Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Films that haven’t tarnished with time

Since my last post about the enduring power of The Silence of the Lambs, I started thinking about other films that stand the test of time, films that I remember no matter how much time has passed, films that after multiple viewings still put a smile on my face, films that I find on TV that make me want to kick back and watch even though I’ve seen them dozens of times and know the plot and dialogue inside and out, and films that are so great they’re considered classics.

Determining what makes a great film is a purely subjective and personal thing. Criteria for good films vary and so do opinions. There are tons of movies that I enjoyed as a kid but when I watched them again, I realized how bad they were. After 10 or 15 years, sometimes the storyline seems silly or the acting bad or the special effects not so effective. An enduring film is one that stands the test of time even when the special effects don’t hold up because the film works on so many other levels. It’s not going to be the same for everyone, of course. To me, good movies make us think, feel, react, relate, connect, and want to watch again and again. They’re films that we make a point of owning and recommending, and films by which we measure other films against.

Here are 10 films that have stood the test of time for me:

The Shawshank Redemption

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The Princess Bride

E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial

The Usual Suspects

Big Trouble in Little China

Pulp Fiction

Willow

What films have stood the test of time for you? Let us know in the comments section.

11 comments:

  1. Always a tough question since we have the tendency to see movies of our youth through rose-coloured glasses, right?

    For me:

    INDIANA JONES & THE LAST CRUSADE
    ALIENS
    FIELD OF DREAMS
    A FEW GOOD MEN
    WHAT ABOUT BOB?
    THE FUGITIVE
    BEAUTY & THE BEAST
    LABYRINTH
    SAY ANYTHING
    GHOSTBUSTERS

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  3. Well since Hatter cheats and takes all of mine ...

    No what's "standing the test of time" .. they have to be at least 10 -15 years old to me.

    Hitch
    - Vertigo
    - Rear Window

    90's
    - The Fugitive
    - Fargo
    - American History X
    - The Usual Suspects
    - The Player
    - Boogie Nights

    Scorsese
    - Taxi Driver
    - Goodfellas
    - Casino

    Cusack
    - Say Anything
    - High Fidelity

    80's
    - Bull Durham
    - Platoon
    - Hannah and Her Sisters
    - The Empire Strikes Back
    - Fast Times at Ridgemont High
    - The Shining

    70's
    - All The Presidents Men
    - Jaws
    - The Godfather
    - Network
    - Star Wars
    - Chinatown
    - Manhattan
    - Rocky
    - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    And that's where I'll stop. Great topic Courtney.

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  4. This was all JBT’s doing, Sam, she deserves the credit for the topic not me.

    Personally I say a film needs to be out for at least 10 years before we can really discuss whether it still holds up. Especially since Hollywood is now “rebooting” films after 5 and 6 years.

    Mine would be:

    Reservoir Dogs
    Flirting
    The Lion King
    Zero Effect
    Stand By Me
    Groundhog Day
    Six Degrees of Separation
    Chasing Amy
    Jurassic Park
    Gremlins

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  5. Definitely agree about Big Trouble In Little China! That is classic Russell\Carpenter.

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  6. It's a Wonderful Life is my number 1. 1946 and thousands and thousands watch it every year.

    Jaws
    Ghostbusters
    Psycho
    Rear Window
    The Godfather (all three)
    Woody Allen's earlier films
    Anatomy of a Murder
    Raging Bull
    A Face in the Crowd
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    On the Waterfront

    Tried to avoid being too cliche haha

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  7. Great post! I can't argue with any that you have listed here JBT. I think some of the 90's classics are most prominent for me. Shawshank, Pulp Fiction and The Usual Suspects especially. I think that Goodfellas, Silence of the Lambs, Jurassic Park, the original Toy Story and L.A Confidential are all still amazing films. I think from the 80's, The Princess Bride and Stand By Me are grounded classics. Going back further, films like The Godfather and Jaws will forever be considered great works.

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  8. @ The Mad Hatter - some films, yes, will always be seen through rose coloured glasses, but there are films that I loved as a kid that I watch now and think "what was the big deal?"

    So many great films listed - thanks everyone for sharing your top ten! It's tough limiting it to ten, isn't it? If I wrote the post today, I'd probably have an entirely different list. Labyrinth, Ghostbusters, Say Anything, Chasing Amy, Stand By Me - all still fantastic flicks.

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  9. Here are my picks for this list (live action movies only)in no order at all:

    - Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
    - 7 Years in Tibet
    - 12 Angry Men
    - Leaving Las Vegas
    - The Man From Earth (originally a play, but the movie is great too)
    - This is Spinal Tap! (how many movies spawn rock and roll legends?)
    - Seven (frighteningly good movie)
    - The Usual Suspects
    - Apocalypse Now
    - Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

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  10. This is always a tough one because it depends on your mood at the time of writing. For what it's worth here are mine in no particular order.


    Patton
    Dr Strangelove
    The Sting
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    Vanishing Point
    Electraglide in Blue
    China Town
    Catch 22
    The Trial
    The Third Man

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  11. @Born Yesterday - You have listed some great films but I do not have the same love for 7 Years in Tibet as you do. I found the film dragged on in several parts.

    @Richard – I have to agree with you on Dr. Stangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Chinatown and The Third Man. I still need to see the others that you mentioned.

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