Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ze Projekt: Die List

As righteous people who claim to love movies, we realized a sad truth about our lives. We are missing out on a quarry of film art. We have often made statements that we need to watch this film or that one, but we haven't made many moves toward that goal, until now.

My wife and I have compiled a list classic movies that one or both of us have not seen but know we need to. This list is primarily derived from Academy Award Best Picture winners or nominees. However, we snuck in a few important cultural movies that maybe weren't filmy enough for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Any astute searcher of the interwebs will quickly realize that we did not include every year's Best Picture winner, as we did choose based on the film's popularity (hopefully a surrogate indicator of its bodacity), and it had to be a film at least one of us hasn't seen. We skipped many very early talkies because, in our eyes, they don't fit the first criterion. We skipped many modern winners because they don't fit our second criterion. Our project plan is to watch one movie a week and write a post about our observations of the film. We have included our list so that you may follow along if desired. These are in chronological order beginning with 1941's Citizen Kane.

1. Citizen Kane
2. Casablanca
3. Spellbound
4. The Bishop’s Wife
5. A Streetcar Named Desire
6. From Here to Eternity
7. Ben Hur
8. Lawrence of Arabia
9. The Sound of Music (that's right, I've never seen it)
10. Dr. Zhivago
11. In the Heat of the Night
12. Oliver!
13. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
14. Patton
15. Love Story
16. The French Connection
17. The Godfather
18. The Sting
19. American Graffiti
20. The Godfather II
21. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
22. Rocky
23. Star Wars
24. Kramer vs. Kramer
25. Ordinary People
26. The Empire Strikes Back
27. Raging Bull
28. Gandhi
29. Terms of Endearment
30. Return of the Jedi
31. Amadeus
32. Out of Africa
33. The Last Emperor
34. Dirty Dancing
35. Rain Man
36. Mississippi Burning
37. Driving Miss Daisy
38. Glory
39. Pretty Woman
40. Good Fellas
41. Unforgiven
42. A Few Good Men
43. The Remains of the Day
44. Legends of the Fall
45. Sense and Sensibility
46. Fargo
47. Elizabeth
48. No Country for Old Men
49. The Hurt Locker
50. The King’s Speech


  1. Ooh this could be fun. I have seen 32 on this list, some multiple times - like Ben Hur and the Star Wars trilogy. Some I have consciously avoided simply because they seemed to depressing I must confess. But maybe I will join you on some of these.

  2. how fun! The ones on your list that I have seen are great movies. there are a few on here that i would really like to see too!! And I can't wait for your input/feedback on all of them.

  3. cool project!! Gosh, I've only seen 8 of the 52 mentioned, I need to get a move on. I think this is a great idea ya'll have had and it will give you something special to do together in the midst of a busy household of five kiddos. You guys rock! :)

  4. We watched Citizen Kane because of it's historic value and b/c it's frequently referenced in other media. I had to have a debrief with my dad afterwards to 'get it'. It's so far from how movies entertain today (in my opinion) that it was hard to know how to value it. I'd suggest reading up on it's history and why it was cutting edge in its time. And maybe a brief story overview so it isn't completely confusing. Maybe you'd get it by just watching it. We need the cliff notes :).

  5. Oh dang....I have a few of these on DVD...I may need to road trip it for some movie time with a couple of my favorite friends! Ben Hur is AWESOME...Start Wars...great...Legends of the Fall...Sound of Music...SOOOO GOOD!! You all are in for a treat. There are LOTS on this list that I haven't seen...I may join you all in this little adventure.