For all its faults, “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” remains my favorite movie. Director Sam Peckinpah is famous for his action scenes, but this quietly menacing dialogue between two old friends, which opens the picture, is my idea of a perfectly directed scene. And the gun battle below had me weeping in the aisles on at least two occasions.
“Make Way forTomorrow” is the saddest movie I have ever seen, and gets sadder with the years. Orson Welles agrees.
“Children of Paradise” is more than the greatest movie of all time. It is a requiem for the civilized world, a howl of love in the midst of a cultural apocalypse.
I was never crazy about Minnelli’s musicals, but his dramatic films hit me deeply. “Home from the Hill” is my favorite because it reminds me of the relationship I had with my own father.
“Rio Bravo” isn’t the most majestic western, but it is the most entertaining. I have been enjoying this one since I was eight years old, and never tire of it. What a script. What a cast.
I used to say that I discovered religion during a Luis Bunuel retrospective at the University of Washington, but that isn’t quite true. It was a revival of “On the Waterfront” that was my first exposure to Christianity.
My favorite Hitchcock is “The Birds.” I could go on about why, but instead reccomend both Robin Wood’s and Camille Paglia’s essays on the film.
Truffaut called “Sunrise” the most beautiful film in the world.” I agree, and you must see the whole thing from start to finish two understand why. Here it is.
How do you single out one Chaplin film above the others? Modern Times is the funniest, City Lights is the saddest, but Limelight is the one that is most personal for me. Some find it sentimental and egotistic, but I think it brave and inspirational.
“Amarcord” is the Fellini film I always return to. Pure pleasure. Here is one of its seasons.