List: The Movies of 2016

I emphasize classic movies on my blog and I don’t see very many movies at the time of their release, so my exposure to the movies of 2016 is very limited, but as a new year begins I want to share the movies I did watch last year, even though there are only 10 of them. I will place them in order from the poorest to the best, giving a grade to the quality of each movie.


10.  The Secret Life of Pets (D-)


Only the opening and closing scenes of The Secret Life of Pets have anything to do with a “secret life” of what goes on in the minds of its four-legged characters. This has the potential to be delightful, but the rest is just typical and meaningless anthropomorphic action. The “secret life” that we get through the rest of the movie is a dark, disturbing, and gross world that resembles mafia life and warfare but its heroes are cute, lovable dogs. This makes the way for a confused and unsettling experience since the movie displays no direction. If it’s supposed to be for kids (as of course it is), expect some pretty upset kids. If it’s supposed to be for adults, expect some depressed and confused adults after this mess.


9.  Zootopia (C-)


The hilarious DMV scene known from the trailer caused many people to want to watch Disney’s Zootopia. Unfortunately, it’s the only scene in the movie with any originality. The two main characters are boring and giving us no reason to care about them. The message of being yourself regardless of the expectations of the culture around you is handled in a heavy-handed way without a second of joy. The screenplay is a rip-off of The Silence of the Lambs and The Godfather, not the usual Disney homages to pop culture but just lazy uses of better movies hoping that this one could somehow become better by using them, but it never does.


8.  Captain Fantastic (B-)


Matt Ross assembled a wonderful cast of actors to portray a family living in the middle of nowhere, learning survival and completely isolated from the rest of the world until the death of the mother. The father Ben (Viggo Mortensen) takes his six children out of isolation to attend their mother’s funeral and to meet the desires she expressed in her will that her family has disregarded. The movie asks a very big moral question: Is the way Ben raises his children child abuse or just strange parenting? Most of the movie explores different sides of this question in an intriguing way but drags on too long to keep its value. After a beautiful concluding scene where the family has completed what they call “Operation Rescue Mom,” the movie continues unnecessarily for another  half hour. In that time, the big question is answered for us. It was much better when we were allowed to make up our own minds, but the final half hour ruins everything great that was accomplished in the movie’s first 90 minutes.

7.  The Jungle Book (B)


Neel Sethi gives one of the great child acting performances as Mowgli in the newest version of Kipling’s classic. Director Jon Favreau assembled a great team for some of the technical elements of the film (the sets, the score, and the cinematography are top-notch), but not consistently. Some of the animated animal characters look too real to justify giving them voiceover actors; Bill Murray does his best but can’t take away the awkwardness of hearing his voice while looking at a creature that should not be able to talk; the technical greatness of the movie is not consistent enough to encourage the suspension of belief required here. There is much to admire about Favreau’s Jungle Book, but the 1967 fully animated version is far superior.


6.  Finding Dory (B)


Finding Dory is both a sequel and a prequel to Finding Nemo (something only The Godfather Part II has done before). Its story includes both the relationship that Dory shares with Nemo and his dad after the journey of the 2003 film and Dory’s childhood with the development of her short-term memory loss. Dory’s memory disorder was the source of most of the humor in the original film but here it’s taken very seriously. In the sequel sections, we see Dory able to take care of herself and her friends (Nemo and his dad) despite the disorder which sometimes is hokey but usually charming thanks to the new friends she meets along the way, especially a hilarious octopus voiced by Ed O’Neil. Most of the humor in this movie comes from those new friends, not from Dory.


5.  Love & Friendship (B+)


Jane Austen’s lesser-known novel Lady Susan is the source material for the funniest movie I’ve seen this year. In every one of her novels, Austen created female characters that we love to hate; they’re divisive, prejudiced, and immoral but somehow lovable. What sets Lady Susan apart is that this type of character is the story’s main character, something unheard of elsewhere in Jane Austen’s literature. Wilt Stillman’s adaptation takes every opportunity to find humor in this situation. Cate Beckinsale, as Lady Susan, gives us all the charm necessary to accept such a nasty person as the hero of this story.


