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.
#74 – The Third Man
Why is it here:
This is one of the cornerstones. Carol Reed dishing out noir magnificence. Joseph Cotten being all Joseph Cotten and stuff. Orson Welles being mysterious and dangerous. Mystery around every corner. The classic character Harry Lime making his big splash and creating an archetype we still use. It’s just a beautiful, cool, and utterly perfect movie that delivers and delivers and delivers. Some of the shots in this are unmatched and the whole conceit of a dead man dumping his writer friend into the middle of a Vienna conspiracy just works like a charm.
Moments to savor:
The Cuckoo Clock speech. The light and shadow. The Ferris Wheel. The fact the man we paid to see doesn’t appear until halfway into the movie. Welles, young, fresh, and so goddamn charismatic.
Moderate. It’s an old film and it was made in a different time. But it’s fabulous and timeless so that depends on your mileage.
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane. DID YOU KNOW THAT, MOTHERFUCKER? Boom, CHUD.com is your source for obscure trivia. Actually, I saw this movie a billion years ago and until I reached moderate maturity I thought this was an Orson Welles film and ridculously confused it with Touch of Evil. Because I am an imbecile.