Sometimes I just have to completely tune out the politics and the news and the idiocy. That's when I do a movie post.
About a million years ago, Dr. Monkey did a list of what he considered to be the best movies made each year since he’d been born. It was a great list, and I decided (and commented) that I would do a similar post for myself. And hey! It’s only taken me a whole freakin’ year to compile the list!
Here are my favorite movies, by year, for every year since the year I was born. Just to bore you to death, I've added the other movies made that year that were also good ones in my opinion.
Oh and one more thing -- I didn't italicize any of the titles because I'm too lazy. Fuck the italics! Anarchy! Anarchy!
Sorry. Here's the list:
1964: My Fair Lady – I didn’t know until a few years ago that the role of Eliza had been originated on Broadway by Julie Andrews, whom I love love love. I knew Audrey Hepburn wasn’t singing right from the beginning, though. I still love this movie, however, especially when Mrs. Higgins chastises her son Henry and Colonel Pickering for being “a pretty pair of babies playing with your live doll.” Excellent. Finalists: Ensign Pulver, Father Goose, Goldfinger, Fistful of Dollars, The Three Lives of Thomasina -- all childhood favorites.
1965: This one was easy – Dr. Zhivago, hands down. Sorry to The Sound of Music and Julie Andrews. (Love you!)
1966: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – I loves me some Clint Eastwood, and this is a great one. “Hey Blondie! Hey Blondie!” Finalists: The Blue Max, Batman, A Man Called Flintstone, Munster Go Home!, What’s Up Tiger Lily?
1967: To Sir, With Love – a sentimental favorite, and I had a little-girl crush on the girl that played Pamela (the one with the crush on Sir). Finalists: In the Heat of the Night, Cool Hand Luke, Valley of the Dolls (hilariously bad)
1968: Funny Girl – an amazing musical and acting performance for a very young Barbra. Finalists: The Odd Couple (remember how Jack Lemmon’s Felix did the allergy-throat “haaa! haaa!”? Priceless.)
1969: True Grit. I didn’t see Butch Cassidy, so that one didn’t win. Plus hearing “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” always makes me carsick.
1970: Little Big Man – “Come and lay on my soft furs!” I really liked MASH too, but Little Big Man is still one of my favorite movies to watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
1971: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – still one of my favorite movies and books. Just plain hilarious and well done. Finalists: Dirty Harry, Fiddler on the Roof (especially the bottle dance at the wedding and the Grandma dream sequence), and Man in the Wilderness. I didn’t see the universally recognized greats of this year, The French Connection and A Clockwork Orange.
1972: The Godfather – I’d never seen a movie like this one. Amazingly violent, moving, and terrifying. Finalists: Deliverance (talk about terrifying), Jeremiah Johnson (still a fave), What’s Up, Doc? (pure greatness).
1973: The Sting – This was the toughest year for me. I loved Paper Moon, High Plains Drifter, Badlands, Serpico, and Papillon, but The Sting had such great music.
1974: Where the Lilies Bloom – if you’ve never seen/heard of this one, GET IT. Finalists: The Godfather Part 2, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (“shit-kicking, shit-kicking, shit-kicking!”), Animals Are Beautiful People (a documentary), Young Frankenstein, Uptown Saturday Night.
1975: Jaws – an easy one, and yes—I’m still afraid to swim at the beach. But there were other greats that year: Barry Lyndon (some people find it boring, but I love it), Funny Lady, Love and Death (a GREAT Woody Allen movie), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (pure gold). I never saw all of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or The Sunshine Boys, but I’m sure they’re great.
1976: Rocky – yo Adrian! Finalists: The Bad News Bears (sweet), Bugsy Malone,d Futureworld (scared the pee out of a young me), Midway, Murder by Death (a classic!), The Omen (see above re: pee).
1977: Star Wars – how could anyone anywhere in America disagree? This movie made me want to be Luke Skywalker, complete with utility belt and hot Princess Leia to kiss. Finalists: High Anxiety, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
1978: Alien – holy moly, was I terrified. Finalists: The Inlaws (“Serpentine, Sheldon, serpentine!”), Escape from Alcatraz, Heaven Can Wait, Kramer vs. Kramer, Breaking Away, My Brilliant Career, Superman, Being There. Many would pick Apocalypse Now but I’ve never seen it.
