If someone were to come up to me and say ‘Rachel, I’ve never seen a movie. What are 10 movies I should start with?’. What 10 movies would I pick? It’s a really hard question. I figure I’d want to pick 10 films that showed different genres and styles.
1. Vertigo- Got to include a Hitchcock and this is my favorite. The imagery is amazing. The story is layered. It’s so suspenseful because we as viewers are never sure if Jimmy Stewart is insane or not.
2. The Shining- The only horror movie I like. It builds tension so well and it is scary because it is about a man slowly going crazy over the course of the movie. It’s so well filmed. The imagery stays with you but not in an uncomfortable way. The music is perfect.
3. Bringing Up Baby- A hilarious comedy and romantic comedy in one. Great performances and showcases a lot of different kinds of comedy.
4. Mary Poppins- It was either Mary Poppins or Wizard of Oz for my children’s flick. So tough to decide but Mary Poppins is basically a perfect movie. The songs are amazing. The story is wonderful. Mary is actually a pretty complex character. Mr Banks isn’t the one note workaholic Dad in a million other movies. When he is walking back to be fired from his job at the end it is so moving. The whimsy is perfect. The animated scenes charming. Mary Poppins is also my nod to the musical in this top 10.
5. Casino Royal- I figure you have to pick one spy/mystery type movie and my favorite Bond movie is Casino Royal. It has heart, amazing action and some of the best poker in movies. Very well filmed and great stunt work.
6. Star Wars- Again, how can you not put Star Wars on the list? It is such a well edited movie. Everything clips along and by the time we reach the climatic ending we are cheering (literally when I saw it in theaters for a rerelease everyone stood up and cheered). Charismatic performances, layered and vibrant world, and a great story about good vs evil.
7. Avengers- Got to put one comic book movie and I know most of you would put Dark Knight and I get that but I prefer comic book movies that are a little bit fun. Avengers is my favorite. The action is fun. Loki is a great villain and the actors are so charismatic in their ‘dream team’ roles.
8. Godfather Pt 2- I am not as in love with these movies as everyone else. I just don’t like mob movies that much but mafia movies are a huge part of cinema and this is certainly the most well made of them all.
9. Lord of the Rings- I don’t know which Lord of the Rings I’d pick so perhaps this is a cheat and I’d do all 3. They would be my nod to fantasy and epic storytelling. Great acting, special effects, battles, and a completely immersive world.
10. Schindler’s List- Tough to decide between Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List. They should both be included. Everyone should see Schindler’s List once to know about evil and what horrors humans are capable of. What moves me the most is Oscar Schindler is a bad guy but even he is forced to look upon great evil and do something good. That’s how bad it was. The black and white cinematography is stunning and when we get the single image of a girl with a red coat it is something I will never forget.
Boy is that hard! Seriously try it and you will find how tough it is. No room for To Kill a Mockingbird, Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Harry Potter, Raiders of the Lost Arc, The Mission, Fantasia, It’s a Wonderful Life, and a million other amazing movies. These are not my favorite movies or the movies I would most like to rewatch. It’s what introduces a non-moviegoer to as many genres in 10 movies as I could pack in.
What do you think? I would love to read your lists.
Here’s watchmojo’s list.