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A Life in Great Movies I Haven’t Seen

Two months ago I participated in the fun meme A Life in Movies wherein I listed a great movie that was released in every year of my life. Now, I’m doing the same, but this time the movies that were released in these respective years of my life are all “great” movies I have yet to see. So, without further ado:

1987: Wings of Desire

This famous foreign film is one of the many Criterion DVDs owned by my Criterion-obsessed friend Stephen, and it is the subject of an upcoming movie night between me and friends, so I’m excited to finally see it, as it looks marvellous.

1988: Cinema Paradiso

Okay, feel free to shoot away. I feel tremendously guilty for not having seen this family cult classic. And it’s a movie about a kid who enjoys movies! Why haven’t I seen this again?

1989: Do The Right Thing

Alright, I understand I must be starting to seriously piss people off with this list, and I can assure you it’s imperitive for me to see these movies, and this modern classic is as high up as you can get on the queue, so it’ll be knocked down very soon.

1990: Dances with Wolves

It’s my mother’s favourite movie of all time, and it indeed looks like something special, but this Oscar-snatching three-hour epic has evaded me even though it’s exactly the kind of film I’d enjoy.

1991: Delicatessen

Again, exactly the kind of film I enjoy. Lynchian, delightfully comic and disgusting adventures, and what’s more, it’s French! And it’s Bastille Day, so I might get this one delivered in the next few days.

1992: The Best Intentions

Scripted by Ingmar Bergman in the seemingly dormant part of his career after the phenomenal out-with-a-bang Fanny and Alexander, this Palme D’Or-winning film is on the list of movies I must see for several reasons, most of all the ones I’ve already mentioned.

1993: Carlito’s Way

Being quite a fan of the diverse work of Brian DePalma, it’s obvious that this is a must-see. And also, Al Pacino… well, Al Pacino, for God’s sake, fresh off the set of the brilliant Scent of a Woman.

1994: The Lion King

Ouch, this one hurt. Childhood favourite? For some, yes, but I honestly wasn’t interested in lions growing up, so I couldn’t give a flip. I’m sure it’s brilliant, though.

1995: Braveheart

I saw parts of it growing up, but never got around to seeing the whole thing? I enjoyed what I saw, but I just can’t be bothered revisiting it! Am I a bad movie person?

1996: The English Patient

One of the only movies on this list I’m not in a huge hurry to see, I still feel kinda bad about skipping this Best Picture winner. What d’you think, am I missing anything?

1997: Air Force One

Now this looks badass. A friend called it Die Hard with Harrison Ford, and you have no idea how appealing that description is to me, even though in general I don’t love action films.

1998: The Thin Red Line

In the days leading up to my long-awaited viewing of The Tree of Life, I’m going through all of Terrence Malick’s films, and this is one I am awaiting eagerly.

1999: The Straight Story

What makes this especially shocking is that it is directed by one of my favourite directors, David Lynch, who I have obsessed over in the past and whose films have provoked hours – even days – of relentless thought. But this comparitively simple true story directed by Lynch continues to evade me, most probably because I’m afraid to try something different from the man.

2000: Gladiator

Again, I like epics, and films with a lot of time and effort put into them, but some of them I just haven’t got around to seeing. This is a primary example.

2001, 2002, 2003: The Lord of the Rings trilogy


I’ve already copped a lot of hate for missing out on this famous trilogy, and I promise I’m aiming to see it very soon, but for now it remains shamefully present on this list.

2004: The Aviator

You probably already know how much I love Scorsese, which makes skipping The Aviator in my movie watching habits a glaring omission. Yes, I intend to see it, as I do so many of this list, but not in the immediate future.

2005: Walk the Line

As much as I love biopics (and Johnny Cash), I seem to have struck out again by missing this supposedly brilliant tale of the singer’s life. Bugger me ignorance!

2006: The Lives of Others

As intriguing and alluring as it sounds, I’ve yet to get around to seeing the Oscar-winning German drama. And it looks pretty bloody good too, the above image reminds me eerily of Coppola’s The Conversation, so that can’t be a bad thing.

2007: Gone Baby Gone

Considering how much I loved Affleck’s The Town, it comes as a surprise even to me that I haven’t yet properly seen Ben Affleck’s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone. It looks and sounds like a great movie, so I’ve got to see it.

2008: In Bruges

I keep continuously disappointing myself. This has been recommended time after time, and I must apologise again for a film I haven’t seen. But Colin Farrell looks better than ever here, and I trust the recommendations.

2009: Up in the Air

Ouch. George Clooney is a man who I think is tremendously talented, but I’ve yet to see this award-winning film that gives him apparently one of his best roles.

