Category Archives: Top 25

24. The Fly (1958)
No list of horror films would be complete were there not a Vincent Price film. By far my all-time favorite freak out film for Price is The Fly. Not the fancy gimmicky one of Jeff Goldblum’s but the raw and frightening one starring Price. There is no one in film that sells crazy quietly, insanely and maddeningly slow, like Vincent Price. There are the machines of course, there are always machines with mad scientists, but the focus of the film is all on Andre Delambre (David Hedison) and his brother Francois (Price).

Andre is carefully, strategically working to solve the problem of wireless transportation. Using a device to transport living tissue, something goes horribly, frighteningly wrong: parts of a fly’s body replace parts of Delambre’s. Should that not be horror enough?  But at the end of the movie, the final scene…the screen enlarges, and enlarges and enlarges until we see…Francois Delambre looking down at fly’s body on which sits Andre’s head. A tiny voice screams “help me, help me” as a spider slowly creeps toward him.

I get chills even today just thinking about it, years later. It’s not slick and modern, like the later version, but it’s far more horrifying. Your scary movie collection is not complete if you don’t have this one. Watch the video if you dare, MUAHAHAHAHAHA!

 


Category: Top 25

Top 25 Horror Films

Here we go again and this time I’m going to tell you the best 25 horror films. There are few more subjective categories than the top horror films. In thinking about my own top 25, and trying to stay objective, I found myself struggling with movies that scared the hell out of me as a child, movies that thrilled me with original horror and even films so disturbing I would never watch them again. The ones that were truly great gave me great laughs, made me jump in my seat or were too horribly real; the ones that didn’t will be on someone else’s list. These are the movies that cause my nightmares, heart palpitations and even one that made me crawl under my seat as a child.


25. Zombieland
Obviously one of the newest horror film on any list, Zombieland is funny far more than scary, but a great film for all that. This is a large tub of popcorn, giant Slushee and a pound of peanut M&Ms size movie with one great cameo and 90+ minutes of great action. Original, disgustingly violent and unlikely characters make Zombieland one of the best funny scary movies ever. Oh, and you might want to sneak in some Twinkies, I so wanted one by the end of the film. Take a pen; you might want to write down the Zombieland rules before you leave, ya’ never know what you might face when you leave the theater. Oh, and start up the cardio, these Zombies are quick.


Category: Top 25

1) Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

This is it, number 1! Head and shoulders the best musical comedy ever made and easily the best musical too, Singing in the Rain is Hollywood at its very best. There’s not a boring or wasted moment in the film and every scene advances the plot, adds wonderful story elements and even develops the characters.

Gene Kelly, Donald O’ Connor and Debbie Reynolds, screen icons all, star in the film and the chemistry between them is movie brilliance. The plot, based on the beginning of talking pictures, is inspired and lets Kelly, O’ Connor and Reynolds do what they do best-show off: Kelly singing and dancing in the rain, Donald O’ Connor flipping through the air and Reynolds singing her heart out. Singing in the Rain is pure entertainment from start to finish!

 


Category: Top 25

2) Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

A wonderful look at a traditional Jewish community during the pogroms in Russia. Topol stars as Tevye, a father of girls in terrible times, just trying to keep them alive and healthy. He’s also trying to maintain tradition and find husbands for them the old way. Unfortunately the husbands he finds, may not just match their desires.

Fiddler on the Roof is equal parts fun, heartwarming and dramatic and easily one of the best musicals ever written. It’s also one of the most delightful no matter what level it’s seen: high school, little theater and even in dinner theater it is wonderful.

Take an actor like Topol and put it on screen and it’s brilliant! You may walk away crying, laughing or shaking your head, but you absolutely won’t walk away disappointed.


Category: Top 25

3) My Fair Lady (1964)

It doesn’t get much better than Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn and few films better than My Fair Lady. It’s probably the greatest stage play turned musical…ever. Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw, is a brilliant play and My Fair Lady is, possibly even better.

