Thing C and I were talking about movies yesterday when we went to lunch. It started with MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and kind of morphed into what movies we love most and why.
I spent more time considering this than I probably should have. It took the better part of the afternoon, but I’d already run errands, accompanied Thing C to get his hair cut and done all my laundry, so what the hell? Right?
I maneuvered the movies back and forth on this list, wheedling it down to the absolute bare minimum.
I’ve organized them by release date because I simply couldn’t rank them from least to most favorite. Though honestly, Butch and Sundance is my absolute favorite movie.
Robynbird’s all time favorite movie list:
Please watch responsibly.
1939 The Wizard of Oz
This was my favorite when I was a little girl.
I see it now through jaded eyes, but it doesn’t change how I feel about it. The Scarecrow is the character I love most and not just because he has the best song. Margaret Hamilton is deliciously unnerving as the Witch of the West. It takes a stubborn girl not to be frightened into giving up her shoes.
There really is no place like home.
Years ago, I had a VHS of this movie on the shelf. When Thing 1 was small, she would stand underneath it and say: I want to watch the witch and the shoes.
This was the tiny picture at the bottom of the box.
1940 The Philadelphia Story
This is sophisticated “screwball comedy”. Not as slapstick like Bringing up Baby, (which I dearly love) the humor here is in the dialogue. The wit and delivery of the words bring every bit of fun! George Cuckor’s direction makes what could be a clunky movie from a stage play perfectly delightful. One of my favorite and often quoted lines is the “hearthfires and holocaust” speech.
P.S. Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart on one screen? Yes please!
1955 To Catch a Thief
I love every moment of this movie. Hitchcock had a brilliant plan and executed it perfectly.
Cary Grant as sassy as he can be. Grace Kelly’s Francie is as cool as a cucumber, but you know she’s wild on the inside. Jessie Royce Landis steals the show as Francie’s mother, Jessie.
It’s a little trick of a story, Hitchcock himself called it “lightweight”. But it is engaging, you know John Robie is innocent and you want to see him clear his name. Oh! Not to mention the setting is it’s own character! And the costumes!
To Catch a Thief has my favorite Hitchcock cameo appearance of all his films.
1959 Some Like it Hot
Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in drag might be one of the comically grotesque things in the history of film! This movie is a hilarious romp of comedy and gangster movie all rolled into one. Tony Curtis with that Cary Grant-esque accent as “Shell Oil”! Too much.
One of my favorite movie lines. “It’s like Jello on springs.”
But Joe E. Brown takes steals the show with the blindfolded tango and the very end scene. “Well, nobody’s perfect.”
1961 The Parent Trap
I fell in love with this movie the first time I saw it when I was a little girl! Haley Mills was just precious as Susan and Sharon. Maureen O’Hara is a Goddess! Brian Keith is the kind of dad everyone would love. I especially adore their grandfather, Charles. He susses out the switch and aids and abets in not only getting the girls back together again, but lights a fire under his daughter Maggie to update her image before going to California. (Maybe I just have a soft spot for grandfathers.)
I’m mad about the costumes! And how cute are the opening titles? Those little cherubs! I just can’t!
This movie has some issues with script, but the cast makes up for it. I love it now with the same love I had the first time I saw it. It’s just precious.
1969 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
“Who are those guys?”
Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
I don’t even know where to begin. This is, without a doubt, my favorite movie of all time. It’s a movie about best friends, brothers even. Sure, it’s based on real people, but it’s kind of a ‘road trip’ movie. These two guys have genuine affection for each other. They will do whatever it takes to have each other’s back. Even when they’re injured and out-gunned, they’re still making plans about where to go and what to do next…together.
It has some of the best lines in all of movie-dom!
Boy I got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals. ~ You know, when I was a kid, I always thought I’d grow up to be a hero. Well, it’s too late now. ~ You just keep thinkin’ Butch, that’s what you’re good at. ~ Don’t you get sick of being right all the time?
I honestly say, “Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?” at least once a week.
1985 Out of Africa
It’s long. It drags. It sugarcoats Karen Blixen’s memoirs. But my God, is it gorgeous visually! I love the way it looks. Meryl Streep is extraordianry. Robert Redford is, well, Robert Redford. But I love him, so what are you going to do? This movie at once overwhelms and disappoints, but it’s still one of my favorites.
