Monday, January 29, 2018

Ten Favorite Films

Text: 10: Ten Favorite Films of A Mom's Quest to Teach

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Most people have favorite movies; movies that make them laugh or cry. We talk about movies with our friends, families, co-workers, and strangers.

These are my ten favorite movies (in no particular order).

Text: Ten Favorite Films; A Mom's Quest to Teach; photo of some movie DVDs

Warning - There will probably be spoilers!


I have enjoyed the movie Clue from the first time I saw it. I did not get a chance to see it in the theaters so the only times I have seen it have been when it was shown on television or via VHS -- with all three endings combined together. I still have almost all the lines memorized. The actors and actresses in the movie are such a great ensemble cast.

We also had the original Clue game and then the deluxe version. My mom even purchased the VHS game that we played many times and we had the Alfred Hitchcock edition of Clue as well.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 

"We named the dog, Indiana"

I have seen almost every Harrison Ford film and while this may not be my favorite Ford movie, it is my favorite Indiana Jones movie. In fact, it is the only one I saw in the movie theater. I love the humor and history incorporated into it. Ford and Sean Connery are great together as father and son. Following along with Indiana Jones as he looks for his father and the Holy Grail, he finally finds both but must make a difficult decision.


I saw the original (and the sequel) in the movie theater. When the first one was released, our local one-screen movie theater would run movies for two showings each night. If you attended the first one, you could stay for the second showing. I remember sitting through this movie multiple times during the week that it was playing at that theater. And you always had to stay for the end for Slimer's appearance.

One of my favorite Huey Lewis
and the News albums 
Back to the Future

This movie introduced me to Huey Lewis and the News. From "I'm afraid you're just too darn loud," to "Great Scott!" to "Better get used to these bars, kid," the dialogue is packed with memorable and quotable lines. Of the three movies, this one is definitely my favorite (although isn't that usually the way it is with a movie series: the first is the best?). Having loved every minute of the movie, I joined the Back to Future Fan Club.  I still have my DeLorean key chain and an Outtatime license plate from Universal Studios. Did you get a chance to ride Back to the Future at Universal Studios? What a great experience for fans of the movie.

Disney's cartoon Beauty and the Beast

One of my all-time favorite Disney cartoons is Beauty and the Beast.  I think because Belle is so fond of books, like me, I connected with her best of all the Disney heroines in their movies. And the music from this cartoon is fantastic.  I was very excited when they included "Human Again" with the 2002 release because after seeing it on stage on Broadway. I couldn't imagine the story without that number.

Wild Wild West

I saw this movie at least four times in the theater. It combined two favorite actors (Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh) and history. I never watched the television series but I thoroughly enjoyed Kline, Branagh, and Will Smith in this big screen version. Kline playing two roles - that of the agent and president - is great. And the chemistry between the entire cast is also such that the jokes seem effortless.


Arsenic and Old Lace

If you asked me, "What is your favorite Cary Grant movie?" I think this would be the first to come to mind. While I do enjoy many of his other movies, I always watch this one at least once a year (around Halloween). Grant plays Mortimer Brewster, who discovers that his aunts are murderers shortly after marrying his girlfriend, Elaine Harper. The parts of the aunts and uncle are reprised by the actresses and actor who originally portrayed them on Broadway. The role of Jonathan Brewster, who is said to look like Boris Karloff, is played in the movie by Raymond Massey because Karloff could not leave his role of Jonathan in the stage production. To round out the cast of main characters, Peter Lorre (who happens to appear in a lot of my favorite Vincent Price movies) portrays Dr. Einstein, Jonathan's accomplice. Murder and mayhem are the theme throughout the entire movie but in a humorous way.

The Time Machine

The novel, The Time Machine, was published in 1895 by H.G. Wells. I think I probably saw the movie The Time Machine (1960) with Rod Taylor before reading the book but both are favorites. One of the things that stands out for me is the Oscar-winning time-lapse photographic effects that illustrate the passage of time. For example, images that remain with me are the changing of the food and flowers in his workshop and the mannequin changing clothes. The portrayal of the narrator's friends by Alan Young and Sebastian Cabot also adds to the enjoyment of this particular movie.

Calamity Jane

Two of my favorites of the 1950s-1960s musicals are Doris Day and Howard Keel who star in Calamity Jane. Day portrays Calamity Jane, an American frontierswoman, and Keel portrays Wild Bill Hickock, who is remembered for being a scout, gunfighter, and frontiersman. The movie is primarily set in Deadwood, South Dakota with a few scenes in the Windy City of Chicago.  Such notable songs as "I Can Do Without You," "The Black Hills of Dakota," and "Secret Love," which topped the Billboard charts at number one, help bring the story to life as we learn more about Calamity Jane and her love of Wild Bill.

Star Wars

I did not get to see the first release of Star Wars in the theater but the Star Wars Saga has always been a favorite. I still have almost all my original toys from Kenner and my stepson, son, and daughter now have their own growing collections of toys, books, and plushes from the originals, prequels, and sequels.  While I may not enjoy some of the new movies as much as the original, they still hold a special place for me as they bring me back to my childhood and many hours of fighting battles with Luke, Leia, and Han.

Do we share any favorites? Are you a fan of silent films?  Do you like musicals?  Or is horror your go-to movie choice? Do you have recommendations for me?

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1 comment:

  1. We are Star Wars Fans here!! The "original" three have a special place with me because like you, that is from my childhood. I really enjoy The Lord of the Rings movies. I do like some musicals, such as Mary Poppins and The Greatest Showman is a new family favorite. For some time we were watching all the Avengers movies but have since gone to watching Star Wars again.