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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #86 Ghost World - 15/10/2009 6:56:14 PM   
rick_7


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Thanks for all the comments. Chris - I used yours in the guide this week (credited!), you put that a lot better than I could.



85. if.... (Lindsay Anderson, 1968) has the spirit of revolution coursing through its veins, hitting cinemas just as the lefties hit the streets of Paris and the US. Malcolm McDowell is a public school radical who switches from minor dissenter to bloody rebel when the Establishment tries to crush his spirit. Righteous fury, bizarre fantasy sequences and a headteacher who keeps a pupil in his desk drawer Lindsay Anderson's counter-culture masterwork has it all. I've never seen a film that celebrates and then incinerates tradition with quite the same reckless glee.

Favourite bit: It's hard to look beyond the climactic carnage.

See also:
Musical sequel, O Lucky Man!, but not the second follow-up, Britannia Hospital, which is useless. Anderson's 1963 kitchen sink movie, This Sporting Life, is tremendous.




84. The Edge of the World (Michael Powell, 1937)
- Michael Powell cut his teeth (ouch) on quota quickies - low-budget programmers designed to ensure as many British films reached British theatres as was dictated by law. The Edge of the World was his first personal film and possesses themes that would dominate his work: obsession, outmoded lifestyles and the cruelty, fury and opulence of nature. Based on the depopulation of St Kilda, the film tells its story in flashback, as a remote Shetland island community breathes its last. The slender narrative is bolstered by marvellous vignettes and spectacular set pieces. Masses are said, crops are raised and two young friends settle an argument with a perilous cliff-climbing race. As the dignified, harsh lives of the island's inhabitants inch towards redundancy, the waves crash endlessly, remorselessly against the rocks. This is a bewitching, beguiling film: realistic yet romantic, and possessing the sense of fatality more commonly associated with film noir.

Favourite bit: Two wanderers quiz a third about the remote island they're touring. As he begins the tale of its depopulation, we switch from the present to the past, a time-slip that brings a lump to the throat.

See also: Our #99 returned to the Scottish Isles, and many of the film's themes. Flaherty's Man of Aran, already namechecked above, blazed a trail for poetic realism, portraying life on the Aran Isles, off the coast of Ireland.


< Message edited by rick_7 -- 15/10/2009 7:01:53 PM >


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Post #: 61
RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #83 Judge Priest - 15/10/2009 7:10:15 PM   
rick_7


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83. Judge Priest (John Ford, 1934)
is an early masterwork from John Ford, who had been making features for a full 17 years, but was still a year away from his first Oscar win - for The Informer.
Many of his '30s films are characterised by visual lyricism and gentle heroes, who face hypocrisy and hysteria with unexpected mettle. That's certainly true of Judge Priest, one of three films Ford made with Will Rogers, a newspaper columnist and movie star known for coining the saying: "I never met a man I didn't like" and often cited as the most popular man in America. Rogers is the eponymous figure, whose folksy wisdom is needed to resolve brewing conflicts in a Deep South town. His banjo-playing assistant is portrayed by the enduringly controversial black comedian Stepin Fetchit. Some claim Fetchit's recurring stereotype of a slow, drawling African-American was shameful, others point to his pioneering role in a racist industry, earning more than 1m and giving black audiences a representative on screen, however compromised. In the 1960s, he became one of Muhammad Ali's entourage. Judge Priest is a whimsical film that packs a hefty punch. Like its central character it's easy to patronise, appearing rambling and aimless, but not to be underestimated as it spears falsity and small-town bigotry, whilst being charming, poignant and so warm you could toast your bread next to it. The only disappointment comes in learning that two of its more controversial planned segments were excised - a near-lynching and a prostitute's funeral - though these were reinstated in Ford's 1953 remake, The Sun Shines Bright, which was his favourite of his movies. That's an inferior but still unmissable movie, with Charles Winninger in the Rogers role.

Favourite bit: Rogers' intensely moving monologue, spoken to a portrait of his departed wife.

See also: Ford and Rogers' final collaboration, Steamboat Round the Bend, which is a notch below Judge Priest but bears many similarities and entertains greatly on its own terms. The film was released after Rogers' untimely death; Ford removed the final shot, of Rogers waving goodbye to the young lovers, in case it traumatised audiences. If you're looking for more Americana, then keep your eyes glued to this list. Or get hold of Come Next Spring, a lovely, unassuming film made at Republic. Steve Cochran, who also produced, plays a reformed alcoholic who returns to his family after eight years on the road and tries to mend the lives he ripped apart. It's a fine little movie and even if the ending is a touch obvious, it works.


