The western as a film genre went from being the most popular form of film making in the early days of Hollywood, to one of the least seen forms of story telling in contemporary times. Part of the reason was that television drained the western of new ideas and stories. In 1959 there were 26 western themed shows airing in prime time. Those are the days of three networks and three hours a night. Today they have been replaced by crime procedurals and reality shows. As the decade of the 1960s wore on, the western film began to collapse. Sure there were successes and and surprises but by the late seventies, only Clint Eastwood appeared interested in fashioning films centered in the traditional American Western period. Westerns rally every few years and achieve moments of greatness or nostalgia. In the year 1969, three westerns managed to make an artistic achievement, a populist surge and a satisfying trip down memory lane. From the final year of the most turbulent decade in American history, I want to share Three Movies I Want Everyone to See. Continue reading
This was a difficult list to compile. Mainly due to the difficulty of defining what a “Sports Movie” actually is. A number of great movies use sports as an element, but in reality may be about something else. Perhaps the movie is a drama (“Raging Bull”) or has a strong romantic element (“Bull Durham”). How does one compare those as “Sports Movies” against a movie such as, say… “Miracle”, which is purely focused on a sport?
Compounding the challenge is the fact that this category has an enormous number of movies up for consideration. It would have been easy to go top 20 or even 30 here… I had to cut a number of movies that I’m a big fan of. There are some really, really painful omissions out there.
But I pushed on and worked it out! Click through to check out my list of the Top Ten Sports Movies of all time!
Benjamin: Oh my God!
Mrs. Robinson: Pardon?
Benjamin: Oh no, Mrs. Robinson. Oh no.
Mrs. Robinson: What’s wrong?
Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson, you didn’t… I mean, you didn’t expect…
Mrs. Robinson: What?
Benjamin: I mean, you didn’t really think I’d do something like that.
Mrs. Robinson: Like what?
Benjamin: What do you think?
Mrs. Robinson: Well, I don’t know.
Benjamin: For god’s sake, Mrs. Robinson. Here we are. You got me into your house. You give me a drink. You… put on music. Now you start opening up your personal life to me and tell me your husband won’t be home for hours.
Mrs. Robinson: So?
Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.
Mrs. Robinson: [laughs] Huh?
Benjamin: Aren’t you?
When I first watched this film, I had no idea about any of the details of Watergate whatsoever. I mean, I was a burnout in high school, I barely paid attention. I knew the broad strokes, and that was it. Richard Nixon was impeached for spying on and sabotaging his political rivals and it all came to light because a handful of burglars got caught breaking in to National Democratic Headquarters, which were located in an apartment complex known as “Watergate”. The story was revealed due to a couple of reporters at the Washington Post, Woodward and Bernstein. That’s it, that’s all I knew. I didn’t even know Woodward and Bernstein’s first names. Just the bare minimum (I mean, I think ANY American should know that much, no?).
Now, of course, I know more than your average person. Eventually my love for this movie would lead me to read the book, and I’m a sucker nowadays for anything related to Watergate on PBS or the History Channel or wherever. Which is a nice compliment to the flick in and of itself, right? That my love for the movie led me to explore its subject more deeply, yada yada. But that’s not where I’m going with this.
What I’m saying is, I fell in love with this movie without having any idea what the %#$& was going on.