4.  The Fits (B+)


Anna Rose Holmer’s very small independent film The Fits shows very vividly how similar boxing and hip-hop dance are. On the surface this sounds very unbelievable and like a flimsy basis for a story. 11-year-old Royalty Highwalter gives a performance so urgent, so physical, and so emotive that as the movie progresses, we can see how much potential for  a story really does exist within this scenario. It is a story of endurance, of the power that comes from discipline, and of the relationship between athletics and the arts. Anna Rose Holmer and Royalty Highwalter take these themes so seriously that they invite us to do the same and to join Toni (Royalty’s character) in her extraordinary journey of finding herself.


3.  Morris from America (A-)


Writer/director Chad Hartigan gave us a very special movie mainly because of the wonderful way it depicts a great dad. Most movies about teens present the parents in a caricatured way that reflects reality in no way at all. This is even more sadly the case when Hollywood makes movies that involve African American families, satisfied with perpetuating stereotypes that should have been noticed and abandoned fifty years ago. But the father and son in Morris from America are real people, full of life, hurt, joy, fear, and hope for a future. Curtis (Craig Robinson in an Oscar-worthy performance, though he certainly will not be nominated) is the father whose love for and constant availability to his son Morris are so palpable that many viewers will wish they had had a father like him. This reaction is possible because we see the father’s own faults, limitations, hurt, and grief that drives his decisions. He’s far from a perfect man, but he is a perfect father for Morris.


2.  Hail, Caesar! (A)


A satire of blacklisting and other harmful results of McCarthyism, an indictment on repression similar to what happened in the era of McCarthyism that is alive and well in America today, an homage to classic Hollywood, and a parody of the most popular genres of 1950s cinema (the musical comedy, the western, and of course the sword and sandal/biblical epic that the title refers to). Hail Caesar is all of these things, contradictory as they can be. The Coen brothers create their most visually stimulating film to date and accomplishes all the things I listed with perfect balance through one of their best screenplays to date. Hail Caesar is goofy but profound, simple but elegant, hilarious but angering. Above all, it is utterly unique.


1.  Nuts! (A)


Also utterly unique is Penny Lane’s documentary on John R. Brinkley. Using a combination of animation and interview, Nuts tells the story of a man who became one of the wealthiest people in America through medicine and mass media. And it all started with a cure for impotence through goat’s testicles. The whole movie is as bizarre as the man’s initial claim to fame and takes us into a world too strange to be fictional. The less you know about Brinkley going in the better, because the story unfolds in ways so unexpected, with so much intelligence and empathy, that to say any more about it would risk ruining the experience.


Singin’ in the Rain (1952)


The years of trouble and anxiety involved in the mother-daughter relationship between Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher is well known. It was captured in writing by Carrie Fisher and in her novel Postcards on the Edge and in her screenplay for the film of the same title which included spectacular acting performances by Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine as fictionalized versions of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds respectively. All the trauma, conflict, addiction, and deep wounds involved in both lives could not be any less recognizable in the acting career of either woman. Carrie of course is best known for playing the heroic and charismatic Princess Leia, and Debbie is best known for her delightful musical comedies.

The loss of both women less than a day apart from each other has left a devastating gap in the movie world. Ironically but happily, the best way to honor both of them is through the pure escapism they brought so wonderfully to the world.

The greatest moment of Debbie Reynolds’ career is undoubtedly her role as Kathy Seldon in Singin’ in the Rain. Almost every time a list of the greatest movies is published by a group of critics or industry professionals, Singin’ in the Rain lands in the top ten. They always mention the historical importance of the film’s accurate portrayal of the difficulties involved in the movie industry’s change from silent movies to talkies, the process of making a movie in the late 1920s that this movie takes its audience through in an incredibly entertaining way, the wonderful use of songs made popular through the early movie musicals of the 20s and 30s, the dancing of Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse, especially in the “Gotta Dance” ballet sequence, and Jean Hagen’s role as Lina Lamont, perhaps the funniest character in movie history. All of these are obvious contributions to the greatness of Singin’ in the Rain, but Debbie Reynolds’ part of that greatness is not often talked about.

The skeleton of the love story in Singin’ in the Rain was already beyond cliche in 1952 and could only work if used as a small part of a far more structured and unique film and acted with so much charm that it just doesn’t matter how many times we’ve already seen this type of a romance. Both of these are definitely in tact. The story isn’t only so rich and so funny  that it can handle a cliched romance, but that romance is also infinitely more enjoyable here than any of the other hundreds of times it’s been done. That’s mostly because Debbie Reynolds knew how to work with Gene Kelly and make something great.

Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) finds himself in Kathy’s car when running from his adoring fans. The flirtation begins immediately, but Kathy tries very hard to restrain herself from giving into any of his advances scared of a relationship with a movie star and not expecting that she’ll ever see him again. So when she does see him again, she has to keep her facade of arrogance and resistance that wants nothing to do with him. While she is Don’s biggest fan in reality, she mocks him, questions his acting abilities, and humiliates him in order to maintain her facade. She is so utterly convincing in both her disdain and her attraction to Do, often in the very same scene, that she brings so much more to this character than the cliches could ever allow. Her singsongy announcement of their arrival at Sunset and Camden is the sound of a woman in love and a mischievous character willing to destroy the other person, even though the subject of both is the same person. In scenes like this, she is at her funniest and shows that thin line between love and hate in ways no other movie ever could.

Of course there is much more to be said about Singin’ in the Rain than I am doing here. I will hopefully write another article in the future dealing more with the movie as a whole. But for now this seemed to be a fitting tribute to an actress who though very much loved is often not given the attention she deserves for her brilliant comic timing and her ability to transform a cliche into complex character.

List: 200 Greatest Movie Quotes

Over the last several weeks, I posted 25 quotes from my list. Now, here’s the whole list, and videos for each quote can be found here wherever available.


200. “How would you feel if somebody broke your dinosaur?”…”I never had one. We were too poor.” On the Town (1949) *No video available.*

199. “I killed him! I killed him! I’m the most horrible!” Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) *No video available.*

198. “We need to talk.”…”About my mausoleum?” Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011) *No video available.*

197. “We may not look like much, but between the three of us we have four eyes, four legs, and three working lungs.” The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

196. “I buried Maude Rockefeller today, and you missed all the fun.” Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) *No video available.*

195. “Tell that to my frying pan!” Tangled (2010)

194. “I just think I’m gonna barf.” Fargo (1996)

193. “Joy, that’s long-term memory, you could get lost in there.””Think positive.” “OK, I’m positive, you’ll get lost in there.” Inside Out (2015)

192. “Happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor.” The Hunger Games (2012)

191. “Perhaps you have already observed that in Casablanca, human life is cheap.” Casablanca (1942)

190. “When you’re slapped, you’ll take it and like it.” The Maltese Falcon (1941)

189. “I loves my gun.” Bowling for Columbine (2002)

188. “It all could have happened differently I suppose, but it didn’t.” Mansfield Park (1999) *No video available.*

187. “As my grandpappy Old Reliable always used to say, don’t recollect if I ever mentioned Old Reliable before.” Lady and the Tramp (1955)

186. “If they hang you, I’ll always remember you.” The Maltese Falcon (1941)

185. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Rebecca (1940)

184. “Shane, come back!” Shane (1953)

183. “What hump?” Young Frankenstein (1974)

182. “I’d rather stay at home and count wrinkles on my dog’s balls.” Argo (2014)

181. “Wax on. Wax off.” The Karate Kid (1985)

180. “It’s a big pretty white plan with red stripes and curtains in the windows, and wheels, and it looks like a big Tylenol.” Airplane (1980)

179. “Pull in your reel, Mr. Fielding, you’re barking up the wrong fish.” Some Like It Hot (1959)

178. “As the prince anxiously waited, the stepmother took matters and Florinda’s foot into her own hands.” Into the Woods (2014)

177. “I fly to the moon. I shrink the moon. I grab the moon. I sit on the toilet.” Despicable Me (2010)

176. “Wunderbar, but maybe too wunderbar for my wife.” Stalag 17 (1953) *No video available*

175. “Argo f*** yourself.” Argo (2012)

174. “I like the way you die boy.” Django Unchained (2012) *Warning: This video includes violence, profanity, and a very disturbing scene of slavery.

173. “Cream?”…”No thank you. I take it black, like my men.” Airplane (1980)

172. “Why don’t you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?” The Manchurian Candidate (1962) *No video available.*

171. “What do you need this grabber for?”…”Grabbing.” The Straight Story (1999)

170. “There will be no Christmas trees, but there will be delousing with ice water.” Stalag 17 (1953) *No video available.*

169. “I remember every detail. The Germans wore grey. You wore blue.” Casablanca (1942)

168. “Bond. James Bond.” Dr. No (1962)

167. “Under the circumstances, I will sit down.” Casablanca (1942)

166. “Everything will be alright in the end. So if everything is not yet alright, it is not yet the end.” The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)

