I’m not sure what it was that motivated me to make these lists, but last summer I posted an earlier version of this on Facebook. I picked my five favorite films in a lot of different genres, and then I picked my No. 1 film in each category.
Now the last thing I want to do is just cut and paste what I wrote last summer, even if this is for a different audience, so what I thought I would do was expand each category to a top 10. Within the 10, they’re in no particular order, except that the one title in boldface in each group is my favorite.
ACTION/ADVENTURE: Die Hard, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Rock, The Abyss, Armageddon, The Adventures of Robin Hood (the 1937 one), Air Force One, Patriot Games, Con Air, Fail Safe.
COMEDY (FUNNY): Animal House, American Graffiti, Night Shift, My Favorite Year, Used Cars, Duck Soup, After Hours, Sleeper, Tootsie, Some Like it Hot.
COMEDY (SATIRE): Bedazzled, Best in Show, Lord Love a Duck, The Loved One, Smile, Putney Swope, Modern Romance, Saved, Serial, State and Main.
DRAMA: The Godfather Part II, The Grapes of Wrath, Casablanca, To Kill a Mockingbird, True Confessions, Twelve Angry Men, Chinatown, Gone With the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago.
FANTASY: The Wizard of Oz, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, It’s A Wonderful Life, Streets of Fire, Peggy Sue Got Married, Superman, Pleasantville, Chances Are, The Princess Bride, Back to the Future.
FOREIGN (LANGUAGE): After Life, Shall We Dance, The Wild Child, Il Postino, Changing Times, Cinema Paradisio, Closely Watched Trains, Tous les Matins du Monde, The Sorrow and the Pity, Das Boot.
GUILTY PLEASURES: Joe vs. the Volcano, Real Men, Hanover Street, A Small Circle of Friends, Stealing Home, Purple Hearts, The Long Kiss Goodnight, American Dreamz, The Hollywood Knights, Shining Through.
HORROR: Dawn of the Dead, Freaks, Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein, Gotham, The Others, Shaun of the Dead, An American Werewolf in London, Shock Corridor.
MUSICALS: West Side Story, The Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie, Woodstock, Singin’ in the Rain, A Mighty Wind, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Meet Me in St. Louis, Guys and Dolls, Moulin Rouge.
ROMANCE: Love Actually, Notting Hill, Windy City, Blume in Love, The Electric Horseman, Just Like Heaven, Somewhere in Time, Sleepless in Seattle, Electric Dreams, When Harry Met Sally.
SCIENCE FICTION: Blade Runner, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, ET: The Extraterrestrial, When Worlds Collide, Time After Time, Forbidden Planet, Star Trek (2009), Galaxy Quest, Total Recall.
SPORTS: Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Bang the Drum Slowly, A League of Their Own, Rocky, For Love of the Game, Hoosiers, Tin Cup, Pastime, Seabiscuit.
THRILLERS: North by Northwest, The Birds, Vertigo, The Maltese Falcon, Dead Again, Pretty Poison, The Last Seduction, Silence of the Lambs, Mystic River, From Russia With Love.
WAR: Testament, On the Beach, Gallipoli, The Human Comedy, The Best Years of Our Lives, The Guns of Navarone, From Here to Eternity, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, In the Valley of Elah, Threads.
WESTERNS: Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Magnificent Seven, The Searchers, Little Big Man, Tombstone, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Fort Apache, Rio Bravo, Stagecoach (1939).