1993 Dazed and Confused
I think Richard Linklater is terribly underrated. He has a knack for getting to the heart of his characters. This film is all about the characters and the way they relate to each other. I love character heavy movies. I love seeing the way all the people relate to each other. In this movie, the people are high school students on the last day of school 1976. Rising seniors wreaking unholy hazing havoc on rising freshmen. Parker Posey saying, “Wipe that face off your head, bitch.” always amuses me. Sports politics regarding drug culture. Beginnings and endings of relationships. The origin of Matthew McConaughey’s “Alright alright alright.” And Rory Cochrane as Ron Slater is not to be missed. His comic timing is completely on point.
This is my favorite scene.
I knew boys like this growing up. Only their vice was Jack Daniels “cleverly” disguised in Pepsi bottles.
Who put the “glad” in gladiator?
Hercules is my most beloved Disney animated movie, and that is saying so much!
I’ve always loved Greek Mythology. I love gospel music.
The story doesn’t quite match up with the myths the way we know them. But that doesn’t matter, because we’re rooting for Hercules to get back to Mt Olympus.
James Woods as Hades is the sassiest Disney villain ever! It’s hard to watch him lose.
I can quote this movie from start to finish. I know all the songs. It is a staple in my daily life, not a day goes by that I don’t use some quip or quote from Hercules.
1998 Spice World
Yeah, I know. But I’ll just sit here and let you judge me.
It’s a hot hot mess of a movie, but it’s just good fun! I love these playful girls. I love their music. The costumes are great. The Spice Bus makes me want one. I’m always amused by the laundry list of celebrity cameos.
Girl Power never looked so campy.
Here’s why I love this movie.
Kevin Smith has a sense of humor about religion.
Alan Rickman as the Metatron.
Jason Lee’s fabulous turn as Azrael .
Alanis Morissette is God.
Bartleby and Loki. (Was Wisconsin really that bad?)
And last but not least, the Buddy Christ.
2003 What a Girl Wants
The cast is better than the script provided. It is decidedly early 2000s. It’s completely predictable. It’s nothing but cute clothes and a fun soundtrack, but I love it. I’ve seen it more times than I can even count. It was a staple in the young lives of my girls.
Amanda Bynes at her most adorable.
Colin Firth playing Colin Firth…until he’s in those leather pants rocking out to Rick Derrigner’s Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo.
2003 Pirates of the Caribbean
The Curse of the Black Pearl
When I saw the first trailer for this movie, I was like, ‘oh HELL no!’ But then I saw it at home on DVD and the moment it was over, I watched it again.
Johnny Depp makes the movie. Without Captain Jack Sparrow it’s absolutely no fun.
It could and should have been a one off. There was no need for the sequels.
2006 Casino Royale
Two words: Daniel Craig.
This new Bond is a more physical being. Can any of us imagine Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan parkour-ing all over Madagascar? Maybe Sean Connery…but probably not.
Daniel Craig shows us an entirely new Bond and I like it!
2012 The Avengers
Written and directed by Joss Whedon you know it’s going to be great! All these actors portraying these iconic comic book characters could have been a hot mess waiting to happen, but they pulled it off. It was a perfect combination of comedy, drama and adventure. The story is engaging even though it’s a little far-fetched. It’s a comic book movie, of course it’s far-fetched. The witty dialogue is what sold me. How many different pop culture references can Tony Stark use as names for the other Avengers?
1964 Mary Poppins
I don’t remember how old I was when Mommie and I went on a date to see this movie. But I remember being frightened to see it. I distinctly remember standing in front of the movie poster on the side of the Jefferson Theater trying to decide to go in. I don’t know why I was so afraid to see the movie because I fell in love with Mary Poppins in that theater!
1966 How to Steal a Million
This movie has it all! Art caper, romance, humor and some of the most fabulous costumes in movie history! It’s got the feel of a screwball comedy but looks stylistically modern.
I loved every moment of it.
Audrey is absolute perfection. Peter O’Toole is suave and sassy all in one. Young Eli Wallach cracks me up.
2001 The Anniversary Party
Another movie about how people relate to each other.
It’s a fairly common story…group of friends get together for a dinner party, wackiness ensues, secrets revealed. It’s not quite an ‘Exterminating Angel’ scenario…but these friends and lovers crack under pressure and their soft underbellies are exposed. Not one of them walks away unscathed.
It doesn’t hurt that I adore Alan Cumming.
All I can say here is that every single day of my life I say one or more things from each of these films. My girls grew up quoting these movies before they ever even saw them. Thing C and Thing G have begun quoting these films and have only seen one of them.
These words are a part of my daily lexicon. I’d like to thank they Pythons, Ron Shelton, Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner for providing such great one liners.
What are your favorite films? What movie lines do you use in your daily life?
Let me know.