As I continue to countdown my Top 125 Films of All Time, I wanted to take a chance a point out the featured images I have been rolling with in this countdown. I decided what better way to feature these great films than some screenshots from great movies that include characters in a movie theater watching movies! Some of the movies features may find their way into the countdown, while others will not, so keep an eye out! Today’s image is from Donnie Darko (2001).
#70 – Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
Alien‘s inclusion in this list is essential, because it is an essential horror film. Taking the horror into the confined spaces of a spaceship is a brilliant stroke, and director Ridley Scott builds great tension and suspense throughout, with a star-making, bad ass performance from Sigourney Weaver.
#69 – Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
This is a film that just happens to be tonally perfect, hitting all the right notes at the right times. It is slow, lonely, funny. Bill Murray is great. Lost in Translation is a film which used to be much higher on my list, but having not seen it in some time, I feel I am in need of a rewatch, and perhaps a re-evaluation on its placement herein.
#68 – The Truman Show (Peter Weir, 1998)
The Truman Show transcends itself and is way ahead of its time. It’s so much more than a Jim Carrey comedy, though it is also that. It’s rumination on life, especially in the technological/reality TV age, is heartbreaking/warming at the same time. Plus I don’t believe Ed Harris has ever been better.
#67 – The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994)
The #1 movie on IMDb, The Shawshank Redemption certainly is great. It’s rating there simply means its a universal picture, which can relate to people everywhere. It’s a great portrait of friendship, hope and forgiveness. Strong performances and beautiful cinematography make it a must see.
#66 – My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)
Having just recently enjoyed this marvel of a film during my current Studio Ghibli marathon, it would have been impossible to leave this film of pure joy off the list. It’s simple, fun, and endearing. The type of magic Miyazaki conjures here lasts a lifetime.
#65 – The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1943)
What The Archers have crafted with Colonel Blimp is nothing short of miraculous. It takes a patient viewer, for its expanse and length, but Clive Candy’s life story is a wonderful narrative filled with twists and turns. Powell & Pressburger’s ability to create a sympathetic German charcter during the height of World War II is endlessly impressive, and an important cultural landmark for British cinema.
#64 – The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
Iconic locations and cinematography, iconic actor at the height of his game, The Searchers marks a near perfect marriage between John Ford and John Wayne. Their long collaboration has netted quite a few classics, but few are as iconic, or as entertaining, as The Searchers.
#63 – The Last Emperor (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1987)
The Last Emperor is another entry with a visual flair, but its greatness runs deeper than that. An interesting look into the lonely and isolated life of the last Chinese Emperor, its a film more about humanity than its visual decadence lets on to.
#62 – Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
Peter Sellers, and in fact the whole cast, delivers one of the best comedic performances ever in Dr. Strangelove, making it a comedy satire classic, preying on the nerves of the Cold War as Nuclear War loomed. A ridiculous farce that seems to be funnier with each viewing.
#61 – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 1962)
As I mentioned before, John Ford and John Wayne come together to make a great film in The Searchers, but to add James Stewart to the equation simply makes it that much sweeter. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance brings the brilliance of all three together to make a memorable, entertaining film.