It’s confession time once again in the Roundtable. If you’re a reasonably film literate person, you’ve no doubt seen countless movies over the course of your lifetime. Nonetheless, it simply isn’t possible to see every movie you want. You’re bound to have missed some classic or supposedly “important” film along the way that it may seem like everyone else has seen, or expects you to have seen. So, fill us in. Where are the gaps in your film knowledge?
This Roundtable was inspired by a recent survey from British video rental service LOVEFiLM about the top 10 movies that people lie about having seen. So, with that in mind, you get bonus points if you’ve ever tried to bluff your way through a conversation about this movie that you’ve never even seen.
From that LOVEFiLM list linked above, I’ve honestly seen all but one of the movies. The one I’m missing is ‘The Great Escape‘. In fact, I’ve never seen any movie starring Steve McQueen. Not a single one, not even ‘The Towering Inferno‘. I’ve missed out on this cinema icon’s entire filmography. This certainly wasn’t intentional. I just never got around to them. The worst part of this is that I’ve got Blu-ray copies of ‘The Sand Pebbles‘, ‘The Thomas Crown Affair‘, ‘Bullitt‘, and ‘The Getaway‘ all sitting unwatched on my shelf.
I’ve talked about some of the movies that I’ve just never gotten around to in the past, but this one may still come as a surprise. While I’ve seen the original once or twice, I’ve never seen ‘The Godfather, Part II‘. I know that it’s supposed to be an amazing film, but honestly, I just don’t care for serious gangster movies, which this seems to be. I’ll take ‘Casino‘ or ‘Goodfellas‘ any day of the week, but I just can’t bring myself to sit down and watch this one. Needs more Pesci I guess.
Believe it or not, but I’ve never actually seen ‘Apocalypse Now‘. Well, I’ve never seen it all the way through. I’ve seen bits and pieces here and there, but watching the entire film has somehow escaped me over the years. It’s something I plan to rectify soon, though. I really just need to sit down and watch it. I feel almost embarrassed that I haven’t watched it yet because of its classic status and because it’s universally loved.
I have never seen ‘Titanic‘. I’m not really ashamed to admit it. I consider this more of a victory over Celine Dion. I’m not sure how or why exactly I avoided it. Certainly, I was turned off by the hype, but I have nothing against the stars or James Cameron (though I didn’t bother with ‘Avatar‘ either). I think I’ve just never been that taken in by the fascination with the Titanic. Did I miss anything worthwhile?
I haven’t seen ‘Gone with the Wind‘. It doesn’t matter how much of a “classic” it is, I simply don’t want to see it. Nothing about it sounds interesting to me. ‘Gone with the Wind’ may have done a bunch of filmmaking things that hadn’t been done before, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen them since. The sets are still going to suck. The story is still going to be predictable. And I’m still going to be bored out of my mind. I’ve never had to B.S. my way through a conversation about it because, frankly, I don’t give a damn about ‘Gone with the Wind’.
I love Billy Wilder’s stuff, particularly his films between 1950 and 1960, beginning with ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and ending with ‘The Apartment’. I’d say those were his Sgt. Pepper years, but for some reason I have never seen ‘Stalag 17‘, even though it stars the leading man from the first film in that decade-long winning streak, William Holden. For the life of me, I don’t know why I’ve continually put it off! I’ve rented the VHS release, borrowed copies of it from high school friends, recorded the old AMC broadcast onto videotape, rented the DVD, recorded it on my DVR. Heck, I think I even rented the Laserdisc once! I want to see it, but somehow I just always put it off, and I have no idea why. Just now, I went over to Amazon to see about ordering a cheap copy on DVD, but something keeps me from shelling out the dough. Maybe I’m afraid that owning my own copy and having it taunt me from the shelf will be more than I can take, but I’ve really got to check this classic off my list!
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
I decided a few years back that I was going to watch everything on the IMDb Top 250 that I hadn’t already seen. Well, it took an awfully long time, not made any easier by the fact that the list is such a moving target, but eventually I did it. Thanks to that, I really don’t have too many gaping holes in my list of Classics I’ve Gotta Watch Before I Keel Over. Of the stragglers that are left, one that sticks out like a sore thumb is ‘The French Connection‘. I’m such a sucker for gritty ’70s police dramas, and I’ve really been itching to see its legendary car chase in full. The only reason I haven’t checked this one off my list is that its release on Blu-ray is such a trainwreck, with director William Friedkin veering away from the film’s original cinema verite look and drenching it in pale, bleeding pastel colors. Maybe there’ll be a 40th Anniversary re-release before the year’s out? If not, I guess I’m going to have to settle for the DVD…
So, that’s what we’re still missing out on. How about you? Which important movies have somehow passed you by over the years? If you’re struggling to think of titles, check out the AFI Top 100 Movies list to get some ideas.