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.
#62 – The Right Stuff
Why is it here:
This is Americana in the best way. The love of speed, the quest for space. The joy of competition. The Right Stuff is a bona fide epic, a story about men with dreams in a time where dreams were all we had. An ensemble cast of virtual unknowns, Philip Kaufman’s film unleashed Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Jeff Goldblum, Scott Glenn, Sam Shepard, Fred Ward, Lance Henriksen, Harry Shearer, and Barbara Hershey upon audiences. It’s a beautiful movie, funny and heartwarming. And tragic. But wholly satisfying. A great American epic, The Godfather with a helmet. It’s that good.
Moments to savor:
The training scene. Chuck Yeager vs. Sound. Scott Glenn’s ridiculous bicep. Goldblum and Shearer running into meetings. The wild blue yonder has never looked prettier.
High. This is one of those perfect Saturday morning movies. It just makes you happy to be a part of this time in history, or rather get to observe history when we were a little purer and more heavenly ambitious.
This is one I’ll be introducing to the kids sooner than later.