Thursday, July 18, 2013


Today, I'll examine numbers seventy-one through eighty on ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's list of 100 greatest films. Watch out. This could get ugly.

71. AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973). George Lucas's sophomore effort is one of the all-time great coming of age films (along with THE LAST PICTURE SHOW (1971) and DINER (1982)). Cool cars, great songs and a terrific cast of young actors make this one a winner.

72. THE 400 BLOWS (1959). Another French New Wave snooze fest. If you want a truly great French film on this list, how about EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1959), one of the most beautiful horror films ever made?

73. CABARET (1972). I've said it before, I'm not much of a fan of musicals but this one's a winner.

74. THE HURT LOCKER (2009). No. Remember the rule: no films made in the 21st century on this list. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

75. TOUCH OF EVIL (1958). Orson Welles's visually baroque masterpiece is the last great post war film noir. Definitely belongs on this list.

76. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962). Excuse me? LAWRENCE OF ARABIA is the seventy-sixth greatest film of all time? You could put a dozen film fans in a room and ask them to start naming the truly great films and no one, not one, would name seventy five other films before mentioning LAWRENCE. I think it should be ranked in the top five. In fact, I'd go so far as to put it at number one. How such a magnificent work of art could be overlooked in favor of so many other films, many of which shouldn't even be on this list, is simply beyond me. As if this list wasn't already highly suspect, it's this dubious choice that makes the entire enterprise a farce.

77. DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975). A good movie but I'm not sure it's worthy of inclusion. There are much better films out there that still haven't made it on to this list.

78. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981). Indy, my boy, what took you so long? Should have been here much sooner.

79. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968). At last, George Romero's original zombie gut-muncher appears. A groundbreaking, shockingly original film that is still disturbing forty-five years on.

80. DAZED AND CONFUSED (1993). Close but no cigar. Richard Linklater's valentine to mid '70s high-schoolers is dead on in every respect. I should know, I graduated from Austin High in 1974. A fun film but not good enough to be included on this list.

More to come. Stay tuned.

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