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Post #: 62
RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #86 Ghost World - 15/10/2009 9:38:02 PM   
chris_scott01


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7

Thanks for all the comments. Chris - I used yours in the guide this week (credited!), you put that a lot better than I could.


Thanks for the compliment.

I've only just seen If... recently, maybe it will be a film that grows on me, I just didn't take to it for some reason.

Edge of the World is fantastic, it belongs to that lovely little stream of visionary cinema that so few hit on.  Powell was genius of atmosphere.  There's a phrase that is etched in my mind that I've picked up on from a few directors or critics who have used it to describe a film or group of films.  It's "A sense of time and place".  I think Visconti has said it before and a few people have described his films having this quality.  It sounds simple, too simple maybe, but personally I think it's a hugely underrated quality of cinema, because a part of what makes cinema great is the transportation of the audience to somewhere and sometime that they could never experience otherwise.  I guess this is my long-winded way of saying I have a recommendation that you watch Kaneto Shindo's The Naked Island, and I've done my best to avoid using the word "poetry" again, but that film (like Edge of the World) is the very definition of pure cinematic poetry and superb examples of sublime evocation of "time and place".  (Incidently Visconti was in the jury at the Moscow Film Fest where The Naked Island won Grand Prix).  You could also call this Chris' tedious link game.

Really like Judge Priest too.

< Message edited by chris_scott01 -- 15/10/2009 9:40:05 PM >


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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #86 Ghost World - 15/10/2009 9:40:07 PM   
Rinc


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I need to see Judge Priest, and i need to see it soon.

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #86 Ghost World - 15/10/2009 11:19:26 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


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Can you tell me what position The Quiet Man is in? I'll hack the forum and replace it with Once Upon A Time In The West 

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #86 Ghost World - 15/10/2009 11:24:51 PM   
_Eraserhead_


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I'm glad If.... is getting support for the top 1000 project - I assume this is the list you posted there

My favourite scene would be the gymnasium scene




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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #86 Ghost World - 16/10/2009 1:08:17 PM   
rick_7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc

I need to see Judge Priest, and i need to see it soon.

You really do. It's got to be my favourite Stepin Fetchit movie EVER. After Charlie Chan in Egypt.

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #86 Ghost World - 16/10/2009 1:09:53 PM   
rick_7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

Can you tell me what position The Quiet Man is in? I'll hack the forum and replace it with Once Upon A Time In The West 

It's not in there, actually. It was in the not-so-shortlist, but I dropped it.. along with 179 other movies. I'll see if I can fit Once Upon a Time in the West in my Most Pompous Westerns countdown...

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #86 Ghost World - 16/10/2009 1:18:49 PM   
rick_7


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From: The internet
quote:

ORIGINAL: chris_scott01

quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7

Thanks for all the comments. Chris - I used yours in the guide this week (credited!), you put that a lot better than I could.


Thanks for the compliment.

I've only just seen If... recently, maybe it will be a film that grows on me, I just didn't take to it for some reason.

Edge of the World is fantastic, it belongs to that lovely little stream of visionary cinema that so few hit on.  Powell was genius of atmosphere.  There's a phrase that is etched in my mind that I've picked up on from a few directors or critics who have used it to describe a film or group of films.  It's "A sense of time and place".  I think Visconti has said it before and a few people have described his films having this quality.  It sounds simple, too simple maybe, but personally I think it's a hugely underrated quality of cinema, because a part of what makes cinema great is the transportation of the audience to somewhere and sometime that they could never experience otherwise.  I guess this is my long-winded way of saying I have a recommendation that you watch Kaneto Shindo's The Naked Island, and I've done my best to avoid using the word "poetry" again, but that film (like Edge of the World) is the very definition of pure cinematic poetry and superb examples of sublime evocation of "time and place".  (Incidently Visconti was in the jury at the Moscow Film Fest where The Naked Island won Grand Prix).  You could also call this Chris' tedious link game.

Really like Judge Priest too.

Thanks for the post.
 
It may depend on when you see if.... for the first time. In some ways it's quite an adolescent film, because it taps into very strong teenage ideas, like a heightened sense of right and wrong, an emphasis on stoicism in the face of oppression and a fixation on sexual expression, all of which drew me to it on first viewing. I still experience that connection with the movie now, but perhaps it has to be forged when you're impressionable and feel things very intensely. There's always a chance that's bollocks, though.
 
Yes, I think The Edge of the World does create a complete universe (something I slagged Spider Man off for failing to do, this week), as so many of Powell's films do. By concentrating, a little episodically, on small details, he seems to express more in a single scene than most directors can manage in a career. Is the Masters of Cinema release the best one to get for The Naked Island?

