the Crowd (1957) – All of it

94. Brokeback Mountain (2005) – Randy Quaid

99. There WIll Be Blood (2007) – The line, “Drainage! Drainage, Eli, you boy. Drained dry. I’m so sorry. Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that’s a straw, you see? You watching?. And my straw reaches acroooooooss the room, and starts to drink your milkshake… I… drink… your… milkshake!”

Trivia – Ward Bond (pictured above) was in at least 5 of the top 1oo movies. This includes 3 of the top 12.