Saturday, May 28, 2005

List of lists: Top 100 Voices in the Movies, Salon's best movies, Slate's worst couples

To use one of Mrs. Miniver's favorite expressions, movie list-making is "indefensible but irresistible." Here is one that is especially delicious,'s list of The All-Time Top 100 Voices in the Movies.

And Salon's premium subscribers (oh, go on, sign up, you know it's worth it) can take a look at Andrew O'Hehir's engagingly offbeat list of mostly non-canonical but very worthwhile films he thinks everyone should see, reposted as a response to the more mainstream Time Magazine list more notable for what it leaves out (Gone With the Wind) than for what it includes (The Godfather and E.T.).

O'Hehir has two categories, 20 movies you'd better have seen already (yes, The Godfather again, along with All About Eve, Blue Velvet, and Nashville). Then there is the list of "Films You Might Never See (Without My Benevolent Guidance)," an edgier selection that includes Bride of Frankenstein, Persona, and The Searchers -- okay, that one is also on Time's list, and mine, too, if I had one.

In Slate, David Edelstein has another great contest -- the most mis-matched movie couples (scroll down below the review of "The Longest Yard"). From Roger Moore and Grace Jones in A View to a Kill to Woody Allen with just about anyone, the list includes Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn in "The Iron Petticoat" and the three-generation combination of Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, and Matthew Broderick as grandfather, son, and grandson thieves in Family Business. But no one mentioned my favorite odd couple -- Barbra Streisand and Jack Nicholson(!) as romantically inclined step-siblings(!) in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.

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JMR said...

Missing from the voices list: R. Lee Emery and both Isabella Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman. a bad pairing: the unfortunate swan song of Gene Kelly with Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu. And as for the mismatch that works, what do you make of Jeff Bridges and Rosie Perez in Fearless, one of my favorites?

Of course, your list is tempting for a different reason: how can you, O Movie Mom, resist putting together a list of your own? HOw would you approach a "top/best" oriented list? And what would be on it? (It's arguable that I get to redo my list every semester that I teach a film course, but this post makes me curious about what kind of list I would come up with as well...)

Nell Minow said...

I once agreed to write a book with my 200 favorite movies and ended up with 500 instead, so I don't seem to be the type to come up with top 10 or even top 100-type lists.

But I expressed some more of my thoughts on lists once for Slate and even managed to put together a list for them, too.

JMR said...

Hahaha, good point. Sometimes I forget the book is really an excuse to talk about your favorite movies. Just like teaching an introductory film course. (Ah, I will miss that this semester. Then again, I get an excuse to talk about some of my favorite books this time, instead, so it's a wash.)

The Solid Gold Cadillac? That's a new one for me. I'll have to look that up, if for no other reason than to see what you do at the office.

Youth Pastor Justin said...


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