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.
#59 – All the President’s Men
Why is it here:
Alan J. Pakula’s Watergate classic is one of those films that has no right being as entertaining and effective as it is, considering the source. But it’s insanely engaging and it showcases Robert Redford and especially Dustin Hoffman at the height of their powers. It’s richly acted and written, loaded with great character actors, and a look at a bygone era in journalism.
It’s an important movie but it’s also one of those features that showcase how art and commerce should be paired. The talent grafts to it like a host organism and the end result is an experience that just wins out. It’s so much fun and it helped share the term “ratfucking” with the world.
Moments to savor:
Two contrasting reporters getting on the same page. The Deep Throat stuff. Battles with the editor. Tension from moments that have no right being as tense as they are.
Medium. Worth a look every few years.
The character Hal Holbrook plays here is different than the one he plays in Creepshow.