Movies: All-Time Favorites – What made it possible

It was certainly a challenge to eliminate many movies and come up with a Top 25 All-Time Favorite Movies list. The ranking process was a bit easier than the elimination part.

How did I cut some really wonderful movies from a spot on the list? What is my secret to making the hard choices? “How did you do it?” you ask. Well, I’ll tell you…

There were so many favorites and it was heartbreaking to leave several off the Top 25 list. Thus, I simply created a Top 40 list (thank you Casey Kasem).

You’ll find my Top 25 list in my last post, and I’ll end this post with 26 thru 40.

Ranking one film above another came down to:
1) Would I reach and grab the DVD off the shelf again, and again, and again? 2) How much the the film really resonates with me. 3) Would I choose “this” one over “that” one?

On the whole, it came down to a “gut feeling” of one film over another. It’s not a flawless method, still in the end I’m happy with the results. After all, it’s “MY Favorite Top 40” list. It’s not a “Best Film’s Ever” list – it’s a “Personal Favorites” list.

And so the Favorites 26 through 40 are:

26 – The Big Sleep (1946) – It was so hard to leave this film off my Top 25 list. It’s a big part of what led to my deciding to do a Top 40. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are terrific. Bogart is perfect as Philip Marlowe in this screen version of the Raymond Chandler novel.

The BigSleep 01

27 – Secondhand Lions (2003) – Great story on so many levels; boy needs father figures in his life, grumpy old guy as mentor and awesome tales of the adventures of the uncles. Fabulous Fun!

28 – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) – The Elves showing up at Helms Deep, not in the book but it worked great for the movie. Tolkien purists, get a life! Like Fellowship of the Ring, director Peter Jackson again captures the spirit of the book!

29 – Unbreakable (2000) – The Sixth Sense is a great movie but I love M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable more. An awesome story of a superhero unaware of his power and dealing with his family. A sequel could be great.

30 – Gladiator (2000) – Russell Crowe is one of my favorite actors. This Modern Classic Guy Movie with it’s mythic hero seems to be on most every guys favorite list, and it certainly belongs on mine.

31 – The Rookie (2002) – It’s so much more than just the story of a man following his dream. The main character is dealing with all these relationships; as a son with his father, a husband with his wife, a father with his kids, a coach with the kids on the high school baseball team. Beautiful story.

32 – The Godfather (1972) – This film is so often referenced in other movies that it’s gone beyond the great movie it is to be a Pop Culture Icon. And it gives us the King of dysfunctional families before “dysfunctional family” movies became the rage!

33 – Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) – I read that Cary Grant wasn’t all that crazy about the finished film. I love him in it along with a great cast that includes Peter Lorre. What a marvelous “Dark Comedy.”

34 – The Incredibles ( 2004) – A superhero family that is everything their name says; incredibly amazing, incredibly committed to each other and incredibly funny!

Frankenstein 01

35 – Frankenstein (1931) – Universal Studio’s Classic Horror film is the one I “fondly” remember from childhood. It gave me countless nightmares as a kid. The part for better or worse that Boris Karloff will always be remembered for (along with his perfect voice as The Grinch Who Stole Christmas).

36 – The Third Man (1949) – A great movie in every way. I can’t keep my eyes off the screen, the story, the characters, the visuals, The Music!!

37 – His Girl Friday (1940) – In this great romantic comedy Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell share some of the best movie dialogue ever and deliver every line with delicious precision. Cary Grant, one of my favorites, at his best.

38 – True Grit (2010) – Dramatic, funny and endearing, everyone and everything comes together to make this my favorite western. Jeff Bridges is excellent!

True Grit 01

39 – Braveheart (1995) – The story of William Wallace, the Scottish warrior who stands up for the people of Scotland when nobody else dared. I like the whole movie but the character that closes the deal is Stephen, the ‘mad’ Irishman – “It’s My island!”

40 – Sense and Sensibility (1995) – Yes it’s a Chick Flick, and it’s the best I’ve seen. There are moments that are just so funny. It has a great cast but I really like Edward, Hugh Grant’s character. And it’s Colonel Brandon, played by Alan Rickman that stands out for me. Both gentlemen who highly value honor. But I first remember seeing Rickman as the terrific bad guy, Hans Gruber, in the first Die Hard. Then I see him playing a role that could not be more of an opposite. Excellent movie.
– – – – –
I’m always curious as to what people think of my choices so if you are so inclined, please leave a comment. And in the same way, I’m interested in what others would have on their list, and why. What movies have stuck with you from childhood? What film’s in recent years have you truly connected with, that might be in your Top 25? (I’ve posted that although I’ve really liked many movies in the last 10 years, few are True Top 40 Favorites. Only two made it on my list.)


About VocareMentor

Walk with the wise and become wise - Prov. 13:20 A lot of my blog comes out of the way I grew up. My parents divorced when I was 6 years old and I didn’t see much of my father. I had no understanding of how the lack of his presence in my life affected every choice I made as I grew up. Much of my adult life has been attempting to sort things out and catch up. Thus, what you’ll find on my blog are musings, thoughts, wisdom and ideas from history and pop culture. Themes: mentors, father/son, male/female, self-discovery, courage, stepping up, friendship and more.
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9 Responses to Movies: All-Time Favorites – What made it possible

  1. movierob says:

    great list. There are a number here that I really enjoyed, but I was sooo happy to see The Rookie getting some love from you. It was such an influential movie on my life and it would probably make my top 25

  2. Wonderful List. Frankenstein rocks!

  3. I’ve never listed my favorite movies, but I will give you a clue. I grew up in the 50’s and spent many a Sunday afternoon watching a double feature. To this day, I like watching something that I know the name of the actors. 🙂

    • VocareMentor says:

      You must have seen many terrific movies on the “big screen.” Oh, what a great decade for films – actors and actresses who where making such wonderful movies in the 50’s. Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and so many more. And Alfred Hitchcock did many of his best films then.

  4. mistermuse says:

    It’s always interesting to read “Favorite Movies” lists. I haven’t seen every film on your 26 through 40 list, so of course I can’t quibble with the order in which you rate them….although I will say that my favorite western is RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, and THE THIRD MAN would probably be in my top 25 (speaking of which, I will now check out your top 25).

    • VocareMentor says:

      I too really enjoy looking at others ‘favorite films’ list. I have to admit, I’ve never been a big fan of Westerns, even though one of my favorite actors, Jimmy Stewart did quite a few of them. As I mentioned in my top 40 list my favorite Western, coming in at number 38, is True Grit (2010).

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