My Fair Lady is the story of a poor street urchin (Hepburn) turned flower girl who learns to speak like an Duchess. Rex Harrison is Henry Higgins the Professor that, through not so gentle ministrations, manages to accomplish the impossible. And Colonel Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White) is the long suffering buffer between the two.

The Hepburn role, Eliza Doolittle, seems made for her. Had Julie Andrews, offered the role she played on Broadway, it may never have been the masterpiece it became. Mary Poppins too, the role Andrew chose may have been given to someone else changing everything. Only our favorite Hot Tub Time Machine or maybe Doc Brown’s Delorean could help us find out.

Hepburn as the dirty street urchin turned achingly beautiful, but delicate wonder, was amazing.


Category: Top 25

4) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

Ah, to get a little personal for a moment. This is my favorite musical ever and the most fun. Howard Kiel stars as the oldest brother of a bunch of “scruffy backwoodsmen” and he’s decided he needs a wife. And once he does, and brings her home to meet his brothers, all hell breaks loose. The brother’s too want wives and head to town on a mission of kidnapping. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers shows dancing at its athletic best, singing even better and characters as good as any in film. And Howard Kiel, in my never humble opinion, is the greatest of all Broadway and Hollywood musical comedy performers.

Furthermore, if anyone ever says my love of musicals is “unmanly,” I point to the Brothers and they invariably shut right up. It also stars some of the best dancers who’ve ever been on stage or screen like: Russ Tamblyn and Tommy Rall. Then there’s Jane Powell and Julie Newmar, what can I say that hasn’t been said about them…a lot, but I’ll restrain myself. A great plot, a great story, great actors and amazing dancing and singing, do you need anymore convincing?

I’ve always been surprised that they haven’t tried to redo the film, but then, how could they. Take a look at this dance sequence and try and tell me it doesn’t make your blood race!

 


Category: Top 25

5. West Side Story (1961)

At number five, is West Side Story, one of the greatest love stories of all time re-created on the mean streets of New York City. Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet to speak to us all and West Side Story does just that.Though the names are different, the tale is the same, but set to one of the best scores ever.

On the gang ridden streets of New York, the Sharks and Jets are at war, not over money, or power, not even over territory. The gangs are at war for pride. Just like the original play where the feud is over pride, pride over the names Capulet and Montague.

In both the phenomenal play and incredible film it’s impossible not to sympathize with both sides. It’s the magic of the Broadway musical and Hollywood film (and Shakespeare) the audience wants the impossible to be possible: everyone to live and be happy. It doesn’t always work out that way.


Category: Top 25

6. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The greatest of the great icons of film and music, The Wizard of Oz is one because, because, because, because of the wonderful things it does: gladdening the heart, taking us back to childhood and bringing families together. What could be better and how many times have I heard “the first time I watched The Wizard of Oz I was with my grandparents, parents, uncles and/or aunts. It was so with me and my children. Watch it again…as much as any on the list it will delight you as much will the next pick.


Category: Top 25

7. Mary Poppins (1964)

Yes, the film is for children, children three to 103. The music is incredibly contagious, the story a blast and the plot a lesson for every age and generation. This film too, should be seen at least once with your children, at least once with your grandchildren and God willing with your great grandchildren. Julie Andrews was at the absolute top of her craft for this best of all babysitting films and unmatched in fun and frolic, well maybe except Dick Van Dyke, her co-star, without whom Mary Poppins would have just been incredible.


Category: Top 25

8. The Sound of Music (1965)

WWII was not a happy time and Austria not a fun place when Germans decided it belonged to them, the setting for The Sound of Music. That doesn’t stop the film from being one of the brightest and most inspiring movies ever. And when Maria (Julie Andrews) meets Captain Georg Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), the horror of Nazism, just for a while, seems to fade. I fell in love with Julie Andrews during the film and the feeling has never faded. Certainly one of the best musicals ever, and one of the best films, it’s easy to watch The Sound of Music as many times as you like and never get tired.

 

 


Category: Top 25

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