Movies

1001 Movies To See Before You Die

I counted 267 that I’ve seen, so if I can hang on until age 180 or so I might catch them all. Notable omission: “Help.” See what else you can find.

This list’s in chronological order, so there’s no quibbling over whether Godfather II is better than the first.

Tom

Tom McGee has been building web sites since 1995, and blogging here since 2006. Currently a senior developer at Seton Hall University, he’s also a freelance web programmer and musician. Contact him if you have the need for a blog, web site, redesign or custom programming!

16 thoughts on “1001 Movies To See Before You Die”

  1. i counted 349. That doesn’t mean i watched them all to the end tho. But it does indicate i don’t have a life.

  2. Well what good is life if you can’t spend it passively watching a screen?

    Two more omissions, personal favorites: “Days of Wine and Roses,” with Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick; and “My Dog Skip,” which many people might find smarmy we here at tom-mcgee.com world headquarters just love.

    And two that might be unforgivable: “The Great Dictator,” and “Moby Dick.”

  3. You know what? I do spend it passively watching the screen 11 months out of a year. But then we take a
    blowout vacation (when i wasn’t working we’d go for 3 or 4 weeks). We have seen almost every state in the country. There are 5 or 6 we haven’t seen. We’ve been to several Civil War battlefields, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Philadelphia, Key West, Hawaii (4 islands). That’s a different kind of lifestyle but it’s the only way we can manage it due to Rey’s position and responsibility. That’s also why my dad won’t come live with us. Because most of the time we lead boring lives. Oh, we attend our friends 25th or 30th anniversaries or their kids weddings or whatever. A couple times a year we go out to sing karaoke with friends. I don’t sing cuz if i did the joint would be empty. But Rey sings. We don’t have such a bad life. To be honest, i prefer staying home because i’m always so dang tired.

    I didn’t see Conrack on that list. It’s probably not worthy of the top 1000 in some peoples opinion but it’s a movie i watch whenever it’s on. Again, it’s a 60’s movie with a sort of civil rights angle. More like a race angle. That is, “Conrack” is trying to bring these poor isolated black children up to the standard of other school children. Have you seen it?

  4. Speaking of which, I see “Mississippi Burning” isn’t on the list either. Anyway, you’ve only notched up around 80 more than me, which is probably about 160 hours — just seven or eight days out of our already long lives.

  5. Mississippi Burning gets no love because they fictionalized the story. It would’ve been fine if they had stuck to the way it really happened. But you know, without the “woman” being the one who gave the dudes up, they would’ve had to use the “KKK informant” and maybe that wasn’t deemed as palatable or politically correct. A KKK guy who decides he can’t stand for this anymore??? Not something Hollywood wants to focus attention on.

  6. You think? Because it wouldn’t be alone as a fictionalized account. “Titanic” comes to mind, along with “Birth Of A Nation.”

  7. If you’ll recall the movies you mentioned, including Mississippi Burning all added a love story that wasn’t part of the real story (at least i don’t think so with Birth of a Nation but i can’t remember exactly. weren’t there two love stories going on in that one?).

    Which is interesting to think that in 1929 (or whenever “Birth of a Nation” came out, they already realized that a love subplot wss needed.

    Maybe you can think of some other true story movies that didn’t have a love story imbedded in there. I can’t think of one offhand.

    So as far as Mississippi is concerned, having the passion growing between Gene Hackman and Frances McDormand was a subplot. But she being the one who turned the bad guys in per se was just killing two birds with one stone. That way they got over that little problem about a KKK member actually being the one that gave the guys up.

  8. Even if they don’t have love stories tacked on, real life hardly ever follows the dramatic curve you need to make an interesting movie.

  9. Touche. But the story of what really happened in Neshoba County would’ve still been an interesting one. The problem that MB has is not that it bent the truth a little bit. It took the most critical event, the “turning in of the bad guys” and completely changed the circumstances and person involved.

    What really happened was just as interesting, maybe it would’ve been even more so. But i think there are two possible explanations for changing that. Either they did it because there was so much background you’d have to know and it might’ve taken too long to explain, so they changed it to condense the film. Or, they did it like i said the first time, because it would glorify a KKK member who became an FBI informant.