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Post #: 69
RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #86 Ghost World - 16/10/2009 1:20:02 PM   
rick_7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: _Eraserhead_




I'm glad If.... is getting support for the top 1000 project - I assume this is the list you posted there

My favourite scene would be the gymnasium scene




It's virtually identical to the list - the only change being: Affliction out, The Red Balloon in, as I'd forgotten about it. That gymnasium scene is a classic - in fact, the Empire "classic scene" transcript is still tacked up on my old wardrobe door at my Dad's house.

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Post #: 70
RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #82 Hud - 16/10/2009 1:31:14 PM   
rick_7


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82. Hud (Martin Ritt, 1963) is in many ways a precursor to Bogdanovich's Last Picture Show, being a Texas-set portrait of moral dissolution based on a Larry McMurtry book, though its scope is slightly narrower. Paul Newman is Hud, a womanising, boozing scoundrel whose behaviour is increasingly difficult to accept for both nephew Brandon de Wilde and the viewer. Hud loathes his stern father (screen legend Melvyn Douglas, who's sensational), lusts after their housekeeper Patricia Neal (superb as ever) and leads de Wilde astray. Heightened performances, impeccable scripting and James Wong Howe's crisp monochrome photography make this modern Western one of the key American films of its decade.
 
Favourite bit: Douglas' question: "Hud, how'd a man like you come to be a son to me?"
 
See also: For more of Newman at the peak of his powers, before he started smirking all the time, try the heavyhanded version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Robert Rossen's The Hustler or anti-establishment classic Cool Hand Luke. OK, so he smirks a bit in the last one.

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Post #: 71
RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 16/10/2009 1:36:31 PM   
rick_7


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81. A Thousand Clowns (Fred Coe, 1965) also sees a magnetic, self-destructive force of nature forming his nephew in his own image, though here it's easy to side with the questionable influence. Jason Robards, Jr. was an unforgettable actor: his oversized features, gravelly, expressive voice and prowling presence lighting up films both worthy (Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, All the President's Men, Parenthood and Magnolia) and less so (Once Upon a Time in the West). Despite its notable credentials, being based on Herb Gardner's Tony-nominated play, it is essentially the greatest Robards vehicle imaginable - a conduit for the left-field sensibilities, anti-authoritarian posturing and understated humanism present in so many of his characterisations. He plays Murray N. Burns, a happily unemployed former gag writer who revels in his carefree existence until he's told to get a job, or risk losing custody of his nephew. Though that might sound a bit soapy, the treatment is anything but, with inventive, stylised direction, consistently surprising plotting and countless belly laughs. Robards, recreating his stage role, gives what might just be my favourite performance of all time, launching bitter, complex, contradictory diatribes against anything and everything, fouling up his interviews by being a complete smartarse and having an affair with a social worker, who he's encouraging to rebel against her boss (and boyfriend). Barry Gordon is just great, playing Robards' precocious, sensible nephew, and Barbara Harris and Martin Balsam (who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar) offer fine support, but it's Robards' show all the way.

Favourite bit: Robards spells out exactly what it is he wants for his nephew, concluding: "I want him to know the subtle, sneaky, important reason why he was born a human being and not a chair."

See also: Angels Over Broadway, Ben Hecht's idiosyncratic crime drama, touched with gold dust, in which cynical Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. comes to the rescue of suicidal embezzler John Qualen, with the help of Rita Hayworth and Thomas Mitchell - whose grandstanding intellectual laid the groundwork for Murray N. Burns.


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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 16/10/2009 1:41:43 PM   
rick_7


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Here's a re-cap of the list so far, for latecomers, the lazy and people who aren't that interested in this thread (or me) but are just a bit bored at work:

100. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940)
99. I Know Where I'm Going! (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1945)
98. Pickup on South Street (Samuel Fuller, 1953)
97. Stand by Me (Rob Reiner, 1986)
96. Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa, 1952)
95. Letter From an Unknown Woman (Max Ophuls, 1948)
94. The Red Balloon (Albert Lamorisse, 1956)
93. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (John Ford, 1949)
92. Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995)
91. Went the Day Well? (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1942)

90. Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970)
89. Confessions of Boston Blackie (Edward Dmytryk, 1941)
88. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
87. La Terra trema (Luchino Visconti, 1948)
86. Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, 2001)
85. if. (Lindsay Anderson, 1968)
84. The Edge of the World (Michael Powell, 1937)
83. Judge Priest (John Ford, 1935) 
82. Hud (Martin Ritt, 1963)
81. A Thousand Clowns (Fred Coe, 1965)


< Message edited by rick_7 -- 16/10/2009 1:42:39 PM >


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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #86 Ghost World - 16/10/2009 6:00:42 PM   
chris_scott01


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7
Is the Masters of Cinema release the best one to get for The Naked Island?