165. “He was kinda funny lookin’ in a general kinda way.” Fargo (1996)

164. “Maybe a little Wagner?” Stalag 17 (1953) *No video available*

163. “They loved him up and turned him into a horny toad.” O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

162. “We both have so much in common like we both love soup.” Best in Show (2000)

161. “You look clean cut enough, but you could’ve murdered your granny with a hammer.” Across the Universe (2007) *No video available.*

160. “That’s life. Which ever way you turn, fate sticks out a foot to trip you.” Detour (1945) *No video available.*

159. “Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” Casablanca (1942)

158. “This is the most uncomfortable coffin I’ve ever been in! You’re selection is quite shoddy. You are wasting my time.” Ed Wood (1994)

157. “Look at that! Look how she moves! It’s like Jell-O on springs! Must have some sort of built in motor or something. I tell you, it’s a whole different sex!” Some Like It Hot (1959)

156. “Aren’t you worried?” “Would it help?” Bridge of Spies (2015)

155. “He’s so fluffy, I’m gonna die!” Despicable Me (2010)

154. “We’ll always have Paris.” Casablanca (1942)

153. “We mustn’t underestimate American blundering? I was with them when they blundered into Berlin in 1918.” Casablanca (1942) *No video available.*

152. “Water polo? Isn’t that terribly dangerous?” “I’ll say, I had two ponies drowned under me.” Some Like It Hot (1959)

151. “Do I still have to sleep in the cupboard?” Beauty and the Beast (1991)

150. “I was either in love or I had smallpox.” Take the Money and Run (1969)

149. “Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking.” The Wizard of Oz (1939)

148. “He would have an enormous schwanzstucker!” Young Frankenstein (1974)

147. “Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” The Imitation Game (2014)

146. “I like to dress in women’s clothing…I’m all man. I even fought in WWII. Of course I was wearing women’s undergarments under my uniform.” Ed Wood (1994)

145. “By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?” Airplane (1980)

144. “I’m not your nightmare.” Ernest and Celestine (2013) *No video available.*

143. “I see a rhinoceros.” Midnight in Paris (2011)

142. “Nobody has ever escaped from Stalag 17, not alive anyways.” Stalag 17 (1953) *No video available.*

141. “You must be dead, because I don’t know how to feel.” E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) *No video available.*

140. “The words are still good, but you aren’t. I don’t think you ever were.” All the King’s Men (1949) *No video available.*

139. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” The Wizard of Oz (1939)

138. “Wait a minute! Wait a minute!” Moonstruck (1987) *No video available.*

137. “I proved once and for all that the limb is mightier than the thumb.” It Happened One Night (1934) *No video is available that includes this line, but the earlier scene that the line refers to is on the playlist.”

136. “Oh look at that, I’ve been impaled” Frozen (2013)

135. “I’m a cotton-headed ninnymuggins.” Elf (2003)

134. “When you kiss me, please don’t talk about plumbing.” Christmas in Connecticut (1945) *No video available*

133. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

132. “I think it would be fun to run a newspaper.” Citizen Kane (1941)

131. “You’re fat, he’s thin, and you’re both f.. ugly.” The Full Monty (1997)

130. “And may the devil himself splatter you with dung.” Beauty and the Beast (1947) *No video available*

129. “I’m shocked! Shocked to find that gambling is going on here!” Casablanca (1942)

128. “Run, Forrest, run!” Forrest Gump (1994)

127. “Only one thing in the world could drag me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming i the window.” A Christmas Story (1983) *No video available*

126. “That was absurd. Let’s eat dead bird.” Home for the Holidays (1995) *No video available*

125. “I was looking up!” An Affair to Remember (1958)

124. “I like to screw, and your mom’s Catholic so you figure it out.” Nebraska (2013)

123. “Goodbye penis!” Ed Wood (1994)

122. “You are the Special!” The LEGO Movie (2014)

121. “I always get the fuzzy end of the lollypop.” Some Like It Hot (1959)

120. “There’s something to be said for a deviant lifestyle.” On Golden Pond (1981)

119. “That is my least vulnerable spot.” Casablanca (1942)

118. “Young boys should never be sent to bed. They always wake up a day older.” Finding Neverland (2004)

117. “Snap out of it!” Moonstruck (1987)

116. “I haven’t felt this awful since we saw that Ronald Reagan film.” Airplane (1980)

115. “It’s not a tumor!” Kindergarten Cop (1990)