    As i’ve said here before MB is one of my favorite movies. I take it as it is understanding that most of it didn’t happen the way they said it did. But i think that’s why the film didn’t get that years Oscar. It would’ve had a better chance if they were historically accurate at least with who the FBI informant was.

    Changing things around a little bit is a given. We expect that. But for this important of an historical event, the film shouldn’t have even been nominated for an Oscar because what they did is, imo anyway, and could be interpreted by others too, disrespectful to the 3 young men who were killed and their families. Those kids deserve to have had their story told as accurately as possible.

  10. Let me clarify something. I’ve said before that i thought MB got robbed of an Oscar. Now i’m saying it shouldn’t have even been nominated.

    Standing on it’s own, had it not been a true story, it probably would’ve won.

    But upon thinking it thru it’s understandable why it didn’t win, but got a nod. It was that good, but it had that “little problem” that just couldn’t be overlooked. So now i’ve changed my thought about the Oscar situation. I shouldn’t have said above “the film shouldn’t have been nominated for an Oscar”. I should’ve said I could see how that would’ve been an option. But instead they gave it the kudos it deserved, the nod, but couldn’t take it home because of the way the material was treated.

    I’m human and my thoughts about things change. I still love the film tho.

  11. I’ve been trying to get Jordan to watch “Network” for sometime. I told him what an excellent film it was. So he finally watched yesterday and said it was good, but not as good as he’d expected. Too outdated, over the top acting (didn’t care for Faye Dunaways performance at all), and too predictable.

    He has mentioned that since graduating film school he can’t enjoy movies as much anymore. Cuz now, he can now predict what’s gonna happen and he looks at movies with a different perspective. He’s looking more at how the film is made rather than just watching it for pleasure.

    Film school has really turned him off on what he had always wanted to do. Be a screen writer. He also liked the sound aspect too. He writes screen plays and has ideas for others that he tells me about. Really good ideas. But he claims his interest is gone. I think it has more to do with the competition. He’s always been top dog, but at NYU he felt like a mutt. That’s what he thinks, but i doubt it’s true. His talent is phenomenal, his ideas are great, but he’s not a competitor. He isn’t used to being a competitor and doesn’t know how to deal. I really think the interest is there but he’s afraid of rejection. Or, God forbid, having to start at the bottom. Maybe this explains why he can’t decide what he wants to do. Maybe he really does want to be in the industry and that’s blocking out consideration of all other avenues.

  12. I counted 120 when I got interrupted at work. So maybe I’ve seen around 130. I was surprised because I don’t watch movies regularly. Also I’ve seen 5 minutes here and there of about another 30 of the movies on the list.

    “Film school has really turned him off ”
    LA is to movies what Detroit is to autos. It’s a big factory where you are a cog in the machine. On the other hand quality tools are really cheap nowadays. If you have a good script and lots of drive it’s possible more than ever to make it happen on your own terms.

  13. We did talk to him about going for it now. Strike while the irons hot in Hollywood. He just say’s “meh”. But thanks for that. I’ll keep trying because i know that this is what he has always wanted to do. But does he have the drive? That’s what i’m afraid he doesn’t. Not because he’s lazy. But because he’s not up for a competition. Not a fighter.

  14. Let’s remember that this isn’t a list of “best” movies, it’s a list of movies that are important to see. I mean, “Triumph of the Will” is on it

    Sure, the modifications to the MB story were bad ones; so that question is, is that enough to make it a movie not worth seeing? That’s not a rhetorical question.

  15. Admittedly, I do tend to get off topic. That’s because i’m used to a lot less strict rules. I merged the discussion of Best Movies that never won an Oscar with this topic on the Missippi Burning discussion, among other offenses. guilty. guilty. guilty. Slap the cuffs on me!

    I thought i made it clear that imo MB is a great movie, so of course i would recommend it to other people. If it weren’t worth seeing i wouldn’t have watched it 30 or more times already.

    I’ll try to keep my comments brief and on topic (to the extent that is possible for me).

  16. One of the guys at work has been in LA this last week, he sold his first script and then was offered a one-week gig rewriting some other script. I don’t know how old he is, I’d guess mid-30s. He’s been doing stuff like filming events, editing, a little teaching. There’s lots of stuff in any field that you can do to make a living, or even have some fun, without jumping into the shark pool.

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