It’s good to have rituals. It’s good to reaffirm your faith in certain institutions. And clearly, if you’re reading this site, then you know that cinema is one of those institutions. It’s time for another “100 Things I Love About Movies” list. As you may recall from the other times I’ve performed this exercise, this list isn’t a top 100, nor is it the ONLY 100 things I love about movies. It’s a snapshot of 100 specific things I love about movies. A complete list of things I love about movies would be staggering, as is the case for most of us.
1. Quentin Tarantino placing a reference to a Disney princess- Cinderella- in his revenge fantasy movie about Nazis.
2. I am Spartacus.
3. Everything about the shower scene in Psycho (1960)
4.”If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.”
5. “Mongo only pawn in game of life.”
6. The cat that won’t cop out when there’s danger all about. You’re daaaamn right.
7. The freeze frame ending of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
8. William Blake- but not THE William Blake- sailing off to his death in Dead Man (1995)
9. Lina Lamont’s voice in Singin’ in the Rain (1951)
10. The shooting star in Jaws (1975)
11. The Bride of Frankenstein’s badass hairdo.
12. Busby Berkeley dance sequences
13. “They call me MISTER Tibbs!”
14. The corrosive nature of greed in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
15. This amazing bit of editing madness from the Czech New Wave classic, Daisies (1966):
16. The murderous refrigerator in Requiem for a Dream (2000)
17. Barbara Stanwyck as a femme fatale
18. Patrick Bateman’s infatuation with paper, ink, and bindery in American Psycho (2000)
19. Bernard Herrmann’s score punctuating Taxi Driver (1976) as a twisted noir
20. The ladies of Hammer horror films
21. William Castle’s gimmicks
22. The Lady in the Radiator
23. “There’s a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that’s all some people have? It isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan.”
-John L. Sullivan, Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
24. Katharine Hepburn pissing off the establishment by wearing pants…
25. and really, everything else about Hepburn. Especially her comedic persona.
26. Amplifiers with knobs that all go up to 11
27. The penis train entering the vagina tunnel at the end of North by Northwest (1959), a hilariously unsubtle sexual reference from a dirty old man named Hitchcock
28. The styrofoam reindeer in Santa Claus (1959)
29. Albert Brooks replicating the ending of Gone with the Wind while wearing a clown suit in Real Life (1979)
30. One of the most noble and lovable characters in all of movie history, R2D2, is basically a mobile garbage can on wheels.
31. The 70s-style cinematography of Argo (2012)
32. Gene Wilder’s mad love affair with a sheep in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)
33. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, a demonic murderous creature that stood 100-foot tall and was made entirely of marshmallows…
34. who can only be defeated if you don’t cross streams
35. Air blasting up Marilyn Monroe’s skirt
36. The ad campaign in the weeks leading up to the Blair Witch Project (1999)
37. Harpo Marx’s horn and…
38. Grouch Marx’s one-liners
39. “Brawndo’s got what plants crave. It’s got electrolytes.”
40. The astonished look on a toy Mickey Mouse’s face during the transformation scene of An American Werewolf in London (1981). You can find Mickey at the 2:03 mark.
41. The painstaking artistic craft of 1940s Disney animation
42. Jackie Chan’s Drunken Fist Kung Fu
43. The Last Supper scene in MASH (1970)
44. Princess Leia in a gold bikini
45. The opening scene in The Monkees’ Head (1968)
46. The slow, mournful sound of a trumpet right before vengeance is acquired in spaghetti westerns.
47. Hal singing “Daisy” more and more languidly en route to shutdown.
48. The pimple cream ad in Putney Swope (1970)
49. The Hill Valley Telegraph’s “Save the Clock Tower” flyer in Back to the Future (1985)
50. The parody of mass-consumerism in Dawn of the Dead (1978)
51. Satyajit Ray out-neo-realisming the Italian neo-realists in the Apu trilogy.
52. Buster Keaton damn near killed himself many, many times, and his only intention was to make us all laugh.
53. The mirror scene finale in All About Eve (1950)
54. Edward G. Robinson saying “see?”
55. The exclamation point at the end of Killing Them Softly (2012)
56. Levon Helm’s performance of “Ophelia” during The Last Waltz (1978)
57. …and Van Morrison squished into a too-tight suit while kicking around and belting out “Carnival”
58. …and Neil Young’s giant cocaine booger in the same concert film.
59. Spaghetti strained with a tennis racket in The Apartment (1960)
60. Japanese ghost stories like Kwaidan (1965), Kuroneko (1968), Pitfall (1962), and Ugetsu (1953)
61. Georges Méliès’ visual trickery before the cinematic medium had even been defined
62. Winslow Leach’s mask in Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
63. The final shot of Electra Glide in Blue (1973)
64. I know what you’re thinking: “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do you, punk?
65. The little old lady flying out the window on her motorized scooter in Gremlins (1984)
66. Nicholas Angel riding back into Sandford on horseback with ammunition angel wings in Hot Fuzz (2007) during quite possibly the most boomerang moment-laden 20 minutes in movie history
68. Luca Brasi, who sleeps with the fishes
69. Travis Bickle’s mohawk
70. A child, a snowy TV, and a ghostly arrival. “They’re heeeeeere.”
71. Bill Murray as Carl Spackler, eating a “turd” in Caddyshack (1980)
72. “Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”
73. The two faces of Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullman melting into one
74. Brando as Colonel Kurtz
75. The opening credits of Raging Bull (1980)
76. The jaw-dropping raw humanity of Hoop Dreams (1994)
77. Ray Harryhausen’s monsters
78. The world’s introduction to Hugo Stiglitz…
79. and that it made even my nearly 70-year old father laugh.
81. And especially Ennio Morricone’s immaculate score for that scene, and the entire movie.
82. Yippee ki-yay, mother fucker!
83. The palpability of the hot weather in Do the Right Thing (1989)
84. Mrs. Robinson’s leg
85. King Kong demolishing the Empire State Building
86. The bed/car sequence in Le Grand Amour (1969).
87. The silhouette of a child and his extra-terrestrial best friend flying across the moon
88. François Truffaut’s montage from Day for Night (1973).
89. Steve Buscemi in Tree’s Lounge (1996)
90. The Mount Rushmore of horror: Boris Karloff, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Bela Lugosi
91. The Avengers of horror: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon
92. And the actual Avengers (2012), which made me feel the same way I did when I was 5 years old, smashing all of my toys together
93. The confusing plot of The Big Sleep (1946)
94. Matthau and Lemmon
95. The German Expressionist orgy of Fritz Lang’s early work
96. Amicus horror anthologies
97. The sheer shittiness of bat nipples
98. The fevered, dreamlike twist on Alice in Wonderland as seen in Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974).
99. The stinkpalm
100. Eddie Felson vs. Minnesota Fats