114. “C.K. Dexter Haven!” The Philadelphia Story (1940)

113. “I am satisfied with my care.” Big Hero 6 (2014)

112. “It made me think of what you told me once: ‘In 5 years the Corleone family will be completely legitimate.’ That was 7 years ago.” The Godfather Part II (1974) *No video available*

111. “Wait a minute! Wait a minute! You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!” The Jazz Singer (1927)

110. “Yo Adrian!” Rocky (1976)

109. “I’ll have what she’s having.” When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

108. “I don’t want to be a pie. I can’t stand gravy.” Chicken Run (2000)

107. “Chewie, we’re home.” Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

106. “Mo Cuishle means ‘my darling, my blood.'” Million Dollar Baby (2004) *No video available.*

105. “We’re on a mission from God.” The Blues Brothers (1980)

104. “Stupid is as stupid does.” Forrest Gump (1994)

103. “At my age I don’t even buy green bananas.” The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012) *No video available.

102. “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.” Airplane (1980)

101. “Nothing is written!” Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

100. “For a little bit of money. There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Dont’cha know that?” Fargo (1996)

99. “To die for love? What could be more glorious?” Sense and Sensibility (1995) *No video available*

98. “Charging a man with murder here was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.” Apocalypse Now (1979) *Warning: The video containing this quote includes other favorite lines from the film that contain strong profanity.*

97. “If you lose a son, you can always get another but there is only one Maltese Falcon.” The Maltese Falcon (1941) *No video available*

96. “I am big! It’s the pictures that got small!” Sunset Blvd. (1950)

95. “Now I want you to know that no poor dumb bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard win it for his country.” Patton (1970)

94. “Rake it easy, cluck cluck.” Cinderella (1950)

93. “I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.” Forrest Gump (1994)

92. “Wanna dance, or would you rather just suck face?” On Golden Pond (1981) *No video available*

91. “You’re right, I did lose a million dollars last year. I expect to lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars next year. You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I’ll have to close this place in 60 years.” Citizen Kane (1941)

90. “Never apologize, it’s a sign of weakness.” She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

89. “Au revoir, Shoshanna!” Inglourious Basterds (2009)

88. “K-Mart sucks.” Rain Man (1988)

87. “Gentlemen, the lunchbox has landed.” The Full Monty (1997)

86. “These go to 11.” This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

85. “I can’t make love to a bush!” Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

84. “Blessed are the cheesemakers.” Life of Brian (1979)

83. “Do you like fried chicken?” Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) *Warning: this scene includes nudity but after the first five seconds, before any nudity is visible, listening is sufficient to get how great this quote is.*

82. “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” Casablanca (1942)

81. “Toto, I’ve got the feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” The Wizard of Oz (1939)

80. “No, I don’t think I will kiss you although you need kissing badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.” Gone with the Wind (1939)

79. “Mein Fuehrer! I can walk!” Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1962)

78. “Shut up and deal.” The Apartment (1960)

77. “Baa-ram-ewe. Baa-ram-ewe. To your breed, your fleece, your clan be true, sheep be true. Baa-ram-ewe. Babe (1995)

76. “I triple dog dare you.” A Christmas Story (1983)

75. “Gort. Klaatu, barada nikto.” The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

74. “Everything is hunky dunky.” Christmas in Connecticut (1945) *No video available*

73. ” A bunch of screwballs ruining the town.” David and Lisa (1962) *No video available*

72. “Perhaps I should explain to them the risks of being late to an old man’s birthday party.” On Golden Pond (1981) *No video available.*

71. “Poor Margaretha. I’ve never seen her look so pale. I suspect she won’t live through the night. She has four fatal disease. But it’s going to be a beautiful funeral in a cigar box my papa gave me, all wrapped up in silver paper.” Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) *No video available*

70. “Magic mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest one of all?” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

69. “I am Spartacus! I am Spartacus! I am Spartacus!” Spartacus (1960)

68. “We rob banks.” Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

67. “Fiddle-dee-dee.” Gone with the Wind (1939)

66. “I gave her my heart, and she gave me a pen.” Say Anything… (1989)

65. “The horror! The horror!” Apocalypse Now (1979) *Warning: This scene is full of disturbing images and has some strong profanity.*

64. “Suppress it.” Ninotchka (1939)

63. “Mother of mercy! Is this the end of Rico?” Little Caesar (1931)

