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Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

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fxreyman
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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby fxreyman » April 18th, 2013, 10:29 pm

A new look at the Essentials…..

Actually in the original posting by srowley75 it was assumed that Robert Osborne was going to pick the following six films and that we should pick an additional 25 more.

Citizen Kane (1941)
Casablanca (1942)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Gone With the Wind (1939)
The Godfather (1972)
Psycho (1960)

So here goes again. Unfortunately I selected four of the films Robert Osborne was going to select therefore I could have left those four of my list and included four additional films at no extra cost. This time I will do that.

By the way here was my original 25 I selected on June 28th, 2009:

The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938
Gone With the Wind 1939
Ninotchka 1939
Stagecoach 1939
The Wizard of Oz 1939
His Girl Friday 1940
Citizen Kane 1941
The Lady Eve 1941
Casablanca 1942
Random Harvest 1942
The Talk of the Town 1942
Double Indemnity 1944
They Were Expendable 1945
The Best Years of Our Lives 1946
It's a Wonderful Life 1946
Notorious 1946
Red River, 1948
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 1948
All About Eve 1950
Winchester '73 1950
Singin' in the Rain 1952
The Searchers 1956
North By Northwest, 1959
Seven Days in May 1964
The Professionals 1966

Now for my update list as of today, April 18 2013:

Queen Christina 1933
Lost Horizon 1937
The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938
Stagecoach 1939
Foreign Correspondent 1940
The Talk of the Town 1942
Shadow of a Doubt 1943
They Were Expendable 1945
The Best Years of Our Lives 1946
The Big Sleep 1946
It's a Wonderful Life 1946
Notorious 1946
Stairway to Heaven 1946
Odd Man Out 1947
Twelve O'Clock High 1949
Winchester '73 1950
The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951
The Thing From Another World 1951
The Cruel Sea 1953
Executive Suite 1954
The Searchers, John Ford 1956
The Guns of Navarone 1961
Lonely Are the Brave 1962
Seven Days in May 1964
The Professionals 1966

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby movieman1957 » April 19th, 2013, 7:42 am

HI Rey:

Good to see you here.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby JackFavell » April 19th, 2013, 9:54 am

Hi, Rey! Wow, what a big difference between your two lists! What made you change your mind about the films included? I'm so happy to see They Were Expendable on them.

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby fxreyman » April 21st, 2013, 3:14 pm

Well Wendy,

One could say that the films I dropped from my first list were qualified classics, some which should have not been dropped. Three comedies were dropped as were three adventure films. The others were a film noir, a western and a musical, probably one of the greatest musicals of all time.

The films I added included a biographical historical drama, a fantasy drama, a spy thriller, a psychological thriller, two film noirs, a romantic fantasy drama, two war dramas, two science fiction films, an action adventure war film, a modern drama and a modern western.

Now some of these films may or may not be viewed as being essential, but to me could be considered simply based on the type of films they represent. The films I left on the list from my original list I left untouched simply because I felt that they needed to stay right were they were. Still classics, yet still very important not only to the general public but also what they meant to the over mythos of the classic film. Or whatever the reason behind the mythos meant.

The films remaining from my first list included the following genre's: a swashbuckler, three westerns, an escapist comedy, a war drama, a straight drama, a fantasy comedy-drama, a political escapist drama, and an action adventure western.

Out of the films I dropped, the only genre that was not replaced on a one-to-one basis was the musical. I am not that big of a fan of musicals so to me, dropping a musical seemed to be okay. Others could have their say on which other genres are covered.

So if we look at the overall picture of the twenty five films I have included now one could get an idea that I was trying to cover as many bases as I could with the newer list.

Queen Christina 1933 biographical historical drama
Lost Horizon 1937 fantasy drama
The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938 swashbuckler
Stagecoach 1939 western
Foreign Correspondent 1940 spy thriller
The Talk of the Town 1942 escapist comedy
Shadow of a Doubt 1943 psychological thriller
They Were Expendable 1945 war drama
The Best Years of Our Lives 1946 straight drama
The Big Sleep 1946 noir
It's a Wonderful Life 1946 fantasy comedy-drama
Notorious 1946 spy thriller
Stairway to Heaven 1946 romantic fantasy drama
Odd Man Out 1947 noir
Twelve O'Clock High 1949 war drama
Winchester '73 1950 western
The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951 sci-fi
The Thing From Another World 1951 sic-fi
The Cruel Sea 1953 war drama
Executive Suite 1954 drama
The Searchers 1956 western
The Guns of Navarone 1961 action adventure war
Lonely Are the Brave 1962 modern western
Seven Days in May 1964 political escapist drama
The Professionals 1966 action adventure western

All in all I think that I have covered enough genres here that even if I did leave off some other important genres those could be brought into the conversation by other people here on this thread. And that would probably include musicals, slap-stick comedies, biographical, period films, horror, and many others. I also think that when one creates a list like this, the films you choose should be films you like. And I have to be honest. I am not a big fan of horror or slap-stick comedy. I love certain musicals but not all. And I think that my new list conveys those beliefs.