It's the only one I know of, I presume it is the best release.  I don't think I loved it that much while I was watching it at first, it's quite demanding on the interest level, kind of like Dreyer's Vampyr which breaks the mould of conventional film structures and explores a mood or atmosphere.  Certainly Edge of the World has more in terms of plot, The Naked Island is stripped of virtually everything to leave the bare bones of a film, but as a piece of art it's incredibly beautiful. It was one of the many films that grew on reflection.  (Or maybe I'm just a little slow)

Loved Hud, great inclusion. I agree, Douglas' performance is brilliant, he is undoubtedly the best thing in it in my opinion.

Never heard of A Thousand Clowns, I really like Robards (yes even in that western you don't like).

< Message edited by chris_scott01 -- 16/10/2009 6:06:05 PM >


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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #86 Ghost World - 21/10/2009 8:05:24 PM   
rick_7


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More reviews coming up shortly. Next is a bittersweet Depression-era comedy drama. Any takers?

I'm on the train writing the weekly guide fingy now. Apparently first class offers excellent ensuite dining facilities. I'm in fourth class, wedged between a baggage rack and the fat guy from The Narrow Margin.


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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 8:07:09 PM   
Epiphany Demon


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I liked Ghost World; Buscemi and Birch were great, but the characters weren't particularly likeable so I didn't really warm to them.

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 8:15:45 PM   
rick_7


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I don't know.. Enid is one of my favourite characters in movies.

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 8:16:51 PM   
Epiphany Demon


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She's very well written, I won't argue that; she just isn't someone I'd wanna be friends with or whatever. Cold, quite manipulative, a bit empty.

Wouldn't stop me banging her though.

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 8:27:20 PM   
rick_7


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I don't think she is cold, that's just a facade. How do you mean manipulative? Not disagreeing on the latter point, it just hadn't occurred to me.


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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 8:29:39 PM   
Epiphany Demon


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She just leads Seymour around, dictates what he's doing and he doesn't put up any opposition. Granted that's a flaw of his as well as hers, but still...

I'm making it sound like I don't like the film when I very much did; almost a 4/5 from me.

And how did it not occur? She's unbearably hot in some scenes!

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 8:43:15 PM   
rick_7


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No, I meant it hadn't occurred to me she was manipulative! I had a major thing about Enid when I was a teenager - I figured she was my dream woman 'til Mrs_7 appeared...

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 9:15:15 PM   
Epiphany Demon


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You only said that because she was next to you didn't you?

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 9:32:11 PM   
rick_7


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Yeah. Get lost Thora, Im trying to do some work.

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 9:35:37 PM   
Epiphany Demon


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So... you loved Enid, but stopped when her real life persona married you?

PARADOX.

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 9:39:37 PM   
rick_7


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You make me sound like a cad. And can you please not use words with more than six leturz.

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 9:48:24 PM   
Epiphany Demon


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PARDOX

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 10:42:05 PM   
rawlinson

 

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Rick, can I just say how glad I am you're doing this list. I thought some of the choices you made for the top 100 poll were fascinating and unusual and it's great reading your thoughts on them. There's one film especially that we both have in our top 100s that doesn't seem to turn up much in top 100s, so I can't wait to read your review of it.

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 21/10/2009 10:51:59 PM   
Rinc


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7

I figured she was my dream woman 'til Mrs_7 appeared...


What happened to the other 6?

I'm really enjoying this list too. I've only seen 8 of them so far but i'm liking all the reviews of the ones i haven't seen. In fact your review of Ghost World made me watch it after meaning to watch it for a long time. I actually find Enid quite likeable she's just got some problems like a lot of late teens.

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RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 22/10/2009 4:34:57 AM   
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Joined: 30/9/2005
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It'll be interesting to see how this list compares with your top 250 from about 4 year back. There's a few films already that have changed positions by quite a jump.

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Post #: 89
RE: My Favourite 100 Movies - #81 A Thousand Clowns - 22/10/2009 5:28:55 PM   
rick_7


Posts: 6151
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The internet
quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

Rick, can I just say how glad I am you're doing this list. I thought some of the choices you made for the top 100 poll were fascinating and unusual and it's great reading your thoughts on them. There's one film especially that we both have in our top 100s that doesn't seem to turn up much in top 100s, so I can't wait to read your review of it.

Thanks, that's really nice of you. I wonder what the film we have in common is...

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(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 90
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