What film should I watch?

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Empire Magazine has published its Top 500 all time greatest films. Some surprises, and there are inevitable problems with popular polls purporting to list timeless classics – The Dark Knight is ranked surprisingly highly for example. But as with all of these polls, I thought I’d go down the list and see which films I haven’t seen.

I actually do quite well, having seen 41 out of the top 50 and 69 of the top 100 (I gave up after that), but there are some embarrassing gaps in my film knowledge. The problem is time – I can only see so many films at a time.

So, I thought I’d see what the readers here think. My latest poll is a list of the ten most highly ranked films that I haven’t seen. Your job is to tell me which one I should watch ASAP. I will then do so (hopefully you will select one of the three already sitting on my shelf). For extra homework, I’d like you to explain your choice in the comments below.

That is all. Thank you.

7 thoughts on “What film should I watch?

  1. Seven Samurai. Japan is on another planet and always was. Unemployed soldiers put off working for a living by the caste system with nothing to do but, well a few things. Characters ripped off superficially in every subsequent cowboy film….

  2. I actually feel rather envious that you’ve still got the pleasure of watching Some Like It Hot in front of you. Stay alert for the fantastic last scene…

    If you’re thinking about Seven Samurai, and haven’t seen/watched recently The Magnificent Seven, renting the pair of them as a double bill (while suitably equipped with companions, foods and beverages of your choice) could be an instructive experience.

  3. I’m with Joe – Seven Samurai. Because then the classic Hammer Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires will be so much cooler for you. But Some Like It Hot would have been my second choice.

  4. Truffaut is a must I’m afraid James. Les Quatre Cents Coups (The 400 Blows) is a literal and stupidly direct translation. It’s an idiom which could be best translated as ‘Raising Hell’.
    This is one of the best films of the French New Wave, possibly the most important movements ever in Cinema. Also worth a watch if you have not already seen them are: Jules et Jim (Truffaut), Le Mepris (Godard) and anything by Chabrol. All of these films owe a lot in their construction to the intellectual climate of the France of the time and in the techniques used to American B Movies and the invention of the hand held camera (1947 – but not, oddly used until these French Directors grabbed it!).
    You will be able to read more about the importance of this movement in my book on French Politics and Cinema ‘The Fifth Republic and the Seventh Art’ when it comes out in about three years time!

  5. Got to be ‘Some like it hot’ – wonderfully funny and a unique combination of stars. Worth watching for any one of Jack Lemmon (in drag), Tony Curtis (in drag and as Cary Grant) and Marilyn Monroe (delicious); to have all three at once is just too good to miss.

  6. I prefer tragedy to comedy or adventure so it’s got to be Chinatown for me. All roads lead there in the end anyway, so you might as well get it over with.

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