Monday, December 16, 2013

The Most Loved Movies

Josh's first Christmas

This is a time of year when nothing is better than to curl up with the fire going, a cup of glass of your favorite beverage, a plate of Christmas cookies and a favorite film, What would your choice be?

My candidate is GROUNDHOG DAY. For me, it's a perfect movie: a comedy, a romance, it uses an original setting, it plays with time, Bill Murray is in it;; it has a moral lesson that is gently presented.

What movies do you think are loved by almost everyone?


Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Oh, interesting question. I think Forrest Gump is one of those universally loved films. Oh, and Back to the Future too. Or maybe that's just me...

Todd Mason said...

None, of course, but among the most beloved are going to be such chestnuts as IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, which are so multifaceted that even if certain aspects don't appeal, others tend to...or those, such as CITIZEN KANE, which are so well done that it's hard to carp completely (leaving aside their influence)...or those, such as TITANIC, that are such big piles of button-pushing mush that almost any uncritical viewer is going to find some reason to be swept in...or those, such as YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN or THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR, which are simply intelligently yet accessibly goofy or charming...

George said...

At this time of year, I'll go with LOVE, ACTUALLY. It's clever and witty and heart-felt. And who can resist Bill Nighy singing Christmas songs!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Love THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR and BACK TO THE FUTURE is such fun. I think LOVE ACTUALLY is probably the most popular film among adults.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Movies I love that I tend to watch over & over:
The Big Lebowski
North By Northwest
The Godfather movies

I actually dislike Forrest Gump and It's A Wonderful Life.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Me too, Steve. They are on my list.

Ron Scheer said...

For me it's always either GROUNDHOG DAY or THE DEAD.

Anonymous said...

GROUNDHOG DAY is definitely on our list. Jackie likes to watch (the uneven) LOVE ACTUALLY at Christmas and we always watch TWO FOR THE ROAD and WHEN HARRY MET SALLY... on New Year's Eve.

Jeff M.

Anders E said...

This really is an interesting question. HIS GIRL FRIDAY and NOTHING SACRED are probably too cynical to be universally loved. DUCK SOUP and MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO are too weird. HEATHERS, THE PRODUCERS and FARGO are all black comedy. THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM is too depressing, HAIRSPRAY is a John Waters movie, and FREAKS will freak anyone out.

My primary suggestion would be the 1955 original of THE LADYKILLERS, but i have a nagging feeling some out there would think it is too ironic, too morbid.

Other suggestions:

Mr. Blandings Build His Dream House
Snow White
To Kill a Mockingbird
Breaking Away
American Graffiti
Whisky Galore! (AKA Tight Little Island) (alcohol glorification?)
The Third Man (too cynical?)
To Be or Not to Be (1942 original)
Say Anything

Anders E said...

Note that taste differs around the world. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE is not at all the classic over here as it is in America. I have tried it once but gave up after 30 minutes.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have always disliked ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE. 90 minutes of misery does not a fun movie make.
BRINGING UP BABY would be another choice.

pattinase (abbott) said...

TWO FOR THE ROAD-haven't seen that in a long time. I wonder if it is on Netflix streaming.

Deb said...

Comfort movies--when I find them, I sit down and watch them no matter how far along the story is:

Close Encounters
Animal House
The Women (original version)
Any of those black-and-white Ealing comedies from England: The Ladykillers, Lavendar Hill Mob, Passport to Pimlico, etc.

And I keep the TV on TBS on Christmas Day for the 24 hour Christmas Story marathon.

Charles Gramlich said...

The nearest thing we have to a movie tradition here is that Lana watches "The Wrath of Khan" every time it comes on TV. I often watch it with her, although not if I've just seen it a day or so before. There are movies I do rewatch if they happen to be on. The Thing, Alien, Aliens, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Once Upon a Time in the West. That's about it.

Anders E said...

I also believe there are few people who would actually dislike the following:

Annie Hall
The Miracle of Morgan's Creek
Legally Blonde
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
When Harry Met Sally
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Anders E said...

Believe it or not, but the Swedish equivalent of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE - in that it is ALWAYS on TV during Christmas - is this.

Yes, this really is Ingmar Bergman country.

Anonymous said...

Several of my personal favorites have been mentioned:


The only part of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE that I like is the last 15 minutes or so. I must admit it always gets me when Harry says, "To my big brother George, the richest man in town."

Jeff M.

Richard said...

At Christmas time, we used to watch When Harry Met Sally, but haven't the last couple of years. Film I've seen the most times is Star Wars. Film I think is admired by the huge number of people might be Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, White Christmas, American Graffiti, Indiana Jones, Dirty Dancing.

Anonymous said...

"Believe it or not, but the Swedish equivalent of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE - in that it is ALWAYS on TV during Christmas - is this."

Well, Anders E, the French Christmas favourite, Le père Noël est une ordure, is also short of seasonal spirit...
Very funny. though.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Sound of Music, Victor Victoria, My Fair Lady, Oklahoma! and South Pacific among other musical films.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Interesting to see what films are popular in other places. Wish we could see them here. Nobody has mentioned A CHRISTMAS CAROL. I wonder if that's played out.
Not that I meant only Christmas movies here. Just a movie for a long winter's night.

Anders E said...

I now realize that the non-English movies mentioned here have absolutely wonderful English titles.

Le père Noël est une ordure = Santa Claus Is a Stinker

And even better:

Tomten är far till alla barnen = In Bed with Santa

Anders E said...

Now watching BLACKADDER'S CHRISTMAS CAROL. Another yuletide favourite.

Anonymous said...

"Le père Noël est une ordure = Santa Claus Is a Stinker"
Father Christmas is a sh1t, actually.

Two British favourite cartoon shorts inspired by Raymond Biggs books: Father Christmas & The Snowman.The Snowman inspires buvkets of tears.

Anders E said...

The English titles of those non-English movies are not exact translations but the official English titles. In fact, "Tomten är far till alla barnen" literally means "Santa is father to all the children". I'd say "In Bed with Santa" is a lot funnier. But we are digressing.

Todd Mason said...

When we mention films we've seen the most often...well, the one I've seen the most often probably would qualify: KING KONG, the original.

The difficulty of A CHRISTMAS CAROL is in choosing which adaptation or variation you might think of first...

Todd Mason said...

Anders, any truth to the old story about when KING KONG was introduced in Sweden, the title was given as KUNG KING (since "king" apparently doesn't mean any more in Swedish than "kong" does in English, aside from suggesting Congo...)(and boy,it's easy to sail via ocean to the Congo).

Anders E said...

I'd say the logical title would have been KUNG KONG, since Kong is his name and King = Kung. But I can find no trace of it having any other title here than KING KONG. It premiered here on September 8th, 1933.

Jerry House said...


pattinase (abbott) said...

love it!

Kelly Robinson said...

I've yet to find anyone who didn't find something to like in THE PRINCESS BRIDE.

Cap'n Bob said...

If you mean a seasonal movie, I'd pick MIRACLE ON 34th STREET, with young Natalie Wood. For the rest of the year, CASABLANCA.

Anders E said...

Todd, I now realize that if KING KONG had had its title translated when released in Norway, it would have been KONG KONG. Which is somewhat amusing.