1979: Norma Rae – still an amazing performance by Sally Field. I also liked North Dallas Forty and Nosferatu the Vampyre (with an incredibly creepy Klaus Kinski).
1980: The Empire Strikes Back – what a sequel. Other faves: Gloria (“I’m the man! I’M the man!” and Gena Rowlands), The Gods Must Be Crazy, Nine to Five, Superman II, Flash Gordon (hilariously bad), and Private Benjamin (“I wanna wear my sandals! I wanna have lunch!”)
1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark – a great adventure movie. Of course, Excalibur was wonderful, as were Chariots of Fire, Mommie Dearest, and the classic Zorro the Gay Blade.
1982: Bladerunner – by now, my Harrison Ford love knew no bounds. I still had no clue about the whole “lesbian” thing. Tron was also a big fave, as I was a complete geek at this point in my life. I never got what was sooooo great about Fast Times at Ridgemont High, though I liked it. Night Shift was funny, until I realized how incredibly sexist-piggish it was.
1983: The Big Chill – this was my senior year in high school and an amazing year for movies. I could’ve picked any of these: Cross Creek, Flashdance, Entre Nous, Educating Rita, Trading Places, Mr. Mom, Yentl, Scarface, Valley Girl, The Year of Living Dangerously – all greats in my book, for various reasons.
1984: The Terminator – a true classic. I love how wimpy Linda Hamilton looks in this one, especially compared to the powerhouse hottie she’d become in the second movie. “I’m at the Tech Noir!” Finalists: Romancing the Stone, Amadeus, American Dreamer, Karate Kid (hee hee!), Dune, Purple Rain (one of the worst-acted movies ever, in every single role! That takes skill!), Sixteen Candles, A Passage to India, Beverly Hills Cop (one of my mom’s favorite movies).
1985: Murphy’s Romance – you’re probably saying, “huh?” This movie featured wonderfully understated and underrated performances by Sally Field and James Garner. Other good ones: Back to the Future, Fandango, Real Genius, Out of Africa, Witness, Mask, The Breakfast Club
1986: Aliens – again, a sequel that topped the original (just like with Empire Strikes Back, Terminator 2, Godfather II, and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers). This movie was scarier and better than the original, with Sigourney Weaver really developing her uber-mother-badass-ness. Finalists: Hannah and Her Sisters (quite possibly Woody’s last funny movie), Heartbreak Ridge (underrated!), Ruthless People.
1987: Moonstruck – this movie gets better every time I see it. So many great lines and scenes! Finalists: The Princess Bride, Wall Street, Baby Boom
1988: Scrooged – Bill Murray at his best, up to that point. He would only get better later. Other great movies: Stand and Deliver, Dangerous Liaisons, Rainman.
1989: When Harry Met Sally – I used to call this my favorite movie. Now I don’t, but only because the Lord of the Rings trilogy just pretty much knocked everything else out. Finalists: Field of Dreams, Batman, The Little Mermaid (shut up! I like it!), Dead Calm, Roger and Me, Chances Are (shut up again! I love Cybill Sheppard!), Miss Firecracker (“Swoop! Swoop!”)
1990: Goodfellas – this movie got everything right. Finalists: Dances with Wolves, Dick Tracy, Pretty Woman (horrible but I still like it), Misery, Tremors (hilarious).
1991: The Silence of the Lambs – followed closely by Terminator 2. It was almost a tie, but Jody Foster’s hot. Other faves: The Commitments, JFK, Backdraft, New Jack City, Thelma and Louise (painful to watch), LA Story.
1992: Unforgiven – Clint, still making movie gold. Finalists: The Bodyguard (I just liked the music, okay?), A League of Their Own, Malcolm X, The Crying Game, Reservoir Dogs (amazing), White Men Can’t Jump (just funny escapism), Far and Away (Nicole Kidman at her hottest).
