I hope everyone is well. Work has been manic lately, so I’ve not had much time to post. Will try and catch up with everyone’s blogs when I can.
There has been much debate amongst film fans, about just what is, and what isn’t a classic film. For me, it is a film that has a timeless story, and is one which resonates with audiences throughout the generations.
I strongly agree that the vast majority of classics are to be found among Silent films through to those from the sixties and seventies. That having been said though, I strongly believe too, that there are many classics to be found that were made in years which fall outside of the classic era.
There are films from all around the world, both old and new, that have found that special place in peoples hearts. There are films that are justly praised for how they look, or for how they were made etc. The following list contains five such classics that I will always love. These are all among my all time favourite films too.
I invite each one of you to share five classics that you will always love. You can do that in my comments section, or start a new post on your own blog linking back to this post. It’s up to you.
1 – Ikiru, 1952, directed by Akira Kurosawa. This is a film that deeply touches my soul. The story of Kanji Watanabe really gets to me. His story could be the story of any of us. Takashi Shimura delivers one of the greatest performances in cinema history. This film makes you realise how precious life is. Ikiru reminds me to slow down and value every small moment. This is a film with a universal message. You can read my full review of this film here.
2- Jurassic Park, 1993, directed by Steven Spielberg. A billionaire (Richard Attenborough)gets scientists to bring dinosaurs back to life, and open a theme park containing these living creatures. Hmmm, what could possibly go wrong there? Featuring memorable characters, dialogue, one of the best scores of John Williams entire career(that’s saying something!),cutting edge special effects and impressive practical effects work. This is a film that can be enjoyed again and again, and it’s one I doubt I’ll ever cease to enjoy.
I always crack up at the following line in this, which is spoken by Jeff Goldblum – “Yeah, but John, when the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists!” 🙂
3 – Black Narcissus, 1947, directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. A Technicolor spectacle from one of the most creative duos in cinema history. A group of Nuns open a mission in the hills of a remote Himalayan town. Sister Clodagh(Deborah Kerr)is the sister in charge; she tries her best, but is really too young for the responsibility placed upon her shoulders.
The hot weather, the presence of the very good looking Mr Dean (David Farrar), the customs of the locals, and growing jealously and hysteria all combine to push the women to their limit. Excellent performances, use of Technicolor and photography. Also, who knew that red lipstick could look so scary? This is my favourite of all the Powell and Pressburger films. I love how it conveys the growing paranoia and jealousy. I really like how Deborah Kerr and David Farrar portray the growing and ever changing relationship between their characters. A feast for the eyes and mind.
4- North By Northwest, 1959, directed by Alfred Hitchcock
One of the best thrillers ever made. I find that this film doesn’t stop giving you the sense of being on the move until the final scene. I consider this to contain the perfect blend of all of the elements featured in Hitch’s work.
Elegance drips from every frame; from the costumes, to the behaviour of characters, to the hotels and interiors. Cary is at his most suave, and gets to show is skills for physical comedy (he does one of the best drunk impressions I’ve ever seen.) This is one I return to again and again. It never fails to thrill and amuse. You can read my full review of this film here.
5 – The Ten Commandments, 1956, directed by Cecil B. DeMille. This for me is the epic to end all epics. Vast and impressive sets and location work, beautiful costumes, one of the greatest cast lists in film history and a real epic look. I’ve always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt, and this film is one of my favourites set in that time. Even though I’m not religious, I really love this film and the story it tells. If you take religion out of the equation, the ten commandments are basically just a guide to living a moral life and not hurting others.
I like how the film portrays Moses as making a break from one way of life, having his eyes opened to the truth of slavery and trying to do something for the better. Charlton Heston does such a good job of portraying the change (both physical and spiritual) that his character goes through. Anne Baxter and Yul Brynner steal every scene they’re in. I also envy Anne for getting to wear all those gorgeous dresses(and for getting to kiss both Yul and Charlton.)
DeMille knew how to entertain and impress, and this is one of his best films. Please share you comments about any of these films. Don’t forget to list your own special five.