62. “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

61. “You’re tearing me apart!” Rebel without a Cause (1955)

60. “Oh no. It wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.” King Kong (1933)

59. “I stick my neck out for nobody.” Casablanca (1942)

58. “Lawyers should never marry lawyers. This is called in-breeding. From this comes idiot children and more lawyers.” Adam’s Rib (1949) *No video available*

57. “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.” 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

56. “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

55. “Badges? We ain’t got no badges! We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!” The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

54. “Stella! Hey Stella!” A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

53. “I was born when she kissed me; I died when she loved me. I lived for a few weeks while she loved me.” In a Lonely Place (1950)

52. “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fav beans and a nice chianti.” The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

51. “In Switzerland they had brotherly love, and they 500 years of democracy and peace. What did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” The Third Man (1949)

50. “She’s my sister! She’s my daughter!” Chinatown (1974)

49. “If I hadn’t been very rich, I might have been a really great man.” Citizen Kane (1941)

48. “I’m a girl, a pearl of a girl.” David and Lisa (1962)

47. “Oh Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars.” Now, Voyager (1942)

46. “Once there was a Hushpuppy and she lived with her daddy in the Bathtub.” Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

45. “Hello everybody. This is Mrs. Norman Maine.” A Star Is Born (1954) *No video available.*

44. “Tonsils.” Trouble in Paradise (1932)

43. “I’m melting! melting!” The Wizard of Oz (1939)

42. “The walls of Jericho are toppling.” It Happened One Night (1934) *No video available*

41. “With pleasure.” The Artist (2011)

40. “Gobble gobble munch munch. Gobble gobble munch munch. We accept her. We accept her. One of us. One of us.” Freaks (1932)

39. “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?” The Graduate (1967)

38. “That’s the trouble with mothers. First you get to like them, and then they die.” Trouble in Paradise (1932) *No video available*

37. “Play it Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.'” Casablanca (1942)

36. “I’ll be right here.” E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

35. “Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I have ever known in my life.” The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

34. “A boy’s best friend is his mother.” Psycho (1960)

33. “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” The Wizard of Oz (1939)

32. “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Casablanca (1942)

31. “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is a war room.” Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

30. “Fill your hands…” True Grit (1969)

29. “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” The Godfather (1972)

28. “The stuff that dreams are made of.” The Maltese Falcon (1941)

27. “After all, tomorrow is another day.” Gone with the Wind (1939)

26. “And you will know that my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.” Pulp Fiction (1994) *Warning: The video involves graphic violence and strong profanity.*

25. “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Forrest Gump (1994)

24. “What do you think I am, dumb or something? Why I make more money than Calvin Coolidge, put together!” Singin’ in the Rain (1952) *No Youtube video available*

23. “I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody instead of a bum which is what I am.” On the Waterfront (1954)

22. “You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.” To Have and Have Not (1944)

21. “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Network (1976)

20. “I do wish we could have chat longer, but I’m having an old friend for dinner.” The Silence of the Lambs (1990)

19. “I am your father.” Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

18. “You’ll shoot your eye out.” A Christmas Story (1983)

17. “May the force with you.” Star Wars (1977)

16. “I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart; you broke my heart.” The Godfather Part II (1974)

15. “Here’s looking at you kid.” Casablanca (1942)

14. “There’s no place like home.” The Wizard of Oz (1939)

13. “Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.” All about Eve (1950)

12. “E.T. phone home.” E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

11. “They call me Mr. Tibbs!” In the Heat of the Night (1967)

10. “I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog too.” The Wizard of Oz (1939)

9. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” Apocalypse Now (1971)

8. “You talkin’ to me?” Taxi Driver (1976)

7. “It’s alive! It’s alive! In the name of God, now I know what it feels like to be God!” Frankenstein (1931)

6. “Frankly my dear…” Gone with the Wind (1939)

5. “Well, nobody’s perfect.” Some Like It Hot (1959)

4. “Made it ma! Top o’ the world!” White Heat (1949)

3. I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse. The Godfather (1972)

2. “All right Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” Sunset Blvd. (1950)

1. “Rosebud” Citizen Kane (1941)


List: Greatest Movie Quotes #25-1

mv5bmtm3njiymzu1nv5bml5banbnxkftztcwnjc4ntkxna-_v1_sy1000_cr0013701000_al_Picture: The Wizard of Oz (1939), 7 quotes in top 200

25.  “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Forrest Gump (1994)

