Sure, I’m a girl, but I should add that you don’t need to be a guy to love or at least appreciate some of these movies. Some of them happen to be among my own favorites, so I take great pleasure in introducing them to my son.
My list is in no way
complete. I’m sure some have slipped my mind, and I don’t list certain obvious ones—notably the James Bond, Star Wars, Spiderman, Batman, and X-Men franchises. Or any of the John Apatow ouvre. Also, you won’t see many Westerns, notably those of–genuflect–John Ford. Sorry, I just never got into Westerns… And, my list probably skews more towards classics, so I’d love to get some more current flicks.
Anyway, here we go, and feel free to chime in with picks of your own:
That is, based on the obsession of male friends for multiple viewings and attempts at quoting, word for word, extended scenes from the movies.
The Three Stooges:
When I was growing up, my brother, like all males, loved them; I hated them. Then, I watched them with my son. When Larry, Curly and Moe are at their best, they are amazingly funny in a slapstick, crazed way.
My son’s favorites of late? Adam Sandler (The Wedding Singer), Simon Pegg (Saun of the Dead, 2004
), Jack Black (The School of Rock
, 2003), Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey, Jr. (Tropic Thunder
Essence of Cool
in Casablanca (1942):
man needs to know how to wear a white dinner jacket in a night club, or a trench coat on a foggy night at the airport. He also needs to know how to cry into his whiskey over memories of lost love and Paris, be a good friend, and choose to do the right–if painful–thing in the end.
Rites of Passage
Risky Business (1983):
Tom Cruise when he was still dewy, fresh-faced, charming, and, we imagine, Scientology-free.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982):
In some ways, this Amy Heckerling-directed film more involves a rite of passage for the virginal Jennifer Jason Leigh character, who really wants to know what sex is about and lose her virginity, but you do have Sean Penn as Spicoli!)
Spartacus (1960): Kirk Douglas takes on the corrupt Roman Empire in this Stanley Kubrick epic, which also features a homoerotic bath scene with Tony Curtis and Laurence Olivier.
To Boldly Go:
War is Hell
From Here to Eternity (1953): Burt Lancaster rolling in the Oahu waves with Deborah Kerr; Montgomery Cliff, jittery and sensitive; Frank Sinatra in the role that inspired the character of Johnny Fontane in The Godfather!
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957):
One of my
top-ten favorites. Best Picture winner that has gorgeous Southeast Asian jungle locations that made me want to see the world; Great debates about honor, duty, and self-preservation, and one of the most thrilling film endings.
Paths of Glory (1957):
Stanley Kubrick’s view of the corruption of power among generals blithely deciding the fate of front-line soldiers fighting a hopeless battle in the trenches of World War I. Hmm, sound familiar?
: The 1934 film that solidified Clark Gable’s
stature as “king of Hollywood,” and that drew John Dillinger out of his hidey hole so that he could get shot up by federal agents.
Boys Do Cry
Last Man Standing