Some of the films I added I have been able to go back and look at them again and I have to say that many of them I simply forgot how good they really were. And how many of them should be included on a list of essentials. I will understand if some out there will disagree with some of my choices but I have to believe that the films I dropped and added were important enough for me to do so. Three of the films I dropped of from my first list were three favorites of mine: Ninotchka, Random Harvest, and N by NW. I know N by NW get so much incredible negative feelings especially over at TCM's message boards, but I have always loved that film. Harvest is one of the great films. I always cry at the end, can not help it. Ninotchka = Garbo and Douglas. Enough said.

I guess I just felt that the newer films I added were films I really believe in. Especially the ones I left on the list from the first list. And you have to believe in a film. Now if the question was what are your favorite films then the conversation would go in a completely different direction. Although, many of the films on the new list would appear on a favorite list as well.

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby The Ingenue » April 21st, 2013, 3:37 pm

fxreyman wrote:Now if the question was what are your favorite films...


I see an opening and I'm going to take it.

The question of personal essentials is something I've been pondering. If one had to build their own film library again from scratch, what would they reach for first? We may love and want to keep hundreds of movies, but what would be our own basics?

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby JackFavell » April 21st, 2013, 4:11 pm

Thanks for clarifying, Reyman! I can now see the movement of your list making process, and why some went and some stayed.

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby MissGoddess » April 22nd, 2013, 1:47 pm

That's cool that you have the two lists to compare, Rey. I know my own choices have changed over time, at least in terms of favorites after, say, the first five or so. If I were to compare a list made when I was 20 to now, it would be quite different. The earlier list would have more 1930s movies, more comedies, and more Audrey Hepburn, Kate Hepburn---in other words, more actress-oriented movies. Now, I tend to gravitate to actor-oriented movies (mostly because I've become a bigger fan of westerns).

CarrieLiz, I definitely stick to personal favorites when it comes to lists. :)
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby fxreyman » April 27th, 2013, 1:00 pm

CarrieLiz

I see an opening and I'm going to take it.

The question of personal essentials is something I've been pondering. If one had to build their own film library again from scratch, what would they reach for first? We may love and want to keep hundreds of movies, but what would be our own basics?


This a an excellent question. For many film fans the start of a personal library can often just "come about". That is to say that one starts off purchasing films by accident or taping off of television or whichever way they begin, often it is quite by accident. By this I mean lets say one is a very casual fan of classic film. But there was one actor or actress they really liked and so they go out and purchase a few of that person's films. Or they tape some of the films. And then while watching that person's films they start to notice other actors and before they know it they have taped or purchased hundreds of movies, television programs and the like.

Voilà!

And so it begins!

With me it started with my local video store offering taped (VHS) films for bargain basement prices. Before I knew it I had over 100 films in my closet. I now have over 1000 films on over 800 dvd's. Many other folks have many more than this amount in their possession. But to have a library does not mean you have to go into hock. One can start out slowly and stop whenever they want to. But I have to say that once you start to collect films it is hard to stop.

I literally have to watch myself each year. I usually only buy films at Christmas time. This allows me to wait until the special time of the year.

So, what does a basic library look like? That in and of itself can be considered a loaded question. Many people think clearly that only certain types of films should be included in the beginning of a library. My own personal viewpoint is that it does not really matter which films belong in a library but there are some films that everyone should have, and that can include a variety of genres.

I think that if one were to select 25 films to begin with that would be a noble exercise to start a library with. Of the films I have in my library I would consider the following 25 to be a good starter primer for a new library:

It Happened One Night, 1934
The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938
Gone With the Wind, 1939
Stagecoach, 1939
The Wizard of Oz, 1939
The Grapes of Wrath, 1940
The Philadelphia Story, 1940
Ball of Fire, 1941
Citizen Kane, 1941
Casbalanca, 1942
Shadow of a Doubt, 1942
Yankee Doodle Dandy, 1942
They Were Expendable, 1945
The Best Years of Our Lives, 1946
The Big Sleep, 1946
It's a Wonderful LIfe, 1946
Out of the Past, 1947
Red River, 1948
Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 1948
The Quiet Man, 1952
Singin' in the Rain, 1952
From Here to Eternity, 1953
The Searchers, 1956
The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1957
Ben-Hur, 1959

Now as you will notice all of these are from before 1960. There is a reason for this. As many folks on the TCM Message Boards will say, one should not include any films made from after the classic era was over. I disagree, but for the purpose of selecting 25 films for the start-up of a film library that would include basic films everyone should have then for these purposes, I will only include films made before 1960.