24.  “What do you think I am, dumb or something? Why I make more money than Calvin Coolidge, put together!” Singin’ in the Rain (1952) *No Youtube video available*

23.  “I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody instead of a bum which is what I am.” On the Waterfront (1954)

22.  “You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.” To Have and Have Not (1944)

21. “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Network (1976)

20.  “I do wish we could have chat longer, but I’m having an old friend for dinner.” The Silence of the Lambs (1990)

19.  “I am your father.” Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

18.  “You’ll shoot your eye out.” A Christmas Story (1983)

17.  “May the force with you.” Star Wars (1977)

16.  “I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart; you broke my heart.” The Godfather Part II (1974)

15.  “Here’s looking at you kid.” Casablanca (1942)

14.  “There’s no place like home.” The Wizard of Oz (1939)

13.  “Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.” All about Eve (1950)

12.  “E.T. phone home.” E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

11.  “They call me Mr. Tibbs!” In the Heat of the Night (1967)

10. “I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog too.” The Wizard of Oz (1939)

9. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” Apocalypse Now (1971)

8.  “You talkin’ to me?” Taxi Driver (1976)

7.  “It’s alive! It’s alive! In the name of God, now I know what it feels like to be God!” Frankenstein (1931)

6.  “Frankly my dear…” Gone with the Wind (1939)

5.  “Well, nobody’s perfect.” Some Like It Hot (1959)

4.  “Made it ma! Top o’ the world!” White Heat (1949)

3.  I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse. The Godfather (1972)

2.  “All right Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” Sunset Blvd. (1950)

1. “Rosebud” Citizen Kane (1941)

mv5bmtgwntawnja0n15bml5banbnxkftztywndkxodm2-_v1_Picture: Citizen Kane (1941), 4 quotes in top 200

The Gold Rush (1925)


Only a short part of Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush is set at New Year’s Eve, but the whole movie is about the need, the attempt, and the chance for a new start. “Auld Lang Syne” is played twice in the movie, obviously at midnight at the start of New Year’s Day but also at the last scene of the movie, recalling that what happened on New Year’s was that chance for a new start that has now been complete.

Chaplin’s movies always find a very fine line between comedy and tragedy and are often filled with the darkest of themes that only a true master could work with honestly and still be true to his great gift for physical comedy. In 1936, he made a shockingly inspiring and hilarious story centered around homeless people during the Great Depression, Modern Times. In 1940, he made his funniest film which far more shockingly was set in Nazi Germany, The Great Dictator.

This film, is no exception. In the Klondike, the Tramp is a prospector existing in a world that cares only about survival. His only friend is so starved that he becomes tempted towards cannibalism and tries to kill the Tramp on several occasions. Every attempt the Tramp makes to keep himself and his friend safe is met with great opposition showing just how desperate and how dangerous this lifestyle is. Of course, it’s a Chaplin movie so every danger, every situation that threatens and scares the Tramp finds its own special way to make the audience laugh because of all the brilliant ways Chaplin uses his body to make something funny out of something in that in reality is grim and even terrifying.

Just before New Year’s Eve, the Tramp meets Georgia who pays attention to him only to ward off the unwanted advances of another man. She and her friends soon see that they can take advantage of his quirks and the way he is smitten with her for their own selfish entertainment. He invites them all over to his shack for New Year’s Eve where he performs his famous dance with dinner rolls. This scene is sheer delight, being the only way he has (without money, intelligence, or anything else to give) to show his affection for her. He believes that if he makes her laugh, she will continue to pay attention to her. He’s right, but not in the way he wants to be. By the beginning of New Year’s Day, he knows that Georgia has just been playing mean games with him, but that doesn’t stop him from being in love with her.

Once the Tramp knows the truth, New Year’s Day becomes an opportunity for him to have the new start he has needed all along. It takes the rest of the movie to see the benefits of that, but that’s why we hear “Auld Lang Syne” once again at the end of the film. That’s why there’s no movie I can think of to better recommend for watching on New Year’s Eve than The Gold Rush.


Also Directed by Charles Chaplin:

The Great Dictator (1940)

Modern Times (1936)

Go to the links for all my reviews.


