Posts Tagged ‘Sam Peckinpah’


It’s hard to boil these down to a dozen, fifteen, whatever, but here goes, not necessarily in this order; and these are only the first ones that come to mind, If you’ve never seen these, I think you’ll enjoy a lot of ’em:

  • The Wild Bunch (director’s cut). Sam Peckinpah’s bloodbath western, probably the first film to ever show the true brutality of the American West. Great acting, great dialogue, great cinematography. The political subtext is priceless — absolutely right on. You walk away from this one wanting to pick up a gun and slaughter the forces of repression. The best anarchist western. Absolutely inspiring. My favorite film.
  • The Producers. Mel Brooks’ funniest film. I defy you to watch the first fifteen minutes without falling out of your seat laughing. The musical number “Springtime for Hitler” is worth the price of admission.
  • Deconstructing Harry. Yeah, Woody Allen is creepy. But he’s a genius. This extremely funny film is Woody’s “fuck you” to all those who try to dismember him. Maybe his funniest film.
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors. Woody’s realistic drama for adults, showing that evil does sometimes triumph. Widely hated because people can’t handle the truth.
  • Double Indemnity. The film that proved that Fred MacMurray is a great actor. Intricate and well plotted. One of my favorite films noir.
  • The Third Man. Another great film noir. The cinematography is incredible, as is Orson Welles in one of the starring roles.
  • The Life of Brian. The Pythons’ most coherent and funniest film. As much a political as a religious satire.
  • Apocalypse Now. The surrealistic adaptation of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness — some of the dialogue on the river is word for word. Mind boggling.
  • Platoon. Oliver Stone’s depiction of his time in Vietnam. I cried uncontrollably while and after watching this. I will never watch it again. Never.
  • Downfall. Probably the best film since 2000. A gut-wrenching depiction of Hitler’s final days in the bunker. Brilliant acting.
  • Blue Collar, with Richard Pryor, Yaphet Koto, and Harvey Keitel.  One of the most brutal, accurate depictions of corruption in working-class life and organizations ever filmed. An unacknowledged masterpiece.
  • Taxi Driver. You talkin’ to me? . . . . .
  • They Live. With — ta da! — wrestler Rowdy Rider Piper, which strips away the illusions from the everyday bullshit we’re constantly subjected to.
  • Walk Hard. Almost certainly the funniest mockumentary about musicians short of Spinal Tap.
  • Speaking of which . . . smell the glove . . . . .
  • Ran. Kurozawa’s Japanese-adapted version of Lear.
  • Throne of Blood, Kurozawa’s Japanese-adapted version of MacBeth.

Enjoy! More to come . . .