2010: Easy A

I’ll admit, at first I was wary that this was going to be another stupid high school comedy, but I’ve since heard quite good things about it, so no doubt I’ll see it at some point in the future.

So there’s the list. Phew! It feels good to get them all off my chest. I’d like to apologise for the umpteenth time for not seeing some really great films, but I guess the real reason is I’ve been trying to knock over all the obscure, independent movies, or foreign films, rather than the more mainstream ones, so I’ve had less time to check these off, though undoubtedly there will be a point when I go for broke and madly watch them all over the course of an insanely good week.

Anything you’d like to add, say, or speak about? Any great movies you haven’t seen that’re killing you? Leave a comment below.


A Film For Every Year (1915-1938)

This is a Year best left forgotten!

Every year we have a load of decent films that are released, but one may notice that the amount of good movies released each year is beginning to lower. It’s times like these we need reminder that each year does present us with good films, whether the number is two or twenty. So, I’m going to present a list of films, one for every year from 1915 to 2010, to remind us that there are such things as good films, and that they do happen. This is the first part of four, listing films from 1915 to 1938. Enjoy.


The Birth of a Nation

Whether or not it is blatantly racist (which I’m sorry to say, it is), one can’t deny the artistic value that D.W. Griffith’s three-hour picture presented in 1915.


Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages

The masterful flow and presentation of this true epic more than makes up for the travesty of racist comment present in its predecessor.



The highest-grossing and most expensive movie of the year, this picturesque picture reigned supreme in an otherwise uneventful year.



F. Richard Jones’s 1918 movie was the highest-grossing box office hit of the year, and earns its place on the list as perhaps the year’s best movie.


Broken Blossoms or: The Yellow Man and the Girl

My favourite film of the 1910s decade is D.W. Griffith’s film about a Chinese man who saves a young girl from her brutal father. Definitely worth seeing.


Way Down East

Yet another D.W. Griffith movie! Yes it’s true, he is great, and this compelling film outshines that of all the year’s others as a true classic.


The Kid

A Charlie Chaplin classic, this great film is full of emotion and tone, a perfect silent movie.


Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens

F.W. Murnau’s horror movie remains to this day one of the scariest, and definitely worth a look on a dark Halloween night. This was the film that got me into silent movies.


Safety Last!

The image of Harold Lloyd hanging from that clock is one of many reasons this silent comedy is forever a classic. Welcome home!



One of my favourite silent films, Erich von Stroheim’s Greed is a timeless, long tale of exactly that, a chain reaction of events following a lottery win. Spectacular.


Battleship Potemkin

What else? This dramatic account of a naval mutiny is filled to the brim with spectacular imagery and is truly unforgettable.


The General

It’s about time Buster Keaton made an appearance on this list, and a film like The General is a perfect way to do so. He really proves that he’ll risk it all for the laughs, and that is sadly so rare.



Fritz Lang hits the list with this great thriller that manages to stand out even amongst the other greats of this tricky year.


The Cameraman

While not the best Keaton film, it still stands out to me to be an exemplary film for 1928. Keaton’s attempt at becoming a cameraman is amusing, as it should be.


Un Chien Andalou

A surrealist masterpiece and the best silent film ever made, Luis Bunuel’s 1929 collaboration with Dali is a memorable excersize in artistic fun and shocking imagery.


L’Age d’Or

The surrealist style of Un Chien Andalou is revisited in this equally masterful excersize in disturbing images. Similar, but different.



Fritz Lang’s masterpiece and the oldest film on my Top 50 films list is this riveting, amazing tale of murder and redemption. Vigilante justice… ain’t it sweet?



This brilliant, original gangster movie is not to be confused with its 1983 counterpart (even though the 1983 film is superior). Great gangster moments and terrific performances paint the screen.


King Kong

Who could forget this great adventure film, in all its black-and-white monstrous glory? The official monster movie.


It Happened One Night

Sweeping the Oscars and practically reinventing the romantic comedy, this swell road-trip ride through countless comic situations is original and funny.


The Triumph of the Will

Please don’t take this choice the wrong way. This is a hugely artistic, valuable film that has been misunderstood time and time again. A documentary about Nazis, this film is not pro-Nazi, but rather quite the opposite.


Modern Times

Another great Charlie Chaplin classic, this is a refreshing comedy that was undoubtedly the highlight of the year… as you can see.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

An animated joy, this age-old fairy tale is brought to spectacular life and ingrained forever in the memories of us and our children. Great stuff!


Bringing Up Baby

A fantastic comedy from Howard Hawks starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, this is a rare treat from one of the true masters.

So there you have it, the first twenty four films of ninety six spanning nearly a hundred years. Leave me a comment with your thoughts; whether you agree or disagree. Next time I’ll be listing films from 1939 to 1962.

Thanks for reading.