List: Greatest Movie Quotes #50-26

mv5bmti4nzy4njc1nl5bml5banbnxkftztywmtg4odq3-_v1_Picture: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), 3 quotes in top 200


50.  “She’s my sister! She’s my daughter!” Chinatown (1974)

49.  “If I hadn’t been very rich, I might have been a really great man.” Citizen Kane (1941)

48.  “I’m a girl, a pearl of a girl.” David and Lisa (1962)

47.  “Oh Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars.” Now, Voyager (1942)

46.  “Once there was a Hushpuppy and she lived with her daddy in the Bathtub.” Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

45.  “Hello everybody. This is Mrs. Norman Maine.” A Star Is Born (1954) *No video available.*

44.  “Tonsils.” Trouble in Paradise (1932)

43.  “I’m melting! melting!” The Wizard of Oz (1939)

42.  “The walls of Jericho are toppling.” It Happened One Night (1934) *No video available*

41.  “With pleasure.” The Artist (2011)

40.  “Gobble gobble munch munch. Gobble gobble munch munch. We accept her. We accept her. One of us. One of us.” Freaks (1932)

39.  “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?” The Graduate (1967)

38.  “That’s the trouble with mothers. First you get to like them, and then they die.” Trouble in Paradise (1932) *No video available*

37.  “Play it Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.'” Casablanca (1942)

36.  “I’ll be right here.” E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

35.  “Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I have ever known in my life.” The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

34.  “A boy’s best friend is his mother.” Psycho (1960)

33.  “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” The Wizard of Oz (1939)

32.  “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Casablanca (1942)

31.  “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is a war room.” Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

30.  “Fill your hands…” True Grit (1969)

29.  “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” The Godfather (1972)

28.  “The stuff that dreams are made of.” The Maltese Falcon (1941)

27.  “After all, tomorrow is another day.” Gone with the Wind (1939)

26.  “And you will know that my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.” Pulp Fiction (1994) *Warning: The video involves graphic violence and strong profanity.*


Picture: Casablanca (1942), 13 quotes in top 200; the most represented film on the list

Joyeux Noel (2005)


The Christmas Eve ceasefire during WWI is one of the most remarkable moments in 20th century history. Also remarkable is that 90 years later a movie could be made about an event as isolated, impromptu, and as random as this was. Of course, it had to be largely fictionalized since nobody could possibly capture the history of the event well on film. What director Christian Carion does capture so well is the feeling of the event: the animosity, the loneliness heightened around a holiday, and the camaraderie of each army. As these feelings reach their climax, the animosity gives way to the other feelings expressed in the desire to celebrate Christmas.

Carion makes this all work so well because of the separation he hammers home throughout the movie. The film begins with three isolated, chilling scenes each taking place in a classroom in different countries. A young boy in Germany recites a hateful and murderous script against the French. A young boy in France recites a hateful and murderous script against the Germans. A young boy in England also recites a hateful and murderous script against the Germans.

Next, we move to the war itself. The movie constantly follows this formula. It cuts from a scene of the German army to a parallel scene of the French army and them to a parallel scene of the British army. We see the extreme separateness of the there, even though the French and the British were allies in the war.

An opera singer is brought in to boost the morale of the German soldiers around Christmas time. The Christmas music she sings begins the process of the truce. We hear her lead the army in “Stille Nacht.” Then members of the French troops sing  “Douce Nuit,” and the British soldiers sing “Silent Night.” They all sing the same carol but separately in their own language.

As the truce begins, a representative from each army is seen with his own bottle of champaign, pouring it for the rest of his troop, and each army toasts and says “Merry Christmas” separately in its own language. After almost an hour and a half of methodical division, the miracle happens. They all sing “Adeste Fideles” as the Latin text of “O Come All Ye Faithful” was still more known worldwide than any other version of the song at that time. It was the language and the hymn that could unify bitter enemies.

The movie’s tagline described it as being about the event that changed the lives of the soldiers forever. There were many ceasefires after this in WWI and attempts within opposing armies to make and maintain friendships with the “enemy.” In the last half hour of the movie, while it does not have time to depict those later and more long-lasting effects of the Christmas Eve ceasefire, it does a beautiful job of showing how the characters we have come to know were changed dramatically and how it effected their treatment of their fellow soldiers, their allies, and their enemies. It shows how they are willing to allow their roles in the war and their views towards their enemy soldiers to adapt while the war still continues. They grieve the losses of their newfound friends who they have were previously fighting against. Some even sacrifice their own lives for those on the other side. They have learned that it is possible to follow the words of Jesus to love your enemy.

Frohe Weihnachten.

Joyeux Noel.

Merry Christmas.