When I got Jamie and Shannon’s prompt in my inbox today, I jumped for joy. 

Write about your favorite movies!

I am a HUGE movie fan and have been since I was little.  When I was a kid, we had two channels (three if you could get the aluminum foil on the rabbit ears in exactly the right position), and one day, a miracle occurred. 

Channel 21.  It was all old movies and cartoons, all the time.  I was in heaven. 

Each Saturday morning at 10:00, there was a feature called “Critic’s Choice” which showcased Oscar winning films.  On Sundays at 12:00, there was a comedy, usually Abbott and Costello or Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, and at 2:00 and 4:00, there was a double feature.  I spent every Saturday morning and almost all day on Sunday watching classic film after classic film.  They even had double features in the middle of the night at 2 and 4 a.m.  During the summer, on Friday nights, and on potential snow days, I set my alarm for 1:50 a.m., padded down the hall in my sock feet
to the living room and set up for an all-night movie fest.  It was glorious.

To ask me which movies are my favorite is a little like asking me to choose a favorite child.  There are so many that I have loved.  Deeply.  But there are a few that I will watch over and over and over again.  That I can quote from memory.  Whose scores I know by heart.  Here are some of them with the understanding that I can only cover a few.  And there are so many.

Turner Classic Movies hosts The Essentials, hosted by Robert Osborne and Drew Barrymore.  (This, by the way, is my dream gig.)  The following are my film essentials.  Plus several other titles everyone should see.

True Grit with John Wayne
Best Quote:  “Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!”

To Kill a Mockingbird with Gregory Peck
Best Quote:  “I’m no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in
the jury system—that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working
reality. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting
before me on this jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury
is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you
gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come
to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of
God, do your duty.”
The Godfather with Marlon Brando
Best Quote: “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”
Gone With the Wind with Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable
Best Quote: “As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to lick
me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be
hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or
kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again. ”

*Note:  This is just the most famous… well, besides, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” but I could have typed a transcript of the whole movie, so I’m keeping it simple.

The Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland
Best Quote:  “I think that it – it wasn’t enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and
Auntie Em – and it’s that – if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire
again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it
isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?”
These are my top five if I HAD to choose the most important ones,
but here are some others that I’ve watched more than a few times
and that continue to make my heart swell every time I see them.

The Ones I’ll Stop and Watch Every Time I Find Them While Channel Surfing

Cool Hand Luke with Paul Newman
The Dirty Dozen with Lee Marvin
Big Jake with John Wayne
Chisum with John Wayne
The Quiet Man with John Wayne
Braveheart with Mel Gibson

*Are you detecting a theme?  I like guy movies.  A lot.  And John Wayne. 

My award for best romantic comedy goes to When Harry Met Sally with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, but anything with Cary Grant is a winner as well.

“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes
you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little
crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love
that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on
my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to
before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s
not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you
realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want
the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

Best Horror
The Shining with Jack Nicholson

The movie I thought I would hate, but loved and have watched again and again? 

“Spartan! Come back with your shield, or on it.”  Yes!

Best Christmas movies?
It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed
White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye
Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase
Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwen


Suddenly, I feel like a starlet who has gotten up to accept her first Academy Award and knows that she has forgotten to thank someone.  There are just too many great ones to name here.  This might be a post I revisit.  I hope you’ll let me know some of yours as well.