30. Anatomy of a Murder (1959) The kind of picture they don’t make anymore; Otto Preminger directs James Stewart in a courtroom drama with a sensational Lee Remick and a young John Cassavetes. Old-fashioned, to be sure, although some of the dialogue was quite shocking in its day. Still compelling, terrific drama, and Stewart is at his best.
29. 29. Ran (1988) Earlier I wrote about Throne of Blood, which is Kurosawa’s Macbeth; in this film he adapts King Lear and I think it works even better. A gorgeous film, with hundreds of extras in scenes that would be done with CGI now, alas, if it were even attempted; visually stunning, and emotionally powerful.
28. The Thing (1982) John Carpenter’s dazzling remake of the clunky Hawks original is one of the most effective horror films of all time. One of Kurt Russell’s most iconic roles, but the rest of the cast is great as well, building incredible tension to the final confrontation. Fascinating premise, great mood, great music, and a story that has led to endless speculation. As perfect as this sort of thing gets.
27. The Rules of the Game (1929) This examination of power and class still resonates today, and Renoir’s deep focus camerawork has lost none of its power. I find myself having to skip the hunting scene these days…but this is a justly famous and renowned film.
26. The Big Sleep (1946) Howard Hawks again, from a Raymond Chandler novel, starring Bogey and Bacall. Incredible picture. For me, miles ahead of Casablanca in entertainment value. The story doesn't really make sense, but what the hell - every scene crackles.
25. To Have and Have Not (1941) Yep, Hawks. Bogey and Bacall. “You know how to whistle, don’t you?” Fantastic script, unbeatable chemistry, loose, funny, brilliant. Hawks had told Ernest Hemingway on a hunting trip that he could make a great movie "out of your worst novel." He did, with the help of screenwriters William Faulkner and Jules Furthman.
22. Night of the Iguana (1967) It’s Richard Burton against three women – Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr, and a delicious post-Lolita Sue Lyon – in a terrific Tennessee Williams play. John Huston directed this dark night of the soul in a picture that was not particularly well-received in its day, but works fantastically well now. The performances are all first-rate, with Burton perfectly cast as a boozy defrocked preacher.
21. The Shop Around the Corner (1939) A perfect Ernst Lubitsch concoction I find irresistible – my favorite Christmas film of all time. Gloriously entertaining.
This is Joe Green's blog.