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Totally off topic – a movie list

If you’re looking for words about food…sorry about that.  I listen to a lot of podcasts these days, many about food and many centered on pop culture.  I’ve heard a lot of ‘top whatever lists’, particularly on movies, which naturally gets the brain juices squishing about.  I decided to see how hard it would be to come up with a Top 10 list.

It turns out it’s extraordinarily hard if approached seriously.  I could’ve done 25 easily (when the easier cuts were done, I was around 22).  So 20 wasn’t too bad.  To get fully down to 10, though – yikes.  I settled on a top 15.  I guess I could just lop off 11-15, but that would make me feel bad, so I didn’t do it (no Astaire, Bond, animation?!).  Anyway, I presented these one at a time on Twitter (@SchenectaDana), but here they are at one whack.

15. Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Semi-animated.  Classic Angela Lansbury.  Catchy tunes.  The great showdown with the Nazis at the end makes this one a keeper.

14. Easter Parade.  Had to fit in Astaire. Hard to pick against his pairings with Ginger, but Easter Parade is a much better movie than any of those, plus you get Garland to go along with Astaire’s fancy footwork.

13. For Your Eyes Only.  I know.  I get it.  But when I set them side by side, this is the one I watch.  It’s a nose, Q.  Not a banana.  Edges Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.  Great song, great Bond girl, great ending set piece.

12. The Secret of N.I.M.H.  Sort of surprised myself that this was the fully animated movie to make the list.

11. Independence Day.  I’m a total sucker for big disaster movies.  Add in some pretty cool aliens.  Cheesy rah-rah speech.  I love this dang movie.  Saw ID4 4 times in the theater.  Good ending, glad they never made a sequel.  Never.  Made.  A.  Sequel.

10. Without Love. Simply put, my favorite of the Hepburn/Tracy pairings. Bit of screwball. Plenty of romance. Fun little plot. Tracy doesn’t have to take a backseat. Very funny in places. Did you know Lucille Ball was quite the pin up girl actress back then?

9. Fiddler On the Roof. Not much needs to be said here. Such a classic.  Even if you hate musicals, how can you hate this?  OK, it drags a bit here and there, but that’s nitpicking.  And there’s a LASER WOLF!  Well, sort of 😉

8. Meet Me In St. Louis. Another musical, basically the fourth (and last) on the list.  I liked this the first time through, but it’s really grown on me with repeat viewings.  Great songs, great cast, really funny at times.

7. Midnight Madness. The only surprise here is how low it ended up.  I think it started at 3, but as I paired it head to head with others higher on the list, it slipped.  Mostly for one reason, the tortured Michael J. Fox storyline.  Let’s go to Cherry Point and rewatch this one!

6. On Golden Pond.  I’ve loved this movie for just about forever.  I’m sure it was the first Katharine Hepburn movie I saw and she is full on superstar here.  Henry Fonda’s performance is gut wrenchingly touching.  Shame about his kids.

5. The Long Kiss Goodnight.  I’m continually startled by how much I love this flick.  I always end up blown away by just how good it is.  The Sam/Charly/Mitch relationship is so much fun and I like that Charly and Mitch just barely survive. Chefs do that.

4. Ball of Fire.  If you haven’t seen this…SEE IT.  Oh, it’s dated, for sure, but unless you have something against old movies you should love this.  I’m a total Barbara Stanwyck fanboy, but this is the only one that made my list.  It’s hilarious and Barbara is…a ball of fire.

3. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Only comment necessary is that this had to edge out Last Crusade.  I really like Crusade, but head to head this got to 3 and Crusade dropped off the list.

2. Star Wars: A New Hope.  Do I think Empire is “better”?  Sometimes.  But if I’m picking just one Star Wars disc to pop in, it’s probably this one.  But it’s not quite number 1.

1. Blade Runner.  Yes, I think it’s just that good.  People that don’t like it?  Fine.  I can see that.  But it pushes every right button for me – cast, story, atmosphere, sets, music. Final cut, if you please. Top 3’s a Harrison Fordfest.