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.
#19 – High Noon
This is the top twenty. These are in order.
Why is it here:
It’s easy to dismiss this movie because of how efficient and simple it really is. It’s also easy to value this movie incredibly high on the same criteria but the bottom line is that it is still effective sixty years along as it was the first time you see it. It’s iconic, it’s cool, andf it is so ahead of its time that it’s actually the basis for a subgenre. It’s in real-time! Which is insane for the era. In fact, this and Hitchcock’s Rope is an amazing double feature. But Gary Cooper doing what he does best and Grace Kelly being all Grace Kelly and that crackerjack setup pays off every time. Just one of those films anyone of any age, race, or creed can sit down and be riveted and entertained by. A rare commodity and a pioneer of a flick.
Moments to savor:
The tension ratcheting up. Seeing Lloyd Bridges and Lee Van Cleef early on. Spotting the moments that set the standard. Gary Goddamn Cooper.
If it weren’t for this movie there’d be no Three O’Clock High, which is justification enough. Phil Joanou!