Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#76 – 48 Hrs.
Why is it here:
This is one that almost didn’t make the list. Then I rewatched it and was pissed I didn’t rank it higher. I was ten when Walter Hill’s classic came out. I was about twelve when we got it on video. My parents were cool and I had an adult’s patience in the movies so I saw it early and often and had my own copy at home. There’s a very personal relationship between me and this movie. Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy are unstoppable in this. It’s terribly funny, has great action, and still moves like greased lightning. It’s such a great flick that it can have life as a standout in a variety of genres and the whole “buddy cop” thing stems from this picture. Insanely quotable and damn near perfect, this is one for all-time. A dickhead cop and a full of shit inmate are teamed up to crack a case. Walter Hill was great, still is great, and should still be getting choice gigs dammit.
Moments to savor:
A Zagnut bar is purchased. Vromans. “I’m already sorry”. Nick Nolte grumbling about not getting to bang Annette O’Toole (a legit gripe). Billy Bear and Ganz, two great movie heavies. Jonathan Banks! David Patrick Kelly! Brion James! Things that should be dated due their racist nature somehow maintaining their charm. Eddie Murphy dresses down a room of rednecks. Basically whenever Nolte and Murphy are in disagreement.
High. Especially since these two actors are still going at it and doing it well. Murphy from the “I’ll do anything for a check” side of things and Nolte from the “You’re gonna pay me to grunt” side. They’re still super performers and though perhaps they’ve made some iffy choices there’s no denying this movie’s timestamp on history. It’s still a riot.
This was heavily on rotation on my Selectivision Video Disc machine back in the 80’s. You heard me right. Video Disc. Fuck the haters that shit was the rock’s balls.