1993: Tombstone – Val Kilmer made this one with his portrayal of Doc Holliday. I never get tired of watching it. Finalists: Groundhog Day (another Murray classic), The Pelican Brief (I liked Julia Roberts back then), Sleepless in Seattle (I’m a sap, okay?), Jurassic Park (just for the dinos), Schindler’s List, Dave.
1994: The Shawshank Redemption. Did any other movies even get made this year? Who cares – this movie is pure greatness.
1995: Babe – this movie still makes me cry. Other favorites were The American President (I wish we could have a president like him!), Apollo 13.
1996: Fargo – easy. I also loved Long Kiss Goodnight with Geena Davis playing the tallest action heroine ever.
1997: Jackie Brown – pure perfection. Finalists: As Good as it Gets, Good Will Hunting, Contact (Jody = hawt), Donnie Brasco.
1998: Life Is Beautiful – a sweet sweet film. I also loved Rush Hour, Deep Impact (the OTHER asteroid movie, with a smokin’ hawt Tia Leoni), X-Files: Fight the Future (Scully = hawt). Notice how the pickin’s are getting slim? They just didn’t make many great movies in the late 90s, in my opinion. At least not that I saw.
1999: The Talented Mr. Ripley – Matt Damon’s best performance. Other big faves: Fight Club, The Sixth Sense, The Matrix (only because of the filming techniques, not Keanu’s “acting”).
2000: Cast Away – man, this movie makes me sad. I also liked Erin Brockovich and Unbreakable. Couldn’t find another movie made this year that I liked. Wow.
2001: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – is that tiny little Harry just the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen? Yes he is.
2002: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – my favorite of the Ring trilogy, although Theodin makes me yell at the TV because he’s such a freakin’ wimp. The first Bourne movie, The Bourne Identity, was also great.
2003: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – here’s how that conversation on the lava-covered mountainside of Mt Doom would’ve gone had it been me instead of Samwise with Frodo:
Frodo: “I’m glad you’re with me, Sam, here at the end of all things.”
Me: “Don’t worry, Frodo. I’m not gonna tell everyone about how you went all evil and tried to keep the ring. I won’t tell everyone how Gollum had to bite your freakin’ finger off just to get the ring. Just sayin’.”
This was a tough year, finally, after so many crappy years. Other finalists: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Keira Knightley = hawt), Bad Santa (effing hilarious), Calendar Girls, Finding Nemo, Kill Bill Vol 1, Lost in Translation, Monster, Under the Tuscan Sun (Diane Lane = hawt).
2004: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – probably my favorite Harry Potter movie to date, but another tough call with Kill Bill Vol 2, Fahrenheit 9/11, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Bourne Supremacy making it a great year.
2005: Pride and Prejudice – I love the book, I love the movie, I love Keira Knightley. Finalists: HP and the Goblet of Fire; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Crash; Capote; Transamerica; The Constant Gardener; Batman Begins; Good Night, and Good Luck; Syriana. Finally, Hollywood (and indie films) started getting it right again.
2006: Little Miss Sunshine – if you haven’t seen this one, please do so. Every single actor in this film was amazing. Other good ones: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, V for Vendetta, Inside Man, The Devil Wears Prada, Eight Below (shut up! It was sad and uplifting!), The Queen, The Good Shepherd.
2007: No Country for Old Men – easy call. Still, some good stuff this year too: Breach, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (I don’t know why I loved these movies; I just did!--probably just Keira), American Gangster, Zodiac, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (great casting, terrible adaption), Atonement (so sad!), The Bourne Ultimatum.
2008: The Dark Knight – not that great a year for movies, in my opinion. I mean, what are you gonna pick – Baby Mama? Sure it was funny, but do you remember anything besides the general hilariousness? Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull –holy crap, Harrison – give it up. You look like a corpse. Do you need money that badly? Just say no! Burn After Reading was okay, with a hilariously goofy performance by Brad Pitt of all people, but it wasn’t the Coen’s best work.
2009: I don’t even think I’ve seen a new movie this year. I’m waiting on the edge of my seat for the sixth Harry Potter movie, which I just KNOW is going to be effing GREATNESS.