I have tried to include as many genres as possible, but like with so many lists that are limited in scope as well as number, some genres were left on the cutting room floor, like horror, sci-fi and animation. But I think if you were to select any of the above films for a basic starter course in film appreciation and or trying to start a library you really can't go wrong.

Of course these are just my opinion. As someone else likes to say..... Your mileage may vary.

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby fxreyman » April 27th, 2013, 4:25 pm

That's cool that you have the two lists to compare, Rey. I know my own choices have changed over time, at least in terms of favorites after, say, the first five or so. If I were to compare a list made when I was 20 to now, it would be quite different. The earlier list would have more 1930s movies, more comedies, and more Audrey Hepburn, Kate Hepburn---in other words, more actress-oriented movies. Now, I tend to gravitate to actor-oriented movies (mostly because I've become a bigger fan of westerns).

Yes, April I would agree. When I first started watching older movies it was with my mother back in the late 60's. Eventually she got me interested in many of the older classics. But I really have to say that from an early age I was always interested in the Duke. In fact many of my first purchases as a young adult were many of Duke's films. However, as I got older and saw many other films I became more aware of other classic stars such as Cary Grant, Spence Tracy, Humphrey Bogart and many others. One of my more recent discoveries has been Ronald Coleman. Really love him!

As far as lists are concerned, I have gone back and visited lists I made back in the mid 90's and I have to say that many of the films on those lists are still on my present lists. Maybe not as many, but there are a core group of films I liked back then and I still like them today. I guess you could say that I have evolved. As Frank likes to say I like many dramas now as before I was more into war and westerns. But who knows? Maybe as I get older (I am now 53) I will revert back to the old likes. You never know.

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby fxreyman » April 28th, 2013, 5:15 pm

JackFavell wrote:I guess I was right when I said it would take me a while to come up with my list of Essentials. I still haven't done it. See you in 3 years! :D


Wendy, do you have a movie collection? If you do then I would think it might not take as long as you'd think it would to come up with an essential list. Lets face it. Every Essential list I have ever seen has always been subjective. So get to it girl!

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby Rita Hayworth » April 28th, 2013, 5:33 pm

Rey, I have been enjoying reading your posts on this thread and I find your taste in films is excellent indeed!

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby JackFavell » April 29th, 2013, 6:41 am

Rey, I just had to laugh that I posted 3 years ago saying I'd think about it, and I still haven't done it. Making an essentials list is the equivalent of getting all my dvd's into some sort of order in my TV cabinet. :D

There are so many to choose from and organizing my brain is the difficult task. I guess it all starts with sitting at the computer writing, which I haven't done in depth for a long time. SO many movies so little time! :D

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby fxreyman » April 29th, 2013, 9:33 am

JackFavell wrote:Rey, I just had to laugh that I posted 3 years ago saying I'd think about it, and I still haven't done it. Making an essentials list is the equivalent of getting all my dvd's into some sort of order in my TV cabinet. :D

There are so many to choose from and organizing my brain is the difficult task. I guess it all starts with sitting at the computer writing, which I haven't done in depth for a long time. SO many movies so little time! :D


Yes, I know that it takes time and that if you are not in a good place mentally to start a list then in your own mind you ask why bother? I find writing about just a few things for me is better than writing about a whole bunch of topics.

I often have the same problem with writing on the message boards at TCM. I want to write something but often just can not come up with something I feel will either be read or commented on. So I don't write anything, I just read. Of course this site is a lot different. No where near as many egos here as over there. Plus I feel as though what I write here has more meaning and will be more thought of than over at TCM City.

But overall I'd have to say that writing about lists or coming up with ideas about lists come more easily for me than just writing about a particular movie or theme. One of my favorite places over at TCM City is the Frank Grimes Torture Thread. Lots of great reading there. But I often find myself wanting to write something but I just can't seem to come up with anything that I think they might find interesting or at the very least would compare to what they are all writing about. So I don't write about anything.

I wish that people like Frank Grimes would come over here and write. But he seems to have a hang up about not being able to publish photos here. Now thats a hang up that he needs to get over with. I just think that if he did come over here then maybe the floodgates would open up and this site would become as popular as the message boards are, or at the very least bring over more "qualified" people to discuss films here.

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby fxreyman » April 29th, 2013, 9:34 am

Rita Hayworth wrote:Rey, I have been enjoying reading your posts on this thread and I find your taste in films is excellent indeed!


Thank you. I really do appreciate that. I have been enjoying writing here recently. Just need additional time.

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Re: Choo-choo-choose Your Own Essentials!

Postby JackFavell » April 29th, 2013, 10:02 am

I wish Frank would come over too! Maybe we Texan ladies could get our ropes around his neck over here where it's closer quarters... That's probably why he's staying away... :D :D :D

They just plain move too fast for me in the torture thread! By the time I've come up with something to write, they are long gone and done with that subject. But I do love the genuineness over there, I read it religiously even when I don't post. It's fun too to have someone like Frank to experiment on, movie-wise wise.


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