Thursday, March 26, 2020

My Beloved Movies: In Flagrante Delicto

The Big Sleep

We watched this in film school and the professor asked if it was an accurate representation of what it’s like to fall in love. I responded to my friend sitting next to me, “yeah, I know when I fall in love at least three or four people die.” It’s just a solid film noir, and the clear best Bogart/Bacall pairing.

The Bridge on the River Kwai

I could watch this over and over again. I hate war movies, but this is about so much more. Alec Guinness is amazing, and he plays the obsession and regret so perfectly. William Holden is great as Guinness’s opposite. The whole this is just so damned British.

Bringing Up Baby

Another Howard Hawks classic. It’s just so damned funny. Kathryn Hepburn and Cary Grant have never done anything so funny, so absolutely insane.

The Cable Guy

This movie hit me so hard. I like to say I work in television because I was raised by it, so I went into the family business. Chip’s obsession, his lens to the world being refracted through TV, his total lack of real world social understanding, I just related to it on such a deep level. And I don’t think I’m alone.

Can’t Hardly Wait

Oh man, did this movie fuck me up. I watched it so many times, I actually wrote a letter to my crush. She was cool about it, but that was an awkward coffee conversation I wish I could take back. Besides that, it’s just so good. Hilarious, heartfelt, and every inch of the cast is an entire next generation of actors.

Catch Me if You Can

I love father-son stories, and I know that’s not what this movie is about, but it gets me in all the feels. What a beautiful rendering of a remarkable man’s life. And Walken’s two mice story is an incredible running gag.

Cecil B. Demented

I really have no idea why I like this movie. It’s really, really bad. Everyone is annoying. I just love it.

Citizen Kane

Look, everyone, it’s the pretentious choice. But it’s a good movie. It just is. It’s just fun and weird, and when you watch it the first time, you think, “This? This is the movie people call the best American film?” But if you look into it, you realize you only think that because Welles invented an entire film language that’s in every film that followed it. It was so revolutionary, it became commonplace.

Clean Slate

“Mr. Pogue, what is the seventh commandment?” “The right to bear arms?” This movie is so funny, I don’t understand why Dana Carvey hasn’t starred in another movie this good. He’s an engaging leading man, and he plays confused detective so well.


This is the Holy Grail of single location film comedy. You watch it and wonder why it hasn’t been done as a stage play. But the more you think about it, you realize how cinematic it is, despite the stage play feel. It’s so sharp, so tightly written. Virtually every line is quotable. The cast is brilliant, and half way through, Tim Curry just takes over in a manic tour-de-force. I’ve seen it so many times, I’m sure I have a story for every time. Like, in college, we watched this while playing the board game, then watched Spider-Man while playing Spider-Man monopoly. Or the time I saw it as an outdoor movie in Glendale. And who can forget the time I tried to write my own version of Clue and get my friends to be in it? That did not work out.

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